Musings

anna_head

Reviewed by Anna Campbell
Publisher: Leisure Books
Release Date: March 6, 2005

I must admit when I stayed up far too late one night to read this brilliant story, I had images of gorgeous Daniel Day-Lewis running through the forests going through my head. You know, that long lean streak in his buckskins with his black hair flying behind like a banner and his steely eyes fixed unflinchingly on the heroine! Not a bad thing at all!

This book marked a number of firsts for me. It’s the first Pamela Clare I’ve ever read – and it certainly won’t be the last. It’s also the first romance I’ve read set during the Indian Wars in mid-18th century America. I’ve been saying for a while that I’d like to see some …

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mrimpossible_chaseThis book is gorgeous!

Frankly, that’s all you need to know. Anyone who’s read it, read it again (I just did and I’m in awe over what a wonderful story it is). Anyone who hasn’t read it, buy it NOW!

Well, that was a nice easy review. Where’s the chocolate? More importantly, where are the margaritas?

You want more?

Sheesh!

Actually I had a feeling I started another review in a similar way – I checked and indeed, I did. Not coincidentally it was for Loretta Chase’s most recent release YOUR SCANDALOUS WAYS.

Clearly I’m a fan girl.

And as a dedicated fan girl, believe me it’s high praise when I say this is one of my two favorite LCs of all time. The other, as you’d guess, is LORD …

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anna_headIs there anything better than a really good Susan Elizabeth Phillips book?

I don’t think so! Well, maybe one or two things, but we’re talking romance fiction here, guys!first_lady_susan_elizabeth_phillips

SEP’s one of those authors I tend to hoard because I know that when I really, REALLY need something that presses all the buttons for me, I can reach for one of her books and I’ll have a blissful few hours. She hasn’t let me down yet.

She’s famous for breaking the taboo on books with sportsmen heroes with her fabulous Chicago Stars series. If you haven’t read those, grab them, they’re great, absolute classics. But I want to talk today about one of her stand-alone stories, a book I only read last year, and which I’ve since re-read and loved …

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anna_headI know I spend most of these reviews raving about the various heroes in my favorite books. Hmm, could that perhaps be one of the reasons these books are among my favorites? I don’t think the two facts are unrelated!

But seriously the hero of AS YOU DESIRE is on my all-time favorites list. I don’t know anyone who reads this book who doesn’t fall under the spell of the gorgeous Harry Braxton, archaeologist, Egyptologist, romantic hero.

He’s not at all your typical romance novel hero. For a start, shock, horror, he has BROWN HAIR! Yes, I know, I know, I can hear you gasping with astonishment. He’s really smart and genuinely tortured. He’s also gallant and constant and passionate. He’s a dashing scoundrel with a wonderful, self-deprecating sense of …

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anna_head4.jpgIt’s always interesting to revisit the birth of a phenomenon. And J.R. Ward’s Brotherhood of the Black Dagger novels definitely qualify as a phenomenon.

I was slow to jump on this particular craze in Romancelandia. I tend to resist reading what’s the latest ‘big’ thing. Don’t know why – maybe I’m just hard to get along with.

It could also be that I feel by the time I’ve read all the hype, I’ve already read the book. The Net was buzzing with how great the BBD books were from the moment they hit the stands, but I’d gone through a vampire story stage in the mid-90s and I was over all that blood-sucking, macho posing.

But a lot of people whose opinion I trusted told me I HAD to read …

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anna_head.jpgI know I say it every month, especially when I’m talking about an older book because I’m really choosing the best of the best there, but this is a GREAT BOOK!

Jenny Crusie has one of the best voices in the business. You know you’re in Crusie World the minute you pick up one of her stories. She’s inimitable. The qualities I’d list as citizens of Crusie World includes snarky humor, complex plotting, compelling secondary characters, a great dog (usually of the bitzer variety), a sexy hero who doesn’t really fall into the standard romance hero type, a complicated, nervy, intelligent heroine, a story made of disparate elements that somehow twine together to create a wonderful whole, snarky humor…

Other Crusie-isms? Long sentences. Here, for example, is the first paragraph …

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