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VINE VOICEon May 20, 2004
Setting - England, 1831--- Izzy Temple is a rather non-descript and plain young woman who has convinced herself that she would never marry. After all she knew was very plain, but she was intelligent and she had a dream. Of course, her dream was not like the one she was experiencing at the moment with someone nibbling at her neck, caressing her body, and causing all kinds of delightful feelings in the pit of her stomach - but wait a minute, this was no dream! Screaming out and reaching for a candelabrum next to her bed she had just knocked her assailant senseless as the door to her bedchamber was thrown open. Several people came running to her aid. Among them was the fantastically beautiful Lady Claire Bottomly, whose horrifying expression of shock and embarrassment made Izzy realize in an instant that Eppingham, Julian Rowley had mistaken her room for his assignation with the much more desirable Lady Claire. As Julian's father came through the door expressing his disgust with his son, Izzy made the split second decision to protect both Julian and Lady Clair by claiming a lover's quarrel rather than everyone's assumption that he was raping her. Actually, fessing up as being ruined would solve a big problem for her. As the days progressed Izzy was quite pleased with herself that she was to be labeled a `fallen' woman - this way she could set up her own household living alone as an `independent' woman until she would eventually leave England for America!
Unfortunately, Julian in trying to accommodate his father's wishes (and believe me his father ends up being a real beastly, unloving, horrid father) agrees to marry the plain little spinster or he would be disinherited. He is astounded when Izzy promptly turns him down, but after he explained his situation, soft-hearted Izzy agreed to a fake betrothal that she could end within a suitable frame of time, even if she really and truly would love to marry the handsome Lord she was fast losing her heart to. Originally, Julian thought himself immune to the plain spinster, but as he spent time with her - originally as part of the `deception' - he realized that she wasn't plain at all, and when he was with her his heart felt lighter - could this be love?
This was a totally delightful and satisfying read. I don't remember enjoying a heroine so much as Izzy (sweetly nicknamed Isadorable by Julian) and her matter of fact, down to earth outlook on life. Her going away present to her horrid little cousin Sheldon was a hoot and the way she stood up against and `dressed down' Julian's father was magnificent! The reader is just bound to love her transformation from plain Jane to Isadorable. If I have any complaints at all, it would be that the secondary characters (Eric, Lady Claire, cousin Millie, etc.) were so endearing that I feel bereft in not seeing the story continue into a series.... I just hated to see this end even though the author does tie all the ends up with a neat little epilogue. For a debut novel this one is most deservedly worthy of the RITA it has won. Totally charming and extremely enjoyable! --- Submitted by Marilyn, Official Reviewer for [...] ---
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VINE VOICEon July 5, 2001
I loved this book! Lately I've been having a problem getting through even my favorite authors books, but I read "Fallen" in one sitting.
"Fallen" is the basic Cinderella story, with a kick butt heroine and a fully fleshed hero. Izzy Temple and Lord Eppingham, Julian Rowley, are caught in a compromising situation when he wakes her from what she thinks is an erotic dream with a kiss to die for. After she catches her breath and realizes that she isn't dreaming, Izzy picks up a candlestick, conks Julian over the head and screams down the house. She is ruined and Julian is saved from being disowned by Izzy's perception and giving personality.
When Julian later goes to offer for Izzy, out of duty, her great spirit and fabulous sense of humor unexpectedly captivate Julian. Izzy is a truly likeable character and Julian a romantic hero. This is a fun, fast, summer read, from a fantastic new author
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VINE VOICEon November 5, 2011
Julian should really stop drinking. He had a bit too much one night and ends up in Izzy's bed, instead of across the hall in the bed of the lovely Lady Celia. She wakes up to find a strange man in her bed, conks him on the head with a candle stick and screams. The only way out of the situation is a marriage of convenience, but since Izzy doesn't want to get married they settle for an engagement of convenience.

Izzy is one of those perky, innocent, ball of light type heroines, and I have to say I have a soft spot for these kind of ladies, being they always get paired with those sexy dark brooding heroes. But in this case Julian was a bit of a disappointment. He refuses to think that he has anything special with Izzy and the best way to prove that is with other women. The author describes in quite a bit of detail as he tries to "prove to himself" that Izzy means nothing with other women. The first other woman is his mistress, whom he is fooling around with while she is naked and saying hello to his manly bits. The next woman he is kissing/grouping/planing to have sex with while Izzy is in the same room and he is behind some curtains. The next woman is after they are married and they fool around in a bar before he decides to leave, this happens after he admits to himself that he loves her. Then in the very end he tells here there has been no one else since they first kissed . . . I guess by no one else he means sex and not women because there were plenty of those, enough to call the guy a cheater. It just annoys me that the author is not willing to make him go through with it, being then he would be beyond redemption of the reader and yet he keeps on doing it and acts like it means nothing. So it is supposed to be repugnant, but just not too repugnant.

I did like this book, but the cheating aspect was not well done. I would have rather had him just sleep with the first woman and then commit to Izzy instead of being so wishy washy. But the rest of the book was well done, there was a bit too much angst and negativity in the end that not even that ray of sunshine Izzy could counteract. I did like the ending, I don't want to give it away but he made a very big sacrifice for her, even though I think it was more something he wanted, but still a sacrifice.

2 1/2 stars.
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on March 4, 2002
This really was a great book and the only reason why I did not give it 5 stars is because the author got a little too lengthy with the "married in name only" scenario. It just took a little too long for Julian and Izzy to make amends which made the "romance" fall short. The characters got along so well before actually being forced to get married (because of her impending pregnancy) that it was disappointing to see them apart for so long.
Lord Eppingham (Julian) Rowley, spare son of the Duke and Isadora (Izzy) Temple are definitely not on the same "society" level. She is living with her wicked, jealous aunt after losing her parents at sea and has been made to earn her keep by sleeping in an unheated room, being governess, cook, gardener, maid, etc.
Izzy may have not been beautiful according to "society standards" but she was no push over and she did not want to marry Julian and become his property. I felt so sorry for her because she sacrificed much for a rake who would never love her and compromised her reputation by stumbling into her bedroom for a fling when he was supposed to be in Lady Bottomly's. Izzy has a great personality and very quickly sees this mistake as an opportunity to be free of her hateful aunt/cousins, get her inheritance and head to America. She talks Julian into a "pretend" betrothal and becomes a friend to several of the ladies of the ton, including Lady Bottomly.
Julian was determined to marry her and though tempted remained faithful to her, but he thinks love is just a word. Once the pighead stops drinking long enough to finally come to the realization that he is in love with Izzy, he's determined to make her fall in love with him and out of love with his best friend. But is he too late and/or has Izzy fallen for another?
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VINE VOICEon June 21, 2009
Fallen is your typical Cinderella type of story except that this Cinderella can stand up for herself! Izzy is what makes this story wonderful and she is solely responsible for the 3 stars that I give this booK. She is truly a likeable heroine! Her wit, honesty, kindness, and sincerity are like breaths of fresh air. You will love her from the very first page and be flipping through pages as fast as you can.....until half way thorugh the book.

At the half way point, this book absolutely falls flat. It goes from being charming and witty to frustrating and totally irritating. Julien has much to do with this! After they share a passionate encounter in the garden...it's all downhhill. Julien avoids Izzy, Izzy avoids Julien, MANY other subplots and characters take main stage and I was wondering if I was reading an entirely new book. I was anxious for this book to end, which is not a good feeling to have. I wish that Bradley would've kept Izzy and Julien likeable and "together". The detour the second half of the book takes "looses you" and you never "find your way back"...if that makes any sense.

Don't know if I can recommend this book, but if you don't mind reading 1/2 a book...the first half is priceless!
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on August 27, 2010
The book has a promising start....playboy ends up in the bed of a spinster and ruins her reputation and puts his inheritance in jeopardy if they don't marry. An engagement ensues, and the couple is inevitably drawn together through a series of mini-plots. What made this lackluster was, the execution....it just didn't flow. The pace of building suspense just wasn't there for me. There were too many implausible mini-plots. The book could have been edited to keep it simple and flowing between scenes and characters. Not a bad read for a rainy day. Pleasant, but not gripping.
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on June 9, 2001
In 1831 England, Isadore "Izzy" Temple thought she was having an erotic dream until she heard her bed companion moan. She realizes that a drunken Eppingham Rowley is sharing her bed. When other members of the Ton catch them in bed, the innocent Izzy claims a lover's spat to ease the pressure off of the alcoholic sautéed Eppingham. She also knows she is ruined as far as the Ton is concerned because everyone now believes that she is a FALLEN woman of no virtue except for Eppie, who knows the truth.
Regardless of her defense of him, Eppie does the right thing and marries Izzy. However, he soon finds his intoxicated turn into the wrong bed may have been the best thing that ever happened to him. Izzy brings light to his worried soul and soon he is besotted with love for her.
FALLEN is an amusing historical romance that stars two wonderful characters and secondary players who add depths to the layers of misinterpretation of feelings and relationships. The story line is fun and filled with double meanings and tongue in cheek (not saying whose) retorts that add to the delectation. Celeste Bradley satirizes her sub-genre in a mirthful manner that should bring acclaim and a large contingency of readers to this debut author.

Harriet Klausner
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on April 8, 2014
But it did seem to go on forever. So many misunderstandings that went on and on. I loved Julian and he was a great hero considering all that he went through with his horrible father and grandfather. Izzy had some really funny lines and was a wonderful character. Loved Eric and Celia, such great friends. What I didn't like so much was that the greater part of the sex was between Betty (the maid) and Timothy (the stableman.) Julian and Izzy made love once at about 50% and again at about 90%. Too much time was spent on Betty and Timothy, IMO..
I really liked the second part of the book best, after they went to Dearington. Everything came to a head there and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. SPOILERS BELOW!!!

What I really didn't like was the epilogue. I'm sure it's just me but I just hate reading about the hero and heroine growing old, reading about their hair going grey. I just like to remember them how I pictured them throughout the book.
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on June 15, 2001
Izzy Temple is having a rather nice erotic dream when she discovers to her horror that there is actually a man in her bed, attempting to make love to her. Fighting for her virtue, she screams for help even as she conks her unknown assailant with a candlestick. And in the chaos that ensues, she realises that her attacker, Lord Eppingham, Julian Rowley, had drunkenly mistaken her room for another's (Lady Bottomly). Even as everyone is screaming denouncements at the semiconscious Rowley, Izzy only knows the need to protect him and Lady Bottomly. And so she claims that they (Izzy & Rowley) were having a lovers's quarrel, thus destroying her own reputation, unless of course Rowley proposes marriage to her.
Rowley has no intention of being trapped into marrying a plain spinster with little expectations. However his father, who seems to dislike him completely, threatens to disinherit him unless he marries Izzy. But Izzy has no intention of marrying Rowley, preferring the life of an independent woman with a tarnished reputation to the confining one of a wife. However to help Rowley out, she agrees to a pretend betrothal. Rowley's plan however is to make this pretend engagement real in order to preserve his inheritance. Will Rowley succeed in persuading Izzy to tie her lot to his? Izzy, on the other hand has plans of her own, and dreams of starting a new life for herself far from her selfish relatives. But she is also dangerously close to completely losing her heart to Rowley. Will Izzy be able to be strong and end this sham engagement when the time comes? Will she even want to?
"Fallen" by Celeste Bradley, is primarily a really excellent read. The basic plot device of this novel is the Cinderella one. Except that over here Cinderella is plain, intelligent and a lot more confrontational. Izzy Temple is a wonderful and capable heroine; I thoroughly enjoyed watching Izzy cross swords with all the nasty characters in this novel, and come out on top. I had only one reservation: there were too many subplots -- one subplot in particular deserved a book of its own (the subplot involving Izzy's unlikely friendship with Lady Bottomly, and Lady Bottomly's marital problems) and some subplots could have done with a little more exposition (the subplot involving Izzy's only semi decent relative, Millie, for example). So much occurs in this novel, and there are so many subplots -- there is the subplot involving Izzy's cruel relatives; the Lady Bottomly subplot; the subplot involving Rowley's angry father, and the impossible father-son relationship that they have; and of course there is the Izzy-Rowley subplot -- and all this makes for some rather exciting and compelling reading. For the most part, it all works and comes together rather well. It was only when I finished the novel that I realised that Lady Bottomly truly deserved a book of her own, and that a few of the subplots could have done with a bit more exposition. And it just seemed a shame to waste so much good material on the rather hurried manner in which all subplots and loose ends were tied up.
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on May 29, 2014
FALLEN is the story of Lord Eppingham Julian Rowley who has been treated horribly by his father and grandfather, the Duke. One night he mistakenly ends up in the bedroom of Isadora Temple, a plain spinster. To save him from his folly, Izzy confesses that they had a lovers' tryst. Izzy realizes that she can gain her freedom from her own terrible relatives by being a ruined woman. Julian has other plans. He is going to marry her in order to gain the favor of his father.

I really loved the beginning of this story. Julian sees Izzy as no one else has. Her transformation to a fashionable woman is precious. These two damaged people find something wonderful in one another. Their discovery of something important is compelling. Unfortunately, the book in the second half devolves into pure misunderstanding between the two. I don't usually mind that convention so much, but here I just wanted to kick these two characters. My other problem was that the threat of disinheritance was rather implausible to me. As a result, I thought more about the technicalities of that than losing myself in the story.

I did really like the characters though and wish that we could have seen more time when their problems were resolved.
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