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More Than a Stranger: A Sealed With a Kiss Novel Mass Market Paperback – June 5, 2012
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"This sweet treat of a romance will entrance you with its delicious humor, dollop of suspense, and delectable characters. It'll make your mouth water!" — New York Times Bestselling Author Sabrina Jeffries
"More Than a Stranger is more than a romance – it’s a witty and engaging love story that had me turning pages well into the night, just so I could find out what would happen next. It’s a truly captivating tale of two headstrong friends who become much more to each other than they could have imagined." — Lydia Dare
About the Author
Erin Knightley is the author of the Prelude to a Kiss series and the Sealed with a Kiss series. Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Ms. Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science. It was only after earning her BS and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn’t any fun at all. Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Fast forward many years, Benedict needs a place to hide and think so he comes to his old school friend. They go to Richard's country house thinking the family will be away in London but they aren't and the first person Benedict runs into (literally) is Evie. Though they've never met in person and she doesn't know it's him - it's obvious that there is chemistry between them.
I won't say what happens next since I don't want to spoil the plot but the two pen pals fight and find their way back to each other.
The writing is fast paced and the characters are well written. The letters sent back and forth between Benedict and Evie show up throughout the book helping the reader to see how the relationship grows from rivals, to friends to something more.
My only negative point is the fact that the book shifts back and forth between the characters' viewpoints from one paragraph to the next. It would have been a little easier if there had been a break or an extra blank line to help recognize the shift.
I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it.
According to the acknowledgement this is the first published work of this writer. In that acknowledgement she states a "big thank you to Lydia Dare, Sabrina Jeffries...". That said, this work is particularly difficult for me to rate or categorize because my tastes are mine and sometimes difficult to explain to others accurately.A star rating doesn't really tell the writer's full scope or talent. For instance, to the question, "How is the author's writing?" I interpret that to mean, "How well does the writer create a visual image with the written word?" rather than, "How correct is the written work constructed?- Do the various thoughts, actions, descriptions merge consistently and easily with each other?" The balance between too little and too much description is a difficult line to navigate but this writer does it well, just not perfect for my imagination to get a complete fix on it. As for "Sexual content..." I guess that is again personal choice. I don't consider what someone "thinks" or "feels" as Sexual content, but rather what two people "DO". And I don't consider kissing or ear/neck nibbling as sexual content.
I have been a historical romance reader for over 4 decades and I try not to compare writers but since the authoress herself acknowledges a connection, perhaps it might be easier if other readers were as devoted to a particular style or characterization within the genre as I am, perhaps making similiarities might work better. For me there are three basic dynamics- the family units themselves, the individual characterizations of the primary cast members and not just the plotline, but how, when and in how much detail it is exposed.
Of all the writers I have read, Ms. Jefferies is in the top three of my very favorites for her plot lines- Particularly her Duke's Men series, and this one is almost as good. I thought she spent too much writing, repeatedly, the same thoughts about what was in the heroine's and hero's head and not enough about the dynamics of the friendship between Hastings and Raleigh- and backstory on what Hastings endured to set the situation up to begin with.
The writer's characterizations & family dynamics remind me more of Julia Quinn's Bridgertons; the personal interactions/sex like many of Amanda Quick's regency stories. I prefer Johanna Lindsey's heroes- especially her Mallory "Rakes", and Karen Marie Moning or Tesse Dare's heroines [actually I like the last two for the plotlines, heroes and sex, too!]
Which brings me to the actual characters. I have to admit, not my favorite aspect of this and the next book-Taste of Scandal. There are big gaps of general information missing in why the hero was such a private person, and why the heroine was so nutso about truth-telling & deceiving. For someone Richard and Evie's age [ mid 20s], when someone they have known for so long behaves uncharacteristically[ such as lying & deceiving] as Benedict does, rather than get upset at the subterfuge - most people in the real world would be wondering what was forcing him to act in this way, would not be put off with "can we talk about it later" or "its nothing, just something I have to work through myself" stuff and pester him until they discovered what help he actually needed. Long time best friends and people who are in love do not do the 180 degree turns that Richard and Evie did on Benedict when all that ugly came crashing down on them. They should have known it wasn't done on purpose or even suspected and that there was something really, really dangerous stalking their friend and love.