Julia Quinn „Der Earl mit den eisblauen Augen“ (Rokesby #1)

Vorab sei einmal eines gesagt, bisher habe ich alle Bücher, die ich von Julia Quinn gelesen habe, stets auf Englisch verschlungen, daher war es ein Novum für mich, einmal ein deutsches Werk in Händen halten zu dürfen – es war ungewohnt.

 

Kurz zur Handlung:

Zwei Familien mit Kindern, die am Land nur wenige Meilen voneinander entfernt wohnen, ziehen diese quasi gemeinsam auf. Die Rokesby haben drei Söhne und eine Tochter, die Bridgerton  zwei Töchter und einen Sohn.

Billie, die älteste Tochter der Bridgertons ist um acht Jahre älter als ihre Schwester und kann mit dem Mädchen nichts anfangen, ist sie doch selbst schon über zwanzig und hat ganz andere Sachen im Kopf als der Teenager – sie hilft bei der Gutsverwaltung und wie es kommt, sitzt sie an diesem Nachmittag, an dem die Handlung aktiv einsetzt, auf dem Dach eines alten Hauses fest, weil sie sich in den Kopf gesetzt hatte, eine Katze von einem Baum zu retten – natürlich in Breeches [Ich wusste gar nicht, dass es diesen Begriff im Deutschen auch gibt.] Der einzige Mensch, der nach einiger Zeit vorbeikommt ist Andrew Rokesby – der älteste Bruder, mit dem Billie – eigentlich Sybilla – nichts anfangen kann, da er humorlos und kalt ist, stets auf seine Erziehung bedacht zu sein schien und um die Pflichten, die ein Erbe eben hat. Billie hofft inständig, dass er ihr hilft, kann aber nicht aus ihrer Haut und zeigt ihm deutlich, dass sie ihn nicht besonders gut leiden kann – stets mit einem gewissen Unterton, der unüberhörbar ist. Allerdings kommt es so, dass schließlich auch Andrew neben ihr am Dach sitzt, die Leiter umgefallen und zu zweit warten sie – Billie hatte sich beim Sturz vom Baum aufs Dach am Knöchel verletzt – bis jemand kommen würde …

 

Von Anfang an ist klar, dass die Beziehung der Familie allen Kindern stets viele Freiräume gelassen hat, so auch Billie, die in Burschenkleidung über den Besitz des Vaters reitet, den Damensattel meidet und nicht besonders auf ihre Sprache und Manieren bedacht ist – außer es wird von ihrer Mutter gefordert. Daher ist sie auch in der Lage, so mit Andrew umzugehen – ansonsten wären viele Dialoge undenkbar für die damalige Zeit.

Natürlich entdecken beide, dass der andere, den sie eigentlich aus unterschiedlichen Gründen nicht leiden können, gar nicht so furchtbar ist, sondern etwas Liebenswertes an sich hat, dem man sich zuvor stets verschlossen hatte.

Ungewohnt ist, und damit werde ich eventuell nicht ganz glücklich im Deutschen, dass man sich von Anfang an duzt – alle sind per Du. Ich kann mir das beim besten Willen im 19. Jahrhundert nicht vorstellen. Im Englischen ist es einfach, „you“ steht für alles, egal ob man sich mit dem Vor- oder Familiennamen anspricht. Doch jeder weiß, der z.B. Storm, Stifter, Schnitzler, Fontane gelesen hat (oder auch Jane Austen), dass es in der damaligen Zeit eigentlich nicht üblich war. Zwar könnte man nun sagen, dass die zwei Familien so eng befreundet waren, dass alle Hürden früh gefallen sind, trotzdem ist es für mich schwer vorstellbar. Zwischen den Kindern – klar, aber sonst?

 

Mein Fazit ist: Die Handlung ist flott und leicht erzählt, es werden einige Nebenhandlungen (Andrews Brüder, etc.) eingebaut, die sich sicherlich in den nächsten Büchern der Serie auflösen werden. Ich schätze an Quinns Büchern immer die einzigartigen Charaktere, die sie erschafft – komplex und liebenswert, egal ob der männliche oder weibliche Hauptcharakter.

Ich habe das Buch an einem Nachmittag im Bad gelesen, wollte es gar nicht zur Seite legen.

(OT: Because of Miss Bridgerton)

*Das Buch habe ich kostenlos von Netgalley zur Verfügung gestellt bekommen, um eine Review schreiben zu können*

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Anna Bradley „Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor“ (The Sutherland Sisters #1) – 5* @annabradley472 @lyricalpress @kensingtonbooks #regency #romance

 34091178.jpgI got this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, I think this is my favorite summer novel so far. I absolutely loved it. There are so many small things (and big ones of course) that are magnificent.

In the beginning we meet Eleanor, a young woman the ton likes a lot but she already has a nickname “Lady Frost” because she refused 6 suitors so far and in the beginning the refuses the sixths. The very second this happens her sister Charlotte is on the terrace with her own suitor. Because of the young Lord Eleanor couldn’t chaperone her sister and comes too late – she finds her intimately engaged with the young Julian West.

Camden is only a step behind Eleanor, Julian’s older cousin – what Eleanor doesn’t know that this is all part of a huge ruse, no an act of blackmailing. And Cam’s idea is rather easy: If Eleanor doesn’t want her sister to be publicly ruined, she has to marry him within a couple of weeks.

But Lady Eleanor is a witty young lady who isn’t simply pressed into a marriage she doesn’t want. She refused already a lot of suitors because she wants to marry for love and nothing else.

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Further on we learn about the reasons why both – Cam and Ellie – act the way they do. That’s what I love about this novel. Ellie doesn’t want to end like her mother – invisible to her father. She died every year a little more in his presence.

On the other hand is Cam, he is into trade and not an aristocrat. He has a younger sister, aged 11, and he cares for her a lot. He is all she has because his parents are dead for many years now and she was raised by his aunt. What the reader doesn’t know is that there is a connection between Camdon’s sister Amelia and Eleanor’s family I realized that at around 20 percent.

But there is a lot of passion, seduction and lots of things you can read between the lines. Eleanor is strong-willed and beautiful, she has strong and influential brothers, a sister who loves her dearly and who is her best friend. Eleanor is about to do everything to save her sister’s virtue and tries to uncover all of Cam’s secrets but she likes Amelia a lot without knowing about her past – and she doesn’t care about it.

When I read the novel – within a day of course – I fell in love with the leads. Bradley has a hand to describe their inner turmoil. You really feel with them.

While reading I had my iPod on and there was this song “Kiss of Fire” sang by Hugh Laurie and Gaby Moreno and it so reminded me of those two – Cam and Ellie – and the passion between those two (specially the kitchen scene). This song fits them so perfectly.

 

My only wish: Anna Bradley please write a passionate epilogue the next time! I would have needed one. A really, really passionate one. Oh yes!

Bronwen Evans: „A Love to Remember“ (#7 The Disgraced Lords) – 5*****

32303953.jpgOh, I loved this book. It’s full of passion, lust and of course two troubled leads. Both don’t want to get married – Rose doesn’t want to remarry and Philip doesn’t want to produce a heir. Both have a backpack from their past they carry around.

Rose was kind of sold to an elderly Duke (Roxborough) before she had a season. A passionless, loveless marriage – thankfully she gave birth to a son within a short period. Plus, thankfully the Duke died quickly after it, so she was an independent widow.

Philip on the other hand was the second son of the Earl of Cumberland, who gambled a lot and lost a lot to risky investments. So one day he decided to join the army against Napoleon but he didn’t buy a commission. His older brother, Robert, followed him and when the enemy was about to kill Philip he went in between them and died – of course Philip blames him for Roberts death, even 6 years later.

Because Rose is Philip’s sister’s best friend they always spent a lot of time together. One day they start an affair. Both know that they don’t want to marry. Two years later they still have an affair and Rose knows that she loves him. The ton knows of their affair, everybody knows of it and each and everybody is waiting for him to offer for her.

Rose knows that her son’s guardian wants to her marry again. And she’d marry Philip if he’d ask her but he never overcame Robert’s death. He tells Rose that he doesn’t need an heir because he has three younger brothers who would inherit the title.

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If course there is much more to the storyline. There is a lot of sex, lots of passion and lots of angst – especially in the last third of the book. There is a small “thing” in the end which was kind of predictable for me (and I loved it).

Bronwen Evans again created the perfect little escape for me – I read the book within a day, loved both leads and already knew the background story of some of the other characters because I read several other books of this series (not all so far though).

She has this kind of style that you cannot put the book away and I like it. It’s intriguing. Reading this book is like watching a movie, you can “see” it scene by scene.

I think it’s my 2nd favorite book this year so far!

 

*I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Lavina Kent „Tangled in Sin“ (Bound and Determined #5) 5***** @LaviniaKent

32287534.jpg*I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This is one of those books you cannot put aside. In the beginning, during the first few pages, I wasn’t sure where this might go because I didn’t read the plot outline. Anyway, in the very beginning, when Sin, Lady Cynthia Westhope, visits her best youth friend in Madame Blanche’s, one of the top brothels in London, I thought in the beginning that it’s about Madame Blanche’s and indirectly it is but not really.

The whole book is about social constraints. What society does to a young unmarried woman who gets pregnant because there weren’t too many options but in any case, the baby wouldn’t be raised by her but given to a foreigner. And she’d be married to a man who’d be willing to oversee her not existing virginity. But Madame Blanche never wanted to give her daughter up …

Jasmine, Madame Blanche, has a loving brother – James, the second son of the Duke of Scarlet – who wants her back with the family and he’d give up her happiness and live with her daughter just to see her socially restored because the ton is already talking. So he arranges Jasmine to be kidnapped, the only problem is that he isn’t kidnapping Jasmine but Sin because the young woman is wearing Jasmine’s white coat. And when he finds the girl abandoned in the sheppard’s cottage he doesn’t remember her so he takes some liberties with her, takes her virginity.

However, he puts Sin into the same position his sister was, she could be with child. Of course, the storyline doesn’t end here.

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I really enjoyed this storyline and I think my favorite side character wasn’t even Jasmine but Aunt Prudence and her over 90 years of wisdom. She was fun, real fun.

Next to that James really went through a lot of character development in my opinion. In the beginning, he was only thinking of what the ton thinks about how this would influence his father and brother because the Duke of Scarlet isn’t the “nicest” person. But he learns what a unmarried woman has to face when a man decides to  (maybe) impregnate her.

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Well done! Rating: 5*****

PS: As much as I like the cover of the book it doesn’t fit the story at all.

Alexandra Hawkins: Waiting For an Earl Like You (Masters of Seduction #3) -5* @lordsofvice

*I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

I already read a few of Alexandra Hawkins books and I liked them all qui29875932.jpgte well but I really enjoyed reading this one. Well, honestly said I couldn’t put it aside. It was quite a different storyline – it’s the story of Justin and Gideon, identical twins. Justin, the Earl of Kempthorn, so shortened “Thorn” and Gideon, the long “lost” son (hetravelled and made a fortune) who just returned. Both are helpless rakes but Justin is the serious one while Gideon likes the play with the female gender.

One day, the Netherwoods, the twins’ parents, gave a return party for Gideon, Thorn finds Gideon on a boat with the neighbor’s daughter Olivia. Olivia has always been smitten to Gideon because he knew how to play her, while Justin had always been watching them. A small mishap makes all three of them taking a bath in the lake …

Next to all that Olivia’s father wants to remarry a lady Olivia isn’t very fond of (well, whoever likes a stepmother?), plus the lady wants to marry her off, nevertheless she is old enough to take a husband. The girl likes the country, her flower collection and manages her father’s household well. But she has to go to London have a season. Since her father is kept on the countryside she travels with Thorn’s parents and the twins, lives in a townhouse next to Thorn and Gideon which is only separated by an iron gate.

The twins always liked to play a prank on one or the other person by changing personality, because it is impossible to tell them apart.

I really loved this book because the dialogues were fierce and the leads were equal – Olivia and Thorn are so much the same but she is played badly by him and I am not sure if I wouldn’t have tried to hit him really hard with an umbrella or something like that. I mean he kissed her and let her think that he is his brother Gideon.

Maybe the kidnapping in the end was a little bit over the top but I didn’t care.

In the beginning it took me quite some time to get into the story because I wasn’t sure if it is not Gideon who makes people think he is Justin or the other way around – especially if it came to Olivia.

 

It’s one of the books I finish at 1:30am with the knowledge that I have to get up at 6.

5*

Amelia Grey: Last Night with the Duke (The Rakes of St. James #1) #ameliagrey #regencyromance #netgalley

30078642.jpgThis is one of those books you cannot put aside. I loved Esmeralda (always makes me think of the „The Hunchback of Notre-Dame“ with Maureen O’Hara). I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and this one is an easy 5-star-thingie.

 

Esmeralda Swift, the granddaughter of an aristocrat, lives with her sister over the agency for governesses and so on. She sees herself as an independent woman and too intelligent to fall for a scoundrel. She also has to care for her (half-) sister Josephine and their dog Napoleon (- loved this wordplay!)

When the Duke of Griffin finds his way into her agency in search for a chaperone for his twin sisters he sees her and knows that he must have her for all it takes. And it takes a lot of compromises because Esmeralda doesn’t want to be a chaperone.

Of course she falls for him and of course he falls for her but he doesn’t know about her family ties to a baronet but think her working class and as soon as she is in his employment he knows that he isn’t allowed to touch her – it’s something he doesn’t do, force himself on employees.

Nevertheless, sooner or later things turn around and they are allowed to be in love.

So, what was so good about this story? Esmeralda and Griffin are equals, they love to discuss and fight. Next to all this I didn’t care about the background story of the “Rakes of St. James” a lot in the beginning because it wasn’t explained but further on you also dip into this one because you know that there are the other rakes and their stories will eventually be in the center of Grey’s next books (wild guess!). Plus, there are the funny twins and their ongoing arguments and aunt Evelyn who pulls all the ties in the background (because of her illnesses) and not to forget Napoleon and Josephine – I liked the fact that Josephine grew up so much over the short period of the story – maybe a little too much.

All in all … loved it!

Pamela Sherwood „Devices & Desires“ (The Lyons Pride #1.0) – 5* – @pamela_sherwood

29012131.jpg*I got this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

As it seems this was my first Pamela Sherwood novel and it’s the first in the “The Lyons Pride” series with the title “Devices & Desires”. Let’s say that the title more looks like a working title to me and not really a title for a novel when you bring it out. But let’s not judge the cover by its book.

In the beginning, I was somehow not really getting into the story because it the way it’s written. I am not native English, it is my second language and I am a steady learner of new vocabulary but I only worked my way through the first 50 pages because I have a dictionary installed on my kindle. It felt like reading Anna Karenina in English again because I ran out of books and still had it installed.

Nevertheless, I loved the story. Lady Margaret is a young widow and is waiting at Lord Gervase Lyon’s house to talk with him about the invitation she got for Christmas from his family. A family she hasn’t seen in ages, since her former finance, Gervase’s oldest brother, the heir, died. And now they are asked to come back, all together to celebrate Christmas like in the old days.

Gervase, who always had a thing for Margaret, wants to go to France for Christmas, to meet his mother who seldom spends time in England since her oldest son died. But Margaret informs him that she also will be at the family residence, together with all the siblings …

This sounds so simple now but it isn’t. The story is about intrigues and long forgotten alliances, about love and passion, anxiety and hope. It’s a story you cannot put aside.

What I liked best?

Maybe the relationship between the parents and that there was so much depth in it, that they had a reason for all the intrigues and alliances they were looking for. And of course, Margaret, and her realization how she feels about Gervase. But I also enjoyed the description of the rooms – especially Margaret’s tower room. And the way Sherwood let them travel – this very “modern” and fashionable way.

Short: 5*****