It seems so petty to have re-read books that I read literally THIS year but re-read them I did, when I was having a pretty rough time of it in the summer. It makes me so grateful to have finally, finally committed to joining the Cannonball community—I wouldn’t have read these if it weren’t for Malin, and clearly there are many others in that bucket as well.
I then went ahead and included a selection of books from these two Loretta Chase series to a friend of mine going through the never-ending postpartum breastfeeding cycle of nap/wake/nap/wake who needed something to get her mind off of her lack of sleep. She found them delightful and just the right amount of joy to get her through those late-night feedings, so they’re really the books that keep giving.
Some thoughts on my re-reads, and the links to the original reviews! I’ve ordered them from most to least favorite, although it’s a pretty narrow band.
The Last Hellion
Re-read (August 2021): I couldn’t wait for what I have deemed Re-Readvaganza 2021. Despite the fact that I was on a flight and really needed to sleep I just couldn’t stop myself from clicking over to this book and then starting it, and then continuing to read it, and then finishing it. It’s every bit as great as it was the first time around–all the characters evolve and change in such lovely ways, you can’t help but enjoy yourself. Lydia has to soften up. Vere has to turn out to be a big ol’ softy. Tamsin needs to be a great friend. Bertie has to be less ridiculous. Everyone does this, and then some. Very enjoyable and worth re-re-reading during RR 2021.
This also ended up being on my Cannonball Best Of list—it received one of the coveted three spots for me. It wasn’t that hard of a choice, actually, and I think one of the most important things I’ve gained from being part of CBR 13 is proudly including romance novels alongside “real serious novels.” It takes real skill to be able to weave this many plot lines into a cohesive whole…it’s actually what I spent a lot of time waxing poetic about with regards to Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy (the first), that the plot threads laid out at the start wound up (ha) being important at the end. It’s no less impressive in a shorter book.
Original Review (April 2021): https://cannonballread.com/2021/04/the-last-hellion-wicherwill/
Re-read (August 2021, review written December 2021): I have to say that a point by Emmalita (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/22122597-what-will-bounce-you-out-of-a-book) made me realize that my frustration with the Lord Perfect epilogue is not just slightly pet peeve-y but also somewhat hurtful—Bathsheba, as we are reminded just enough times, had a happy, successful marriage of twelve (12!) years with presumably lots of consummation. There’s a reason why she thinks that she won’t be able to have another kid…but for the super sperm of Lord Carsington Earl of Hargate. AH WELL. Can’t have them all.
What you can have, though, is another journey with multiple plot threads that weave in and out and get you to a great ending. Perhaps it’s not that much of a surprise where we’ll end up—is it ever, with these novels?—but it’s a nice journey to get there. I have more respect that I originally did for the chemistry that Chase builds between these two opposites attract type characters. I always had a lot of respect for how she managed to make me care about the fate of two kids, usually a plot device that makes me long for the action to get back to the adults. I hope Olivia never changes and drags Peregrin along on all her adventures for the rest of eternity.
Original Review (April 2021): https://cannonballread.com/2021/04/lord-perfect-wicherwill/
Re-read (August 2021, review written December 2021): I have to say this book is usually the hardest to recommend, and even I have to caveat it a bit. There are parts I really enjoy (anything that gets Hemsworth Rupert and Evvy Daphne away from the feluccas and brothers) and parts that I somewhat skim over (all the parts that have more of what-you-call-it…”plot”). It’s not to say I don’t enjoy the Mummy-ness of it all, but unlike in the Mummy the villains are less magnetic. Imhotep and Anck-Su-Namun were villains you could get very invested in, and it’s only the charm of Rick and Evvy that keeps you from cheering them in their goal of world domination. I can’t even tell you who the villains in Mr. Impossible are. Some sort of rival French archaeologist, I think?
BUT the interplay between Rupert and Daphne is lovely, especially as it relates to each of them coming out of their little shells over the course of a handful of weeks (days?) in the Egyptian sun chasing after papyri. Daphne’s matter of fact note that she’s richer that Croesus is hilarious. Rupert showing up at home with something he found in Egypt, namely a wife, feeds right into Lord Perfect and so has my heart. Daphne realizing that not every man has an issue with an expressive, passionate partner? Excellent. Rupert realizing he’s not doomed to be the bumbling idiot brother? Excellent as well.
Original review (April 2021): https://cannonballread.com/2021/04/mr-impossible-wicherwill/