22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story
The story begins with near sighted Lady Alexandra Margaret Frances Honoria Pyne preparing for a ball that her father the Duke of Pyneham was throwing... Little does she know that two of her sworn enemies (two lovers from her past) appear, trying to win her hand in marriage. And she has some problems to overcome...
Problem #1- The Honorable James Marbury (aka Diego...
Published on June 9, 2000 by Julianne
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read
I like the idea that we are taken from the present to the past in flashbacks, but the writing was not strong enough to make this literary devise work. The time spent in the present and the time spent in the past went WAY too quickly (usually in 2-10 page increments). Right when I was beginning to warm up to the story, we would switch time frames. To me, this led to...
Published on November 21, 2000 by Sarah
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story,
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This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)The story begins with near sighted Lady Alexandra Margaret Frances Honoria Pyne preparing for a ball that her father the Duke of Pyneham was throwing... Little does she know that two of her sworn enemies (two lovers from her past) appear, trying to win her hand in marriage. And she has some problems to overcome...
Problem #1- The Honorable James Marbury (aka Diego Moresco), the ex-fisherman who became a galley slave, turned pirate... who just happens to be the long lost son of a viscount. Whom, Honoria happened to have a passionate love affair in Algiers, although she was kidnapped and bought by him. Who appears 8 years later to right the wrongs that he committed...
Problem #2- Russell Derrick, a spineless and greedy naval officer and Honoria's ex-fiancee from 8 years ago. When Derrick's ship was overtaken by the corsair pirates, he was more concerned for his own safety than Honoria's. Who only wanted to marry her for money in the first place. Then, cried off the engagement when there was any hint that Honoria's honor was compromised. And now he's back to claim her inheritance once again.
Problem #3- The Duke of Pyneham, who just happens to be her father, who is bent on finding her a husband. Whether Honoria wants one or not...
Well, throw these problems in and you find strong-willed, stubborn and control freak Honoria in a situation that is beyond her control. Who is blind to her own passion and love from a man that she can't quite trust.
There are some entertaining and witty dialogue betweeen Honoria and her suitors, and she definitely keeps them on their toes. James and Honoria in the "Rogues Gallery" is one of the funniest "I love you" scenes, if not classic for it is not the most typical of reconciliation scenes. I found the hero utterly charming, despite his pirate past (okay, it made him even more sexy) and the heroine for surviving a terrible scandal and a broken heart.
Susan Sizemore tells a clever love story, by fusing together the past and the present... switching back and forth the two to build tension and mystery. At times, I found the switching a bit tedious because I was so anxious to find out what happened in the past and how it was going to end... and had to peak ahead to appease my own curiosity. But still two days well spent reading this fun and romantic love story.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read With a Stong Female Lead,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)I just finished reading Susan Sizemore's book, On a Long Ago Night, and it was fantastic. The Hero and Heroine are likeablely flawed with an enjoyable personal connection. Sizemore mixes elements in the story from eight years before when Pirates abducted Honoria and she was seduced by her abductor and abandoned by her fiancé with the more prevalent story line set in present day. Since she went home she has been living a life of prim respectability that wis shattered by the reappearance of her former lover and her ex-fiancé.
There was enough conflict in the book to keep the story line moving along without making the main characters unlikable and the secondary characters were interesting as well. I enjoyed the fact that the story is not set exclusively in Europe and I liked reading a Pirate romance without actually having to read a pirate story.
This book has followed the recent trend of having slightly older, more powerful women as main characters and strong yet sensitive men. Men who do not have to abuse women to be sexy. When it is done well, as it was here, I like it very much. Women in books like this don't need to run around talking about how they work for women's issues in order to appear to be powerful women. They are interesting, powerful women.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great historical read by a very versatile author,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)After Barbary Pirates capture Lady Honoria Pryne, she agrees to become the lover of one of her incarcerators, Diego Moresco. He accepts her terms of her body in exchange for saving the life of her fiancé Derrick Russell. The price for saving Derrick is her innocence. When Diego's home is attacked, Honoria escapes. However, Derrick no longer wants the now damaged goods.
Several years later, James "Diego" Marbury returns to England to make right the dishonor he did to Honoria. However, when passion flares between them, he decides he wants her as his wife for more than correcting a wrong. Derrick also returns into Honoria's life because he realizes how wealthy an heiress she is. Betrayed by the two men in her life, Honoria wants neither, but desires both of them, especially James.
ON A LONG AGO NIGHT is an ultra-heated Victorian romance that employs scorching flashbacks to tell the tale of Diego and Honoria. That technique in the hands of a lesser mortal than the sensational Susan Sizemore is apt to disrupt the story line. Instead, the awesome author makes it work so well that motives are revealed and the plot is forwarded by the glimpses into the past. The exchanges between the lead charcaters is filled with humor, intelligence, and fire. Fans of historical romance will eagerly enjoy this tale and hunt for Ms. Sizemore's other ardent romances.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing a Crucial Scene,
By A Customer
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)I gave this book 4 stars, because the first two-thirds of it were 5 star material, and the last third was at best 3 stars. As she did in her wonderful book THE PRICE OF INNOCENCE, Sizmeore tells the story of a passionate reunion between old lovers who have been separated for several years using flashbacks to move back between the present and the past. I love the way Ms. Sizemore uses this technique to build dark currents of sexual tension between her wonderful and unique characters, but unfortunately she has a tendency to shortchange the flashback storyline of how the characters first met.
ON A LONG AGO NIGHT held me spellbound until I finally reached the flasback I had been waiting for -- the one that told the story of how Honoria and James had become lovers and of the passion that neither could forget even eight years later. I was stunned to discover that they had only been lovers for four days. Had those four days been SHOWN, I could have continued to believe in Honoria and James' unforgettable love. But most of the affair was not shown, INCLUDING THE VERY FIRST LOVE SCENE. In the prior flashback, we see them making a bargain. The next time we return to the flashback, the brave but trembling and virginal Honoria has been transformed into James' enthusiastic lover. How did she get from point A to point B? I NEVER FOUND OUT. At this point the wind was let out of my sails and the sexual tension out of the story. James and Honoria remained loveable, sexy and unique, but their inability to forget each other all these years no longer rang true. Plus, the lead up to this point led me to believe that James and Honoria's past had taken a darker turn, and that James had been forced to betray her in some deeper way. When the flashback storyline was wrapped up hastily with a "big misunderstanding" to explain the eight years they spent apart, it added to my letdown.
There were a few other flaws, like the implausible coincidences of four people connected to the past independently turning up at the same place at the same time, and hero and heroine having flashbacks of their love affair exactly in sequence, each on his own. But these I would've easily forgiven had only the flashback story been longer and more developed. In each of her two most recent romances, it was the past that was more exotic and daring than the present, and that made the reunion so compelling. So, Ms. Sizemore, if you're reading this, I'm begging you, please don't tease us next time -- give us more of the past, and don't skip over any parts of the first love scene! Caveats aside, I recommend ON A LONG AGO NIGHT for its strong, original heroine, its sexy and complicated hero, its adventurous story and Sizemore's energetic writing style.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In honor of, Honoria....,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)While traveling on a ship with her fiance, Derrick, Honoria becomes a captive of another "captive", Diego. She has bartered her innocence for the release of Derrick, and her maid.
Years later, James (Diego) returns to England to right the wrong done Honoria, by offering marriage. He also has a hidden motive.
The best part of this book, for me, was Honoria herself. She is such an entertaining heroine. Reading the conversations she has with herself, as she battles her attraction to James, made this a worthy read. Plot, secondary characters, as well as James, made this a "keeper" for me.
The romance itself, is told mostly in flashbacks. Sexual tension is created this way. It's not done in an usual "will they, or won't they" scenario. The romance builds, along with the story, through the flashbacks. Sometimes a method like this can be confusing to the reader. For me, it added suspense, as well as sexual tension, to create a page-turning read.
There are many secondary characters--Derrick, the fathers, servants, and villians. All add to the plot and, the romance.
I found this book a special read; and Honoria has become one of my favorite heroines.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)I like the idea that we are taken from the present to the past in flashbacks, but the writing was not strong enough to make this literary devise work. The time spent in the present and the time spent in the past went WAY too quickly (usually in 2-10 page increments). Right when I was beginning to warm up to the story, we would switch time frames. To me, this led to uncomfortable reading, not to interest. We are also missing very important parts of the past to be able to enjoy Honoria and James/Diego's relationship in the present. We are halfway through the book when we find out about their relationship, and then only to find out that they knew each other for 4 days. After eight years of being apart, I felt like saying "get on with your lives already, it was a quick 4 day fling!!!!"
My next criticism is about the characters themselves. Who exactly is Honoria? A country bluestocking, a passionate woman, or a spoiled brat? At 26 years old, I think our heroine should have been past the temper tantrum stage. She admits to her "spoiledness" and that she and her father spoiled each other, yet how can one be spoiled and self centered (part of the definition of spoiled) and yet so altruistic? She meets weekly with local "causes" to see whom she should give her money to (being that she is a Duke's heir). Her reaction to Derrick was quite believable, yet her reaction to James/Diego was completely illogical. How does she also get herself finagled into a marriage? There were too many conflicting attributes to Honoria to make her character believable or enjoyable to read about.
James/Diego was only a little bit better. He at least has the excuse that he thought Honoria was a mere merchant's daughter and married to boot He tried to forget her, truly.... Bah, if he really felt that way it should not have taken 8 years to go after her. How do you form such a strong relationship after 4 days...can we say Helsinki Syndrome on Honoria's side and lust on Diego's? Ah well, enough criticism. I did not care for this book, but those looking for a "light" read may very well enjoy the writing and tone of this book, it just seemed too superficial and illogical to me.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too choppy and uninteresting for the first 200 pages,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)I read in other reviews that there were a lot of flashbacks to in this book to 8 years ago. That's something that usually doesn't bother me; it creates suspense and another storyline. Not in this book. The flashbacks did not create an anxiousness to get back to the main storyline, they were just annoying interruptions to a story that was already barely holding my interests. It created a very choppy feeling in the book. I felt like I was reading two separate books and neither one was holding my attention well.
I persevered and finished the book and by the end the flashbacks felt more natural and the story had finally involved me enough to care what happened both during the flashbacks and when they ended.
That's why I gave the book 3 stars, because I did care by the end, but it took over 200 to get there.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honoria Pyne & James Marbury,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)Honoria Pyne and James Marbury were lovers in the past adn now 8 years later they meet again. Marbury wants Honoria back but Honoria is saying no and refusing him because of something in the past. Now Marbury is going to try to seduce Honoria and make her his again.
I found this book kind of slow paced and I think there are too much memories, but the story is good. There's action in it and a duel between Marbury and Honoria's ex-fiance, Derrick Russell. The only problem I had was that they thought too much. It's not as if I hated the thinking, it just seemed that there were more thinking than talking and doing something.
I especially did like Honoria because she's so complex. Honoria has this free spirit but she is bound by her position and duties, same as Marbury. That's why they match because of their common personality.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, thank you, thank you.....,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)While waiting for my favorite authors to write their next books I pick up authors I haven't read before. After three months of waiting for something decent to read I finally found it. This book held my interest to the end. The storyline was quite good and I liked the way the author told James and Honoria's past. The author gave Honoria a strong personality and she carried it well through the book - she said what was on her mind and after what she had been through 8 years ago she had every right to behave as she did. Ms. Sizemore did a nice job with this book and I thank her for bringing me out of my slump of bad authors.
2.0 out of 5 stars 1 and a half stars,
This review is from: On a Long Ago Night (Mass Market Paperback)Had potential, but couldn't focus on the story. It was definitely too choppy, as another reviewer said, so it was difficult to get into the story. It was hard to catch up.
Someone else said it should have been written this way: the past in a prologue, and the present as the book. That is very true. If it had been written that way, it certainly would have been easier for the rest of us to view the book as good as the high-raters.
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On a Long Ago Night by Susan Sizemore (Mass Market Paperback - May 1, 2000)
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