Money for titles - impoverished noblemen and wealthy heiresses

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1

Devil in Winter

by

4.26 rating

Comment 1: What a truly beautiful, romantic book, with so many sigh-worthy moments, so many humorous moments, lots of wickedly sexy dialogue...and featuring some very satisfying emotional growth from both the hero and heroine. I've always loved the stammering, shy, yet beautiful red-headed 'Wallflower' character of Evie Jenner, and could hardly wait to read her story. But when the hero of this book, 32-year-old Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent was introduced in It Happened One Autumn, I had my doubts about him. Sure, he was wickedly handsome (and he knew it!) with his blond, 'fallen angel' looks, and he was funny and charming, but he seemed to have no ambition in life except to go about seducing anything in a skirt. ****spoiler ahead*** And then when he betrayed his best (and only) friend, Marcus, by abducting his fiancee Lillian, I was so pissed at him!***end of spoiler*** Now how was Lisa Kleypas going to redeem this devilish rake and make me fall in love with him? And how was he ever going to find love with shy, timid Evie?Well, after reading It Happened One Autumn and seeing how she transformed Marcus, Lord Westcliff from a stuffy, uptight arrogant know-it-all, into a sexy, to-die-for-hero, I should've had a little faith--I totally fell for St. Vincent! I knew after his sad past was revealed that all he needed was a little lovin', a little 'mothering' a little encouragement, and a whole lot of expectations from the right woman to be all the man that he could be. And the formerly shy, timid Evie was just the right woman to turn this bad boy around! Sure the transformation at times seemed slow, and painful, but fascinating to witness. Sebastian went from uttering lines like ...I rarely like to bed a woman more than once. A crashing bore, after the novelty is gone..." to saying after a few month's time My God. I love you so much that I'm drowning in it. I can't defend against it... Now that's progress!A little plot summary here: Evie (23) is the shyest of the four looking-for-a-husband wallflowers (Annabelle, Lillian, Evie, Daisy) and is about to inherit the gambling hall owned by her infamous (but on-his-deathbed sickly) father, Ivo Jenner (Dreaming of You). But Evie's dastardly relatives want the inheritance for themselves, and have been doing everything in their power (even keeping her locked up) to keep her under their thumb and away from her father. They have plans to marry her off to her corpulent (and repulsive) cousin just so they can keep the money 'in the family'. Evie is desperate to break free from her abusive relatives, and figures if she marries a man who is powerful yet in dire need of her money, she would stand a chance. That's when she thinks of Lord St. Vincent--he's so desperate for money (his father has squandered their fortune) that he may agree to marry her. She doesn't care about his reputation as a skirt chaser (she wants nothing to do with him once they're married)--she just needs his protection from her greedy relatives. So she propositions him, he accepts, and then we the reader get to see whether this will be a marriage of convenience only, or maybe something will happen...and these two lost, lonely souls will find the greatest happiness in their lives.Some of my favorite moments in the book:***possible spoilers*****the interesting story behind Gretna Green, Scotland, and why so many English marriages occurred there**the Scottish marriage ceremony, with the joining of the wrists/hands**when we get a glimpse of Sebastian's compassion--carrying Evie over the threshhold; bringing the warming brick on the coach for her cold feet**the inscription on the wedding ring--you know we'll see that again**Sebastian's treatment of Evie on their wedding night (*sigh*)**the care he shows towards her dying father**the jealousy over her relationship with her friend Cam**his protectiveness of Evie**Evie coming into her own, showing tremendous strength of character**Evie getting St. Vincent to agree to a 3 month period of celibacy--how did she ever manage that?**Sebastian finally getting off his duff and working at something other than bedding oh-so-willing women**the sexual entendres throughout the book (the pool cue stick, etc.)**Evie's utter devotion when Sebastian needs her the most**the renewing of the friendship with Marcus**the bedroom scenes (steamy), especially when Evie takes the initiative**seeing St. Vincent totally fall under Evie's spell**Evie's refusal to take no for an answer, forcing Sebastian to face his feelings for herAnd finally, some of my favorite lines:**No one could fail to observe that whenever Evie entered the room St. Vincent practically vibrated like a tuning fork.**Evie, putting her cold feet on the hot brick that St. Vincent provided: "Oh...n-nothing has ever felt so good..." St. Vincent: "Women say that to me all the time."**Evie's declaration to St. Vincent: "You can s-send me away, but you can't stop me from running back to you. I want to spend every day with you. I want to watch you shave in the morning. I want to drink champagne and dance with you. I want to mend the holes in your stockings. I want to share a bed with you every night, and to have your children."**Sebastian: "My love is upon you..." (*sniff*)To sum up...romance lovers everywhere, do yourselves a favor and read this book--no--read this series! The writing, the plot, the little tidbits and factoids about 1840s England (the food, the dress, etc.) the wonderful characters, the smokin' hot love scenes...so far I've enjoyed each book of this wonderful series! What makes me sad is that there's only two more to go.:( This one rates another 5 big stars!St. Vincent...

2

A Civil Contract

by

3.67 rating

Comment 1: This review contains some spoilersI know from reading Jennifer Kloester’s excellent biography of Georgette Heyer* that A Civil Contract was not an easy novel for Heyer to write. Before starting work on it, Heyer wrote to a friend that she wanted to write a new kind of novel that would be “neither farcical nor adventurous”. Heyer wrote that the novel would depend for its success on whether she could make the hero as charming as she believed him to be and also on whether she “could make a quiet story interesting”. (Kloester p 330). However, completion of the novel was delayed because Heyer’s mother became ill and required care. When she went back to writing it, she wrote to her friend that the manuscript remainedmuch where it was – & where it ought to be is in an incinerator & would be if I hadn’t pledged myself to write it. To be honest with you, I do not want to write this book. Or any other book. I have no inspiration, no energy, no enthusiasm, & no power-of-the-pen! I sit & look at the bloody thing, & wonder what can have possessed me to embark on it.I am very glad that Heyer overcame writer’s block and completed the novel. For while I probably wouldn’t have thought much of it if I’d read it when I first discovered Heyer’s novels at age fourteen, having read it for the first time forty years later I think it is one of her best works. This is the story of Adam Deveril, Viscount Lynton, who fought in the Peninsular War. Returning to England after his father’s death, Adam finds that his father’s extravagant spending has reduced the family fortune to a pittance. Adam’s financial situation is so dire that if he doesn't find a way to acquire money, he will be unable to support his sister and, crucially, he will have to sell the family home. All of this means that Adam cannot marry his beloved, Julia Oversley. In order to save the family estate, Adam agrees to contract a marriage of convenience with plain and practical Jenny, daughter of the fabulously wealthy but vulgar merchant, Jonathan Chawleigh, who wants his daughter to achieve the social status that marriage into an aristocratic family will bring. Jenny, who is an old school friend of Julia’s, marries Adam knowing that he continues to love Julia. They have a child, Adam manages to win back some of his fortune through speculation and they ultimately settle down to a happy and comfortable – if not passionate –life together. Heyer did manage to achieve something different with this novel. While it doesn't have the sparkling comedy or wit of many of her other novels, it does have other qualities. At its heart, the novel is an exploration of what makes a successful marriage. And Heyer’s conclusion is that it’s not blinding, heart-stopping passion which makes a relationship last, but friendship, kindness, tolerance, patience, a commitment to the same goals and a shared sense of humour. That’s not something I would have understood or appreciated as a teenager. As someone who has been happily married to the same person for almost thirty-five years, it's now a message that rings true.** That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with a bit of blinding, heart-stopping passion in a marriage. And this is why there’s an undertone of sadness in the final paragraphs of the novel, as Jenny, while assured of Adam’s love for her, is nevertheless conscious that she had had an “impractical dream” of inspiring in Adam the “passionate adoration” that he had felt for Julia. However, Jenny is right in concluding that “life [is] not made up of moments of exaltation, but of quite ordinary, everyday things”, which are “not very romantic, but … really much more important than grand passions or blighted loves”.Of all Heyer’s novels, A Civil Contract owes the most to Jane Austen. Indeed, it can be read as a tribute to Austen in general and to Sense and Sensibility in particular. Heyer establishes the link to Sense and Sensibility very early on, by describing Jenny as someone who “looked as though she had more sense than sensibility”. Shortly thereafter, Jenny says that she is reading a book which is “by the author of Sense and Sensibility”. Jenny remarks that she liked Sense and Sensibility, although Julia “thought it too humdrum”. It’s not surprising that Julia thought Sense and Sensibility humdrum, because Julia is very much like Marianne Dashwood, in both temperament and in fate. (She eventually acquires an older suitor who knows that she loves another man). Indeed, the novel can be read as what would have happened if Willoughby had married a rich but physically unattractive woman a lot like Elinor Dashwood in temperament, while still having to see Marianne socially. For Jenny has a lot in common with Elinor: she’s sensible, competent, practical and puts other people’s needs – well, Adam’s needs, anyway – ahead of her own. She’s also a little like Fanny Price from Mansfield Park (another novel which Jenny is reported as having read), but only insofar as she is in love with a man she knows loves another woman. Adam’s character can be distinguished from that of Willoughby, though. He is not a cad and while selfish and at times insensitive, he is mostly aware of his faults and makes some effort to overcome them. Of all Adam's shortcomings the worst is probably that he doesn't realise that Jenny actually loves him, and is not just sensible and kind.The parallels to Austen added a lot to my enjoyment of this novel. However, there’s more to it than that. Adam and Jenny are interesting characters in their own right. Jonathan Chawleigh is a masterpiece. (Heyer wrote that he “continually tried to steal the whole book, & had to be firmly pushed off the stage”. Kloester page 334). Adam’s sister Lydia is enchanting and his annoying mother and overbearing aunt are a lot of fun. The novel also benefits from its historical setting. Heyer sets the narrative at the time of the premature celebrations that followed the initial defeat of Napoleon in 1814 and the financial panic which preceded the victory at Waterloo the following year. Her research is excellent and historical detail is conveyed in an unforced manner, without resorting to the dreaded information dump. While my fourteen-year-old self would not have appreciated this novel to the extent it deserves, my adult self appreciates it a lot. And while I rather wish I’d read it some years ago, I’m very glad that I've finally done so. This was another enjoyable buddy read with my friend Jemidar.*Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller** ETA: I don't mean to imply that these factors are a substitute for love in a successful relationship. Rather, they are an important part of what constitutes love.

3

Ravishing the Heiress

by

3.95 rating

Comment 1: "Graças a Deus que li o ebook porque se fosse o livro físico, provavelmente o teria atirado na parede pelo menos uma vez. Por onde começo? Por Millie. Poucas vezes fiquei tão irritada com uma protagonista. Tive vontade de entrar no livro, segurar seus ombros e dizer: Acorda mulher!!! Acho que ela fez bem em esconder seus sentimentos, afinal o idiota do marido a via como uma inimiga no início. O que me irritou foi o comportamento dela com relação ao adultério. Sim, eu sei que era um casamento de Comment 2: Once I started Ms. Thomas's latest book in earnest, I finished it in a day, even though I TRIED to pace myself and stretch it out. This is the second book in her new series, and it didn't disappoint. This is a story of a marriage that takes 8 years to come to fruition. Millie, the heroine, makes Watie Katie (of Princess Catherine and Prince William fame) seem like an impatient school girl. And the hero, Fitz: only Sherry Thomas could make the man an unapologetic adulterer and still give him a be Comment 3: Truthfully I enjoyed this book up until the end, I felt the ending was rushed. It was a bittersweet novel that made me cry in parts and shout in frustration during others. Basically Millie is an heiress and only daughter of a wealthy man, . Her father wants to buy her a title and he does , he buys her an earl. The Earl of Fitzhugh, Fitz for short. Well Fitz is 19 and head over heels in love with a girl named Isabelle. Millie feels guilty that she is breaking up the lovers, and makes a bargain wi

4

Provocative in Pearls

by

3.78 rating

Comment 1: This was the second book by Madeline Hunter that I’ve read and will probably be the last. Her constant misuse of inanimate objects showing possession drove me to distraction. Classic example of an author expecting an editor to catch their mistakes and they don’t. I think everyone will agree that saying: the table’s top, house’s finances, stew’s broth, roof’s hole, hut’s door, shawl’s wool sound really awkward. Grade school grammar should have taught her that inanimate objects cannot show possess Comment 2: That was a 2.5 - star read for me. I found the overall plot a lot less engaging than "Ravishing in Red" while the author still carried on tendencies that annoyed me in book 1 (for example, hero acting as if he quite literally owned his wife - yes, yes, historical accuracy and all that but some of the things Hawkeswell said were taking it too damn far). Also, I realized that I didn't even read the hero's name for like, 60% of the book. I believe his own wife called him by his name only at the ver Comment 3: I loved Audrianna in Ravishing in Red, the first book of this series. She was a strong heroine and Sebastian did not dictate her either. In this book however, Hawkeswell is known for his tempre and does not hesitate to lash out at her at the slightest provocation. He is also supremely sexist. On one instance, he knocks on her door and when she says, she's busy, he replies by saying that he is her husband and so, he doesn't have to knock or ask.He can simply force her.

5

Golden Girl

by

3.59 rating

Comment 1: i like it very much but the ending was too abrupt for me. i wished der had been an awful confrontation between max and anthony. after all dat suspense building up, i was waiting for something major to happen, which did not. i loved however how anthony fell for his wife. sarah might be plain but she had a golden heart as well as wit and intelligence. she was interesting, unlike some boring angelic beauties. anthony had the world at his feet but he was in dire need of funds. so he proposed to sara Comment 2: Enjoyable marriage-of-convenience story with some under-realised potential. The novel is a third person narrative, which is slightly unusual for Joan Wolf and not as engaging as her first-person narrative novels usually are. It seemingly had everything going for it - a beautiful, sensitive, battle-scarred hero; a talented and vulnerable heroine; a slow-building romance, with some external conflict pushing the story along. But the spark is lacking a bit in the second part of the book, there is no Comment 3: I loved both the hero and heroine in this story. The heroine is a dutiful daughter.She is not from the weathy mercantile class and is aware of the divide between the trade and the nobility. She is set up to met the Duke at the home of a friend. This is arranged to foster a marriage between them. Both characters are easy to like and you want them to find lasting happiness. I have this book on my keeper shelf.

Description of list:

A list of historical romances about the marriages arranged between broke aristocrats and the rich heiresses they have to marry to save their patrimony. Often cross-class elements.