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Once in a Blue Moon Paperback – May 1, 1995


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440614120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440614128
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,082,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite early whiffs of the industrial revolution and a hero who fought at Waterloo, history is little more than an embellishment in this romance of Regency-period Cornwall. Lieutenant McCady Trelawny, youngest son of an earl, intends to spend his short leave on his Cornish uncle's estate, developing an engine for a horseless carriage. His best efforts go up in a puff of smoke, but he captures the heart of Jessalyn Letty, a poor but ladylike member of the local gentry. But his own cousin, banker Clarence Tiltwell, has his sights set on marrying Jessalyn. McCady, too noble to take advantage of the 16-year-old girl, coldly disregards her avowal of love and rejoins his troops. Jessalyn becomes engaged to Clarence, a practical arrangement which she can accept with equanimity until McCady tromps back into her life five years later. Williamson's ( Keeper of the Dream , which has some 175,000 copies in print) tale never rises above bland sentimentality and stock characters, and one notes with uneasiness that she draws these characters along the lines of British class-based stereotypes, such as the honorable aristocrat vs. the contemptible banker.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 36 customer reviews
This book is definitely a keeper and one I plan to read many times.
Metalgirl
Basically all romance books have the same plotlines and characters, but for some reason I keep turning back to this one.
Gimmebooks
This is a heart wrenchingly beautiful story about two people's love and their dreams.
A Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Christy on August 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought I would share with other readers my all time favorite romance. ONCE IN A BLUE MOON by Penelope Williamson is an unbelievable, magical love story. One that I have read more times than I can remember and each and every time I do, it blows me away! The story centers upon Jessalyn Letty and her love for McCady Trelawny. Since a young girl, she has been captivated by this fascinating man. Yet McCady's past is infamous for all of his ancestors have met an early and violent end. Every Trelawny has died in debt and in utter disgrace. The people of the Cornish moors speak of the infamous Trelawny men in shocked, scandalized whispers. All but Jessalyn. McCady is dark, extremely handsome with an aura of untamed danger. That aura of unpredictability and wildness draws her, captivating her until she falls completely in love with him. Dark fires drive McCady. He is desperate to escape his tarnished past and has a secret dream, one that could change the world. Jessalyn believes in McCady and in this dream, awakening within his hardened heart hope and a longing for this young, carefree girl. In a moment of heartfelt passion, Jessalyn declares her love. A love McCady fears to believe in. He leaves her with harsh words and goes off to fight in the West Indies. Five years have passed till they meet again. Jessalyn has grown into a very beautiful woman. McCady is still just as handsome but hardened. Gazing at him, all of the unrequited love she has tried to deny sweeps over her. She longs to tame this brooding man who has stolen her heart with effortless ease. Yet McCady is still tormented by his dark past and the dream society ridicules him for. A dream to build a steam locomotive . . .Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Penelope Williamson mixes romance and history in this novel set in Cornwall during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. McCady Trelawny, the novel's dark brooding hero, is the latest Earl of Caerhays. He is seemingly destined to self destruct, as did all his ancestors, though strong drink, gambling and other vices. Unlike his relatives, McCady's vice is an obsession to invent the first steam locomotive to run on rails. He has recently returned to England from fighting at Waterloo and the former captain, who made it through the war, almost blows himself up during a failed experiment with a small steam engine. A teenage girl, a wild child of the Cornish coast, destined to become a beautiful lady, attempts to rescue him but he rebuffs her assistance. Jessalyn Letty, who insists that McCady call her Miss Letty, is not easily deterred, however. And she is absolutely fascinated with the Earl, who she believes is a kindred soul. She contrives to meet him at fairs, along the beach, and occasionally ventures into his "laboratory," making a pest of herself. He, in turn, stops thinking of her as a child and begins to see her as the woman she will become.
Trelawny leaves Cornwall for a few years to serve in the military in the West Indies. When he returns, Jessalyn has turned into the lovely, sympathetic woman she promised to become, and is engaged to her childhood sweetheart, an acquaintance of Trelawny's. She loves this man, a wealthy banker, but only as a friend. Trelawny's reappearance on the scene convinces her that she must break her engagement.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gimmebooks on April 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read MANY romance books so I don't say this lightly. Basically all romance books have the same plotlines and characters, but for some reason I keep turning back to this one. I think that the relationship between McCady and Jessica is the most gripping, emotional, interesting, and, well... romantic I've ever read about. I adore everything about this book (although I've had friends who've read it and said it's nothing special), but I think it will always be my #1. McCady is every woman's dream and Jessica could be every woman's best friend. I'm glad I can read it over and over!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shawnna Patterson on December 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I cannot believe the editorial review - did you read it? If you have read this book then you would have thought HOW RUDE! This book is so good, I can't even explain it. I love all types of books some by Stephen King, Pierce Anthony, Dean Koontz, Marrion Zimmer Bradley and more - some of these are hard to read, good books but it takes more effort to understand the plot lines etc. I have read Once in a Blue Moon at least 15 times, it is an easy read but that is one of the things that is wonderful about it - you can just sit back and relax and enjoy this fantastic love story. It's the book I grab when I'm feeling depressed or having a really bad day and just need to escape to a world where things are hard but everything turns out perfect in the end. I know that doesn't even begin to explain it but belive me, just read the book and you'll love it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edwardia on January 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I will always be swimming in nostalgia and love over this book. After reading many stale romance novels, I began searching through literature for my readings and remain pretty much firmly placed there. However, this novel was romantic and beautiful and so much more than that. I feel it cannot be easily categorized. The characters entirely absorbed my life and were believable. I didn't enjoy Heart of the West as much, but still, this author knows how to write. Pick up this book immediately if you can find it! Romance reader or not..
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