Jill aka Jo (sireesanwar) wrote,
Jill aka Jo

January Reads: Thornton Series & Another Outlander Volume

Reading Challenge: 3 of 70

Goodread says I'm already behind in my reading but for what has been happening in my life so far... this is miraculous though admittedly I listened to Voyager which is easy to do when you are driving all over your county for a quartantined person. *sigh* Thank God things are calming down.

Title: The Last Duke
Author: Andrea Kane
Series: Thornton #1
Pages: 369
Rating: no titleno titleno titleno titleno title
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estselling author Andrea Kane deftly interweaves her sensual love stories with breathtaking intrigue -- a touch of danger amid glorious romance.

Lady Daphne Wyndham is the only child of the brutal Marquis of Tragmore. Risking a beating each time she sneaks away to help the local vicar, Daphne fantasizes about the legendary Tin Cup Bandit, who robs the rich to aid the poor. His scandalous exploits inflame her rebellious spirit and fire her romantic imagination. And when he appears in her bedroom, she suspects all her wild dreams may come true....

Pierce Thornton grew up in a British workhouse, and now thirsts for vengeance against the nobility -- and the Marquis of Tragmore. As he plots to ruin Tragmore, a twist of fate opens an unexpected door, allowing him to fulfill his life-long crusade: bringing the fashionable world to its knees. But in the process he encounters a far greater peril...losing his heart to Daphne Wyndham.

After reading Yuletide Treasure and then discovering it was really a short story that was part of a small series... I had to read more. I discovered the Thornton series which starts out with The Last Duke.

The Last Duke is about Daphne Wyndham and Pierce Thornton love story. See Lady Daphne is the only child of a brutal Marquis who despises her generosity. Her father sees weakness in helping and caring for others while Daphne tries her best to take care of everyone she encounters (which could be because she doesn't know the feeling, I suppose). Daphne's hero is the Tin Cup Bandit who steals from cruel rich noblemen and gives the money to poor houses to take care of the needy and helpless. And then the Bandit robs her home and Daphne is even more intrigued, enough so to help the man.

As you can probably guess who he is in the story.

Pierce grew up in one of these poorhouses and fought his way out into better standing and wealth only to discover later his own ties to nobility. Pierce has a deep loathing for Daphne's father and would do nearly anything to destroy the man but first he's determined to save Daphne and keep her for himself.

Kane is a good writer and while I can't say this story made me want to shout to all who would listen just how great it was, it did make me want to read the second full book in the series. Though admittedly I did wonder how this book connected to Yuletide Treasure.

Title: The Theft
Author: Andrea Kane
Series: Thornton, 2
Pages: 402
Rating: no titleno titleno titleno titleno title
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Lady Noelle Bromleigh is determined to unravel the mystery shrouding her birth. She coaxes information from her loving adoptive parents -- information on the unscrupulous Franco Baricci, who seduced and abandoned her mother. But knowledge alone is not enough, for Noelle can't rest until she makes peace with her past. Despite the danger Baricci represents, she travels to London to investigate him. There, she finds both peril and excitement greater than she ever imagined when she meets an enigmatic but seductive stranger with a dark mission.

Ashford Thornton, the earl of Tremlett, is hot on the trail of the art thief Baricci, and he has good reason to suspect that lovely Noelle could be involved. She may seem an innocent, but her interest in Baricci is highly suspect. And even if Noelle isn't Baricci's accomplice, Ashford cannot afford to let her steal his heart. For Baricci is not the only man with secrets -- and the one Ashford is hiding could endanger the woman he is fast coming to love.

I discovered the Thornton series after reading Yuletide Treasure. I couldn't quite figure out how The Last Duke was related to Yuletide Treasure but as it turns out this book connects them all together.

My favorite of the three stories will always be Yuletide Treasure but I did like this one more than The Last Duke.

Lady Noelle is all grown up, she was a child in Yuletide Treasure, and she wants to know who her biological father is. Her adoptive father and uncle is reluctant but knows if he doesn't help Noelle find answers she'll try for them on her own and likely get herself into trouble. How well he knows her because even with his help, trouble finds Noelle.

Ashford Thornton is the show of Pierce Thornton and has picked up his role as the Tin Cup Bandit after his father's retirement, only Ashford prefers paintings. And his day job is tracking down art thieves and at the top of his list is Baricci who just happens to be Noelle's biological father. What a tangled web!

Ashford and Noelle discover love at first sight to be an actual thing but Ashford's job and Noelle's dangerous sire stand in their way. Until some of the danger in their lives is resolved there is no way they can be together.

I liked this volume better than the first simply because there was more intrigue and adventure. I loved seeing Pierce and Daphne together with their many children as well as Eric and Brigitte.

Noelle is very headstrong and it gets her into trouble but she's also really smart, smart enough to figure out the secrets around her and know exactly what her duplicitous biological father is after. Ashford realizes quickly that he'll have a lifetime of work ahead of him just to stay one step in front of Noelle and her brain but he's willing.

I loved that Kane's female characters aren't simpering fools. They are smart women who play a part but unravel any man's secrets quickly and with little help.

Kane is a good writer and while her books, so far, don't make me want to grab everyone I find; her books are great go to stories when you just need something quick to read.
Title: Voyager
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander, 3
Pages: 870
Rating: no titleno titleno titleno titleno title
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From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her...the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

Well if I think back to when I originally read this book I can tell you that the reason I read it was because the second book left us hanging and I was screaming and freaking out because I wanted to know what would happen. So I rushed out and got Voyager because frankly I needed to know what happen to Jamie and Claire.

Diana Gabaldon is not a new author to me as I've read her entire Outlander Series multiple times (never did do a good review for them) and I have no intention of ever parting with my set of books!

Okay, so the description sounds a little overboard but truly it is worth the read. These books have been said to be so far from the traditions of a romance novel that it isn't even funny.

I think I loved this book the most because in Outlander we get to see Jamie and Claire start out. They are cautious and kind of step around each other out of fear of really showing themselves to each other. By the time you get to Dragonfly there is so much intrigue going on that you kind of lose Jamie and Claire a bit. Voyager brings them back in full force and really tosses you into the fray with them. From smuggling to pirates this book pretty much goes through all types of adventures without lacking for it. Not only is there romance and marriage but murder, smuggling, plague, kidnapping and we can toss in a man with a hook and a Chinese man for good measure.

Diana really brings Jamie, Claire, Mr. Willoughby, Fergus, Marsali and a whole host of other wonderful character to life in this book. It is fun to get to see the real transition of characters as they age (Claire is pushing 50) and yet it doesn't detract from the splendor of them.

DG also throws in a few surprises and shocks just to keep us all on our toes and boy is it really worth it. Also we get to see more Alias's by Jamie. I love that the man goes through so many alias's.

Jamie and Claire are both a whole lot more mature in this story. We get to see that while age might have not made Jamie think smuggling and sedition wrong at least he's far more sensible about things going on around him. He seems to have a mature attitude about what he's doing and why.

Claire matures as well and as she's always been the competent woman, now she is the professional doctor who takes charge much more readily than before. Claire is the type of woman who stands up for herself and isn't afraid to risk everything for love and happiness.

This series is wonderful and I highly recommend it.
Tags: books, books: reviewed, genre: action adventure, genre: drama, genre: fantasy, genre: historical fiction, genre: historical romance, genre: regency romance, genre: romance, genre: time travel, ~author: andrea kane, ~author: diana gabaldon, ~rating: 3, ~rating: 4, ~rating: 5

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