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Ravishing the Heiress
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1410

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, actually, we are probably slighting fruit bats. I know PLENTY of people with even LESS emotional awareness.

Although your comment about some romances is true, Jaime, I'm not fans of the BIG MIZ or dunderheads as heroes or heroines. But clearly, there are lots of people who are.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just adding a follow-up to my previous post...

1. I re-read the last few chapters and have slightly revised my opinion of Millie for the better, because she does take responsibility for her part in the state of their marriage. She may say it all less passionately than I'd like, but at least she has some clarity regarding the situation.

2. Again, for those who hate the flashback technique--you know, the one used in Not Quite a Husband--I think it was brilliant here. Let's face it; the story is about a married couple who have an unusual agreement that has kept them from consummating their marriage until, well, mere days from when the reader picks up the story. Millie longs to be intimate with her husband but agonizes over what it will do to her emotionally. Plus we know that Fitz's first love is coming back into the picture, and with her, the opportunity to pick up where they left off. So right away, we're wondering how the consummation will go, and what will be the aftermath.

By continually delaying the moment of consummation--taking us closer and closer, then yanking us back into the past, where we learn more about what has gone on in this marriage--Sherry Thomas manages to ratchet up the anticipation. I was so glad/relieved when we finally got to the appointed day (well, night)!

3. I think the author missed a lovely opportunity to demonstrate the repaired state of their marriage. Maybe the next book takes up right at the time where this one leaves off, and so the overall timeline didn't work, but it would have been nice to see Fitz coming into a ballroom, chatting with various ladies, working his way up to his wife, and then making pleasant, tantalizing chitchat with her, arranging a rendezvous.

I say this because at one point in the story, Millie describes how Fitz chooses a mistress. (He starts by chatting up a lady he is not interested in, then moves from lady to lady, until he finally gets to the one he really wants.) A scene where Fitz employs his standard "mistress M.O."--with Millie being the final lady--would have made a great epilogue, underscoring the change in the H/h's relationship.


Last edited by stl_reader on Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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KSR



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 41
Location: Silver Spring, MD

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just have to say, I adored this book.

I loved both romantic leads, and I have enjoyed the unveiling of all the characters in this trilogy. I think one must read all three books, in order, to fully understand the stories, and the inter-relationships. Yes, each book can stand alone, but as I read this book, I realized that I think Thomas is making a very meaningful attempt to examine, not just romantic relationships -peeling back all their layers, journeys, entanglements, and the role of fate and misunderstandings in these relationships - but other important foundational relationships in our lives.

The rich and realistic sibling relationships between the Fitzhughs is central to the first two books and I suspect will be even more critical in the third; the delicate in-law relationship between the Fitzhugh sisters and Millie that is documented in the first book and revealed in the second book is a special and critical support system that sustains each and strives to protect all, (sometimes against their wishes); the bonds of fraternal friendship between Fitz and Hastings remains steadfast, supportive and loyal through some trying situations. These tangential relationships, developed over the first two books, are integral to my enjoyment of the series, and critical to the understanding of each character. Millie's character is not only developed through her actions on her own behalf in RtH, but in her actions on behalf of her sisters-in-law in BtB. Ditto for Fitz, and for Hastings.

I enjoyed the characters and the story in Beguiling the Beauty. I grew to love them in Ravishing the Heiress. Though Hastings and Helena are not my favorite characters, they are now both "family". I can not wait to read their story and what it will reveal about friendship, siblings, and love.

I also savored the quote mentioned above about love and friendship...love without friendship is like a kite adrift on the winds. Friendship gives love wings.

In essence, I think these books explore the myriad forms of romantic and filial love, and in this book, love born through friendship was the foundation for all.

Bravo, Ms. Thomas!
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loved it but not quite as satisfied as I thought I'd be.

From the onset of reading the previews of Ravishing the Heiress I was excited and couldn't wait to read it. I just knew that this was a Sherry Thomas book I'd adore. Even the author tagged it as a fave.
Unrequited love is a favorite theme of mine. Married couples that are forced due to circustances are a fave of mine. The Civil Contract from Georgette Heyer as a romance was NOT a fave of mine I just wrote not so long ago why I didn't like it.

So here I was going through my read all through the night hardly getting a wink because of the excitement of finally reading Fitz and Millie's story.

Something so exciting and still loved left me also unfulfilled if I'm honest. I still rate this as a wonderful read.

I was completely tortured for Millie. My heart actually hurt for her and I was to a point too uncomfortable. But knowing it's a romance and understanding I'm going to get a HEA I stuck with it waiting with excitement for Fitz to see his treasure.

Sadly what was wrong and my peeve is that it happens much too late and the conclusion seemed to be done so fast. It was like 95% torture for 5% joy. Fitz took way too long.

Spoilers included:

Up to even when Fitz knew how he felt he still put Isabelle's happiness over Millie's and his own for a long time still.

My peeves with him and Isabelle are countless. From the onset Isabelle returns to him because her husband is now dead. I'm sorry but Fitz wife is very much alive. What justifies in her mind pursuing a MARRIED man. Not to mention any worry for her children....All these things went through my mind way before Millie thought it. I think since I read the sneak peek I could see that a mile away in regards to the thoughtless widow and Millie's husband in my view.

I think I needed a chapter of Fitz seeing a gentleman interested in his wife frankly. He was taking her for granted that she'd always be there until he decided different. The freedom she allowed him was too bothersome and he always having her be his ear his friend his confidant. I wondered what he offered besides being miserable most of the time.

She gave him a business a home helped him overcome his drinking was there for his sisters I just felt like this woman gave and gave all from the age of 16 and the love confession the realization was just anticlimatic.

Sherry Thomas has a gift that she'll take her reade and ride you to the edge of not being able to accept what the couple does to each other. But she also manages to still have you root for their happy ending.

I was rooting even through again all the torture but I wasn't as satisfied as I have been with others. It was very close to being too much like Civil Contract but at least I had the satisfaction of knowing that Fitz had a true passionate love for his wife. His line when he realizes she is the love of his life was heart warming. But was I completely sighing as I've done in the past with other reads of Sherry Thomas no not quite.

I think what really made me enjoy this was the type of heroine Millie was. All to many times we are given romances that tell us the heroine is sassy and vocal and this is what makes her strong. I thought Millie was possibly one of the strongest heroines I've ever read despite withholding her feelings the way she did. How many could have lived through all of those feelings for years and still managed to put others first. Probably one of the most truly selfless in my opinion.

Isabelle no I'm not looking forward to her story frankly but Hastings and Helen absolutely. And I hope I see quite a bit of Millie and Fitz because I truly felt in this one there was definitely not enough interaction. This really should have been a longer story I think another 5 chapters was needed.

Either way since I've adored every Sherry Thomas book since she gives me sleepless nights reading to get through what can I say but thank you Ms. Thomas. I look forward to others.[/list]
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the double not sure what's wrong.

Last edited by Islandgirl2 on Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Triple posts.
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Anne_Gresley



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Ravishing the Heiress Reply with quote

I'm all on my own, I just finished Ravishing the Heiress, and I've got no one to talk to about it. Time to revive this thread.

I was really looking forward to this book, but when I read some of the comments here and in reviews elsewhere, I got nervous. But yet again I marvel at how different we all are and how we can read the same book and come away with such different opinions.

I didn't find Millie and Fitz's relationship agony to watch. On the contrary, I found it incredibly heartwarming. The idea of friendship as the best foundation for love is one not seen often enough in romance. I really enjoyed watching Fitz slowly come to the realisation that his feelings for his wife and for Isabelle had changed, that he himself was a different person. For me, this wasn't an angsty read because, despite the bitter-sweetness of Millie's seemingly unrequited love, the story was peppered with tiny vignettes; little moments - not big dramatic ones - that showed their developing closeness. I'm so used to big, dramatic moments in romance that I was completely blindsided. Him noticing the unfinished eggs? Knocking down walls together? Joint decision making? Be still my heart!

I loved Millie (a definite case of still waters running deep) and was glad she got everything she wanted in the end. Unlike almost everyone else, I didn't feel the ending was rushed (though I thought Beguiling the Beauty could have done with an extra chapter and I enjoyed the brief glipse of Christian and Venetia here) because Thomas convinced me that their happing ending was inevitable because of how truly well-suited they were and how strong their bond was. Their admitting it out loud to one another was a formality (albeit a majorly important one).

And now I'm looking forward to the next one. I'm one of those who found the Helena/Hastings subplot intriguing.

Short version? Loved this!
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chris booklover



Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 309
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished Ravishing The Heiress last night, and it is a definite A for me - the best romance I have read in a long, long while. This, along with Not Quite a Husband, is now my favorite Sherry Thomas novel. Both of them are just ahead of His At Night.

I really admired the way in which Thomas charted the development of the relationship between Fitz and Millie. They became friends and partners long before they are lovers. This was a platonic relationship for a long time, but husband and wife were far more intimately involved with each other than many married couples in more conventional unions.

Unlike some readers I don't think that Fitz was a jerk. For most of their married life he believed that Millie was in love with another man. She deliberately, and for her own understandable reasons, led him to think so. I don't think that he was particularly obtuse because he believed her and did not recognize her real feelings. If he had known about them he would have behaved very differently, and this would have been a different story altogether.

For most of their married life Millie and Fitz are happy together. They form an effective personal and professional partnership, become good friends and are aware of this. Sherry Thomas herself, while describing the novel as "as angsty as anything I’ve ever written," sees it as answering the question "can I write a book in which the hero and the heroine are always nice to each other? And the answer is yes, the leads can be absolutely lovely to each other and the story can still rip your–I mean, my–guts out." YMMV of course, but her characterization of the relationship seems more accurate to me than some described in this thread.
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