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I was riveted by the first half of this book, but the second half seemed to wander around and go nowhere.
Lucy has always traipsed after her brother's three friends and has been in love with one of them since childhood. When he is about to propose to another woman she decides to develop some seduction skills and test them out on uptight Jeremy.
If you like steamy passion in all sorts of inventive locations you will enjoy the fast pace and fun of the first half of this book, leading up to a marriage. In the second half the author relied on the intense relationship between the two lead characters for momentum. It didn't work for me nor did the introduction of some angry tenants lift the dullness.
Lucy is ahead of her time. She hunts with her brother and his friends, she outrides them, and frankly she's more outspoken than them. But from the start, one of them always made her feel special. But Toby, as he is known to his friends, is now on the verge of becoming engaged to another lady named Sophia, a thought Lucy can't abide. She wants Toby to realise they're perfect for one another, but has no idea how to go about it. Another of her brother's friend, Jeremy, that Lucy finds tedious to the point of annoyance, tries to convince her that she doesn't have a chance, but ends up pretending to be courting Lucy. Could animosity turn to attraction?
I think the actual writing of the book is better than its structure. The characters are sympathetic and interesting, and the way the author fleshes them, the words she puts in their mouths, their thoughts and their actions, make them rise above the clichés from which they sprung. The same can be said from the plot. In all actuality, there is no surprise in some of the obstacles that creep up in Lucy's path, but they are written in such a manner as to be humourous and entertaining and even touching at times. What this means is that here you have a book with a synopsis that would seem ordinary but that will yield a lot more entertainment than would have seen possible.
Another good point for the writing of this book is how consistently character descriptions and later actions match up. The resolution of the romantic conflict does make sense when you consider what the author gave us. It might sound like weird praise, but that is not always the case, and Dare does it very well. Some of the secondary characters are very fleshed out, and interesting, and despite being set up for sequels, still serve the story well.
One of the things I didn't like about the book was that after a certain central event in the book, the romantic conflict kind of takes a sharp turn and seems to go on autopilot. At that point both protagonists fall into the "I love so and so but I think my love is unrequited, and I have to pretend I'm not in love with so and so" posture. It's romance novel fodder of course, and I wouldn't complain about it, except it felt weird in this book considering how straightforward Lucy is previous this central event about what she wants, and how much of a risk taker she's been throughout. And it stretches up until the final resolution of the conflict in another rather cliché way. Like I said, the author's skill is great and she makes the reading of even those less interesting chapters still interesting, but it's definitely one of the low points of the book.
There is one thing that annoyed me a bit (other than a lackluster third period in the romantic conflict and the heavy use of clichés) it is how anachronistic some of actions, behaviours and relationships are. At one point I almost expected the female characters to go off to the fridge to polish off a quart of Haagen Dasz. Thankfully, nothing that blatant happens, but it provides easy reliability to the characters at the cost of the period feel to the book. I think it shouldn't be a trade-off.
Still an engaging book, better than the sum of its parts.
Die Geschichte beginnt HUMORVOLL, denn Lucy sucht sich den kalten und beherrschten Jeremy aus, um an ihm um Mitternacht verführerisches Verhalten zu üben, das sie dann zwei Türen weiter bei ihrem Schwarm "Toby" benutzen will, um ihn zur Ehe zu verführen. ROMANTISCH geht es weiter, denn Jeremy verliebt sich sehr gegen seinen Willen in die freche Göre und ist immer stärker daran interessiert, dass sie bei Toby nicht zum Zuge kommt. Als auch Lucy langsam erkennt für wen ihr Herz spricht, kommt die LEIDENSCHAFT. Vorsicht Spoiler: Dann wird geheiratet und neue, schwerwiegende Probleme tauchen auf, denn, wie Lucy's Bruder richtig bemerkt, stammen die Beiden aus sehr verschiedenen Gesellschaftsschichten - ein Earl aus dem hohen Adel und ein Wildfang aus dem niederen Adel. Außerdem kennt Lucy nur Jeremy's "Feriengesicht". Dieser Teil der Geschichte spielt jetzt auf dem Anwesen des Earl und die Art wie die Autorin die Geschichte fortführt enthält mir eine Spur zuviel "Mißverständnisse" und "Fehlinterpretationen", die nicht angesprochen werden. Wenn dann doch jemand den Mut findet etwas zu sagen, kommt eine Unterbrechung von außen usw. Dennoch ist die Geschichte weiterhin schlüssig, spannend und leidenschaftlich und führt zu weiteren Höhepunkten und einem befriedigenden Ende.
Dies war ein Plot, den ich so noch nirgends gelesen habe und gerade im historischen Romance-Bereich werden die immer gleichen Plots variiert - auf teilweise sehr gekonnte Art und Weise, aber etwas wirklich Neues liest man selten. Schon deswegen war ich begeistert. Aber auch beide Protagonisten waren sehr sympathisch, die Nebencharaktere waren gut und lebendig geschildert und brachten Farbe ins Bild. Die Entwicklung aller Charaktere war glaubwürdig und die Sprache war sehr angenehm zu lesen - ich vergebe 4 Sterne.
EMPFEHLUNG FÜR DEN DEUTSCHEN BUCHMARKT - ÜBERSETZT DIESE AUTORIN !!!
While having some farce-like moments, the attraction between the main characters is credible and keeps your attention until the end. This was the first book I read of this author. I'll probably try another one.
Overall I really liked Goddess of the Hunt. There were a lot of internal struggles for the characters that felt relatable and recognizable. I appreciated very much that (mild spoiler) the wedding happens mid-novel and we get to see their lives as uncertain newlyweds. I like romance novels that don’t end with the engagement or wedding!
My one caveat - I do think that Jeremy’s struggles with self doubt / self hatred and most likely PTSD are well drawn. But he and to a less extent some of the other men have violent tendencies that make me nervous for the women in their lives. It feels like some relationships could easily become abusive. They don’t, but those violent bursts of temper still make me uncomfortable. Violent jealousy isn’t a good look on anyone.
I gave this book 4 stars. Mainly because I was expecting more of Tessa Dare’s funny romances. But I think this may have been her first novel. It was good but I prefer her light and funny books. It was a good read however, just not exactly what I expect from the author.
4.5 stars. This was Tessa Dare's first book and it's indicative of her wonderful style of writing. This has all the elements of the stories that I loved in Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey, and Julie Garwood's works -- a plucky heroine, a brooding hero, who is reluctant to admit his love. There's humor and deep emotions in equal quantities. Secondary characters are fleshed out without losing sight of who the main characters are. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series and finishing Tessa's back list.
Part of this book is wonderfully written, pithy, and very easy to read. There is a lightness to the writing, without being truly silly, and I found myself smiling a lot. The dialogue was believable -- no jarring contemporary wording (a pet peeve of mine). The heroine was energetic and lovably imperfect, and there was a good cast of secondary characters. I enjoyed the secondary characters almost as much as the h and H. There were some Grade-A love scenes. Then The Big Misunderstanding occurred, and the story lost steam. The plot seemed to have nowhere to go, and The Big Misunderstanding dragged on. I confess I started skimming and had to force myself to slow down. Unfortunately, the resolution, which could have occurred gradually, was a little too quick and too pat. At least we were treated to an epilogue. Even with its failings, I had to rate Goddess of the Hunt 3.75 stars. I'm tempted to go back and re-read the first half.
It was a very well-written book, it made me laugh and it was romantic. But the first 2/3 of the book are definitely better than the other 1/3. For me, Tessa Dare always has perfect openings but the endings are disappointing - they get over the top and the story becomes less believable. The same happened to me with A Lady by Midnight and A Week to Be Wicked. It's a pity because she really has a potential. But despite all this, I really liked this book and I would definitely read it again. I recommend it.