May 1 2007
Dear Mrs Hoyt,
Last year my blogging partner raved to me about this book. “You must read it,” she said. I said I would and sincerely intended to but time passed. I read other reviews of it where people raved about it and thought, “I really need to read that.” And time passed. And I heard from trusted reading friends that it is spectacular and mentally said to myself, “yes, someday…must get to that.” And time passed. Then Jane emailed us and said she’d gotten an advanced copy of “The Serpent Prince” and after reading it she was mailing it out to us to read and I groaned at the thought that I still hadn’t read the first darn book yet. So after finishing another book yesterday I finally (at last!) picked up “The Raven Prince” and started it last night. I got 3 chapters into it before I went to bed then when I got up this morning, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. Thank God I’d already walked the dog because only the need for food took me away from it until I finished it this afternoon.
I’d heard about the historical inaccuracies. Usually those bother me. Not this time. With this book I was so caught up in the story and the characters that I didn’t care. Not one bit. I was ready to believe that financially distressed widow Anna Wren could become the personal secretary of scarred Edward de Raafe, Earl of Swartingham (okay, I have to admit that I winced at that title) in 1760s England. That their attraction would intensify until Anna used her favor gained from helping a sick “barque of frailty” to take the chance to spend a hawt night (and then another hawter night) masked at a London brothel with this man who stirred her emotionally as well as physically. That Edward would at one point take Anna with him to London to a meeting of the Agrarian Society and the other members wouldn’t turn a hair. That the final showdown could take place in front of some members of the Quality and that Anna and Edward might have to face them down in the future. I didn’t care one little bit. Because by that point I was wiping away tears as I turned the pages. I so believed in the romance and the world you’d created between these two that if you’d told me they got into a Range Rover and drove off into the sunset on the M25 I would have nodded and said “of course, that’s the perfect vehicle for Jock to fit into”.
He drew back only to deliver a series of little nips along her bottom lip. “Will you marry me?” he breathed so close to her that the air from his body whispered across her face.
More tears blurred Anna’s eyes. “I love you so much, Edward,” she said brokenly. “What if we never have a family?”
He cupped her face in his hands. “You are my family. If we never have children, I will be disappointed, but if I never have you, I will be devastated. I love you. I need you. Please trust me enough to be my wife.”
“Yes.” Edward was already nibbling a row of kisses down her neck, so it was hard for her to get the word out, but she said it again anyway, because saying it was important.
See, I’m tearing up again just reading that last bit over. I don’t care if this book has glaring historical inaccuracies. I don’t care if Edward acts more like a RomanceMan than a RealMan when he says this (though he does act more like a RealMan during the book). I don’t care I tell you. I want this to be real. I want these two to have the happiness they deserve. Even if they have to suffer through having Davis as Edwards’ shifty valet. I sighed happily when I finished this book and am happy to give it an A- (yes, well I had to take some points off form’s sake).