23 member(s) found this review helpful.
Stayed up all night reading this book, and was totally wiped out by the time I finished it, but I just COULD NOT put it down. A keeper - probably my number 2 favorite for 2008, right behind Duke of Shadows by Meridith Duran. I cried a couple of times, I laughed, and I was as giddy as a kid at the ending. Sherry Thomas outdid herself this time. With references to Cinderella and fairy tales all throughout the book, making a reference to that story would be almost unavoidable. It is something of a fairy tale love story, but if this heroine is Cinderella, her tiara is a little on the tarnished side. I totally loved her though. Everything she does, although you might not immediately understand it, makes sense, flows so well with the story. And the hero is completely to die for. He is so different in every other aspect of his life, except for when it comes to the heroine. He's absolutely head over heels in love, and breaks every rule that he's ever set for himself for her. You can't help but love him.
This book includes a few of the elements that I found problematic with Thomas' first book - Private Arrangements; a long separation of ten years, the use of flashbacks, but the way they were used was not as heavy-handed as I found them to be in the previous book, and the circumstances between the H&H were so different, that things like the separation made perfect sense; I didn't have that same incredulity that people separated for that long could really be in love. In this case, the heroine is the one who left the hero, and it wasn't after their marriage, it was after one night together, and given her connection to the hero (which he didn't know about at the time), it was actually pretty noble of her to disappear - she did it for him. And maybe a little for herself too - he wouldn't have been a happy camper when he found out who she was in any case, and understandably so. He carries a torch for her for ten years though, and the anticipation of them getting back together, all of the buildup to it before it happens kept me on the edge of my seat until it finally comes together. He keeps her galoshes that she leaves behind for 10 years. Cleans them up, wraps them in tissue & puts them in a box, and takes them out to pine over occasionally. How's that for sweet? Not a glass slipper, but still...
It's too hard to explain the separation & why it takes a while for the romance to kick back into high gear when they see each other again (without giving spoilers) though. And I don't want to give any spoilers because this book is so good, you just have to read it for yourselves. The flashbacks worked great with the storyline. Again, not so heavy-handed, and the author only used them for a few chapters, and only as much as was absolutely necessary to give you the background you need on the main characters. The secondary romance was great too - which I also don't want to spoil by giving away any details. It was strong, but not too much of a distraction, as the main characters' HEA sort of depends to some degree on it working out - or at least you have that sense of it at the time. I didn't initially like the heroine of the secondary romance, but came to understand her, and then grew to like her as the story evolved.
Anyway, I VERY highly recommend getting this one, even if you have to end up buying it new. It's worth it. It's going on my keeper shelf - forever:P I will definitely read it again.
Sensuality Rating: R
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Did not like the use of flashback in this book. Took away from the building of the romance between the two characters. Also, the hiding of the heroine's identity was quite unbelievable. I actually didn't finish the book, because near the end, I realized I just didn't care about the hero & heroine.
The one bright spot was the secondary plot. Another romance. That one worked for me. Good sexual tension. Loved the dialogue. But still didn't save the book for me.
Guess Sherry Thomas is just not my cup of tea. Gave it three stars for the subplot and the writing style.
3 member(s) found this review helpful.
I found this to be a wonderfully sexy Regency period historical about a woman who has suffered very hard knocks in life along with discovering her unique culinary skills. She creates the kind of food that brings those fortunate enough to dine at her table to the heights of ecstasy. The hero is a man who is haunted by a beautiful woman with whom he had one night of bliss and then she is gone. Fate brings these two fascinating people together through a haunting set of circumstances...and the road to realized dreams will be rocky and very sensual. I loved it.