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Topic: Laura Lee Guhrke

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Subject: Laura Lee Guhrke
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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OK, all of this talk about Laura Lee Guhrke made me order a bunch of hers on ebay.  So, which one should I start with?  Guilty Pleasures, And Then He Kissed Her, The Charade, or Not So Innocent.  Which one did you like the best?  She is a new author for me.  I again put all of the blame on Kim for this.  LOL  :P

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2007
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Sherron, I,ve read the first two you mentioned. I loved them both. I'd start with Guilty Pleasures.  Don't know anything about The Charade but I'm looking for it now.

 

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
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Lol - Sherron.  Talk about pressure...

I have a bunch and have read several so far.  Some of them were really good, which is what got me to order & track down the others, but not all of the ones I bought ended up being worth it, IMO.  Here's the list...

The Seduction  - Bought this one from half.com because it was WL with 20 something people ahead of me at the time.  I think w/shipping it ended up being about $10, and it wasn't worth it.  It's a done to death impoverished nobleman tricks fortune hunter wary heiress into thinking he's in love with her so she'll marry him story, and predictably, she finds out  the truth and decides to hate him for it.  Of course, he really is in love with her, and zzzzzzzzzzzzz....  C+ for overused and unoriginal subject matter:P

Breathless (Sonnet Books)  - Pretty good.  I ordered it or got it from the UBS - I totally forget which:P  About a B+ grade-wise.  It had a fairly original storyline - the hero (a lawyer) represented the heroine's ex when he divorced her for infidelity - which she was innocent of, btw, but hero doesn't initially believe it.  There's a murder/mystery subplot there as well, which I didn't find all that interesting, which is why I rated it as B+ rather than an A.  I don't think the two conflicts meshed perfectly, although it wasn't badly executed at all, and the romance portion was very good.

Not So Innocent (Sonnet Books)  - I don't remember exact dates on the setting, but this seemed to be a Victorian setting - the hero is a Scotland Yard inspector investigating a series of murders, and the heroine is a psychic who sees certain events through the eyes of the killer.  It has definite leanings toward romantic suspense, but the romance gets more than equal time, and it's sorta hot and very nicely written.  I grade it at A+.  Enjoyed it, kept it, would gladly read it again.

Guilty Pleasures (Avon Romantic Treasures)  - Deserves at least an A.  I thought it was really good and kept my copy.  Heroine is in love with the man she works for, but he doesn't really notice her until she becomes disillusioned with him and decides to quit.  The he falls madly in love in the process of trying to convince her to stay:P  Okay, maybe a little cliched, but it was a nice little romance just the same:P

And Then He Kissed Her - I rate this one an A+ for sheer enjoyment.  The plot is very similar to Guilty Pleasures.  It's a historical Miss Jones & The Boss story - she works for him, and he can't find his backside without her, but he does something that causes the bloom to come off the rose, and she quits, and of course he's madly pursuing her trying to get her back.  They end up involved in a torrid affair & fall in love, but he's had some bad experiences and isn't exactly the marrying kind.   It's just a very nice, enjoyable read, for all that it had some similarities to Guilty Pleasures, and overall, I thought it was the better of the two.

His Every Kiss (Avon Romantic Treasure) -  I think it was about a B- for me.  It wasn't bad, I just didn't get as much out of it as I thought I would from the excerpt I read of it in the Guess the Book thread.  It had a decent premise, but I really didn't 100% sympathize with the heroine, and the hero struck me as a brooding nitwit at times.  He's a tortured artist (composer) and she is the widow of one (a painter).  She loved her husband, but it was a bad marriage and has left her scarred.  Nothing really exceptional, IMO, but some parts of it were very well written.  I know some people absolutely loved it, so I'd recommend it for all that I didn't think it was a keeper.

The Charade (Sonnet Books) - Sucks:P  I really wouldn't bother.  H&H are both spying and pretending to be someone they aren't, and it gives me a headache to think about it beyond that:P  It's an American historical.

I have a few others besides those, but I haven't started them yet.  Will let you know what I think after I read them.

 



Last Edited on: 9/24/08 1:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2007
Posts: 597
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Ok Kim, I won't look for The Charade now. I consider you the "wikipedia of Historical Romance. How you keep up with everything you read is beyond me....



Last Edited on: 9/24/08 2:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/24/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Lol!  Wikipedia:P  That's hilarious.  You made my eyes water, Brenda.  That's just my opinion on that one, but I just didn't enjoy it at all.  It just drags & drags, and the H&H are both total nitwits, IMO.  I had a hard time believing that the same person who wrote so many other good books was responsible for that one:P  I have another rare one that I recently bought: Prelude to Heaven  I may start on it later, so I'll let you guys know what I think.  The one I'm really dying to get my greedy paws on is Conor's Way, but as I recall, it's outrageous to buy.

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2008
Posts: 423
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I would start with Guilty Pleasures and then go on to And Then He Kissed Her. These are her best, in my opinion. She does really well with the storyline of the plain, competent heroine and the hero who does not notice her initially falling head over heels.

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 4,433
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Kim, I read all the books you post expect The Seduction but you rated only C+ so should I still read it? Is the book like the Marriage Bed because I actually enjoyed it a lot.

 

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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OK, so I have just started Guilty Pleasures.  Thanks for everyone's opinion.  I agree with you Brenda, about Kim being the historical romance Wikipedia.  When ever she posts something about a book that makes her keeper shelf, I have to have it.  It must be good if it is on Kim's keeper shelf.  Right???

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Oh Jeez:P  You guys give me way more credit than I realized and probably more than I deserve.  That's a lot to live up to - lol.  Anyhoo...  I think Rosie has the order right, and it's probably a good idea that you started with Guilty Pleasures, Sherron.  Because it is so similar in plot to And Then He Kissed Her, I think you'll enjoy it more if you read it first.  They're very different stories and character types, so there's not so much of a feeling that you've read this book already, but the similarities are noticeable.

Marjana - My honest opinion: If it's the only one you haven't read, then yeah, you'll probably consider it worth your time to read.  It's not terrible.  I'd have graded it a D or lower if I was really struggling to finish it, but I didn't have any trouble.  It was tedious for me because I've read so many others with the same plot, and I really knew in advance everything that was going to happen in it.  My emphasis is almost always on unique premises and unusual characters & storylines.  I love things that break new ground or I haven't seen a hundred times, or characters that fall outside of the usual romance H&H types.  The Seduction didn't offer me anything new.  I think if you've read many historicals, you've seen this story before, and there weren't any interesting twists or refreshing characters thrown in there to jazz it up.  It's entirely possible you'll enjoy it more than I did though.  In spite of the the very flattering comments from Sherron and Brenda, that actually does happen on occasion:P  I can't even say that nobody will enjoy The Charade

If any of you like American Historicals - The Charade is set around the beginnings of the American Revolution - you might like it as well.  The hero is a rebel spy posing a a loyalist (or whatever it is they called themselves at the time - my history is rusty:P), and the heroine is a runaway indentured servant.  She ran from the man she was indentured to because he was a sadististic lunatic and killed her friend.  She gets caught picking a British officer's pocket in Boston (the setting), and his commanding officer blackmails her into spying on the hero (who he suspects of sedition), or else he'll ship her back to the sadistic sicko.  I'm sure the rest of it is pretty easy to imagine from there, and that's about how it goes.  Nothing unpredictable happens, no unexpected plot twists, etc.  It just plods along to the final conflict where the heroine is in danger, and blah-blah-blah:P

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 3:45 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2008
Posts: 1,658
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The only one of those I've read is "And Then He Kissed Her", it's the first in the Girl-Bachelor series.  The second in the series is "The Wicked Ways of a Duke".  I liked both of them.  The next is "Secret Desires of a Gentleman", but I haven't gotten it yet.

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I have Wicked Ways, but I haven't read it yet because so many people were giving it the big blah:P  I'll get there sooner or later though.  I like her good ones too much not to give it a try.

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 4,433
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Kim, I actually loved The Charade(is in keeper shelf) so I guess we do have different taste in books. Also, I liked Wicked Way(again a keeper for me) but I don't if will like it or not.

I will soon start Delicious by Sherry Thomas, I know you raved about the book so I will see if I like it or not.

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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I've only read one by this author, She's No Princess... I remember really liking it.  Loved her writing, her characters were charming, witting w/o being childish.  I havent picked up her other more popular, well known titles because 1) I am not into plain heroines this year, 2) I am not into hero's who's been ignoring said plain heroines until something happens, 3) I am too unforgiving to appreciate any romance with a cheating hero ( The Marriage Bed ).  

One of these days, I hope to try out her other titles but the one I did read was enchanting.

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 11:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Oh ick.  The hero in The Marriage Bed cheats?  That's one of my pet peeves.  Is it like, really yucky bad cheating?  And is this why so many people don't like it?

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
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I never read it, Kim.  But from reading the reviews and comments I've read in the past, the story line is...  SPOILER:  Lemme repeat this, I've never read this so please feel free to correct me. 

H/H become engage to marry, heroine falls in love, it was a real lovy-dovy courtship, however, while they were engaged, the hero kept a mistress and slept around.  Not sure if he ever got rid of the mistress after the wedding. The heroine finds out about it after they  wed and she kicked him out of her bed for a whole month.  So he leaves her for years.  I think it was like 8 years?  All that time, he's had mistresses one after the other, even had children ( 1 or more?)  with them.  Make it all worst by making sure the mistress loved him too.  While all this was going on, the saintly heroine stayed faithful and devout to her marriage vows.  *gag*

After 8 years, they get together because he needs an heir, and the story is about him trying to work things out with her.  Meaning, he forgives her for kicking him out of her bed( like cheating on her before the weddding should be perfectly OK?!) , and her forgiving him for cheating on her and having a child by another woman for 8 years.   

I originally came across this author because of this particular book (since its so talked about, hatefully).  I've heard   this is a very sad, and aggravating story.  I think if I ever had to read something like this I would burn it afterwards.  I don't need this much realism in my romance.  HEA should've been her leaving his arse for someone better and having more kids by someone who truly loved her.  OMG, just remmebered, I read somewhere that at the end of the book, when they're back together and she ask if he's gonna be faithful, and he says he didnt know honestly and she accepted it.  This is just a hear say but..... wow, when I  heard that, it got me so angry... at the heroine for putting up with someone like that!  LOL, I am done ranting.... 

 

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 9/28/08 3:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/28/2008 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I consider The Marriage Bed an exceptional book and the above scenario is not entirely correct and also leaves out all the interesting parts of the book. There are faults on both sides of the marriage, but the main problem is that both people went into it expecting different things, which rings very true for the time period and is also very interesting as a theme. Both characters change significantly by the end of the book, which is what makes it a satisfying read despite the unpalatable plot. (Which is not as unpalatable as you've heard, Tina.)

The heroine is not particularly saintly and the hero doesn't try to make his mistreses fall in love with him--realizing that they *do* is a big shock to him and a catalyst for change. Having a child with one of them, ditto.

If you absolutely can't stand adultery in a book, then you should avoid it, but if you were okay with say, Private Arrangements, or one of Mary Balogh's books, then this one is worth trying.

Date Posted: 9/28/2008 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2007
Posts: 662
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Yea, like I said, I havn't read this, but I've heard so much about it.  If you go to Amazon and check out the reviews,  you'll see people just saying different things about the plot line.  In any case, I wouldn't pick up a romance novel with this theme.  I  consider this one of my least favorite plot lines in a romance genre.  Same reason I didnt bother reading Private Arrangements, although  that book actually sounded more fair, all around. 

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I can be ok with adultery, as long as it isn't graphic.  I don't want to read sex scenes with the hero or heroine and someone else.  I accepted it in Private Arrangements because it would have been unrealistic for the couple to be separated for ten years and never have sex, and it worked with the story - and it wasn't graphic.  Men who cheat and keep mistresses, regardless of what sort of feelings they're supposed to have for the heroine & regardless of how confused they might be, really turn me off though.  But I do plan to read The Marriage Bed anyway.  If someone had described PA in detail to me before I read it, I might have passed on it, and I really did like it in spite of it pushing my usual hot buttons.



Last Edited on: 9/29/08 9:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/29/2008 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2007
Posts: 604
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I am reading Not So Innocent and am loving it.  It is a nice change that the hero is a cop and not a duke or something.