Almost Perfect Paperback – 7 Sep 2012
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About the Author
Denise Domning's first Medieval novel, Winter's Heat, received the Romantic Times award for Best First Historical Novel of 1994. That led her into a series of books that take place in the Twelfth century, the time of Robin Hood and Richard the Lionheart, in which she follows the lives of five brothers. After Winter's Heat came Summer's Storm, then Spring's Fury and its sequel Autumn's Flame. A Love For All Seasons completes the set. From there Denise thought she'd dabble a little with the Elizabethans. Set in the court of Elizabeth I, Lady in Waiting was praised by Publisher's Weekly as "well written, well researched, with an accurate portrayal of Elizabeth I". Lady in White, an Elizabethan ghost story, followed. After that she returned to the 13th Century and the court of King John with The Warrior's Wife, The Warrior's Maiden, and The Warrior's Game. At the urging of her then-editor, Denise made an unexpected dodge into the early 19th Century with Almost Perfect, in which she features a a great-many times over-grandson of her first book's hero. Denise is presently living out her own version of "Under the Tuscan Sun" only doing it near Sedona, Arizona and doing it Green. You can check out her blog about her experiences becoming either the farmer or the farmer's wife at denisedomning.com
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Now, there's nothing I love more than a beautiful book cover, that depicts the novel it represents and I have to admit this cover is the only thing I could honestly critise about this book. It was the reason I didn't read it as soon as I downloaded it, it just doesn't appeal. There were no other reviews at the time, hardly any synopsis to speak of so I was going purely on this being a Regency romance, a genre I love.
Well, the well known proverb 'don't judge a book by it's cover' has never been more apt! I loved this book from the minute I picked it up until two days later when I finished it, after reading late into the night. I was hooked!
Oh where do I start? Cassie and Eliza have no option but to flee with their father Sir Roland, a pathetic, gullible sot, who's bankrupt and gambled away their home and their inheritance. He's committed a truly despicable act which involves Eliza, Cassie then endeavours to save her and their journey begins to Cassie's aunt, by marriage, Lady Philana, in the wild and beautiful borders of Scotland.
On arrival Lady Philana promptly whisks them off to a house party they've been invited to at Ryecroft Castle as guests of Lord Ryecroft. Widow Cassie meets up again with Lucien Hollier, who she'd previously dreamed of marrying six years before, but which was not to be after Sir Roland ruined all her chances.
As well as Cassie, Lucien, Eliza, Sir Roland and Lady Philana, love them or loath them, there are a whole plethora of wonderfully constructed characters pulling this amazing novel together, and there are definitely some to loath.
Extremely well written, so descriptive I fell in love with these characters. Highly recommended, this won't be the last book I read by Denise Domning - which I will happily pay for! Denise Domning says this isn't her best work, but personally, I think there's so much scope for a sequel.
24.06.12 I've just noticed that the cover has changed - definitely better
Lady Philana Forster is pleased to see Cassie and her sister, not so much their father as she is aware of his gambling and drinking. She informs them they are all going to stay at Ryecroft castle as guests of Lord Ryecroft, as he he hosting a house party. During the first evening Cassie is shocked but also happy to see that Lucien Hollier Lord Graceton is also a guest, six years ago at her come out Lord Graceton had paid Cassie a lot of attention, leading her to think he might offer for her. But when her father saw Lucien's preference for his daughter he ruined things by asking Lord Graceton for a loan. Nevertheless Lucien still makes Cassies heart beat faster every time she looks at him. He is even more handsome now than he ever was. But she knows that her sister nor she will ever receive offers from men of Lucien's rank and respectability, their father's behaviour has put paid to that.
The author states in her notes that this is not the best book she has ever written, as the regency era is out of her comfort zone and too modern, for her. I respectfully disagree this is an excellent story, full of detail of the period, with colourful characters. I loved it.
Fast paced it moves along, a real page turner. Loved the romance between Cassie and Lucien. the other characters were very well portrayed and played their part in this beautifully. I would love Ms.Domning to consider writing Cassie's sister her own story.
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