Wyznania Hrabiny (2014)
Wyznania hrabiny (2014)
4.01 of 5 Votes: 4
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I really loved this book. It wasn't perfect - the plot had a few moments that lost me, especially toward the end - but my god, can Julie Anne Long write characters. I've read almost all of her books, and the three most recent books are among my favorite romance novels of all time (How the Marquess Was Won might be my favorite romance novel overall). I think what it really comes down to is excellent characters. To me a successful romance shows the buildup between the characters - Jane Eyre is my favorite book, and actually maybe my favorite romance, because you watch the relationship between Jane and Rochester grow. They interact, they talk, and by the time they fall in love you understand how they got there. And I think that's Julie Anne Long's greatest strength: she writes great dialogue, her characters get to know each other, and by the time they're really into the relationship emotionally, you know how they got to that point. The cliche of love at first sight doesn't do it for me - I want them to be friends. So into this book. In terms of plot, it was decent. I like when a romance has enough impetus based on the relationship that it doesn't need a ton of crazy plot - a random mystery, especially where the hero and heroine barely have a reason to be involved, can just take away from the relationship sometimes I think. The challenge of Evie's integration into the Pennyroyal Green society and the struggle of the relationship of a courtesan turned countess and the local Vicar was enough. There were a few super emotionally painful moments (which I looooove) both for Evie in the Pennyroyal society, and between Evie and Adam. I did sort of feel like it fell off toward the end - you know when you get toward the end of the book and some enormous plot twist reveals itself, and you realize there just aren't enough pages left to do it justice? That's a little how I felt here - the introduction of a new protector/husband at the eleventh hour was clearly not going to be fully realized two chapters before the end. Also I thought the ending was pretty hokey - but hey, it's a romance novel and it's part of the package. But I really thought the strength of this book was in the characters. Adam and Evie were pretty fully realized - Adam a little less than Evie. Maybe he's featured a little more in some of the other books as an Eversea cousin so we were expected to know a little more about him, I'm not sure. But at the same time, their conversations and the way they slowly started to reveal themselves to each other were enough. You understood who they were and why they were together, which is (in my opinion) the biggest romance novel hurdle. I want you to make me believe that these people are really in love, that they really should be together. And I thought this book accomplished that. I thought that Evie's back story was honest and realistic, and I thought that Adam's reaction and his doubts about her were realistic too. I thought that the strength and vulnerability of Adam in his role as vicar - a man trying to be good at what might be one of the hardest jobs - was great, and I loved that Evie got it. She just got it - and she got him. I thought maybe he understood her a little less - while it was definitely realistic for him to doubt her, and perversely I wouldn't have liked the book as much if he hadn't, if he really understood her I don't know if he would have been so quick to jump to conclusions. But again - it was realistic. If anything, I would have enjoyed a few more heart-wrenching scenes between them (I love those heartbreaking moments where the hero says something so cutting that you actually reel back from the book a bit) but definitely there was a realistic aspect to their relationship that I appreciated. Although maybe in the end he recovered from it a little too easily - yes, I think so. Again, that moment when you realize there aren't enough pages left to do justice to what's happening at the end - the final plot twist with Frederick just seemed to melt into the ending without actually being resolved.I did think the villagers were a little oversimplified - they were easy to manipulate throughout the book, and I sort of thought it was pretty unlikely that they'd be as vocal as they were in deciding to give Evie a chance (twice). Maybe it was just a little too dramatic for me - I'm not always a fan of the big romantic gesture happening in public and this wasn't an exception, especially when everyone jumped on the bandwagon (again, twice). But there were also only a few pages left and you have to resolve it somehow, and walking through Evie repairing every single relationship would have been tedious. In the end I sincerely enjoyed this book - definitely one to add to the favorites shelf - and I'm really, really looking forward to the next book. I have mixed feelings about this book although it doesn't necessarily have to do with the the story itself. That's why I'm giving it a 4 star rating despite some of the frustration I had during the reading of it.Let's start with the fact that Julie Anne Long is an amazing writer. I haven't been able to read the first 4 in the Pennyroyal Green series yet however books 5, 6 and now 7 have had amazing stories and captivating characters that I've fallen in love with. Her writing style immerses you in the story and makes you feel like you're not only observing it from afar but entrenched within Pennyroyal Green.Of the 3 books I've read, I think that Adam and Evie have the most heart-wrenching story and watching them strive to be the best person that others expect them to be while denying themselves just squeezes my heartstrings. As the vicar, Adam knows he's held to a higher standard, that the people of the parish depend on him to be a moral high ground that they can base themselves on and thus, he's also dependent upon them for his position. For Evie, leaving London and moving to Pennyroyal Green, she's looked upon as a woman of loose morals that the esteemed ladies of PG don't associate with.However, as Evie deals more and more with the ladies, she wins them over with not only her personality but with her inner being. They come to see her as a decent woman they can reform through their charity. At the same time, Adam sees her true self - one of courage, strength and sacrifice and he can't help but fall in love with her the more she reveals to him and she with him.I absolutely adored watching Adam and Evie fall in love despite their rocky start. I teared up when she made the decision to leave him for London but it was a more than satisfactory ending that put them back together. And that's why it earns a 4 star rating for me.What held me back from giving it a full 5 star rating is puzzling to me. I picked up this copy at my local library and it has no indications of being an ARC. However, it is beyond ridiculous how many errors are contained within the book. Did the editors/publishers rush to print that they failed to give the book the time and attention it needed to rid itself of the mistakes?In 3 clear instances, there were character mistakes. Secondary characters Amy Pitney and Josephine Charing were interchanged at different intervals. Once within the same scene. Not only that, Evie herself was referred to as Lady Wareham (which made sense as she was the Countess of Wareham) but part way through the book, characters started referring to her as Lady Balmain - sometimes within the same conversation. As a reader, I was frustrated enough with multiple errors but as a fan of Julie Anne Long, I was just plain miffed that someone had screwed the pooch by not making sure this book was 100% before sending it away. My enjoyment on the whole was dimmed by the fact that I had to re-check paragraphs to make sure I knew which characters were actually in the scene rather being able to read and understand the story right away.Other than that though, if you can focus squarely on the story, I'd recommend this installment of the Pennyroyal Green series whole-heartedly.
Not sure if I will read. Don't like courtesan stories.
nice ending..Adam and Eve! love the Corinthians part!
4.00 stars/3.25 sensuality
3.5 stars
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