Monday, December 11, 2006

Keeper! - A Really Good Recent Read

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

A big thank you to Rosario for her most excellent review of this book. I had seen some buzz on it before and I read Jane’s review at Dear Author and was intrigued enough to pick it up when I first saw it on the shelves. But there it sat on the TBR pile and probably would have for a while until something in Rosario’s review made me decide not to wait to read this one.
I’ve become somewhat disenchanted with historicals lately. I’m still buying them, especially if it’s a favoured author, but many of them are languishing in the TBR pile. But this one blew all dissatisfaction away in a wonderfully fresh breeze. It’s no wonder that at Amazon there are 22 reviews and the average is 5 stars. If you read Rosario & Jane’s reviews you can pretty much pick up what the book is about so instead I’ll just say why this one worked so very well for me.

Edward-He is just so adorable! He reminds me of one of my favourite hero’s; Dain from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. He’s rude, he’s short tempered, he throws things. But underneath all his outward bluster, he’s just a very lonely, very scarred hero. I just adored him.

Anna – What a wonderful heroine she is. She’s a widow whose husband cheated on her thus making her very leery of trusting men. She’s lived by the rules all her life but when she meets Edward, she’s like a butterfly coming out of her cocoon. She enjoys talking back to him and isn’t intimidated by his bluster at all, in fact she likes it.
Both Edward and Anna are described as not very attractive. Edward is covered in pox scars and Anna apparently suits her last name Wren and isn’t very noticeable – except for her sexy lips. But as the story progresses, both Edward and Anna come to see the other as extremely attractive and with very good writing, so do we, the readers.

The secondary characters – from Anna’s understanding mother-in-law to Pearl and Coral, the two sisters who are both in the prostitution trade, to Felix Hopple, the steward with his flamboyant waistcoats to Davis the cantankerous old valet; they all come to life in a way secondary character seldom do. Ms. Hoyt has a way of breathing life into them and while they don’t take centre stage, they do all have their own distinct personalities.
The love scenes in this book also work very well. All too often I find myself skimming them just because they aren’t really that well-written, but with these ones I read every word.
Another thing I appreciated about this one is the setting. It takes place during the Georgian time frame rather than Regency or Victorian. Since I have this thing for tricorn hats and men with their hair tied back in queues, (goes back to my Paul Revere and the Raider days), this one was very fine to picture while reading.
I even read the sweet fairy tale that started each chapter. Usually I skip that kind of thing, but this kept my interest all the way through. And it was neat reading Ms. Hoyt’s reply to Jane on Rosario’s comments as to the significance of the tale.
My sons came over yesterday to watch football and rather than watch it with them, I kept picking up this book and reading it because I couldn’t bear to put it down. And horrible as it sounds – while not exactly glad when they left, it did give me the chance to really read it without the distraction of watching the Broncos go down to defeat. Even the very last page – what to expect in a romance hero from Edward’s perspective was a hoot.
This one has restored my faith in the historical once more. It’s a delightful, smile on your face, tender, sweet, sexy book and it gets a big thumbs up from me! As others have said, it’s amazing that this is her first book – it reads like it was written by a seasoned author. I know I’m parroting so many others but this book is enchanting, and after reading the excerpt, I along with many others will be eagerly looking forward to the next one – The Leopard Prince.

Grade: 5 out of 5

'til later


nath said...

oh man! I guess I'm going to have to get this one! :D

romancelover said...

Gotta buy this one!!!!

Kristie (J) said...

I think you'll both love it! It was sweet, it was funny, it was sad and it was poignant. She zoomed right up to the top of my favourite new authors list and it's definitely in the running for favourite book of the year.

CindyS said...

I *saw* the reviews but wasn't really paying attention but you got mine!

I'm may just have to go to the bookstore tomorrow and pick this one up! Mmmmmm, a bookstore. I'm starting to feel the withdrawal pangs and that's so not like me!


CindyS said...

I *saw* the reviews but wasn't really paying attention but you got mine!

I'm may just have to go to the bookstore tomorrow and pick this one up! Mmmmmm, a bookstore. I'm starting to feel the withdrawal pangs and that's so not like me!


Robin said...

Thanks, Kristie; this sounds like just the kind of book I need to read during my winter break -- off to Amazon right now!

C2 said...

The hero reminds you of Dain? Now that's some high praise! I'll have to check it out. :o)

Kristie (J) said...

Cindy: I know - I saw them too but they didn't really register until I read Rosarios. And I'm so glad that one did! And for you and Nath - I sent you something that might make you want to wait a few days. I should send it to Ames too! And anyone else who lives in Canada.

Robin: Was I right about Whispers of Heaven?? Well, I think you'll really enjoy this one too *chuckle*

C2: Yep - he reminded me of Dain. He wasn't quite the male slut that Dain was, but he was gruff on the outside and an adorable teddy bear inside.

ReneeW said...

I'm in the mood to try a new author. Must get this one. Sounds very good. I love those gruff outside/teddy bear inside types of heros.

Rosario said...

Kristie, I'm so glad you liked it! And I totally agree with all your points, especially when you say "This one has restored my faith in the historical once more". Too many of the historicals by new authors that I've read lately have felt derivative and tiresome, as if they had no real enthusiasm for their stories. This one is nothing like that.

Tara Marie said...

Oh man, your if it's lost it'll show up theory isn't working. I misplaced this book a month ago and it still AWOL.

I'm going to have to buy another copy--then it'll show up--LOL.

Jenster said...

RATS! I wish I would have read this BEFORE I went to Borders today.

BTW - I finished Dreaming of You. LOVED IT! And I refuse to choose between Derek and Sebastian. lol

Kristie (J) said...

Jenster: Well, one never can really make enough trips to the bookstore *g*. Ah - and being a diplomat on the Derek/Sebastian debate are we. Isn't it a grand book though? And before you started it you said you didn't know if Derek could equal Sebastian so if they are tied, that must mean you liked him just bunches and bunches!!

Tara: LOL - the theory works almost all the time. It's just whether we have the patience to wait until the missing article decides it's time to be found. Sometimes, especially when it comes to books, we just don't have that patience. I know I've bought books, misplaced them, replaced them, then found the original again. I'd say after a month you might just have to start looking. And if it's still misplaced - you might have to replace.

Rosario: I'm so glad you read it too so that you could review it :) You can tell that the author has great affection for her characters can't you? It comes across loud and clear. They seem like real people - flaws and all. I think that's one of the things I found very appealing.

Renee: I always like those kinds of heroes too and since we agree much more on books than disagree, I think you'll really enjoy this one.

Karen Scott said...

OK, Amazon Wishlist here I come! This sounds fab Kristie!

Kristie (J) said...

Karen: since we share a deep adoration for some Lisa Kleypas and JD Robb - here's hoping that the trend continues with this one *g*.

Lori said...

Kristie, this sounds wonderful! I've got a Borders 40% off coupon in my hot little hand. Thanks!

ag said...

OMG, I saw this on last book shopping binge, but passed it up. Boohoo ...

Kristie (J) said...

Ag: You're going to have to put it first on your next book buying binge! Tara has a review up now and she really likes it too!

Lori: You're welcome. It's a grand one to use that coupon for!