Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our Of Order

I read the following books out of order.  And am glad that I did so. Had I read them in order that they were written I would probably never have been able to identify with Ophelia, in The Devil Who Tamed Her, after her representation in The Heir.  Therefore, if reading these books I suggest you start with The Devil who Tamed Her, and then read The Heir (which does come first in the series and timeline, but will ruin your ability to understand Ophelia at a later date with prejudices set against her).


Book: The Devil Who Tamed Her

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Genre:  Romance

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars:  *** ½ (3 ½)

Ophelia finally manages to wiggle her way out of an engagement too Duncan McTavish, if not gracefully.  She is the most beautiful woman to grace that season, and perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of London. 

But beauty comes with a price.  She is unable to trust anyone around her and doubts any sincerity of friendship as she has been used before.  She proceeds to use and manipulate those around her.  But she is gravely unhappy and it takes Raphael Locke, Viscount Lynnfield, to see through her veil of shrewishness to see the woman beneath. 

He only intends on bringing out the woman beneath and banishing the shrew, all on a bet with Duncan, except he never intended on falling in love.  And she promised not to. 

This book steels from a theme portrayed many a times throughout literature, the taming of the shrew (most commonly known from Shakespear). 

It is a solid theme to write a novel from, but I think it has a thin veil to it, easily shattered, in that it is very unrealistic the solution and the solutions plausibility.  However, putting that aside and grasping the idea that romance is indeed like a fairy tale it was quite enjoyable. 


Book:  The Heir

Author:  Johanna Lindsey

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars:  *** ½ (3 ½)

Duncan McTavish finds out that not only is he heir to his Scottish grandfathers legacy but to his estranged English grandfather’s legacy as well.  He is also betrothed to the most beautiful girl in all of England, Ophelia Reid, the shrew. 

Sabrina Lambert, a country mouse, with an old title passed onto some distant cousin is brought to the London marriage mart for the season and is a guest of Ophelia Reid.  At a soirée Ophelia’s jealous ire is picked by the attention reigning on Sabrina.  Ophelia lashes out and spreads malicious rumors about Sabrina’s families past discrepancies, thus ruining Sabrina’s chance at a decent match. 

Ophelia has never met her betrothed and quite despised the idea of marrying someone she has never met, despite his title.  She wants her choice of a husband.  Therefore, she spreads rumors about Duncan being a barbarian from the highlands, in hopes that her parents would here the rumors and be horrified enough to call off the engagement.  No such luck.

Upon meeting each other, Ophelia unleashes her vicious tongue to sting at Duncan and his kilt in an already trying day.  He immediately calls off the engagement despite her beauty.  Ophelia is shamed in London society and thus endeavors to win Duncan back only so that she is able to cancel the engagement on her own terms so that her reputation remains untarnished. 

After his first encounter with Ophelia, he literally (on horse) runs into Sabrina.  With her witty sense of humor and ability to make those around her laugh in the direst of circumstances they easily befriend one another. 

But friendship easily turns into the desire for more, but neither party seams properly able to communicate this.  Thus jumps in Raphael Locke, Viscount Lynnfield, that sees past both their protestation of friendship to the desire that lies underneath and gives them a solid pushing in the right direction.

There is some miscommunication along the way.  A chase throughout the country side.  But all it well that ends well.  Thus another Shakespearean theme explored (A Midsummer Nights Dream). 

A good escapism book and for those who have followed Johanna Lindsey, a book one could not miss.  I am person who follows authors.  Therefore now that I am more well aware of this author and her style, I will most definitely continue to look for her in the future as a small escape from practical romance into fairy tale romance.