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26 8 What does a supremely boring mystery plus a fluorescent purple worded romance equal A hot mess of a book Every time I read a Stephanie Laurens book from the last decade I wonder what the hell happened to her Her early Cynster books were some of my favourite historical romances, but then something changed when she began to write the spin offs Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue was the beginning of the end for me, but no matter how boring the plots get or how bad the sex is I seem to be addicted to the name I can never go past a Laurens book without picking it up to see if I ve read it, and borrowing it if I haven t I have the next book in the Barnaby Adair series waiting for me on my bedside table and surprisingly I am attracted to than just the name on the cover the match of the wounded and disfigured older hero returning home to find a widowed mother of two with secrets occupying his home has me intrigued but I was intrigued by this book, so we shall see.I do have to give credit to Laurens for writing a book in the rarely attempted financial crime murder mystery genre, with the amount of detail included here her research must have been exhaustive I certainly found it exhausting to read Does anyone know a financial crime mystery without or without the murder that is thrilling, because I d be interested in giving it a go ETA I forgot to give credit to Nymeria s review for giving me the idea of skipping any scenes that neither Montague nor Violet were in which meant I was able to skip multiple sex scenes that didn t feature the main couple Because of this great advice I was able to finish it much faster and avoid all the non hero heroine filler scenes that I wasn t interested in anyway.
(((Read Pdf))) ↜ The Masterful Mr. Montague ↠ Montague Has Devoted His Life To Managing The Wealth Of London S Elite, But At A Huge Cost A Family Of His Own Then The Enticing Miss Violet Matcham Seeks His Help, And In The Puzzle She Presents Him, He Finds An Intriguing New Challenge Professionally And Personally For me, in many ways, this was a step back from the last few books by Stephanie Laurens I ve read all of her books, and the reason I keep going back even when I feel slightly dissatisfied is the woman knows how to write a mystery That being said, her characters can often leave something to be desired they rarely deviate from a certain archetype to the point where I feel like she could write a series starring one couple involved in many mysteries.That particular aspect of her writing was very apparent in The Masterful Mr Montague, an offshoot of her Cynster series, in which she revisits Barnaby Adair and Penelope Ashford from Where the Heart Leads, but also brings back Inspector Stokes and his new wife Griselda and the recurring character of Heathcote Montague, the go to financial management genius in her universe By juggling these two couples, and attempting to build a romance between Montague and Violet Matcham, the companion to murder victim Lady Agatha Halstead, I think Ms Laurens takes on too much.The characters are not different enough to capture my attention and become invested in their separate stories There is some mention that Penelope is trying to balance her old interests, her new motherhood and her penchant for investigations, but it s never much of a focus The relationship with her husband is shown only through brief love scenes much shorter than the norm in Ms Laurens previous novels The relationship between Stokes and Griselda is even shallow there are very rare moments of them away from everyone else, and the two couples are so completely similar that there are two instances where Stokes and Adair both enter the same room, and come across their wives with their respective children, and marvel at the newfound awesomeness of their life The family life is so superficially described that it was nearly the end of the book before I realized which child belonged to which couple.The book is named for Heathcote Montague, but he remains as much in the background as his mate, Violet They have maybe a handful of scenes together in their entire relationship, all of which are supremely superficial, and then the reader is supposed to believe in their magical connection In fact, Violet disappears from the book completely for several chapters The book description supposes that Montague and Violet lead the murder case, and while they do end up unmasking the culprits, their part in the investigation is never the focus Juggling three couples with a murder mystery is not an easy thing to do, but it can be done Nora Roberts does it supremely well in most of her contemporary novels This book is not an example of how to do so Scenes are disjointed, there isn t enough plot to go around, so there are chapters discussing the same thing, as characters discuss the Halstead family with one another, with the Cynster grand dames, and then again with each other, over and over, until it s so monotonous I fell asleep.Lest you think I disliked this book entirely, here s what pulls it together I like the age in which this story is set the beginning of the Victorian age, where society is beginning to shift in structure and composition The white collar class is starting to find itself with men like Montague who deal in financial management are rising in power Industry and trade are replacing the old power structures, and it s not surprising that while this book deals with London society, none of the main characters themselves hold titles, and in fact, only Penelope and Adair are related to aristocratic families.Additionally, though I don t believe the plot was strong enough to carry as much of the book as it needed to, it was intriguing to see it unfold with red herrings and twists Had Ms Laurens eliminated the scenes in which information is repeated and replaced them with character development if Penelope s balancing is an issue, maybe seeing her struggle with the balance, leaving things undone, being unavailable or too tired for making love, some sign that it s not just lip service to hire Violet as a secretary or even focus on Violet and Heathcote, who were interesting characters that had no depth whatsoever, I think the book would have been so much stronger The book was interesting, but it doesn t make my list of favorites, which is sad, because the last few books by Stephanie Laurens were among my favorites published.Thanks to Edelweiss and Avon for the ARC The Masterful Mr Montague will be released April 29, 2014. 3.5 Stars On with our series reading over in Romance Lovers for the Challenge Impaired I was looking forward to getting into this one I ll admit, when it was first announced that Montague was going to have his own story, I wasn t sure about it I mean, we had been picturing Montague as an older guy ever since he was first introduced in the early Cynster novels, so there was some adjustment in how to imagine him Reset him to a handsome, virile man in his forties, one who is ready for love, having accomplished many things in his life and attaining a tip top level in his career I liked Montague pretty well indeed He was smart and kind and strong, just like he should be I only wish time had been spent getting to know him The same goes for the heroine, Violet She seemed lovely, but I wanted to get to spend time with her, and especially with her and Montague together Having read some reviews before reading this, I wasn t really surprised by the amount of focus that was on Penelope and Barnaby, and somewhat on Stokes and Griselda too, but I still was left wanting time with Montague and Violet Don t get me wrong, I enjoyed spending time with the other four characters especially Stokes, I m very fond of him , seeing how their families had grown with the addition of the children, seeing how they were handling the change that brought to their lives However, there were too many love scenes that were not about the main couple I missed that buildup in the relationship with Heathcote and Violet I thought their chemistry was good and sweet, but I missed having that simmering tension and time spent getting to know each other that s such a big part of this author s novels.The mystery though was just fine I was kept guessing through the story, suspecting one person or another, never being sure I was surprised by things that I hadn t seen coming, and I liked the way the investigation played out I think these characters are a fun team to read about, how each of their personalities contributes to the investigating The addition of Heathcote and Violet will be welcome in future stories in this series, because I hope to see of them I definitely like the mysterious direction this series has, and the look into the police work of the times Other little things I liked were the little visit with the older Cynster ladies and Lady O , and the rescue of the girls from The Laurels, and their placement with the Athena Agency That, I liked because of my recent read of the fifth Bastion Club novel, where the heroine of that novel had founded the agency So I liked seeing it mentioned It s the little things, lol.I think next up we are continuing with The Curious Case of Lady Latimer s Shoes Then, after that, we tackle Malcolm and his redemption That s the one I m really looking forward to View of Whitehall Scotland Yard Headquarters was located in in Great Scotland Yard off the north eastern end of Whitehall back then Thanks, Kit , for finding the following picFair warning If you re looking for a ton of romance, you aren t going to find it in this book It does have a good mystery, though, which I enjoyed The love scenes in this one are mostly between married couple, Barnaby and Penelope I would have liked page time for Montague and Violet I really believed them as a couple and thought they made an excellent match They love was sweet, but not too syrupy sweet for me There was a bit of repetition as usual in a SL book , especially out of Penelope, that drove me a bit batty, but I just skimmed over it The best scenes where when the six of them Stokes Griselda Barnaby Penelope Montague Violet were trying to solve the mystery together, so I ll definitely continue with the series, as there looks to be of that Thanks, to ShoSho and Kit my steadfast buddy readers in RLftCI for sharing their Discussion Questions, supplying pics, and providing so much fun. Ksi ka troch za s aba na cztery gwiazdki, ale zwa ywszy na to, e na tle pozosta ych przeczytanych przeze mnie pozycji wypada nieco lepiej, to postanowi am jednak oceni j tak wysoko Samo ledztwo raczej by o nudnawe, ot szukanie po r d finans w r nych wp at, nie cis o ci i nazwiska mordercy Podoba o mi si to, e relacja Heathcote a i Violet by a spokojna i wywa ona Nie z y am si z nimi jako specjalnie, ale wzbudzili moj sympati Czyta o mi si to r nie M j zapa czytelniczy nieco os ab w ostatnich tygodniach, ale ostatnie dwie cie stron ksi ki poch on am do szybko i z przyjemno ci. The title of this book is, in my opinion, dreadful and actually a little misleading To me it conjures up a picture of the very alpha male hero and the little woman heroine, which is not what we get in this novel at all Yes, the hero is a strong character, but he s actually not as alpha as a lot of other romance heroes and the heroine is a capable, intelligent woman whom he treats as a partner.Those who have read other books by this author will have encountered Heathcote Montague than once He is the man of affairs who deals with the financial and business matters of many of the heroes and heroines of previous stories As the title suggests, this time he gets his own story However, this book is also one of the Barnaby Adair Casebook series, which means the way it is written is not the same as some of the others by this author Typically a Stephanie Laurens romance, indeed any romance, is told through the eyes of the hero and heroine We do get some of that in this book, but we also get a lot of the story told through the eyes of Barnaby, his wife Penelope, and their friends, the Stokes as well So far as the mystery element of the story is concerned, something which revolves around an elderly lady discovering financial irregularities after a recent review of her estate and then subsequent suspicious deaths, this style of story telling works reasonably well I do think though that it might detract a little from the romance element because we are distanced from the thoughts and emotions of our hero and heroine This effect is not as severe as in a recent novella, The Peculiar Case of Lord Finsbury s Diamonds, in which I frankly wondered why the romance element was there at all as it was so very much sidelined Heathcote and Violet play an active role in the investigation, so they are centre stage But I do wonder if the author might not be better with the Casebooks to simply focus on the mystery instead.That said, Montague is a solidly written story with well rounded characters It was nice to see a different perspective on Society a lot of Laurens heroes and heroines move in the upper echelons of the Ton Montague, however, is middle class and likewise Violet is of good birth, but she s gentry born, not nobility, and has spent the last decade working as a paid companion Thus they and the social circles in which they move are somewhat different to those we ve seen in the past and this made a pleasant change. The Masterful Mr Montague by Stephanie Laurens is a 2014 Avon publication I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review When Lady Halstead notices a discrepancy in her financial statement, she sends for an expert man of business named Heathcote Montague Violet Matcham is Lady Halstead s ladies maid companion and soon becomes very entrenched in the mystery When Lady Halstead is murdered in her bed, Violet and Montague are aided by Stokes and Adair and their wives in the investigation The upper classes are up to no good and several shocking and scandalous crimes are uncovered along the way to solving the murders.It proves to be a tough case to solve Someone has something to hide and is very desperate and they will kill again to get what need This leaves everyone on edge wondering who will be next Adair and Penelope are adjusting to parenthood and the demands of work and being a mother have Penelope searching for balance, which was clever I think for the time period Most women didn t have jobs after becoming mothers and it seems like a problem many women face after the birth of their first child and can relate to this issue.For those who have read Stephanie Lauren s historical romances you will recognize the characters in this book This particular novel focuses less on romance and on the mystery than what some may be used to Montague is a man of business and Violet a ladies companion and I thought it was refreshing have the romance occur between two commoners instead of members of the ton I would liked to have seen a little action between this couple because their romance was just budding The mystery is a little complex and I confess to having to slow down and re read a passage or two along the way I did appreciate the complexity though because it made it hard to figure out what was going on and so I didn t guess who the culprit was The story line was a little uneven at times and maybe the book was just a little too long I still found it an enjoyable enough read, although I wouldn t say this is the best work from Stephanie Laurens Over all this one is a C I have loved this author for many years She is the reason I fell in love with Romance Unfortunately, she has been writing the same love story, over and over and over.This was boring, because I already knew everything. More murder mystery than romance.