`EBOOK ⇯ A Woman Entangled ↝ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I know it s possibly sacrilege, but for me this book, provided by netgalley, was the Pride and Prejudice I ve always wanted to read, but never found in the original It s beautifully written, but speaks to my contemporary mind in a way Austen s original has never been able to The original is too flippant, steers clear of any agonizingly painful emotions and assumes that scandal is the worse thing that can ever happen to a woman, because that s what society tells you Well, this one really loo I know it s possibly sacrilege, but for me this book, provided by netgalley, was the Pride and Prejudice I ve always wanted to read, but never found in the original It s beautifully written, but speaks to my contemporary mind in a way Austen s original has never been able to The original is too flippant, steers clear of any agonizingly painful emotions and assumes that scandal is the worse thing that can ever happen to a woman, because that s what society tells you Well, this one really looks at pain, disappointment, ambition, hope and what the aftermath of scandal just possibly could look like, and I loved every minute of it.I ve read the preceding books in this series, and they both represented something of a revelation to me The author s voice and style is very different than your everyday historical romance, and although the romance is extremely strong in all three, it doesn t detract from the fact that the plots are very good in their own right, nor that the main characters do not necessarily make you immediately sympathize with their plight, nor even particularly like them They are also all quite different from one another.In this book, the hero is wonderful A gifted, ambitious barrister, determined to make his mark in the world of politics and overcome the stain of his brother s scandalous marriage But the way he turns his back on his brother is incredibly cruel, both to himself and his brother, and essentially rather pointless He s suffering the connection anyway, so why deny himself the close relationship he had The heroine, meanwhile, is not particularly sympathetic She s mouthwateringly beautiful, poised and ambitious She s willing to play nice with family members who turfed out her father for marrying her mother, simply to use their access to society to marry up But, again, all is not as it seems What is her real motivation for doing this What happens when you use your looks to get what you want, but then find yourself trying to rise above them And are you really rising above after all I read a lot of romance, and love the genre, but it s so refreshing to find an author which demands my complete attention when reading Too many of them are like background music I find myself doing a load of other things at the same time, and still no missing anything much It s not just that this book is a wonderful story, full of unsympathetic, selfish characters who embark on life altering journeys of self discovery although they do that too , but I loved it mainly because I found myself not wanting to miss a single word.Anyway, loved it 5 stars Can t wait for this author to publish her next book So, I don t have much energy for a review, but saw that there were all kinds of them from friends, so I ll leave it at that unless I get inspired. I ve given this an A rating at AAR, which I suppose 4.5 stars.This latest installment in Cecilia Grant s Blackshear series is as different from the two titles that preceded it A Lady Awakened and A Gentleman Undone as those two books are different from each other, but is every bit as good Nicholas is the middle Blackshear brother and has been making his living as a barrister in London But owing to his brother Will s marriage to a woman of poor reputation as told in A Gentleman Undone , N I ve given this an A rating at AAR, which I suppose 4.5 stars.This latest installment in Cecilia Grant s Blackshear series is as different from the two titles that preceded it A Lady Awakened and A Gentleman Undone as those two books are different from each other, but is every bit as good Nicholas is the middle Blackshear brother and has been making his living as a barrister in London But owing to his brother Will s marriage to a woman of poor reputation as told in A Gentleman Undone , Nick s practice has begun to suffer and he is receiving fewer briefs At a time when reputation was all important, even the merest whiff of lack of respectability or scandal in one s family regardless of who is actually responsible was enough to tar all family members with the same brush.Kate Westbrook is struggling with similar problems Although her father is the son of an earl, her mother used to be an actress, and as at the time the word actress was pretty much synonymous with whore, Kate s family is also struggling under the weight of society s disapprobation.It is Kate, however, who feels this disapprobation the most strongly and who is determined to do something to restore her family to its proper place in society In the beginning, she comes across as a terrible snob, shallow and concerned only with propriety and appearances She is resolutely trying to gain the attention of her father s family in the hopes that their eventual recognition will result in a rise in social standing for her parents and siblings She is so determined that she is willing to bear insult and to abase herself in the eyes of others in order to obtain her goal.Kate is also well aware of the fact that she is quite stunningly beautiful although she is not vain She knows men look at her and are drawn to her and deep down, is rather tired of it but she is determined to use her beauty as a way to make a good marriage and advance her family.Nick Blackshear was a prot g of Kate s father, and at the start of the book, has known her for about three years Like all the young lawyers and students who regularly visit her father s house, Nick found himself enthralled by her beauty and was very quickly infatuated to the point of making a proposal which Kate, having had much experience of such things, cleverly deflected, sparing his feelings as best she could.Even though Nick still finds himself drawn to Kate, he tells himself it s simply a normal, male reaction towards such a beautiful girl, and for the most part, they have settled into a sincere friendship He is the one man she feels comfortable actually talking to, one she feels has no expectations for her to live up to, and Nick rather likes the fact that she feels able to be herself around him, even though he doesn t relish the thought that she might think of him in a brotherly way.As the story progresses it becomes clear that the feelings between Nick and Kate are anything but brotherly sisterly, but she is determined to make a marriage to help elevate her family s standing, and he is convinced or rather, has convinced himself that Kate would not be the sort of wife he needs one who shares his interests and would support him through thick and thin.Nick is fully aware of Kate s intentions and while he can t completely approve them, he does recognize her true motivation Kate is not anxious to marry well simply to secure her own future comfort She wants to make things easier for her sisters the youngest of whom is being picked on at school simply because of her parentage and to try to effect a reconciliation between her father and his brother, the current Lord Harringdon.On the surface, one could be forgiven for thinking that the basic premise of the book the heroine s determination to overlook the man who loves her in favor of landing herself a rich and titled husband is a flimsy basis for a novel Despite his protestations that his feelings towards Kate are now ones of friendship, it s clear that Nick is very much in love with her, and that trying to support her in her quest is tearing him apart So all she needs to do to bring things to a satisfactory conclusion is own up to her feelings, et voil The End.And I suppose, in a roundabout way, that s what finally happens But despite the outward simplicity of the story, it s filled with very real emotion and longing, which is what drew me in so completely The familial relationships in the Westbrook household are well written and there s a terrific sense of warmth and affection in their interactions The minor characters Mr Westbrook, Kate s sister Viola, Lord Barclay, Miss Smith are all very clearly drawn characters, and the author expertly draws the contrast between Mrs Westbrook, the disreputable ex actress, and Lady Harringdon and the others of her ilk leaving the reader in no doubt as to which is theestimable.When I started reading, my immediate thought was that there were bound to be readers who were less than happy with the characterization of the heroine I have since read a few reviews and discovered that I was correct in my assumption but I have to disagree I found both Nick and Kate to be engaging, but imperfect characters who had made inappropriate and difficult decisions in their lives, but who were nonetheless mature enough to be able to own their mistakes by the end of the book, and to try to make amends I can understand why many readers disliked Kate, but she comes a long way throughout the course of the story, from thinking she is doing the right thing for herself and her family regardless of the fact they are content with things the way they are to realizing that there are other ways in which she could help them, andimportantly be happy herself Nick is astatic character, although he does make the first move towards a reconciliation with Will, having accepted that refusing to have anything to do with his brother was a stupid, wasteful thing to do Not only did it not make any difference to Nick s employment situation, it cost him a companion he truly valued.The writing and characterization is every bit as good as I ve come to expect, and Ms Grant s economic, restrained style works beautifully to allow the depth of emotion that bubbles under the surface throughout the story to speak for itself There is no verbiage for the sake of it this author pays her readers the huge compliment of trusting us with her material and letting us work things out for ourselves.I suppose one could say that the moral of A Woman Entangled is to thine own self be true Both Nick and Kate come to realize by the end that they have allowed themselves to be blinded to what was under each of their noses because of their own ambitions and preconceptions.While I think A Woman Entangled was less weighty than the other two books in the series, there is much to enjoy and there is no question that it is just as well crafted The hero and heroine were likeable if at times misguided and despite their assertions that they did not suit, their mutual respect, understanding, and eventually love really shone through Also the friends to lovers trope is a favorite of mine, and I think it was handled beautifully.I ended up writing two separate reviews for this Here s the one that appeared at Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers on 24th June A Woman Entangled is the third novel in Cecilia Grant s Blackshear Family series and in it, we follow the path to true love followed by Nicholas Blackshear, the middle brother and London Barrister whom we have glimpsed previously in both A Lady Awakened and A Gentleman Undone.Nick has his eye on a future career in politics, and has been doing quite well in his chosen profession, until, that is, his younger brother Will made rather a scandalous marriage as told in A Gentleman Undone and caused a scandal that has had repercussions for Nick The briefs are no longer coming his way as thickly as they used to, and knowing this, his friend and mentor, Charles Westbrook, gives Nick s name to a recently ennobled baronet who is looking for someone to tutor him in the art of argument and public speaking.The Westbrooks are also the subject of society s censure owing to the fact that Charles Westbrook, the son of an earl, married an actress against the wishes of his family, who immediately cut all contact with him and have not acknowledged him or his family ever since But Westbrook and his wife made a love match Mrs Westbrook is shown to be a woman of sense, intelligence andgood breeding than many of the matrons of the ton, and their children, too, do not feel as though they have lost anything by being ignored by their father s noble relatives.All of them except the eldest daughter, Kate Well aware that finding husbands for her three younger sisters is going to be difficult without the Westbrooks having either money or consequence on their side, Kate has determined to restore her family to its rightful place in society by using the most powerful means at her disposal Herself While she is not vain, Kate knows herself to be uncommonly beautiful and sets out to find herself a rich, titled husband.I ve seen that quite a few readers have taken a dislike to Kate for her mercenary attitude, but I didn t feel that way at all For one thing, her motives are for the most part completely unselfish She doesn t think too much about whether she can be happy with whomever she sets her sights on and isconcerned with providing an entr e into good society for her sisters And when she is being herself rather than playing the part of the breathless ing nue, Kate is kind and quick witted certainly quick witted enough to despise herself for having to act like a simpering chit towards all the young men she encounters.Well all the young men she encounters but one.Kate and Nick have known each other for three years and at the beginning of their acquaintance, Nick was just as bowled over by her looks as any of the other men she meets But Kate, having determined on making an advantageous marriage, very quickly and discreetly discouraged him.Although hurt at the time, Nick quickly came to acknowledge that Kate wouldn t be a suitable wife for him What he needs is someone who can share his interests and help him in his political ambitions rather than someone who aims to make a place for herself as a society beauty Or rather, that s what he keeps telling himself, because despite all, he still carries a torch for Kate.And even though Kate is coming to realise that she is farattracted to Nick than she had ever realised, she refuses to be deterred from her goal of finding a well connected husband and when, at last, circumstances conspire to reveal to her the true nature of her feelings for him, she is devastated at the thought she might have come to the realisation too late.As one would expect from Cecilia Grant, this is a beautifully written story Her wonderfully understated and economical prose perfectly conveys the deeply felt emotions that run throughout, whether it be Nick s longing for Kate or hers for him or the quiet acceptance, tinged by sadness of Charles Westbrooks acceptance of his family s attitude towards him and his wife and children Nick s eventual reconciliation with Will is a tiny gem of a highlight in the story, as Nick finally admits how much he has missed his brother I admit, I found this book to be rather less weighty than the earlier ones in the series That s not necessarily a bad thing, and the central romance is beautifully handled Unlike Martha in A Lady Awakened or Will in the previous book, Nick and Kate have to overcome obstacles which are almost entirely of their own making, which I suppose can lead the reader to scratch her head and wonder why they were being so wilfully blind But that, I suppose is the point It s clear that Nick and Kate belong together He is the only man she feels she can truly be herself with and she is one of the few people in whom he confides Their story is about overcoming self deception and letting go of misconceptions in order to live the life that might be different from originally envisaged, but that is in no way less than the life they deserve Highly recommended Please ignore the overgrown beefsteak on the cover of this book I cannot imagine a worse dude to put on the cover to represent this lovely story Okay, well, that s a lie I can imagine worse But still It is not representative That is a LARGE MAN WITH UNREALISTICALLY LARGE MUSCLES The hero of this book is a normal man with alean physique and probably very pale, because he is English in the 1800s and where is the sun And also he is a bookish barrister who regularly turns down social e Please ignore the overgrown beefsteak on the cover of this book I cannot imagine a worse dude to put on the cover to represent this lovely story Okay, well, that s a lie I can imagine worse But still It is not representative That is a LARGE MAN WITH UNREALISTICALLY LARGE MUSCLES The hero of this book is a normal man with alean physique and probably very pale, because he is English in the 1800s and where is the sun And also he is a bookish barrister who regularly turns down social engagements to study and read, and is emphatically not a dude who goes to the gym three hours a day, finishes it off with a hop in the tanning booth, and only eats spinach and chicken breast for all meals.Okay, now the book Which I LOVED Like, I am giving this five stars, and I do not remember the last time I gave a historical romance novel five stars I have never even given a Courtney Milan five stars her books are usually not sexy enough for me, and I like good sexytimes in these books Five stars I usually save for books that really speak to me, or that I feel have some extra oomph that really has earned that fifth star I consider most novels in this genre, even the ones that I love, to beon the fluffy end of the literary spectrum, so they have to work a little harder to earn my true love But this one barely had to flutter its skirts at me before I declared myself for it Perhaps it s because the book opens with our heroine, Kate, reading Pride and Prejudice, and deeply identifying with Elizabeth Bennet and her family woes, butlikely it s that it was the right, well written book at exactly the right time for me, that also happens to do things in romance novels that you rarely, if ever, see.Kate Westbrook is the granddaughter of an earl, but because her father married an actress, his family cast him off He lives respectably as a barrister, with his four daughters, one son, and wife in a loving household, but he is no longer accepted in the right social circles For most of Kate s family, that situation is perfectly fine Why should they worry about being disliked by such people, who disregarded the warmth, intelligence and integrity of their mother without even meeting her, instead assuming her profession meant she was unfit for polite society But Kate has always longed to be accepted back The social stigma grates on her, and she sees how it limits the prospects of her siblings as well She loves her parents, but resents them a little for having taken their own happiness at the expense of their childrens She is determined to rise again in the world, securing a great marriage so she can bring respectability back to her family s name Those plans don t include falling in love with her father s prot g , Nick Blackshear, who has recently lived through his own family scandal.Nick is the brother of Will, from A Gentleman Undone Will in that book ends up marrying Lydia Slaughter, a former courtesan and gentleman s mistress Usually in these books that s where the story ends, Happily Ever After, let s pretend this really could have happened NBD Rarely is there true fallout from unsuitable marriages because romance novels are by design usually escapist in nature, and if there is fallout, we certainly don t get to see it firsthand Except that s all this book is This book takes place about a year later, and there has been definite consequences for Will s imprudent marriage All but his sister Martha from A Lady Awakened have cut him off, including Nick, whose business has notably suffered due to the scandal Their older siblings have also dropped in standing, are regularly snubbed by their former friends, and Nick s nieces and nephews now have virtually no chance at good marriages Nick is trying desperately to gain respectability again, recover his business, and plan for an eventual career in politics He also has no room for a marriage to someone who has connections to a scandal.Actually, this is going to sound preposterous, but it reminded me of reading Jane Austen The language is elevatedthan I m used to in most romance novels, and the characters behaved in historically accurate ways It also felt very clever and aware of its own social criticism in a similar way that Jane Austen s books do It s also slower and less immediately rewarding, but the payoff is so good And the characters are so fully formed and flawed, with real weighty decisions to make and growth to accomplish.I just loved it, and now I am sad, because I have finished the only three books this author has published Grant is known for her challenging heroines and here she stacks the deck against Kate by making her gasp the anti Elizabeth Like her favorite literary heroine, Kate is often mortified by a family that did not know the meaning of discretion However, she has no intention of following in Elizabeth s footsteps If Mr Darcy, for example, had come to her with that first grudging proposal openly acknowledging his abhorrence at so lowering herself, she would have swallowed her pride long eno Grant is known for her challenging heroines and here she stacks the deck against Kate by making her gasp the anti Elizabeth Like her favorite literary heroine, Kate is often mortified by a family that did not know the meaning of discretion However, she has no intention of following in Elizabeth s footsteps If Mr Darcy, for example, had come to her with that first grudging proposal openly acknowledging his abhorrence at so lowering herself, she would have swallowed her pride long enough to choice out a yes Affection and understanding could come afterward or if they never came at all, she would have a good name and the grounds at Pemberley on which to build all the facility she required Cut off from her father s high ranking family because he married an actress, Kate s goal is to help her sisters and herself by marrying her way back up the social ladder Her exceptional beauty, charm, and perfect manners make her ambition fairly reasonable If only she could find a way to attract the notice of eligible gentlemen And if only she could stop noticing barrister Nicholas Blackshear.The fortune hunting heroine is not all that new, but Grant gives it an interesting twist here by pairing her with someone just as snobbish and difficult in his way Nick also has an irregularity in his family that he s trying to live down his brother married a former Cyprian See A Gentleman Undone And though Nick quite properly cut his brother off, the scandal has still cost him success in his career His only comfort is the sour grapes of convincing himself that the beautiful Kate Westbrook would be a terrible wife for him.A plot summary makes both Nick and Kate sound appalling, but actually both are warmhearted, thoughtful people trying to do the right things in a society that has very warped ideas about what the right things are I liked the genuineness of the situation here Nick s brother s marriage really does cause him problems, and those aren t easily wiped away, as they so often are in Regency romances Part of what he has to learn is that giving up your family to please others isn t worth it And part of what Kate has to learn is that she can direct her talents and ambitions in a different direction This is the most smoothly written and gracefully plotted of Grant s books so far Referencing both Pride and Prejudice and Emma there are parallels in Nick and Kate s long term friendship , it is somewhat Austen ish in feel insightful, intimate, and centered around a world in which behaving appropriately is all important The downside of that is somewhat less emotional intensity which perhaps is the right choice for these particular characters Though not as astonishingly delightful as A Lady Awakened or as wrenching as A Gentleman Undone, it was very enjoyable reviewed from e arc provided by NetGalley 3.5 Stars Exquisite Prose, Appealing Characters, and Humdrum PlotAn exquisitely beautiful young woman and unacknowledged granddaughter of an earl provoked by her family s poor treatment within noble society is willing to forsake love to marry an aristocrat Kate Westbrook sets aside romantic notions for practical purposes Now, her goal is within sight Unfortunately, a family friend s meddling may disrupt her plans.A few years ago, Nick Blackshear lost his head the first time he saw Kate 3.5 Stars Exquisite Prose, Appealing Characters, and Humdrum PlotAn exquisitely beautiful young woman and unacknowledged granddaughter of an earl provoked by her family s poor treatment within noble society is willing to forsake love to marry an aristocrat Kate Westbrook sets aside romantic notions for practical purposes Now, her goal is within sight Unfortunately, a family friend s meddling may disrupt her plans.A few years ago, Nick Blackshear lost his head the first time he saw Kate She bluntly nipped his courtship in the bud Her conceit reduced his admiration of her yet, over the years, this multifaceted woman behaved in other compelling ways to prove she isthan a pretty face No matter Nick has goals of his own They may take some time to achieve due to a family scandal Soon enough, those goals entwine with his friendship with Kate s father and the ambitious woman herself A Woman Entangled seems to conclude the Blackshear Family series The characters were all I had hoped they would be rounded, compelling, and conflicted Again, Cecilia Grants gorgeous prose absorbed my interest until the lethargic plot had me putting down the book a few times Ms Grant has a talent for avoiding overused plot devices This book continues with this trend, which I appreciate Regrettably, the romance and family drama seemed inadequate The straightforward plot neededmomentum,energy It s a guarantee that Nick and Kate would have their happy ending Their inner conflict mostly family scandals was sincere, but not strong enough to grip this readerA Woman Entangled played out like the gentle music from a finely tuned cello, but I was not expecting a lullaby.I give Ms Grant a great big cheer for creating a seemingly shallow heroine Kate Westbrook was anything but superficial Kate used the tools available to improve her family s lot in life for the time period This book may not have resonated with me like A Gentleman Undone, but other readers may be positively moved by the classically played elegance in her writing I continue to look forward to Cecilia Grants future work Digital RC compliments of Random House Publishing via EdelweissI feel the need to gif my feelings of joy No worries, friends I m using spoiler tags view spoiler hide spoiler I am SPECIAL You may touch my ereader page turner hand o view spoiler hide spoiler This is the final book in Cecilia Grant s Blackshear Family series and it has everything that made the other books in this series so outstanding a unique writing style, a thought provoking storyline and seriously flawed and interesting charactersLike Ms Grant s heroines in the previous books, Kate is difficult to like at first She gives the appearance of being a superficial, selfish social climber who is willing to use her beauty to ensnare a wealthy, titled gentleman into marrying her This is the final book in Cecilia Grant s Blackshear Family series and it has everything that made the other books in this series so outstanding a unique writing style, a thought provoking storyline and seriously flawed and interesting charactersLike Ms Grant s heroines in the previous books, Kate is difficult to like at first She gives the appearance of being a superficial, selfish social climber who is willing to use her beauty to ensnare a wealthy, titled gentleman into marrying her However, it soon becomes clear that her motives are far from selfish because she cares deeply for her family and will do anything she possibly can to achieve the social acceptance they deserve.Her father, Charles Westbrook, caused a scandal when he married an actress and, although she was a woman of character and intelligence from a proud theatrical family, Charles family disowned both him and his family and have had no further contact since Kate has worked hard to capture the attention of her father s family with the hope of not only healing the rift between them but also of making an advantageous marriage which would provide opportunities for her sisters to have a better life I like how Ms Grant shows glimpses of a very different Kate in her protective concern for her sister, Rose, and the kindness she shows her friend, Louisa I particularly loved how she decided not to make a certain choice because she knew it would have been hurtful to Louisa.Like Kate, Nick is also hoping to restore his family s respectability A respected barrister, Nick had ambitions of one day becoming an MP, that is until his brother, Will, brought the family name into disrepute by not only marrying a courtesan, but fighting a duel over her as well A Gentleman Undone Nick has tried to repair the damage by publicly cutting off all contact with his brother, but many of the solicitors have stopped sending him clients because of the stain on the Blackshear family name Nick sees his chance of having enough money to purchase the land needed to qualify him for a seat in Parliament slipping away Then his close friend and mentor, Charles Westbrook, recommends Nick to Lord Barclay, who is looking for someone to tutor him in the art of public speaking, before he takes his seat in the House of Lords The honorarium from Lord Barclay will hopefully provide the necessary funds Nick needs Nick has been a good family friend to the Westbrooks and had once harboured hopes of marrying Kate, but she had made it very plain that she had set her sights on someone of higher social standing than a mere barristerI love Ms Grant s flawed heroes and heroines because they always seemhuman They make misjudgements and mistakes as I m sure we all do, and it is those very fragilities that make them interesting and their journey to finding what they really want in lifeemotionally satisfying.Having believed that the only way to attain what she wants is through an advantageous marriage, Kate comes to realise that the very same things can be attained through friendship without sacrificing her own happiness.Nick has always felt guilty about cutting himself off from his brother, whom he still loves, whilst still keeping the familial connection with his sister, Martha, who herself had been guilty of scandalous impropriety A Lady Awakened The only difference being that Martha and her husband had been discreet and avoided steeping the family name in scandal as Will had done Nick has always regarded himself as a man of integrity, but his actions force him to question that integrity and the choices he has made, not only regarding his brother, but also his failure to tell Lord Barclay about his family scandal for fear of jeopardising his political aspirations I like how Nick reaches out to his brother and there are definite signs of a reconciliation and his honesty in telling Lord Barclay the truth regardless of the consequences.The romance is intelligently written and I enjoyed watching it unfold They have remained friends and Nick has tried to put all thoughts of marrying Kate out of his head, aware that someone with such social aspirations would never make a suitable barrister s wife, but it s obvious that he is still in love with Kate It s only when her father asks Nick to keep an eye on Kate at the social events she is attending, and they are constantly thrown together, does Kate realise that she loves Nick and it may be too late She has to learn to think with her heart rather than her head and decide where her happiness lies I like how she comes to the realisation that life married to a titled gentleman would be exceedingly dull but, married to Nick, she could play an active role in his life in so many ways.The secondary characters all add depth to the story I especially liked Kate s sister, Viola, a bluestocking with definite opinions on women s rights and some of their conversations made me smile Louisa who is a true friend to Kate and genuinely has her interests at heart, and the liberal minded Lord Barclay I also enjoyed seeing the other members of the Blackshear family who play an important role in the decisions Nick must make.I love how the Epilogue offers of a positive glimpse of the future for both Nick s and Kate s immediate families Wedding breakfasts usually were, of course, and indeed this one celebrated the commencement of their married life However, it also sketched a tentative outline of how their two families would fit together And how Nick s own might come to be whole once again.MY VERDICT Ms Grant s books are ones you don t simply read they are ones you savour like the finest wine This is a series that shouldn t be missed and I am now waiting patiently for Cecilia Grant to publishbooks Blackshear Familyseries click on the book covers fordetails This review was first posted on my Rakes and Rascals Blog Other reviewers have dome such a great job of summing up this book s assets and potential drawbacks that I ll keep this mercifully brief What you might love 1 The biggest pro is the prose Seriously, Grant is among the most sublimely gifted writers you ll come across in this genre Perhaps in ANY genre The book is bursting with wit and insight, but if you re anything like me, you ll be enchanted not just by what the author is saying, but the way she s choosing to say it I can t stress eno Other reviewers have dome such a great job of summing up this book s assets and potential drawbacks that I ll keep this mercifully brief What you might love 1 The biggest pro is the prose Seriously, Grant is among the most sublimely gifted writers you ll come across in this genre Perhaps in ANY genre The book is bursting with wit and insight, but if you re anything like me, you ll be enchanted not just by what the author is saying, but the way she s choosing to say it I can t stress enough that fellow language lovers and those who place an extremely high premium on writing style fellow bookworms who geekily highlight, reread and sigh over particularly brilliant turns of phrase will likely find this book a true treasure It was my first Cecelia Grant book, but it certainly won t be my last 2 This gem contains some terrific allusions to Jane Austen s work her themes and characterizations and her insights on life, love and the role of women We learn immediately that the heroine is a huge Jane Austen fan, and the way the author both honors and slyly twists some of what s found in Austen s work adds another layer of interest and pleasure to this novel 3 Without being excessively grim and dark personally, I hate when romance novels depressthan they delight , this book really is sneakily profound and quietly but strongly resonant, at least for me I read an insane number of books, and this is among the handful to have stayed with me for weeks after reaching the conclusion and one that I m already embarrassingly eager to reread What you might not love quite as ardently 1 Grant s hero and especially heroine are very flawed Personally, I love that Kate and Nick are so fallible not only does that make themnuanced, interesting and relatably human to me, but it makes their ultimate growth and positive journey as individuals and as a couple all therewarding That said, I think it s fair to warn fellow readers that if you prefer your characters to be eminently lovable and wholly admirable from the outset, this may disappoint 2 As others have noted, the plot is not exactly jaw droppingly twisty and innovative As you can tell from the above, I was far too enad with the book s brilliant prose, immensely clever that s SO true insights and emotional richness to care, but if you re someone who places a high value on plot, you might want to temper your expectations a bit I can readily see why this book isn t for everyone, particularly because the characters are a bitflawed than many of us are used to seeing in romance novels That said, the writing really is among the most brilliant, captivating and sneakily effective I ve been lucky enough to come across This book took me on an immensely rewarding journey, and one I m very eager to embark on again in the near future 10 March 2013Not surprisingly superb Rather different from the first two books.Review to come closer to the June 25 pub date.Thanks to edelweiss.com and Bantam for this digital ARC.19 May 2013Let this be a lesson to me I read the ARC of this book in March but didn t write a review, as it s not coming out until June 25 Two months and many intervening books later, I can t remember all the reasons I liked it so much The silver lining, however, is that I ve looked at several very negati 10 March 2013Not surprisingly superb Rather different from the first two books.Review to come closer to the June 25 pub date.Thanks to edelweiss.com and Bantam for this digital ARC.19 May 2013Let this be a lesson to me I read the ARC of this book in March but didn t write a review, as it s not coming out until June 25 Two months and many intervening books later, I can t remember all the reasons I liked it so much The silver lining, however, is that I ve looked at several very negative reviews already posted at GR Almost every one bases their opinion on disliking the heroine for being beautiful and shallow, and for grasping at social elevation through marriage Did they not read the entire book Did they just skim over the interior monologue scenes How could anyone read this book without realizing that its major point revolves around the growth and change the heroine and to a lesser extent, the hero undergoes but even so, isn t it possible to admire a well written, deeply moving story without adoring the heroine Let me answer that last one does the name Anna Karenina mean anything to you Rant finished Now, I ll write my review Thank you.6 June 2013Is everything I ve always dreamed of really what will make me happy Kate Westbrook has always dreamed of marrying a man of wealth and position She is the granddaughter of an earl, but her father was disowned by his family after marrying an actress He has become a successful, respected barrister, quite content with the family he has created Kate, however, deeply feels the sting of rejection, and so she hopes to make a marriage that will elevate not only herself but also improve the chances for her younger sisters and brother Perhaps she can even pave the way for reconciling her father and his family and for garnering for her mother the respect that she deserves Kate is beautiful and charming and exceedingly determined.Nicholas Blackshear s family is eminently respectable, or at least it was Although his widowed sister has recently married a viscount A Lady Awakened , his brother has married a courtesan after fighting a duel over her A Gentleman Undone Nick, an up and coming barrister, has felt the sting of society s disapproval as respectable solicitors have stopped referring cases to him Although Nick has quite publicly cut himself off from his brother, his promising career is beginning to crumble Kate and Nick are well acquainted, as Mr Westbrook is Nick s mentor and close friend Nick is like a member of the family Indeed, he once hoped to truly become a member of the family Three years ago he fell in love with Kate and attempted to propose, but she cut him off and made it clear that her sights were set higher He has remained close to the family and put thoughts of marrying Kate out of his mind Well, mostly out of his mind He knows, logically, that someone with Kate s airs would not make a good wife for a rising young barrister.So here we have two young people struggling in their own ways to obtain the respect of a society that has shunned them Kate believes she is on the verge of success when her aunt, Lady Harringdon, suddenly takes an interest in her Nick, who has political aspirations, sees his opportunity when young Lord Barclay retains Nick to tutor him in public speaking before he takes his new seat in the House of Lords It does not escape Kate s notice that Barclay is the brother of a childless marquess Game on.Quite a few reviewers have criticized this book because they found Kate so dislikable I cannot agree Yes, her plans may seem shallow and grasping, but consider what society was like in 1817 Moreover, she is pursuing this course not just for herself but also for her entire family She dreams of her father reconciling with his brother the earl and with his elderly mother There is a heart rending scene when Kate realizes that she is meeting her grandmother for the first time and the lady has no idea who Kate is She wants society to recognize that her mother is a genteel, decent woman a Shakespearean actress and never a scandalous courtesan a woman of character and intelligence,daughter of a proud theatrical family, who studied Sophocles and spat on indecent offers from gentlemen admirers She wants her younger sisters not to have to endure the insults of their schoolmates as she did, and she hopes to give them the opportunity to make good marriages With every bit of her body she remembered that feeling of standing apart, shut out from the jokes and the gossip and the giggling over this or that girl s handsome older brother I should add here that these secondary characters from Kate s family are vividly and delightfully drawn, especially Kate s sister Viola, a budding feminist bluestocking and a fan of Miss Wollstonecraft s who is writing her own treatise on the rights of women When Kate urges Viola to try to becharming, Viola retorts, I m sure Thomas Paine never concerned himself with whether or not he was charming Indeed, I would enjoy seeing Viola getting her own book in this series As for Nick Blackshear, he is not the stereotypical alpha hero, and I like that about him Oh, he s handsome enough, but neither wealthy, nor dashing, nor arrogant He has endeavored to put aside the hurt caused by Kate s rejection and concentrate on his career And he was doing a good job of it until his world was upended by his brother s scandalous marriage He thinks he can overcome this setback by rejecting his brother, just as Mr Westbrook s family had rejected him, but he has doubts and feels guilty He feels especially guilty when he delays telling Lord Barclay about his brother for fear that Barclay will cut off their budding professional relationship He is, in other words, a good and decent man caught up in a difficult situation not of his own making, trying to steer his way through the storm as best he can.The changing relationship between Kate and Nick is real and complicated and beautifully written Cecilia Grant is immensely talented, as already shown in her first two successful books, and her language is fully of the period without being off putting to the modern reader I urge any romance reader looking for a story that hasn t been done to death already to pick up this one `EBOOK ⇔ A Woman Entangled ↵ An ambitious beauty seeking a spot among the elite is thwarted by a most disruptive gentleman in Cecilia Grant s witty, elegant, and exquisitely sensual novel Kate Westbrook has dreams far bigger than romance Love won t get her into London s most consequential parties, nor prevent her sisters from being snubbed and looked down upon all because their besotted father unadvisedly married an actress But a noble husband for Kate would deliver a future most suited to the granddaughter of an earl Armed with ingenuity, breathtaking beauty, and the help of an idle aunt with connections, Kate is poised to make her dreams come true Unfortunately, a familiar face albeit a maddeningly handsome one appears bent on upsetting her scheme Implored by Kate s worried father to fend off the rogues eager to exploit his daughter s charms, Nick Blackshear has set aside the torch he s carried for Kate in order to do right by his friend Anyway, she made quite clear that his feelings were not returned though policing her won t abate Nick s desire Reckless passion leads to love s awakening, but time is running out Kate must see for herself that the charms of high society are nothing compared to the infinite sweet pleasures demanded by the heart