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Profile for Sandra Lemire > Reviews


Sandra Lemire's Profile

Customer Reviews: 4
Top Reviewer Ranking: 36,103,332
Helpful Votes: 9

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Sandra Lemire RSS Feed (Vermont, USA)

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The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
by Lauren Willig
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from $1.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Not my #1--but quite good, January 6, 2010
This was really good. And I found it to be, as I found *most* of Willig's books, "unputdownable". A very clunky adjective, but fitting. I read this in one sitting. Up until 2am on a work night, but it couldn't be avoided.
The odd thing is, out of all 5 books, the only one I markedly did NOT like was the first novel in the series. It doesn't often work like that with serials. I'm very glad I put aside my "meeeh" response to Pink Carnation and gave Willig another shot, because the rest...(I reiterate--) unputdownable.
My ranking of them (like you're just *dying* to know, right?? Haa)
#1 Emerald Ring
#2 Black Tulip
#3 Crimson Rose (a very close third...this was nearly in the #2 slot, really)
#4 Night Jasmine (even though ranking it 4th, I really did enjoy it)
#5 Pink Carnation(meeh)

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation)
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation)
by Lauren Willig
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.39
138 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars really good!!, February 8, 2009
After reading "..Emerald Ring" I found myself doubtful that I could enjoy "Crimson Rose" because I couldn't imagine rooting for the Mary character. Lord Vaughn- I already considered charming & showing much potential, but the impression given of Mary in the 3rd installment was quite offputting.

So I was very pleasantly surprised when I picked up this book and just loved it. Once I got to "delve into" the character of Mary Alsworthy, I thought she was really compelling, ultimately, more interesting than her sister, however sweet Letty is. Willig is to be commended for achieving a sort of balancing act--giving us protagonists that are jaded, and have some realistic moral ambiguity but still managing to make them sympathetic & likable. This might just be may fave of the series (so far..I've yet to get my hands on #5) but #2 & #3 (tied) make for a very close second. Funny thing about this whole series, I was pretty underwhelmed by the first book. Didn't hate it, but wasn't enthused for the next installment (sort of a "meh" reaction). But when I did see #2 in stores, I thought : Well this is generally just the type of thing I go for. And I thought I'd give the author another shot as some big act of magnanimousness on my part, y'know. And "Tulip" really snared me & I've been hooked since.
If I were to have any gripes about "Rose" it would be that the Colin- Eloise storyline fell a bit flat for me. Sure they introduced an "other man" (a cad, at that) but he was an impediment for, like, all of a paragraph. Well for me, the contemporary plot in this series has always been largely secondary (mostly useful as a means of drawing out suspense in the main plot) but I thought it worked best in the second novel..(as far as "hitting the right note" in the Colin-Eloise pairing) But in this one, it's like the two go from zero to MFEO in 60seconds--the pacing is all screwy.

But overall, I really dug this book. Can't wait 'til #5 is in paperback OR I can hunt down a used hardcover (Yep, I'm cheap like that...)

The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
by Lauren Willig
Edition: Hardcover
42 used & new from $1.59

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fun!! Couldn't put it down (REALLY), December 31, 2007
I think the most telling fact I can proffer here--to convey my reception of this book-- is the fact that I read the thing in one sitting. I started in the afternoon, but then took it to bed with me with the thought "I'll just polish off a few more chapters before I turn in." Ahh, well.."a few more chapters" turned into 5,into 7, you get the idea. I finally checked the clock and it was nearly 4:30am and I resigned myself to the fact that I was not sleeping until I finished the book entirely. I realize that "Couldn't put it down" seems the trite praise of a billion positive book reviews, but really isn't that elusive "unputdownableness" the greatest trait fiction can aspire to?
The two lead characters Geoff & Letty were really what had me enthralled. They were sweet characters, also funny, relatable. . .something about them just snared my imagination, I guess. The whole espionage plot, to be honest, was secondary. I don't mean to say it bored me--it didn't-- but it was the development of the characters and their relationship that kept me turning pages. Oh, and as for the intrusion of Eloise's story I didn't mind that. The contemporary plot, being more banal and more plodding, is not as compelling as its historical counterpoint. But, I can see the need for the drawn out pace if Willig is intending to stretch this Eloise-Colin drama throughout her whole series (however many novels that ends up being) Plus Eloise is a likeable character too. What I did like about the recurring cuts back to present-day was how it created this succession of demi-cliffhangers into the novel and built a sense of suspense.
I actually had read the first book in the series ("..Pink Carnation") and though I liked it, it was by no means a one-sitting-read and I had no intention of seeking out other titles in this series. Now I'm reconsidering (obviously). That's why I popped on to Amazon..was wanting to check out reviews on "Black Tulip" and "Crimson Rose" (thought it was released already). But I thought, while I was here, and full of such effusive raves,why not rattle off a review?? I'm more interested to read "Black Tulip" than I am to read"Crimson Rose",really. I'm thinking my aversion to Mary in this book will predispose me to be,at best,indifferent to her as the heroine of the next story. Strangely, I find I'm most looking forward to book 5 --that is, if there is to be a book 5.

The Templar Legacy: A Novel (Cotton Malone, No. 1)
The Templar Legacy: A Novel (Cotton Malone, No. 1)
by Steve Berry
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
190 used & new from $0.01

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Blaaah. (Bland Characters=Bland Story), August 3, 2007
I am right now reading this book, but I'm finding it a real struggle to get through. It's not that the plot confuses me at all. The problem I'm having is that I cannot bring myself to give a rat's a** what happens to any of the characters (and that always diminishes my interest in a novel!!) For me, characters that are so bland and flat and one dimensional (as Berry's are here) make for a very dull read. At this point, I'm merely persevering for the sake of finishing what I started.
I'd not read any Steve Berry books before. . .just spied this in a used bookstore and was dazzled by the effusive cover blurbs, so I snatched it up. Is this book a fair representative of all of Berry's writings? If so, then I will mentally earmark him a "one-to-skip" author. But I pose the question, since I wouldn't want to write the guy off unfairly...

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