Carolyne was a bit different but I really liked her. She stands her own ground, a bit of a feminist at times, but she also dreams of love and is waiting for it. We see how she handles different situations that stumble her way. She could be a bit naive at times, but when you look at her background, it makes sense.
I quite enjoyed seeing the changes in her through the story. So when I saw it on sale at Audible, I grabbed it right up!! I had no idea it was on audio and I started listening right away. A Russian prince and a bookish heroine?? YES I am going to pick that one right up. The only one detail about the story I was a bit unsure about was that the hero is married, albeit estranged for years. But as the story gets going, I fell in love with the writing and the plot that I just couldn't put it down despite the fact that Nicholas is married. But I did feel that Brenda Joyce handles this aspect of the story very well, much better than I expected.
Nicholas Wife is quite a viper in my opinion especially in how she treats her own daughter The daughter, adds a special element to the story. I loved how Nicholas is with her and is very quiet and shy until she is around Carolyne, and she brightens up and becomes such a happy child. Thus we see Carolyne agree to become her companion, because even though Nicholas needs her around even if nothing can happen between them, he knows how good she would be for his daughter.
My heart just ached for this pair, because they love each other and can do nothing about it. I did like how it's not an insta lust type of story. Where they have sex right away Which was wise of the author to do and is pretty light in comparison to more modern romances now. This story takes us from the streets of London to the exotic lands of St. Petersberg and the war that wages there. This couple really goes through the ringer, but I really liked how it resolved in the end. This story was quite different, is a bit longer than most romances are now but what a blast I had with this story.
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I just couldn't put it down, I felt so intrigued by this forbidden romance but no worries these two eventually find their HEA. The Narration In this narrator I found so much greatness here!! I had never heard of this one before, but I liked her from the beginning. She handled the historical details so well and her transferrations of the different characters was very well done!!
I am curious to listen to more of her. I love the Tiara with the pink backdrop. Feb 24, dreamerinexile rated it really liked it Shelves: Love's mysteries 4 stars. Dec 12, Widala rated it really liked it Shelves: I was afraid there will be inequality between Caro and Niki, not just because of the sosial status, wealth and experience but also how young Caro was, although it's not an unusual thing to find in a book. Knowledge is something you can read in a book but wisdom you have to learn by experience.
But Caro really pull her weight in this book, she's a very curious young woman who's not afraid to make a mistake. I imagined her as a cat who would gladly sacrifice one of her lives to know what inside th I was afraid there will be inequality between Caro and Niki, not just because of the sosial status, wealth and experience but also how young Caro was, although it's not an unusual thing to find in a book. I imagined her as a cat who would gladly sacrifice one of her lives to know what inside that box.
And I like the way Niki interact with her. He's cynical and had his SMH moments when facing with Caro's idealism, but he's never condescending towards her. He respected her opinions and giving her good arguments. That's one of the things that made Niki a cool hero. Beyond his golden hotness, there's depth and cleverness. And despite the rake reputation he got, he could be honourable when it counts. There's one scene involving Charles Brighton, brothel and voyeurism which if it was continued I swear I'll throw this book into the fire figuratively speaking of course since it's an ebook and I love my phone too much.
But Niki stopped it just in time and he never meant to go through with it at the first place. Maybe for some readers, the way he treated his marriage and his affair with Caro could be considered cheating and put some people off, but if we could forgive Rochester for whoring around across Europe then came home to marry his innocent governess, why can't we forgive Niki for falling in love with another woman when his wife was a selfish cold hearted bitch? My only complain is there's too many things going on in part three, in my opinion.
While part one and two was nicely paced, the speed of stuff happening in part three were kind of giving me whiplash. Maybe it was the author good faith to tie loose ends within limited pages left. All in all it was a splendid read. Nov 15, Shirlene added it. Carolyn was five when she overheard her parents arguing. Her mother, Margaret, wanted to ask her own mother for financial assistance so they wouldn't lose their home. Her father told Margaret that her grandmother wouldn't help because she had married a commoner and had disowned her.follow link
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Margaret took Carolyn to see her grandmother anyway and was turned away. They both returned home and her mother died shortly afterwards after catching pneumonia while taking the trip. Carolyn was now eighteen and had Carolyn was five when she overheard her parents arguing. Carolyn was now eighteen and had become an author using a pseudonym of Charles Copperville.
She lived above a bookstore with her father. She wrote a political column for London's Morning Chronicle. Her current target was Prince Sverayov of Russia. He was in London working on a treaty with Lord Castlereagh. Russia and England were at war. Czar Alexander had traded places with Sverayov leading the fight against the British and he was losing ground. Sverayov had instructed his wife to remain at home but she followed him to London with her current lover.
She was obviously pregnant by someone other than her husband as they hadn't slept together since their daughter, Katya, was born. Katya was five and Sverayov was fairly certain that she was not his but he loved her regardless. She looked like her mother with pale skin, green eyes, and long black hair. Sverayov was worried about Katya because Maire-Elana was thought to be dying after miscarrying the child. Katya didn't express any emotion and she didn't play and laugh like Sveryov thought children should.
Sveryov's brother came to London to see him. Sverayov told Alexi that he was worried about Katya and that it appeared that his wife would survive the miscarriage. Alexi did not like Marie-Elena. Carolyn was spying at the house where the Russian's were staying and she was observed by Sveryov. She overheard pieces of a conversation as the Dr.
Sverayov saw her through the window and was determined to catch her. He followed her to the bookstore and discovered her name when he went into the bookstore to purchase a book. There was a ball coming up and Carolyn snuck in dressed as a boy. Sverayov saw her as she was sneaking around the back of the house to get under the library window as she was trying to overhear any conversation.
She acted like she was waiting for a woman and Sverayov told her to meet him at midnight and he would take her to a brothel so that she would get over the fact that the woman never showed up to meet him. They met and he took her to the brothel while she was still dressed as a man. He had introduced her to Alexi at the ball and told him that he knew that she was really a girl. Sverayov wondered just how long she would keep up the pretense. They went to the brothel and Sverayov told her that she could just watch him through a window and Carolyn never gave away that she was a woman so he caved and took her home, leaving the prostitute.
He showed up at the bookstore the next morning to check on Carolyn and asked her to go riding in the park the next afternoon. He noticed that her father appeared nervous. Sverayov had read the column in that morning's paper and figured out that Carolyn was Copperville. He picked up Carolyn to take her riding and they talked and he told her that he didn't believe in love. She told him that she thought he had a low opinion of women and he agreed.
She was very attracted to him and decided to ask him to kiss her so that she would know what it was like. He was surprised at his feeling toward her and a little angry that he seemed unable to control himself around her. The next morning's column mentioned the Russian prince being seen riding with a blonde haired girl that didn't appear to be a member of the ton.
Carolyn didn't write the column and suspected that Sverayov had. She went to his residence on the pretense of bring a book for his sister to see if she could discover if he had written the column. She met his brother, as herself this time. She also met his daughter. She couldn't tell if he had written the column or not but she went to the paper and told the editor to not print anything in her name unless she delivered it personally.
She went to the opera that evening with an admirer, Anthony Davison, whose father she had seen in the brothel. Stuart had come to the opera with one of his illegitimate sons. Situations like this disturbed Carolyn. He didn't seem to approve of her. She also ran into Marie-Elena at the opera and Marie-Elena made a rude comment about her being the daughter of a bookseller.
Carolyn didn't hear from Sverayov for a couple of days so she sent an invitation to meet him at the horse races as Charles Briton. They met and he gave her a couple of drinks. When she was tipsy, she slipped out of her pretense and Sverayov told her that he knew who she was all along. Carolyn had tea with him the next day and he asked her to come work for him as a companion to Katya. Sverayov came by to pick her up before asking her to come work for him and overheard her father in a conversation with Stuart Davison discussing carrying information against their country.
Sverayov used this knowledge and the threat of telling Carolyn to get her father to pass the same information to his countrymen. Andrew invited Carolyn to a ball and her grandmother, whom she hadn't seen since she was a child, sought her out and talked to her. She left the ball early and Sverayov came looking for her at the bookstore. They kissed again and Carolyn returned to his house the next morning. He wanted her to come to Russia with him because the treaty was signed.
They made love that night and Carolyn told him that she wouldn't go to Russia. A month later, Alexi came to deliver a letter from Katya to Carolyn. The letter told how unhappy she was with her father back in command of his soldiers and Marie-Elena in Tver. Alexi left and came back the next morning. Carolyn made the decision to travel to Russia with Alexi. She arrived in Russia and Niki had a meeting with the tsar and came to the house.
He did not know that she was there. He went to his meeting and when he come home, he took Carolyn to his bed with him for the night. He left the next morning to return to the war. Carolyn overheard he and Marie-Elena talking and discovered that the child she had lost in London had been Sasha's. She also overheard that there was to be a major battle soon, just outside of Moscow. Sasha soon left and Marie-Elena ordered the household to pack up because they were going to Moscow. She protested leaving but did not want to abandon Katya.
They almost made it to Moscow when they were stopped by soldiers telling them that Moscow had been ordered to be evacuated. If they were to continue to Moscow, they would have to choose a different route. They continued to Moscow and Marie-Elana left to meet with Sasha.
See a Problem?
The rest of the staff had decided they couldn't stay and packed up to leave. When Katya heard that they were leaving without waiting for her mother to return, she ran away. They spend the day looking for her. Marie-Elena showed up with Sasha and her and the servants all left without Katya having been found. Sasha hated Marie-Elena at that moment. Nicholas received a note from Carolyn telling him that they were headed to Moscow and he arrived and found Sasha. Looters and French soldiers had were setting fire to the homes and buildings in Moscow so the women went back to see if Katya had returned home and found her there.
As they were getting ready to leave, the looters arrived to set fire to their house. Taichili, the teacher, was killed. Nicholas and Sasha were being chased by French soldiers and were wounded. They arrived home and they were pushed and pulled into a carriage and Carolyn drove them to an army hospital. They both survived their injuries. Another of Katya's teachers arrived at the army hospital and told Niki that Tver had been attacked and he pretended to be dead.
Marie-Elena had been raped and killed. Niki fired the teacher immediately because he had deserted his daughter to escape to Tver. Niki then married Carolyn. Three weeks later, they arrived at the palace in St. Carolyn felt like something was wrong, a premonition. Marie-Elena then walked in. She was cut up, her clothes were torn, her hair was cut short, but she was alive. Carolyn went back home to London.
Three months passed before Nicholas returned to London. Carolyn did not know it yet but Marie-Elena had lost her mind after her attack. After returning to St. Petersburg, she refused to see anyone. Two months later, she wandered out into the snow and it took four days to recover her body. This time she was really dead. Andrew had returned to his pursuit of Carolyn. Much had to do with his finding out who her grandmother was. Carolyn continued to refuse to see him. Carolyn's grandmother also continued to pursue a relationship with her and had invited her to visit her home a few times.
She finally came to see Carolyn and noticed immediately that something was wrong, more than just missing Sverayov. She went to see Nicholas and told him that she was concerned about Carolyn and felt that her father had involved her in something bad. Andrew's father, Stuart, had come to see Carolyn and asked her to retrieve some information from him in order to save her father from hanging. Carolyn was very upset and especially because she felt like betraying Nicholas would end their relationship but she couldn't let her father die. Nicholas came to see her and invited her to supper with Katya and himself.
Carolyn went and found out that Marie-Elena was dead. Nicholas asked her to be his wife. Carolyn went to bed with him and when she thought he was asleep, she snuck into his library. She found notes but they were all written in Russian. Nicholas came in and caught her. Nicholas turned his back on her and walked out of the library. Carolyn went back home to the bookstore to see her father. Nicholas went to see Stuart Davison and told him that he had been followed for some time now by his people.
He would not let Carolyn's father be punished without his own deeds being brought to light. Stuart promised to leave George alone. He then went to see Carolyn and tell both her and her father. He arrived to find Carolyn's grandmother with them also. Nicholas told both Carolyn and her father that he would be safe.
George would be sent to St. Petersburg where he would be safe and the deeds of Stuart would be made public so he would be punished as a traitor to England for France. Lady Stafford told Carolyn that all her money would be given to her and Nicholas upon her death if they would be married at her estate, Midlands.
Carolyn agreed and began to address Lady Stafford as Grandmother. Jan 09, Christine rated it really liked it Shelves: This book was masterfully written. I read a lot of Regency Romance and most of the time the setting feels like echoes of echoes of echoes bouncing back and forth, rather than like its own well-researched world. Not so this book. Joyce knew the time, she knew the politics, she knew the wars, and most of all, she made it matter to the story.
Caroline is a young, naive, but passionate young woman who, among other things, writes a satirical newspaper column calling out the elite for their failure to This book was masterfully written.
Splendor by Brenda Joyce
Caroline is a young, naive, but passionate young woman who, among other things, writes a satirical newspaper column calling out the elite for their failure to notice the world falling apart around them. Nicholas is a Russian Prince in London to negotiate a treaty, and he becomes the target of one of her columns. I did have reservations about this book and I feel the strong need to start by saying that I do not normally read romance in which the hero and heroine is already married. I've commented before -- and have not changed my mind -- that the story ends up feeling morbid as we await the inevitable death of the inconvenient spouse.
Meanwhile, the pair is not truly free to love one another. So why did I read this? To tell you the truth, I missed that he was already married in the book description and by the time I figured it out, the author had already managed to captivate me with her writing. So I gave it a shot. In some ways, the married romance was handled better than in other books I've read. I did feel the growing love between the two main characters, and was invested in their happily ever after. Caroline was even willing, for a time, to become his mistress, a decision I had a great deal of respect for given the historical timeframe.
I actually wish that were an honest consideration more often in these types of stories and that we could get over the modern notion that the only way to a true HEA is through marriage. Love doesn't always have to work the same way for everyone. It was considered, and I respected that. But there still remained the inconvenient wife, the bitch queen, who supported every conceivable stereotype you could imagine about the inconvenient wife. She had no depth at all -- she was spoiled, selfish, an unfeeling mother, a cuckold apparently early in the marriage, because there is doubt that his daughter is his , etc.
I wished there had been more to her. She did make a plea for forgiveness and love, and while the writer made it clear that this was simple theatrics on her part, it was not hard at all to imagine a situation in which it could be real. I kept imagining in my mind a woman who had tried to gain her husband's love but for whatever reason never earned it. And eventually she did go her way, but only because she desperately needed love and he wasn't giving it, but she really wanted it from him and when he finally gave that love, not to her but to someone else, it was too much for her.
And yes I'm reading a lot into this story that wasn't there! But I'm an author myself so I do these things. At any rate, I suppose I have to give it real kudos for managing to be a sort of book I normally avoid but that still managed to grab and keep my attention. And as I said, masterfully written. I will definitely need to seek out more books by this author. Feb 24, Regan Walker rated it really liked it. Unique Romance Between a Russian Prince and an English Girl Another well-written story from Joyce but with a few ingredients that make it unique, including a trip to Russia!
A Different Kind of Loving
Set in London and Russia in , this is the story of a British commoner and a Russian prince. Years later, her mother dead, Carolyn lives above the bookshop with her father. To make money and have her laughs on London society, Unique Romance Between a Russian Prince and an English Girl Another well-written story from Joyce but with a few ingredients that make it unique, including a trip to Russia! But then she meets Prince Nicholas Sverayov, a colonel in the Russian army and friend of the tsar.
He has come to London forge an alliance between his country and England. He is married to a beautiful princess he has never loved and who he has not slept with for 5 years because she cheated on him. Each has gone their separate ways in the bedroom. They have a young 7-year-old daughter, who Nickolas is not sure is even his.
The hero started to look rather unheroic when, as an older, experienced married man, he seduces the 18 year old virgin— our heroine —a woman he has no intention of marrying not that he could. Then, when as a female, that same Russian prince turns his attention on her, she thinks she can outsmart the rake.
She desires true love but has no desire for passion at least initially , and has no clue as to what attracts men and women. Then, despite her talk of morality, she sleeps with the married man. Adultery, she acknowledges, is wrong, but she still does it. Several things were unrealistic. First, a young maiden of 18 would not be allowed to go alone anywhere with a man not a relative, not in Unless he wanted to ruin her which he eventually did anyway , he would have met her more discreetly. So there were some unbelievable parts.
However, having said all that, this is an exciting story, especially as the action moves from London to Russia. And the heroine seemed to grow a bit more realistic. She really gets lucky in the end. Mar 13, Wyldrabbit rated it really liked it. Nicholas has moved She played a dangerous game.
I liked this book. Despite the fact that , as others have said, infidelity is wrong no matter what. I felt for both characters and I believe there are relationships out there that mirror this kind of thing except now the option for divorce is there. I so believe he would have divorced if he could. But, still I could not get passed it. I think that Brenda should have killed off the wife in the first few chapters and instead found a class issue and other problems like the jilted mistress to give her grief instead of the wife. It made me uncomfortable, and I do wish that when the wife almost died, that she had.
It was a mistake to leave her in. I felt the book was very good. Full of excitement and historical basic accuracies that made me want to research Russia's part in the wars. Some books really make you appreciate history. Surprisingly, I have grown to be more interested in history since reading books such as these. It did leave a lot that did not get answered. I was disappointed that we never found out who pushed Caroline into the street. And what happened with Thomas? He should have his own book. Did he get one? I must find out. Sep 21, Stacy rated it it was amazing. The Russian Prince, Nicholas Sverayov, is in London to broker a treaty, but he finds himself the target of malicious gossip.
Carolyn Browne, the daughter of a bookshop owner, is the anonymous columnist that writes about the foibles of the powerful and Nicholas is her latest target. Nicholas finds her out and begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Nicholas is married to a beautiful woman and while Carolyn knows this she is drawn to him and unable to stop herself from loving him.
Nicholas, for his part, is falling in love with Carolyn too, and offers her the job as companion to his young daughter which she accepts with trepidation. As war continues, Nicholas must go back to Russia to lead his men to battle and the story moves to St. The setting and the history make the story all that more compelling. There is no shortage of obstacles for the two of them. Her father is embroiled in the war, but on the wrong side and her grandmother has entered her life after disowning her mother before Carolyn was born.
Nicholas and Carolyn are two great characters and I was sorry to see their story end. Carolyn is smart, audacious and witty, while Nicholas is strong, powerful and smart. Nov 02, Katie rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was a decent book over all. I liked the storyline and the characters, and the romance and history felt real to me. First was the fact that Sverayov is married. I understand that in the time and age of the book's setting that this was normal and accepted, but it still bothered me a bit.
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Related Echoes of Splendour (Book one of Katyas Story)
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