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Stroke of Genius Paperback – May 25, 2010
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The romance between Crispin Hawke and Grace Makepeace was also rather wooden to this reader. Grace's 21st Century behaviour with Crispin meant that the romance progressed rather faster than might have occurred during that time, but I didn't feel that the author ever really showed a genuine connection of minds between the two. She had to use some rather awkward plot devices too - such as Grace being invited to a house party in the country and consequently Crispin being also invited so that he can continue with the sculpture. Really? Would anyone apart from Grace's mother care that it would be delayed a week if Crispin didn't come?
The very end of the book picked up a little as we learned more about Crispin's family. However the impression gained from this book overall is a passable story but set in the wrong historical era for the characters' behaviour.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2010
Crispin is the prototype of the arrogant aristocrat while Grace is the brash Bostonian. However, his intellectual conceit means nothing to Grace who rips his skin for being so haughty. As they clash and argue, he sculpts and she writes her version of Pygmalian, they fall in love. However, each wonders why total opposites although strongly attracted to one another repel each other.
This amusing historical romance is a classic gender war tale of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object; as the attracted opposites battle one another. Meanwhile their devoted servants Wyckham and Claudette also fall in love but their loyalty to their respective employers tested. Fans will enjoy the love between the Charles and the Thames as Grace proves Crispin the genius is a dope when it comes to love.
Maybe I would have a different feeling if I read this at another time. There were things I did like--the little snippets of Crispin's early life and his dealings with Olympia were interesting and I could see why he was the way he was. I really didn't care for his name--Crispin. Just not romance hero enough for me. Again, just my opinion. But, I did like him. My problem was more with Grace. Just didn't cotton to her for much of the book and that ruined my pleasure in this book. Throw in her oversexed maid and it adds up to a book I didn't enjoy that much.