Customer Reviews: A Tale of Two Lovers (The Writing Girls)
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on May 14, 2011
The only reason the book gets one star is because of the Hero. The female lead (the term "Heroine" is far too complimentary) is a completely self-centered, annoying liar. She writes a scandalous story about the Hero - one that in Regency England could get the man imprisoned - yet refuses to print a retraction when proved wrong. Are we supposed to like a woman that lies to the public because she dislikes the man she writes about because he is a rake?

While the writing is enjoyable - I had to skip vast swaths of this book because the female lead is such a disagreeable, spoiled character. I know that others review this book highly, but I couldn't - I enjoy likable main characters.
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on January 16, 2012
This book reminded me a bit of Sabrina Jeffries' A Dangerous Lord, only a bad version. I think this story could have worked, had BOTH main characters been...well, nicer. True, Julianna's love for gossip is not an appealing quality in a heroine. But I couldn't help but also hate Simon. He was a selfish jerk! He couldn't wrap his head around the fact that someone was denying his sexual advances. And then he only continued to court her and marry her because he wanted to bed her. He kept following these rules he used on how to make a woman desire him. Julianna wasn't the only ruthless one here. Yes, they both apologzed at the end, but that's one of the things readers hate, because by then your opinions are already so formed and you don't get to see how true those apologies or love confessions are. I love Maya Rodale, but not this book.
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on April 27, 2011
I read this book through NetGalley and I am sharing my thoughts with Amazon readers.

"A Tale of Two Lovers" is a very intriguing story with strong characters that do not always meet the definitive "good" or "bad" guy. Lady Julianna Somerset is a young widow whose deceased husband was a irresponsible and a profligate. Lady Somerset never wants to be dependent on another man so she gets a job as a gossip columnist. She has a rival whose column has been running for over 40 years in another newspaper.

In trying to scoop her rival, Julianna comes upon Lord Roxbury in a provocative position with a person apparently wearing trousers. Without confirming what she sees, Julianna insinuates in her column that Lord Roxbury has ran through so many women that now he may be having a tryst with the opposite sex. As you can imagine, this launches a major scandal and Lord Roxbury wants a retraction. Unfortunately for him, his father gives him an ultimatum to marry within 30 days. After reading the gossip column, no presentable lady of the ton would even entertain a proposal from him.

After a few run-ins, Lord Roxbury practically blackmails Julianna into marriage. Not giving away any spoilers, the couple go through plenty of ups and downs before happy ever after triumphs. This story was interesting because the heroine wasn't that likeable a character. You would not want to invite her in as a friend. She did not mind creating gossip about anyone else and destroying their lives but as soon as Lord Roxbury turned the tables on her, she had problems with someone making harming her reputation. I really enjoyed her getting her comeuppance although I still don't think she ever saw the errors of her ways. If you want to find a book that doesn't subscribe to the same old characterizations, this story will be enjoyable for you.
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on September 13, 2011
What an utterly loathsome "heroine." As a gossip columnist, she prints an item implying that the "hero" is homosexual (a hanging offense at the time), thereby ruining his reputation. She refuses to print a retraction, although why that is up to her I do not know, and her employer ends up getting shot in the subsequent duel. For some unknown reason, she thinks she is the one who is being put upon in all this.

What makes authors think that being arrogant, pig-headed and self-pitying makes a heroine attractively independent?

At least the prose is competent.
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on January 21, 2014
Wow! Such a good idea! Sadly it fell very, very flat. No romance, constant repetition, and no real focus on the dynamics behind these two characters. First characters that actually annoyed me. Not sure if I should continue the series.... Any thoughts?
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on January 30, 2013
Good Story!

I enjoyed this story. I couldn't put it down. The author made the story line easy to follow. I will have to say though, I would have thought a deeper conversation between Simon and Julianna should have happened. The author has her reveal some of her life with her 1st husband to Simon but not all. She tells him how her 1st husband died in a chaise or gig trying to drive it while trying to make love an actress, and drinking and to top all off he leaves what money he has to his mistress's and his bastards leaving her very little. How she refuses to get help from her parents because they disapproved of her elopement to her 1st husband. She strikes on her own and makes a living for herself. But I believe she should of have described her marriage to that man, what she endured while married to him. It was covered by recollections she has about her 1st husband that has made her who she is but never truly discussed with Simon. Simon has something to hide concerning his older brother that needs to be dealt with and Julianna asked him once but it was never discussed. This was missing from the story, it would have given more substance to the story. I would have preferred a different ending but that is me.
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on March 28, 2015
A Tale of Two Lovers is Maya Rodale's second book in her smart and funny Writing Girls series, about four young women in Regency era London making a modest and independent living writing for the tabloid newspaper The London Weekly.
Carolyn Morris is a wonderful narrator and the story is charming and very well-written. But the story is disappointing and unbelievable to me. I just can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that a smart woman would fall for a selfish and immature rake just like the first husband who broke her heart.
Lady Juianna Somerset married once for love, and he disappointed her terribly with his gambling and incessant womanizing. When he died suddenly in a carriage accident, she vowed she would never give her heart again.
She took a job as writer of the column, “A Lady of Distinction,” and one of her best targets is the notorious Lord Simon Roxbury. In the first book of the series, A Groom of One’s Own, he was rumored to be sleeping with two women at the same time without their ever knowing of their rivals. Scandalous!
When Julianna comes upon Roxbury in a very compromising position, however, his reputation hangs precariously upon her poisoned pen.
To complicate matters, Roxbury’s father has demanded that he marry immediately or he will be cut off financially. The problem now is that the scandal surrounding his latest escapade has scared off all potential brides in Polite Society.
So when Roxbury recklessly creates a scandal involving Lady Julianna, now her reputation may be ruined…and she may lose her job and livelihood.
Unless they marry.
This is a sweet marriage of convenience story and it is charmingly told with witty banter, humorous situations, and heartfelt emotion. Julianna and Roxbury get to know each other after marriage and the initial attraction grows into love.
But personally, I don’t see someone like Roxbury truly reforming, or someone as smart as Julianna thinking he ever will. But that’s why it’s fiction, right?
Carolyn Morris reads very well but her voice for Roxbury is rather annoying. He sounds much older than I picture him and a bit on the pompous and conceited side. In other words, he’s not a sexy sounding hero. But I do like the voice for Julianna very much. Her vulnerability as well as her independence are clear and pleasant to listen to. Morris narrates all the books in the Writing Girls series and I look forward to listening to the final book, Seducing Mr. Knightly, when Annabelle finally gets the editor of The London Weekly to notice her.
I love Maya Rodale’s writing style and stories. They always make me laugh and smile. And this is an entertaining and lighthearted story, even if I don’t quite believe in this particular happily ever after.
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on November 18, 2013
Once again Ms. Rodale brings to life an era where scandal written with innuendo's in the daily gossip columns had the ability to topple a person's reputation. As with todays rag magazines it seems nothing has changed. This was a wonderful read uniting characters from the first in the series while adding new ones. Her ability to bring to life not only the time era but the characters is a gift and leaves the reader feeling as if for that brief moment between the pages they too were there. I look forward to the rest of the books in this series because a truly good book leaves you feeling as if the characters were alive and like old friends you are sad to see them go. I know they will return in the rest of her series. Well done Ms. Rodale!
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on May 21, 2011
Lord Simon Roxbury is a rampant rake who is wonderful fodder for the gossip columns until one day he is caught in a very compromising position with what looks like another man. Lady Julianna Somerset is the author of the gossip column "The London's Weekly", and it's her innuendos about his sexual preferences that nearly ruins Roxbury, and motivates his father to give him an ultimatum - marry in four weeks or be disinherited. Roxbury's revenge on Lady Julianna forces them both into a situation where only a respectable marriage to each other will save them. You have to read the book to find out if Roxbury can love and stay faithful to only one woman, and Lady Julianna can find it in her heart to love a reformed rake when her first disastrous marriage had sworn her off men for the rest of her life.

I have to admit that at one point I didn't think I would finish this book. I didn't like Roxbury because all he could think about was sex. And I liked Lady Julianna even less because of her heartless attitude to the "victims" and her use of blatant lies in her gossip column. But about half way through the book Roxbury and Julianna became fun and more likable, and a lovely little romance developed. The book is never going to threaten "Wuthering Heights" or such like for the 'best romance ever written' award, but it's a fun book that will help you waste a few hours.
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on April 7, 2014
This one was much better than the first. I loved Roxbury and Julianna. Some reviewers mentioned her gossip about Roxbury ruining his life but without it there wouldn't have been a book. I do wish you readers would remember that these books come from the authors imagination and it's not real life. Jeez.. This was a very good story and had some wonderful characters. This was romance and mystery (who was The Man About Town?) at it's best. Read the book and find out who he was.
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