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Spirited conversation about reading romanceSusan Flanagan and Ann Owen discuss HOT romantic suspense, princess story, a dark but sensual new Gothic and love in Regency England.
Susan: First I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It was definitely my favorite of the 4 we discussed. Alice Chambers is a new writer to me so I was a tad apprehensive on what I would find. I've read similiar plotting devices in other stories and honestly have become bored. Not in this case! Chambers did everything right. Both Eve and Phillip were very clever characters. I found both to be well developed and a joy to read about. I did have doubts about the revenge plot. I wondered if it wouldn't sour the entire tone of the book. It didn't.
Ann: I must confess right from the start - I am NOT a big historical romance reader. I usually have a hard time relating to the characters as they tend to be younger, and I find the heroines to be very silly in many cases. Of course, I must admit to also reading and loving a select few historical authors, it's that I do not normally buy a historical romance unless it's written by a writer very well known to me. This is the first historical by Alice Chambers I've read. She doesn't really count as an "unknown" author since I've read and enjoyed her work as Alice Gaines.
Susan: I loved the human aspects of this story. The need for revenge, the self-doubt, the failing to meet the expectations of others. Chambers has worked all these elements into a great read. I especially enjoyed Phillip's family. So many times in novels the primary characters have either no family or one none of us would claim. Phillip's family added so much to the entire story. They enhanced the plot rather than detracting from it.
Ann: I was drawn right into the story. Chambers drops us right into the middle of Eve's plot for revenge, although it took a while to clearly explain it. However, once I understood it, I was all for Eve's plan - the target definitely deserved to be punished. But the story was some dark twisted tale of revenge eithr. It had a tremendous humor to it. I found Phillip's parents reminding me of my own - although my Dad does not breed pigs. (laughing)
Susan: The humor was wonderful with Eve posing as Princess Eugenia and Phillip's immediate recognition of her as a fake. Probably my only criticism would be the ending with Phillip was a bit too tidy for my tastes. I'm not sure what a better solution would've been - but somehow I wanted him to retire with the identity of the Orchid Thief having never been revealed. As I think about it that probably wouldn't have worked!
Ann: Oh, I don't know, the brashness of his "So what are you going to do about it" confession suited his character, and the only people who didn't know were the his parents. It was never a secret from the constable as I'm afraid Phillip wasn't really interested in being a clever thief. After all, he wanted to get caught so he could continue with his life as he wanted to, not as his parents wanted him to do.
Susan: I'm giving Always A Princess a Gold Heart - I thought Alice did a fantastic job. I'm very hard to please and this type of story is probably amongst my favorites. This book was a pleasure to read from the first sentence until the last and definitely a keeper!!
Ann: I agree, it was a great read, and it goes on my over crowded "keeper" shelf. I am definitely going to dig Alice's other historical, Taming Angelica, out of the depths of my To Be Read pile for sure. I enjoyed this book tremendously, but once again, I'm going with the BEATING HEART. Susan Ann
BETRAYAL IN DEATH by J.D. Robb
ALWAYS A PRINCESS by Alice Chambers
THE SCARLETTI CURSE by Christine Feehan
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