- File Size: 1363 KB
- Print Length: 276 pages
- Publisher: eKensington (May 1, 2014)
- Publication Date: May 1, 2014
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00GYLVVS4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,954 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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His Wicked Smile (Redcakes Book 3) Kindle Edition
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I don't know when they fell in love or why. That Ann loved her first husband was never in doubt. There is even a passage in this book explaining how they met and her immediate response to him.
Other than the connection between them because of their son and their sexual attraction - I felt nothing between these two. And I thought that Gawain was a bit of a jerk to Ann on more than one occasion. I also don't think he ever really redeemed himself.
The murder mystery was ok - but definitely not riveting.
I don't think I would read this particular book again - but I will, without a doubt finish this series.
Gawain Redcake is a pragmatic wealthy man who has decided to boost his social position by marrying a bride from a titled family. Ann Mai Haldene is half Indian and is a skilled cook and healer using her mother's Indian ingredients and techniques. A young widow, Ann runs an inn with her brother-in-law. Gawain stops at the inn and ends up spending a passionate night with Ann before going on his way the next day. They only to come together months later. However, they stay in each other's thoughts, especially for Ann who discovers she is pregnant. Ultimately, they each go looking for the other, managing to miss each other before finally meeting in London.
There is a strong attraction and bond between the two but the story also opens up to give the supporting characters a larger impact on the story. Some characters are not as they first seem and develop more as the story goes on. Along with the romance there is the unsolved murder of Ann's first husband running through the story which Gawain becomes more and more caught up in solving.
The book takes more than a perfunctory look at the racial issues Ann faces around her as she travels to London. Ann also deals with Gawain's social snobbery as he tries to limit her use of her healing skills to those he considers socially inferior.
I liked the passion between Gawain and Ann and especially the fact they acted like grown ups - albeit not always sensible grown ups but the difficulties they faced were more than the usual superficial misunderstandings in romance novels. I was caught up in how life must have been during that time for those who were outside of Society.
I found this to be a very enjoyable read with more elements to the story than I had expected and liked very much. It's a great read for historical romance lovers.
The book is the third in the Red Cakes series and can be read as a standalone as I read it but several of the characters are from the previous books and I think their back history would be helpful in keeping them straight. If the first two are as good as this one, then they're definitely worth a read.
I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The story opens when Gawain Redcake attends the nuptials of his friend Lord Judah Shield. Gawain has decided that he wants to marry into the Shield family for the purpose of advancement in Society by having a noble wife. He has money and some connection through his sister marrying Judah's older brother, a Marquis, but he doesn't want to depend on them. Unfortunately, the Marquis turns him down and the lady in question elopes.
Gawain goes with her brother to bring her back still thinking to marry her if it isn't too late which brings him to the inn in Leeds and his passionate encounter with Ann Haldene. Gawain continues on his way never realizing that his time with Ann will alter his life forever. Even though her healing arts work wonders on his war-ravaged body, he can't afford to be side tracked from his goal.
Ann Haldene is a half-Indian widow and now she has a child by a man not her husband. Gawain is willing to do right by her, but she hesitates because he doesn't love her. She only planned to remarry for love. For the sake of her child, she does end up accepting. She discovers quickly that she and Gawain have very different ideas of her role as his wife and her role as a healer. Their physical passion is not enough. In the midst of their marital issues, the old mystery of her first husband's murder crops up and Gawain's investigations may have stirred up more than the answers.
The storyline offered up some interesting plotting like the situation between Gawain and Ann, their differing ethnic backgrounds playing a part, the mystery of Wells Haldene's death, the disappearance of the Shields' sister, the reappearance of the man who seduced Gawain's sister, and of course Gawain's plan for his future. Things were a little loose in the plot, but nothing bad. The transitions between scenes were a tad rough. For the most part, I enjoyed the components and the whole of the story.
While I liked the story, I didn't love it. I had difficulty connecting with Gawain and Ann's romance. I didn't love them together, but I didn't feel it was utter incompatibility either.
The story indicated that Ann was the one who talked a good game about love and Gawain who just wanted to do his duty and care for his new wife and child, but honestly, she didn't do much to show love or get love to grow between them. I think that's what I was waiting for and didn't get. She waited...I waited...*sound of crickets*
In the meantime, Gawain was actively securing his business, securing his family a home and comfort, keeping his wife safe and spending time as father to his son and the orphaned Fern, loving on Ann's body, rethinking his ways and making changes, and finally he arrived exactly where he wants and needs to be.
My favorite part of the story was Fern Faldene, Ann's little sister in law who went mute after the tragedy that took her brother, Wells. Gawain's deliberate attempt to build a relationship with her was a sweet thing.
So all in all, I liked the overall story, but was only semi-engaged with the romance part. This should be read in series order. Those who enjoy Historical Romance of the Victorian period might want to give this one a try.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.
Most recent customer reviews
Having spent a passion filled night with the widowed Ann Haldene, Gaiwain Redcake goes about his business and returns to London.Read more