Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: Loving Julia

Author: Karen Robards
Title: Loving Julia
Publisher: Warner
Publish Date: December 1986
Rating: 4 Stars
Book Blurb: "Fate brings cockney commoner Jewel Combs to the mansion on Grosvenor Square to face the icy demeanor of Sebastian Peyton, Earl of Mooreland. She doesn't know why blue-blooded Sebastian accepts the sudden challenge to transform her into "Julia Stratham"--to turn a diamond in the rough into a glittering gem--but she knows his plans will give her a home where she will never be hungry, shivering or frightened again. And "Julia" has a little surprise of her own in store for this breathtaking man: she'll show him that although she isn't a lady, she is all woman. "

Review: This is the second book by Robards that I've read recently and I started this one with much trepidation. Green Eyes was by no means a favorite book of mine, but I didn't want one bad story to cloud my judgment.

This book, redeemed the author in my eyes. It was a twist on "My Fair Lady" and it worked well, though there were holes in the story that could have been better filled, particularly when it came to Sebastian's back story.

Jewel/Julia was a sweet character, a pickpocket with a heart. It was fun to watch her transformation from a "guttersnipe" to a "lady." There is only one thing in the story that involved Julia that really bugged me and that was her treatment of Oliver towards the end, and Oliver's behavior towards her in return, just didn't suit his character at all. I didn't think it was necessary to make a character that seemed likable and kind into something vicious and ugly to be necessary.

Sebastian was an interesting hero. For the most part, he wasn't exactly nice, but as the reader comes to know him, there are plenty of reasons for him to be the way he is. He has a mother that didn't love him and wife that was cold. (Uh, why is this always the case in historicals?) Oh and he is thought to be the murderer of his wife, though there's no evidence to prove that he was.

The ending seemed a little hurried to me, resolving some of Julia's past and making sure everyone was happy. I think the story could have gone on about 50 pages more so that things would have been closed properly.

Overall, I did enjoy Loving Julia. I won't hesitate to try another by Robards, especially a more recent book.


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