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4.0 out of 5 stars Something a little different from Lindsey norm
Milisant Crispin and Wulfric de Thorpe have been promised to each other since childhood. Their fathers are excellent friends, and are consolidating their friendship through the marriage of their eldest children. However, due to a mutually painful incident when they were children, neither Mili nor Wulf can stand the other. They have avoided each other ever since. It is...
Published on Oct. 23 2002 by K. Newman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not that good either...
Johanna Lindsey is of course superb, and if the book was written by anyone else, I would have given it one star. However, Lindsay can write beautifully, even when the plot and characters are boring or stereotypical. I found Milisant's character annoying and completely out of character for the era she lived in, at times she truly irritated me to the extent that I would...
Published on March 13 2002 by Layla Halabi


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4.0 out of 5 stars Something a little different from Lindsey norm, Oct. 23 2002
By 
K. Newman "krazykmcd" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
Milisant Crispin and Wulfric de Thorpe have been promised to each other since childhood. Their fathers are excellent friends, and are consolidating their friendship through the marriage of their eldest children. However, due to a mutually painful incident when they were children, neither Mili nor Wulf can stand the other. They have avoided each other ever since. It is now some years past the time when they should have been wed, and Wulf's father has insisted that Wulf claim his reluctant bride. Milisant is wild and different, disdainful of her being born female and the constraints it imposes on her. She and Wulf discover they still have nothing in common. She is wary of his size and power, convinced because of the pain she endured in their first (and only) meeting that Wulf will physically dominate and even harm her. It leads her to be stubborn, aggressive and argumentative, stiff and unbending to any request. Which does little to endear herself to Wulf.
Unknown to all, a third, unrelated party also does not want the marriage, and has conspired with non other than King John to ensure that it does not come about. To do that, he must arrange for Milisant's death, something that he does not hesitate to do...
I found the book very well researched, from the description of the clothing to the history of King's Richard and John, and the gossip of the realm. The court intrigue, although occupying only a few pages, was well done and set the plot in motion. I liked that the 'mystery' of the book had nothing to do with the central characters themselves, too. The threat, although known in full to the reader, comes out of the blue to the characters themselves. The story develops well, is peopled with enjoyable characters and sufficient humour. I found especially touching where Milisant finally realises that Wulf would do anything NOT to see her hurt. The development of feelings - positive and negative - between these two is completely believable. I also liked the approach taken with Mili, the feminist sub-plot which Lindsey has woven into the tale.
It is not a tale bursting with heat and passion (as Lindsey can do so well), rather more a discovery of feeling, and a fine tale firmly set in its period. Something a little different from my previous reading by this author, but also very enjoyable.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not that good either..., March 13 2002
By 
Layla Halabi (Dubai - UAE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
Johanna Lindsey is of course superb, and if the book was written by anyone else, I would have given it one star. However, Lindsay can write beautifully, even when the plot and characters are boring or stereotypical. I found Milisant's character annoying and completely out of character for the era she lived in, at times she truly irritated me to the extent that I would have slapped her had she been real. Her independence seemed pointless and more like pig-headedness than anything else at several points in the story. Her insistence on having her way simply makes her more annoying. Overall, she must rate as one of my least favorite heroines.
Wulfric is not as bad as Milisant, but he could have done with some improvements as well. The book does not lack 'fire' between the protagonists, who usually manage to end up at each other's throat, but I found most of the scenes repetitive and the antagonism dragged on much too long.
Overall, this is not one of Lindsay's landmarks. Stick to the Malory series by the same author if you want a really satisfying and enjoyable read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Aggravating - Frustrating, Sept. 24 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
I am a big fan of Johanna Lindsey. I absolutely LOVE her Malory novels - enough to read them a few times over. Unfortunately, I wasn't real pleased with this particular book. The heroin - Milisant - will grate on your nerves, and there is not enough writing about the Hero - Wulf - to really feel like you know the character. A majority of your time is spent reading about how much Milisant hates being a woman, or at least what she thinks are the shackles that come along with being one. So much time was spent thinking about the enormous chip on her shoulder, that a potentially great and hilarious storyline was lost. It seemed that Ms. Lindsey either had a deadline to reach, or maybe her heart just wasn't in this one. I think that it would happen to the best of us. If this was the first book you have read of Ms. Lindsey's, please try another. I promise she won't let you down. She is a wonderful author. I would HIGHLY recommend The Magic Of You. I laughed my head off, all the while my heart melted.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Escape to Medieval Times, Sept. 9 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
"Joining" is the term used in Medieval times to refer to the final consummation and alliance between a betrothed couple and their families. Such "joinings" created powerful political and strategic alliances between members of the aristocracy. This book is aptly named, for it is the story of two families that wish to strengthen their ties to one another by betrothing their children, who as adults, are unhappy with the contract to marry each other. It is a delightful story, and the characters are interesting but Ms. Lindsey does not develop them as well as in many of her other books. She describes a "different" type of heroine, with many unusual abilities that could have been more utilized. Her subordinate characters, a half brother and a twin sister could also have had better roles. The twin had the potential to really add to the storyline, but she was mostly a background figure. These are minor criticisms compared to the pleasure Ms. Lindsey's novels always bring. This is a fine light read, perfect for briefly escaping the humdrum of real life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Escape to Medieval Times, Sept. 9 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
"Joining" is the term used in Medieval times to refer to the final consummation and alliance between a betrothed couple and their families. Such "joinings" created powerful political and strategic alliances between members of the aristocracy. This book is aptly named, for it is the story of two families that wish to strengthen their ties to one another by betrothing their children, who as adults, are unhappy with the contract to marry each other. It is a delightful story, and the characters are interesting but Ms. Lindsey does not develop them as well as in many of her other books. She describes a "different" type of heroine, with many unusual abilities that could have been more utilized. Her subordinate characters, a half brother and a twin sister could also have had better roles. The twin had the potential to really add to the storyline, but she was mostly a background figure. These are minor criticisms compared to the pleasure Ms. Lindsey's novels always bring. This is a fine light read, perfect for briefly escaping the humdrum of real life.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to usual standards, March 30 2001
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
I have been a Johanna Lindsey fan for along time. I have all of her books and have read most of them many times. I was very disappointed with The Joining. Most of her books I can't stop reading until I get to the end. This one I didn't even want to finish. It was very dull. The characters were childish. They didn't even like each other until the end of the book. Not very believeable. Wulfrick was almost a good character but not Milisant. She was a shrew. As I was reading it, I thought many times, this cannot be a Lindsey book. There was no plot to it. I was excited to find the characters from one of my favorite books, "Defy Not the Heart". Unfortunately that was the only thing that could be compared about them. This book is not a keeper or one that I would recommend. I know I will not be reading it again. Hopefully her next book will be better than this one. If you haven't read it, don't waste your time. If this was her one book for the year that she writes, she should have taken more time off and thought about it more.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Expected more from the book, Feb. 24 2001
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This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
Perhaps my mistake was to start reading this book so soon after I had finished an excellent piece, or maybe that although I enjoy a good reading, the 13th. Century is not my favorite time frame for a romance. Anyhow, all in all, I was very disappointed.
I find the characters very rude and un-engaging; not too mention overly childish and immature for holding a grudge against each other for more than a decade, for something that happened when both of them were still too young to reckon things in a straightway. Wulfric did not seem like a hero or even a likable character but rather a brute and a chauvinist, and Milisant albeit having characteristics worth admiring, was anything but pleasant. Besides Jhone, Milisant's twin sister, there are no secondary characters. I think the story takes place in such a time frame because somehow the author knew such a far fetched dilemma would not hold in either the present century or the renaissance for that matter.
The writing left much to be admired, constantly I found myself being directed as to what I should think instead of leaving me to draw out my own conclusions, and the tactic of repeating the "Tsk sound" many times over made me feel uneasy. As well as the idea of placing in italics certain words of a sentence, only for dramatic purposes that did not need to be there. To me, that seems a 'cheap' and 'easy' way to get the job done. Last, but not least, the whole 'royal' conflict pertaining to their 'joining' was just too much, very unrealistic the grudge that is invented to prevent their marriage. READ IT, BUT AT YOUR OWN RISK
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2.0 out of 5 stars Another Disappointment, July 24 2000
By 
Natasha Abed "NAbed" (Johannesburg, South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
Unfortunately, it appears that the last few novels of JL's that I've read have been very far from her usual standards. Ms Lindsey takes us back to Reina and Ranulf's world, except that they (and their family) feature very briefly in this novel. It is Guy de Thorpe's son who is the hero in this book, and he has to marry Melisant. An incident when they were both young has coloured their opinion of each other, so much so that they are both unwilling to even entertain the thought.
And this is where the story falls flat. Surely any reasonable person would consider that a meeting 12 years ago between two children would not colour their perceptions to such a degree (Wulfric finds every excuse NOT to see Melisant ever since her falcon tore a bit of skin off his knuckles). Their subjective interpretation of the incident is a plot device contrived to keep them at loggerheads, but it just becomes irritating, and removes any empathy that the reader might feel for either of these characters.
The second problem I had was in invloving King John in a plot to murder Melisant and keep her from marrying Wulfric. This served no purpose except to result in Melisant and Wulfric spending more time together under the guise of protection. The King was used in several other ways as well, but the significance of these incidents was not apparent. In fact, it seemed like a desperate attempt to try to keep the original plot together, and then it fell apart at the seams later on. Likewise, the attempted rape scene and kidnapping just seemed thrown in for added effect, was very brief, and did not help the plot one bit.
Melisant was extremely irritating. I like feisty heroines, and I have no problem with them dressing like men, hunting, etc. But she was dirty, she stank, was impolite and uncaring of her family's image. I could find absolutely no reason for these two to love each other, and remained unconvinced even after I had finished the book.
I know that JL can do better, but her latest offerings give one the impression that she has no time to write the gems that she is capable of.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Poor effort..., June 3 2000
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
I am a HUGE Johanna Lindsey fan, I have every book she ever wrote and I love them, but this is a waste of effort to have wrote or read! This book is the follow-up to "Defy Not the Heart". They don't even compare. The heroine in this book Milisent was weak and did unbelievable things in this time period(1214) which would never have been tolerated! The plot was dumb and the hero and heroine lacked any spark of romance or fire Johanna Lindsey usually has for her characters. The plot calls for this "danger" to threaten them! Please! If you read it you'll know what I mean. The "danger" plot never took off and was gone before you knew it. Left me wondering why it was there in the first place! And the reason she doesn't want to marry the Earl(Wulfric) is a stupid one. Lindsey could've come up with something better in my opinion. I was sorely dissapointed in this book. Her writing lately is much to be desired. I don't want to sound so critical, but come on! If you are new to this author, I would NOT recommend this book to you as a first, try instead her Malory books, starting with "Love Only Once", "Tender Rebel","Gentle Rogue", "Magic of You", "Say You Love Me"& "The Present"(in this order). This way you can judge for yourself how well she writes normally. "The Joining" had some humorous parts in the beginning, but seems to lose steam midway through and then took a nosedive. I hope this helps anyone out there.... =)
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Major Disappointment!, May 10 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Joining (Mass Market Paperback)
I've been reading this book for the last two weeks and just can't seem to get interested enough to finish it. I have read nealy all of Ms Lindsey's other books and I must say that this one falls very short of the mark. I'm glad that I waited until the paperback came out instead of wasting even more money on the hardcover. As a matter of fact, it seems that Ms. Lindsay's quality of writing and her usual " fire " have also been on a downhill slide since she went to hardcover. Bring back the and passion, Johanna! I'm all for having a strong willed and independent heroine, but Milisant was spoiled, arrogant, obnoxious, totally unfeminine and a total turn off. Wulfric's charachter also seemed to lack depth. I kept waiting for the romance, but it never materialized. In gereral, the entire storyline was lackluster and boring. I have been a big fan of Johanna Lindsay from the very beginning of her career, so I know that she can do better. I'll probably buy her next paperback on past merits alone. I hope that I am not disappointed.
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Joining
Joining by Johanna Lindsey (Mass Market Paperback - March 23 2000)
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