on November 23, 2003
This book was a great find! It is a keeper for many reasons. First enter the sassy northern girl who breaks rules and manages to get herself into awkward situations. Enter The Southern gentleman who has come to concord, mass for unknown reasons and happens to be there to pull lucinda out of a watery death. He nurses her to health but because of propriety (being alone with a man for 2 days and a southerner at that, mercy) they must remain public "strangers"> Heath is in love at first sight with this northern spitfire (having been badly burnt by a simpering southern belle) but Lucy is engaged to an arrogant anti southern cold fish yankee. Of course Heath always causes a stir when he tries to mix in this society. There are so many threads to this story. Heath is a hunk who ultimately is attempting to imprvoe the situation bet the north and south during the 10 yrears of reconstruction. He fought for the south but is anti slavery. He sees the good and bad on both sides but mostly just sees the horror of the war and the loss of life. "cin" and heath have to work out the problems of their different worlds, society and history itself. There is not a boring moment in this page turner. Especially when the simpering belle turns up, and when cin is ostracized into marrying heath, and treated badly by her jerk financee.......The love scenes were wonderful and the issues were real..I loved this book. It's hard to find but its worth the bother. good job lisa k. thanks.
on May 18, 2000
This was the first Kleypas book I read. I got it for half a dollar from a used books store and let's say it was well worth it =). It got me reading her other novels, although I still prefer this one to the later ones and return to it from time to time.
I liked both the hero who was dashing and dangerous, very sexy. I presume I could have fallen in love with him. He was a headstrong but relaxed sort of fellow in an uptight environment and the heroine had a little more backbone and a little less naiveté than historical romance heroines generally do. The development of their romance was on the whole believable and I could identify with most of their actions. Kleypas is a good storyteller who creates tension in this novel by adding disease, jealousy and traditional fear of acknowledging one's true feelings. Even though these are classic romance novel traits I did not have the much too common feeling that everything was predictable.
The love scenes were well written and engaging. I also liked the fact that it wasn't "mere romance": a crucial plot element is the American civil war and the relationships between southerners and northerners. You could say there's a bit of Romeo and Juliet in the novel since the southerner hero is a persona non grata in the heroine's northern hometown. But fortunately these two young people are stronger than Romeo and Juliet and therefore manage to make much better of their lives. I like survivor spirit in a novel character.
The less important characters and the newspaper subplot are well chosen to develop the story. One final romantic touch that moved me was the conduct of the hero's business associate at the last pages of the novel. But let's not say anything more about it, I don't want to spoil it for you if you find it somewhere. Too bad this is out of print.