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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
VINE VOICEon February 28, 2010
In the past I have hugely enjoyed Brenda Joyce's de Warenne novels. This family had brave heroes and heroines and their mates were interesting and likeable. This author's latest novel, An Impossible Attraction, does not meet these standards, instead the heroine is weak and the hero too controlling.

Heroine Alexandra Bolton is a Victorian Cinderella, totally duty bound to her father and two sisters after the death of her mother. To her credit her sisters are kind hearted but her father is a wastrel and a drunk but Alexandra is forgiving of his misdeeds and worse an enabler, making excuses for his actions.

She is set to marry an older gentlemen, hand picked by her father but her plans are interrupted by hero Stephen Mowbray, the Duke of Clarewood, who assists her at a ball when her father proceeds to get drunk. She is attracted to the handsome Duke immediately.

Stephen pursues Alexandra. She is flattered but determined to marry her older gentleman but when vicious gossip causes problems for her she turns to Stephen who is willing to make her his mistress but not his wife. Stephen is duty bound to his estate and in many ways to the ghost of his hard hearted father. I had a difficult time warming up to Stephen as he was incredibly stubborn and arrogant.

Alexandra went through phases in this novel. She began this story as a martyr for her family, then became independent (I liked this part of her story best, when she tried to make it on her own) then back to being an uncertain irrational woman. Several times she shakes and trembles around the hero and this is not in passion but in terrible anxiety. She is almost immobilized with fear around him and cannot answer simple questions.

What I did like in this story was the blooming romance between Stephen's mother and a rough rancher from California. This tale was sweet and the growing feelings between these characters were very nicely written. Theirs was a romance with maturity (and not just because they were an older couple) and respect.

Stephen and Alexandra's romance was rather on the boring side. Alexandra was too frightened of her feelings for Stephen and he seemed distant from Alexandra for most of the novel. I never understood why he liked her and why she was championed so heartily by his family.
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I would give this one star but it seems so mean-spirited. And if I were to listen to the advice of the father of Bambi's friend Thumper, I would not be writing this review at all. I am hard-pressed to find something good to say about this book. Maybe the obvious warm affection and loyalty among the members of the de Warenne clan? That's good. But not enough to make this cliche-ridden story with one-dimensional characters worth reading. I like to read a romance for the romance and developing love between H and H. I failed to find anything but lust in this one. How the silly heroine decided she was in love with the irrational hero is beyond me. There was no attempt by the author to allow the reader to see their immediate physical attraction to each other develop into a deeper relationship. This review is probably not a useful one. Apparently I just needed to vent.
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on July 31, 2010
**SPOILERS** I've loved Brenda Joyce for years, but her recent books have left me very disappointed. I forced myself to finish this book. The heroine, Alexandra, was such a doormat. I found the opening scene so ridiculous...why spurn the man she loved and who loved her in order to care for her family??? In this era, couldn't she do more for them as a woman married to a kind and generous man who understood her devotion to her family, than she could as a single woman sewing clothes for a living, for Pete's sake??? Ludicrous. Her relationship with her father was downright dysfunctional. Look up "enabler" and you'll see her pic. I liked her sisters more than I liked her, and I'm hopeful that maybe they'll reappear in future novels.

Where to even start with Clarewood? He's an angry, immature, pompous snob. His repeated accusations toward Alexandra, constantly suspecting her of being a scheming grew tiresome. So many of their interactions revolve around Clarewood throwing accusations at her, and Alexandra offering such wimpy defense that I really grew to dislike them both by the end of the book. I found myself wishing she'd take off with Owen, at the very least!

This story was just unlikeable to me. From start to finish, I felt frustrated with the behavior of the main characters, and found their fairy-tale ending to be abrupt and incredibly unlikely, given their personalities throughout the entire book. This one isn't a keeper.
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on February 28, 2010
I used to really like Brenda Joyce, even some of the earlier de warenne stories... this one unfortunately was dull to the point of me not wanting to finish. I eventually got through it, but skimmed probably the last 75 pages.
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on February 27, 2010
This book is not your typical Brenda Joyce novel. First, the hero is a complete bore, and is totally not the "Alpha-Male" type that I'm used to reading from Brenda Joyce. He seemed so weak to me. Constantly being afraid of his fathers ghost, and not stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for his actions quickly enough. Second, the side stories took up too much space, making the actual story for the hero and heroine seem a lot shorter, and completely lacking in so many ways. There just wasn't enough growth or progress, and very little angst and passion for Alexandra and Stephen.

After finishing the book, I came away thinking that the hero and heroine are best suited apart, rather than together. I didn't get the feeling that these two actually LOVE each other.
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on March 5, 2010
Not at all up to Joyce's standards. Alexandra is unbelievably weak and timid. The Duke is Alpha male squared -- arrogant, unfeeling, rude, unlikable. Not redeemed. He was supposedly handsome but came across ugly to me. I also felt a good editing job would have cleaned up some sloppy writing.
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on October 15, 2011
I have read Brenda Joyce before and enjoyed it. But this time,for someone who has written over forty novels and has been on the best seller's list, this reads like a novice novel. The reasoning is all wrong, the heroine too wussy, the hero too, too, and not very intelligent if his reasoning keeps getting him where he constantly goes. The wording is elementary and repetitive. It did evoke all the right emotions and that is why I gave it two stars. I figured something must have been done right to do that. But I started out puzzled and have ended puzzled and many times in between determined that I would not even finish it, but I plodded through anyway. Why? I wondered again . . .
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on August 16, 2011
I've got to admit. I thought it was a great story, I understood why the hero and heroine both acted the way they did. I felt their pain. Yes it did go on a little too long the accusations and with the h so afraid. I loved when the h became independent and refused charity from anyone. I liked the sisters as well. What killed it for me at the end..........SPOILER BELOW

The final time when she left. It says the Hero lived his life as normal as he could. It mentions he never went to bed alone. He had women brought in that were healthy and didn't speak english. As soon as i read this i wanted to throw the book out the window! I absolutely HATE when a hero does this. It's unforgivable because if she had gone to someone else he never would've forgiven her. It's disgusting and he no longer is a hero in my eyes. I thought it would be addressed or the heroine would bring it up. Perhaps it would be cleared up that even though he was with them nothing happened because he loved her too mention...not even a "forgive me they meant nothing". END SPOILER

I would've given it 4 stars and i feel 2 is all i can because it was so good but for the ending.
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on February 26, 2010
I found this book to be hugely disappointing. The characters are undeveloped and thus, so is their relationship! The reader cannot see why the hero is particularly attracted to the heroine let alone, in love with her. I usually love the Alpha males in Brenda Joyce's booke ( loved Brett in Firestorm), but here there was seriously nothing likeable about him. The heroine was just "blah"...the only thing you gather from her is that she loves her sisters. And, she doesn't appear to love the hero, she's just in awe that someone of his stature would be interested in her. Literally, her feelings do not go beyond that. Plus, there's only ONE love scene and it is average at best.

Another thing I did not like was the huge side story of the Duke's mother being in love with an American rancher...YAWN! Maybe if the story had focused on developing the main characters instead of wasting SEVERAL chapters on a useless side story, it would have been better.

Overall, the book seems like a poor amateurish imitation of a Brenda Joyce novel.
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