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Kiss Me Annabel Paperback

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000722947X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007229475
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,017,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xaa2add8c) out of 5 stars 55 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa97699e4) out of 5 stars Perfectly pleasant for most of the way Jan. 27 2006
By statengirl - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second in the Essex sisters series about four beautiful orphaned young women who are sent to England and placed under the guardianship of Rafe Jourdain, the Duke of Holbrook, after the untimely death of their father, a Scottish viscount. Each sister was left a prize racehorse as her only dowry. This book focuses the second sister, Annabel. She is determined to marry a wealthy and titled Englishman, stemming from her impoverished upbringing in Scotland where her reckless father spent all the family's money on horse breeding and racing. She is just at the point of being proposed to by a wealthy but stuffy English lord when Ewan Poley, the very manly Scottish Earl of Ardmore, shows up in London in search of a bride. They are instantly drawn to one another, and Ewan proposes immediately, but Annabel turns him down. She explains that she simply cannot live in Scotland, which holds too many bad memories for her, and that she will marry only a titled Englishman. Annabel neglects to tell Ewan that the main reason she will not marry him is that he is poor. Soon after, however, Annabel and Ewan's lives take an unexpected turn. As the result of a misunderstanding involving her troublesome younger sister Imogen, Annabel is put in a compromising position with Ewan. She must face the prospect of either public disgrace, or of marrying Ewan and giving up her dream of a comfortable life in England.

I enjoyed this story and the humor and drama involving the supporting cast, including Annabel's two younger sisters. Ewan and Annabel's road trip was fun and romantic, and had a nice buildup of sexual tension. Ewan was at times a little clueless, but this did not make him any less charming. However, Annabel's completely unjustified assumption about Ewan towards the end was very annoying. It detracted from the romance and made Annabel's character less attractive. Although the book had a nice ending, it might have been so much better without this unnecessary obstacle. I liked the book's assortment of interesting characters well enough to read the next installments, and will hope for a satisfying road to wedded bliss for Imogen and Josie.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa97aebdc) out of 5 stars Secondary plots make this book worth reading Dec 20 2005
By bookjunkie22 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I caution readers to read the first book in the series first because there is a lot references to the plot from that book in this one and you will feel confused if you don't have that background in place first.

In this latest addition to the Essex sister series the story is actually about the third sister, Annabel because of part of the plot for the first book in the series, Much Ado About You, it is not yet time for the second sister to have her own book. Maybe it's just me, but more and more it seems like Eloisa James books are really hit and miss. I say this because the romance between Annabel and the Earl of of Ardmore is a thin plot that never really developed beyond a short novella size romance. Annabel and the Earl never have a strong conflict that needs to be resolved in order to get to their HEA (Happily Ever After). The romance is more less Annabel wants a rich English man and forced to marry what she believes to be a poor Scottish Earl. As our couple heads off for the wild highlands, they come to share a passion between them. Annabel then finds, much to her surprise, that her poor Earl is actually one of the richest men in Scottland.

Anyone who reads romance could see where this plot was going from chapter two on. For the most part this book was way too predictable. After reading this review, you might be wondering why I went with a four star rating. There are two reasons for this: one- the sub characters were good for a few out loud laughs the youngest sisiter, Josie, is very funny and has a great witty personality that makes me exicted for her book. Imogen, the second Essex sister plays such a big part in this book, that at times you aren't sure that it is even about Annabel. Her exploits with Mayne, from the first book, are some of the shinning moments in this book. Reason two- there was no great mystery in this story. Too often these days in romance the mystery plot over shadows the romance, so I am always glad to see a romance that is just that a romance.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa97b312c) out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful -- Eloisa James does it again!! Nov. 30 2005
By BookWorm - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Annabel has always known she was beautiful. As she was growing up, she watched her father spend all the family money on his stables, horses and the racetrack. Since she has a head for numbers, she takes the household accounts in hand, and manages the financial aspect of her family's life. One coin could make the difference between eating meat or having beans for dinner. After this childhood, she, naturally, has a fear of poverty and decides that her beauty will compensate for a lack of a real dowry.

As the book opens, Annabel is on the verge of accepting a marriage proposal from exactly the man she is looking for - a titled, pleasant, wealthy man with whom she can have a pleasant, worry-free life. She meets Lord Ardmore - a Scottish earl that is embodiment of everything she DOESN'T want in a future husband. Although intrigued by him and attracted to him, she does not even consider him as a potential suitor and rejects his offer of marriage and his pursuit of her.

Her sister, Imogen, has other plans for Lord Ardmore. Imogen, who is recovering from the death of her young husband, decides to have an affair with Lord Ardmore (without consulting him first!!) and this decision sparks a series of events that lead to Annabel's reputation being damaged. Lord Ardmore immediately proposes marriage, because of the scandal, and she has no choice but to accept. Even though Lord Ardmore has a special license that will allow them to marry immediately, he asks her to wait until they reach Scotland because he there is a specific monk that Ardmore wants to perform their marriage ceremony. She agrees to this and the rest of the story details how they fall in love (and lust) with each other as they travel to Scotland (without being really married) and what they must each overcome to have a happy life together.

The book is wonderfully written, with great secondary characters. The great thing about Eloisa James' novels is that the dialogue and story just flows... you can feel the tension in the air when Imogen and Annabel fight. You can feel how sad the sisters are when gathered around together before Annabel leaves for Scotland. The chemistry between Ardmore and Annabel sizzles (love scenes = steamy hot), as does the chemistry between some of the secondary characters. Josie, the youngest sister, steals every scene she's in - her dialogues are down-right hilarious and I'm really looking forward to her story now (which will be the last one.) Those you that have followed the (mis)adventures of the Earl of Mayne will be happy to see him figure prominently in this book.

I've given it 5 stars because I'm rounding up -- I would really give it 4 1/2 stars. The only reason I would deduct half a star is because, sometimes, James veers too much away from the main characters. As a result, I felt that Annabel and Ardmore were not as well sketched out as they could have been, and that their courtship (during the journey to Scotland) was a bit rushed. The book is set up so every other chapter is about Imogen, and that can be distracting at times because it seems that the book is focusing on Imogen more than Annabel.

Other than that tiny gripe, it is a flawless book & very highly recommended. If you haven't, though, you should read "Much Ado About You" before reading this book. "Kiss Me, Annabel" works as a stand-alone read, but would be more enjoyable, I think, if read as part of the series.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa98c7660) out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars: heroine and hero are over-shadowed Dec 9 2005
By tregatt - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although Annabel Essex's sisters, Tess and Imogen, have managed to marry well and for love (even though in Imogen's case her happiness was short lived since her husband died soon after their marriage), Annabel is determined to marry a well heeled gentleman. Too many years spent trying to scrimp and save while their father went his own merry way has left its mark on Annabel and she's determined not to live that life again! So what if she finds herself almost unnaturally drawn to the impoverished and handsome Earl of Ardmore (Ewan). Unfortunately, scandal and sister Imogen between them seem to have thrown Annabel and Ewan together. And the only way out seems to be marriage. Does Annabel have it in her to face a life of poverty with the good natured and handsome Ewan? Or will opt to desert her husband and return to London and her sisters after a suitable length of time...

Somewhere in the 1980s, one of my favourite Regency-era romance novelists, Marion Chesney (who went on to write the famous Hamish MacBeth & Agatha Raisin mystery novels as M. C. Beaton) penned one of the best, in my opinion anyway, Regency-era series of all time, The Six Sisters series. This series featured six sisters, of varying degrees of beauty and temperament, all who had to marry for money because their father was a hunting mad impoverished vicar. Eloisa James' The Essex sisters series reminds me quite a bit of that series. Like Chesney's series, James' novels feature impoverished sisters who are beautiful and charming and who desire to marry money for security's and stability's sake. The thing I liked most about the Chesney's series was the author's sardonic tone and biting wit. And while this tone and wit was sadly absent in "Kiss Me Annabel," the book still turned out to be a rather pleasant and enjoyable read. Both Annabel and Ewan turned out to be perfectly nice and likable characters so that it was quite easy for one to root for them to end up happily ever-after. However, in spite of this likable pair, the book did suffer from not having enough conflict (Annabel's fear of living in poverty didn't quite cut it esp since this particular conflict dematerializes about halfway through the book), and from the fact that the more flamboyant Essex sister, Imogen, more or less hijacks the story in almost the same way that she hijacked the first book in the series, "Much Ado About You." Imogen may be a pain and, at times, not very likable, but obviously Eloisa James has a rather soft spot for her since she is featured quite prominently in two novels already. As it stands, Imogen's grief and bad behaviour quite over powers Annabel's and Ewan's sweet love story, and the message about judging books by their covers and of prizing wealth above all else gets lost somehow. Which was a shame because this is a well written and rather absorbing read -- it's just that the love story between the hero and heroine didn't quite measure up to the antics of the heroine's sister.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa97b345c) out of 5 stars A nice read, though slow in parts June 20 2006
By Michelle888 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second instalment in the Eloisa James' series about the impoverished Essex sisters, this is the story of the beautiful and ambitious, Annabel.

For most of her life, Annabel has dreamt of marrying well to escape poverty. Tired of playing accountant to her horse-mad father, she went to bed dreaming of living in a mansion, wearing silk gowns and never worrying about how to stretch the few coins they had. Now in London for her first season, she thinks that she may have finally found the answer to her prayers; never mind that there doesn't to be much to her chosen spouse in terms of personality. Until the night she finds herself in a compromising position with a titled, yet penniless Scot.

Ewan Poley, Earl of Ardmore, is on a mission to find a wife. Rumored to be impoverished, he seems to nevertheless be in demand in the English ton. As soon as he lays eyes on the beautiful Annabel, he knows that she's the one. When they were accidentally found in a compromising position at his hotel, Ewan finally gets his chance when Annabel agrees to marry him. Not too long after, they were in a carriage all the way back to Scotland.

Though Annabel is disappointed to find herself going back to the country that only serves to remind her of her impoverished upbringing, she cannot deny the mutual attraction that draws them together. And there starts the kissing game...

While I initially enjoyed the playfulness that started between the main characters, I felt that the whole kissing game was dragged on a bit too much. I found myself skimming over the pages, wishing that the whole game would stop. I thought it was a bit of an overkill and wish that the author had spent more time delving deeper into the main characters' personality, especially Annabel. I could appreciate her fear of going hungry again and not being able to keep warm during the cold winter months, but because of the lack of focus on her, her fears sometimes made her appear shallow and greedy. That's why I was rather surprised when Ewan declares his love for her so suddenly, making me ask myself: how and when?

Overall, KISS ME, ANNABEL, is a nice read, but could have been quite a wonderful story if the romance between the main characters were fleshed out a little more. Just like the first book, MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU, the other characters, particularly Imogen, has overshadowed the protagonists in this story.

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