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Fallen (Leisure Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2009
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Praise for "New York Times" bestselling author
and her previous novels and series
ROGUE IN MY ARMS
"Bradley doesn't disappoint with the second in her Runaway Brides trilogy, which is certain to have readers laughing and crying. Her characters leap off the page, especially little year-old Melody, the precocious 'heroine, ' and her three fathers. There's passion, adventure, nonstop action, and secrets that make the pages fly by."--"Romantic Times BOOKreviews"
"When it comes to crafting fairy tale-like, wonderfully escapist historicals, Bradley is unrivaled, and the second addition to her Runaway Brides trilogy cleverly blends madcap adventure and sexy romance."--"Booklist
DEVIL IN MY BED
"From its unconventional prologue to its superb conclusion, every page of the first in Bradley's Runaway Brides series is perfection and joy. Tinged with humor that never overshadows the poignancy and peopled with remarkable characters (especially the precocious Melody) who will steal your heart, this one's a keeper."--"Romantic Times BOOKreviews"
"Part romantic comedy, part romantic suspense, and wholly entertaining, "Devil in My Bed" is a delight!"--"Romance Reviews Today"
"Laughter, tears, drama, suspense, and a heartily deserved happily-ever-after." --"All About Romance
DUKE MOST WANTED
"Passionate and utterly memorable. Witty dialogue and fantastic imagery round out a novel that is a must have for any Celeste Bradley fan."--"Romance Junkies"
"A marvelous, delightful, emotional conclusion to Bradley's trilogy. Readers have been eagerly waiting to see what happens next, and they've also been anticipating a nonstop, beautifully crafted story, which Bradley delivers in spades." --"Romantic Times BOOKreviews " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
From bestselling author Celeste Bradley comes the classic novel of a society wallflower, a reckless bachelor, and one bedroom mishap that could scandalize London society...
UNDER THE COVERS
Destined for spinsterhood, Isadora "Izzy" Temple can only dream of finding a husband--of feeling his touch in the dark, his lips on her neck, his passion building with each kiss. Imagine her surprise when she awakens to find she's not dreaming at all! Lord Julien Blackworth, has mistaken Izzy's room for his--and he's fallen into her bed and into her wildest dreams...
INTO HIS ARMS
When the household discovers a man in her boudoir, Izzy pretends that Julien is her fiance . Once he spends time playing the part, Julien finds himself falling for the fiesty beauty. But how can Izzy trust that this notorious rake's feelings are for real--and that she won't end up being branded a "fallen" woman?
"Delightful, emotional...Bradley delivers."
--Romantic Times BOOKreviews--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The heroine, Izzy, wakes up suddenly one night to find the hero in her bed! It's a mistake, but of course in the eyes of the Ton she is a ruined woman, unless he marries her. I liked both Izzy and Julian, but there wasn't enough there to make this a truly great example of the genre. It's still a pleasant read, but Bradley's other books are better in my opinion.
But. And it's quite a big but - Fallen almost feels as though it's two separate books that have been welded together.
The story opens with confirmed spinster, Isadora Temple having what she thinks is an erotic dream... until she wakes to find there really is a man in her bed! He's the worse for drink and seems to think she's someone else, and in her panic she smacks him over the head with a candlestick to get him off of her.
The man is Eppingham (Eppie) Rowley, Lord Blackwell, son of the truly unpleasant Marquis of Rotham, who insists his son marries Izzy. Eppie doesn't want to get married, least of all to a woman he's never seen and whom he believes had designed to deliberately trap him - but his sense of honour demands that he make amends for Izzy's destroyed reputation. And as, when he sees her in daylight, he sees that she's not elderly or ugly, he's not totally averse to the idea of marrying her. When they begin to converse and he realises she's not stupid either, and in fact, is intelligent with a good sense of humour, he is even less averse. Izzy, however, completely confounds him by insisting she does not wish to marry him, insisting on a fake betrothal which they will end after a few months so she will be able to live independently on the small inheritance she has been hoarding since the death of her parents.
The first half of the book is really quite lovely, as Izzy and Eppie -which she decrees is a stupid name, and instead uses his second name, Julian - come to know each other and gradually fall in love. Julian doesn't recognise it for what it is, of course - all he knows is that he wants to kill anyone who would dare to hurt her - but as their relationship blossoms, so does Izzy, and Julian finds himself more and more drawn to her, and more and more determined to make her his wife.
I thoroughly enjoyed the way the rapport between them was established; they made each other laugh, teased each other and had begun to forge a real friendship until at almost exactly the half-way point, the tone of the book changed abruptly and we ran headlong into angst-ville.
Seeing Izzy in the arms of his best friend and mistakenly believing her to prefer him, Julian is overwhelmed by the green-eyed monster, and in a fit of jealous passion, seduces and makes love to her.
Unfortunately however, he manages to break her heart immediately afterwards by saying something incredibly crass, and Izzy flees.
After this, the story takes a number of tortuous twists and turns which pile on the tension, and also the frustration of the reader/listener as Julian and Izzy are trapped in a "Big Misunderstanding" as Julian, discovering that there have been consequences from their night of passion in the garden (!) forces Izzy to marry him. Izzy becomes increasingly withdrawn, feeling the loss of the independence she had so longed for, knowing she is trapped in a marriage in which all the love is on one side, and convinced Julian does not and can never love her, even as he is struggling with the same feelings.
On the whole, I enjoyed the book, but it definitely felt rather unbalanced. In the first half, Izzy blossoms from the put-upon poor relation - orphaned young, she was used as an unpaid housekeeper, gardener and maid of all-work by her stingy aunt and uncle - to an attractive, confident young woman of intelligence and humour, mostly due to Julian's efforts to draw her out and the interest he takes in her. Julian is shown to possess a quick wit and quickly learns to appreciate Izzy's uniqueness, and I really enjoyed watching their mutual affection grow and deepen.
The second half, though, is so filled with plot, that the characters we have come to know are almost sidelined in the attempt to get everything in. Izzy changes completely from being a bright, independent young woman and instead becomes a `moper', almost entirely preoccupied with the fact that she has fallen deeply in love with a man who will never love her. And Julian, on being given the cold shoulder has absolutely no idea what to do; and even though he knows Izzy is purposely avoiding him, does nothing to bring about a meeting so they can talk things through. All he does is come over all dictatorial when he discovers she's pregnant, which only serves to drive the wedge between them even deeper.
In terms of the narration, I thought Susan Ericksen did a pretty good job, although at times, I found it difficult to distinguish between her male and female characters. She has a very "forceful" style which is perhaps a little TOO forceful sometimes; and I'm afraid her attempt at a Scottish accent for one of the minor characters was very poor. On the plus side, the Irish one she adopted for Julian's groom was very good.
Overall - enjoyable, but be prepared for bucket-loads of angst!
You can read a more detailed version of this review at [...]
Lovely story where I sighed happily at the end :-)
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I really loved the beginning of this story. Julian sees Izzy as no one else has. Her transformation to a fashionable woman is precious. These two damaged people find something wonderful in one another. Their discovery of something important is compelling. Unfortunately, the book in the second half devolves into pure misunderstanding between the two. I don't usually mind that convention so much, but here I just wanted to kick these two characters. My other problem was that the threat of disinheritance was rather implausible to me. As a result, I thought more about the technicalities of that than losing myself in the story.
I did really like the characters though and wish that we could have seen more time when their problems were resolved.
"Fallen" is the basic Cinderella story, with a kick butt heroine and a fully fleshed hero. Izzy Temple and Lord Eppingham, Julian Rowley, are caught in a compromising situation when he wakes her from what she thinks is an erotic dream with a kiss to die for. After she catches her breath and realizes that she isn't dreaming, Izzy picks up a candlestick, conks Julian over the head and screams down the house. She is ruined and Julian is saved from being disowned by Izzy's perception and giving personality.
When Julian later goes to offer for Izzy, out of duty, her great spirit and fabulous sense of humor unexpectedly captivate Julian. Izzy is a truly likeable character and Julian a romantic hero. This is a fun, fast, summer read, from a fantastic new author
The leads are nicely developed and extremely likable. I especially liked that Julian didn't become a new man overnight, much more believable than the usual overnight transformation. I didn't like the mini-subplot of maid and stable hand. It didn't add anything to the story besides pages.
Shame that Markus didn't get his own book (marrying someone else though!)