Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Love's Apprentice Paperback – July 1, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Author of The Phoenix of the Opera series, Sadie Montgomery lives with her family in Minnesota, where she teaches literature at a small liberal arts college.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Emily Cartwright is well educated, free-spirited, bold and outspoken. These are not character traits that were prized in a woman in the day and time of this novel. In fact, her free spirit and outspokenness frequently get her into trouble, not unlike Jo March, of "Little Women." The excerpts from Emily's novels within "Loves Apprentice" are very entertaining, especially "Captive Bride." When Lord Brandyce reads a portion of "Captive Bride," his reaction is quite amusing.
Like Erik (Phantom of the Opera) and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast) Lord Brandyce is scarred, reclusive and bitter because of his appearance and rejection by the only woman he has ever loved. Although Lord Brandyce is not looking for marriage, and is suspicious of Emily's motives, he agrees to marry her. He soon gets more than he bargained for.
Although there are some aspects of the story that seemed out of place for the historical period, and a couple of editing errors, "Love's Apprentice" is a very entertaining light-hearted romance.
This story, like all of Sadie Montgomery's novels, is infused with rich prose and delicious details. I would highly recommend this novel.
Like Erik, Lord Tyler Brandyce is disfigured by a scar, claiming half of his face. The evidence of his wound also mars his young and otherwise attractively well-developed physique. Lord Brandyce wrestles with issues of shame and traumatized identity, and the sense that life's horizons - in his case, the pleasurable possibilities of romance, love, marriage and children - have been reduced to sealed edges. For who would want such maimed wreckage? Like Erik, Tyler has suffered a second blow; he has also been spurned by the woman he loves. Even if his heart could open to another, Tyler is sure that his grotesque scar has sidelined him from the marriage market. But then again, there might be someone who is interested in the niche services Lord Brandyce might offer as a marital partner. Enter Miss Emily Cartwright. And here, of course, is where the fun begins.
Luckily for Miss Cartwright, Lord Brandyce's injuries are not as psychically deep or long standing as Erik's. But Emily's agenda couldn't be more different from Meg's. The recent death of her father has left Emily at the mercy of a villainous and lascivious distant cousin, who has managed to cheat her from her inheritance. And in the upper echelons of British society in the early 1800's, a single woman of limited means has few options. At 26, Emily realizes that her shelf life as a marriageable young maiden has nearly expired. Still, her greatest passion lies in writing tantalizingly romantic books, of all things, and this she is determined to pursue. But unlike the simpering heroines she portrays, Emily is a young woman with modern sensibilities, self-empowered as well as strikingly beautiful. Practical and direct, she's willing to take some risks for her chosen career!
And so, as the book opens, we find ourselves at one of the season's elegant balls, the perfect setting for the fireworks of these characters' unrealized desires and half-conscious motives to be ignited. Lord Brandyce has been forced to attend as chaperone to his younger half-sister. Miss Cartwright is there as well, prepared to approach Lord Brandyce with her unlikely proposal, a marriage of convenience that she hopes will suit both of them.
There are several wonderful surprises in this novel. I found myself really enjoying the dialogue between Lord Brandyce and Miss Cartwright. The comedy of manners format inherent in exchanges between them is carried off to wonderful and, at times, comic effect. The author has clearly read Jane Austen! The stakes are high for both Emily and Tyler as they negotiate what kind of marriage they can agree on, especially when they find themselves on the slippery slope of increasing and unexpected attraction to each other. Misunderstandings, pride, and sexual desire as well as both characters' need for integrity and honesty must wrestle with the cultural demands of decorum and propriety. A second wonderful surprise for me was found in the character of Alice, Tyler's younger half-sister, who really comes into her own in the latter part of the novel. And the third unexpected element adding to the fun can be found in the book-within-a-book motif. For Emily, who publishes under a pseudonym, her writing provides an imaginative outlet with the promise of some financial recompense and a solidified sense of self. But, of course, Tyler and Alice stumble upon these novels. As the true identify of the author is discovered, the stories play a role in the developing relationships between the characters as well as in Alice's need for an inventive inspiration in the novel's denouement.
One thing that was not a surprise at all was finding Ms. Montgomery's signature delicacy in rendering the erotic love scenes. These are described in ways that are lyrical and metaphorical, at times, and at other times, more forthright and explicit. You'll find yourself cheering that Miss Cartwright is at last learning, first-hand, how to write believable passionate trysts for her novels. And that the marriage she envisioned, empty of love and romance, has some plot twists of its own.
Like the Phantom series, "Love's Apprentice" provides a meditation on the healing power of love. But this novel is much more farce than tragedy. I think it will be a delight for old fans - and new.