I can’t wait to see this film which opens today. Apparently it was inspired by a painting that resides in a country house I’ve been to – so I’ve seen it!
There is another reason it is interesting this is coming out now as it coincides with something else I’m hopefully doing next week – so watch this space I shall be back to talk about it later…
Here’s the trailer for those of you that are interested in seeing Belle. A true story that you couldn’t possibly make up.
I was given an ARC of this book in return for an honest review on its publication date, 28 April 2014 via ebook on Entangled:Ignite. I have also followed this writer’s progress and am very pleased to review her début book.
First of all, nice cover, mmm. Ahem:
Hard to Hold is a novel of romantic suspense, and I’m pretty sure the hero and heroine tell you from the get go just who they are, and what they’re all about! For a start – the heroine is Anna Key Marshall – did anyone else think ‘anarchy’ or was it just me (say her first two names out loud)? She’s smart and she can take care of herself. She’s also made the choice to become a mum via an anonymous sperm donor since her divorce and is an extremely successful business woman in her own right.
Unfortunately for Anna, a seeming accident which puts her in hospital right at the beginning of the book is about to send her on a collision course with her ex…
Nick Marshall is a Black Ops Specialist for the British Intelligence and is one tough son of a…well you know. Mind you, they strike sparks off each other as they’ve both needed to be tough to survive. In fact they know each other from childhood, which we learn as their characters develop. The hero and heroine are both strong leads in which we are privileged to discover softer sides, but in finding these it didn’t sacrifice any of the spark that they had by the conclusion of the story. But when we meet him he is not a happy bunny with Anna and is not someone who forgives easily.
The danger and tenuous situation that Anna finds herself in is a tough subject and I didn’t know whether or not I would enjoy reading about it, but the relationship between the h/h is strong enough that the dark parts are worth bearing with to reach the end with them. It certainly is a fresh modern twist on current topics.
What I loved in particular was the dialogue between the h/h, very sassy. I liked that it was set in England and not abroad elsewhere for a change. I also enjoyed many of the other secondary characters, but particularly Will – who I hope to see again but not sure about that one! Oh and the baddie – very creepy.
What I did not enjoy so much certainly at the beginning was the introduction of many Americanisms such as Police Department, when the setting was London and at least two of the characters talking were British born. It was very confusing and I felt like I should be in New York at times. Even Anna’s home made me think of there. As the story moved on and the characters moved about this was dispelled for the most part however.
This is a really enjoyable début covering some meaty subjects along with some sensual scenes and a satisfying relationship between the hero and heroine – giving the reader characters we can care about and a story that will keep you guessing.
This author has a strong voice which I look forward to seeing develop even further with her next novels very soon.
A copy of this review will also appear on my Goodreads page in due course.
…and rubbish at properly thanking and receiving them. But I do love you all, honest.
I will try and do proper posts soon, but I must thank everyone as follows:
- Lady Fury of Furious Unravelings for a Jolly Lobster Award
- Incy Black of Into the Black for another Jolly Lobster Award (do lobsters come in er, threes? )
- Fiona Chapman for another Liebster Award
I do appreciate every single one I promise.
I am however busy enough to make my brain explode and that wouldn’t look very pretty here, so I’ll try and do proper posts on each very soon. I bet Lady Fury would like that though!
I received an ARC of this book from the author in return for an honest review. This novel is the final volume of the Armstrong Sisters books and the heroine is Lady Cordelia Armstrong, the hero – a working class Scot – Iain Hunter. Both are unusual business people with very strong opinions, despite their diverse backgrounds!
As in the previous books, Cordelia’s father has a hand in arranging a marriage for her whether she likes it or not. The difference being in this book is that she had previously escaped his clutches by running away with her lover as a young debutante, a worthless rake, and their relationship fizzles out relatively quickly leaving Cordelia to find her own way in the world still unmarried and with a ruined reputation. Don’t feel you have to feel sorry for her though, as this does not bother her in the least – all she misses are her sisters which by extension to her father she is also estranged from.
Iain by contrast comes from a very poor family and is self-made, a ship builder who by his business talents is useful to Lord Armstrong who wants to use them in Arabia the home of his two eldest daughters and their powerful husbands. By ‘chance’ bringing the hero and heroine together, he believes he can manipulate a partnership in marriage between the two. What he does not know is that they have already had one passionate night together, and the spark between them hasn’t gone away in the ensuing years…
What I liked was a slightly later setting (1837), the chance to return to Arabia to revisit two of the sisters and a sparky self-made hero (and the way he attempts to protect the heroine) and heroine, surprisingly the hero to me appeared to have the softer heart and the slightly easier time of it allowing himself to fall in love – Cordelia took quite some time to do that.
What I didn’t like so much was that despite the plenty of opportunity on the journey to Arabia, there was very little time spent with the two oldest Armstrong girls/women – hardly anything at all – and we didn’t get to hear from Cassie except via her sister. Lord Armstrong did get his comeuppance from his wife you might say, and she got what she wanted out of her marriage in the end, but this seemed small satisfaction for Bella, and Lord A. still seemed to me to get away with being downright cruel at times. It would have been nice to see all his older children together finally showing how they had triumphed without him.
I did enjoy this book though, and it rounds out the series well – each of the girls finding their own distinct personalities and happiness in their own ways. I would probably recommend that if you could only pick one of the books going for Rumours that Ruined a Lady (Caroline).
Oh, and another lovely cover (but the fashion is all wrong M&B, and what’s the house for?)
A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.