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The plot line in one line: A woman whose love interest went to war for four years is battling to earn back his affection when he returns as a much-changed man.
The good and the bad: I found this novella a bit of a snooze-fest and I had to push myself to finish it. I also didn't rate the hero (Luke) or the flibbertigibbet heroine (Cecily).
So let's start with some of the key flaws in the story. The setting for this book is a house party to which Luke and Cecily have been invited by Denny, with his view to giving them a chance to reunite. Only later we find out that Denny fancies marrying Cecily. So not sure why he invited Luke...
While out in the forest at night, Cecily thinks she encounters a mythical half-man, half-stag beast she and her friends are hunting. Without spoiling the story, the explanation for who this beast is is obvious but then the author says something which rules this out entirely, only for it to turn out it was who you thought all along. Grr!
Towards the end of the book there is a conveniently empty cottage which Luke conveniently knows how to get into... Oh and the bit with the animal trap - turns out if a vicious metal jaw pierces you through the foot it will hardly injure you and you won't need professional medical assistance.
Now for the characters. Cecily is irritating. She's whiny and pining over a man she had one kiss with four years ago who is now being a douchebag to her. It's embarrassing how needy she is. And while I get that Luke had been through some war-related trauma, I cannot like a man who is so rude to others and who thinks it's OK to aggressively grab a woman he is being a douchebag to just because he is horny/jealous.
In summary, I felt zilch compassion for the lead characters and the storyline was neither captivating not believable.
Tessa Dare seems highly rated so I will give one of her full-length books a go sometime, but I don't have high hopes for it based on this novella...
This is a tongue-in-cheek Gothic romance, about a small house party just after the Napoleonic Wars. A returned soldier feels he is no longer able to marry, the young woman who waited for him is not so sure of herself; while another woman wants to write a Gothic novel about a were-stag that might or might not be lurking in the estate woods.
I enjoyed the tale and atmosphere and I was pleased that we meet a lady of quality who has spent time nursing soldiers. (Just changing bandages; servant class women would have changed bedpans.) The physical romance element seems out of place, while no reference is made to the one reason many women desired to marry; to be in charge of their own household, not subservient to family with no purpose. Also every character seems one sided except our heroine. This short novella is a romance for mature readers. This is an unbiased review.
What a lovely story. This is my first read by Tessa Dare, and what a delightfully well written story. The mythical touch was endearing and the characters were all pleasant, even grumpy Luke. Cecily was a strong character and rightly so fed up of waiting, so I agreed in her giving Luke a push. I did feel a little for Denny but I don't really think there was any love loss there, and I don't think he'd be on the shelf for long. I would thoroughly recommend this book, and Look forward to reading others by this author.
This was the first book I have read by this author and to be honest, I didn't enjoy it. Historical romance is one of the only genres of romance that isn't my cup of tea. However I thought I would give this book a go nonetheless. There wasn't really anything wrong with the book. Just personally, it didn't do it for me. The language used confused me a lot and I found it difficult to actually imagine what was happening.
New author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed what I read. My first foray into romance was with a fabulous historical romance when I was definitely too young to be reading such a book (thank you Nan) and since then I have been a fan of historical romance novels. Now this isn't a full length novel but it is a truly fabulous novella that didn't read as such, in fact I found myself thoroughly caring for Luke and Cecily, of course I would have liked more but only because I genuinely liked not only the main characters but also the side characters. For me this was a wonderful introduction to an author I will definitely be reading more from.
I decided to read this book as the author has been recommended in a book vlog I watch and I am incredibly glad I did I was captured by the characters within moments of starting and I flew through the book. The writing style was quick to read and easily draws you in so before you know it you are hooked and separate to know how things will end.
I found the story kept losing its way and one minute his disinterested and adamant that he is wrong for her and his to vicious next he gives in and declares his total devotion which was ridiculous. The whole wilderbeast thing was just plain ridiculous it was like something an adolescent would write
Like most romance novellas this was a disappointment. This novella is so short that everything is resolved almost before the reader realises that there is a problem between the protagonists. In this case, more would definitely be more.