Review: The Promise of Happiness by Betty Neels

Format: E-bookprom
Read with: Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Jazmin
Hero: Baron Raukema van den Eck
Heroine: Rebecca Saunders
Sensuality: 1
Date of Publication:  December 1979
Started On: August 4, 2010
Finished On: August 4, 2010

Its been ages since I last read a novel by Betty Neels. Known for stories that bring a soothing warmth to the reader, I also read a couple of her books in the late 90’s when I first started my foray into romance reading. The one thing that I always found lacking in her books even then was the fact there is little or no sensuality at all to her books, but rather a descriptive narration of the heroine’s life with the hero coming in now and then and at the very end, the hero professes his love and its a happily ever after for the happy couple.

This story is no different from the above when Rebecca encounters Baron on her journey to escape her stepmother and stepbrother from a life of servitude they had set upon her. Accompanying her are her beloved pets Bertie and Pooch, who look as bedraggled as she is when Baron offers them a lift into town. On the journey towards the hotel Baron was residing at, he learns that Rebecca is actually a trained nurse, though she doesn’t have any references to back her claim. And though Baron is not one to feel for people, he finds himself surprised at the pity that he feels for the mousy looking little thing who has had it so bad till now.

It is by chance that Rebecca encounters the Baroness, who has recently had a knee surgery done in disagreement with her nurse and it is Rebecca who helps her and puts to right what has been causing her pain. Thus Rebecca finds herself offered the job of being the Baroness’s nurse during a trip she is to make to see her sister and then later onto Holland where Baron promises that he would help her find a job and settle her down.

Looking after the needs of the Baroness seems like a lifesaver to someone such as Rebecca who had had life so hard for her after the death of her beloved father. Though Baron at first refuses to see any beauty in the nondescript little woman who takes such good care of his mother so efficiently, little by little he comes to appreciate what Rebecca stands for and who she is.

Meanwhile Rebecca continues to be in agony over the fact that she has fallen head over heels in love with someone who had professed that he was not attracted to thin mice and the fact that the beautiful Nina seemed to occupy much of Baron’s time.

In the end, its all a bit sudden when Baron professes his desire to marry her and give her everything her heart desires. I feel the story would have been better if Rebecca had left as she planned and Baron had had to come after her, just to give him a taste of his arrogance I suppose?

Anyhow it was good reading something that didn’t cause me so many emotional upheavals. So until my next review!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard

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Review: Parting Gifts by Lorraine Heath

Format: E-bookpartinggifts
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Homespun, #30
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Jesse Lawson
Heroine: Maddie Sherwood
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publication: December 1994
Started On: June 29, 2010
Finished On: June 30, 2010

Even as I write this review, I still feel the remnants of the kaleidoscope of emotions that coursed through me as I finished this book. With a degree in psychology in hand, Lorraine Heath creates the most beautiful and realistic characters that have such depth that you can’t help but feel for them and relate with them. Though this is the first time I am reviewing a book by the author, I have previously read a lot of books by her and loved each story as it worked is magic over me.

This story is no different and right from the very start, Maddie Sherwood, who is at the very end of her wits as to what to do for survival finally succumbs to offering her body in return for shelter and food clutches at your heart. Rescue from the fate to which she had resigned herself to comes in the form of Charles Lawson who bids a hopping 1000 dollars to be the man who would initiate her & take her virginity.

However Maddie soon realizes that ravishing her is the furthest thing on Charles mind and before she knows it, she has agreed to marry him and care for his three children Taylor, Hannah and Aaron who settle deep within your heart from the very first encounter. And when Maddie first tumbles into the arms of Jesse Lawson, Charles’s older brother, Maddie realizes just how much she has agreed to sacrifice and forgo in the marriage of convenience to which she has entered with Charles.

From the very first moment Jesse looks into Maddie’s whiskey brown eyes he is a goner. Though he tries to fight the immense awareness he feels for someone he should not, you truly understand the meaning of the term “the heart wants what it wants regardless of the consequences” when you feel the cascading emotions that passes between Jesse and Maddie as the story progresses. While Maddie too yearns for the strength of Jesse’s embrace, she knows that deep within her heart she could never be disloyal to the man who had given her his family and affection.

What Maddie has no inkling of is the fact that Charles is a man who is near death, and the fact that he wanted his motherless children to know the warm and loving embrace of a mother was the reason why he had married Maddie in the first place. And Maddie holds close to her heart a secret which could destroy what she has come to love and hold dear to her heart.

Its hard to put into words how reading this story made me feel. Jesse’s loyalty towards his brother and towards doing what’s right made me admire him and fall in love with him along with Maddie. And Maddie’s courage in resisting the temptation of embracing the man she loved with every fiber of her being and being faithful to her husband made me realize the strength in her which Charles saw the night he rescued her from a life of prostitution. And Charles, the man who was insightful enough to know what his brother wanted and needed more than anything in the world and being man enough to leave Maddie to him made my throat tighten with emotion.

This is a book that packs an intense wallop of emotion and a page turner at that. I would advice to keep a box of tissues ready because towards the ending, its all you can do to keep from crying at turns with sadness, hope, happiness and ultimate joy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Sensuality: 3
Publisher: Avon
Hero: Alex Montgomery
Heroine: Annie Trimble
Date of Publication: January 1, 1996
Started On: February 25, 2010
Finished On: February 26, 2010

Goodness me! This is one of the sweetest and most adorable romances that one could ever read. The story of Alex and Annie is one that is bound to stay with the reader for a long period of time as one of the best and most touching romances a reader could come across. This is a re-read for me and I assure you that after sometime I would be picking up this novel once again just to feel those tugs at my heart and get the warm feeling deep in my tummy that you are guaranteed to get after reading this beautiful story.

Annie lives in her own lonely world labeled as a crazy person after she had a fever when she was young. Though no one understands her, Annie roams freely across the forests that surround her home. During one of her excursions and at the age of around 18, Douglas Montgomery, Alex’s step brother who has a mean streak in his nature a mile wide comes across Annie and brutally rapes her just because he thinks that he could get away with it. Alex had always let Douglas get away with all sorts of behavior but his latest crime gives Alex a  bad taste in his mouth and so cuts off all ties with Douglas and asks him to move out of their home.

Alex approaches the Trimbles (Annie’s parents) and offers to make matters right. When Annie’s parents discover that she is pregnant and four months along, Alex offers to marry her till the babe is born and divorce her so that no scandal would touch the Trimble family since Annie’s father had political aspirations that wouldn’t survive a scandal of Annie becoming pregnant since people ridiculed Annie as it is.

Alex installs Annie at his home never thinking for a minute that Annie would have the power to bring him down to his knees. Annie’s odd behavior suddenly starts to make sense to Alex when he realizes that rather than being crazy as she is labeled to be, Annie had lost her hearing due to the ravaging fever she experienced when she was young.

What proceeds is so heartwarming and so very beautiful that any reader with even an iota of romance in his or her heart would be totally captivated by the lengths that Alex goes through to give Annie everything he could possibly give her within his power.

The love between these two grows so beautifully throughout the novel that you can’t help but fall in love with these two characters that Ms. Anderson has created so well.

Very highly recommended.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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Review: Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer

Format: E-bookMorning Glory
Read with: Stanza
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Hero: Will
Heroine: Elly
Date of Publication: January 1, 1991
Started On:  October 29, 2009
Finished On: October 30, 2009

The first book that I ever read from this author and it proved to be a real satisfying read. The story takes place during the World War II period in the US. Elly was labeled as the crazy one and the town folk didn’t care much for her. Her husband dead, with two kids and one more on the way, she advertises for a husband in the local newspaper.

Will was a drifter who walked into the town looking for a job, after serving time for murder. Answering the ad for a husband, Will never thought that his life would forever be changed by Elly and her children, who give Will something to live for in life.

This story is really sweet, because you can feel both characters develop throughout the novel. Both Elly and Will had given up hope that they would one day be loved by someone like the love described in the novel. The novel was a refreshing change because there were no silly problems that went unresolved because the hero and heroine couldn’t bear to talk honestly with one another. All in all, a real good romance novel, packed with a whole lot of emotions that romance lovers would find themselves reading this book in one go.

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Review: Where Rainbows End By Cecelia Ahern

Format: Paperback
Opens with: NA
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Series: Standalone
Hero: Alex
Heroine: Rosie
Published On: November 2004
Read on: July 25, 2009

This book from the author of P.S. I love you is a sweet read that clutches at your heart. Totally different from other styles of writing, this story is told in the forms of correspondences that take place between the main characters in the story.

Rosie and Alex are childhood friends who grow up together till Alex has to move away due to his father getting a better job offer in US. However, Rosie’s and Alex’s friendship does not grow weaker, instead they seem to develop feelings for each other which does not reach a fruitful conclusion till the very end of the novel by which time Alex and Rosie are in their 50’s and a whole lifetime has passed without them being together.

Rosie survives a teenage pregnancy, brings her daughter up all by herself, gets married and gets cheated on by her husband who cheats her out of the chance of finding out that Alex too did have feelings for her. Alex too survives two marriages and two kids before they both find each other.

Notes scribbled in class, SMS text messages, emails, letters and postcards make up this whole novel. I would recommend this for all true romance lovers out there!

Purchase Links: Amazon | AbeBooks

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