Good glory, the chemistry between Moncrief & Catherine had the pages smoking! If the book actually burst into flames once he finally wooed her into his bed I would not have been surprised. Is there such a thing as TOO well written??? Be still my heart. I swear I could smell his cologne.
Sorry, ladies - this one's staying on my shelf and I'll just have to increase my home's fire insurance coverage. ;)
I can't agree with the raving reviews of this book. I liked it but found it slow paced and frustrating. I love the premise and have read the Lisa Kleypas book Love in the Afternoon, with a similar concept (writing letters for someone else). But I got tired of reading excerpts of letters as opposed to action that advances the story. To me it was not well paced, not enough action and/or revelations to keep the plot moving forward. I didn't think we saw Catherine, the heroine, being really attracted to Moncrief until about 2/3 of the book was finished. That is a loooong time to wait for anything really romantic to happen. I can't say don't read it, but it just wasn't all that for me. It also drove me kind of nuts that Karen Ranney never revealed the main character's first name. We know the first names of his brothers, her dead husband, and every other male in the story, but the hero is forever known only by his last name.
TILL NEXT WE MEET is a beautiful Scottish historical romance with a Cyrano twist. The two main characters are excellent - by themselves and for each other - and interestingly complex; their romance is really one that slowly builds, making it completely believable and that much more precious - and the chemistry between the two is fantastic ;-). There were also a few well-executed plot twists and I only really guessed - or rather suspected - one of them before it was revealed, which was a nice change from the books where the villain is so painstakingly obvious.
MAIN CHARACTERS, Catherine and Moncrief:
The main characters of Catherine and Moncrief are wonderfully written and extremely vivid and the excerpts of their letters to each other throughout the book really add to the novel. This is only my second Ranney book, but in both this one and AN UNLIKELY GOVERNESS, there is a real loneliness to the H&H and to the story itself - secondary characters exist and are always interesting and three-dimensional, however the main characters and their relationship always seems very isolated, as if her stories take place in a somewhat cold and harsh world. I'm not saying this as a criticism, but rather just an observation. I will say that either way, it serves to truly highlight the main relationship and to really focus on its development.
I did not like the character of Glynneth (Catherine's companion) and definitely think she should have been changed. Oddly enough, for most of the book when we're supposed to be unsure of her I actually was fond of her, but how she was in the end towards Catherine, which I think is actually supposed to make the reader feel better - or at least like things are resolved - only made me feel worse.
The evil Dowager Duchess Juliana is an odd add-in because she makes all sorts of trouble at the beginning and then kind of just disappears from the story. (And P.S. out of all the historical romances I have read, the name "Juliana" has rarely been used, however in the instances that it has, the character is always mean/evil/bad ... wouldn't mind reading a HR where my name is used for the heroine or at least a likable secondary character!!!)
The final scene wasn't as satisfying as I would have liked, though it's hard to pinpoint why - maybe too much sentimentality, not enough drama, no epilogue to follow-up ... I really don't know.
This book is absolutely wonderful and it will definitely be a reread and recommend for me!!
I really, really enjoyed this story up until the last few pages. It was truly rushed in the end. The few pages needed to end the story completely were not there. Even an epilogue would have worked. But,....nothing. Very disappointing.
Catherine Dunnan is devastated when her beloved goes off to war, and only his promise to write often can sustain her in her loneliness. And what letters they are, filled with heartfelt emotions that move her to respond inkind. But then the unthinkable occurs. He is cruelly lot to her and his beautiful words of passion and devotion cease forever. When Moncrief agreed to write warm and loving missives in a fellow officer's name, he never expected he'd become so enamored of the incomparable lady who answered them, a woman he has never met. Returning to England to assume the unexpected title of duke, Moncrief is irrestitibly drawn to the beauty who has unwittingly won his heart. More than anything, he yearns to ease Catherines sadness with his tender kisses. But once she learns his secret, will his love be spurned?
Catherine Dunnan is devastated when her beloved goes off to war -- and only his promise to write often can sustain her in her loneliness. And what letters they are, filled with heartfelt emotions that move her to respond in kind. But then the unthinkable occurs. He is cruelly lost to her, and his beautiful words of passion and devotion cease forever.
When Moncrief agreed to write warm and loving missives in a fellow officer's name, he never expected he'd become so enamored of the incomparable lady who answered them, a woman he has never met. Returning to England to assume the unexpected title of duke, Moncrief is irresistibly drawn to the beauty who has unwittingly won his heart. More than anything, he yearns to ease Catherine's sadness with his tender kisses. But once she learns his secret, will his love be spurned?