And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke: 4.5/5
published by Avon in February 2007
Emmaline Dove has been working as Lord Marlowe's secretary for the past few years, running his office, but also buying presents for his family and mistresses. Emma's dream is to write and publish an etiquette book and what better place to realise her dream than working for Lord Marlowe, a big publisher. However, when Emma realises that Lord Marlowe has been rejecting manuscript after manuscript without reading them, and at the same time, reached her 30th anniversary always being sensible and "correct," wasting away her youth, Emma blows up and resigns from her comfortable position. She goes to the competitor, obtains a weekly column under her pen name and to Lord Marlowe's greatest surprise, she's a smashing success.Genre: historical romance
Lord Marlowe - Harry - has had a difficult marriage which resulted in divorce, a long and hard battle which results in Harry and his family being snobbed by their peers. However, it doesn't matter to Harry, because he'd rather make business and money which he is good at. Still, his marriage has scarred him and he has swore never to repeat the experience again. For the past years, Harry and his workers have come to depend on ever efficient and pristine Emma, therefore when she leaves, everything is upside down... At the same time, Harry discovers a new and attractive side of Emma... which he sets out to discover fully once he buys out his competitor.
Review: Wow! This book was indeed very good. It was also very different than most of the historicals I've read recently. I much prefer contemporary... but have read popular historical authors such as StepAndhanie Laurens, Lisa Kleypas, Judith McNaught and etc. However, And Then He Kissed Her is set in the 1890's where things have started to change I guess. Women have more rights/liberties, the ton isn't as attractive as they used to be, etc. So all in all, it was quite a refreshing historical romance for me :)
The Characters - I liked both main characters very much. Emma is an interesting female, not a TSTL heroine... Although she is a virgin and a bit innocent, she isn't totally naive. She has a very strong sense of what's proper and what's not, also a strong opinion. I liked that she was so perseverent in pursuing her dreams... She's also smart - knows when to step down and end things. So quite mature... I also really liked Harry :P I usually like absent-minded guys, I think it's cute :P At the start, Harry is quite an arrogant man, but no matter what he thinks, he is actually open-minded... and I liked how he accepts the fact that perhaps he was wrong and tries to make it right. His past also adds character to him... Emma was also given some "past" but I thought it wasn't that much developed and so, it didn't impact the story as it should... but that's a minor detail.
The Story & Writing - Ms Guhrke's style is pretty good- the story flows well and the pace was perfect - but more importantly, it agrees with me and so, I don't have complaints about it :) As for the story, I like it a lot. As I said, the time period was new to me, so it was very refreshing. I liked the interaction between Emma and Harry and it wasn't too much cliché. I also liked that they didn't have sex right away, which gave more time for the characters to know each other. There wasn't any huge misunderstanding between them, no huge obstacles standing in the way... I thought the ending came quite naturally... All in all, a good storyline, backed up with solid writing.
The Cover - I like the cover, but not too sure about both characters embracing each other... LOL
Am I keeping this book? Yep :D
Anything else? Here is Ms Guhrke's website for anyone who's interested. I'm waiting to see what is going to be her next book :D