- File Size: 217 KB
- Print Length: 51 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Historical Undone (July 1, 2014)
- Publication Date: July 1, 2014
- Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00IWU47UE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,211,448 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Awakening of Poppy Edwards (A Time for Scandal Book 2) Kindle Edition
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"Filled with performing, passion, contracts, the aftermath of the Great War, healing, romance and love, this emotion-packed story is sure to captivate readers." Romance Junkies
From the Author
The books are:
THE UNDOING OF DAISY EDWARDS
THE AWAKENING OF POPPY EDWARDS
And if you want to read more stories set during World War One, then take a look at my trilogy, NEVER FORGET ME
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In The Undoing of Daisy Edwards, Daisy and Dominic are merely going through the motions of life, both simply trying to cope day by day with the aftermath of loss and grief from the Great War. Daisy is a widow and a stage actress who loses herself in drinking and partying while Dominic, an aviator, is the second son and heir to a neglected and unwanted title. When they meet, they are two terribly lonely hearts whose passion ignites into an explosive affair. And both are content for just that; it helps them forget their mutual pain in mindless pleasure.
Of course, it develops into much more and it’s interesting that it’s Dominic who initiates the emotional part of their relationship while Daisy fights it all the way. Their conversations are lovely to read and are written from both characters’ points of view, in the uncommon first person voice, a unique and effective device here. I feel it makes the story all the more compelling, especially since it is essentially a short story (only seven chapters long).
Marguerite Kaye’s style is direct, concise, and very powerful. The tone is quiet and reflective throughout and I really felt Daisy and Dominic’s pain at the same time there is a joy and hope in their newfound relationship.
The Awakening of Poppy Edwards is Daisy’s sister’s story. Poppy escaped London and the pain of the war’s devastation for a career in the exciting and new motion picture industry in sunny Los Angeles. She couldn’t bear to witness Daisy’s pain and so she escapes into moviemaking, creating a financially successful (but emotionally empty) life for herself.
Lewis Cartsdyke is a confident and handsome producer who has his eye on Poppy’s stardom and is hoping to make her a star in the upcoming talkies. When he first meets her, in her guise as Vera, a singer in a nightclub, dressed a la Marlene Dietrich in a man’s suit, he knows who she is and is captivated by her. He breaks his own rule about mixing business with pleasure and a one night stand turns into something more. When she learns the truth behind his career motives for her, Poppy is reluctant to engage in an affair, but she can’t stay away from Lewis.
Lewis holds his own pain deep inside; he was an ambulance driver in the Great War who, like Ernest Hemingway, saw great horror and death. But he is determined to survive and move on with his life. Poppy just wants a business arrangement with sex on the side. Until Lewis pushes her for more, much like Dominic in the first story. I like that it is the men in both of these stories who want more from the women in their lives.
I really enjoyed the descriptions of Poppy’s beautiful house, especially her kitchen, plants, and pool—it creates a very nice domestic feel or normalcy to an otherwise somber story, an apt analogy of her calm and orderly home life devoid of emotional feeling.
The complicated and loving relationship between the two sisters is told from their respective points of view in each story, but its spare detail (and the satisfying ending in the second novella) is a beautiful footnote toward healing.
Two graceful stories (that should be read together) by an author I’d love to read more of.
A modified version of this review first appeared on Romantic Historical Reviews.
Like Poppy and Dominic's story this is also written in the first person, I had to concentrate hard and hope that other readers will too as this tale is well worth the reading. It comes across as very personal when we hear Lewis and Poppy telling us how they feel, almost as though we are eavesdropping on private conversations and thoughts. It felt very poignant to me, perhaps because I read it at the same time as the preparations for the D-Day celebrations were underway, although set in an earlier time, the fall-out and long term effects are the same. These two books and Ms. Kaye's 'Never Forget Me' have deeply touched me.
Marguerite Kaye manages the transition from one sister in England to the second across the Atlantic Ocean in a seamless and authentic manner, she has 'become' American, using accurate terminology in a convincing dialogue. The chapter sees Poppy singing in a 'downtown' nightclub called 'Bunty's'. Lewis Cartsdyke, renowned Broadway producer, has been tipped off that the British silent movie starlet is singing in the seedy nightclub, he's sceptical about her ability to act and wants to observe her without her knowledge before the meeting arranged for the following day. Ms. Kaye has painted the scene eloquently, 'a fug of smoke so thick it stung your eyes hung low like a dirty piece of lace'. Lewis is captivated by Poppy 'Her voice was husky, smoky. The sort of voice that makes your hair stand on end'. He realises two things 'She was wasted on the big screen. And I wanted her'.
Poppy usually prefers not to make eye contact with the customers but breaks her own rule as she feels the eyes of the attractive man, sitting quietly alone, intently watching her. After her final number is finished she approaches him and they have a drink together. The attraction between them is immediate and strong, they know what they want....a 'no strings attached' encounter. Poppy returns to Lewis' hotel room with him and they take what they want from each other, two adults, empty of any emotion other than lust and the need to experience sexual gratification, and it is certainly that, sensual and sexy, they have neither of them encountered anything like it. Lewis does not reveal his identity to Poppy until their scheduled meeting the next day and even though sparks fly at his deception, the animal attraction between them is undeniable, but they want nothing more complicated from each other than sex.
Poppy has never recovered from the emotional loss of her sister Daisy. She leaves England after her sister's husband is killed in the war, the two sisters were always inseparable, starting off life together in an orphanage and then running away together and beginning a remarkable and successful stage career as the 'Edwards Sisters'. Daisy is a wreck, she does not wish to carry on as the sisters had before the war and Poppy comes to the conclusion that her continued presence in England is just heaping more guilt on Daisy. Poppy carves out a good career and successful life for herself in America...alone....just as she prefers it, can't get hurt that way. After seeing what loving and losing has done to her beloved sister she won't risk suffering that turmoil herself.
Lewis is emotionally damaged by the sights and trauma he has seen and experienced in the Great War, but he won't admit it to anyone, himself especially, so buries his physiological damage under hard work and relentlessly builds his career and reputation wanting nothing of a sentimental or needy relationship from anyone. Both Poppy and Lewis are afraid but unwilling to admit it, their meeting and what follows is the catalyst that changes everything.
As I began this story I did not feel the same empathy with the characters as I had with Daisy and Dominic, their losses had been more tangible. I had misunderstood Poppy and thought her hard, self absorbed and selfish for leaving her sister alone to cope. I realised as the story progressed that what she had done was entirely unselfish, she isolated herself for the sake of the beloved sister who was unable and unwilling to go back to life before her marriage. She leaves to give her sister the space she needs to find herself. Lewis is a hard nosed businessman and will not admit to having been affected by what he had seen and experienced, so comes across as uncaring and manipulative, he's not, it's a facade, he's just waiting for the right someone to break through the shell he has erected. Though he doesn't know it, Poppy is that someone.
Marguerite Kaye has written another thought provoking, beautiful story, a compelling tale of love nearly lost through fear of rejection and failure. She has a remarkable writing talent which lends itself to whatever time period or subject she chooses. Daisy's story was set in England....it was all English, Poppy's in America...the perfect transition, very American. That's clever. I loved the neat little epilogue. A memorable twosome Ms. Kaye, another winner. 5 stars.
Footnote: I attended a cinema viewing of 'D-Day, 70 years On', screened live from the Royal Albert Hall. Marguerite Kaye's WWI stories were very much on my mind as I had just finished reading them. Listening to some of the harrowing experiences of our amazing veterans and their loved ones....she has EXACTLY captured the emotional and traumatic side of war in her recent WWI stories, 'Never Forget Me' and now books 1 and 2 in her 'Time for Scandal' duo. All very highly recommended.
I received an advance copy of this book for an honest review...not difficult!
A Time for Scandal Book Two
Los Angeles, 1924 and Poppy Edwards is a movie star in America. She missed her sister and their Edwards Sisters shows, but Daisy wasn’t the same after her husband died in the war. Her sister had died as well in a way, the war had changed many people. So Poppy made it big in the silent films. And she had decided she would never fall in love. Never.
Lewis Cartsdyke found more than expected when he came to find Poppy in California. The war had deadened him as it had done to so many others. The woman he met to sign for his studio brought him back to life. He kept reminding himself he didn’t mix business and pleasure, it wasn’t working. He wanted her.
I like the way the author has the books in this series as first person point of views for both characters. It gives you a clear insight into each of their thoughts, feelings and fears. The stories are about picking up and moving forward after the war. Living once again and moving forward. And being brave enough to give a love a chance.
**Received from author for an honest review