Thursday, March 29, 2007

Review: And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke

I've been meaning to try Laura Lee Guhrke's books since last December... I first saw her name on someone's blog, but didn't pay too much attention to it. Then, came across The Marriage Bed and She is no Princess... skimmed through She is no Princess and thought it was so-so... Still willing to try another book, because she's got some good reviews in blogland. However, I've been putting off The Marriage Bed because it's the last book of a trilogy and still haven't found the two first books... I guess I'll have to order them. Anyway, hmmm, I was going to wait a bit before buying And Then He Kissed Her, but then the book got such a good review over at Dear Author that I had to buy and read it :)

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.

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.
Genre: historical romance
Series: none

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


  1. I have not read this one yet, I will have to keep an eye out for it. It has been a while since I have read her stuff. The book that I have by her that I liked is called Guilty Pleasures. What are the other two books in the trilogy?

  2. I am so glad that you liked it. I am almost more fearful of giving a book a good grade than a bad one because what if you buy it and then you hate! I would feel terrible.

  3. I have one chant for you:

    Boom lacka lacka Connor's Way
    Boom lacka lacka Connor's Way
    Boon lacka lacka Connor's Way

  4. I'm buying this!! LOL I have a few LLGs in my TBR pile, but I still haven't read anything by her. :P Go figure. Glad you liked this one.

  5. I read this after both Tara Marie and Dear Author had good things to say about it. Refreshing relationship between the H/H. I liked that Emmaline Dove was written as a capable and intelligent woman making her own way in the world and still true to the time period.

    This was one of the books I did a mini-review of and got eaten by blogger.

  6. Kris - I think you should read it :D it is really good :) As for the trilogy, it's Guilty Pleasures, His Every Kiss and finally, The Marriage Bed.

    Jane - Yeah, thank you very much for your recommendation :) Also, it happens to everyone you know... you can't expect the book to suit everyone's taste tho...

    Kristie - I'm lost... Connor's way?

    Ames - go buy it!!! :) I also have other books of her in my TBR pile that I've yet to read ^^;

    Rosie - I'm glad you liked it too... Refreshing right? and yeah, Emma's definitively not a twit :) quite mature and intelligent. and boo blogger for eating up our reviews!

  7. Oh, well then i definitely have to read it if I liked the first one. Thanks ;)

  8. Great review, Nath!

    Hmm, as much as I'm tempted to have at this book right away, I think I'd start with Guilty Pleasures as it's the first part of the trilogy as soon as I CAN. It'll be my first LLG and I hope it'll be worth it.:o)

  9. Kris - Me, I'm still looking for the first two books ^^; Can't find them :(

    Kookie - hey there :D And Then He Kissed Her is not part of a trilogy. so you could go and buy it now :P

  10. nath, you want to borrow Guilty Pleasures? Currently it is sitting in a box so I know I wont miss it.

  11. My library has the Marriage bed but I will look for His Every Kiss at my UBS.


    My all time favourite LLG book. Can't tell you how many times I've read it.

  13. Kris - Thanks for the offer, but I think I'm going to try to find it and buy it... it's really nice from you, but I'll have to send it back to you afterwards... which might just cost me the same ^^;

    Kristie - Oh! I tried to look for "Connor's Way" on Chapters, but couldn't find it... didn't think of checking her website, so I missed it ^^; sounds good, too bad it's so old - very difficult to find :(

  14. Interesting. From the description it doesn't even sound like a historical.

    I have heard a lot about the marriage bed, but I have yet to read it.

  15. Hey Chantal - well it is historical, but I'd say the end of the period... just before the modern times :P it was quite interesting and new :D