Ariella and Malcolm's love story was truly unique. They're both full of mistrust & sadness in the beginning then after mending each other's heart and spirit, love flows freely. The way Arielle denies her feelings for Malcolm was sad & a bit frustrating but then again, this is what makes this story different. She wanted a perfect warrior not only for herself but also for her people. Malcolm was a disappointment to her, not only physically but she also believed his heart was not as pure as she once heard it to be. So despite what her heart says, she tries so hard to let her mind rule. She convince herself that Malcolm is not the "one". Malcolm, however tall & handsome, was a scarred hero. He walked with a limp and have back pains. He made a mistake once and was cast out by his own clan. He was depressed, had no more pride and self worth. He was pitiful until she offered him gold to help her clan. In the beginning, it was all because of the gold until Malcolm slowly found his pride back while training her people. He felt respect, he found his self worth and even felt he belonged somewhere. He also found love once more... Malcolm is more human than any other heroes I've read in any book. He wasn't the perfect hero I normally would prefer... but this book proved to be just as satisfying and perhaps even more intriguing, all because of Malcolm's realistic traits. Malcolm's "transformation" and Ariella's "realization" was the most touching part of this book. I have to say that their love making was the best scene I've read in such a long time. It was full of passion, full of love. Karyn Monk truly picked the most wonderful words.
Simon the Coldheart is one of Georgette Heyer's earliest works, written before she really hit her stride with books set in the Regency period. This story is set much earlier - in the 15th century - and follows hero Simon Beauvallet, a nobody who works his way up from poverty to a knighthood and becomes a friend of the future King Henry V. Because of the date of the story, the language feels more Shakespearean than Heyer's Regencies, and the old-fashioned language might not appeal to all readers (although I personally liked it).
This isn't a medieval romance; it's more a mixture of different elements that make up an enjoyable, if perhaps less accomplished, story. We follow Simon as he works his way up in the world, as he fights battles, and as he eventually finds himself up against a very worthy opponent, Lady Margaret of Belrémy.
Some good scenes break up less effective ones, and aspects of the writing don't entirely ring true. Simon is a quiet, self-possessed man who some think cold of heart (thus his name), yet he clearly knows his mind and has worthwhile things to say when he says them. Simon the Coldheart shows the clash of two cultures after the Battle of Agincourt and gives detail of life in medieval times, but it's so different from Heyer's later Regencies and betrays at times that she was a young author trying to find her voice.
THREE WISHES is an interesting tale about Bree Walker, a waitress who lives in a small town in Vermont. Walking home, she's struck by a car on a snowy night and lands in the hospital with no memory of how she got there. Even though she can't remember much, she is positive that she's been granted three wishes. Are these wishes real? If she uses them, what happens after using that last wish? She's always wanted a soul mate, a family and a home, but at what cost to her to wish these things into her life? Is it worth the risk?
Is there ever a deal-breaker when it comes to true love? First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes . . . a baby carriage? Isn’t that what all women want? Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.
Molly Snow has always lived in the shadow of her older sister, Robin, who is a determined runner bound for Olympic greatness. Whereas Robin has always shone in the spotlight and is the apple of their mother's eye, Molly likes to remain behind the scenes, fulfilling her passion for botany, where she works in her family's business, the Snow Hill Greenhouse. Sometimes to her chagrin, Molly is also expected to support Robin's running, timing her practices and driving her to meets.
On a day Molly was supposed to be with Robin, tragedy strikes when Robin is found unconscious on the roadside by another runner. After being admitted to the ICU, it is determined that Robin had a massive heart attack that deprived her for oxygen for too long and left her brain dead. In the days that follow, each family is grappling with Robin's accident in different ways: Charlie, her father, tries to be the silent supporter, Chris, her brother, wants Robin off the life support, Kathyrn, her mother, believes that Robin will come out of this, and Molly just wants to do what Robin would have wanted, even though she doesn't know what this is.
While dealing with the guilt she feels for not being there for her sister, Molly is determined to do right by Robin and figure out what she wanted. Little does she know the family secrets she will unveil while looking for an answer.
"The Bridge Across Forever" is a story of both hope and, ultimately, despair. "We have both had a vision of something wonderful that awaits us," Leslie writes. "Yet we cannot get there from here. I am faced with a solid wall of defenses and you have the need to build still more. I long for the richness and fullness of further development, and you will search for ways t avoid it as long as we're together. Both of us are frustrated; you unable to go back, I unable to go forward, in a constant state of struggle, with clouds and dark shadows over the limited time you allow us.
"The Bridge Across Forever" is well worth reading for Leslie's perceptive analysis of the state of their relationship. It is interesting to read Richard's response to her insight, and at the same time tragic, for ultimately, he never gets it. He returns to his same old habits of denial and wishful thinking. "You are one of the most selfish people I have ever known," Leslie says. "I've needed my anger to keep you from trampling right over me, to let both of us know when enough is enough ... It is by NOT always thinking of yourself, if you can manage it, that you might someday be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be lonely and searching and lost.