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Period Period Fiction July 12, 2010

As promised in the last vlog, a picture of this week’s book – Georgette Heyer’s Powder and Patch – on the shelf with the other novels of this genre:

see the difference?

There was a lot that that attracted me to this book beyond the difference in shape – the cover, as I also mentioned in my vlog, was different.

'Powder and Patch' by Georgette Heyer

There was no Fabio-type man clutching a woman on the cover. The length was odd. And, more importantly, when I flipped through Powder and Patches I found it missing.

‘It’ being sex.

The quick answer to the last point – the absence of sex – can be easily marked off by the ‘period period fiction.’ Powder and Patch was a novel originally published in 1930. Not that the time period is the excuse, but the Author’s bio provides more insight into why the ‘usual’ aspect of these types of novels was missing:

“Author of over fifty book, Georgette Heyer is one of the best-known and best-loved of all historical novelists, making the regency period her own Her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921, was written at the age of fifteen to amuse her convalescent brother; her last was My Lord John. Although famous for her historical novels, she also wrote twelve detective stories. Georgette Heyer died in 1974 at the age of seventy-one.” p.185

First of all, the author was still quite young when writing this novel but also – there was no formula yet – was there? Plus, if she continued to write from the air she took when writing for her brother – there’s no need for sex at all. Secondly (and this enforces the former, I suppose), her first novel was written for entertainment – I like that. Thus – Heyer seems to be writing to entertain – but in her way.

And then there’s that third thing: she’s a historical novelist. It’s stressed not only in the biography but throughout the book – this is historical fiction.

When I finished the novel I asked myself: why the heck was this in the romance section? As I predicted in my vlog, this was very much a comedy of manners. A … Wodehousian sort of romp of the mid-eighteenth century. In fact, so little is actual romance, that I’m still trying to figure out why it was marketed as such.

The story is insanely simple (I read the back cover in my vlog – and nothing at all strays) – the characters are two-dimensional, but in a good way, and there’s no fussing about anything other than the simple, black and white plot that had these little 2D characters tripping over each other and laughing about it.

As I said – I liked this novel (not the best thing I’ve ever written – especially since there was no translation to the French some of the characters speak – FOOTNOTES PLEASE!) – but why wasn’t it put in plain fiction?

My guess is that was what it was placed in when originally published (I’ll have to do a little research into that, of course – but it still brings up the question about Wodehouse … but more on Wodehouse later). Beyond that – I’m clueless. I certainly wouldn’t have placed it in the Romance section.

Now, it’s not because I’m biased – because I liked the novel, because it didn’t follow the formula, because it was a comedy of manners. It’s not like I want to ‘rescue’ this book from it’s place in B&N – I’m just wondering why it’s there.

So – this week, I’m going to try and figure that out … with the text. I think structure will be interesting to talk about as well – but looking at why this novel is sold under ‘Romance’ look be interesting to look at.

Breaking it down … nah – I’ll just surprise you in the next few days.

And if you couldn’t tell – yes, I’m quite drowsy. Enjoy this cat and dog .gif.

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Reference

Heyer, Georgette. Power and Patch. Naperville: Sourcebooks, Inc., 1930.

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My Week Off: Vlog 2 July 11, 2010

Filed under: Vlog — Liz @ 5:05 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I included a surprise in the video (hint – it’s a video … in a video!)

 

So that thing called ‘Marriage’ July 3, 2010

Pretty much how I communicated my thoughts after I finished reading ...

In the previous post, I gave you a little taste of Jemma and Villiers’ fantastic sort of relationship with each other. I liked Villiers in the last book and I really liked him in this book – as well as Jemma … for a few hundred pages.

There was a strange turn that Jemma’s character takes … and it may have something to do with this:

Say WHAT now?

Jemma and Elijah? Yeah, we get the foreshadowing in this book – but the foreshadowing comes rather … all of a sudden. But wait – let me give you the summary of the next book so you can see where I’m going:

“Wedding bells celebrating the arranged marriage between the lovely Duchess of Beaumont and her staid, imperturbable duke had scarcely fallen silent when a shocking discovery sent Jemma running from the ducal mansion. For the next nine years she cavorted abroad, creating one delicious scandal after another (if one is to believe the rumors).

Elijah, Duke of Beaumont, did believe those rumors.

But the handsome duke needs an heir, so he summons his seductive wife home. Jemma laughs at Elijah’s cool eyes and icy heart—but to her secret shock, she doesn’t share his feelings. In fact, she wants the impossible: her husband’s heart at her feet.

But what manner of seduction will make a man fall desperately in love…with his own wife?”

No … just … no no no.

Let’s recall: Elijah is a cheater. What’s with this sudden – ‘I’m falling in love with my own wife’?

And it gets worse. I kid you not. The book about Jemma and Elijah is followed by another about Villiers and some other girl.

Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, must wed quickly and nobly—and his choices, alas, are few. The Duke of Montague’s daughter, Eleanor, is exquisitely beautiful and fiercely intelligent. Villiers betroths himself to her without further ado.

After all, no other woman really qualifies.

Lisette, the outspoken daughter of the Duke of Gilner, cares nothing for clothing or decorum. She’s engaged to another man, and doesn’t give a fig for status or title. Half the ton believes Lisette mad—and Villiers is inclined to agree.

Torn between logic and passion, between intelligence and the imagination, Villiers finds himself drawn to the very edge of impropriety. But it is not until he’s in a duel to the death, fighting for the reputation of the woman he loves, that Villiers finally realizes that the greatest risk may not be in the dueling field…

But in the bedroom. And the heart.

What? WHAT!

Even the Doctor doesn't approve.

Okay  – right now you’re probably accusing me of just being a sore ‘shipper’ – mad because the characters I actually liked didn’t get together. But that really isn’t it. Granted, maybe it is a little – but I’m looking at through through the lens of structuralism, which I’ve dealt with before.

In summation:

1. protagonists meet

2. protagonists fall in love

3. impediment

4. impediment solved

5. Family! Marriage! Woot!

Or … un-woot here. Jemma returns to Elijah when it’s rather clear in this novel that Villiers is in love with her – and her with him.

Until a dues ex machina or really just a change in the narrator’s tone realizes that this could upset Jemma’s already set marriage.

“Jemma blinked at him. She fully expected him to say that he had to work. To read those documents that he was always reading, even at the supper table. ‘You mean -‘

He held out his arm. ‘I have decided not to work in the evenings. I am at your command, duchess.’

‘Oh,’ Jemma said, rather uncertainly.

They strolled toward the drawing room. ‘I suppose the soiree,’ Jemma said, deciding. ‘I should like to dance.’ She was wearing a new dress, a delicious gown of figured pale yellow satin with a pattern of tiny green leaves. Her skirts were trimmed with double flounces and rather shorter than in the previous year.

Elijah looked down at her with a smile in his eyes.

‘Yes, I am wearing a new gown and I should like to show it off,’ she told him, thinking that there were nice aspects to having been married so long.

‘The hem reveals a delectable bit of your slipper,’ he said gravely.

‘You noticed!’ she stuck out her toe. She wore yelled slippers with very high heels, ornamented with a cunning little rose.

‘Yellow roses,’ he said, ‘are not nearly as rare as a perfect ankle like yours, Jemma.'” p.127

I’m sorry but he sounds like an idiot trying to gain brownie points with a woman who’s obvious emotionally conflicted. I think it’s a little contrived. And it goes on like this until Jemma decides that she does want her husband – but Villiers is still willing to do whatever she asks. And whatever Elijah asks, too, seeing as he seems to be dying.

Now that would have been perfect – kill Elijah and let Villiers and Jemma be happy together. Why not? The characters are both flawed and it really seems like they could ‘fix’ each other, so to say.

But no – for some reason, there has to be a set protection around an already existing marriage – that of Jemma and Elijah. Wouldn’t it be a little more interesting to disrupt the structure a little (I mean, Elijah’s death could easily be an impediment, if you really want to stick with it), and put two compatible characters together, rather than protect an already ruined marriage?

I really think that Jemma is being taken advantage of by Elijah – another thing that disturbed me in the book beyond the ‘impediment’ element being control between Isidore and Cosway. Obviously, Jemma is confused when her husband starts giving her attention – something she’s always wanted. But what if it really isn’t good for her?

I’m sorry, but I cried foul when I read this book. There was nothing romantic about fighting for power in a marriage, or watching a woman who seems happy with someone just as flawed as her become confused due to her cheating husband … who is dying and won’t tell her …

I mean … wtf?

I think this is what really underlines the reason I didn’t care for this book. There were too many things I took issue with on a very base level – control (even if we’re talking period) and emotional stress or even abuse (because I really think that Elijah – while he may love Jemma, sure – is playing off her old hope that he would come and get her) isn’t something I’d want to read.

Is it just because of marriage? Oi.

Again – take it with a pinch of Twatlight.

Oh – and a week off! Yay!

Sorry I was incredibly bitter towards this book – or maybe you preferred it. Who knows?

I shall be back in a week with a rather … unique? book.

lalalalala ...

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Reference (if not linked)

James, Eloisa. When the Duke Returns. New York: Avon Books, 2008.

 

I must really not have liked this book …

I ended up falling asleep again yesterday … yeah. And then I went to first night here and had some free wine so … things happen, ya know?

But I was thinking – I really must not like this book. It isn’t even bad in a ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ way. It’s just … blah. I really want not that much to do with it. I still have posts to do though and damn it all – I’m going to write them.

Plus, my reward will be my week off – yay!

Wahoo!

So – rereading what I wrote the other day, I’m supposed to talk about sexuality in the novel. I will say that I remember some time ago writing that the sex usually comes in around page 200 give or take – this book proved to be an exception. Not only in that it took place later with only ‘hot and heavy’ kisses leading up, but that the first ‘encounter’ was a dud.

“But he was kissing her, deep boneless kisses, the kind that made her wind her arms around the neck, and pull his body down onto hers.

Her hands slid down his back and onto his bottom, curved over warm muscles, slipped between his legs. ‘You -‘ His voice was pained. He arched his back. ‘Oh God, Isidore, that feels so good.’

She started laughing and his mouth came down on hers with desperation. And then he pressed against her. It was extremely odd. Like a door opening, Isidore though. First there was only herself, and then somehow there was room enough for him as well.

He made a rough sound, low in his throat and pressed deeper. Isidore waited for the pain that was supposed to come, but nothing happened.

Well, that was good.

He pulled back and then thrust forward again.

It felt good. It did. Well, perhaps it didn’t feel that good. There was a little fulling feeling that she didn’t care for all that much. Isidore tried to push away that disloyal though. He was supposed to do whatever, and she could just do what she wished …

… He did that thrusting thing.

The trust was, she really didn’t care for it that much.” p.262-263

It sounds like what the dentist told me when I was getting my tooth pulled – ‘you’ll feel the pulling, but you shouldn’t feel pain.’ Yeah yuck.

Afterwards, Isidore tells him that:

“‘It’s not something I would want to do every day,’ she continued, ‘but from what I hear, people don’t do it all that often anyway.'” p.266

Yeah …

Credit where credit is due though – this is the first ‘dud’ I’ve come across in six books. Granted, of course it all gets better. But in a strange way. Cosway (Simeon) is all ‘I want to show you how my body works’ and it’s just … blah. You pretty much know sex gets better once they figure it out. The whole book would be a dud in the genre if it didn’t. So that wasn’t shocking at all.

But, as I said, credit where credit’s due – we have a dud!

Wahoo.

Sure, there’s talk of an annulment because Isidore isn’t want Cosway thinks he wants, they get one but end up getting married again because their in ‘luv’ – shock shock, awe!

Why am I so bitter?

I really think I got myself all hyped up after enjoying Duchess by Night then feeling all blah with When the Duke Returns.

But then … then there was the side characters. Jemma and Villiers – perhaps the saving grace (or would be saving grace) of the novel. They’re pretty much fantastic.

Exhibits A & B of many:

“‘So what of our match?’ she asked, surprised by her own keen disappointment in his refusal of chess.

‘One move a day … that match?’

‘Yes, that match,’ she said. ‘Do you have so many outstanding matches that you don’t remember? To bring it to your recollection, I have won one game, and you have won one game. That leaves one game to break the tie.’

‘I do remember now,’ he said, watching her under his eyelids. ‘Let me see … if our match when into a third game, the last one was to be played blindfolded in bed.’

‘Precisely.’ Jemma folded her hands. ‘I’m so happy that’s it’s come back to do you. I have been training my maid, Brigitte, so she can stand next to the bed and move our pieces appropriately.’

‘I did not picture the bedchamber occupied by others than ourselves.’

‘Life is positively full of disappointments.'” p.74

“She looked up at him for a moment, and the edge of her mouth curled up. ‘You’ll play again.’

‘I will trust you to wait for me.’

‘I was never very good at waiting for men.’ Jemma was startled to hear the words come from her mouth. In one sense, she meant her husband. She waited three years for Elijah to fetch her from Paris when they were young, after she had flung herself across the Channel in a rage. He didn’t visit until the fourth year, and by then it was too late. She had found a lover, and put her marriage behind her.

Villiers’s heavy-lidded eyes dropped. ‘I on the other hand, am very good at waiting. For you, Jemma … I would wait quite a long time.'” p.75

Now come on – look at those fantastic conversations? It’s well disappointing that the next book … well, that’s the next post, isn’t it?

I think I’m finding an issue that I’ve never addressed until now in these books. Marriage is all fine and dandy for the main protagonists – but what about these side characters? What if a marriage simply doesn’t work?

Why can’t we have Jemma and Villiers?

Don Draper is waiting for your answer.

So –

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Reference

James, Eloisa. When the Duke Returns. New York: Avon Books, 2008.

 

Ginger Post: Part 6 July 1, 2010

I just watched the last ten or so minutes of The Assassination of Jessie James and now I want to watch the whole thing. There’s always something about period pieces that get me – but this one looks well filmed … I love really well done cinematography.

But anyway. Ginger Post!

Amy Pond = Awesome

Except not.

There aren’t any – at all – gingers in this novel. Instead – there’s a ‘dark’ woman. What do I mean by a ‘dark’ woman … well, it’s usually the character that’s paired with the light, virtuous woman.

Easy enough to understand. ‘Light’ is what Cosway was going for anyway – he had in his mind some docile and biddable (thanks to this mother who lied and said Isidore was in her letters) girl waiting for him in England. He didn’t expect the ‘dark’ woman he got – the independent, temperamental, gets her own way when she has her mind set on it one.

And, since their both virgins, lest we forget, is there really passion in Isidore to fuel the fire (oh, that was bad, I know – i take full responsibility for that).

As the novels supposed main plot centers around Isidore and Cosway, it seems only right that she’s one of the opposites – a ‘dark’ woman instead of a ‘light’ one. Before anyone cries foul at what particularly makes a woman ‘dark’ or ‘light’ here’s a description of Isidore that should clear it up:

“Isidore glanced at herself in Jemma’s glass. Men had lusted for her ever since she turned sixteen, and the particulars hadn’t changed: black hair, pale skin, generous bosom. In short, something short of Venus, but delectable enough to send most men into a lustful frenzy.” p.12

So – dark haired and curvy is aka the ‘dark’ woman. A ‘light’ woman would have blonde hair, blue eyes – look pretty much fragile. The ‘light’ woman, as I also mentioned, is obedient (in my seminar last semester, we read a lot of period texts that dealt with the light woman in contrast to the disobedient dark woman).

Really, gingers have no place in this novel. The duality alone of a docile ‘light’ woman that Cosway thought awaited him and the ‘dark’ woman that was Isidore that he found, is enough to make a ‘hair color’ post on.

Mind you, a short one.

I don’t know what it is about this book. I should really be jumping at the whole sexuality in it … maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Sexuality and family then go on to talk about Jemma and Villiers because they’re really the ones I want to focus on.

I’m hardly trying to be lazy but nothing in this novel made me really consider anything new. I was more annoyed. I didn’t very much care that Cosway was a virgin – though it’s a big deal with the woman, it’s not so much with him. When he has sex, he has it. That’s … really it.

Maybe I’m just over-shocked from the epic-ness of the past few days: first the awesome Doctor Who finale … then the new Harry Potter trailer … too much for my brain to handle.

What I’m going to do is re-read parts for when I post again. I don’t want to gip myself out of some good critical thinking. The posts on this book are so short …

Okay: tomorrow definitely dealing with sexuality and the ending with family. Then maybe a sort of mega post on Jemma and Villiers and structure in these novels. That will all make sense … hopefully.

And hopefully this post made sense, too.

At least I passed the 500 words mark ...

Anyway:

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Reference

James, Eloisa. When the Duke Returns. New York: Avon Books, 2008.

 

Take it with a Pinch of Twatlight June 30, 2010

Let’s let Ned sum up how I felt about the two main characters, Isidore and Cosway:

Yeah, um. No.

Let’s put aside the … secondary plot? with Jemma and Villiers and look at Isidore and Cosway just for now. Their story is pretty simple.

Isidore was married to Cosway by proxy when she was twelve or something, she never met him before. Now twenty-three, she wants him to come back, thus she goes to Lord Strange’s house (which, at the time, is known for it’s sleaziness) to get a rise out of him. It works, he returns, and then rest of the book deals with balancing tempers and learning how to have sex (both of them).

I kid you not. We hear more about how Cosway’s house is cleaned of poop (that’s not a joke either) than we do actual plot between Isidore and Cosway.

You know, even if it’s ignored most of the time, a plot usually does exist for the main protagonists. As it is, the plot here is just … well, nonexistent as best. I mean, arguing over power isn’t much of a plot but then … oh wait this all looks terribly familiar.

Twatlight! That’s where I’ve seen this before. Look at it! No plot, incoherent fights about passion and love and sex and all – it makes you want to tear your hair out! Even a controlling husband/boyfriend! Ah! If Meyer can make as much money as she did out of a crap book, a book like this should be made of gold!

It just isn’t. Maybe it’s because Cosway relinquishes his desire of control by the end of the book – that don’t fly with Meyer: she wants her female Mary Sue protagonists to be docile and well … without brains under the control of a man who sparkles.

But I digress. Then again, the digression is good, you can see where my mind instantly went while reading this particular novel. I was annoyed at Cosway’s constant hounding of wanting to have control of Isidore. In the end, that power is reduced to a sex joke – of which I suppose I could approve.

(at this point, I actually took a nap for a few hours, woke up, and turned on the first Harry Potter movie because I was feeling nostalgic thanks to the new DH trailer. It’s going to be a long week with this book – thank you, wisdom tooth)

So, let’s hear Cosway ramble on about his desire for control – or what he expected Isidore to be:

“‘I’m worried that unless we have a system of command set up, such as I had with my men, this marriage will founder or, worse, in a moment of crisis, I won’t be able to save us.’ …

… He smiled ‘We have to know where the ultimate authority lies.’

Isidore didn’t like the sound of that. ‘If it’s not a moment of immediate physical danger, I would most biddably listen to the reasons behind the advice you’re offering.’

It was his turn to scowl. ‘I have to know that you’re mine, Isidore.'” p.300

Obviously, this doesn’t fly with Isidore but she lets him make up a ‘sign’ that means she’s supposed to listen. It’s some word for ‘lord of her bedchamber.’ Notice though – that the conversation above happens on page 300. The book is only 373 pages long. So we literally go through 300 pages of ‘this is the plot – oh and here’s some house cleaning’.

My main point, I guess, is that fighting over control in a relationship isn’t a fun basis for a story. It’s that whole saying ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spots.’ Sure, changing the man is a big part of these novels but this is a different sort of change. A change that actually resonates with the other side-story couple in the book, Jemma and Villiers (and the subject of marriage – more on that later).

It’s silly to dwell on this subject more because in terms of plot, this is all that exists. You can guess the end. I’d hardly even say there was an ‘impediment’ to get in the way like usual texts of this type. Now you can see why this book was tiring. As much as I’m not a fan of the genre … something has to happen besides a battle of wits over control.

I’m now grateful for the random plots such as those in Viking in Love and A Highlander’s Homecoming – it at least gave the characters a little more … umph – even if you didn’t completely pay attention to it. There was more in the world, I suppose is what I’m getting at.

Anyway, in my opinion, this book was more about Jemma and Villiers anyway.

Now – back to watching Harry Potter and bemoaning my sore jaw.

I've been pretty much rolling around like Draco from AVPM

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Reference

James, Eloisa. When the Duke Returns. New York: Avon Books, 2008.

 

Oh Blah, Eloisa James, Very Blah On You! June 29, 2010

Yep – I decided that, for this week, I would do another novel by Eloisa James – more specifically the ‘next’ novel that follows Duchess by Night to see what a ‘continuation’ was like. And that novel is … slight drumroll …

'When the Duke Returns' - Eloisa James

I have to admit – I was a bit excited. Out of all the novels I’ve so far read, Duchess by Night has really been my favorite. Obviously, I had high expectations for the next novel, even if it dealt with the whiny Isidore and her husband, who returns to take her away from Lord Strange’s house (revisit the Duchess by Night posts if you need a refresher). Anyway – here’s where we last left Isidore in the green book:

“It was as if everything was happening in slow motion. The greatcoat was gone, and the hat was gone. Harriet had hardly time to see a great tumble of inky black hair, un-powdered and not even tied back, before he turned …

…There was a moment of utter silence in the anteroom. The duke was looking only at Isidore.

Just as Harriet was about to say something – some sort of introduction! – he swept into a extraordinarily deep bow. Her eyes fixed on his face, Isidore sank into a deep curtsy. Still without saying a word, she held out her hand.

‘My duchess, I presume,’ he said, carrying the hand up to his lips. His voice was dark and foreign, like that of a man used to speaking strange languages.” p.282

And it goes on for a bit, Isidore leaves with Cosway (the Duke) and that’s that for Duchess by Night. Now, the pink book.

“‘My duchess, I presume,’ he said catching her hand and kissing it,

Isidore managed to pull herself together enough to introduce him to Harriet, but her mind was reeling, Somehow in all her imaginings, she’d forgotten to imagine – a man.” p.9

This also goes on, but obviously we’re in Isidore’s pov, not Harriet’s anymore. I thought it was fun, the intertwining of the stories – so I really was eager to read this – just to see how that unfolded, but also the build up for the next book.

So – little did I know I wasn’t going to be a big fan of the subject of the next book. Or really a subject of this book in itself.

The obvious question is – why?

(and before I go on – I’m keeping this short – my mouth is making me really uncomfortable so I plan on sleeping most of the day away until it goes back to normal)

Anyway – why.

1. I didn’t like the relationship between Isidore and Cosway (also known as Simeon). Maybe it was because she was whiney. Maybe it because he was rather … simple. And controlling. Granted, Cosway was interesting in other ways – he himself was a virgin so new stuff there. But I wasn’t really a fan of their relationship – even in the usual happy ending.

2. It seems like the author wasn’t a huge fan either. About a third of the book doesn’t concern Isidore and Cosway at all – but instead Jemma, Elijah, and Villiers. Oh yeah – Villiers – I was really excited about seeing him again.

3. More tension was built up in the side characters, than the main characters. That is, Jemma and Villiers and Jemma and Elijah (her husband who cheated on her early in their marriage). And here’s the aspect where I really started disliking the books.

4. The subject of marriage. I’m going to make a marriage post this week, I think. While reading this book, I paid the most attention to Jemma and Villiers since there was little plot actually happening with Isidore and Cosway – there was no real ‘impediment’ to keep them apart but I’ll get to that in structure. But the subject of marriage … humph. See, when I started the book, I was very surprised to see that I was rooting for Jemma and Villiers – they had a real connection. I loved it. But then, there was this about face where Jemma decided she was falling in love with her husband Elijah (the cheater – granted, Villiers has bastard children, but there’s something charming about him). Really, I was like huh? That makes no sense. So, I pulled up the summary of the next book and found out … well, she goes get back with Elijah.

Crap.

So – is this the sanctity of marriage suddenly appearing in these novels? And why am I’m more invested in this side characters (even when talking about Duchess by Night, I remember saying that I was drawn more to Villiers than most of the characters)? Did my high expectations ruin everything?

Is there something in the formula I’m missing when it comes to marriage?

Needless to say, I was putt-off when I finished this book. I’m glad I chose it so I could talk about why I was put-off, but also disappointed that it didn’t match the craft (and it really didn’t) that was it’s predecessor.

So – things that will be talked about (in no specific order): craft and structure, the idea of marriage, the idea of impediments, and canon with ending. Believe me – it will (hopefully) all make sense once I get to it.

But – as for right now, I’m going to go get a pillow and blanket, make myself comfy and watch a film or something.

If you've never watched 'Spaced' - I completely recommend that you do.

Tomorrow … maybe two posts? Maybe one – we’ll see!

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References

James, Eloisa. Duchess By Night. New York: Avon Books, 2008.

James, Eloisa. When the Duke Returns. New York: Avon Books, 2008.