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Honor's Bride (Harlequin Historical) de…
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Honor's Bride (Harlequin Historical) (1998 original; edició 1998)

de Gayle Wilson (Autor)

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Honor's Bride by Gayle Wilson released on Aug 25, 1998 is available now for purchase.
Membre:CoinLibrary
Títol:Honor's Bride (Harlequin Historical)
Autors:Gayle Wilson (Autor)
Informació:Harlequin Books (1998)
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Honor's Bride de Gayle Wilson (1998)

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That was good. The basis was normally stupid - he loves, she loves, neither believes that the other could love _me_...but the story built around it was very rich on several levels. The setting was fascinating and very well-presented - mostly, Portugal during Wellington's campaign against Napoleon, with the ending in London and a bit at the beginning in England. Her marriage was just plain stupid - one person of the four involved, and neither of those personally involved, wanted it. Haviland has a lot to answer for. Then the very well-written presentation of what living in Portugal made of Michael, Judith, and Kit. A series of crises, none of them feeling contrived or random, builds to some good and some very nasty aftereffects - and Reynolds is another lucky bastard, luckier than he deserved. Why he blamed Kit...ghahh. Kit should, obviously, have said _why_ he was willing to marry Judith - but given what he believed, of course he didn't - couldn't, even. The crisis continues to build and comes to the hopeless point - and from way out in left field comes the...hmmm. Can't quite call it a solution, though it is - the cure for what ails everyone. And, like a proper romance, a happily-ever-after ending. I was seriously crying through the last couple chapters. That was really good - I want more by her. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 20, 2010 |
Honor is the dead horse that is thoroughly beaten in this tale of forbidden love, sinful desires, and promises that are always always kept no matter what, not even if your life depends on bending the rules a tiny, tiny bit. Judith's father owes his life to an old war buddy, and to repay this debt he promises Judith in marriage to the war buddy's son Michael Hamilton. Because of honor, Judith has no choice and goes along with it. Michael Hamilton is an officer in the war, so she has to go with him to Portugal as an army wife.

One aspect of the story that made it very readable and interesting was its unusual setting. Gayle Wilson plops you down in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars that you only distantly hear about in other romances. Military life is frankly depicted in all its difficulties and horrors. Judith is a strong character who has risen to the challenges of this life. She seems almost too good to be human, and she's described as an angel, but she manages not to be annoying in this respect, surprisingly, because the conditions that surround her call for true strength, which she has and exhibits. War is the reality here, and her good works for the army (she cares for the wounded when there are no surgeons at hand) are much needed. She's not some prissy charity zealot patting herself on the back as she coddles a lot of precocious orphans. She hasn't had much choice in the direction her life has taken, and this could very easily have made her out to be a passive martyr. Somehow she avoids this misstep, (well, some of the time), and her acceptance of her lot in life, her fortitude in meeting it, really is admirable. It’s when she does have the power to make other choices, and she just can’t break the martyrdom habit, that I start to take issue with the story.

She's married to Michael for about half the story, which is a shame because he's our villain, and a pretty disgusting, despicable one too, a drunken, blackmailing coward. Some attempts are made to give him a little more depth than you would expect, but he's still worthless, and I'm very aggravated that Judith's honor demands her allegiance to him, during his life and even after his death. You would think that after he's gone she could save herself and be well rid of him, but no, she must protect his honor, her honor, the honor of her father, of his father. Of practically everyone. Honor's a very far reaching thing in this book, a rigid code that dictates everyone's actions, regardless of common sense or the interests of self-preservation.

Kit St. John is a fellow officer of Michael's, and they've been in the same regiment for three years now. He’s a former rake banished to the army by his disgusted father, who hopes the army will make a man out of him. And it certainly does. Yum. Kit harbors a secret torch for Judith, even though he's distraught by how bad it is to covet another man's wife. She likes him a lot too. Their forbidden love and quiet friendship is believable and compelling. They both respect and care deeply for the other. But there's so much that stands between their romance, (all that honor stuff) that it's only with a great deal of contrivance that this love can be expressed - Kit gets wounded, the regiment is decimated by a surprise attack, and Kit and Judith are the only survivors. He's delirious with fever thanks to his injury, and that's when they get to have their make out sessions. It was too bizarre for me, considering they're in grave danger from the French, and he's practically on death's door. This episode is pretty brief, and from then on, once they're rescued, they hold back from each other up until the very end. Even when Michael is gone, and they're free to be together, they still hold back for various annoying and feeble reasons. There's just too much left unspoken between them throughout, and by the time they manage some communication, it's too late for me. The sacrifices Judith and Kit make are all very noble and all, but I think they take it way too far. On the one hand I appreciate the characters' struggles to do the right thing, especially when they receive punishment for it, let alone any payoff, and all to the benefit of an awful person. But at the same time, it's very hard for me to appreciate a story in which the upholding of honor would, were it not for divine intervention, cost the characters all that really matters in life. So even though Gayle Wilson tells her story very well here, it's not a story I like very much - even if she was able to wring a tear or two from me at one point. And really that was for the horrible waste these characters almost caused because of their precious honor. ( )
  theshadowknows | Apr 2, 2009 |
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London, 1808

'You sir, are a blackguard and a rogue,' the earl of Ryde said softly.
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The Amazon cover for Lords & Ladies Collection does not belong with this single-title book; it belongs with the 2 in 1 anthology containing the story.
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Honor's Bride by Gayle Wilson released on Aug 25, 1998 is available now for purchase.

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