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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 875
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am getting caught up on Mary Balogh's earlier books as they are being reissued. I just finished The Temprary Wife and A Promise of Spring, too.

I absolutely LOVED The Temporary Wife. It worked for me on all levels despite the totally predictable plot. Anthony and Charity were such wonderful characters. It was so satisfying to see him come to grips with his past and reunite with his estranged family and open himself to love. I had my hankie out during the last parts of the book. I can definitely see myself rereading this one. Grade: A

I was very frustrated with the other part of this duet - A Promise of Spring. Talk about a failure to communicate! I might have been able to deal with this had it not gone on for the entire book. I felt the age difference thing was overplayed and couldn't believe that Grace could be tempted again by Gareth after what he had done to her. And Perry's passivity and unwillingness to fight for Grace did not sit well with me. Grade: C
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinabelle wrote:
I absolutely LOVED The Temporary Wife. It worked for me on all levels despite the totally predictable plot. Anthony and Charity were such wonderful characters. It was so satisfying to see him come to grips with his past and reunite with his estranged family and open himself to love.

Exactly my thoughts. It was such a satisfying read. I really didn't want it to end; but then I did, because I was getting sleepy.
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LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 702

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinabelle wrote:
I am getting caught up on Mary Balogh's earlier books as they are being reissued. I just finished The Temprary Wife and A Promise of Spring, too.

I absolutely LOVED The Temporary Wife. It worked for me on all levels despite the totally predictable plot. Anthony and Charity were such wonderful characters. It was so satisfying to see him come to grips with his past and reunite with his estranged family and open himself to love. I had my hankie out during the last parts of the book. I can definitely see myself rereading this one. Grade: A

I was very frustrated with the other part of this duet - A Promise of Spring. Talk about a failure to communicate! I might have been able to deal with this had it not gone on for the entire book. I felt the age difference thing was overplayed and couldn't believe that Grace could be tempted again by Gareth after what he had done to her. And Perry's passivity and unwillingness to fight for Grace did not sit well with me. Grade: C


Agreed on both counts. I recently reviewed these and gave The Temporary Wife a B+/A- and A Promise of Spring a C-.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk about different reactions! I don't even remember what the Temporary Wife is about, even though I definitely read it at some point. However, I remember enjoying A Promise of Spring quite a bit... I guess I liked the age difference, it's not typical in historicals.

But then again, I disliked The Madness of what's his face, and almost everyone else seemed to love it.


Last edited by Natalie on Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainshadow Road, Lisa Kleypas

For the life of me, I don't understand how this undercooked book got an A. There's nothing in it that really stands out and it's definitely subpar to pretty much every other LK's book I've read (and I think I've all of her backlist except a couple of the earliest ones that are honestly unreadable).
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LFL wrote:
I recently reviewed these and gave The Temporary Wife a B+/A- and A Promise of Spring a C-.

Agree with both you and Tinabelle on the grade for A Promise of Spring. Definitely enjoyed The Temporary Wife much better.

Natalie wrote:
Rainshadow Road, Lisa Kleypas. For the life of me, I don't understand how this undercooked book got an A.

Yes, that is much the same reaction I had to this book. I did not agree with the A grade at all.
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 469
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:
Rainshadow Road, Lisa Kleypas

For the life of me, I don't understand how this undercooked book got an A.


I have to agree totally. I'm a complete Kleypas fan girl and even I wouldn't rate this higher than B-.
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Lillian Sulivan



Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Posts: 237

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Spoilers Reply with quote

Continuing my 'retro March' with...The Grand Sophy (1950) ~spoilers~

My first Heyer. Sophy was a hoot. The anti-Semitism, particularly with the novel written so soon after the Holocaust, was a turn-off. Two examples of Heyer's impressive writing chops: when Miss Wraxton announces to Sophy that her impeccable social credit would surely see Sophy through a scrape, I (the reader) knew what Sophy would do while Miss Wraxton was oblivious to the ensuing hijinks, and that made it much funnier. And when Sophy "meekly followed Charles" at the end of the novel, I had no doubt she was and would remain in charge of their relationship. In Romancelandia this was much more delightful than the two of them walking away hand-in-hand, as a modern writer would (be forced to?) write the conclusion.

Speaking of, if this novel was submitted today, with the title character not appearing until page 42, I imagine an editor would reject it!

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Lilly
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Winnie



Joined: 07 Sep 2009
Posts: 94
Location: Utica NY USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne - Madeline Hunter - A

Rainshadow Road - Lisa Kleypas - A

I loved both of these books. They both are two of my favorite authors.
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bethaboo



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One Good Knight - Mercedes Lackey. C

I was really looking forward to continuing this 500 Kingdoms series after The Fairy Godmother. The second entry was super disappointing, but I will try #3 before I give up completely.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Carnelians, Catherine Asaro

The latest book in the epic sci-fi romance series. It seemed a bit repetitive after the previous three and there were too many viewpoints (usually Asaro picks a different hero or a couple as the main focus of every installment). But at least it featured my two favorite characters (Kelric and Jaibriol) and some of the plot threads have been resolved. I wish Ms Asaro wrote her books faster!
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LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 702

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:
Talk about different reactions! I don't even remember what the Temporary Wife is about, even though I definitely read it at some point. However, I remember enjoying A Promise of Spring quite a bit... I guess I liked the age difference, it's not typical in historicals.


I loved the age difference (older woman younger man is a trope I generally enjoy a lot) and I loved the opening premise of the book. I felt it started out very promising (to make a bad pun) and then it went downhill fast. I reviewed it for DA and detailed the reasons there -- too long to go into here but basically boil down to kitchen sink plotting, glossed over conflicts resolved in pat ways, and worst of all, contrivances that made the characters (hero especially) seem TSTL.

Quote:
But then again, I disliked The Madness of what's his face, and almost everyone else seemed to love it.


I only liked that book mildly.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2476

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bethaboo wrote:
One Good Knight - Mercedes Lackey. C

I was really looking forward to continuing this 500 Kingdoms series after The Fairy Godmother. The second entry was super disappointing, but I will try #3 before I give up completely.


Book 3 - Fortune's Fool was much better than book 2. In fact, I would say One Good Knight is the weak spot in the series. Please do try the others - they are terrific.

maggie b.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 226
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But then again, I disliked The Madness of what's his face, and almost everyone else seemed to love it.
Ah, The Madness of What's His Face. Charming title; I'd read it.

Recently read: Temporary Wife - I'd give this a B-, maybe a C+.

IMHO, you have to buy into so many unlikely events--which I mostly did, if a bit grudgingly--but I couldn't quite believe that the main story took place over the course of just a few days. Forgiveness, epiphanies, the marquess falling in love with the governess, yada yada. I think Charity worked her magic on a dysfunctional household even faster than Super Nanny.

I'd have liked it more if the story had unfolded over the course of at least a month (or better, two months). I also would have preferred if Charity had not been such a psychology expert, so easily nailing the motivations and needs of various members of Anthony's family. It was a bit pat, for me.

On the plus side, I really like how the story made the point that the Marquess' mother should never have involved him (a child) in her marital problems.

And as with the Plumed Bonnet (which wasn't my favorite Balogh, but which I did like better than Temporary Wife), I can take the H/h from this novel and "re-imagine" the parts of the story that don't quite work for me. Smile


Also read: Oracle's Moon. B+

If you like contemporary romances and paranormals, you might find this to be A or A minus-worthy. Me, I normally don't care for either, but this was pretty good.

Interestingly, this felt more like a contemporary to me than like a paranormal. I guess that's because it takes place in a world where supernatural beings are integrated into society to the extent that a lot of the "magic" element almost seems normal.

I could tell this is a series book, and since I haven't read anything else by Thea Harrison, it did confuse me for the first few chapters. But then things cleared up. I think this can be recommended as a stand-alone story.

I liked the development of the hero and heroine's relationship. I could actually buy why a powerful djinn might be attracted to a "mere" human.

And, I liked that the author kept things moving, once they got going, and that she didn't pad the novel with an extra 50 pages of filler to bump up the page count. It kept me interested all the way to the end.
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MEK



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Born, River Marked - by Patricia Briggs. As a fan of Briggs' Alpha and Omega series, I had not yet read the related Mercy Thompson series, so I read all six in a row. Very entertaining and hard to put down. I gobbled them up one right after the other, but I'm still a biggest fan of Anna and Charles in the other series. Third person omniscient allows the reader to get into the head of the werewolves in that series. Mercy is first person. I'll certainly keep up with both, though.

A Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh - enjoyed it while reading it but don't remember much about it now!

A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh - it was a DNF for me. I'm sorry but the 10 year age difference (she 35, he 25) was a no go for me. To me he just "up and decided" to marry her and I couldn't see much reason for it.
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