Reviews by Amanda G.
Of happier times
Emily’s life was in shambles following the death of her father. Then along came the handsome friend of her youth, Stephen, the Earl of Whitmore. Their childhood romance is rekindled and they wed. Fast forward four months where Stephen has lost his memory and he does not believe he would have married Emily. Nor does he remember the brutal attacks that led to his amnesia. Will he accept his marriage or will he abandon his wife?

This is a quick, fast-paced murder mystery as Stephen tries to piece together his past. The author teases you with glimpses of the couple as happy lovers before returning you to the cold distance they must overcome in the present.
It was another time, you see
The Duke of Avon is a notorious rake in mid-17th century France. On a walk one evening, he rescues a fiery-tempered boy, Leon. Yet there’s more to Leon than meets the eye for he is actually Leonie, a beautiful girl in disguise. With possession of Leonie, the Duke has finally found a way to take revenge against his lifelong enemy. However, can the Duke carry out his devilish plans as he finds himself enchanted by Leonie’s devotion to him?

This book was written in 1925 and is considered by many to be the originator of the modern romance genre. The book’s themes are reminiscent of The Count of Monte Cristo and Pygmalion (My Fair Lady). While the Duke is described by modern readers as an alpha hero, I find him to be too much of a dandy while the women fling tears whenever they’re in danger of not getting their way. The relationship between the Duke and Leonie is unsettling as he intends to adopt Leonie as his daughter. However, the book is described by fans as being very romantic, so you may enjoy it. The highlight of the book are the cutting exchanges between the Duke and his enemy which are hysterical and clever. So while I dismiss the romance, the conversations are a must read for anyone fond of witty arguments.
Cole St. Clair saves this book
In the last book we met Grace and Sam who share a love that makes everything around them appear in dim in comparison. While young love is inspiring, we need something with a little more bite to it. Enter Cole and Isabelle. He’s a jaded former rockstar who chose the wolf life and Isabelle is the hard edge and broken sister of a wolf from the last book. They add life, dimension, and drama to what could have been a flat love story.
New voices!
Cole and Isabel's voices are a welcome addition to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Grace and Sam can be overwhelming in their single-mindedness of each other, so it's refreshing to hear other perspectives. The ride through Mercy Falls gets more desperate as Grace slowly collapses towards a sudden death.
A teenage dream
The book starts by telling the story of a girl being mauled by starving wolves. Grace lies there on the ground, unmoving and helpless. Then she makes eye contact with a yellow eyed wolf. Years later, Grace does not remember how she survived the attack or how she arrived home. What she does have is an obsession with the yellow eyed wolf that stands behind her house every winter. Strangely though, the wolf disappears every summer. Enter Sam, a yellow eyed boy that Grace finds wounded and naked on her front porch. In the woods a wolf hunt is going on…Shiver is the epitome of adolescent romance and longing. I have not read many werewolf novels, so I have no idea what is standard for the genre, but Stiefvater’s world is almost tangible as you buy into her explanations. The intensity of Grace and Sam’s relationship is only heightened by the fact that soon Sam will be a wolf forever.