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Springtime Pleasures (A Love for every Season) (Volume 1) Paperback – November 28, 2013
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A "small jewel of a story"
~ LoveLetter Magazin
"Sandra Schwab is definitely blooming and blossoming and I'm dying for more of her books. [...] Overall, this was a cute and fun and simply adorable."
~ CaroleRae's Random Ramblings
"Springtime Pleasures is a light-hearted, captivating and well-researched book with unexpected depths. Schwab's characters are lovable, distinctly-cut personalities, the setting, Regency London, positively springs to life on the page, and the elegant yet tongue-in-cheek style is equally amusing and a joy to read."
~ Customer review on AmazonDE
About the Author
Sandra Schwab started writing her first novel when she was seven years old. Twenty-odd years later, telling stories is still her greatest passion, even though by now she has exchanged her pink heart-dotted fountain pen for a computer keyboard (black, no hearts). She lives in a suburb of Frankfurt on the Main, Germany, with a sketchbook, a sewing machine, and altogether too many books. Visit Sandra's website at: www.SandraSchwab.com
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Top customer reviews
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The basic plot here is not new. Hero Viscount Chanderley must marry an unexceptionable, socially-acceptable woman, but he falls in love with Miss Carlotta Stanton, who's about as exceptional as they come but not in a socially-accepted way. She's a force of nature, a breath of fresh air. As a graduate of Miss Pinkerton's Academy for Young Ladies in Scotland, she can drive carriages and phaetons, protect herself from highwaymen, wield a crutch as a weapon, shoot straight, kill wild boars, discuss at length about catching and gutting fish, and more. What she can't do is be society's ideal Perfect Woman.
It's a fun story and well written and even has its moments of seriousness about women's role in society and their powerlessness against spousal control and abuse. And it has the added attraction of having few errors. I recently read another Kindle romance that had ridiculous errors on every page so this was a welcome romance read. An author who is actually literate!
What I also like about Schwab's books is her nods to works of literature and even to movies or pop culture. Here she was inspired by Thackeray's VANITY FAIR, Frances Hodgson Burnett's Emily Fox-Seton Being "The Making of a Marchioness" and "The Methods of Lady Walderhurst" (which I just read a week ago, coincidentally) and cartoonist Ronald Searle's series about St. Trinian's School for uncontrollable girls, to name a few. This adds a bit of interest to what is often an uninspired genre, the historical romance.
So why not 4 stars? The story is clever and funny. Unfortunately, it is a romance and I did not like the hero, Viscount Chanderley. He was uninspiring, weak, a bit whiny, and I felt that Carlotta deserved someone with more backbone and character. It's not enough to be tall and handsome. If his aunt hadn't gotten him off his tush at the end of the novel, he'd probably still be sitting there drinking and feeling sorry for himself.
I LOVED Charlie's character. She was so refreshing. I read a lot of Regency-based stories and it's nice to see a character who is not only imperfect on a physical level (tall, thin and wears glasses), but also holds different views than the rest of the crowd. Having been raised largely at a school in Scotland that was quite "progressive" in its views, Charlie has a hard time fitting in with the London crowd where women are supposed to simper, act stupid and not voice their opinions in order to land a husband. Charlie is exactly the opposite and how she deals with the London set, makes friends, etc. is quite funny, touching and at times, your heart hurts for her.
Griff, on the other hand, bothered me. As the "Hero" and love interest for Charlie, I just can't imagine Charlie being happy with him in the long run. Charlie has so much drive, determination, spunk and love of life while Griff never really develops a backbone. Yes, he's got some baggage and family pressure, but I hate it when the Hero states that he can't live without the Heroine, then in an instant, he's willing to throw away that relationship in order to satisfy a family's wishes. It's especially aggravating as the family couldn't care less about him and this never changes throughout the book.
Griff is completely resigned to never seeing Charlie again. He goes home to mope, drinks a bit, but that's all he's going to do. Well boo hoo Griff. A girl that, according to him, is so young he's surprised he's so attracted to her, has more gumption and bravery in her little finger than he'll ever have.
It would have been better if her attitude had rubbed off on Griff and given him courage. After all, he's in a better position to make major life changes than Charlie who doesn't have money, family or connections. However, it isn't until someone literally shows up at his front door and "sets him straight" that Griff sees the light. He never comes to any epiphanies on his own and adding a bit of insult to injury, only changes his mindset when it's nothing but smooth sailing to a relationship with Charlie. Because he never has to "work" to achieve his happiness or earn Charlie's love, the ending, while funny, was a bit flat for me.
As a minor quip, I don't like when I can't get a solid sense of ages. Griff acts like Charlie is so much younger than himself, but without really knowing either his or Charlie's ages, it's hard to tell. I thought it was about 10 years (18 vs. 28) but I wasn't quite sure.
I loved the secondary characters and want to know more so I'm interested to see future stories. I assume we'll get Charlie's friend Emma-Lee, as well as Griff's cousin Boo, and sister Isabella's stories. This author has gone into my keeper pile and I eagerly await her next book to see how the storylines develop.
Most recent customer reviews
I looked forward to reading this book because of the attractive cover (it's been...Read more