Spring in Hyde Park: Timeless Regency Collection, Book 3 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Join three bestselling Regency Romance authors, Jennifer Moore, G.G. Vandagriff, and Nichole Van, for three new novellas in Spring in Hyde Park.
A Happy Accident by Jennifer Moore. Jonathan Burles father has just died, making him the new Marquess of Spencer and the most sought after bachelor in London. An unfortunate accident leads to a forced marriage to Maryann Croft, a young woman who possesses no title, and an unexpected secret. With the unstable beginning to their marriage, finding love together seems impossible.
The Disdainful Duke by G. G. Vandagriff. Lady Saphronia Huffington has always thought of herself as plain next to the beauty of her sister, Lady Lavinia. So when her sister becomes engaged to Lord Gilbert Caldwell and Saphronia is paired for wedding events with his brother, the granite-faced Duke of Mayfield, who is known to prefer beauties, she sharpens her wit. Thus begins a lengthy sparring contest during which the Duke realizes Saphronia is anything but plain.
An Invisible Heiress by Nichole Van. Miss Belle Heartstone has everything money can buy - houses, servants, carriages, clothing, jewels. A husband, however, is proving much harder to, ehr... purchase. Colin Radcliffe, the newly minted Marquess of Blake, is in desperate need of funds - preferably of the wife-free variety. When circumstances draw the two together, Blake might be the only man able to see beyond the Belle's outer façade, and fall in love with the woman inside.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 17 minutes|
|Author||Jennifer Moore, G.G. Vandagriff, Nichole Van|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||July 24, 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #138,745 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#454 in Victorian Romance
#1,427 in Regency Romance
#8,000 in Victorian Historical Romance (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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The third story, by contrast, is quite touching and very well written, but the ending, again, feels rushed. This is very unfortunate as the story up to that point was excellent and quite original. Both leads have depth, though we know the woman's viewpoint best, and the conflict keeping them apart is real, serious and something that arouses sympathy for both people.
Something that disturbed me about all three works was the viciousness all three men were capable of. In all of the stories there was at least one point where the man lambastes the woman quite heartlessly. He dislikes her or he's angry with her for some reason, so he gives her a vicious tongue-lashing that is disproportionate to the offense and blind to everything good and decent she's done. The things he says to her are more about his ego and pride than anything else, and yet the story deals with his outburst(s) as if they're nothing out of the ordinary, even for men who think of themselves as 'gentlemen'.
I don't see it that way. These men are being cruel, unfair and bitter, and they're shown saying things to a gentlewoman they wouldn't say to a servant. Yes, people often get angry and say things they shouldn't, especially when they're feeling disappointed, but there are usually lines we won't cross when we're speaking to strangers or people we'd normally try to protect (like children for us and gentlewomen for them), and these men are far over those lines.
Worse, only the second story shows the man thinking about his behavior, accurately accepting that he was at fault and regretting it before meeting the woman again and declaring his love. That recognition of fault is an important progression in moving from anger to apology to openness in love, and the author's skipping that step damages the reader's ability to believe these two people can learn to love one another. It's hard to do it when the author jumps straight from attack to being in love, and even harder when the author makes excuses for the man and sees no reason for him to be sorry. In the first story, another woman tells the female lead that his comments are hurtful just because he's a man, and excuses him by saying something like: "they just don't know how to phrase their suggestions tactfully." Her comment was especially jarring because the man was making personal attacks on the woman, not just offering badly phrased suggestions for improving her charity.
The author felt she'd handled that problem by having the woman decide afterward that the man was right: she was just acting Lady Bountiful with no real understanding of poor people's lives. Unlike the author, however, I don't think that the woman thinking he's right in one thing he said excuses his over-the-top rudeness or the fact that he deliberately attacked and insulted her.
That story also had the least believable elements of any of the three. First, the relationship trajectory, as their relationship leapt from dislike to love for almost no reason, and offered little evidence to support why they would have changed their minds so completely. It also had a secondary plot that was almost as bad, with the lead woman's sister moving from in love to out of love and back again, with dizzying speed and little justification for her choice to forgive him. Then there was the obligatory heroine's makeover with new clothing colors completely altering people's opinions of her appearance.
This is a romance trope that is quite overused and, to me, at least, says disappointing things about the author's creativity. What if a woman is actually plain and still worthy of being loved? There really aren't that many beautiful women around. Many of us have pretty faces or good-looking bodies, and even more of us are plain or even actively unattractive in features/form and yet have something lovely to offer the person who can see past the obvious. Why are romance authors so completely fixated on appearance? Probably because society is, and doubtless it's more fun to write and read about wealthy beautiful people wearing gorgeous clothes and living in astonishing mansions than about us ordinary folk...
The Happy Accident pairs Jonathan and MaryAnn, a Lord and a young woman, who meet due to a carriage accident. He "accidentally" spends the night with her and her father instigates a "shotgun" type wedding. It is a very sweet story of their relationship. I didn't buy young MaryAnn's immediate innate knowledge of how to manage a peer's household, but, despite this, the story managed. Almost all of the characters, even minor ones, were sympathetic and the author draws you into their lives easily. The minor intrigue with the sister was handled well too. What I mention below about the last story (this being an exception to novellas in general) somewhat applies to this one also but I felt the last story was better in general due to it being better written. But I just plain old liked Jonathan and MaryAnn' s story better. Archie and Mother Kathleen were also sweet secondary characters.
The middle story, The Disdainful Duke, fell slightly flat. It was ok but I simply didn't feel the duke, the protagonist, was a very sympathetic character. He didn't deserve the lady and I didn't totally buy into his attraction. He seemed clueless about helping the poor (Lady Safronia's passion) which made her seem a delight but he a clueless boor. Lady Safronia was a decent character as was her sister but I still don't see the attraction on HER part either. She simply had little to choose from. But it WAS decently written and ok.
The Invisible Heiress: several reviewers noted favorably on the lessons conveyed in this story. "Learning to Fly" was the theme of life in this and the story was well thought out (plot), well fleshed out (characters) , and well written. It was the story of Belle, the very, very rich daughter of a tradesman (who had passed away) and Colin, an impoverished Earl. Colin rejects young Belle's marriage offer, encouraging her "to learn to fly" on her own, without marriage. The years go by, Belle commits an interesting deception that helps Colin but he doesn't find out for years. In the meantime, separately, sort of, both prosper and she learns to fly on her own. While I may have enjoyed the first story better (see above), this one conveyed an added life lesson that was much better. Many novellas try to go too fast, missing parts and seeming incomplete, especially with characterizations. This one was paced very well and ended well.
One reviewer disliked that the men in all three stories railed verbally against the woman to their faces and their anger, she felt, was unjustified. She stated the men never apologized nor repented. I disagree. I felt Jonathan and Colin (stories one and three) had some justification for their anger (woman's "deception" involved) and did eventually apologize to their woman and showed genuine remorse and repentance. The Duke' s was there also at the end but it seemed a bit shallow in light of his prior actions and attitude and I don't even remembered why he was so callous to begin with. P.s. the women bore some responsibility but MaryAnn' s deception (to protect another) was justifiable, and Belle deeply and passionately regretted hers, almost to the point of missing the blessing that came. I don't recall Safronia committing any deception. It was the duke and his family.
I believe I paid very little for this anthology. It was worth what little I paid (I believe 2.99). It is higher now, not sure why. I would not have paid more but even the middle story was worth a bit and the two other stories were worth the whole 2.99.
2)The Disdainful Duke: Lady Sophronia Huffington thoroughly dislikes the brother of her sister's fiance. And, of course, the Duke of Mayfield returns the sentiments. Unfortunately, the two of them are forced to spend time together in the time leading up to the wedding. Soon the sparks of dislike turn to sparks of another kind. 3 stars
3) At age 19, heiress Arabella Heartstone decides to take matters into her own hands and proposes marriage to the new Marquess of Blake. She has had him investigated and knows that his lands are heavily mortgaged and he has no money. The Marquess is stunned by her audacity and tells her that he prefers to make his own way and not marry for money. He then gently gives her some very good advice that sets her on a new path. To thank him for what he has done, she funds his new venture in India by pretending to be a male investor. I truly liked this story. The plot is different and the heroine is definitely different...in a good way. I will be looking for more stories by this author. 4 1/2 stars
No sexual situations to offend any readers
Top reviews from other countries
Sehr schön zu lesen, hab mir gleich noch den Sommer der Jahreszeiten-Reihe gekauft.