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The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe (Avonimpulse Historical Romance)

The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe (Avonimpulse Historical Romance) [Kindle Edition]

Sabrina Darby
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description


A beautiful young woman—preferably one with no connections, who won’t ask too many questions—to spend two weeks in the North of England with an obstinate, aloof, and utterly handsome man.

Must love dogs, fixing up crumbling castles, and gorgeous and complicated war heroes who may or may not be hiding hearts of gold under their gruff exteriors.

Must not, under any circumstances, fall in love . . .

Simpering misses need not apply.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 406 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (31 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008K52KZA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #177,605 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sabrina Darby has been reading romance novels since the age of seven and learned her best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and son.

Customer Reviews

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3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars too long and not at all fascinating 8 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
thought it was poorly written, too long, not at all interesting let alone fascinating, total waste of money,did not finish it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet and sensible 22 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite the pages being quoted as 224 in the estimate above, I think it's important to say that 40% of that page count is an excerpt from the author's next book. So the novella is actually only about 120 pages. That said, it's an enjoyable read. It's well paced, well characterised and well written.

Angelina is hired by John's mother to seduce him back into normal life - he is a war veteran who is spending his days alone, restoring a disheveled castle to keep the ghosts of war away. She is running away from her failure as a high end prostitute and actress. I like the fact that she is straight about the fact that she was a mistress, that he doesn't mind and that she doesn't self flagellate over it.

Angelina and John are scarred individuals who (given the shortness of the story) find love and passion with each other at a sensible pace, without histrionics (alright, only minimal histrionics) and without the idiot actions or blindness that romances are so prone to. Neither do they jump straight into bed, so that's nice too. When they do get together, it's hot, but not oven gloves stuff. I liked that there was some sense that what they were doing was scandalous, a sense of the constrictions of a small town being flouted. The ending is sensible - the mother doesn't adore Angelina and tell John to marry her immediately. She is angry, and comes around gradually, as people tend to do.

For a sweet read at a fair price, this is as good as it gets. (Though if I'd paid full price thinking this was a 220 page book, I'd feel that it was a tad expensive.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, satisfying novella 1 Aug 2012
By Sarah Jones - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The story of a wounded hero and a fallen woman, who find themselves unable to resist loving each other. This novella is the perfect little bite of romance...beautifully crafted and deeply satisfying.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unaccountably Moved 6 Aug 2012
By Stephanie Dray - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
This little story might be the best Regency Romance I've read this year. Don't let the adorable back cover copy fool you. This is a serious, heartfelt, emotional story that had me near tears several times. It was as sweet and genuine as the hero himself. And this is to say nothing of the prose. Sabrina Darby writes beautifully. Her language is a delight to read aloud--which I did, at several points. I left this story both moved and grinning ear to ear.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique take on mistresses 31 July 2012
By Letitia - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
-- A Romantic Book Affairs Review

Rating: C+ ... Heat: Warm

John Martin has a problem. Or so his mother thinks. Mrs. Martin decides to hire someone to seduce him, in order to get his mind back on women and marriage and heirs. Enter Angelina Whitcombe, a recently unemployed actress and currently unprotected mistress.

Angelina leaves London to seduce John, which is not as easy a task as she thought it would be. Angelina sits outside his ruined castle day after day, trying to engage him. From the very first, she never keeps her past a secret. She even goes so far as to boldly proposition him. But John is not so easily won over, so each day she appears at the castle and gradually makes her way inside it and him.

John is trying to adjust after horrors seen at war. He needs the physical activity and intense labor of restoring the castle to keep his mind occupied. The castle, once a refuge, becomes invaded by Angelina. She sweeps in and haunts him. Gets him to open up about events that happened on the battlefield, thus unburdening him some.

The growth between Angelina and John felt stunted at times, however. There was an overall lack of dialogue between the two. It didn't feel like they did so much talking as internalized thinking. It would have helped the story along, deepened their connection, to see them actually communicating instead of reading how they're feeling.

This is a short tale, as the title implies. The plot is a little bit crazy and a lot bit kooky. Which is not at all a bad thing. Angelina was charming, her insecurities made her relatable. John had quiet strength and his reclusiveness was endearing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An utter pleasure to read 9 July 2013
By Tin @ Love Saves the World - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
On the first day, she left him with her name.
On the second day, her story.
On the third day, a touch.
On the fourth day, a kiss.
On the fifth day, her heart.

Every day, they built on the tentative connection, on the very small impression of the first meeting but the seduction isn't one-sided -- as Angelina slowly chips through John's defenses, John also melts Angelina's cynicism with his sincerity and kindness. But even a change of heart cannot change who Angelina is, a whore, a prostitute, a woman completely unsuitable for John.

This novella reminded me of Cinema Paradiso , except the roles were reversed: it is the woman who must prove her constancy to the man (and it didn't take Angelina 100 days to convince John). And Angelina isn't there to show her constancy, she's there to do a job she was hired to do: seduce John and make him interested in women again. All for the sum of one hundred pounds.

In some other play, she'd stay here in his castle, be beloved by him. Love him. Even the word itself made her chest tighten. Plays of love, where all ended well, were not particularly fashionable at the moment. Skewering wit and social commentary, or at least a good tragedy, were far more favored among the populace. Accordingly, her life was more a Sheridan play.

She slid away from him, stretched out, and stared up at the royal blue light of a night about to break into day.

So she loved him. What did she know of love? This was nothing like that first desperate infatuation of her youth, when all she cared about were feelings and dramatic gestures. It was nothing like the sophisticated flirtations and meaningless companionship of her time with either Alverley or Lord Peter.

With John, she'd stripped naked, beyond her literal skin, down to the parts of her she rarely, if ever, acknowledged to herself. Terrifying.

- p. 87

Angelina is mercenary out of necessity. She needs the money to survive but she isn't without honor. In fact, she has dignity and grace -- two traits that one would not normally associate with a prostitute, but Angelina has them both in spades. She's there to help John's mother and John and she is intent in fulfilling the terms of the contract. That she fell in love with John along the way is a complication and job hazard that she is willing to endure on her own once her job was done.

I love that she's also very practical and doesn't fall into melodrama or histrionics over her predicament. She views her situation with such candor and pragmatism that it really is heartbreaking. Angelina won me over, she had me at "hello" (p. 10) -- really, she did.

This isn't that short (which I am thankful for because it was an utter pleasure to read) and it is completely, completely fascinating. After I finished reading the book (in one sitting), I couldn't sleep thinking about just how wonderful this story was and what I wanted to say in this review.

Sabrina Darby left me with a very good first impression with her debut novel, On these Silken Sheets , and she has ensured my undying loyalty with this novella about Angelina Whitcombe.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars refreshingly different 14 Dec 2012
By Gialdini - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The packaging and title of this short but delightfully different romance is a little misleading. The cover is boring/run of the mill, the title is a bit quirky, but inside you'll find a moving and unusual story of healing and love. The hero is a scarred soldier tortured by the horrors of war. The heroine is a mistress fallen on hard times, but thankfully she isn't pilloried by the events of the book or by the hero for her past. These two meet under rather contrived circumstances, but the author makes sure to establish their connection, the friendship and love that grows between them. I was totally won over by the characters. Their chemistry was great. And, what with their meeting being founded on the heroine's deception of the hero, I wasn't irritated by a denouement of overblown betrayal and rage once the hero discovers her deception. I'm only sorry that this wasn't a full length novel. This could have been a truly brilliant romance if the story had had more room to develope. In short, this was entertaining, but therein lies the problem. It was too short!
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