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An Excellent Wife? Fan freaking tastic I don t know if I have ever read a Harlequin comedy before, at least not in an intentional way, but An excellent wife , by Charlotte Lamb, was just that the Harlequin version of one of those classic romantic comedies starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn It was charming and delicious, fluffy and unabashedly goofy and romantic I loved it.James Ormond the Third has been reared since birth to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious merchant banker father and grandfath Fan freaking tastic I don t know if I have ever read a Harlequin comedy before, at least not in an intentional way, but An excellent wife , by Charlotte Lamb, was just that the Harlequin version of one of those classic romantic comedies starring Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn It was charming and delicious, fluffy and unabashedly goofy and romantic I loved it.James Ormond the Third has been reared since birth to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious merchant banker father and grandfather His life is routine office, work lunch, high tea served in the family s antique China, an occasional date with his equally driven girlfriend Fiona, whose icy blond looks make most men drool with envy yet seem to invokeshudder than heat in James s spine Then, abruptly, enters a wild and heady tornado topped by wild red curls, large hazel eyes, and a generous pink mouth, also known as Patience Kirby, that takes James ordered life and turns it upside down The book is written entirely in James point of view and it is a smashing success Despite his narrow and stupid mistakes, brought on by a lifetime of being drilled to hide and dismiss his emotions and to basically just act as an automaton rather than a human being, I completely identified and empathized with him I also loved the very well rounded cast of secondary characters comprised of James s makeshift family of servants and employees as well as Patience s own madcap collection of half siblings, friends, and boarders.This book brought on the LoLs and the fuzzies in a very good way so I would wholeheartedly recommend it Wanted A Wife Of ConvenienceJames Had Never Been In Love He Intended To Marry A Woman Who Didn T Make Demands, Or Wouldn T Change His Life So Why Did He Find Patience Kirby So Attractive She Certainly Wasn T His Idea Of Marriage Material For One Thing, She Was A Sparky Redhead, While He D Always Preferred Cool Blondes For Another, He Was Used To A Peaceful, Elegant Lifestyle, And Patience S Home Was Full Of Kids, Old People And Animals Noise, Warmth And CaringBut In Order To Have Her In His Bed, Did James Have To Make Patience His Wife This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Awww this is just the fluffiest story, told entirely from our emotionally buttoned down hero s POV There are other great reviews so I won t go into the plot details The writing is exquisite The dialogue snappy The hero s unspoken longings and fears are so well done He could have come across as a whiny man baby, but CL rounds him out nicely His poor secretaries, though I hope they all get raises I loved the heroine s determination and how she wore her heart on her sleeve I wish there had Awww this is just the fluffiest story, told entirely from our emotionally buttoned down hero s POV There are other great reviews so I won t go into the plot details The writing is exquisite The dialogue snappy The hero s unspoken longings and fears are so well done He could have come across as a whiny man baby, but CL rounds him out nicely His poor secretaries, though I hope they all get raises I loved the heroine s determination and how she wore her heart on her sleeve I wish there had beenbetween the hero and his mother and less time spent on the OW She wasn t remotely interesting Lots of food porn for those keeping track A partial list from memory Melonavocadosalmonrocket salad served at least three times sometimes with cucumberspotted dick spaghettiplumscustardSunday roast with Yorkshire pudding and 3 vegpears with balsamic vinaigrette and walnuts scotch eggshot buttered crumpets and muffinsmarzipanbirthday cake cheese and spinach souffleChocolate mouse They drank a lot as well Mineral waterrough red winecold white winescotch gin and tonics brandytea coffeeWhew Who knew CL could give me so many ideas for dinner Funny and cute story Hero was clueless when it comes to love He was also inexperienced and so endearing He was so in love with the heroine poor guy Entertaining book. 3.75 stars The book was quite enjoyable and I liked itbecause it was written from the hero s point of view It was a classic HP romance with the exact amount of comedy and love, very refreshing. A rare hero s POV, and what a hero James, our stuffy stuffed shirt was abandoned by his mother and raised by the cold father that drove her away He s slowly slipping into his father s life rude to his employees, an eye to what s proper, and a non sexual dating relationship with a icy blonde cold stick named Fiona.A spunky redhead named Patience literally jumps into his life as intermediary for the mother who was dead to him Not only is Patience raising her pretty adorable plot moppet sibling A rare hero s POV, and what a hero James, our stuffy stuffed shirt was abandoned by his mother and raised by the cold father that drove her away He s slowly slipping into his father s life rude to his employees, an eye to what s proper, and a non sexual dating relationship with a icy blonde cold stick named Fiona.A spunky redhead named Patience literally jumps into his life as intermediary for the mother who was dead to him Not only is Patience raising her pretty adorable plot moppet siblings, but she has taken on what amounts to a surrogate family in elderly renters She s pretty cute, and ole grumpy, shut down James falls hard and fast It s hard to point to what makes this book so charming as the contact between James and Patience is limited No steamy sex scenes, no ridiculous adventures What works and makes it so poignant James opening eyes and inner monologuing fears about turning into his father his conflicting emotions about seeing his mother after a couple of decades, and his longing to be near and with Patience He dodges the poor pitiful Heathcliff big fat jerk role as he is really damaged His mother left him to the cold man that drove him away Charlotte Lamb, as always, provides details about him as a child that humanize the cold jerk he is now He can hear sounds of the London zoo from his home and recalls how frightened he was as a child He thought the animals would hunt him down and eat him James falls for Patience and her crazy life but fights it all the way He bonds with Patience s siblings when they show them their secret den in the garden Emmy, Patience s younger sister, takes him under her six year old wing and she s pretty adorable.All in all a winner, but what stops it from being a four star is the abrupt ending and losing sight of some of the secondary characters that made this so much fun I also had a very difficult time with the concept of the mother that could abandon a child like this He is the product of his parents, and his mother did double damage by leaving him in the first place and leaving him with a emotionally abusive man.P.S Onthan one occasion I had to check to make sure I was actually reading a Charlotte Lamb Reading the story from H s POV was different and this H was special it made it all thelovely. When it comes to originality, CL doesn t disappoint and this book is testament to her skills Told from the H s perspective, this M B is the romance equivalent of the Christmas Carol H is Scrooge, a rich and powerful man with very little grasp of feelings and emotions His ghosts include his mother aka Ghost of the Christmas Past a woman he tries to forget and confine to his mental box of bygones Then there s Fiona ghost of the Christmas Present , a cool, arctic blonde who values ambition When it comes to originality, CL doesn t disappoint and this book is testament to her skills Told from the H s perspective, this MB is the romance equivalent of the Christmas Carol H is Scrooge, a rich and powerful man with very little grasp of feelings and emotions His ghosts include his mother aka Ghost of the Christmas Past a woman he tries to forget and confine to his mental box of bygones Then there s Fiona ghost of the Christmas Present , a cool, arctic blonde who values ambition and wealth much like himself without the complications of emotional bonding And finally you have the h Patience the Ghost of the future or his future rather aptly named I thought a woman who teaches him how to love and change the way he sees the world or reacts to it This was very well done with appropriate amounts of humour, romance, and drama The H is constantly bewildered by the women around him and for a change it was fun to read about his tumultuous emotions whenever he comes across the h Definitely worth the four stars for originality if for nothing else More like 3 to 3.5 stars, but rather unique in that it is told entirely from the hero s point of view One day, a successful financier is rudely interrupted when a young woman comes barging into his office to explain that his long lost mother is back in town and desperately wants to see him The young woman runs a boarding home for the elderly and has decided to help one of her boarders by contacting the woman s son Hero is not too happy to have this red headed bundle throw herself at him, and More like 3 to 3.5 stars, but rather unique in that it is told entirely from the hero s point of view One day, a successful financier is rudely interrupted when a young woman comes barging into his office to explain that his long lost mother is back in town and desperately wants to see him The young woman runs a boarding home for the elderly and has decided to help one of her boarders by contacting the woman s son Hero is not too happy to have this red headed bundle throw herself at him, and he physically calls his security force to have her removed Seems he resents that is mother has come back after abandoning him to his ruthless father when he was only ten years old Of course, it s instant attraction with the firecracker heroine even though she is nothing close in the way of his tastes Seems Mr Success is quite taken with those long legged, cool blondes The story was unique and kept my interest because it was told entirely from the hero s viewpoint It also was a much lighter touch than is typical Lamb with some laugh out loud moments and some secondary endearing characters However, I felt the author missed some opportunities to make this story stronger by not providinginteraction and connection with the secondary players and only superficially touching upon the abandonment Though, in spite of these issues, I did find myself entertained.If you like Charlotte Lamb, you might want to give this a try Even if only to experience something very different from her usual approach I had to check midway through this book to be sure it was indeed Charlotte Lamb who wrote it she surprises me every now and then with outlier stories but this was still a first What a happy, charming, silly book This story was told entirely from the Hero s perspective He s supposed to be a cold, austere, emotionless businessman, but we get full on descriptions of his heart crashing and his mind spinning and the world exploding in dazzling light every time the sweet, clumsy young heroine bumbl I had to check midway through this book to be sure it was indeed Charlotte Lamb who wrote it she surprises me every now and then with outlier stories but this was still a first What a happy, charming, silly book This story was told entirely from the Hero s perspective He s supposed to be a cold, austere, emotionless businessman, but we get full on descriptions of his heart crashing and his mind spinning and the world exploding in dazzling light every time the sweet, clumsy young heroine bumbles into his vicinity It s adorable Hilarious too, to see him thinking frantically of how to win her over, desperate to be with her, and spewing out mean nasty word vomit instead From now on, I m going to choose to think that all Alpha Heroes are like this inside when they re being cruel to their heroines.Quick, fun, and will leave you with the warm fuzzies for sure


About the Author: Charlotte Lamb

Sheila Ann Mary Coates Hollandaka Sheila Holland, Sheila Coates, Charlotte Lamb, Sheila Lancaster, Victoria Woolf, Laura HardySheila Ann Mary Coates was born on 1937 in Essex, England, just before the Second World War in the East End of London As a child, she was moved from relative to relative to escape the bombings of World War II Sheila attended the Ursuline Convent for Girls On leaving school at 16, the convent educated author worked for the Bank of England as a clerk Sheila continued her education by taking advantage of the B of E s enormous library during her lunch breaks and after work She later worked as a secretary for the BBC While there, she met and married Richard Holland, a political reporter A voracious reader of romance novels, she began writing at her husband s suggestion She wrote her first book in three days with three children underfoot In between raising her five children including a set of twins , Charlotte wrote severalnovels She used both her married and maiden names, Sheila Holland and Sheila Coates, before her first novel as Charlotte Lamb, Follow a Stranger, was published by Mills Boon in 1973 She also used the pennames Sheila Lancaster, Victoria Wolf and Laura Hardy Sheila was a true revolutionary in the field of romance writing One of the first writers to explore the boundaries of sexual desire, her novels often reflected the forefront of the sexual revolution of the 1970s Her books touched on then taboo subjects such as child abuse and rape, and she created sexually confident even dominant heroines She was also one of the first to create a modern romantic heroine independent, imperfect, and perfectly capable of initiating a sexual or romantic relationship A prolific author, Sheila pennedthan 160 novels, most of them for Mills Boon Known for her swiftness as well as for her skill in writing, Sheila typically wrote a minimum of two thousand words per day, working from 9 00 a.m until 5 00 p.m While she once finished a full length novel in four days, she herself pegged her average speed at two weeks to complete a full novel Since 1977, Sheila had been living on the Isle of Man as a tax exile with her husband and four of their five children Michael Holland, Sarah Holland, Jane Holland, Charlotte Holland and David Holland Sheila passed away on October 8, 2000 in her baronial style home Crogga on the Island She is greatly missed by her many fans, and by the romance writing community.


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