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Flawless (The Christies) (英語) マスマーケット – 2011/9/27
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Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for stepsiblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire . . . and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
Lady Vivienne Bancroft fled England for New York, hoping to shed the confines of her arranged marriage to unrepentant rogue Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft—though she never forgot the fiery desire he unleashed with his slightest touch. And when the gambling man arrives on her doorstep for a little sensual revenge for her desertion, he is met with Vivienne’s dilemma: She must earn her father’s inheritance by profitably running a diamond business worth millions in colonial South Africa. Swept together in an exotic undertaking filled with heated passion and hungry temptation, will Vivienne and Miles discover that the marriage vows they once made are the greatest snare—or the most treasured reward?
"Lofty's splendidly original romance will dazzle readers with its multi-layered characters, passion-rich plot, and unique historical setting." —The Chicago Tribune
“Carrie Lofty writes adventure romance like a born bard of old.”
—Romantic Times Book Reviews
“Heartwrenching and gorgeous!”
- USA Today Bestselling author Victoria Dahl
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
I loved the way that Ms. Lofty created a character that was quite an accurate portrayal of the men of that era. A man who thinks that he is the hero and can get whatever he wants, including his lovely wife, but also learns a lesson or two of his own along the way. While Vivienne herself portrays herself as a woman who knows nothing so she can gain access to important records, she doesn't let herself be led around by the nose. The ending was an explosive bomb that definitely generated heat and perhaps both characters learned a little more about each other.. It did take some time to get to know the back story, but I liked the fact that there was a lot of tension at the beginning that was unraveled throughout the book.
I loved being shown a different part of the earth that I know almost nothing about and getting a romance along the way. I can't wait for the rest of this series to come to print...but the next book isn't due to be released until next summer! Thank you for another great start to a collectible series!
recieved review copy from Publisher...no other compensation given
Miles wants revenge. Revenge on his wife for leaving him and fleeing to America. She made him appear a fool and that cannot be tolerated. Knowing she needs his help if her business venture in South Africa is going to thrive he heads that way, with intentions to make her scream his name once more. Working closely allows Miles to begin to know the woman he married. Slowly she is cracking his hardened exterior. Vivienne is feeling the sparks as well, but with the lust comes fear. Fear that her secret ancestry may finally come to light. Something she has vowed never to allow Miles to know.
I will readily admit I was skeptical when I picked this one up. In fact I wasn't going to read it. I'm short on time this month and though the back blurb drew me in, this being a historical (which I don't read often) made it a harder sell to me. Then I picked it up on a whim and read the first couple of pages....and was hooked. I fell completely in love with Lofty's ability to paint a scene straight out of history and make me care, make me believe and give me a story with depth and vision. I finished all 384 pages in one afternoon and that is a feat for me!
Vivi is a complete handful and I loved how she straddled the polite English woman role with that of a outspoken, tough woman. She felt like the real deal. Often in a historical romance I get seriously annoyed with the heroine. They are way to polite, way to soft spoken and just generally annoying. Fainting over everything. Being prim and proper. I don't like it. Hence my aversion to a lot of historical romance. Vivi felt real. She talked and acted like I would suspect a woman of that time to be. Yes she still incorporated those qualities but she was more. She was direct when she needed to be and told Miles exactly what she thought when approached.
While I found Vivi to be real, I found Miles to be rugged and misunderstood. Ok, he was misunderstood because he was horrible at talking about his feelings. He spent the first half of the book alternating between being vindictive and just downright cold at times. He was as manipulative as he was sexy. Underneath the facade though, he did care for Vivi...a lot. Constantly at war with himself over wanting to take his revenge and his need for a wanton Vivi.
These two set the pages on fire with their push and pull throughout the book. I wanted them to break down their personal walls to find some happiness. Vivi had huge trust issues and so never wanted Miles to know that she was not adopted into the Christie family as he believed. Thinking he would abandon her if he knew she was a illegitimate child and daughter of a whore.
I loved the concept of the diamond mine and thought the back drop of South Africa made for lush scenery. Not knowing much about that area myself afforded me the ability to not think, to go with the picture Carrie had painted for me. What a picture Carrie painted....complete and well rounded I didn't have to imagine much of anything.
Flawless has a bit over everything, historical reference, erotic imagery and a story line that will suck you in and make you want to live it yourself. For just a moment in time, you too will want to be mining for diamonds in the 1800's, working the terrain and living a life free from the constraints of this day and age. I am eagerly awaiting book two, Starlight, in July of 2012. Where we will get to read Alex Christie's story.
I give Flawless by Carrie Lofty 4 stars!
Nikki- Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind
Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft, enjoys his hedonistic ways, but he much prefers a challenge! He has heard that his father-in-law has recently passed away and his estates are in need of cash to remain solvent. Miles would also like to exact revenge on his estranged wife, Vivienne Bancroft . . . what better way than to kill two birds with one stone. He will get his revenge as well as some money to save his estates. Miles goes on to Africa and Viv arrives shortly thereafter to find her husband already ensconced in the life there. He offers to stay and help her as he can enter into more business situations as a man than she can, but she will have to agree to take up her wifely duties while they are in Africa. Miles longs to have her back in his bed and then he plans on walking away from HER. They embark on fulfilling the terms of the Will while also being forced to ferret out a villain amongst the locals. However, neither counted on discovering secrets that the other had carefully hidden, and Viv isn't sure that Miles will want his soiled wife when all is said and done. Can Miles convince Viv that he has changed and can offer her the security that she longs for if she will just trust him, or will Miles find that what he thought he wanted wasn't what he wanted after all?
Flawless is a surprisingly entertaining historical romance set in a different part of the world from the usual romances. Miles starts at the bottom of the barrel when Flawless opens, and I was actually hoping that Viv would meet a better hero in the end. Yet Miles soon grew on me as his point of view was explored and contrasted with Viv's.
Neither Viv nor Miles truly knew one another, but over the course of Flawless, they soon found that there were strengths in each other that could be tapped if one only searched for them. Viv wants security and Miles couldn't seem to give her that, but he never knew how desperately she needed it either. Miles wanted what Viv refused to offer and she was too scared to have that part of her revealed because of her past. He felt that Viv was a pretender and he wanted to break her polite mask that she hides behind. Miles really did come across as an ass in the beginning of Flawless, but as his emotions and feelings were explored and revealed, he redeemed himself.
Miles changes from what he was in England to a better person in Africa as he rises to the challenges set forth before him. Miles could have never been trusted with Viv's secrets in the beginning of their marriage in Flawless, but he and Viv grew with their experiences and learned to trust one another. Viv had entered the marriage of convenience with hopes of companionship and respect, instead she was forced to cope with what she had rather than what she lacked. Yet by the end of Flawless, Viv was taught that it's okay to ask for what she needs.
The beauty in Flawless was the potential for so much between the characters of Miles and Viv. It was the knowing that they could be so much more if only they worked for things and learned to give and take in their relationship. It was the looking beyond the surface of what is presented and trying to understand Miles and Viv, to see what they will become.
For Joyfully Reviewed
Lady Vivienne Bancroft has come to South Africa to secure her part of the fortune that her late father has left. One million dollars is hers to keep if Viv can turn a profit on his steadily failing diamond appraisal business within 2 years. She doesn't know anything about diamonds, but she is made almost immediately aware from the moment she steps off the boat that her drunkard of a husband, Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft, has followed her there. Viv ran away from Miles over a year ago, heartbroken from his unloving ways, and is furious that he has chosen now to resurface.
What Viv doesn't know is that Miles has stopped drinking, smoking and gambling. In an attempt to make her feel as horrible as she has made him feel for leaving him he has proposed a deal; he will aid Viv on the condition that she performs her duties as a wife and enjoys it. After Miles has bedded her he fully intends to leave her. But Miles finds in coming face to face with Vivienne after spending a year drowning in alcohol, that there is only one thing he wants from his wife more than her body - her love. Viv knows that as a man, he has a certain social and physical advantage in running in a business, especially in such rough country and agrees to his deal begrudgingly. Africa brings new horizons and new hope to Miles and Vivianne for their future together, but they must trek through their past and fight their own separate demons and work together as a team for the first time in their marriage if they are going to succeed as entrepreneurs let alone lovers.
Overall Flawless was a great read. I loved that it was set in South Africa. It was a completely different place and the descriptions and scenes Lofty drew from it were vivid and thought provoking. There were only little things about this novel that brought it down, but just slightly. Learning about the diamond business throughout the story was great, but at times I felt it was a little bit like an aside to show off how much the author researched the trade. I also felt like this when Viv would have interchanges with Miles's 1/2 African, 1/2 Dutch hired hand. The beginning was a little heavy on ridiculous and unnecessary metaphors, but this eased up as the story began to unfold.
Both Viv and Miles were highly relateable in their resilience and unspoken love that they had for each other and the fact that they were afraid to recognize their passion as love. The tension was palpable through the WHOLE novel! On that note, the romantic scenes were solid and even a bit odd, which I didn't expect and not sure how I feel about the way Lofty chose to convey a particular scene in which Miles lets Viv do the choosing. I didn't like the food reference, but that's just my opinion. I will say no more on this because I don't want to spoil anything...
LOVE THE COVER. It's perfect.
Vivienne is to manage the Christie Diamond Brokerage House in Kimberley, Cape Colony in Africa. Vivienne thinks this is the perfect plan. She is stuck in a bad marriage and it costs money to keep up with her life style. She leaves her husband, Viscount Bancroft, Miles Durham behind. Vivienne should have realized that it would not be so easy to get rid of Miles. Miles plans to teach Vivienne a lesson.
Miles became even better when he adapted to his environment and got dirty. He was like Indiana Jones...rough, tall, handsome, and even carried a whip. He knew just how to get under Vivienne skin and push all the right buttons. It was entertaining. I could not wait to see what Miles would do next. Vivienne was a strong woman. This was great because if she was a wilting flower than I would not have believed that Miles and her belonged together. The build up until they both gave in was steamy. Or course this book was not just all about the romance, there was a good story line to go along with it. I can not wait to read Alexander's story next. This book was flawless like a gem...it sparkled and shined.