6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle
Meg was abandoned at birth, and was brought up as a “charity” child, never knowing who her parents were. She was put into service as a scullery maid as soon as she was able, and had a series of cruel and abusive employers. One of those employers was a tutor, and Meg surreptitiously absorbed all of his teaching lessons to paying children. Her natural curiosity led her to becoming an expert with plants and herbs, and her ingrained sense of adventure led her to becoming an excellent storyteller. When the townspeople begin wondering and whispering about the sudden deaths of two of Meg’s abusive employers, Meg decides it’s time to leave. Though there was a young man in town who would have married Meg, he was happy to follow in his father’s footsteps and stay in this little town forever, something that would have stifled Meg. So, she takes to the road with a traveling actress named Kitty, who teaches her all manner of things, some useful and some dishonest. First of all, Meg changes her name – she is now Persephone, or Persey.
Over the years, Persey experiences her first love and her first heartbreak at the hands of a sea captain. Then she meets the second son of a nobleman, with many faults, but who offers marriage to Persey, who accepts. They are happy until he dies, and his father doesn’t want to support his deceased son’s widow. While struggling to support herself, Persey then meets Lord Holbrooke, a widowed man with no happiness in his home. Lord Holbrooke offers marriage, and Persey brings laughter and joy back to his life, winning over the affection of his young daughter, and even winning the reluctant respect of his stuffy son. Unfortunately, Lord Holbrooke is much older, and passes away after they have a few happy years together. Her stepson, Albert, is now ruling the roost, and has a wife who disdains Persey, who is now the dowager marchioness, and has been relegated to the dower house.
Persey, now thirty six years old, is content working with the flowers and plants she loves so well on the estate, and has a small circle of friends. She also is involved in much charity work, determined to make up for the wrongdoings of her youth, and to help others who had a rough start in life, as she did. Persey’s contentment is shattered when her stepson hires a famous landscape designer to completely makeover the estate, at the direction of his wife. Persey feels her work, and generations of building the lovely gardens will fall by the wayside for some horrible, modern design.
The designer, Josias “Joss” Radcliffe, has been warned about the dowager marchioness, and instructed to not let her sabotage or influence him. He’s confident that he’s more than a match for an elderly crone. When he encounters Persey for the first time, not knowing who she is, he is struck like a lightning bolt with the feeling that this is the woman he has been waiting his whole life for. Persey, mistaking him for one of the workers, banters with him and they steal a kiss. Sparks continue to fly between Joss and Persey, even after they learn each other’s true identify. But while Joss wants to start a fire, Persey wants to stamp it out before it has a chance to ignite.
Although Persey has done some less than honorable things in her life when she was younger, I couldn’t help but love her. No matter how many times life knocked her down, she picked herself up and carried on. She was true and genuine and loving with both her husbands, as well as caring for all those around her. She retained a spirit of fun and joy, and also strength. I wish I could meet her and have her for a friend! Now, Joss – he is to die for. He’s hardworking, ambitious, painfully honest and totally honorable. He is so steadfast in his determination to win Persey, and he is off the charts hot! THE PECULIAR FOLLY OF LONG LEGGED MEG is really unique. My attention was held by the sad story of Meg’s younger years, then I was charmed by Persey’s successful married years. But I became totally enthralled and captivated by the developing romance between Persey and the younger Joss, who, surprisingly, was a part of her past. This book is beautifully written, and the ending and epilogue are so satisfying and sigh worthy, that I wanted to hug the book and start reading it again. I highly recommend this entertaining and lovely book with the quirky title, as THE PECULIAR FOLLY OF LONG LEGGED MEG is pure reading delight.
As reviewed at rosesareblue dot net. I received a complimentary copy.
9 di 10 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
- Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle
What makes a good HR? A well constructed plot, good secondary characters, a great leading couple, some swoony romance and a highly satisfactory HEA. The Peculiar Folly of Long Legged Meg well and truly meets all those requirements.
But what makes a HR that is absolutely spectacular? A plot that is totally out of the ordinary, secondary characters that are complex/fascinating and even lovable - and a leading couple that breaks many of the HR rules (but in ways that are gorgeous, as well as convincing). Add to that a romance that includes great sex but is so, so much more than just that. And, of course, a spectacular HEA and Epilogue. Once again, in this case, Fresina has delivered all of the above - and more.
I've read everything Fresina has published and I'm a fan, but the tale of the h, Long Legged Meg (aka Persephone or Persey), and her swain, Josiah Radcliffe (Joss) is even better than some of my previous favourites written by her.
First, the plot: it is clever. While the story line is reminiscent of other 18th and 19th century tales of "poor child does good" Fresina has created something unique - the character traits of both Meg and Joss guarantee that. The story goes backwards and forwards over more than fifty years - not an easy device to make work, but Fresina not only manages it, she masters it.
Then the secondary characters: there are so many of them that it could be overwhelming. It isn't. The butler who serves the dowager marchioness is a star. So is the person who gives Meg her first break - Katherine. Meg's evil bosses are just that - evil. But highly credible. Albert and his wife and his sister are so well drawn that they become integral to the story. I could go on and on.
The leading couple: Meg (Persey) and Joss are both fabulous.
Meg grabs the throat and the heartstrings from her very first scene, while still a child, terrifying her audience of fellow servants with one of her grisly and infamous ghost stories:
"He developed trench mouth and then came a softening of the brain matter, followed by his eyeballs oozing out of their sockets," she closed her eyes and whispered, "plopping, one by one, to the boards beside his useless... thumping... wooden... stump."
Meg grows into Persey, a woman to admire (and she says to fear). Her life and her adventures are riveting. Her two happy marriages reveal why everyone is drawn to her, as does her interaction with everyone she meets, high or low on the totem pole. Her self-criticism and uncertainties are matched by a legendary bad temper and a waspish tongue, but also by a witty sense of humour - keep an eye out for her reference to "Cinderella."
And Joss? Well he is stunningly beautiful, but so are most HR heroes. And yet he is more. As Meg says of him:
"It was not only women who were drawn to him, but men too. He had a light inside of him, and she had recognized it the first time they met. Folk of all ages were lured to his company by that light. They felt safe and warm beside it, she supposed. It was a primeval reaction."
Joss is, in even more ways, a very unusual HR hero - and it isn't just because he isnt rich or titled. It also isn't just because he is a village boy and ex-sailor made good, with his burgeoning business as a landscape gardener. It isn't because of the steadfast love he feels for Persey, his innate integrity and his many talents. It isn't even because of his fine sense of romance, or the tower he builds for his "angel". It's for another two reasons. One is how they first met and when he first fell in love with Meg/Persey. And the other reason? It would spoil the story too much to reveal it, but it is special. As is this romance.
Furthermore, in my view, an extraordinary HR should be composed of writing that is pleasing, romantic, erotic, clever and even poetic. Its writing should demonstrate that the author has worked hard to develop her craft, creating and delivering her story without relying on overblown and overused phrases, descriptions and dialogue. Once again, Fresina has met that requirement - and in spades. When Joss and Persey (Meg) run into one another in the rose garden for the first time, Fresina needs few words to describe how momentous that is for them. (Want to read this scene before purchasing? Fresina has included it, in toto, on her website.)
In the meantime, the following two quotes beautifully sum up the subsequent impact of that meeting.
"He liked a good mind and a cheerful spirit, something interesting. But when he saw her in that rose garden, he'd suddenly thought, "There she is." Just like that, before she even spoke a word."
"Until Josias Radcliffe came around that corner and swept her off her feet, Persey hadn't been aware of anything missing from her life, anything wanting. Now a new neediness ate away at her insides like a beastly, selfish, hungry creature."
And even later in the story, Fresina delivers this further gem:
"The morning sun was bright on the side of her face, tinting her skin with a soft blush of rose gold. She reminded him suddenly of an angel on a medieval Italian fresco. She had never looked more beautiful, timeless, unearthly. "You're eight and twenty, Radcliffe. What have you been doing all this time?" "Waiting for you," he said with a shrug. To him it was simple. Women tended to complicate matters, getting men tangled up in their knots. Look what she'd done to him for example."
Finally, an extraordinary HR is also, in my view, one that takes me out of a story, not to check details that seem wrong, but instead because of references that invite curiosity. In this story, it is Persey's step-daughter, Honoria, who is a fan of the poet Anne Killigrew, who made me curious to search for and find the volume of her poetry published in the 17th century. Thanks for that, Fresina.
This is a well deserved five star HR. I recommend it to all HR fans. It is a keeper and one doesn't very often find one of those