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Potent Pleasures
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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(2 star). See all 57 reviews
on July 1, 2004
I am a huge fan of romance novels - Quinn, Quick, McNaught and Iris Johansen to name a few. I got this book from the library because of the good reviews here. I couldn't get into it at all. I am not one to point out historical inaccuracies and I don't care too much about that whole aspect so nothing like that really bothered me. Pippa did seem a little vocally advanced for her tender years but whatever.
I didn't get into the romance as much as everyone else here seemed to. I didn't really like the characters. I have the whole set in this series out from the library so I will prabably finish it, but if I thing don't click for me by the end of the series I don't think I will read much more from James?
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on November 19, 2000
This book was okay. I don't think it was as howlingly bad as some other reviewers, nor would I give it a great review. I tend to lose interest very quickly when characters behave in a way that stretches the bounds of credibility. For example: The hero is so crazy about the heroine, and when she finally admits that she met him long ago, he doesn't press for details and just assumes it was his twin brother? Give me a break. No man is that incurious. However, some of the other characterizations are pretty good, as is the plot. I think this writer will improve with practice. All in all, it might be worth picking up at the library if there's nothing more interesting around.
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on September 14, 1999
The cover of this book is lovely-- I hope publishers take note of how tasteful and appealing such covers can be.
The book itself has some power, some emotion, but reads pretty much like a first draft. I'm not a big Regency reader, but even I noticed mistakes everywhere, like the major who is about to become an admiral (presumably he's going to have to switch from the army to the navy first), and all the British girls in the latest French fashions when they've been at war with France for 10 years. The whole feel of the book was kind of weird because there was no attempt to create a plausible Regency-era backdrop. I kept being yanked out of the story to ask, "Did anyone do any research here?"
But there were also problems with the book's scenes. There was one scene that was sort of like a flashback in the hero's point of view, back to the night before, and I got so confused about where we were and who we were with-- at one point, we're in the heroine's head, and how could that be, since the whole scene is a flashback in the hero's head? It was hard keeping track of when things happened. There were also a whole bunch of scenes that had to do with minor characters, and I didn't find those very interesting.
I also didn't think the hero was much fun. He kept being really mean to the heroine because he believed she was sleeping with his brother, and he never had any evidence of that. It made him seem sort of psycho.
I also didn't really like that the heroine had sex with a guy she hadn't even spoken to and thought was a servant on the ground in a garden surrounded by other people. I know you can be swept away by passion, but even my wildest acquaintances in the dissolute 1970s wouldn't have done that.
But I thought the friendship between Charlotte and Sophie and Sophie's fierce loyalty and intelligence were admirable. I thought that was the really healthy, nurturing relationship in the book. Alex was more "good for one thing" and when she needed a friend, a helper, a comrade, a supporter, she turned to Sophie, who always helped her and believed in her. I think Sophie would make a great heroine.
I hope the editor helps more with any future books, because the author has talent but maybe needs a bit more training in things like history, point of view, and scene structure. I don't blame her though. I think it's hard to do that "on-the-job" training in public, to have your first book out there before maybe you're completely in control of your talent. I hope in the future she'll put into practice all she's learned.
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on August 27, 2000
Couldn't get past the first few chapters, there were parts the author could have removed to speed up the action a little. Granted, she is a new author...however, the confusing part about the story is how the female lead rushes off into the garden with a stranger, without any qualms, and gives up her virginity as if it means nothing, then shortly later refuses to marry, and even refuses the stranger she so hastily rushed to the garden with...out of character. On one hand she had no morals, then she suddenly becomes overly stubborn and won't have anything to do with any of the men who court her. I stopped when the plot kept stalling and the story stopped moving forward, about the first 5 chapters.
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