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The Affectionate Adversary [Paperback]

Catherine Palmer

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Book Description

Feb. 17 2006
Charles Locke is risking everything to make his fortune in a tea-trading enterprise. Sarah Carlyle believes money is the root of all evil and is determined to be rid of her fortune. When Charles and Sarah are thrown together at sea, their hearts are unexpectedly bound. But when Sarah discovers Charless hunger for money and Charles discovers Sarahs fortune, their love is suddenly in question. Can Sarah give her heart to a man motivated by money? And does Charles truly love her—or does he love her fortune?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (Feb. 17 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084237549X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842375498
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 16.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #777,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Catherine Palmer lives in Missouri with her husband, Tim, and sons Geoffrey and Andrei. She is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University and holds a master's degree in English from Baylor University. Her first book was published in 1988. Since then she has published nearly forty novels, many of them national bestsellers. Catherine has won numerous awards for her writing, including the Christy Award, the highest honor in Christian fiction. Twice she has been nominated for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Total sales of her novels number nearly two million copies.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.8 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nicely detailed period romance with more than just love and passion March 28 2006
By - Published on
Catherine Palmer is a bestselling, award-winning romance novelist, and her latest, THE AFFECTIONATE ADVERSARY, turns her talents towards love in the early 1800s between a commoner and a wealthy baroness.

Charles Locke is a good man with high aspirations of spending the family's savings by investing in tea, which he believes holds the key to their future success. While at sea, a pirate attack scuttles his plans, and he is left for dead. Another ship arrives in time to rescue him, and the widowed Sarah Carlyle nurses him back to health. Locke falls in love with her, not realizing that Sarah is a titled heiress. However, Sarah has other future plans in mind, namely getting rid of a fortune that weighs her down with guilt by distributing it to various deserving charities.

When the two are back in England, Charles discovers her wealthy status and sets out to convince her that his feelings for her are real and that he's not another gold digger. (Although, he does confess to himself, "Though he did love Sarah, as much as before, the knowledge of her fortune had affected him.") He is not in her social class and seemingly she is out of his reach. However, as they reconnect through mutual friends, Sarah's gentle influence on Charles begins changing his priorities. Soon, he begins to see money not just as a way to pleasure and leisure, but as something that could be put to work to make a difference in the world.

Which is a moot point, since he's lost all the family fortune to pirates...or so it seems. Meanwhile, Sarah's piety is called into question by Charles, who helps her come to grips with a difficult past and to see that what she wants to do with her money and what God may want might be two different things. An advice columnist is consulted by Sarah's family about her potential relationship, and the answer may nudge Sarah into making a decision. (This is the first book presumably of a series introducing advice columnist Miss Pickworth, according to the jacket.)

Like everything Palmer does, the story reads well. The trouble is with certain plot developments and characterizations. The difficulty for the reader will be in suspending disbelief about a few points. Sarah's first marriage, it seems, was never consummated; an unnecessary stock plot development in many Christian novels. (It seems as if faith romance likes its protagonists to be virgins!) The relationship among the three sisters is never fleshed out well, and there's more telling than showing in their relationship. Sarah's resistance to Charles is never quite believable, except that it keeps the story moving along. I never "bought" Sarah's attitude toward money. John Grisham pulled off this sort of "woman who doesn't want her fortune" character in THE TESTAMENT with aplomb. But Palmer fails to bring it off convincingly here.

There's a definite author aspiration toward reminding readers of Jane Austen, with references to the game of whist, locations such as Brighton and Cheapside, and lines such as "It pains me to disappoint a deeply respected father..." or Pru's skirts "six inches deep in dirt." (Can you say Pride and Prejudice?)

However, nice specific details help readers immerse themselves in the time period of the early 1800s, and there is enough of a spiritual development plotline to hook readers who like their romance to evince something more than love and passion. If you enjoy the tea angle, which is not much more than a minor part of the story, you might also investigate LEAVES OF HOPE, Palmer's upcoming contemporary romance novel with tea as central to the plot.

--- Reviewed by Cindy Crosby. Contact Cindy at
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Affectionate Adversary Feb. 15 2007
By Brenda S. Sydnor - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed The Bachelor's Dilema by Catherine Palmer, but I found this book to be tedious and repetious. The heroine's constant fixation that only people who were destitute could enter Heaven was annoying and not entirely biblical.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright I Guess........ Nov. 9 2006
By romancelvr - Published on
The affectionate Adversary was an alright book I suppose. What I found annoying was the fact that Sarah was so misguided. She thought that she had such a horrible life that she should go give up everything and go live in some dirt hovel. Every time that Charles showed his love for her she still thought he wasn't good enough for her because he wouldn't go live in a shack with her. Sarah did not love her money over God, she wasn't obsessed with it either. Therefore it's strange how she came to the conclusion that she needed to live in a hut to be happy. Not very realistic. I wish she would have come to the right conclusion faster. Other than the slightly annoying heroine, it was an ok book. Miss Pickworth was hilarious. But..... don't worry. "THE BACHELORS BARGAIN" is an awesome book, about Sarah's maid Anne. I LOVED it!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly dull June 18 2007
By LJWatson - Published on
I bought this book at Christmas and have forced myself to finish it. It took me 5 months! The first few chapters are the best part of the book. The rest is mind-numbing drivel that bores you too tears. Charles survives a near-death experience and is constantly put down by the whiny Sarah. I wanted Charles to tell her off so bad! He kind of did at the end, but either way this book is a sleeper! I hear the Bachelor's Bargain is better, I hope b/c I have already bought it as well. Are we even sure Palmer wrote this?
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book by Ms Palmer!! April 11 2006
By Mrs Debarr - Published on
I think the thing I like most about Catherine Palmer's books are the spiritual challenges she skillfully weaves into each one. She shares her spiritual journey with us the reader and I am very grateful. This story is about a woman, Sarah, who has found riches to be the source of great trial and loneliness. She has been a pawn all her life , unable to trust anyone because of it. She really wants to please God and to find joy in her life but her efforts to follow Him have been a little misguided (can't we all relate to that?) .I think one of the most pinnacle moments in the book for me was when Charles finds out who Sara really is and greed rears its ugly head and Charles sees its allure and flees because he no longer can trust that it doesn't cast a shadow over even his love for her. The characters and their growth is real, its painful and I for one am glad to have been priviledged to go along for the ride! The only thing that did annoy me was when Sarah left for Brighton (or wherever toward the end of the book). Few books are perfect after all!!

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