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Smitten: A Long Time Ago in a Far Away Land Paperback – 19 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (19 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595225020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595225026
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,512,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Payton Lee loves to write stories. She calls her books the written movies of her mind. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her cat, Picard.visit her webpage:http://semiramis.virtualave.net/payton/pl.htmPayton is also a member of stories.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Rena Ruadh VINE VOICE on 2 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
This was probably one of the sorriest excuses for a book I've ever had the misfortune to read. The characters are such awful stereotypes and so one-dimensional that the reading experience is incredibly boring. The whole book could probably have been shortened by a good 200 pages as I swear if I had been forced to read about one more dress-shopping experience in England I would have screamed.

Then, there is the horrendous grammar and the spelling mistakes. One example out of many - the author uses 'epilates' for `epaulettes'! Now epilating is something women use to get rid of unwanted hair on their legs. Epaulettes decorate a gentleman's shoulders in military fashion. Suffice to say, the writing style is abysmal, bringing to mind mediocre school essays. The author has obviously no clue how to write indirect speech and the sentence structures are awful.

My main gripe, however, is the use of foreign language. First, part of the book takes place in Eirinn - Ireland - and the author uses what she seems to think are Irish phrases. They are, however, Scots Gaelic, a language I happen to be fluent in. She seems to have picked up certain phrases from either very bad handwriting or badly printed pages as there is an absolutely ridiculous mistake: "Clamar a tha sibh" instead of "Ciamar a tha sibh", mistaking an 'i' for an 'l'. Then, the form 'Chaluim' is actually the genetive case of the name Calum. No name in either Irish or Gaelic will be lenited in the nominative. This is followed by the absolute nonsensical form of Paul's name in Irish/Gaelic "Po'l". Where on earth does that apostrophe come from??? Next, the author uses the German word "schwanger" for pregnant in ways that are grammatically so unbelievably wrong it is painful.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
Prince Paul returns home after being abroad for five years. His father commands him to marry and produce an heir. Unfortunately even the world did not produce the woman of his dreams. That is until he literally falls on top of Rigan in his own back yard. She becomes the most beautiful woman in the world when he discovers her intelligence is equal to his and her capability of loving and caring is just what he is looking for in a queen.
Rigan, a quiet unimposing woman of court can't believe the handsome prince is interested in her. She is intelligent but simple and by culture standards plain.
Camilla believes the world should fall and worship at her feet. That includes the handsome prince. When he marries Rigan there is hell to pay and Rigan is no longer safe, even in their visit to Ireland the Prince finds himself over protective.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Sorry, but no. 21 Jan 2009
By M. A. Bechaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The writer of this book sounds like a lovely lady, and she's a cat person, so I already think she's brilliant. However, that said--and I mean no disrespect by this--I think she should stick to her day job, and leave the writing to others who are better at writing. I'll bet she had a lovely time writing this book, and no doubt she was thrilled to see her novel in print, but it's clear to me that there's a very good reason why this was not accepted by a REAL publisher, but only by a VANITY publisher.

I bought this years ago, before I fully understood the horrors of 'vanity published' books (ie where the author actually pays to put the book into publication, because it's not up to the standard of bona fide publishers). I bought it because of the glowing reviews from two other people who sounded quite literate and credible (who I now suspect of being friends of the author or the publisher). However, when I opened the book up and tried to read it, I found that it was just too awful to bear. I mean, you can open up this book to just about any page and find HUGE mistakes and really bad writing--both grammatically bad, and just plain bad storytelling...the characters are too sugary-perfect and sweet for words--except for the bad guys, who are basically just poorly constructed stereotypes--and the plotting is silly and unbelieveable and badly paced. Much of the story simply seems to involve people saying how wonderful the hero and herloine are. If you're a glutton for compliments and want to live vicariously through an insipid character, then this may just be your cup of tea, so long as you also have a penchant for books written with the grammatical competency of a pre-teen schoolkid.

It's taken me numerous attempts to pluck up the courage to properly tackle this woeful tome instead of just giving up at page one, and in retrospect, I don't feel the effort was justified. The quality of it was just too low. Especially for the price.

To show you what I meant when I mentioned the book's errors, I'll open it up now to a random page and tell you what mistakes I see...

Okay, page 44. At first glance, I can already see these problems...

'No sooner had Prince Paul descended the stairs of the west wing dressed for the dinner party when he found Lady Camilla attached to his arm.'

'Epilates and braid decoration in gold adorned his jacket. A red ribbon with the crest of the Circle accented with a large emerald surrounded by diamonds and rubies.'

(The funniest part of that quote had to be the use of the word 'epilates'...epilate means 'remove body hair', as in 'epilate her legs'. I can't help but crack up at the thought of this guy wearing women's shaved off leg hair as a decoration on his jacket!!! I think the writer meant to say 'epaulets'...or at least I hope that's what she meant to say! She does seem to get quite a few words wrong.)

I'll try another page...ah, what about page 110...let's see what we have here...

'That changed later in the day when the head steward called all staff into the kitchens and informed all no one would be allowed to corporally punish another again. If any steward had discipline problems they were to be brought to him, the head steward's attention. Even he, the head steward himself stropped as a child, was abhorred at the sight of the young boys.'

Or what about page 111, where by adding an unwarranted comma, the whole meaning of this sentence changed...

"I know why Prince Paul calls her, my angel."

Or how about this one, from page 3...

'She was petite, had flowing blonde hair the colour of saffron...'

(Er, saffron is a deep, dark orange in colour. One could hardly call it a shade of blonde! It's closer to Ronald McDonald's colour.)

Or from page 6...

'Retrieving her mantel for the evening chill she heard the commotion of the arrival of Prince Paul and looked out her window that viewed the castle gate.'

(Not only awkwardly written, but look at the spelling of mantel. I think the author meant 'mantle', as in 'a loose, sleeveless garment worn over the clothes'. However, instead she wrote 'mantel', as in 'a beam, stone or arch serving as a lintel to support the masonry above a fireplace' or 'a shelf above a fireplace'. Again, I laughed heartily, imagining the heroine trying to wear a fireplace shelf around her. Some dress code they must have in that place, with people wearing fireplaces and shaved leg hair to dinner!)

I could go on flipping pages and pointing out errors all night (I know there's much funnier examples of mistakes in there than I have written here) but if I listed all the mistakes, this review would be almost as long as the book itself. So I'll end this review with one last quote from page one, which is the one that kept making me baulk in horror at the bad writing whenever I tried to start reading this book...

'His mother, Queen Louise Janette was a flurry of activity ordering the servants to prepare for her son's arrival at the castle. His room had to be prepared, the chefs notified to prepare his favourite foods, and preparations made to house his personal guard and retinue of servants.'

(I guess I just wasn't prepared to see the word prepare overused so much in such a short space!)
Too awful to put into words... 26 July 2011
By Rena Ruadh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was probably one of the sorriest excuses for a book I've ever had the misfortune to read. The characters are such awful stereotypes that the reading experience is unbevievably boring. The whole book could probably have been shortened by a good 200 pages as I swear if I had been forced to read about one more dress-shopping experience in England I would have screamed.

The other reviewer has already given prime examples of the horrendous grammar and spelling mistakes - no need for me to repeat them. The 'epilates' for `epaulettes', however, was really the best! Suffice to say, the writing style is abysmal, bringing to mind mediocre school essays. The author has obviously no clue how to write indirect speech and the sentence structures are awful.

My main gripe, however, is the use of foreign language. First, part of the book takes place in Eirinn - Ireland - and the author uses what she seems to think are Irish phrases. They are, however, Scots Gaelic, a language I happen to be fluent in. She seems to have picked up certain phrases from either very bad handwriting or badly printed pages as there is an absolutely ridiculous mistake: "Clamar a tha sibh" instead of "Ciamar a tha sibh", mistaking an 'i' for an 'l'. Then, the form 'Chaluim' is actually the genitive case of the name Calum. No name in either Irish or Gaelic will be lenited in the nominative. This is followed by the absolutely nonsensical form of Paul's name in Irish/Gaelic "Po'l". Where on earth does that apostrophe come from??? Next, the author uses the German word "schwanger" for pregnant in ways that are grammatically so unbelievably wrong it is painful. Dear Ms Lee, if you have no language skills, please, go to a scholar for help and don't subject readers to this painful experience!

Then there is that nonsense about Chaluim's wife being a Sasannach from Cuimrigh. Well, sorry, but "a'Chuimrigh" is Wales and if you call any Welshman English, even today, you're likely to get punched. The Welsh are Celts, themselves oppressed by the English!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Struggling... 10 July 2012
By S. Arnold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I was looking forward to reading this book and I'm sorry to say that I am disappointed. At times I think that characters are thinking but they are really talking and it is confusing. This book really needs to be edited as the dialogue is not only missing quotations but it is downright awkward.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a moving and enticing tale 3 July 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The story of the young girl who finds and fights for love is classic, but Payton Lee puts a new spin on it by examining issues of physical beauty, juxtaposed with a woman's quest to find her own beauty, within herself, and for herself. The author also has a talent for writing the erotic, and, at it's best, the story is a sensous tale that celebrates the body and the mind. I would recommend this book, especially for people who enjoy exploring more sensual literature.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Such a GREAT Romance 10 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantasy about a girl named Rigan who meets and falls in love with Prince Paul, despite her opinion about herself being plain. He sees her inner beauty and loves her for that.
But a jealous girl gets in the way, causing Rigan some troubles. Buy this book, read it, and enjoy it! If you're into that Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast, Snow White kind of thing, you'll LOVE this book. If not, something's wrong with you.
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