Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lady Honor’s Debt by Maggie Andersen




Freedom. That’s all Lady Honor Baxendale wants—for her sisters and for herself. Honor has a bold plan to become financially independent, using a skill she learned at her father’s knee. She seeks the help of a solicitor and is pleased with her choice…as long as she can resist the solicitor himself. 

Lord Edward Winborne has been happy to come to the aid of his four sisters in the past. But when a neighbor’s daughter, Lady Honor Baxendale, requests his help for a dangerous scheme she has in mind, he feels it his duty to dissuade her. When that fails, he wants to protect her, and then somehow finds he wants to do more. Much more. 


Published & Release Date: Self-Published, January 20, 2015

Time and setting: Regency England  

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

I am pleased I had the opportunity to review Lady Honor’s Debt. It is a fast read and a delightful one. Edward is an endearing hero, honorable, loyal and true. Such a refreshing change from the usual alpha-males, who most of the time are rakes. Not that there is anything wrong with a rake. After all who doesn’t want to see a good woman reform him, right? For me, Edward stole the show in this sweet love story.

Lady Honor is on a quest. She desperately wants to save her sister from an arranged marriage and gain freedom for herself at the same time. Her step-father has different plans for her. He wants her to marry a much older man of consequence. If she wants him to give her sister Faith a season in London, she must convince him that she will consider the duke’s proposal while stalling for time.

When Lady Honor shows up at his office requesting his help with her daring plan, Lord Edward Winbourne dares not turn her away. After all she is in need of protection, most of all, from herself. As a solicitor and her neighbor, he feels duty-bound to offer his assistance. The fact that he is attracted to her certainly complicates matters. While his mother may want him to set up his nursery, as the third son of a Marquess, he did not need to concern himself with a family until he has his career well established. His need to protect Honor is why I fell in love with Edward’s character.

While attending a house party at the duke’s estate, the man becomes too amorous for Lady Honor’s tastes, what choice did she have? She pushed him into the grotto. I found this part of the story delightfully amusing, and it brought a smile to my face. After that fiasco, thankfully the duke withdraws his suit.
By this time, Edward realizes he is in love with Lady Honor. Will he win her affections and protect her from harm, or will Honor’s stubborn independence keep her from allowing him into her heart and lead her into more trouble than she ever imagined?

I enjoyed reading Lady Honor’s Debt and was rooting for them to find their ‘Happily Ever After’ throughout the entire light-hearted tale. Edward is just the right man for Honor, and I love how he goes about winning her love.  Oh, and I must mention, the book cover is stunning!

It took me a bit of time to warm up to Honor’s character. I never felt as if I ever truly understood her. I would have liked to see a little more depth, to have been able to get inside her head and find out what she was thinking and feeling.

Nonetheless, this story is an enjoyable read. I can easily recommend Lady Honor’s Debt, if you are looking for an engaging love story with a very nice ending. I look forward to reading the next book in this series, since I enjoyed Honor’s sister, Faith’s character, a great deal. Happy reading!
  



Friday, February 27, 2015

Release Day for 

Married to a Perfect Stranger by Jane Ashford





Brand new Regency romance from RT Book Reviews Lifetime Achievement Award Nominee Jane Ashford

Time and distance have changed them both...

Quiet and obliging, Mary Fleming and John Bexley marry to please their families and John immediately leaves on a two-year diplomatic mission. Now John is back, and everything they thought they knew about each other was wrong...
It's disconcerting, irritating-and somehow all very exciting...

"Charm, intrigue, humor and just the right touch of danger." -RT Book Reviews, on Charmed and Dangerous

"Jane Ashford is an excellent writer-her prose is a joy to read." -Regency Retro Reads

"Jane Ashford's romances are bewitching, filled with those elements that delight a reader: good story, intrigue and dynamic tension." -Romance



Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. Her romances have been published all over the world. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.



Praise for Married to a Perfect Stranger:
Named a Spring 2015 Most Anticipated Title by Publishers Weekly

“[T]he perfect blend of interesting, emotionally complex, and open-hearted protagonists … In a story of personal growth and excited rediscovery, both characters must overcome scorn and opposition from their family and colleagues in order to come into themselves, appreciate each other, and turn a na├»vely arranged marriage into a passionate partnership.”
Publishers Weekly STARRED Review

“Well written with a nice overview of the workings of the Foreign Office in the 1800s, Ashford’s tale of young newlyweds parted and reunited after nearly two years engages readers’ emotions. This is a touching, heart-warming story.” – RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Ashford’s latest flawlessly written love story is a quietly compelling tale... The author’s ability to create truly memorable characters while getting all the historical domestic details exactly right ensures that romance readers picky about authenticity will be well rewarded” – Booklist

Connect with the Author:



Published & Release Date: Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 3, 2015

Time and setting: 1819 England  

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

While browsing titles in Net-Galley, I read the book description for Married to a Perfect Stranger and it piqued my curiosity. I accepted an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via Net-Galley for an honest review. I love arranged marriage stories where the couple falls in love after the wedding. This one has the added twist of the couple being separated shortly after the honeymoon without having a chance to get to know each other.

John Bexley is the third son of a gentry family. While not a titled family, they are nonetheless well respected. John is neither brilliant, nor good at sports as his three other brothers are, so he a bit of a miss-fit. This has undermined his confidence until he accepts a position as a clerk for Lord Amhurst. At last he was an opportunity to prove he is not a bungling fool that his family has always thought him to be.

Mary Fleming is one among five daughters and her family does not understand her since she has a problem with the written word and expresses herself through her drawings. Her family arranges a match between her and John Bexley, thinking since both are miss-fits, they should be able to get along well enough.

Mary and John meet at a Bath assembly, and as lambs led to market, they go along with their family’s wishes and soon find themselves wed. While neither feel a strong attachment to the other, they do manage to have an enjoyable honeymoon, if a tad bland.

Shortly after their return from their honeymoon, John is selected to go with Lord Amhurst on a diplomatic mission to China. This is another opportunity for John and he enthusiastically leaves Mary without any hesitation, hoping to further his career.

While John is gone, Mary’s family sends her to live with her great-aunt in Somerset. While it is not far from her family’s home, they rarely visit her. It soon becomes apparent to Mary that her great-aunt is beginning to suffer from dementia, and she has to take over running her aunt’s home. While she has always been timid and shy, she accepts this and finds out she is excellent at managing a household to her surprise, and that she actually enjoys it tremendously. This is Mary’s opportunity to show she is able to excel at something, and she takes full advantage of it.

Two years later, John returns from his mission a changed man, not only in attitude, but appearance as well. Mary wonders where the easy-going man she had married has gone to. John is shocked when he realizes that Mary is not the shy, unassuming girl he left behind, but a ‘managing female’. They both realize they are wed to a stranger with little to no resemblance to who they thought they had married.

After several confrontations, they agree to start afresh. Can they learn to accept each other and all these changes, or will they exist in a loveless marriage, never finding the love they both want more than either of them ever imagined?

I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted romance of two people thrown together by an arranged marriage. What made this such an enjoyable read for me is the true kindness both characters possess.

Mary shows a much stronger will than her family has ever imagined and even faced with her mother’s disapproval, she continues to draw her amazing water-color portraits of people with uncanny foresight into their souls. She is able to depict her subjects so realistically that at times, the individuals are shocked that she has unearthed their deepest fears and anxiety. Her sketch of Lady Castlereagh causes a bit of a scandal for John.  

While John is at first taken aback by the changes in Mary, he does want to find contentment in their marriage. Even though John is somewhat abrupt, his kindness shines through when he takes the young lad that Mary has agreed to help under his wing.

Arthur is a delightful character. His exuberance for life and adventure is enchanting and adds greatly to this wonderful story. Ms. Ashford not only breathes life into her hero and heroine, she also does this with her secondary characters, including the housemaid and the cook, a mother and daughter who constantly bicker over everything.

The only reason I did not give this charming story five gold crowns is because, Ms. Ashford does change point of view from the hero to the heroine from one paragraph to the other, which at times caught me off guard. I will say that it did give me a great deal of insight to see each character’s thoughts instantaneously and her transition is much smoother than I have experienced in the past. I normally find POV switches like this extremely irritating.

If you are looking for a book with excellent pacing, an intriguing plot with just a touch of mystery and a different type of hero and heroine, then you will love this delightful tale as much as I did. I will definitely looking for other books by this talented author. Happy reading!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015









BLURB:

She’s the other sister…

Overshadowed by the beauty of her older sister, Lillian is better known as the other Tisdale; unremarkable and unsure how she will ever deliver on the promise of her family's name.

He’s a rake in need of reforming…

Will Colton leads a frivolous existence, embracing notoriety instead of managing his family’s fortune. Determined to forget his financial burden and his father’s growing resentment, he maintains a lifestyle dedicated to pleasure and self-indulgence. When Will is invited to the Tisdale estate for an extended holiday, he never expects to become friends with the forgettable Lillian. But when a family secret comes to light, he must choose between leaving London and protecting the honor of one woman or staying and risking the reputation of another.


Upon his return, Will finds the girl he left behind has come out of the shadows and into her own. Lillian’s finally the center of attention, and not all of it good. With his own reputation in tatters, can a reformed rake lure her out of the hands of London's bachelors and back into his own arms? Can he escape his past and reclaim her heart, or has he lost her forever?


Excerpt One:

He didn’t try and crawl out of the hole he’d so easily dug for himself. Rather, instead of making an already awkward situation worse, he smiled. It was a cavalier sort of smile—one that she just knew he’d used hundreds of times before to get him out of this sort of trouble. Women were undoubtedly willing to forgive him most transgressions just by a flash of this winning grin.

Lord knew she was.

She’d never before met anyone so handsome, so charming, so…

A bolt of pain shot up her arm, as if God himself was punishing her for having such immoral thoughts.

“Enough,” he said. “We need to get you in front of a doctor. The sooner, the better.”

“Good idea,” she agreed. “How do you suggest we go about doing that?”

“First, we’ll need to secure your arm.”

She nodded. “You mean fashion a sling? I’m sure there’s something around here that we could use as rope. Perhaps ivy? There’s a great deal of it about the estate.”

His hand flew up to his chest. “What do you take me for, some sort of bushman? For heaven’s sake, I’m from Grosvenor Square, not some jungle. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of how to go about accomplishing something like that.”

Lilly bit her lip. She’d never make it being jostled about without something to steady her arm. “Did you have something else in mind, then?”

Mr. Colton started removing his jacket. “I thought I’d use my shirt. I’ll rip some strips off of it and make the sling out of that.”

“Your shirt,” she repeated, suddenly questioning if she’d indeed suffered a head injury along with her broken arm.

He tossed the jacket to the ground behind him. “Yes.”

She was confused. “But then what will you wear?”

He was unfastening his waistcoat. “Nothing, I suppose .”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, 
or as she likes to think of it—almost
Chicago.  She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.

Links and social media:






Chasing the Other Tisdale, Compromising Miss Tisdale and Taming Miss Tisdale from Soul Mate Publishing, available now on Amazon!

Follow this link below to enter the drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B/N Gift Card of your choice! To be awarded at the end of the book tour.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Hot Buttered Yum by Kim Law




Oh, Santa baby!

Turtle Island’s Yummy Santa contest is underway, and master of ceremonies Roni Templeman is ready to rock around the Christmas tree. After years of hiding the pain of loss behind her carefree lifestyle, she’s shocked to find one broad-shouldered contestant is much more than just a hot body. But is she ready to finally let someone unwrap her guarded heart?

Single dad (and gorgeous nerd) Lucas Alexander would do anything to help the charity that’s done so much to help him—even if that means stripping down and suiting up as a sexy Santa. His battle to keep his daughter healthy has been a long, lonely one, but in Roni he’s met the easy, breezy beach girl that he wants by his side. Now he has twelve days to prove to her that their love is worth the risk, and this Santa is determined to claim his Mrs. Claus.


Published & Release Date: Montlake Publishing, October 8, 2013

Time and setting: Turtle Island, Georgia

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 2

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s musings

This is the first book by Kim Law that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I actually listened to the audio book, instead of reading it. I enjoyed the narration a great deal. This is an uncredited recording, but very well done. I could easily distinguish between the different characters. I’m so glad I chose Hot Buttered Yum as the first book to read by Ms. Law. It is a delightful tale.

Roni Templeton is a concert pianist, who has retired from performing after suffering great personal loss three years before. She is very wary of entering into any kind of relationship with a man, but when she meets Lucas Alexander, she decides that a flirtation with benefits may very well be what she needs. After a conversation with this hot guy, she makes up her mind to accept his seductive overtures. There is one problem though. Lucas is one of the contestants in the Turtle Island’s Yummy Santa contest, and she is the master of ceremonies. Her friend Kayla will have her head if she enters into a fling with a contestant, no matter how good looking and hot he is, and in her mind he is smoking hot!

Lucas is a computer programmer by day and a secret cover model on the side. While he has put that part of his life behind him, he enters this contest to raise a sizable donation for the Leukemia Foundation, a charity that has done so much for him during his little daughter’s bout with the disease. 

Thank God his sweet Gracie is now cancer free.  When he meets Roni, he is immediately attracted to her in a BIG WAY. Why not enter into a hot, two week fling with the gorgeous Black-haired beauty?

This begins a madly passionate sexual romp for the pair. Can this hot sexual affair turn into more, or will the secrets of Roni and Lucas’s past collide separating them forever.

For the most part, Hot Buttered Yum is a light-hearted romantic comedy, but under the surface, Roni is hiding a great deal of emotional pain. The last thing she wants is to bare her soul to someone who will only be in her life for two weeks, but as their time together goes by, that is exactly what she wants to do, especially when Lucas asks her to come to Dallas and meet his daughter when the competition is over in a couple of days. Fear paralyzes Roni, but she has fallen in love with Lucas. 

When she shares her past and the guilt she feels for what happened three years ago, Lucas tells her his story, which in some ways is similar to hers and Roni runs, unable to face the possibility of being hurt again.

Ms. Law writes with a great deal of emotion which touched my soul. I felt as if I experienced Roni’s loss as my own. Her writing style allowed me to become totally enmeshed in the characters’ lives and had me rooting for them as a couple. I fell in love with both characters from the first page, especially Lucas. He pursues Roni even though she does not make it easy for him. It is refreshing to read a story with a hero who has not been a player before he meets the girl. Lucas is an endearing character to say the least.

I also liked the secondary characters as well. The little girl, Gracie, is a delight and adds quite a bit to this great book. The young women who are best friends with Roni have known each other since childhood, and Ms. Law has created the desire to read her other book in the series, and I certainly hope she plans to write more books with these charming characters.

I do want to mention that the sexual scenes are extremely hot and added greatly to my reading enjoyment. If you are looking for a light-hearted story filled with a lot of undercurrents, then this is one that you will definitely want to read. Happy reading!



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Highland Guard (Murray Family Book 20)
by Hannah Howell




New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell brings back the daring Murray family in a brand-new tale of dangerous love rekindled. . . 

Lady Annys MacQueen has no other choice. The deception that enabled her to keep her lands safe is on the verge of being revealed by a cruel kinsman. To shield her young son from the sword and her people from devastation, she must turn to the one man she could never forget... 

He lives for duty and honor. So the only way Sir Harcourt Murray could repay the laird who saved his life was to agree to father a child with Sir MacQueen's wife...Lady Annys. 

Now the passion he still feels for the lovely strong-willed widow is as all-consuming and perilous as securing her lands. But to convince her that his love is forever real means confronting her most wrenching fears--and putting everything they treasure most at stake...


Published & Release Date: Zebra, February 24, 2015

Time and setting: Scotland, summer

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 4 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s musings

I have been a fan of Hannah Howell’s ever since I read the first book in the Murray series. When the opportunity came up to review Highland Guard, I looked forward to reading it with great anticipation. I could not wait to be re-united with the Murray clan. That did not happen. This reads more as a stand alone than a book in that amazing series. I was a bit disappointed, but I still enjoyed the book, just not quite as much as I have enjoyed her other stories.

Sir Harcourt Murray comes to Lady Annys MacQueen’s side when he receives a message that she is experiencing great difficulties with one of her late husband’s cousins and believes her life and her son’s is in jeopardy. Harcourt and Annys have a past. Her late husband sustained an injury making it impossible for him to father a child, and he desperately needed an heir.

What follows in this review is the set up for the story and is expertly told in back story without being intrusive. When Sir David MacQueen found Harcourt gravely injured on the side of a road, he took him back to his Keep, and arranged for him to be nursed back to health. Once Harcourt recovered, he asked Sir David what he could do to pay him back for saving his life. Sir David told him that he wanted him to impregnate his wife. Although this went against all his principles, he agreed. After all, he did owe Sir David his life, and his attraction to Annys was more than he could resist.

Once Annys was with child, he took his leave even though it was one of the hardest things he had ever done in his life. Out of respect for his agreement with Sir David, he felt that he had to leave without biding the fair lady farewell.

When they are re-united again five years later, while this time Sir David does not stand in the way of them being together, Lady Annys is wary of Sir Harcourt since he left without a word to her. She harbors deep anguish and some resentment from this.

Sir Harcourt realizes that he has an upward battle winning the lady’s affections again. While he tries to find and end the problems with the evil cousin, not only is he constantly with Annys, he also has a chance to get to know his son.

After some time, he breaks through her shield, but so many things standing in the way of them having a lasting relationship with each other. Lady Annys must stay at Glencullaich to guard her son’s inheritance as Laird, and he has his own keep to protect. Can Harcourt find a way to fulfill Annys’s obligations without compromising his responsibilities to his brother and the rest of his clan?

As always, I enjoyed Ms. Howell’s writing style and her ability to bring her characters to life. She has such an astounding grasp of the Scottish dialect that her dialogue rings so true and helps to pull me in, putting me right there in the life of a keep during the time period. I would have liked a bit more information concerning the year, but this did not take me away from enjoying the book immensely.

I loved Harcourt’s character from the very beginning, and liked Annys a great deal and enjoyed their romance. Their little boy, Benet, stole the show, what an endearing little guy, and his lamb is just too precious, and the cat, Roban is charming. Who ever heard of a cat riding on a lamb’s back. It added greatly to the story, which did need a bit of help.

This is what gave me a bit of a struggle. The plot just did not ring true for me and was quite predictable. I easily figured out how the story would turn out well before the ending. Now it does have a very satisfying ‘Happily Ever After’, just very predictable.

Also I wanted to hear about the other amazing characters from the other twenty books, but none of them were in this story, which was disappointing. Hearing about these characters is one of the things that I enjoyed in her other books. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this character-driven tale and look forward to reading other books by this incredibly talented author. Happy reading!     

  


Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie




~"Delightful....A romantic winner." --Kirkus 
Four young women face a life of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and turns them each into a beautiful bride. In 
The Winter Bride, a compromising situation leads to an unexpected wedding and delicious temptation....


Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun. 
When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride. 
Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation? 


Published & Release Date: Entangled, Scandalous, November 10, 2014

Time and setting: 1816 England

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s musings

I am so pleased I had the opportunity to read The Winter Bride. A friend asked me to read it because she received it to judge for the Rita. Since she is in the midst of edits, she feared she would not have time. I immediately said yes. Historical Regency romance is my favorite genre, and I have read other books by Ms. Gracie. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful story. This is the second book in the Chance Sisters series, and I will definitely be reading book one.

Freddie Monkton-Coombes is best man at Max, Lord Davenham’s wedding. On the eve of the wedding, Max asks him to keep an eye on his bride’s sisters. Freddie is the last man on earth that should be guarding tender young misses. He is a known rake, but Max tells him that is the very reason he wants Freddie, who better than a rake, to watch over innocents and keep them out of the clutches of another rake. There is another problem. Damaris Chance disturbs him in ways he prefers not to examine too closely.

While Freddie is a confirmed bachelor, determined to never marry, Damaris is just as determined to remain single. When Freddie’s parents plan a house party and invite all the muffins (eligible young ladies) in town who are constantly chasing after him, he becomes desperate and hatches a plan. If Damaris will pretend she is his betrothed, then he will buy her a cottage in the country close to Davenham Hall, which is Damaris’ dream.

This starts a delightfully witty romp. While The Winter Bride is a light-hearted read on the surface, the story has much more depth than is usually found in romantic comedy. Freddie has a great deal of emotional pain and guilt over the death of his brother and is estranged from his parents, only visiting them one day a year on the anniversary of George’s death.

Damaris has her secrets as well and these secrets are tied to her determination to never marry. As the story unfolds, Ms. Gracie uses a masterful touch as she sprinkles in what these secrets are. The pain Damaris feels is deeply moving and when I learned what had happened to her, it moved me to tears.
She also does an excellent job of building suspense in the sense that I became thoroughly enmeshed in the story, turning the pages on my Kindle as fast as possible, impatiently waiting for this emotionally-charged tale to reveal the hero and heroine’s secrets. Most times when I think of suspense, it usually involves situations of high adventure and lots of action.  

This is a beautifully written story that ran the gambit of emotions for me. At times, I laughed out loud, especially at the experimental Chinese swimming pigs, and at other times my heart ached, especially when Freddie shows Damaris his family portrait gallery.

I do wish I had read The Autumn Bride first and suggest that you start with it first, not that this is confusing, it is easily a stand alone. I highly recommend this beautiful story and can’t wait for Jane and Daisy’s stories. Happy reading!



Monday, February 16, 2015

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell






Since its original publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and one of the bestselling novels of all time—has been heralded by readers everywhere as The Great American Novel.

Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.


Published & Release Date: Original published in 1936

Time and setting: Civil War, Georgia

Genre: Historical Fiction/Epic/Romantic Elements

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s musings

The first time I read Gone With the Wind, I was around sixteen years old. It made a lasting impression on me. I have probably read this book at least ten times during my youth and my young adult years and watched the movie as many times. I realized that it must have been thirty years since I last read it and decided it was time to read it again with new eyes. I downloaded it and also purchased the audio book to go along with it. I must say this has been a different experience listening to the audio along with the book.

Linda Stephens is the narrator and truly brings this huge cast of characters to life. I could easily distinguish the different voices. She does an outstanding job with all the varying accents from Scarlett, to Rhett, to Mammy. Now at times, I did cringe when I listened to all the racist dialogue, but I tried to remember this is written when this was the normal attitude of that time, not how we feel today. Obviously Gone With the Wind is NOT politically correct to say the least!

I think that it also important to understand that Margaret Mitchell was a gentile southern woman and her upbringing was vastly different from how my generation was raised. My mother was also raised during the same time period and even though she grew up in the north, her attitude was a bit prejudged as well. I thank God I became an adult in the seventies and have a much more enlightened attitude.

With that being said, I also listened/read with knowledge of books written in my time. While Margaret Mitchell’s writing style is vastly different from the norm today, I am sure it was brilliant in 1936. I kept that in mind and focused on this epic story that swept me up in the midst of a war torn world and the aftermath of that war. I can understand why Ms. Mitchell took ten years to write this story. I cannot even imagine the amount of research she must have done to get the historical details accurate.

I am not going to do a synopsis of the book other than to say that it covers the years of the Civil War and the reconstruction period that the south endured. Most individuals today have either read the book or watched the movie, at least my generation. Our children are aware of it as well, even if they have never read the book or watched the movie.

When I read Gone With the Wind as a young girl, I think I concentrated on all the history and pageantry and not the character’s defects. While Scarlett is an incredibly narcissistic character, she does have an indomitable spirit and personality. I am not sure I could have grown up in those times where a woman’s only purpose in life was to be ornamental and where men believed them hen-witted and should not be concerned by any issues beyond beauty and refinement and the need to be a lady at all times, and not have been just like her. I would hope I would have been more like Melanie, but I doubt it. I am as strong-willed and as stubborn as Scarlett. I just do not like to admit it.

Scarlett is a complex character with many layers to her personality and while I do not like her character, I do admire her tenacity and determination to survive and flourish in a changed world, so different than what she could have imagined as a young girl. Margaret Mitchell has written a character with such depth that it takes my breath away. If I could write a heroine with a tenth of her depth, I am sure it would be an immediate best seller.

Rhett Butler is a rogue that as a reader I always love. For some reason, while it is not acceptable for a woman to be scandalous, it is desired in heroes as long as there is a tender, caring side to them. Rhett’s character has a huge arch that satisfied my need for ‘a bad boy gone good’. While I wish that their love story could have had a ‘Happily Ever After’, it is much more realistic for Rhett to give up on ever having Scarlett return his love and to grow so cynical that he finally does not “give a damn”.  It would have been out of character if he had been able to forgive and forget.

Well my musings are getting a bit deep so I will close. If you have not read this amazing book, I highly recommend it, but do read with an open mind to fully appreciate the artistry of the writing and the pageantry of a time long dead. Happy reading!