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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2001
In Regency England, Laura Fairleigh is a young woman solely responsible for the livelihood of herself and her two young siblings, Lottie and George. Lady Eleanor, Laura's guardian, died some months ago and promised Laura that she could stay on at Arden Manor as long as she married before she turned twenty-one.
Having discovered that his mother, Lady Eleanor, had died through a letter from Laura, Sterling Harlow, Duke of Devonbrooke, sends Laura a letter indicating that he wishes her to vacate Arden Manor within the month and take possession of it himself. Cold and unfeeling, Sterling has not seen his mother since he was seven when his father sold him to his uncle in order to pay some gambling debts. Lady Eleanor felt powerless at the time and convinced herself that her only son would be better off as the heir to a dukedom. Though she tried to reconcile with her son years later, he refused to open any of her letters.
On a whim, Sterling decides to ride to Arden Manor sooner than expected. When approaching the property, his horse shies, and he is thrown and knocked unconscious. Laura finds him in the woods and brings him back to Arden Manor. But Sterling has amnesia, and Laura has no idea who he is. In order to retain Arden Manor thereby marrying before her upcoming twenty-first birthday, Laura gives Sterling the name of Nicholas and convinces him that he is her fiancee. 'Nicholas' begins to look forward to his wedding day as he can't deny his attraction for Laura. The feeling is mutual, but will 'Nick' retain his amnesia long enough for the wedding to take place? And...what will Laura do when 'Nick' remembers his past?
Ms. Medeiros has penned a delightful novel with a generous mix of humor and romance. While the attraction between Sterling and Laura sizzles, the supporting characters contribute much to this novel. Dower, Laura's sourfaced worker, and his wife Cookie, loyal to a fault, add a touch of comic relief. And Lottie, Laura's little sister, is constantly getting into mischief in her attempt to remove 'Nick' from the picture. Ms. Medeiros has cleverly included some of Lady Eleanor's last words as parts of a letter to her son begin every chapter. A MAGICAL SUMMER READ.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2003
This is my favorite of Teresa Medeiros's books. Her humorous writing style never ceases to entertain me. She has a perfect blend of humor, romance, and sexual tension that I find completely irresistible. And this one tops her others! The characters are likable, the writing is beautiful and sweet, the story itself is highly enjoyable...and of course I'm rather partial to the heroine's name. ;-) Laura Fairleigh is spunky, Sterling the Duke of Devonbrooke is charmingly intense, and all of the quirky characters surrounding them add color unlike any others! I love the way Mederios mixes in another secondary romantic line, with Sterling's cousin Diana and his friend Thane. I think it rounds the story out quite nicely.
Bravo for Teresa Medeiros!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 10, 2004
Teresa Medeiros has become one of my favorite romance authors in part because of the vision she repeatedly presents of the transforming power of love. In this tale, a young woman's desire to provide a home for her siblings leads her to concoct a story that will secure their future. Her manipulation of the amnesia-ridden Lord Devonbrooke is a wrong action based on good motives. Bad idea, yeah. But the heroine does mean well and the couple does fall in love. So he acts differently while his memory is impaired; the story evolves to show that under the hurts and abuse of his early life, his character is truly that which the heroine fell in love with, indeed the man he probably would have been if his childhood had been different. Moreover, the truths lie in the heart in this story, not in the external details.
There is emotional depth here, a smattering of well-placed humor, and plenty of romance and passion. Plus Medeiros always-engaging style. Neither the hero nor the heroine is perfect, but the reader comes to believe that they are perfect for each other. And Laura's love for Sterling and his love for her heal the wounds of his past.
Read the chapter headings back to back; they form a whole as well as intros to each chapter. Recognize the cat motif for what it is. Don't let the naysayers keep you from reading this book. Sometimes we all need to believe in fairy tales.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2002
I loved A KISS TO REMEMBER. It reminded me of the power of a young girl's fantasy and the growing pains that go along with realizing that the people we love seldom match our idealized versions of them. In this case, Laura's fantasy of Nicholas seems so much better than the reality of Sterling -- until Sterling opens his heart and allows himself to fall in love with Laura. Nicholas becomes a bittersweet memory of a young girl's idea of love and Sterling becomes her husband and the love of her life.
I love the Sleeping Beauty metaphor and the fairy tale quality of Teresa Medeiros's writing. Growing characters, imbuing the story with fairy tale qualities, and surrounding the whole with wonderful supporting characters -- and a well-loved, never forgotten cat -- is what Teresa Medeiros does best. I wouldn't change a thing! Great reading!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Teresa Medeiros is a big fan of Anne Stuart, and since I adore Stuart's writing it does not surprise me I love Medeiros, too.
I picked up Whisper of Roses and have been a fan ever since. As of late, she has turned her attention to faerytale. Face it, the little girl in all of us weened on Prince Charming will enjoy these fresh look at old tales.
She revisits Sleeping Beauty, but in this big girls tales, it's Prince Baby who is sleeping or more to the case Duke Baby.
Laura Fairleigh an orphan, was raised by a kind benefactress (aka Faery Godmother) who leaves her Arden Manor when she dies.
Only one problem, in order to hang on to the Manor she must marry before she hits that kiss of death the Big 21st Birthday. She only has three weeks, so she prays for a man to be sent to her to save her from losing the house - and her prayers are answered - sort of.
The man who comes, is the one she fears most (though she does not know this). He is Sterling Harlow, a roguish estranged son of Laura's benefactress known as the Devil Duke of Devonbrooke. He has come to kick the gooddigger out of "his" home and reclaim it, but he suffers a fall from a horse and is knocked out.
Laura is getting desperate at this point, so when her kiss awakens him, she convinces him they are betrothed, hoping she can get him to the alter before the three weeks are up.
It's a sweet and sexy tale that is just the perfect bedtime story for all grown up lasses!!
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2002
It's disheartening to see so many raves for a book that is so utterly lacking in charm or romance. The whole basis of this "romance" is a lie, and the heroine seems to fall in love with a figment of her imagination rather than the real personality and character of the hero. She spurns her village suitors for superficial reasons, then falls for the hero purely because he's good-looking. Then while he's got amnesia, she tells him how she wants him to be, though it's inconsistent to how he really is. She never accepts him for who he really is.
The characters themselves are totally unadmirable and unlikeable. The heroine is too naive yet grossly manipulative. Really, there is not one thing about her that would have a duke(or anyone else)fall in love with her. And when she takes the moral high ground at the end, it's laughable! The hero starts off nicknamed as the "Devil of Devonbrooke" but for what? Disliking cats? Then all of a sudden he can't bear to be parted with someone who completely took advantage at his weakest state? Suddenly he's gushing about her in public? Even when she calls him the wrong name during sex?!! And that younger sister Lottie, whom the author is setting up as a future heroine, is a vain conscienceless would-be murderer who throws tantrums to get what she wants. Are we supposed to be charmed by this?
All in all, there are almost no redeeming qualities in this book that would appeal to grownups. It would have been better to market this to unrealistic teens who have never been in relationships, much less know what real romance is. Even the sex which is only stuffed into the last 25 pages as an afterthought is impersonal and vulgar.
I direct readers to look to Nora Roberts or Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Laura Kinsale or Lavyrle Spencer or even dozens others for romances that ring true, are real and adult yet are filled with genuine romance. The writing is a whole lot better in them too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 2, 2002
A Kiss to Remember strikes at the heart of those of us that like to see characters forgiven and redeemed by the heroine's love. In this book, the Devil Duke, loses his memory and is given a new chance with a girl his mother loved as her own daughter.
Neither one of the main character's childhoods really allowed them the freedom of being themselves. The Duke is especially wounded having being abondoned by his father and abused by his uncle. Laura longs to show Sterling that he was truly loved by his mother. She just has to get past the tough exterior Sterling has to cover his true sensitive nature. Of course, with the help of two younger siblings, especially her conniving baby sister Lottie, Laura gets in a lot of trouble on her path to redemption.
The romance is hot in this book. A sensual spell is woven around the two main characters that truly ignite feelings that their love is real. It's an amazing quality that Teresa has fed into this rather well-known story. It delighted me and i have re-read the book many times just to see Laura and Sterling relive their passion!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2004
Teresa's great, and with this twisty version of sleeping beauty, I couldn't be happier! The characters are enjoyable, the story more so- I can never bring myself to put her books down. (Well...most any book.) If you liked this one, check out bride & the beast, charming the prince, and breath of magic.
You might also like these authors:
Christina Dodd, Jane Feather, Julia Quinn, Julia London, Nicole Jordan, Christina Skye, Stephanie Laurens, Madeline Hunter, and some stories by Nora Roberts.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2002
I'm definitely a cat person. And when I read the very touching dedication that Teresa Medeiros wrote to her cat, I practically melted -- esp since I had also lost my miracle kitty about a year ago. So I was predisposed to like "A Kiss to Remember" even before I read it. And all in all, in spite of some reservations I had about certain plot implausibilities, I rather did enjoy this novel quite a bit.
The novel opens with young Sterling Harlow being 'sold' by his parents to his granduncle, the Duke of Devonbrooke. The Duke needs an heir, and Sterling's father a notorious gambler, needs money. And so the nasty little deal is struck, and Sterling is whisked away by the cold and autocratic old man to learn to become the perfect duke; he never sees his parents again, and he never gets over the bitterness he feels towards his parents (his mother in particular) at having being 'sold.' The years past, and Sterling has become quite the notorious rakehell. Still angry with his mother, he has never responded to any of her overtures for forgiveness. And then he receives a curt letter from the vicar's daughter, Laura Fairleigh, informing him that his mother is dead. Impulsively, Sterling decides to make for Arden Manor to see his onetime home -- and to evict the Fairleighs while he is there.
When Laura's parents died, Lady Eleanor, (Sterling's mother) took in Laura and her two siblings, giving them a home at Arden Manor. Now, with Lady Eleanor's death, it looks as if the Fairleighs will become homeless again -- unless Laura marries before her 21st birthday. In a strange move, Lady Eleanor has left matters in such a way so that Laura will inherit Arden Manor, but only if she marries before her 21st birthday, and said birthday is only a few weeks away! Torn between anger at Sterling for his cruel treatment of his mother, and desperation because she must marry soon in order to secure a future for her siblings and herself, Laura is almost worn down with despair, when she comes across an unconscious man in the forest. Laura is sure that God has answered her prayers, for the handsome stranger seems to have no memory of who he is. And so Laura decides to use this stranger (whom she renames Nicholas) for her own means. She tells him that he is her fiance, and that they are to be married soon. Thus, we're set up for the fireworks that are bound to ensue when Nicholas regains his memory and Laura realises who it is she has married.
The problem I had with this novel all stemmed from the fact that Medeiros didn't take into account the limited rights of women at the time. For example, Laura's sublime belief that once she marries everything will be all right. Marriage laws of the time would have meant that Nicholas would have been in full charge of whatever monies and lands she inherited (unless the will specifically stated otherwise, which I somehow doubt given that Lady Eleanor herself overlooked the fact that she couldn't leave Arden Manor to Laura anyway). And if Nicholas had turned out to be a scoundrel -- well she would have been worst off than she was in the beginning of the novel! Another thing I couldn't understand was, barring whether or not her will was legal, why Lady Eleanor wrote a will that basically put Laura in such a bind, and that also tied her to a man, given what Lady Laura herself suffered at her husband's hands. The other thing that gave me pause was Sterling's long-standing anger at his mother. The law at the time did not recognise a mother's right to her children. Children belonged the father, and he could do pretty much whatever he wanted. At some point Sterling should have realised (intellectually at least if not emotionally) that his mother had no say in his father's decision to 'sell' him to his granduncle.
Other than those few reservation that I had, "A Kiss to Remember" is a really fun read. The characters are all engaging ones, esp Laura and her siblings; and the novel unfolded easily enough. I especially liked the middle of the novel which deals with developing relationship between the Fairleighs and Nicholas. It's funny and touching in turns and really sets this novel above the averagely good read that most historical romances usually are. I also loved the end of the book, where the hero asks Laura for forgiveness for the manner in which he has been treating her. "A Kiss to Remember" is a slightly above average good read, as well as a charming one that should please most readers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2002
Sterling Harlow, the seventh Duke of Devonbrooke, has never gotten over the resentment he has towards life in general. Sold to his great Uncle, the sixth Duke of Devonbrooke, to be raised as his heir, Sterling has never gotten over the harsh treatment and exacting demands he was forced to grow up with. Returning to London to begin his search for a bride, he's greeted with the news of his estranged mother's death. Incensed by censure he reads in the letter, he determines to confront this Miss Fairleigh. He finds himself heading for Arden Manor, and this Miss Fairleigh. He's shocked when he finds himself and his horse nervous in the dark forest approaching Arden Manor-and stunned when his horse sends him flying through the air...
Laura Fairleigh and her two younger siblings had been living with Lady Eleanor for seven years, ever since the death of their parents. Laura had become extremely attached to the woman who longed only for the love of her estranged son, Sterling. She hated the odious toad for not returning his mother's letters, and for letting her live in the decline that had become the norm. But when Lady Eleanor passed away, Laura found herself beholden to the Duke of Devonbrooke, at least until she finds someone to marry, for that's the provision that Eleanor had left in her will-that Laura marry before her twenty first birthday in order to inherit Arden Manor. Unfortunately, she hasn't found any men that appeal to her in the local village, and doesn't know if she can settle for less than what she's dreaming of. So, when Laura is walking through the woods, communing with God and nature, and asking God to send her "A gentle man, a decent man, a man who will cherish me..." she thinks God has answered her prayers when she finds a man unconscious on the ground, with the face of an angel. When her gorgeous stranger is awakened by an impulsive kiss, she can't resist telling him 'you're mine'.
Laura convinces Sterling that he's Nicholas Radcliffe, and that they're engaged to be married. Not remembering a thing, Sterling slowly comes to believe her, and finds himself charmed by her and her sister and brother, and even her nutty servants, Cookie and Dower. And it's not long before a on the spot plan goes terribly awry...and they find themselves crazy about one another. But how is Laura to tell him about her lie? And who, exactly, is Nicholas?
What a beautiful, poignant story Ms. Medeiros has penned! This story is like a charming fairy tale, filled with wonderful characters that surround the hero and heroine. With a beautiful secondary love story, this book delivers enchantment and wonder from the first page. She makes us laugh, she makes us cry-she tugs at every emotion, and still we can't resist turning to the next page. I, for one, find myself hanging on edge waiting for her next book!
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