1/11 - To start with this book's pages are very strangely numbered - the first page of the actual story is numbered page 10, it seems the publisher numbered from the first piece of paper in the book, not the start of the first chapter (as most normal publishers do). So while I am on page 48, I have only read 38 pages. Weird and sort of false advertising for the length of the book. So far the story itself is sweet and a bit tame compared to the other Stephanie Laurens books I've read. There is not a lot of depth to the plot or either main character. This looks like it's going to be a light summer-holiday-at-the-beach type of read, nothing too difficult or upsetting in this one. To be continued... 2/11 - It's like one of Stephanie's assistants tried to take over the writing of this book while she was sick and was completely unable to recreate the usual magic of a Stephanie Laurens book. There is no depth of character (I did mention this yesterday, but it seems even more obvious than at the point in the book that I was up to yesterday), I can't see either hero or heroine in my head while I read, which was a normal occurence while reading all her previous books, especially the Cynster Sisters trilogy (where did THAT Stephanie Laurens go?). Within the last few pages both main characters were trying to decide if they loved the other and whether the other loved them, as far as I can see there is no reason whatsoever for either to love the other. There has been absolutely no passion or romance between them. I was originally hopeful when the first thing Hazelmere did upon meeting Dorothea was to 'passionately' kiss her. I don't know about Dorothea, but I felt nothing, if I hadn't known better I would have thought she was going to push him away in disgust, there was so little feeling between them. In my head, as I was reading the scene, all I could see was an awkward mashing of lips, like in a comedy movie. To be continued... 4/11 - I didn't have time to write more of this review yesterday, but don't worry nothing happened in the book that actually needed to be written about anyway. Just more balls and meetings on the afternoon drive/ride around the park, leading up to the BIG ball - the sisters' coming out ball. What Laurens has written is probably pretty lifelike for women and men of Dorothea and Marc's station, but that doesn't mean Laurens, as an author, shouldn't imagine some intrigue, danger or scandal for the characters to become immersed in. Have a ball, drive around the park, get dressed for a ball and repeat doesn't make for a good book, especially not a good ROMANCE. We don't want to read about the real, day-to-day life including all the boring bits, we want, no expect the women to get kidnapped and the men to beat someone up or shoot someone, and from Lauren's other books that's what you get. What happened with pile of fluff? To be continued (keep reading, you never know, they might have a...ball, and wouldn't that be exciting to read about)... 5/11 - A few more balls, a couple of abbreviated love scenes (some kissing, groping and then fade to black before you get to the good bits) and an inept and non-threatening kidnapper end this book on about the same note as it started - sweet, tame and fluffy, kind of like a kitten with its claws removed. Wouldn't recommend to any fan of Stephanie Laurens, as this doesn't read like any of her previous or subsequent books and so you'll likely be disappointed.
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