I’m so excited to finally have Alex and Joanna’s story. Until now, I had only read the fourth and fifth books in this series. Alex and Joanna were small parts in those books, but I didn’t know their story. After I finished the last one, I just had to go back and read the rest. These really are some of the best historical romance novels I’ve read.
I mentioned in my review of Desired that I think what makes Nicola Cornick’s books so great is her grasp on the language and her obvious knowldge of the time and places her stories are set in. She even threw in an author’s note about how she had taken some liberties with her section set in the Arctic. She does her research and it shows in her work. It got me to thinking about how much work really goes into every book, even romance novels that many refer to as trash. My boyfriend says that about the romance novels I read, but I have come to a point where I can really appreciate romance for what it is. It can be predictable and cheesy and that’s what is so wonderful about it. I can count on the hero to be masculine and charming. I can count on the heroine to be intelligent and passionate. And I can usually count on them to hate each other and still fall madly in love in a ridiculously short amount of time. It’s what I’m looking for, going in.
I’m also looking for witty dialogue. The dialogue is what truly makes me love or hate a historical romance. There has to be a good medium between the language of the time and the way we speak now. Let’s be honest, the way people spoke in the Regency era can be daunting to read sometimes. At the same time, a historically set book needs to be authentic. That’s why I love Nicola Cornick’s writing. It feels authentic, but I don’t need to re-read something five times to understand what’s going on. She’s really becoming a favorite. After I finish this series, I might have to move on to another of her series.
Alex and Joanna fill their roles perfectly. He’s the manly adventurer who can be both intense and utterly charming. She’s the intelligent woman acting flighty to keep everyone from seeing the despair locked inside her. They overcome the tragic circumstances of the past together and find love again, and also manage to have an adventure together. Oh! and manage to have some very sexy alone time. It was the perfect recipe for a perfect romance.
If you like Regency romances, you’ll love this! Good news is, I already know that the others in the series are just as good since I’ve read two of them. Two more to go!