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A Season Beyond a Kiss de Kathleen E…
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A Season Beyond a Kiss (edició 2000)

de Kathleen E Woodiwiss (Autor)

Sèrie: Birmingham (Book 4)

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In the loving embrace of her new husband, the dashing American shipping magnate Jeff Birmingham, Raelynn Barrett can forget her painful past and the tragic, undeserved disgrace of her family. With Jeff, each sweet, lingering kiss is a promise of a future rich in joy and sensual fulfilment. But Raelynn can hear the whispered rumours that damn the man she loves. And what her own eyes have witnessed seem to brand her adored and adoring Jeff as the worst sort of criminal. In the face of the devastating treacheries of ruthless, hidden enemies, how can Jeff ever hope to win back the trust of the woman he cherishes?… (més)
Membre:Michelle84
Títol:A Season Beyond a Kiss
Autors:Kathleen E Woodiwiss (Autor)
Informació:William Morrow Paperbacks (2000), 512 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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A Season Beyond a Kiss de Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

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Es mostren totes 4
Before I start my review, I just want to say that I had considered taking away a star, because Ms. Woodiwiss, for some reason, decided to precede this novel with a story, "The Kiss" (found in the book "Three Weddings and a Kiss") and then a novella, "Beyond the Kiss", which can be confusing for someone who's not aware of that (like me) when they start reading "A Season Beyond a Kiss". I felt like I was starting the book at Chapter four and wondered what happened to the first three. I had to online search to find the beginnings, all the while thinking it was all so silly; why not reissue this novel with the first parts made into first chapters and save people trouble?

That being said, I found this to be an entertaining story, as it was full of intrigue, mystery, murder, villains, and assorted melodrama, reminiscent of those Victorian dime novels that I love. However, I do have to add that, to people that aren't fond of them, or never read them, this book can seem full of nonsense, instead. It did get a bit convoluted, with all the chases, brawls, evil plans, murder attempts (some successful), as well as misunderstandings between the romantic leads, Jeff and Raelynn.

I tried to put myself in both their places. They had been married a short time (and almost immediately after they met), a chivalrous act of saving the damsel in distress, who was grateful, but also overwhelmed. No sooner are they starting to feel like a real couple, then Jeff's accused of getting a very young girl pregnant and refusing to own up to it. Raelynn wants to believe he's innocent, but since she's only known him so short a time, she can't help having doubts. Then, when she decides to trust him and they make a new start, she discovers him standing over a dead body with a bloody knife in his hand! That sure doesn't do much for his image as the ideal husband! Her answer is to do a dime novel scene, and flee the premises, literally running off into the night! This was really over the top, as she at first locked herself in her bedroom, and Jeff, after futile attempts to talk to her, agreed to leave her alone. It's understandable she'd be shook up after what she saw, and you can't blame her for wanting to get away, but the fact that she leaves without taking any provisions, not to mention a horse, just runs into the swampy woods alone, also knowing that she's pregnant, shows a recklessness that can only be explained as a form of PTSD, or else downright stupidity. Common sense should have told her to wait until she could clear her head and think straight. Then again, common sense is boring, while her trek into the woods alone, tired, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted, discovering her fav horse nearby, that same horse getting stuck in the mud, her futile attempt to come to the rescue, her own rescue by the man she loves and fears....well, you get the idea.

Although Raelynn's come to realize she loves Jeff, she can't forget what she saw, that she hasn't known him all that long, and that he hasn't said he loves her, so maybe it's only a protective instinct, along with sexual desire? (When they met she was all alone, just arrived from England, her parents are both dead, a scoundrel's claiming to be her uncle, another one - who's repulsive into the bargain - is determined she be his mistress, and she had nowhere to turn, so how could he help but be a white knight?)

Meanwhile, Jeff does love her, but thinks she's not ready to hear that, and maybe she feels only gratitude for all his help, combined with sexual desire. He's also hurt and a bit angry that she actually believes he might be capable of so horrible a crime, no matter how damning the evidence.

They separate for a while, but get back together when an attempt is made on both their lives, and Jeff suffers a concussion, while Raelynn nurses him back to health. This happened after a dinner date that made Raelynn very happy, as she had hinted to Jeff that she was feeling neglected by him. A real case of "be careful what you wish for"; Raelynn said she needed some time and space, then she feels hurt and gets a bit pouty when Jeff takes her at her word and stays away for a while. She sometimes acts like she's the only one with feelings, which can get annoying.

A nice sideline to the main story is the fashion business, that plays a part in things, and also introduces another couple with quite a romantic tale of their own.

A lot more happens, and what I like is the way the author puts other people into focus, not just R and J, so you get the perspective of some of their friends, Jeff's brother and sister-in-law (the famous couple from "The Flame and the Flower") and even the villains! It's so much better than a narrow POV.

Of course, some things are really far fetched, like a conversation Jeff and Raelynn have shortly after they reunite, while he's recuperating from his head injury. With killers on the loose, attempts on their life, and a murder charge hanging over Jeff's head, what does Raelynn have on her mind? The size of her husband's penis! She wants to know if he's more well endowed than the average man. Since he carries around a ruler to check if other guys measure up.....only kidding! He tells her that when he was a teenager and swam nude with friends, he couldn't help noticing he had a lot more to offer! I thought for sure he was then going to compare her breasts (which he was fond of fondling) to other women's, but that would mean going by his previous experiences (of which there were many) and I don't think she'd have appreciated that.

Anyway, it's a fun read, if not very realistic, but how many novels are? ( )
  EmeraldAngel | Aug 15, 2021 |
So it's probably obvious but it's not a good idea to take some 20yrs break between books in a series. Really not a good idea with this series, this picks right up after Flame and the Flower and I was lost for a good portion of the beginning before I could grasp and remember how F&F ended and what it was all about.

This would also work as a deterrent against anyone wanting longer epilogues or novellas about couples that have already gotten together. The beginning half is the main couple living in honeymoon bliss and I found it boring af.

Around the 40% mark, a murder mystery plot happens and our heroine thinks the hero did it and she goes off half-cocked and the rest is the heroine thinking through if her husband could really murder someone, with some connecting conspiracy danger left over from the heroine's life in England.

This was confusing (must read the first in the series and in a timely matter), boring, and Gone with the Wind racist and when I accidently turned three pages instead of one, I just kept on.
Not a hidden gem. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 12, 2021 |
Terzo e ultimo romanzo che narra le avventure della famiglia Birmingham anche se, dal punto di vista temporale, questo andrebbe a collocarsi al secondo posto in ordine di lettura visto che narra l'amore fra Jeff Birmingham e Raelyn Barrett, figlia di un conte inglese caduto in disgrazia a seguito di un'accusa di tradimento.

In questo caso l'autrice si distacca decisamente dal profilo generale portato avanti nei primi due libri e la trama assume una connotazione nuova e interessante.

A quanto pare a qualcuno non va giù il matrimonio veloce fra Jeff e Raelyn e faranno di tutto per sconvolgere il nuovo mondo dei due amanti, perfino uccidere... Peccato che, unito a tutto questo, c'è il bisogno della giovane coppia di conoscersi e di acquisire fiducia l'uno dell'altra visto che non hanno avuto alle spalle un periodo di fidanzamento o una conoscenza di lunga data come nel caso di Beau e Cerynise.

La trama è intrigata e intrigante molto più che in "Cuori in tempesta", tornando alle vette de "Il fiore e la fiamma"; il problema sono i personaggi.

Jeff non ha nulla del Jeff conosciuto nel primo e nel secondo romanzo, benché questi si collochino rispettivamente prima e dopo gli eventi narrati in questo libro. E' orgoglioso - in senso negativo - e anche un vendicativo; non ha nulla di quel fratello minore spigliato e sbarazzino che tanto avevamo amato.

Raelyn, invece, non riesce a imporsi e a farsi amare come era accaduto con Heather e Cerynise. E' insicura, piagnucolosa e decisamente infantile. Da tutto, o molto, per scontato e si aspetta che Jeff assecondi le sue turbe mentali, i suoi capricci e le sue insicurezze. L'autrice cerca di scusarla dietro il fatto che, in effetti, non conosce Jeff visto il matrimonio veloce ma la scusa non regge visto che, ad esempio, la cognata si era ritrovata stuprata dal marito ma non per questo aveva perso la dignità e la forza di carattere.

In definitiva una storia carina, senza dubbio, ma non all'altezza degli altri libri letti di questa autrice. ( )
  Nasreen44 | Jun 8, 2017 |
Not one of her best. ( )
  eslee | Aug 12, 2006 |
Es mostren totes 4
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Reluctantly Raelynn Birmingham Roused from slumber and lifted an eyelid to peer menacingly toward the open French doors through which drifted a distant, repetitive pounding.
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In the loving embrace of her new husband, the dashing American shipping magnate Jeff Birmingham, Raelynn Barrett can forget her painful past and the tragic, undeserved disgrace of her family. With Jeff, each sweet, lingering kiss is a promise of a future rich in joy and sensual fulfilment. But Raelynn can hear the whispered rumours that damn the man she loves. And what her own eyes have witnessed seem to brand her adored and adoring Jeff as the worst sort of criminal. In the face of the devastating treacheries of ruthless, hidden enemies, how can Jeff ever hope to win back the trust of the woman he cherishes?

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