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Affectionate Adversary Paperback – Feb 17 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (March 15 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
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,919,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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) HASH(0x9f652744) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f783300) out of 5 stars A nicely detailed period romance with more than just love and passion March 28 2006
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
HASH(0x9f783354) 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
HASH(0x9f783630) out of 5 stars Alright I Guess........ Nov. 9 2006
By romancelvr - Published on
Format: Paperback
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
HASH(0x9f783b4c) out of 5 stars Terribly dull June 18 2007
By LJWatson - Published on
Format: Paperback
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?
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f783b64) out of 5 stars Redundant tripe... Nov. 29 2007
By CoffeeGurl - Published on
Format: Paperback
What happens when two people who are meant to be together meet during tragic circumstances? They fall in love. And it seems that they'd be happy together, except that one of them makes it difficult, putting unreasonable obstacles in their path. Sarah Carlyle and Charles Locke meet on a ship from India to England. The year is 1814. Charles's ship suffers from a pirate attack. The pirates steal his fortune -- the fortune that would have established his trade in the tea business. He barely survives the attack, and is taken to another ship. Sarah Carlyle looks after him. A young, rich widow, she has found that her calling is to become a missionary, and plans to give away all of her fortune to the poor. She also plans to live in poverty somewhere in India. She insists that God has this purpose for her. Back in England, Charles is smitten with the plain but caring Mrs. Carlyle. Except that she's not Mrs. Carlyle but Lady Delacroix, a rich widow of noble blood. He wants to get ahead in life, have financial security for his family. She wants him to give up his dreams and join her in a life of homelessness and poverty in India. Who's right and who's wrong?

Sarah is the most annoying heroine I have read in quite a long time! She irritated her sisters and she irritated me. She wants to give away all of her fortune and live like a homeless person in a foreign country. Who on earth would agree with such a thing? And why on earth would she think that God wants her to do this? Charles's plans to get ahead in life are sensible, but Sarah thinks that he's only after her patronage. So, for 325 pages, you will read one scene after one tiring scene centered on this "romantic obstacle." The story is redundant to the point of being coma-inducing. I almost threw the book across the room when Sarah and Charles began to argue about the same thing for the fifth (or was it the sixth?) time. Ugh. The secondary characters are one-dimensional and uninteresting, including Sarah's sassy sisters. The Miss Pickworth thing (gossip column) seemed interesting, but got lost in all of the nonsense. The Jane Austen throwbacks are cute at first, but they too become boring and repetitive after a while. Whenever Palmer used some modifier of a Jane Austen quote or passage (dialogue like, "Be not alarmed madam...," and the thing about "ardent love," characters playing whist, the sisters giggling and flirting, etc.), I had to stop reading. The writing style was too close to Austen to the point that it seemed almost plagiaristic. I enjoy Christian/inspirational fiction, I love historical novels (Regency is a favorite right after Victorian) and the romantic in me wants a little lovin' thrown in the stories I read (it doesn't have to be the main plot though), but I also want them to be well written. This one was not. I have no other choice but to give The Affectionate Adversary one star. I wanted to like it, I really did. Catherine Palmer seems to be a popular author in this genre. I hope her other books are better than this.