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Guy Gavriel Kay
For Darkness Shows the Stars
Diana Peterfreund
Rakes & Radishes - Susanna Ives First of all, let me say how much I appreciate this cover! Look at the couple, there's tension there, but no bodice-ripping or exposed six packs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against looking at nice abs, but on the cover of a book they can be really tacky. And part of the problem of people calling romance novels trash. Also, not even my grandmother could have been offended by it.

Anyway, the main storyline here is that Henrietta fancies she's in love with her cousin, a handsome brooding poet, who in turn goes to London only to fall in love with the most celebrated debutante there. Henrietta's neighbour and childhood best friend Kesseley has always loved her and takes her with him and his mother to London for the Season. He's trying to forget about her and find a wife, but of course he can't forget about her with her staying in the same house. So with all this bumping into eachother sparks sure do fly and there's a whole lot of drama involved.

Henrietta is naive. She turns Kesseley down time and time again and insults him by saying he has to change his clothes and hairstyle in order to land himself a wife. Men generally don't like this and neither does he. She's also a bit flaky, one moment she's crying because her poet is in love with someone else, the next she's crying because she can't believe she's in love with Kesseley. I think this happened in the span of one day. Henrietta cries a lot. I would have liked to have seen her be a bit stronger and pull herself together enough to fight for her man.

Kesseley has daddy issues. His father wasn't a nice man and hurt his mother and he's afraid he'll turn into him. Which is why it didn't really make any sense that he turned into something of a rake, gambled and then hurt his mother himself (not physically). And then he tries to push Henrietta away because he doesn't think he's good enough anymore. This was a bit confusing. I also didn't really appreciate what he did with one of the married hostesses of a party near the end of the book, that was horrible!

Besides these issues, I did enjoy this book, I thought Kesseley and Henrietta had a solid basis to build there relationship on and I loved that it wasn't a love at first sight but something that had been growing since they were children. I did think the drama could have been cut short some, both had admitted they loved the other, there can still be some difficulties after that, but a lot less than there were. I thought the ending was really sweet though.

And I cried. A lot. Romance novels make me cry. Especially when the couple has arguments or when the love is unrequited and they had their fair share of this to be sure. I'm a sap, I know. But if such a novel doesn't make me cry at least once, it's not a very good one and didn't make me connect with the characters.

My rating: 3.5 stars