sábado, dezembro 31, 2005

A propaganda deste livro estava nas últimas páginas do exemplar de SEGREDOS DO CORAÇÃO, Jo Ann Ferguson. Fiquei curiosa ao ver os nomes dos protagonistas - Artemis e Orion. A deusa da caça e o caçador. Claro que isso ia acender o radar da curiosidade numa criatura que cresceu lendo Mitologia Grega... Sem contar que, uma das versões para história de Artemis e Orion é a lenda mitológica relacionada ao meu signo, Escorpião. Lógica à parte, isso era um sinal claro de que eu deveria ler esse livro (e depois eu percebi que essa frase tem tudo a ver com a história contada por Melynda Beth Skinner).

Para ajudar quem não conhece Mitologia Grega ou quem precisa de um refresco de memória, recorri ao Google... Esse foi o resultado mais interessante que encontrei e que resume todas as possibilidades:

Orion (mitologia)
Origem: Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/orion
(Redirecionado de Órion)
Jump to: navigation, search

Na mitologia grega, Orion era um gigante caçador, por vezes chamado de Orião. De seu mito há várias versões. Segundo a mais comum delas, Orion era filho de Poseidon e de Gaia. Recebeu de seu pai o dom de andar sobre as águas, e de sua mãe o tamanho gigantesco. Dotado de beleza extraordinária, era cobiçado pelas mulheres e pelas deusas. Casou-se inicialmente com Side, que se dizia ser a mais bela de todas as jovens da Grécia antiga. Mas Side era orgulhosa e gabava-se de ser mais bela ainda do que as imortais, mais bela do que a própria Hera. Ciumenta, Hera vingou-se e precipitou a jovem do cimo das montanhas do Tártaro, matando-a. Tendo perdido a esposa, Orion perambulou perdido pela Terra.
Certo dia, foi chamado por Enopião, rei de Chios, para acabar com as feras que haviam invadido seu reino. Tendo terminado o serviço, conheceu a jovem Mérope, filha de Enopião. Mal se viram os jovens apaixonaram-se. Porém o pai de Mérope era contra o casamento e criou uma armadilha ao gigante. Enopião, que significa "o que bebe vinho", em grego, conseguiu embebedar o jovem . Quando este já estava dormindo, o rei cegou-o e expulsou-o do reino. Foi achado por um garoto, que se sentou em seus ombros e o guiou até o Sol Nascente . Quando Eos, a Aurora, o viu apaixonou-se por ele e curou-o, dando-lhe novamente a visão. Os dois foram morar na ilha de Delos .Os dois viveram algum tempo juntos, porém o amor deles não durou muito, e Orion partiu para novas conquistas.
Em suas viagens, conheceu Artemis, a deusa da caça, com quem criou forte amizade. Logo o caçador se apaixonou pela deusa, e, segundo dizem alguns autores, Artemis tambem se enamorou dele, apesar disso ser motivo de controvérsia. De qualquer forma a amizade dos dois gerou fortes ciúmes em Apolo, que um dia enviou um enorme Escorpião para matar o gigante. Apesar de o caçador estar habituado a esmagar estas criaturas, este era maior que Orion, além de possuir uma couraça que a espada do gigante não conseguia atravessar. Houve uma feroz batalha, que acabou com a morte de Orion.
Inconformada, Artemis pediu a seu pai, Zeus, que o revivesse. Zeus se recusou, mas acabou por transformar Orion em uma constelação, colocando-o nos céus. Transformou também o Escorpião, mas, temeroso de que os dois lutassem, Zeus colocou-o no canto oposto do céu, de forma que quando um ascendesse, á noite, o outro descendesse, e nunca estivessem juntos no céu.
Outras versões contam que quem enviou o escorpião foi a própria Artemis, pois Orion havia tentado estuprá-la, ou Gaia, pois o gigante havia prometido acabar com todos os animais selvagens da Terra.
Há ainda a versão que diz que a morte do caçador nada teve a ver com escorpiões. Apolo, viajando por uma praia com sua irmã,e sabendo que o caçador estava nadando nas proximidades, desafiou Artemis a acertar com uma flecha um pequeno ponto no mar. Impecável na pontaria, a deusa da caça acertou em cheio o ponto, na verdade a cabeça de Orion, matando seu grande amor. Colocou-o então no céu, para ter sua lembrança por toda a eternidade. Esta versão não explica o fato do escorpião e o caçador nunca se encontrarem, e por isso a outra é mais aceita.
Orion está no céu sempre a perseguir uma lebre, acompanhado por Sírius ,que segundo alguns é seu cão, uma pele de leão e com uma espada no cinto.

ps.: Acabei de me lembrar que a constelação de Órion é citada no filme MIB - Homens de Preto. É uma pista importante para os agentes interpretados por Will Smith e Tommy Lee Jones desvendarem o mistério, mas não se for usada da forma óbvia... Quem viu o filme, sabe do que estou falando...

Paixão Cigana - Melynda Beth Skinner - Clássicos Históricos 289
(Lord Logic and the wedding wish - 2003 - Kensington)
personagens: Ártemis Rose e Lorde Órion Chase - Conde de Lindenshire

O duelo da lógica contra a intuição. Apesar de serem diferentes como a água e o óleo, Ártemis e Órion eram amigos na infância. Até que a morte do pai dela os separou. Dezesseis anos depois, eles se reencontram. Ártemis está mais cigana do que nunca (ela é filha de uma cigana com um nobre). No entanto, parecia que não havia sobrado muito do garoto que usava óculos e estudava insetos naquele janota destinado em acompanhar a moda e ser o queridinho da sociedade. De resto, ele continuava se guiando pela razão e Ártemis seguia de acordo com os sinais... No entanto, um mal entendido provocado por um nobre concorrente fez toda a sociedade acreditar que Ártemis e Órion eram amantes. Para evitar as conseqüências do escândalo, eles decidiram fingir que estavam noivos. Para Órion, o plano era simples: noivado curto que seria rompido dentro de um prazo aceitável. Para Ártemis, era questão de tempo para que os dois subissem ao altar... Quem vai vencer? Só lendo para saber!!!
Curiosidades:
- É uma gracinha a história - tem diálogos afiados e situações engraçadas. As discussões entre Órion e Ártemis são ótimas!!!
- Não tem cenas quentes, mas tem uma história que compensa.

* E a boa notícia: O livro faz parte de uma série!!! Nada como uma boa e eficiente pesquisa no Google. A série REGÊNCIA de Melynda Beth Skinner tem os seguintes livros (já coloquei essa lista no Orkut):

* The Blue Devil
* Miss Grantham's One True Sin
* Lord Logic and the Wedding Wish - PAIXÃO CIGANA, Clássicos Históricos 289.
* The Blackguard's Bride

Coloquei abaixo uma entrevista com a autora e os resumos dos livros da série...

http://www.theromancereader.com/nf-skinner.html

The romance reader interviews Melynda Beth Skinner
by Cathy Sova
Welcome to our New Faces column, where you'll meet debut authors in the romance genre. This issue we are visiting with Melynda Skinner, whose first published Regency is The Blue Devil, an August 2001 release from Zebra Regency.
Melynda, welcome to The Romance Reader! Tell us about yourself.
I live in Florida with my own loving husband-hero of eleven years and our two girls--charming and intelligent hellions, ages 3 and 6--and the requisite orange marmalade emperor...er, cat. I grew up in rural Florida, spending my early years reading or ranging alone through orange groves, lakes, swamps, pastures, and wild forests, where I gained a deep respect for my fellow creatures and an appreciation for how natural systems intertwine. A Meyers-Briggs INTP, I'm interested in nearly everything, and I thrive on challenge. In my spare time (what little I have of it!), I like to run, fence, go orienteering, quilt, sculpt miniature cottages, design web pages, play cut-throat hearts or spades, and play the piano (poorly, but with much enthusiasm, trust me!).
Are you coming to romance writing from another job?
Before sitting down to write my first book, I taught science and English. Before that, I waited tables; did clerical and computer work for two non-profit organizations; worked on monorails and rides at Disney World; manufactured ceramics; did research for a P.I., and sold tickets, performed, and lectured at a science museum. I also hold a real estate license. I think I'm what some people might politely call a "Jill-of-all-trades," but what others might refer to as a "n'er-do-well." I, of course, prefer the term "Renaissance Woman." Right now, I'm concentrating my effort upon my children and my writing.
What led you to write romance?
I began writing at age five, when I attempted to liberate the characters of my first-grade reader from their dreary, boring lives. My first story involved brother Jimmy intentionally starving their family dog, which left younger sister Sue to glory in heroic triumph. I have three elder brothers, so it isn't difficult to see where I got my inspiration for ~that~ storyline! My brothers provided plenty of fodder for my increasingly odd imagination. As I grew up, I was always writing alternate storylines and rewriting endings--and I was always reading. Other kids shared the usual heroes: Matt Dillon, Wonderwoman, Batman, Cinderella....but I had authors. Fantasy, science fiction, and romance authors like J.R.R. Tolkein, Robert A. Heinlein, and Victoria Holt. I idolized them, and I wanted to be like them, yet I always had an urge to tinker with their stories! Since it seemed grossly irreverent to tinker with The Lord of the Rings, or Time Enough for Love, or On the Night of the Seventh Moon, I decided to write my own stories.
Tell us about your road to publication.
My first romance was a short contemporary that had zero conflict. A real stinkeroo, it found a final resting place in the merciful obscurity of the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. At least I had sense enough not to try to submit it! Next, after receiving encouragement from the late Carol Quinto--a wonderful Regency writer and gentle Southern Lady--I began a Regency and found I loved writing Regencies as much as I loved reading them. That story was a finalist for a Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and was judged by--and sold to--my editor at Zebra Regency, Amy Gavey. The Blue Devil is an August, 2001 release. While it might sound like I was an almost overnight success, I must admit it took me ten years to learn what I needed to succeed. When I began writing romance, I was an English teacher, but that certainly didn't qualify my to write great fiction! I had a lot to learn. Along the way, I joined Romance Writers of America, hunkered down and listened attentively, and finally applied what I'd learned. Publication and my relationship with Jennifer Jackson, my incredible literary agent, were the result of equal mixtures of hard work, patience (or perhaps I was just too stubborn to give up!), and luck.
What kind of research was involved for your first book?
ou know, I read everything on the Regency I could get my hands on. Period writers like Jane Austen, of course; period newspapers, magazines, diaries, correspondence, maps, travel guides; modern histories--whatever I could get my hands on. Regency readers are so intelligent, and they're very demanding! They really know the era, and they appreciate correctness. So do I. When I read, I want to be ~educated~ as well as entertained. So, before writing The Blue Devil, I did my homework. And yet, in spite of hours and hours of meticulous research, I discovered a couple of anachronisms after it was too late to make changes. Small details, yet I still cringe thinking of them. I hope no one notices them!
Who are your influences as a writer?
Oh, my, what an uncomfortable question! There are just so many authors whose work I have loved! I can't possibly name them all. Let's see...in romance, there are Victoria Holt, LaVyrle Spencer, Jude Deveraux, Mary Balogh, Barbara Metzger, Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Barbara Delinsky...and from other fiction genres there are Heinlein, the team of Niven/Pournelle, Zelazny, Tolkien, Anthony, Asprin.... It seems their voices have all crept into and blended with my own. Sometimes I recognize one of them in my style. It's like looking in the mirror and--for a fleeting moment--glimpsing your mother or father staring back at you--a circumstance at once disconcerting and oddly comforting.
What does your family think of having a romance author in their midst?
I have an outrageously supportive family! My mother--a big romance fan who read to me so often when I was small that she had all of our Golden Books memorized--is especially proud. My brother David was my first critiquer--a dreadful job he performed with gentle ruthlessness, bless him. I named my first heroine, Kathryn "St. David," after him. My brother Christopher and my father-in-law, who between them know simply everyone, have both offered to pitch my books to everyone they meet.
And then, of course, there's my rock, my wonderful husband. He never doubted my ability. When I had the first copy of The Blue Devil in my hands, he quietly said, "I told you you could do it." Having someone believe in me like that was humbling--and essential.
My family are all thrilled for me and are vastly enjoying the whole thing. It's such fun to share it with them!
Tell us about plans for future books.
My friends were good-naturedly arguing amongst themselves over which of their favorite secondary characters from The Blue Devil deserved a sequel more: the too-affectionate Lydia or the wickedly clever Jane. That's when a third character announced to me that ~she~ was the best choice, since she was an intriguing runaway heiress in disguise. Who knew? Not me! Miss Grantham's One True Sin will be a February, 2002 release from Zebra Regency.
In that story, Miss Grantham's wealthy parents are trying to marry her off to a title--any title, so she arranges a false betrothal in order to buy herself the time she needs to find her true love. Unfortunately, the fake fiance she strikes a bargain with is not the gentleman she mistakenly believes him to be, but a rake. He is stunningly, dangerously attractive, however. Ordinarily, Truesdale Sinclair wouldn't look twice at the social climbing chit, but he's just taken on the guardianship of three little girls, and he's badly in need of funds. So, True Sin, as he's known to the ton, decides to court her in earnest with a calculated seduction--only to lose his heart.
I'm also currently hard at work on a third related book, tentatively titled Lord Logic and the Wedding Wish. In it, the ultra-logical, ultra-fashionable hero clashes with a superstitious and impulsive Gypsy, who insists it's their destiny to marry.
My first few books are all connected by a recurring character, a flamboyant and outrageous old matchmaker, whose own story slowly unwinds with each book, and by a piece of fabric that begins its journey as the hero's blue waistcoat in The Blue Devil and passes from book to book, undergoing a surprising transformation each time.
How can readers get in touch with you?
I'd be delighted to hear from them! Readers are most welcome to write me at:
Melynda Beth Skinner
7259 Aloma Avenue
Suite 2, Box 31
Winter Park, FL 32792
Readers should kindly enclose an SASE if they wish a reply. Or, they can email me at melynda@melyndabethskinner.com .
They can also visit me on the world wide web at http://www.melyndabethskinner.com .
Melynda, thanks for joining us, and best of luck with your books! Readers, we have a review of The Blue Devil on our Regency page.
August 11, 2001

http://www.theromancereader.com/skinner-blue.html

The Blue Devil
by Melynda Beth Skinner
(Zebra Regency, $4.99, G) ISBN 0-821-77049-7

The Blue Devil, Melynda Skinner’s debut Regency, shows a great deal of promise. The prose is clean and flows well, and the hero is a nicely-done mixture of intelligence, frustration, and unwilling stoicism. The heroine, however, stumbles badly at the beginning and struggles to recover.
Kathryn St. David arrives in London to be sponsored for a Season by her great-aunt Ophelia. Kathryn’s parents have raised her in the country, and now she has reached the advanced age of twenty-three without making a match. It doesn’t help that Kathryn is of diminutive stature and looks about fifteen. Unfortunately, for much of the book she acts like it, too.
When Kathryn arrives at her aunt’s house, lights are blazing and there is a party in progress. Kathryn makes her way up the back stairs and decides that the empty room with the glowing fire must be for her. She no sooner sets foot in it than a couple come down the hall and appear to be headed for that very room. Rather than announce her presence, Kathryn hides in the wardrobe and overhears what she assumes is an attempted ravishment. She flees the scene, but not before getting a glimpse of the man’s face and the young woman with a torn bodice. She also stubs her toe on the way out and howls “Oweee-meee! Oweee-mee!”
Kathryn finally locates her bedroom, finds a fairy costume laid out on it, and joins the masquerade ball in progress. She comes to the rescue of the young woman with the torn dress, helping her fabricate a tale to explain it. She also comes face to face with Nigel Moorhaven, Marquis of Blackshire, the man from the bedroom. He is instantly fascinated by the small fairy, and puzzled when she gives him the cut direct. It’s not until a dance partner steps on Kathryn’s foot and she howls “Oweee-meee! Oweeee-mee!” in front of the assembled guests does Nigel realize she’s the woman who was hiding in the bedroom. When he follows her, she insults him and manages to slip away.
Nigel is no seducer. He was lured to the bedroom by the young lady in question. Kathryn doesn’t know that, and it’s much easier to assume the worst. And so our heroine makes several false assumptions, squeals like a toddler, and generally behaves like an arrogant brat for the first chapter. And here the author has created a problem. At age twenty-three, Kathryn is behaving like an adolescent. Her character definitely needs to grow, but readers may not have the patience to stick around and see if she redeems herself.
Great-Aunt Ophelia gets herself into a bind when she realizes she’s left a personal diary at a young ladies’ school run by an old friend. She won’t say what’s in the diary, only that it will ruin them both. Kathryn comes up with the idea of impersonating a new student and trying to locate the diary. Of course, her roommate turns out to be Nigel’s ward, and soon he’s hanging around the school, looking for spies and wondering why he’s attracted to his ward’s fifteen-year-old roommate. Any kind of a relationship is unthinkable, since he’s twenty-nine. Besides, as the famed Blue Devil, master spy, his loyalty is to England and the war with Napoleon.
Mistaken identities abound, as Nigel and Kathryn dance around their attraction to one another. The middle section of the book has Kathryn now having to act fifteen on purpose, and her relationship with Nigel can’t move forward nor can they really get to know one another. This began to drag and there were sections where nothing seemed to be happening.
The final third of the book really picks up steam. Here is where readers will get a glimpse of the talent Ms. Skinner has in store for us, as Kathryn and Nigel are finally free to approach each other as adults. It feels too little, too late, though. The romance definitely feels like it’s been shortchanged.
Consider the structure here. Kathryn looks like a youngster. She makes juvenile assumptions and causes her own problems with her unwillingness to be forthright (hiding in the closet, running away; what on earth would she lose by confronting Nigel with the truth?) She howls a childlike pain cry out of habit, even though I’d expect a young woman in her twenties to have abandoned it. It’s this childish howling that causes the hero to recognize her. Then she must enter a school and play fifteen. When they meet again, she must assume all sorts of adolescent mannerisms in order to ensure he doesn’t recognize her from the ball. Because Kathryn first doesn’t act like an adult, then isn’t allowed to act like an adult, I couldn’t relate to her. Nor did I particularly care; it was easy to lose interest in her altogether.
Nigel, for his part, did keep me reading - if only to find out how he’d reconcile his attraction to the teenage “Kitty” with his determination to be honorable and find a woman closer to his own age. Here the author did an excellent job of detailing his moral dilemma. He was the main reason I'm rating this book three hearts.
The Blue Devil is an interesting debut that feels a bit misguided in its characterization of the heroine, but there’s enough here to make me curious as to the second and third books in this planned trilogy. Melynda Beth Skinner is an author to watch.
--Cathy Sova

http://www.theromancereader.com/skinner-grant.html
Miss Grantham's One True Sin
by Melynda Beth Skinner
(Zebra, $4.99, G) ISBN 0-8217-7182-5

Marianna Grantham comes to Trowbridge Manor, the estate of Truesdale Sinclair,Viscount Trowbridge, to convince him to enter into a sham betrothal with her. Her older friend Ophelia Robertson has suggested the viscount, popularly known as True Sin, would be amenable to her scheme. Marianna has been sent to London from the Caribbean by her extremely wealthy parents to marry a titled nobleman.
Marianna has no interest in such a marriage because she wishes to wed for love. Rather than try to enter society she took a job as a schoolteacher at a girls' school. (There's no mention of how she managed to get such a position with no experience and no references and no explanation of how she expected to meet a titled gentleman to fall in love with while teaching girls.) She has been writing her parents inventing a titled fiancé, but now her parents are coming to England and will expect to meet him.
Marianna thinks that she can pay True Sin with a large quantity of jewels to play the part of her fiancé. True Sin is in financial difficulties - his late brother impoverished the estate and one of True’s ships (he’s got his own shipping empire built from scratch with his own hands naturally) has been lost. True agrees to her scheme but secretly intends to wed the rich Marianna (to whom he’s not attracted one bit) for her pots of money then abandon her and return to the sea. An attempt to compromise Marianna beyond all redemption nearly succeeds.
Marianna moves into his mansion, and Ophelia arrives the following day to be her duenna. True is guardian to his three young nieces, known as the ABC's for their initials. They have been allowed to run wild without supervision, but Marianna, being a wonderful teacher and exemplary role model, soon has them acting like the young ladies they are.
Ophelia and Marianna plan a large house party to announce the engagement. The guest list is heavy with eligible bachelors so that Marianna can have a chance to choose the man she will really want to marry. (The ethics of husband-hunting at an occasion ostensibly intended to celebrate her engagement to another apparently don’t bother her in the slightest.) It is at the house party that Marianna learns the truth - True has a dreadful reputation. (You get what you pay for, lady.) Her parents will never approve. Marianna is a superficial, snobbish twit who believes that members of the ton are the only people with any worth. It is of primary importance to her that she makes the social connections that will get her the status she desires.
Among the guests is the very proper and very nice, near-sighted Earl of Lindenshire, who is more interested in his scientific and naturalist studies than the more manly pursuits of others of his class. Marianna realizes that Lindenshire is attracted to her and is the kind of nobleman she wants, but True Sin is looking better and better to her.
All her plans and plots are endangered, however, when her parents, ill-bred, social-climbing parvenus, arrive to reap the benefits of Marianna's engagement.
It may have been the author’s intention to write a Regency romp, one of those light-hearted, carefree stories with a lot of cute situations and little or no angst, but it’s impossible to pigeonhole this hodgepodge in any literary category. The True Sin is foisting a book on readers that suffers from multiple personality disorder.
I’ve read books with implausible plots, outlandish plots, farfetched, harebrained, and downright stupid plots, but Miss Grantham breaks new ground for me. It's just plain wacky. It's as though the author couldn’t decide which stock plot she should trot out for another go-round - debauched rake in need of reformation? sham engagement to stave off pressure? wealthy heiress wanting to marry for love not her fortune? impoverished nobleman having to marry to save estate? prissy schoolteacher breaking through noble rake’s hardened heart? social-climbing parents living through offspring? motherless orphans needing love? secret baby? Then decided rather than choosing one, she’d write a story that cobbles all of them together!
The characters are just as confused and inconsistent. The heroine is simultaneously a prissy schoolteacher, a wealthy heiress, a bold adventuress, a spirited hoyden, a shallow social climber, an inept but well-meaning Lady Bountiful, an oppressed daughter, intelligent and witty, dumb as a post. The hero is a debauched rake, a society reprobate, a responsible businessman, an egalitarian employer, a talented craftsman, a conscientious landowner, a caring uncle, a cold and disapproving user, a passionate lover. A romance assumes they’ll fall in love as they get to know each other, but these two are forever destined to meet as strangers. The face is familiar, but the persona is new.
I did like Lord Lindenshire and was glad that Marianna was obviously destined to wed True. It would be a dreadful shame to sentence him to a lifetime with her. He deserves better. Most everyone does.
This book is less a coherent narrative than a ping-pong game in print - a furious volley with the ball careening from side to side before plunging off the edge. I had no difficulty sticking with it, but that was probably because I kept expecting it would eventually come together and make some sense. It never did.
--Lesley Dunlap

http://www.theromancereader.com/skinner-logic.html

Lord Logic and the Wedding Wish
by Melynda Beth Skinner
(Zebra Regency, $4.99, G) ISBN 0-8217-7419-0

Lord Logic and the Wedding Wishis one of those books where the heroine makes or breaks the reader’s enjoyment. What is quirky to one reader will be exasperating to another, and I’m afraid that Miss Artemis Rose fell into the latter category more often than not.
Artemis was childhood friends with Orion Chase, Earl of Lindenshire. Her own mother was half-Gypsy, and though she was legally married to Artemis’ father and was herself the daughter of an earl, found herself thrown to the wolves with her husband’s passing. For the last sixteen years, Artemis and her mother have lived with the Gypsy caravan. Now her mother is dead, Artemis is in charge of a baby half-sister, and she is on her way to London to find a position.
Artemis believes in signs and portents, and looks for them everywhere. When a “sign” points her to the home of Orion, she remembers how her mother and Orion’s mother were dear friends. Perhaps Lady Lindenshire will help her. Orion, now a much-sought-after member of society, and Artemis, Gypsy woman, renew their acquaintance. He’s just as logical and proper as she remembered, and still interested in the study of insects. This scientific, orderly man would never believe in a portent. Orion finds his childhood playmate has grown into a beautiful woman, but her insistence on looking for signs everywhere drives him to distraction.
A series of events lands Artemis in London, where she is mistaken for Orion’s mistress and unwittingly attends a Cyprian’s ball with another man. Deciding to escape to America with little Anna, Artemis is interrupted by the arrival of Orion, who has heard the rumors about his supposed ladybird. Once he calms down, he proposed they fake an engagement for a month or so to allow the scandal to subside. Artemis is initially reluctant, then within about ten minutes looks out the window, hears two owls and sees a star, and decides that these signs point to a real marriage. Orion must truly love her. He just doesn’t know it yet. They should marry for real - the signs have spoken.
The whole “signs and portents” thing didn’t work for me. I found myself entirely in sympathy with Orion, who wishes Artemis would just forget about them and approach life with a bit more logic and reason. Here, “logic and reason” are synonymous with “emotionally repressed”, and the signs and portents bit indicates that Artemis is, of course, more free-spirited and open to love. Okay, but the “signs” often felt like plot contrivance. Artemis sees a flash of lightning and decides she can’t possibly tell Orion about little Anna. She bases her decision to marry Orion not on emotion, but on something she sees outside the window. Artemis is soon reading tea leaves and palms for the ladies of the ton and Orion is wondering how to break it off.
With two such utterly opposite characters, any real romance would have to be built on a genuine meeting of the minds. I didn’t find that here. Orion does a turnaround and eventually sees that Artemis will accept him the way he really wants to be, without the town polish, and he’s just going to have to put up with her Gypsy ways. Artemis makes no such concessions; she’s essentially the same character at the end of the story as she is at the beginning. It felt very one-sided.
However, Artemis Rose is going to strike readers in very different ways. She was not my cup of tea, but if you like quirky Regency heroines, I urge you to pick up a copy of Lord Logic and the Wedding Wish. You may be in for a nice surprise.
--Cathy Sova

http://www.romancejunkies.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/9/462

The Blackguard's Bride (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)

Julie escapes her uncle's controlling hand by becoming a servant and friend of Lady Griselda, mistress of Alderley Manor. An injured man, who has lost all memory of his past, arrives at the manor and gradually wins the hearts of everyone. Will Julie be able to help him trust again? When his memories return, how will their love for one another survive the secrets revealed?
Julie's reputation is compromised and her uncle, who has only her inheritance in mind, forces her to become betrothed to a man she doesn t know. Since her inheritance seems to be a bargaining tool, Julie decides to marry a Viscount in trade for half her money, keeping her uncle away from her finances. The wedding ceremony takes only minutes and Julie runs away immediately after, never looking at the man she has married. Escaping with a friend s help, she becomes a servant at Alderley Manor where she finds kindness and friendship. When Sir Basil appears at her friend's doorstep in the middle of the night with a stranger who is ill, Julie is kind and cares for his injuries without question.
A man wakes in a strange bed, not knowing who he is or where he came from. He is told he has been beaten and struck down by lightening, but that is all he knows. The people at Alderley Manor are a strange lot and take him in and care for him. He doesn't know why, but he cannot understand their kindness to a complete stranger without a penny to pay for the doctor or the roof over his head. He chooses Chris for his name until his memory returns, which the doctor promises will eventually happen.
Lady Griselda decides to throw a party for 12 of her suitors so she can choose her husband from among them in a game of chance. Julie cannot allow her friend to choose her husband by chance and a game, persists to force lady Griselda to make her own choice.
Chris is pulled into the household as a servant, in hopes to pay his debt owed to these kind souls. Not to mention that he feels Julie is overworked and could use his help with the party that is about to take place. They all soon find out that Chris is not good at much of anything, except caring for Sir Basil's pack of dogs and he soon becomes a kennel master and a lousy butler. But, Julie can't help feeling charmed by this smooth talking man that cannot remember his past or his own name. Chris helps Julie with the mayhem that persists to happen, with 12 suitors vying for Lady Griselda's hand in marriage.
THE BLACKGUARD'S BRIDE'S quirky characters were a rare treat. From Sir Basil's dogs, each named after a patroness of Almacks, to the elderly servants who were kept in their positions out of friendship instead of their ability do their jobs - I felt completely entertained.
For those of you who love a regency romance with a completely different twist, I highly suggest this book. MELYNDA BETH SKINNER has taken a complex story and made it extremely amusing. The hero and heroine were charming, but the other characters added so much humor to the story. What I enjoyed most about this book was the matchmaking and the outrageous steps taken to twist fate.
Five Star Romance
The Blackguard's Bride

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0821774204/104-0390156-7219103?n=283155

The Blackguard's Bride (Zebra Regency Romance) (Mass Market Paperback)

From Villain to Hero, August 7, 2003
Reviewer: Jean Gray (Lebanon, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Melynda Beth Skinner does a marvelous job of turning a black hearted villain into a loveable and yummy hero and making it all believeable. The Viscount Whitemount is the bad guy in Skinner's previous book, Lord Logic and the Wedding Wish. In Blackguard's Bride Whitemount has received his just reward by losing everything -- money, power, influence. He almost loses his life as well when he is struck by lightning. He comes through with his body intact but his memory gone. Since he doesn't remember the demons of his past he is free to live as his real self which has been hidden away from everyone. And he is free to fall in love with Julie Williams. But Julie is running from her own past. As in all good romances, the obstacles to true love are great, the victory satisfying.

Unusual Regency Hero, July 23, 2003
Reviewer:
The author gives us a classic Regency romance without the classic Regency hero. How refreshing! Instead of an Earl in dark evening wear, weilding all the power in the ballroom to raise some wallflower heroine from social obscurity, this aristocratic hero has hit rock bottom in his life and has no fortune and no power. (Fortunately, he still has rakish good looks!) The book is a rebuilding story of a man trying to be worthy of a worthy woman. Again, this author gives us a Regency that pushes the envelope.

A leopard CAN change its spots, July 7, 2003
Reviewer: E. Kay "karenlk" (Ohio) - See all my reviews
Viscount George DeMoray (the villain from Skinner's "Lord Logic and the Wedding Wish") used to have everything. Now he has nothing. He has no friends (he's a heartless sort of man), is in debt, and has been beaten up by thieves. Just when things can't get any worse, he is struck by lightning!
Over a year ago, far-sighted Julie Fitz was forced to marry a blackguard in order to free herself from her tyrannical uncle. Having exchanged vows at Gretna Green, her blackguard husband steals her treasured pendant and sends her on her way. After that day, Julie never saw her husband again. Now, she's companion to a sweet, spritely old lady--and no one knows she's married. One day, a stranger comes to Alderley Manor. He has no memory of his past, and he calls himself "Christopher Christopher." She finds herself falling for sweet, gentle "Chris", but the secrets of her past still haunt her.
I liked most parts of the novel. Some parts I didn't enjoy...
Pros:
1)A very sweet, likeable hero
2)Lots of witty lines
3)Interesting subplot with an elderly couple
4)Lots of dogs
5)A twist at the end
Cons:
1)At times, the pacing of the story seemed to drag
2)A rushed ending (And I thought it was a bit depressing)
3)The main story is very predictable
4)Sometimes, the heroine seemed a bit irrational
5)"Christopher's" wounds seemed to heal too quickly
Overall, I liked it. I'd give it about a 3 1/2. I plan to read more from Melynda Beth Skinner in the future, and I hope to see more of witty Doctor Brown (who only had a tiny part in this novel.)

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