Friday, July 14, 2006

It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn

Meet Our Hero ...
Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth's sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past .. and the key to his future. The problem is -- it's written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

Meet Our Heroine ...

All the town agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She's fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there's something about her -- something charming and vexing -- that grabs him and won't quite let go ...

Meet Poor Mr. Mozart ...

Or don't. But rest assured, he's spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual -- and annually discordant -- Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth's every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other ... and that there is nothing as simple -- or as complicated -- as a single, perfect kiss.

Only read my review if you've read the book because there will be spoilers!

I really really liked this book, I think it had the light fun feel of most of JQ's book. And I just plain and simple loved Hyacinth and Gareth. Neither of them annoyed me at all, they were both refreshingly unique. There was no "forcing" of a wedding, which was a nice change of pace, you know for a gentleman to actually make a choice to marry a young woman and her to say yes all of their own free will.

I must admit that at one point during the book Hyacinth is reading the Italian diary to Lady D and I thought for sure Lady D had only feigned not being about to read Italian to get Hyacinth and Gareth together and really understood it all. But no, that was not the case. To bad it would have been kinda funny.

I unlike most was not let down by the final scene with Gareth and Lord St. Clair, I felt it fitting. Any more emotion would not have fit the norm for them.

One thing that did bother me? Okay I HATED HATED HATED the very last page of the book!!!!!! I was soooo beyond pissed that Isabella (H&G's daughter) found the diamonds and didn't tell her mother!!!!!! It was not cute, not funny, not anything but ANNOYING!!! The entire freaking book we go through this wild goose chase with Hyacinth and Garth looking for the jewels and then they NEVER find them????? Just plain old aggravating.

My Grade: A- (minus for the last page!)

Favorite parts:

"You weren't very subtle," Gareth said.
"No," she replied, "but then, I really am. It's a skill one must be born with, I'm afraid."

I just love the interaction with Gregory! This all had me rolling!
"Milk?" Lady Bridgerton asked?
"Thank you," Gareth replied. "No sugar, if you please."
"Hyacinth takes her's with three," Gregory said, reaching for a piece of shortbread.
"Why," Hyacinth ground out, "would he care?"
"Well," Gregory replied, taking a bit and chewing, "he is your special friend."

Gregory turned to Hyacinth. "Do you still read to her (lady D) each Wednesday?"
"Tuesday," Hyacinth corrected.
"Oh. Thorry."
Gareth blinked. Did Hyacinth's brother have a lisp?

And I can't say enough how much I loved our hero and heroine together!"All right," he acceded, "but the only words I'll allow from your mouth are, 'Oh, Gareth,' and 'Yes, Gareth.'"
He lifted his finger.
"What about 'More, Gareth?'"
He almost kept a straight face. "That will be acceptable."

"I love you too," she said
He took her face in his hands and kissed her, once, deeply, on the mouth. "I mean," he said, "I really love you."
She quirked a brow. "Is this a contest?"
"It is anything you want," he promised.
She grinned, that enchanting, perfect smile that was so quintessentially hers. "I feel I must warn you, then," she said, cocking her head to the side. "When it comes to contests and games, I always win."
Her eyes grew sly. "Whenever it matters."
He felt himself smile, felt his soul lighten and his worries slip away. "And what, precisely, does that mean?"
"It means," she said, reaching up and undoing the buttons of her coat, "that I really really love you."

Read the books in order:
The Duke and I
The Viscount Who Loved Me
An Offer From A Gentleman
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
To Sir Phillip, With Love
When He Was Wicked
It's In His Kiss
On the Way to the Wedding

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

Everything was so much simpler…
When he was wicked.

In every life there is a turning point.

A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca's surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer — the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then…Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love…until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…

When I first picked up this book and started reading it I really liked it. I thought I was in for a real treat. Now I know from Sylvia's review some of the reasons others didn't like this book, such as we barley knew Francesca. But that point didn't bother me at all, I felt as if I grew to know her plenty well in her book, so that was just fine with me. And also that she was happily married before, which that didn't bother me sooo much. I mean yeah it is hard to fall in love all over again if you were so happy the first time, especially if it were your husbands cousin almost brother. But what did bother me A LOT in this book is how indecisive Francesca was.

How she would be with him over and over, but not commit to marrying him. How every time something big happened she ran. I almost feel like she wasn't deserving of Micheal. He was so tortured and patient with her every whim. I loved him. I felt for him so much. I did really love how Colin played into this story too. How he saw right through Micheal and pushed him in the direction he needed to go. I think even though Francesca annoyed me in the book (and the fact that the book in general took soooo long to get to what I thought was the core of the story) I was still satisfied with the book.

...Till I read the Epilogue, and then I was left with more thoughts and questions. Like John's mother said Francesca and Micheal were born for each other and thanked Micheal for letting John love her first. Did that mean that if Micheal had made his feelings for Francesca known before the wedding she would not have married John since she was "born for" Micheal???? And do you think John loved her sooo much? As much as he maybe could have loved someone else? I mean she said they were satisfied in bed but she never felt the passion she did with Micheal with John so did that mean they were missing something in their marriage? Something she found with Micheal, something John could have maybe found with someone else? I mean he never touched her breasts????!!! Hello, men love breasts, what was up with that? And she never went down on John in TWO YEARS of marriage? Yeah, I'm thinking something was wrong there, and I'm thinking that it's a shame that Micheal didn't stop the wedding in the beginning so he and Francesca could have been together (soul mates) and John could have found his real soul mate. It seemed like Micheal should have been her best friend and lover from the start and John should have just been her best friend.

But beyond all that disappointed me, I must say I was most impressed with the sex in the book, and the foreplay. Hello, we weren't left wanting in that area. Micheal was just as wicked as we were all lead to believe and he didn't hesitate to bring it to the bed with the woman he loved. Bravo Micheal. I hate when the men in historical books feel they can't be naughty with their wives (even when they love them) since they are 'ladies'. Oh Please!

Grade: C+ (the plus is for Micheal, and all his wickedness)

Read the books in order:
The Duke and I
The Viscount Who Loved Me
An Offer From A Gentleman
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
To Sir Phillip, With Love
When He Was Wicked
It's In His Kiss
On the Way to the Wedding