Wednesday, July 15, 2015

TBR Challenge: Teresa Medeiros - A Kiss to Remember

Laura Fairleigh needs a husband. If she is to keep a roof over her siblings’ heads, the prim rector’s daughter must wed by her twenty-first birthday. When she finds a mysterious stranger with the face of an angel and the body of Adonis unconscious in the forest and with no memory of his name or his past, she decides to claim him for her own. Little does she know that her fallen angel is really the devil in disguise.
Sterling Harlow, the notorious rakehell known as the “Devil of Devonbrooke,” awakens to the enchanting kiss of a lovely young woman who informs him he is her long-lost betrothed. With her sun-kissed cheeks and smattering of freckles, she looks every inch the innocent, but her curves possess a woman’s allure. When she assures him he is the perfect gentleman, he wonders if he’s lost his wits as well as his memory. He would have sworn he was not a man to be satisfied with mere kisses—especially from lips as sweet and luscious as Laura’s.As he attempts to uncover the truth before their wedding night, A Kiss To Remember ignites a passion neither of them will ever be able to forget....

Comment: Here's another TBR read. This is a complicated month for reading because I have the house cleaning and I've started a temporary job, but I couldn't miss the challenges I'm in, so I grabbed a book that was suited for this month and in the pile I had this one, which was nominated to a RITA in 2001, therefore why I picked it.
This is mix of amnesia/sleeping beauty story. The hero is traveling to his old childhood house to see what he has to deal with and take some orphans who live there to other places but on the way he falls of his horse and hits his head. He is rescued by the heroine, the oldest sister of the orphans who need to leave. However, Laura, the heroine, thinks if she marries the deed to the house will go to her. When she sees the stranger she makes a plan pretending they are engaged so she can marry and save the house for herself and her brother and sister.
There's a problem, though, because the hero remembers who he really is after the marriage and then how can Laura fix their problems and the fact their identities belong exactly the person they wanted to get rid of?
This story has many romantic elements I liked. However, I think some narrative points and clichés used weren't exploited in the best way to make this a success for me.
I understand that some of my personal preferences influence a lot of what I wished this had, but at the same time this is the goal of reading, of trying to see if we like it, if it matches our reader preferences.
For me, the least achieved element was the relationship between hero and heroine and how they treated each other. I think the author wanted to make some situations funny, namely the whole amnesia related scenes and the charades but the effect it had on my perspective wasn't as smooth and easy as a comedy scene should be like. At least I didn't laugh at Laura and the children's antics towards the hero or anything.
After the marriage, the truth comes up and a second part of the story starts to take place. Now the hero has the upper hand and can control the heroine's reactions and the choices she could make.
This part reads like any other story out there set in this time... I wasn't very impressed and some plot actions seemed too obvious to be simply the natural path characters would take.
Sterling, the hero is good enough I suppose. He's not magnificent but he proves to be the man any woman would want in the end. It's just the path that seems fake and sometimes inconsistent. Because we have to see his struggle to accept some facts, he seems doubtful. I understand this plot move to make him perfect in the end, but at the same time it's one of those tactics I have no patience for.
Or it was made to look like it to me.
The heroine is likable but she isn't very practical. I don't think the author has ever convinced me she has a steady head on her shoulders because despite all the things she is entitled, many of her actions only reflect impulsiveness. Ok, anyone can argue that this is what makes it an imaginative story, that something had to happen, but it seemed to me that some personality was exaggerated in the characters which I couldn't not think about.
The secondary characters are interesting for the most part, especially the children, but not to an amazing point. There's also another romance going on, not as exploited but it's another point of interest in my opinion.
All in all, the story has good aspects but it's not presented in the best way, in the most captivating way.
I think it's a good story, but after reading many other books where I was impressed and marveled, when I read a story not as rich or addictive, I can't help but notice.
But on its own, this romance is good enough. If I stop to think about the time it was written, then it's probably very good, the person I am today, reading it affects me differently, thus... average to me.
Grade: 6/10

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