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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
The Famous Heroine/The Plumed Bonnet (Dark Angel)
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 29 May 2015
Firstly, for those that don't know, these stories are books 3 and 4 in a series of related stories. I was able to read through the first story in this book thanks to the appeal of the lead characters and the occasional touching moment, but I felt it was not of the same quality as Lord Carew's Bride, book 2 in the series.
Although, I actually think Ms Balogh does a good job of portraying the progressive romance between Francis and Cora and I do not feel Francis is forever thinking of his lost love as some reviews comment. In fact, his actions prove Cora has clearly helped him move on from his infatuation, without him at first realising it.
Also, I note a few readers have complained that the book contradicts itself with regard to at first describing Cora as attractive and then as big footed , unattractive and unfeminine. I understand why they say this, but read in context these negative views about her appearance are her own misconceptions about how she looks.The main criticism Francis levels at her looks is that her facial features are too striking and bold for her to be considered pretty, but from their first meeting he is attracted to her. In other words she is a handsome woman.
I enjoyed the story overall, the bedroom scenes were brief and easily skipped and there were only occasional Americanisms.
The second story in this book is a much greater disappointment. I found the Duke of Bridgwater increasingly annoying through the course of the previous stories, his cruel suggestion in 'The Famous Heroine', that Francis offers Cora carte blanche is a betrayal of his mother's trust and of Cora's family placing her under his protection. I could have happily slapped his snobbish, arrogant unchivalrous face.
He is the hero of the next tale and doesn't really improve on acquaintance. I still want to slap him and the heroine in his story is totally unbelievable, no one could be as dim as she is and manage to work as a governess for several years. Her moral compass swings from minute to minute and she is silly simply when it suits the author's agenda. In other words, she is not a real character, but a plot device. I hope I never come across a h&H as irritating again. The Duke is a selfish cad and the heroine a witless morally feeble hypocrit.
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on 15 November 2011
These are two older stories which have just been re-published.
The first of the two is "The Famous Heroine". This features Lord Francis Kneller probably the most flamboyant member of the ton. He is asked by his friend the Duke of Bridgewater to dance with his Mother's protégée Cora Downes. Cora had saved the Dukes nephew Henry from drowning, so the Dukes mother in gratitude had brought Cora to London for the season to get her a husband. Not a man of rank as Cora was the daughter of a merchant, albeit a very rich one, nevertheless without breeding she could not look to marry a man with a title. Unfortunately Lord Francis compromises Cora and feels honour bound to offer marriage.
I had so looked forward to Lord Francis's story I had really liked his character from the previous book, he was outrageous in his dress wearing all the colours of the rainbow, even his pants were made of leather. In this story he is brokenhearted as Samantha Newman has married the Marquis of Carew, Francis had proposed many times himself to Samantha but she always treated it as a joke,so he spends a good part of the story moping for his lost love. Cora Downes was a difficult character to like IMO, she is described in the blurb as beautiful rich but without breeding, but once you begin reading this story that is not at all the case, the author describes her as too tall, or as tall as a man, in fact she is taller than most men, her face is not beautiful, but it has character she is large, with big feet and hands, a fact which we are repeatedly reminded of throughout the story. She did not come across as very feminine at all, plus her erratic behaviour which at first seemed amusing,soon became tiresome. They seemd a very mismatched couple to me, and I never quite believed in their relationship.

The second story is "The plumed Bonnet". This features the Duke of Bridgewater who is travelling to London, when he spots a woman walking along dressed most outrageously in a pink hat and cape. He offers her a ride to the next village. He suspects that she is either an actress or a woman of easy virtue. The young woman is Stephanie Gray who had just learnt that her Grandfather whom she had never met had left her his estate and fortune, and rather than wait for the carriage they were sending she had set out on foot. But her belongings had been stolen and she was forced to wear the garish hat and cloak, which she had borrowed out of necessity. The Duke of course thinks her whole story is a pack of lies, but wishing to see how far she would go with her story, and finding it amusing,he insists on taking her all the way to her newly inherited estate, believing that once there she would have to admit the truth. Then he would take her to London where he would keep her until he tired of her. But when they arrived at Sindon Park everything she had told him was the truth. Now having been alone with her for three days and nights he insists that they marry.
This was slightly better than the first story inasmuch as there was a lot more emotion, the Duke is a very controlled character years of training to be the Duke had made him a somewhat pompous person, although he did loosen up quite a bit as the story progressed. Stephanie was a likeable character Innocent and sweet.
In both of these stories the loves scenes were totally underwhelming. The male characters in both stories are more interesting and have more depth than the female characters. Overall I was quite disappointed. The first two stories in this series are Dark Angel/Lord Carew's Bride.
2 people found this helpful
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on 29 March 2018
I enjoyed these two stories from one of my favorite authors. And I was also pleased with the delivery.
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on 20 June 2017
Very Happy with book and service.
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on 18 July 2017
charming pure escapist reading
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on 17 September 2015
Wonderful could not put it down.
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on 26 May 2016
Two charming romps
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on 13 March 2012
I love MB in general, however that was not as captivating as her other books. Predictable and I never read the second story. Just got bored with the first one.
One person found this helpful
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on 24 June 2013
Always a wonderful writer of romantic novels-love her writing so very much-always chose her books books whenever I see them advertised
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on 14 February 2015
A Good Read! Like all of this authors books they are light and allow you to indulge in a good old romance. I am old fashioned enough to enjoy a romance where there is not to much sex or violence
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