Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lightning Reviews

The books I want to write about are piling up here, and the poor blog has been so neglected. Its feelings are hurt, I think. So here are a few quickies:

Title: A Wild Pursuit
Author: Eloisa James
Published: 2004, Avon
Category: Historical romance
Rating: 7.5/10

It is whispered behind the fans of London's dowagers and in the corners of fashionable ballrooms that scandal follows willfully wild Lady Beatrix Lennox wherever she goes. Three years before, the debutante created a sensation by being found in a distinctly compromising position. Now, the ton has branded her as unmarriageable, her family has called her a vixen, and Beatrix sees no reason not to go after what -- and who -- she wishes.

And she wants Stephen Fairfax-Lacy, the handsome Earl of Spade. Beatrix, with her brazen suggestions and irresistibly sensuous allure, couldn't be more different from the earl's ideal future bride. Yet Beatrix brings out a wildness in the earl he has tried to deny far too long. Still, he's not about to play love's game by Lady Beatrix's rules. She may be used to being on top in affairs of the heart, but that will soon change.

Eloisa James's characters are so much more flawed than you often find in romance novels. I always start out disliking her heroines a bit, but then they grow on me so much that by the end I'm rooting for them wholeheartedly. And this one was just really funny. It's the one with the goat, some of you may remember the scene. It is quite memorable. I ordered a few more James books right after reading this one. :)

Title: Kidnapped!
Author: Jo Leigh
Published: 2007, Harlequin Blaze
Category: Category romance
Rating: 5/10

Okay, it's certainly an unconventional way for Manhattan heiress Tate Baxter to conquer her fears. But when your whole life takes place behind the tinted windows of a limo and your household staff are all gun-toting ex-CIA, drastic measures have to be taken. Especially when one member of that staff has got her all hot and bothered.

Chauffeur Michael Caulfield has just one assignment—keeping Tate safe. But when she's kidnapped for real, the only way he can save her is to become a prisoner with her. He may be just "the help," but as her take-charge protector, he's the Michael of her sexual fantasies. Maybe a man she can trust and even dare to love? Except once out of his uniform, he isn't exactly laying bare all his secrets…to Tate.
I really am trying to get past my prejudice against categories. But this one didn't do much for me, even just as a quick, easy read. But it might be a INYIM, as Kristie says. The whole kidnapping fantasy is really not exciting to me. I was a bit bored.

Title: The Morning Gift
Author: Eva Ibbotson
Published: 1993, St. Martin's (Reissued 2007, Penguin)
Category: Romantic Fiction
Rating: 8/10

Twenty-year-old Ruth Berger is desperate. The daughter of a Jewish-Austrian professor, she was supposed to have escaped Vienna before the Nazis marched into the city. Yet the plan went completely wrong, and while her family and fiancĂ© are waiting for her in safety, Ruth is stuck in Vienna with no way to escape. Then she encounters her father's young college professor, the dashing British paleontologist Quin Sommerville. Together, they strike a bargain: a marriage of convenience, to be annulled as soon as they return to safety. But dissolving the marriage proves to be more difficult than either of them thought—not the least because of the undeniable attraction Quin and Ruth share. To make matters worse, Ruth is enrolled in Quin's university, in his very classes. Can their secret survive, or will circumstances destroy their love?

I hereby officially deem Eva Ibbotson a Favorite Author! Hee! (Such an honor.) This is currently my second favorite Ibbotson, right after A Countess Below Stairs. The whole academic flavor of this book was very appealing to me--Ruth is a graduate student and Quin is an important professor and scholar. Nothing makes my little heart beat like a scholarly hero. ;) And though the book is set during a rather depressing time, there's a lot of humor in it too. I loved when Ruth loses the annulment papers and she gets mad at her friend who "dares to talk to [her] about Freud and what he said about losing things." ... "That we lose what we want to lose...and forget what we want to forget."


Kerry said...

I've always like Ibbotson, but I haven't read this one. I'll have to track it down as it does sound lovely.

Dev said...

I love Eloisa James and have a lot of her books. Have you read any others in her Duchess series?

The Ibboson books sounds really good! I'm going to check into that one.

Thanks for the great reviews, Jennie!

nath said...

Great reviews :D now I have two more books to go buy :D I haven't read any Eloisa James that I can remember, so I guess this one will be a good start, since I'm looking for something funny :D AS for Eva Ibbotson, I'm definitively tracking down her books :D thanks Jennie :D

Li said...

Okay, I really want the Ibbotson now.

And I remember loving the Eloisa James... but err... I can't remember the goat scene. More clues please?

Jennie said...

Kerry-I'm on a mission to find the rest of Ibboston's books--at least all her adult books. She's written a ton of children's books that I'm not too interested in. ;)

Dev-I haven't read any of the other books in the Duchess series--I actually didn't realize A Wild Pursuit was part of a series until I got into it. But I've ordered the first one...I can't remember the title now. But I'll probably read it next.

Nath-I've only read a few James books, but I've liked them all. And she has a nice big backlist. :)

Li-Lol. Bea is bored one day and goes for a walk, and comes across an old goat in a field and somehow it latches onto her spencer (what is a spencer?! some sort of jacket, I think?) and starts to eat it. Stephen comes along and she shrieks at him to stop the goat, but he just ends up falling into the mud. "It was all very romantic, what with the odoriferousness of his person and the grinding sound of a goat munching her extravagantly expensive garment." Hee!

Melissa said...

Ibbotson I've read, James I havn't yet. Sounds very romantic. If your gonna do another book review soon let me know. I'm just now finishing The Sapphire Pendant, a powerful contemporary love story. Please consider it, I love your reviews.

Li said...

Ah ha - I remember now! Thanks for the memory prompt :-) It may not look like it, but that was actually my favourite book in her Duchesses series.

avidbookreader said...

So glad you reviewed this Jennie. I read this book about one or two years ago, I liked it, rated it a B read. They are not reprinting all of her books and that's great, I just wish they would put them in the fiction aisle rather than the YA section. Or even romance. But hopefully word of mouth will do its job. I wish she would write more adult novels.---Keishon

avidbookreader said...

Meant to say "they are" reprinting her books, sorry for the error.


Janine said...

Hi. Coming out of lurkdom to say that I adore Ibbotson's books, but The Morning Gift is actually my least favorite of the ones I've read. Like Keishon, I rated it a B.

My favorites are Madensky Square (A), A Countess Below Stairs (A), Magic Flutes (A-/A), A Company of Swans (B+) and I even liked the YA book Journey to the River Sea pretty well (around a B+). I haven't read A Song for Summer yet (am saving it for a rainy day), or the YA book The Star of Kazan, which I recently heard great things about.