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on December 1, 2005
Mad Jack by Catherine Coulter got placed back on my bookshelf with her other works!. This was a fun read because it was so different than anything else I had read by Coulter. It's set in 1811 London and Mad Jack turns out to be a young woman who has run away from her stepfather who plans to have her marry a sinister old man. She is aided by becoming the "male" valet to two lovely aunts of, of course, an attractive single Lord of the manor. Now, you may think, oh,this is just another love story...Not true! For instance, Lord Durban meets Mad Jack after "he" has stolen Durban's horse and when he catches "him," he attacks "him" as the horse thief Mad Jack is...well, you get the picture...soon he finds out that he has been beating up on a young lady--quite a pretty young lady indeed. Only to have her kidnapped... Ah, quite a romp around merry ole England...what?
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on January 11, 1999
After having revised all of her early regencies and revisited them on the world, Catherine Coulter has now resorted to recycling her efforts. This is a badly disguised reprise of her Phillip Mericault book with plot twists that are more like limp threads that go nowhere and leave one dangling. For example, "Jack" is a female named Winifrede (why not call her Fred? At least one could keep the names straight) who takes refuge--no reason given--at the hero's great aunts' home. The three promptly move to hero's home--no reason given. Almost immediately heroine runs away and is caught in rainstorm and develops runaway fever which can only be reduced by sponging her breasts, etc. Naturally hero has to marry her (sound familiar)? Throw in a missing magic lamp (which nobody searches for)... Sherbrooke couples who serve no purpose other than to stage all their sexual arguments in the hero's home...a potential racing cat who may or maynot be pregnant...and what do you have? A mish-mosh enlived by typical Coulter blither (that's blather delivered in a falsetto). Only redeeming feature: the two great aunts.
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on July 28, 2004
I am an avid reader of romance and LOVE Catherine Coulter and Johanna Lindsey. This book, Mad Jack, was not one of her best. The story line falls flat and there didn't seem to be much passion between Jack and Grey.

In the beginning, he nurses her back to health and she is naked infront of him for four days and he feels very little attraction to her. I also found confusing the many scenes with a lot of the characters from her other "Bride" books. The sex, however, is as steamy as always. She gets an A+ for that! The mystery that is mentioned lasts about two chapters and then is resolved so that didn't add too much to the book but who reads romance for the mystery?

All in all, not a bad effort and it's a quick read.
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on February 17, 2016
I did enjoy this book. I would've enjoyed it more if the Sherbrooke clan had NOT been in it. They were totally unnecessary to the story. In fact, every time they appeared the story got bogged down. Early in the story Colin and Douglas have a knock down drag out fist fight, in Gray's study, in front of Gray, who just sits there like this is perfectly normal. It made no sense that they would have a fist fight in someone else's house. Every time a member of the Sherbrooke clan showed up I rolled my eyes and was sorely tempted to skip past it. They added nothing to the story. It would have been perfectly fine without any of them in it.

I reread the Bride Trilogy prior to reading this story. It appears to me that the author didn't and should have. In The Heiress Bride Alex was pregnant again. In this story, which takes place four years after The Heiress Bride, Douglas and Alex still only have the twins, no other child. There's no mention whatsoever of the pregnancy. Also, in Heiress Bride it's mentioned that Tysen has been married four years and has three children. In this book Tysen has been married three years, has Meggie and his wife is breeding again.

Another poster wondered why the heroine didn't use the name Fred while pretending to be a male valet instead of Jack, as her actual name is Winifrede. She was hiding from her stepfather. He knew she'd gone with Mathilda and Maude. Having a valet named Fred would've given her away. Not that her being called Jack fooled him, but that's most likely why the author didn't use the name Fred.

All in all this was a good read but it could've been better.
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on December 8, 1998
In 1811 England, the two elderly aunts of Grayson Abermarle, Baron Cliffe, accompanied by their valet, MAD JACK, move into his home while their house is being repaired. Grayson soon learns that Mad Jack is a beautiful female, Winifrede Levering, on the run from her abusive stepfather, Sir Henry Wallace-Stafford. It seems that Henry plans to wed Winifrede to one of his debauched friends.

Catherine Coulter books make the New York Times best seller lists and this novel should be no exception. Though the audience for Regency romances seems to be dwindling, Ms. Coulter is one of the few sub-genre writers who still sell. MAD JACK should also be successful, as the novel is quite interesting and fun to read. Although the novel does drag after the lead protagonists settle their differences with her stepfather (about 100 pages to go), Ms. Coulter's fans will not notice this.

Harriet Klausner
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on February 20, 1999
I paid the outlandish price for this book, assuming that Coulter would be up to her usual high standards. Such was not the case. The dialogue was almost bizarrely stilted ("I'm a man. I'm handsome and charming..... You will admire me. You will be pleased that I'm your husband. You will obey me, but I will never trust you".) Does/did anybody ever talk that way? Coulter also brought in characters from previous books, such as Sinjun and Colin, Ryder, and Douglas, which, I admit, influenced my decision to buy the book. Like the dialogue, though, their presence seems awkward and contrived, leading me to suspect they were reintroduced to lend some credibility to a vague plot (the heroine, Mad Jack, is trying to avoid being married off by her wick stepfather, hence the quickly failed masquerade as a male). Do yourself a favor and wait until your local library has this book. It's not worth buying...........
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on September 6, 2007
I'm not really a Catherine Coulter Fan but I like all her Sherbrooks audio books read by Anne Fosnik. I like her twist and turn of the story, her sense of humor, wits and dialogues. I also like her strong and intelligent heroines, who, regardless may be irritating from time to time, are nonetheless never helpless females.
Yes I agree her books sometimes can be too much redundancy which bores me. But I understand she had to do it to fill enough pages..... Still Mad Jack is enjoyable. To be fair I think Mad Jack deserves at least 3 stars or a bit more.
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on April 20, 2001
I don't know why others complained about Mad Jack. I finished it and found that it was a good read. Especially if you have already been a big fan of Catherine Coulter, don't seriously take into account many negative feedbacks this title receives. Just read it and you also will not understand why others complained about it. Ms Coulter is always Ms Coulter. She never loses quality in writing romantic seences and adding sense of humor into her books.
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on September 27, 1999
I have ready many of Ms. Coulter novels and this was, by far, the worst. The sentences were short, stilted, and repetitive. Where was the plot, the story line? This book seemed like it was written with no effort or thought. She kept repeating the same thing to take up space. This one is going in the recycle bin! I know she can write better than this.
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on August 6, 1999
Her novels used to be fun and passionate, if with perhaps a bittoo much violence toward women. Used repeatedly it seems like aneasy-to-invoke plot device.
The first clue to quality slips in the Regency/historical offerings were the re-issues of shorter novels as expanded ones. The new Regencies since then are beginning to all sound alike.
Every heroine's "eyes cross with lust". Etc.
By the time I got to Mad Jack, I was totally confused mid-way through. Simply because the author kept throwing in new elements to separate her main couple. Eventually the two of them seemed like different people in each chapter. I could not imagine how Jack got from an ignorant bride (of things "bridal") to the wisdom-dispensing mature counsellor of her husband over the trauma induced by his mother. When did Jack make THAT transition? The story takes place over a fairly brief period of time.
Slow down, Ms. Coulter. It seems like she's hurrying to the bank to deposit royalties.
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