Tag Archives: Regency romance

A Tale of Two Sisters by Julia Quinn

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: A Tale of Two Sisters
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: The Splendid Trilogy #3.5
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: “Do you want to dance?” he asked, the words surprising him even as they left his lips.

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Synopsis

Dashing Ned Blydon is in a most unenviable predicament—he’s engaged to one Thornton sister, while being secretly in love with the other—in Julia Quinn’s sensuous A Tale of Two Sisters .

Thoughts

From reading the blurb for this story, I was feeling a little bit… icky. I mean, it’s a man who is engaged to one sister, and in love with another. I always have issues with those kind of horrible, blurred lines. I mean, I can’t imagine my sister taking the man that I’m involved with… but as usual Quinn took me completely by surprise and spun this story in a way that just wasn’t… icky.

Ned was a fun hero. He spends half the time trying to escape his female relatives because they’re giving him unsolicited advice. And then, when he finally does find out that they are right, he still refuses to acknowledge it out loud. I recognise a lot of this in my own activities. I am the queen of denial and tend to avoid my family when I think they won’t like my own activities. This factor probably made me connect with him a lot quicker than many other heroes who fill the pages of my books.

This storyline was fun, light-hearted, and brilliant. It finished out the Where’s My Hero? collection completely beautifully. No matter how many times I pick up a story by Quinn, I’m completely in love. And then I always have to try and find another one of her books to sink my teeth into…

<- Midsummer’s KnightWhere’s My Hero? ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

Midsummer’s Knight by Kinley MacGregor

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: Midsummer’s Knight
Author: Kinley MacGregor
Series: Brotherhood of the Sword & MacAllister
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Historical romance, Regency romance
Dates read: 24th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: He was superb.

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Synopsis

When Simon of Ravenswood secretly answered Lady Kenna’s letters in the name of a powerful earl, he was only being polite. Little did he know the lady would fall in love with the author and come between him, his best friend, and a solemn vow made long ago, in Kinley MacGregor’s enchanting Midsummer’s Knight .

Thoughts

This admittedly was a bit of a cringe-worthy romance. I really, seriously, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But it still made me cringe. Repeatedly. After all, Simon writes to a woman under someone else’s name, falls in love with her, and then accidentally proposes… all under another man’s name. If that doesn’t make you cringe, what will?

This was my first Kinley MacGregor story, and I am completely entranced. Although the storyline was a bit cringey, it was also brilliant. I thoroughly, seriously and wonderfully loved this tale and couldn’t stop thinking about it after I turned that final page. In fact, even as I write this review (a few days after finishing the novella), all those wonderful, hopeful, cheerful feelings come rushing back.

Kenna and Simon are a fun couple. I don’t love that there was a description of Kenna as kind of plain, but pretty much no description of Simon. But I did love the fact that they both tend to be regaled to the sidelines a little bit. It’d be a lonely life being overlooked frequently, so it made this story all that much more wonderful and hopeful when they find each other…

<- Against the OddsA Tale of Two Sisters ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

Against the Odds by Lisa Kleypas

Overview
Where's My Hero? | Julia Quinn | Author of Historical Romance Novels

Title: Against the Odds
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Gamblers of Craven’s #2.5
In: Where’s My Hero? (Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn & Kinley MacGregor)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Bending her backward, hooking his supportive arm beneath her, he nuzzled the tender weight of her breast.

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Synopsis

When eminently sensible Lydia Craven decides to marry for security rather than love, she doesn’t calculate on the determination of devil-may-care doctor Jake Linley to rewrite the romantic formula in Lisa Kleypas’ charming romp, Against All Odds .

Thoughts

I recently bought a few books written by Kleypas, with absolutely no idea if I would enjoy them or not. Which made me seriously happy when I read this novella. After all, I loved this, and thus, I am hoping that I will love the rest of the Kleypas books that I’ve added to my shelves. Kleypas writes with humour, sass and fire. But she manages to have that sense of vulnerability and innocence in this story which I tend to love in a good regency romance.

Lydia is the kind of heroine that I tend to love. She is funny, sassy and incredibly adorable. She’s also way too logical. Which, if I’m being honest, I can do sometimes. I can’t imagine being a smart, independent, logical woman in this time period though. Yet, somehow, this persona fits. It’s not the typical regency heroine. But it’s most definitely the kind that I love.

Partnering Jake Linley with Lydia worked fantastically well. He manages to balance her completely – something that I think we all need in our significant other. Particularly when Lydia almost throws away her happiness on something that is mere logic. Linley is most definitely the kind of hero that I would rather warming my bed… the kind of hero that made me smile and feel wistful all throughout.

I absolutely adored this novella. And I honestly can’t wait to read more of Kleypas’ regency romances. It’s glorious, fun and seriously enjoyable. Plus, she manages to do this with wit and humour, something that I think all good romances require.

<- Where’s My Hero?Midsummer’s Knight ->

Image source: Juila Quinn

Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Overview
Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1) by Julia Quinn

Title: Because of Miss Bridgerton
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesbys #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 21st – 22nd August 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: George glanced over at Billie as he straightened.

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Synopsis

Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places…

This is not one of those times.

Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband… someday.

Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should…

Or not.

There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he’s arrogant, annoying, and she’s absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can’t stand the sight of him, either.

But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor…

Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can’t abide is the one person they can’t live without…

Thoughts

I absolutely adored reading about an earlier Bridgerton. The Bridgertons series very quickly became one of my favourites, so finding out about a Bridgerton from the generation before. It fulfilled that need to return to the world, whilst still experiencing a whole new journey. Add to that the fact that you can see how similar Billie and Daphne are to one another… it was brilliantly done and a great journey that I seriously, seriously loved.

Having said that, I do wish that Billie made an appearance in the Bridgertons series. I’m fairly certain that she’s the aunt… so I really don’t understand why she is only in this series, and not making cameo appearances elsewhere. One can imagine and dream though.

This is a light, fun and wonderful journey. I love a good regency romance that leaves you smiling. But still has enough going on that you are constantly hoping for the best. I always seem to become very quickly enamoured with the characters in Julia Quinn’s books. And all I want is for the best outcome. Of course, you know that that’s going to happen… but I still spent a lot of time being emotionally invested and hoping that George and Billie would realise what was RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR NOSES! They did… but I still had moments of intense feelings.

I think that one of my favourite things about this couple is the way that they flirt. It’s very unorthodox. Kind of like the way I flirt with my husband. They manage to fit barbs, compliments and wit into all of their interactions. It leaves you feeling incredibly happy, complete and hoping for the best of the best outcomes in their lives. Plus, this kind of flirting seems to just show a complete knowledge of and acceptance of each other – flaws and all. The best way to love in my honest opinion…

Not only was this a fantastic romance that left me feeling incredibly happy and content. But it also introduced the game of Pall Mall (which is pretty importance in The Viscount Who Love Me) and The Mallet of Death. I loved the creation of this and I don’t think that I could have grinned any wider during this scene in the book…

<- More Julia QuinnThe Girl with the Make-Believe Husband ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

Overview
Ten Things I Love About You | Julia Quinn

Title: Ten Things I Love About You
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 12th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Because she was.

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Synopsis

Ten Things You Should Know About This Book

  1. Sebastian Grey is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.
  2. Annabel Winslow’s family voted her The Winslow Most Likely to Speak Her Mind AND The Winslow Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Church.
  3. Sebastian’s uncle is the Earl of Newbury, and if he dies without siring an heir, Sebastian inherits everything.
  4. Lord Newbury detests Sebastian and will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening.
  5. Lord Newbury has decided that Annabel is the answer to all of his problems.
  6. Annabel does not want to marry Lord Newbury, especially when she finds out he once romanced her grandmother.
  7. is shocking,
  8. is delicious, and
  9. is downright wicked, all of which lead the way to
  10. Happily. Ever. After.
Thoughts

This was the final book in the Bevelstoke series. And, for me, I think it might have been the best. Although, now that I think about the other two… I also loved them. There was just something about Annabel’s situation that drew me in and plucked at my heart strings far more strongly than the other heroines in this series.

I had planned to just read a little of this book, and then go to sleep. I was kind of exhausted. But, that certainly didn’t happen. Again, Annabel’s plight and difficulties just completely drew me in. And every time I thought that there was a natural pause in this story coming up… a new challenge reared its ugly head and pulled me right back in again. It was an adventure that I was just swept away in. And next thing I knew… I’d stayed up WAY past my bedtime…

My only real moment of ow, that’s not the way it should be was when there just wasn’t quite enough comeuppance at the ending of this story. I think that the ending Quinn went with was absolutely wonderful and kind of perfect. But I’m of the vindictive persuasion… so I wanted the horrifying and somewhat evil Newbury to suffer. And suffer. And suffer. And, well, you get my vindictive little drift…

Sebastian most certainly drew my attention with his actions in Chapter Seventeen of What Happens in London. Which meant that I just couldn’t wait to find out who he would end up with. And Annabel just wasn’t what I pictured – but everything that I needed. Partner that with the fact that he’s a writer, an insomniac and just all round enjoyable and witty in his characterisation… I thought that he was the mot perfect of the three heroes in this series…

<- What Happens In LondonMore Julia Quinn ->

Image source: Julia Quinn

What Happens In London by Julia Quinn

Overview
What Happens in London :HarperCollins Australia

Title: What Happens in London
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 10th – 11th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “I thought you’d stopped counting.”

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Synopsis

Rumors and Gossip…
The lifeblood of London…

When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his finacee, she doesn’t believe it for a second, but, still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure? So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curatins, watches, and waits… and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something.

Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security. He’s not a spy, but he’s had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious. But just when he decides that she’s nothing more than an annoyingly nosy debutante, he discovers that she might be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself…

Thoughts

From her first appearance in The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, I fell a little in love with Olivia. There is just something humorous, witty and intriguing about the beautiful girl who can’t keep her impulses to herself. So when I realised that the next novel in this trilogy was about her, and started with her spying on her neighbour… I was completely swept away. And intrigued. And just generally in my happy place…

I was kind of floored by the “bad guy” in this story at the end. In fact, as I’m reading more and more Julia Quinn stories, I was surprised that there truly was a “bad guy”. Normally the people who get in the way of a good happily ever after moment in her stories (the ones that I’ve read thus far anyway) are the two romantic leads themselves. So when someone else gets in Olivia’s way… I was pleasantly surprised. I love when an author I’ve been reading a lot of is able to completely surprise me. There is just something all that much more exciting about such an act.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the spy angle. The war with the French and Napoleon are mentioned frequently in many of Quinn’s regency romances – but I’ve never read one that features spying and Russian. I also just loved the Russian spin and the fact that the lead male, Harry, is in love with the language. It made me weirdly keen to go out and learn Russian of all languages. That extra bit of subterfuge made this all that much more difficult to put down…. Especially when I was curled up with a nice cup of tea in my onesie whilst reading this…

Even Miranda managed to make an appearance in this book. Although, not enough of one to truly make me happy in this. She is mentioned frequently, and it makes me imagine a reality in which Turner, Miranda, Olivia and Harry all continue to live happily and a little less than conservatively… it definitely meant that I finished this book on a huge, happy smile.

<- The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda CheeverTen Things I Love About You ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

Overview
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever | Julia Quinn

Title: The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Bevelstoke #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 5th – 6th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: That is neither here nor there.

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Synopsis

2 March 1810…
Today, I fell in love.

At the age of ten, Miranda Cheever showed no signs of Great Beauty. And even at ten, Miranda learned to accept the expectations society held for her – until the afternoon when Nigel Bevelstoke, the handsome and dashing Viscount Turner, solemnly kissed her hand and promised her that one day she would grow into herself, that one day she would be as beautiful as she already was smart. And even at ten, Miranda knew she would love him forever.

But the years that followed were as cruel to Turner as they were kind to Miranda. She is as intriguing as the viscount boldly predicted on that memorable day – while he is a lonely, bitter man, crushed by a devastating loss. But Miranda has never forgotten the truth she set down on paper all those years earlier – and she will not allow the love that is her destiny to slip lightly through her fingers…

Thoughts

I have been reading a lot lately, and I really wanted and needed something that was just pleasantly, easily light and fluffy. Which is exactly what this is. After all, that is exactly what I love about Julia Quinn. You know there will be a happy ending. You enjoy the journey. And everything is just… generally, good and easy. Perfect for a nice night when you just want to sink into a good book with a nice, big glass of wine.

Miranda is predictably sweet. I love that at the beginning she feels a little like a wallflower. Until she is crossed, and in this case, I would be completely on her side. Then she is a bit of a hellcat. The imagery of her trying to beat a man with her bag is ingrained into my mind. And still has me giggling mercilessly. I would probably want to do the exact same thing in her shoes… it helped that when Turner begins to see her for who she is… he actually acknowledges that fire and spirit and states that his own brother would not be a good match for it. It just made the relationship all the more sweet… he recognised her less than desirable (at that time) qualities and adored them about her, didn’t dismiss her.

Where Miranda is predictably sweet, Turner is kind of a moron throughout much of this story. I kind of love him because he’s a wonderful character. But he’s just so damn stubborn. And even after that moment when he and Miranda finally decide to show their love for one another… he continues to be a moron. And stubborn. And just too damn scared to do or say anything that is against what he believes to be his truth… even when it’s damn obvious that he’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Although the middle point where there is a great problem and milestone to overcome is kind of great. It’s also kind of frustrating. Because Turner is a fool. And, even as the story reaches its conclusion, you still want to smack some sense into the boy. Luckily though, at the point when you are just starting to get truly, and deeply fed up… things are solved and the horrors are mitigated. It’s a great story. A great ending and just all round cute. The perfect happy, peaceful and bubbly story to spend a night with.

<- More Julia QuinnWhat Happens In London ->

Image source: Julia Quinn

Lady Whistledown Strikes Back by Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins & Mia Ryan

Overview
Image result for lady whistledown strikes back book cover"

Title: Lady Whistledown Strikes Back
Author: Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins & Mia Ryan
In: Lady Whistledown Strikes Back (Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins & Mia Ryan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 12th – 25th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: Peter was sure of it.

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Synopsis

Who Stole Lady Neeley’s Bracelet?
Was it the fortune hunter, the gambler, the servant, or the rogue? All of London is abuzz with speculation, but it is clear that one of four couples is connected to the crime.

Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, May 1816

Julia Quinn enchants: A dashing fortune hunter is captivated by the Season’s most desired debutante…and must prove he is out to steal the lady’s heart, not her dowry.

Suzanne Enoch tantalizes: An innocent miss who has spent her life scrupulously avoiding scandal is suddenly—and secretly—courted by London’s most notorious rogue.

Karen Hawkins seduces: A roving viscount comes home to rekindle the passionate fires of his marriage… only to discover that his beautiful, headstrong bride will not be so easily won.

Mia Ryan delights: A lovely, free-spirited servant is dazzled by the romantic attentions of a charming earl… sparking a scandalous affair that could ruin them both.

You’ll hear it first from Lady Whistledown

Thoughts

This was such a great little collection. Like The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown, the four novellas were intertwined in ways that you couldn’t quite imagine. But there was an extra complication / mystery in this collection – that of the missing bracelet. You don’t find out until the final story who actually stole it, but throughout all four novellas, you keep finding clues and wondering what actually happened at the party…

It was incredibly bittersweet finishing this collection – this is the last time I get to read a Lady Whistledown column for the very first time. I would like to reread all of these books in the future, but I’ll never have that beginning joy that you get when you read something for the very first time. I love how all four of these authors, each of who have very different styles, are able to have that similar tone of voice that you can read throughout the entire collection. It’s a great continuing thread that I don’t think many authors could manage so seamlessly.

I liked that this collection had an extra mystery that ran through all four novellas. It wasn’t just about the four couples and finding their happily ever after. But it was also about finding out who stole a priceless bracelet. And all of the wonderful connections between people in the ton. And just how messy this small community can be…

<- The Only One For MeThe First Kiss ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Only One For Me by Karen Hawkins

Overview
Image result for lady whistledown strikes back book cover"

Title: The Only One for Me
Author: Karen Hawkins
In: Lady Whistledown Strikes Back (Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins & Mia Ryan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 25th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: Didn’t like anything that belonged to the old bird, not the stand, the toys, even hated the silver bell m’aunt had bought for the stupid thing.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Karen Hawkins seduces: A roving viscount comes home to rekindle the passionate fires of his marriage… only to discover that his beautiful, headstrong bride will not be so easily won.

Thoughts

I’ve been looking forward to this novella since Lord and Lady Easterly make a brief appearance in The First Kiss. It was not only a great story, but a fantastic ending to this whole collection. Four gorgeous couples got together and you finally find out what happened to the missing bracelet. In fact, although this story is all about reconciling an estranged married couple, much of it is about the pursuit of truth. Not only the truth of whole stole the bracelet (which you do find out in this story, the last of the collection). But what the truth about your feelings are too.

At the beginning I really couldn’t understand how the male lead was going to be someone I could like. After all, he left his wife for twelve damn years and then returns. I can’t really imagine a situation in which that is okay. And, even though I’ve now finished this story and I did actually like him. I still found the whole moving away for twelve years because one’s pride has been injured kind of… well, ridiculous and unforgivable. Frustrating and horrible to say the least.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel is that there is so much fire and passion in this story. I’m an argumentative and difficult girl, even at the best of times. It was nice to read a story in which the protagonist is the same – argumentative, passionate and sometimes too stubborn and proud for her own good. Actually, both of these characters are wonderfully prideful and stubborn…

<- The Best of Both WorldsLady Whistledown Strikes Back ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Best of Both Worlds by Suzanne Enoch

Overview
Image result for lady whistledown strikes back book cover"

Title: The Best of Both Worlds
Author: Suzanne Enoch
In: Lady Whistledown Strikes Back (Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins & Mia Ryan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romanceRegency romance
Dates read: 24th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: “I know you’re probably used to getting what you want, but it won’t -“

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Suzanne Enoch tantalizes: An innocent miss who has spent her life scrupulously avoiding scandal is suddenly—and secretly—courted by London’s most notorious rogue.

Thoughts

This story took a great pause and investigated what the different concepts people have of respectability. It does, obviously, take the regency spin on such an idea – but it does kind of act reminiscent of today’s issues. Throughout this entire story, Charlotte’s parents are more concerned with propriety and not being involved in a scandal than their own child’s happiness. It makes for a bit of a painful read in places, but it does work brilliantly well.

One of my favourite things about Charlotte in this is that she does point out the double standards that women are forced to adhere to. Xavier has run around town finding lovers, gambling and all sorts of entertainment. Charlotte has NEVER done anything untoward – but the moment he talks to her, a possible scandal is revealed. Again, it’s not as severe in today’s society, but it’s still a bit of an issue.

Throughout all of this novella, I was smiling and happy. But what I ended up loving the most was the ending. When Charlotte and Xavier have done everything they can to make her parents approve and feel comfortable, they take slightly more drastic measures. It’s definitely a comeuppance for the treatment that Charlotte is constantly receiving at the hands of her parents. It may not be overtly cruel, but it is definitely not exactly something that I can approve of.

<- The Last TemptationThe Only One for Me ->

Image source: Goodreads