Customer Reviews


455 Reviews
5 star:
 (220)
4 star:
 (128)
3 star:
 (64)
2 star:
 (26)
1 star:
 (17)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


125 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quite original & well-written, intricate story
A friend recommended this book to me, so although I wasn't completely sold on the story-line, I bought the book & read it in one day. I simply couldn't bring myself to put it down.

The summary is straight-forward enough. The Earl of Ashworth, Adam Stanford, is a good & honorable man who is enticed by the promise of exceedingly well-bred twin horses to the...
Published on January 5, 2011 by Aly-oops!

versus
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story in need of good editing
I generally enjoyed this book. I really liked the characters, and found the story interesting if a little slow moving at times. However, the writing could have used a good bit of editing. The style of the writing wasn't great, and there were many passages that would have benefited from improved clarity and appropriate use of commas. There were also several instances...
Published on May 28, 2011 by L. J. Edwards


‹ Previous | 1 246 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

125 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quite original & well-written, intricate story, January 5, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
A friend recommended this book to me, so although I wasn't completely sold on the story-line, I bought the book & read it in one day. I simply couldn't bring myself to put it down.

The summary is straight-forward enough. The Earl of Ashworth, Adam Stanford, is a good & honorable man who is enticed by the promise of exceedingly well-bred twin horses to the castle of the suspicious Baron Bourgeault. Instead of purchasing the outrageously priced pair, the Earl falls in love with the young & beautiful Baron's wife, Lady Catherine Bourgeault. A brief but impactful affair follows. The affair is resumed later when the Baron & his wife take up residency in London. But is this really a case of star-crossed love, or is there something...or someone...more sinister playing as puppet master?

I won't spoil it by telling any more. Any reader will be able to piece things together pretty quickly. Despite a couple of cheesy exchanges between the lovers, the story is amazingly well-written & held me riveted for hours. I came to love the main characters, & despite my loathing for the villain, I couldn't outright hate him, even before the end. Suffice it to say, Wicklund's efforts at character development are grade A.

Though I wouldn't say this book is flawless, the originality of the story coupled with the steady character development earned 5 stars from me. Though there is sex in this title, it lacks the raunchiness found in many others. What is offered, instead, is a picture of two people who fall in love & are unable to find a way out while being hopelessly manipulated for another's gain.

Don't worry, though. Justice is always served.

This is the first in a series of four:

1 - In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Often free, so watch for it!)
2 - In the Garden of Seduction (The Garden Series)
3 - In the Garden of Disgrace (The Garden Series)
4 - In the Garden of Deceit (The Garden Series Book 4)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Georgette Heyer...move over for Cynthia Wicklund!, April 13, 2011
By 
ebookluver (Dulles, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I have added Cynthia and the Garden series to my list of must read historicals that include Georgette Heyer and Janelle Taylor...I know quite different but fabulous page turners.

And that is what In the Garden of Temptation is...Cynthia is such an evocative writer that I felt I was there and part of the story. That is a rare gift.

Her characters are vivid and so real you feel you can look them up in peerage! I love stories that make me instantly connect with the characters and Cynthia does that with mastery.

Am ready to download the entire series and enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Garden of Temptation: Emotional Keeper, November 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
In the Garden of Temptation by Cynthia Wicklund

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Wicklund on [..] and subsequently reviewed her first published novel Lord of Always on that blog and my other one [...]. I bemoaned the fact that she didn't have another book coming out any time soon. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who wanted more from her, and as soon as possible! Cynthia listened to the pleas of her eager new fans and has made her books of The Garden Series available as eBooks.

HARD TO BELIEVE

Readers, you'll find it hard to believe, but these evocative, emotional romance novels made the rounds of editors and agents for years without capturing a contract. They came close many times, and Cynthia finaled in Romance Writers of America's annual Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers, but the end result was a stack of "glowing" rejection letters. Their loss is our gain because we can buy these wonderful romance novels at such low prices.

STRONG BELIEF

Writers sometimes believe so strongly in the worth of a story that they don't give up, and that's a very good thing for readers because In the Garden of Temptation is a gem worthy of a place on your keeper shelf. Thankfully, eBook reader devices, like my Kindle on which I downloaded In the Garden of Temptation, Book 1 of The Garden Series, make the size of a keeper shelf immense. Let me tell you about this story.

NO SPOILERS

It's hard to tell what this story is about without revealing some neat twists, but I'll try.

Adam Stanford, Earl of Ashworth, is a man who is honorable and above reproach. He's always done the right thing. Then he meets the beautiful -- and married -- Lady Catherine Bourgeault, the beautiful, young wife of one of the most disreputable men in England.

Stunned by a passion and a love that no amount of conscience can deny, Catherine and Adam risk everything for a few moments of stolen bliss. Unknown to them, every event from their introduction to the consummation of their love has been orchestrated by Catherine's evil, demented husband for his own dark purpose.

When Baron Bourgeault finally springs his trap, Catherine is forced to break Adam's heart in order to save him. The baron whisks her away to his crumbling castle in the country. As he sinks deeper and deeper into his psychosis, Catherine knows that her life, and all she holds dear, may be forfeit unless the power of redeeming love can save her.

CHARGED EMOTION

I read this book while I sat in the surgical waiting room last week. My daughter was having her third surgery in 18 months, and I was a basket case who could hardly take the slow movement of the hands of the clock. A two hour surgery turned into four and continued. If I hadn't had this book to read, I don't know what I'd have done. I can hardly believe that Catherine and Adam's emotional journey captured my attention sufficiently as to calm my nerves and give me brief respite from worry, but it did. I devoured the book.

BOTTOM LINE

This is the second novel I've read by Cynthia Wicklund, and it's truly another winner. I can't recommend her books highly enough. She has a way with women characters and the knack for presenting them as likable and honorable even when they may not be engaged in honorable actions. I understand these women, and I like them.

Her talent with characters extends to men. In Lord of Always, she took an evil man and made him the kind of man we'd all want in our lives. In Temptation, she takes an honorable man and makes him behave dishonorably, but we don't care! We still like him. We understand how he is in the grip of a love he never expected to feel. We see his battle with his conscience. Despite what he does, he's heroic.

I'm off to purchase the next books in the series. Book 2 is In the Garden of Seduction, and Book 3 is In the Garden of Disgrace.

Of course, I'm going to buy the Kindle Editions, but you can get them in other formats or in Kindle for other apps, not just for the Kindle Reader. However you read; get this book, and make a place on your keeper shelf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story in need of good editing, May 28, 2011
By 
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I generally enjoyed this book. I really liked the characters, and found the story interesting if a little slow moving at times. However, the writing could have used a good bit of editing. The style of the writing wasn't great, and there were many passages that would have benefited from improved clarity and appropriate use of commas. There were also several instances of inappropriate word usage (course instead of coarse, lightening instead of lightning). I found the mediocre writing distracted from a promising storyline and emotionally intriguing, likable characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Romance and adultery are not the same thing, March 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Updated from March 12, 2012 to fix typos in review.

Let me start this review with a brief synopsis of the plot as that is lacking in the description.
The heroine, Catherine is in a miserable marriage. She is married to a baron who, based on the storytelling appears to be somewhat mentally abusive. Her husband is an alcoholic and appears to have some emotional issues. She is considered the most beautiful woman of her time and her husband likes to dress her as a strumpet when he has the occasional gentleman over. The hero, Adam is an Earl who is "lured" to the castle for a pair of twin horses. He meets Catherine and based on her looks, falls instantly in love with her. The question to be answered is how can Catherine and Adam be together given that she is married? Is it worth scandal for their love to blossom?

As I read this book, I find several things incredulous. First, this "love" between Catherine and Adam isn't really that well developed. I can believe she loves him as she was forced into this marriage at 17 and has been secluded since that time, and Adam does not stare at her breasts that are so amply displayed by her husband. He is kind and loving to her and teaches her about passion. However, based on what was told in this story, I am at a loss regarding Adam's love. Everything that is described sounds like the lust of a tremendously beautiful woman (think, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, etc.). I don't see how they had enough non-physical interaction for him to fall in love with more than her face and figure.

The author shows Catherine as a sweet and compassionate person despite the lack of such she has received from her husband, but never directly to Adam. Additionally, there was a scene where the men who were hoping to gain Catherine's favors (she never presented herself as a woman who would grant any) crashed another soiree when they learned that was where she was headed next. I found this to be absurd.

The villain of the story, Catherine's husband Edgar did not seem much of a villain once his story was told. I would have liked to see more of his story early rather than later in the novel and if done right, perhaps I could have excused the adultery.

Overall, I can't really recommend this novel unless someone doesn't care about infidelity. I found this novel to be weak, the adultery aside and did not care enough about the hero and heroine. Yes, I finished it because frankly, I wanted to know more about the husband and, was curious to know how the author would get us to the happy ending that is expected in these types of novels. Despite the novel progressing to the point where Catherine and Adam could be together, the ending left a lot to be desired as well. I will not be purchasing any additional novels by this author.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A regency novel with gothic undertones, May 18, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Catherine has been married for the last seven years to Baron Bourgeault, a man with serious character flaws. He is rude, overbearing, drinks to oblivion on a regular basis and forces her to dress in a vulgar manner and entertain his guests. She is struck in a broken down castle, with little help from her servants and even has to endure the lack of respect from her spouse's valet.

Unable to suffer the touch of another human being, even his beautiful wife, the Baron cannot bring himself to consummate his marriage. Wanting an heir, the baron conceives a trap for Catherine.

This is a remarkable regency novel, which manages to blend very modern concepts with accurate historical customs and values. The story is interesting from the first chapter to the last, all the characters are very well done and entirely believable. This is a bit dark so don't expect only flowers, hearts and butterflies. It is still a romance so, of course, all ends well.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your Traditional Romance!, May 13, 2011
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The other reviewers summed up the book very well so I will not go into details. 5 stars for originality, great character development, fantastic plot, and well- crafted writing and dialogue. Not your average romance which was really refreshing. I would have paid full price for this book. I have already downloaded the next installment in the trilogy and have no reservations that it will be another great book!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS A ROMANCE?, October 28, 2011
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Lady Catherine and Baron Borgeault have been married for seven years.The Baron is a pig and the marriage is not a happy one. He has a pair of horses he wants to sell. He invites Adam Stanford Earl of Ashworth to visit his home with a view to selling the Earl the horses. This is where the Earl first lays eyes on the Baron's very beautiful wife Catherine.
This is a romance but it is far from romantic IMO. Although initially we are lead to dislike Baron Borgeault, I very soon came to pity him, he was a poor tormented soul, and although he treated his wife poorly, she for her part had never once in seven years of their marriage made any attempt to pierce his defences and try to discover how to help him. I found her weak and vain, with no backbone. My own personal objection to this story is that it is based on adultery, not my favourite theme for a story. At the time I downloaded this it was free, I assume that this is to persuade the reader to purchase further books in this series. Was I persuaded no afraid not.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise!, May 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book was so fantastic to read. It was romance with a twist--it had a REAL plot. All of the characters are well rounded and very real--I feel that this author knows a good deal about writing dimensional characters. The book isn't a silly romance novel, there is a devious and dastardly bad guy whose motivations are twisted!Loved loved loved this book! :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time, August 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In the Garden of Temptation (The Garden Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I chose this book for the free price and great reviews. I've been on a Regency reading tear lately, so this book appealed for that reason also.

I didn't hate this book. It didn't make me throw my e-reader against the wall, but I strongly do not recommend it. Here's why:

-The plot is extraordinarily weak, so much so that I felt nothing really happens in the book! I could sum things up in 2 sentences at most, but won't for spoilers' sake. This book was so predictable that it was almost insulting. I scanned many pages in this book.

-The H/h had no "character". The Hero was 32 yrs old and had done nothing with his life. He hadn't served in the military or taken his seat in the House of Lords. After reading other books where the main men did those things or at least had some sort of accomplishments, I did not like this Hero, Adam. He seemed lazy and lust-driven to me. Literally, all he did in the book was have sex with the heroine and fall in love with her. All the action to resolve any "conflicts" was done by others or conveniently by chance. About all I know about him was he was a devastatingly handsome and disgustingly rich earl who desperately wanted to bed the heroine. That's it.

-The heroine was beautiful, which is beaten into your head over and over. She was in a bad situation. I was a bit disappointed in some of her choices. She seemed kind of weak. There wasn't much to her other than her looks.

-The story is basically about adultery. Yeah, it happens now and did then, but I couldn't wholeheartedly cheer this relationship on. And for the heroine to fall into it so easily did not sit well with me. That seemed a bit non-Regency to me. I was convinced of their lust for each other, but not really the love.

I guess you could also say the book was about love conquering all, but it does not conquer a weak and predictable plot and one-dimensional characters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 246 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.