Today I'm blogging over at Love is an Exploding Cigar about my non-negotiable values. It's a strong post, and one that I think says a lot about how I think and live and view others. There's also a copy of HIRED: THE ITALIAN'S BRIDE up for grabs, so come on over, log in or register to comment for a chance to win.
And before I forget - there is another copy of the book for giveaway this week at Ingela Hyatt's ASK AN AUTHOR event...come see what funky question all the authors answered this week!
Now about this word count killer part. The blame is laid squarely at the feet of Julianne MacLean, chapter-mate and historical author extraordinaire. When I look at my favourite romance authors of all time, there is LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Julianne. I love her books THAT much. And often wish I could read faster (although I am getting caught up as I think I only have one more of hers on the shelf yet to read).
Last night I had to turn out the light at a most delicious part and it was TORTURE. There was no question that I had to finish the book this morning. I HAD to. There would have been no possible way to concentrate. So I checked my e-mail, got the kids off to school, put my feet up and started reading.
The book is MY OWN PRIVATE HERO and it might just have usurped SURRENDER TO A SCOUNDREL as my favourite. It is brilliantly crafted, evocative, passionate, emotional....I fell absolutely in love with Damien and Adele and felt their pain knowing that their feelings for each other were forbidden.
Here's the skinny. Adele is engaged to Harold, a really good man whom she likes very much. But along the way, she's kidnapped, and it's Harold's cousin Damien that he sends to rescue her. Damien, for all accounts and purposes, is a scoundrel. But he's really not. There is so much honour and depth to him combined with that sweeping in like, as Adele calls him, a dark knight. It is impossible not to love him.
But what a situation. She is highly moral and does not want to be unfaithful. Harold is not only Damien's cousin but best friend. They fight the attraction...deliciously. And it is this consideration for Harold that really redeems the relationship. They both want to do the right thing. And falling for each other is definitely not the right thing.
What makes this book even better is the seriously brilliant crafting of the character arcs. Being with Damien shows Adele her true self and it is beautiful watching her come into her own. As well, being with Adele makes Damien a better man - or at least brings out all the good parts hidden deep down inside.
I always have a little laugh in Julianne's books - she's got great wit - but this time boy-o I was wiping my eyes in the last half so much. A few minutes ago, I dropped her an e-mail that said I was done - with a sniff and a happy sigh.
Just. Utterly. Gorgeous. If you like historicals - particularly the ton with a twist - pick up one of Julianne's.