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Let It Be Me

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London weather is chilly—and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up… Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn't mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she's lucky to even have a man come near her. It's enough to make a lady flee the co London weather is chilly—and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up… Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn't mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she's lucky to even have a man come near her. It's enough to make a lady flee the country… So Bridget heads to Venice for music lessons with the renowned Italian composer Vincenzo Carpenini, with whom she's been corresponding. But not only is Carpenini not expecting her, he doesn't even remember her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, does, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away. Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester's help—or that there'll be far more at stake in this gamble than money…


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London weather is chilly—and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up… Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn't mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she's lucky to even have a man come near her. It's enough to make a lady flee the co London weather is chilly—and the social scene even more so. Luckily, Bridget Forrester is just getting warmed up… Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn't mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she's lucky to even have a man come near her. It's enough to make a lady flee the country… So Bridget heads to Venice for music lessons with the renowned Italian composer Vincenzo Carpenini, with whom she's been corresponding. But not only is Carpenini not expecting her, he doesn't even remember her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, does, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away. Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester's help—or that there'll be far more at stake in this gamble than money…

30 review for Let It Be Me

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ursula

    Firstly, I have to thank Caz's review for alerting me to this unusual HR. What a fabulous story! There is so much more to this book than just the usual London Regency romp. No decadent dukes or wicked earls. No promiscuous lords or seductive scoundrels. This is a story grounded in music and based mostly in Venice, two elements that are always going to attract me. It is a story about a young woman who is a very good pianist, but who is trapped by the conventions and expectations of English societ Firstly, I have to thank Caz's review for alerting me to this unusual HR. What a fabulous story! There is so much more to this book than just the usual London Regency romp. No decadent dukes or wicked earls. No promiscuous lords or seductive scoundrels. This is a story grounded in music and based mostly in Venice, two elements that are always going to attract me. It is a story about a young woman who is a very good pianist, but who is trapped by the conventions and expectations of English society. Bridget cannot, as a lady, have a career as a musician; she is not expected to be able to compose music. She considers herself a failure on these fronts, and also because she has not been able to attract any suitors, unlike her older sister, the "beauty" in the family (yet Bridget is not unattractive at all). So artistic sensitivity, low self-esteem and, consequently, crippling stage-fright, combine to make her very miserable. Along comes the opportunity to go to Venice and study under a renowned pianist and composer, so she talks her mother and sister into travelling there. What follows is a lovely story of a young woman finding herself, of a young man in many ways doing the same, and lots and lots of wonderful Venice and fabulous music. I even swallowed back tears at the end. If you are interested in any of these elements, know a bit about music and are fond of Venice, you will love this book. I was sometimes irritated by Bridget's lack of self-confidence, but she really developed as a character. The hero, Oliver, was such an interesting, complex man. A great relief after a seemingly endless parade of tortured (read: self-absorbed and self-indulgent) heroes. He was not afraid to go and do something different, to take a risk and to follow his passion for the theatre. His support for Bridget was wonderful, and while I did not like his "betrayal" of her (view spoiler)[(it was not with a woman, so don't stress!) (hide spoiler)] it made him more human, and she reacted with courage and dignity, a testimony to how far her confidence had developed. Hint: if you are a fan of Beethoven's Appassionata sonata (Sonata 23, as it is referred to here, but there is an historical reason for this, which the author goes on to explain beautifully in the afterward), you will ADORE this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    A at AAR. *sigh* Musical boo-boos aside, this was a truly lovely book. Although Let it Be Me is billed as the fifth in a series of books and features the Forrester family from If I Fall, I don’t think it’s necessary to have read that book or the others in the series in order to enjoy this one – and enjoy it, I did. The heroine of this story is Bridget, the middle Forrester sister, who has spent much of her life in the shadow of her beautiful older sister Sarah. Overlooked by almost everyone, Bri A at AAR. *sigh* Musical boo-boos aside, this was a truly lovely book. Although Let it Be Me is billed as the fifth in a series of books and features the Forrester family from If I Fall, I don’t think it’s necessary to have read that book or the others in the series in order to enjoy this one – and enjoy it, I did. The heroine of this story is Bridget, the middle Forrester sister, who has spent much of her life in the shadow of her beautiful older sister Sarah. Overlooked by almost everyone, Bridget has resigned herself to being on the shelf after a rather disastrous first season during which she gained a reputation for being standoffish and a bit sharp-tongued. Although she does get tired of being recognized simply as “Sarah’s sister,” Bridget is not jealous of her success. All she really wants is to be seen for herself - to be seen as a person in her own right rather than just be known in relation to another. And deep down, she knows she has the means to be just that, for Bridget is a prodigiously talented pianist – far more skilled and capable than the majority of the misses of the ton who can count musicianship amongst their many ‘accomplishments.’ So Bridget had determined, in that first season, to amaze polite society with her talent and to finally emerge from Sarah’s shadow. Having received praise from – and an invitation to study with – the great Italian maestro Signor Vincenzo Carpenini, Bridget had been unable to resist insinuating that she was more than ordinarily talented. But as the axiom says, her pride led to her downfall, as Bridget suddenly collapsed under the weight of society’s – and her own – expectations, played extremely poorly and fled the scene. Since that event, she has been unable to play in front of any but her own family. Bridget’s fortunes take a turn for the better however, when the family home is damaged in a storm. As another axiom dictates, clouds have silver linings, and she persuades her mother that a trip to sunnier climes is in order, so they depart for Venice, Lady Forrester completely unaware of her daughter’s determination to seek out Carpenini and take those promised lessons. Finding Carpenini, Bridget also finds Oliver Merrick, the young English gentleman with whom the maestro had traveled to England some years before. The two men are like two sides of the same coin – Carpenini is volatile and often rude where Oliver is calm and sensitive to others; Carpenini is confident about his talent and his place in society where Oliver has an awareness that he doesn’t quite fit in; the product of an Italian mother and English father, he is neither fish nor fowl, his olive skin and dark hair marking him out among the English as not one of them; his bearing and light colored eyes marking him out as not wholly Italian either. He has an awkward relationship with his father, having left England to follow his artistic heart some five years earlier, and although in receipt of an allowance, has used it to purchase a run-down theater which he plans to transform and use to mount his own productions. An accomplished actor, he knows that he does not have the drive to succeed in that profession and prefers instead the challenge of directing and producing. He does, however, have the ability to recognize talent in others and to discern how best to nurture it. Oliver is an absolutely adorable hero and watching him fall in love is a real delight. He’s insightful, confident and steady. With the perfect blend of artistic sensibility and practicality, he grounds Bridget and knows how to calm her, distract her, or make her laugh. I like a tortured hero as much as the next woman, but sometimes it’s refreshing to read about a man who isn’t dragging a shedload of emotional baggage or who isn’t afraid to show a woman that he cares for her. I also enjoyed seeing Bridget finally come into her own, through her love for music and her love for Oliver. While Carpenini is her teacher in terms of the technical side of her craft, it’s Oliver who teaches Bridget how to see beyond the page, showing her passion and helping her to transform herself from a gifted amateur into a great musician. I adored the tone of the book. The writing was lyrical with a definite musicality to it, and there was a pervading sense of gentle tenderness that I really liked. Kate Noble’s descriptions of the music – both heard and played –manage to convey the sensations one can experience when listening to or performing great music incredibly well – not an easy thing to do. There’s a wonderful moment when Bridget is listening to the first performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony: So often, she had found herself transported by music. She would get lost, lose herself to the time and fullness of the tones, the way it conjured up air around her as she listened or as she played. But this, she thought, one did not get lost in this music. One was delivered by it. And then later, she tells Oliver that she at last understands that Beethoven, “pushes feeling at you, he does not allow you the leisure of discovering it for yourself.” I found both these descriptions very insightful. There were also some well-drawn supporting characters in Bridget’s mother and sister, and in Oliver’s valet and the diva Veronica Franzetti. I thought that Venice itself really came to life through Ms. Noble’s descriptions of the light and the sights and sounds of the city, and I loved the scenes where Bridget and Oliver wandered through the streets, just talking and getting to know each other. Their deepening friendship and subsequent growing attraction to each other was beautifully written and the love scenes, while not explicit, are full of sexual tension and sensuality. I did have one or two minor problems with the book which I am sure will not bother the majority of readers, which are to do with the musical terminology rather than the story-telling. Being a musician myself, I always like to find books in which the hero and/or heroine are musically talented or in which music plays a large part in the story. But in Europe, we don’t use expressions such as “thirty-second notes.” They’re “demi-semiquavers.” “Three-quarter time” is “three-four time,” and so on. I also found the constant reference to the piano sonata by Beethoven that Bridget is learning as “No. 23” or “Number 23” incredibly jarring to the point of annoyance. I know that the name by which we know it now (Appassionata) was not adopted until a later date, but to just refer to it as “the Number 23” felt wrong. Bridget says, “I understand the No. 23 now,” (or words to that effect) and it sounded completely wrong in my head. “Sonata number 23,” or “the twenty-third sonata,” or even just “the sonata” – as by that time the reader was well aware of its nomenclature – would have read and sounded better, in my opinion. I also spotted one huge clanger, which I’m surprised got through the editing process. Ludwig van Beethoven was not Austrian. He was German. Despite those things, however, I enjoyed the book immensely. Let it Be Me is a beautifully told, emotionally satisfying story and one I have no hesitation in recommending to others.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)

    This started out reeaaaaaaalllllly slow to me. Though I did like the premise that this was a Regency Romance that doesn't take place in England which is really nice, but I did not like Carpenini. And Kate Noble rather sneakily slow rolls the development of the Oliver character, but once he kind of blossoms into full force, which really doesn't happen til like the 60% mark, then, it was adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver, hurray, for more introverted characters and loved the ending. This started out reeaaaaaaalllllly slow to me. Though I did like the premise that this was a Regency Romance that doesn't take place in England which is really nice, but I did not like Carpenini. And Kate Noble rather sneakily slow rolls the development of the Oliver character, but once he kind of blossoms into full force, which really doesn't happen til like the 60% mark, then, it was adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver, hurray, for more introverted characters and loved the ending.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Giggles

    Kate Noble has some good things going for her. If she's in the right mood and the planets are aligned properly, she can create a fantastic heroine. Unfortunately, her stories in the past were such that the idea seemed far better than the actual book that was the result of the idea. Something was always missing, or something is done in a way that had me going, "Honey, why do you do that to your story?" Let It Be Me is easily one of the best books she has done so far, but it's not going to change Kate Noble has some good things going for her. If she's in the right mood and the planets are aligned properly, she can create a fantastic heroine. Unfortunately, her stories in the past were such that the idea seemed far better than the actual book that was the result of the idea. Something was always missing, or something is done in a way that had me going, "Honey, why do you do that to your story?" Let It Be Me is easily one of the best books she has done so far, but it's not going to change my current opinion of her books, unfortunately. Bridget Forrester is a fantastic heroine. It is as if the author had done some magic trick and snatched my mind and placed it inside the heroine's head, because everything about Bridget's insecurities feels so real. You know sometimes a person is quite normal in many ways, but just can't fit in? That's Bridget. She loves music, and she's never happier then when she's playing the piano, but this isn't something that your average English lady in 1824 is encouraged to do. The poor dear is also constantly overshadowed by her sister, who is the ideal English debutante in so many ways, and, as a result, she often feels so insecure and even defensive when she's in town. Her insecurities lead to become stand-offish in society, and she develops some kind of acerbic humor as a defense mechanism. Without really doing anything, she develops a reputation for being "shrewish" as well as weird. One day, she receives a letter from Vincenzo Carpenini, a music composer that she once met when she was younger. Back then, he was apparently very impressed with her piano playing, and when this letter shows up asking her whether she's interested to be his pupil, it's like, oh god, finally, someone recognizes that she's good at something. It turns out that the letter was written by Vincenzo's buddy, Oliver Merrick, who was hoping that Bridget would help them reverse their fortunes after Vincenzo slept with his patron's daughter and jeopardizes his position as the powerful Marchese di Gribaldi's favorite music composer. Bridget learns of the change of plans after she has let the whole of London's Ton believe that Vincenzo is coming over to find her, which as you can imagine a situation best described as "beyond awkward". When circumstances allow her to go to Venice and meet Vincenzo in person, she may however finally find the adventure of a lifetime. Oliver is one of the happiest people in the world to see her, but alas, she seems so taken by his buddy that poor Oliver finds himself standing awkwardly in that sad place called "friend zone". One thing that flows very clear from every word is the beauty and even sensuality of the music that we know today as classical music. Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 23 in F Minor, the piece that Bridget would play in a competition that would hopefully restore Vincenzo's position as the favored one in town, becomes a powerful and evocative representation of Bridget's sensual awakening as well as coming of age. The best scenes in this story are those where Bridget just closes her eyes and live the music. This is one of the reasons why Bridget is a fantastic heroine: her passion for her music feels very real, not some kind of hobby a romance heroine pretends to be interested in until she finds a boyfriend. The rest of the story is, alas, quite bland in many ways. It shouldn't be bland, because Bridget is a fascinating character and Oliver is in many ways her male counterpart. He too can't fit in, as he is the son of a more typical English nobleman and an Italian diva. He loves theater, music, and opera, but he was made to feel awkward and out of place for this. Their romance is sweet, but that's the problem: it's merely sweet, and is therefore completely overshadowed by Bridget's love affair with her music. I find myself wishing that the romantic scenes would somehow go away so that it is all about Bridget and her piano. Having said that, I do like this story, only I'm waffling between calling this book pleasant and thinking that it is good. That is, until I come to the climatic moment of this story. Here, the author simply floors me by delivering something unexpectedly delightful. You know that cliché where a heroine discovers true artistry and the meaning of passion by being boinked by the hero? I was expecting another "he loves me so now I am whole and wonderful" thing, but instead, I get an amazing moment where Bridget's entire life up to that point becomes the catalyst of her coming out of her cocoon. It's not just Oliver's love - which is, of course, a big chapter in her life story - but also, her discovery of her own self worth, her experiences outside of being felt up by Oliver, her own dreams and heartbreaks that allow her to finally break away from her baggage to embrace the music. I really like this, that Bridget, not Oliver, is the reason that Bridget is now awesome. Let It Be Me has plenty of intensity and lots of burning emotions for an unexpectedly sensual coming of age story, but all the hot stuff is between Bridget and her piano sheets. Still, the sweet romance makes a decent filler for those really good moments in this story. I like this one, but I wish the romance has been as unforgettable as the heroine's character arc.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Letitia

    Rating: B ... Heat: Sweet Bridget Forrester had a bad first season. Not only was she hidden in her sister's shadow, and often remarked to pale in comparison to her sister’s golden beauty, her incurable shyness made her come across stiff and unfriendly. Which caused the men of ton to decide she wasn’t worth the bother. Thankfully, she has her pianoforte. While she may not get asked to dance at balls, she can go home at the end of the night and lose herself in music. Music is her balm. Her solace. Rating: B ... Heat: Sweet Bridget Forrester had a bad first season. Not only was she hidden in her sister's shadow, and often remarked to pale in comparison to her sister’s golden beauty, her incurable shyness made her come across stiff and unfriendly. Which caused the men of ton to decide she wasn’t worth the bother. Thankfully, she has her pianoforte. While she may not get asked to dance at balls, she can go home at the end of the night and lose herself in music. Music is her balm. Her solace. Until it’s not. Overcome with nerves, fearing ridicule and wayward glances, Bridget loses her cool at a dinner party and fumbles her way through a song she knows forwards and backwards. The mishap crushes what’s left of her self-confidence and takes away the pride she had in her playing. Wanting to leave London, she convinces her mother to go to Venice so she can seek out a man who once promised her piano lessons. Bridget, her mother, and her younger sister travel the continent to meet the Italian maestro Vincenzo Carpenini. Once they arrive, however, Bridget gets a lot more than she bargained for. Oliver Merrick has never felt like he fits in. With an English father and an Italian mother, he feels like neither and both at the same time. Oliver also feels like he has no merits of his own. Like he lives off either his father's name or his famous half brother’s. But while he may not have a talent of his own, he can recognize it in others. And Bridget has it in spades. Bridget and Oliver have a very slow romance. There isn’t even a hint of attraction or lust or love until nearly 46% in. And, even then, more romance took place between Bridget and her pianoforte than between her and Oliver. It was beautiful and poetic but, at times, the music overtook the story. By 56% in, this does shift some. Going from nonexistent to subtle with a dash of sweet. The second half swept me away. I loved Bridget's passion combined with Oliver's desire to help her succeed. He truly wants to help her overcome her fears... and he goes about it in the cutest of ways. And he does it with no expectations, which says a great deal about him. Oliver is a true gentleman, through and through. Let It Be Me made music come alive on the page. The characters were lively and passionate. You could feel how much music meant to them. Music itself became a character. Miz Noble also did a wonderful job with the setting. The scenery, the waterways and the gondolas, the accents, were vivid and made it feel like I was truly there. My only complaint? I wish there had been more love, the kind between a man and a woman, woven into the first half. Favorite Quote: He removed her glove as the carriage rolled on into the night. Then he lifted the naked hand to his lips, pressed them against her wrist. She gasped with the sensation. It was as if all the power and passion of the music from that night could be transferred by that simple touch, skin to skin. Bridget wanted to pull him closer, so she did. She wanted to take her hand and let it revel in the short curls at the base of his neck, so she did. She wanted his lips on hers, wanted to share in the power of the night and the darkness of the carriage… -- A Romantic Book Affairs Review. Find us on Twitter and Facebook too!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    The fifth book in Kate Noble's The Blue Raven series. Miss Bridget Forrester loves music and feels honored when a letter arrives offering a chance to study with the renowned composer Vincenzo Carpenini when he visits England. Four years before, Vincenzo Carpenini and Oliver Merrick were guests in the Forrester household and got a chance to hear Bridget perform. Oliver Merrick never forgot her. Unfortunately, the visit to England falls through. When a mishap occurs and repairs are necessary on th The fifth book in Kate Noble's The Blue Raven series. Miss Bridget Forrester loves music and feels honored when a letter arrives offering a chance to study with the renowned composer Vincenzo Carpenini when he visits England. Four years before, Vincenzo Carpenini and Oliver Merrick were guests in the Forrester household and got a chance to hear Bridget perform. Oliver Merrick never forgot her. Unfortunately, the visit to England falls through. When a mishap occurs and repairs are necessary on their London home, Bridget jumps at the chance to travel to Italy with her mother and sister. There she manages to seek out Mr Carpenini, but is again disappointed when he mistakes her for a prostitute. But Mr Oliver Merrick corrects the mistake and when the composer needs a female student, they rush over to the hotel where the Forresters are staying. I have loved all of Kate Noble's books up until this one. I didn't exactly hate this one but I felt it started slow and since I'm not a musician I couldn't relate to much of what was happening. It picked up finally towards the end but I never truly felt connected to these characters as I have to previous books by Ms. Noble. It won't stop me from continuing to read any future books she has coming.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Super sweet and lovely. Unique setting and plot. I appreciated a steadfast hero and that there weren't any stupid miscommunications. Super sweet and lovely. Unique setting and plot. I appreciated a steadfast hero and that there weren't any stupid miscommunications.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Love Flunky

    Bridget Forrester didn’t have a very good first season. Her older sister, Sarah, was a rapturous success, and Bridget found herself the subject of constant comparisons. Bridget responded by outwardly acting the shrew – and inwardly losing all confidence in herself, especially in her ability to do the thing she loves most of all, play the pianoforte. When “Let It Be Me” begins, the gently-bred Bridget receives a letter from a renowned Venetian composer Vincenzo Carpenini who had heard her play sev Bridget Forrester didn’t have a very good first season. Her older sister, Sarah, was a rapturous success, and Bridget found herself the subject of constant comparisons. Bridget responded by outwardly acting the shrew – and inwardly losing all confidence in herself, especially in her ability to do the thing she loves most of all, play the pianoforte. When “Let It Be Me” begins, the gently-bred Bridget receives a letter from a renowned Venetian composer Vincenzo Carpenini who had heard her play several years earlier, when she was little more than a child. He offers to become her teacher on his next trip to England. But that trip never materializes, and after a disastrous attempt to play publicly, Bridget and her sister and mother decide to take a tour of Italy that eventually leads them to Carpenini’s door. Unfortunately, Carpenini did not write the letter; it was his friend (and financial lifeboat) Oliver Merrick. Carpenini resists the thought of taking on Bridget as a student – until he’s confronted with a competition that will pit his skills as a teacher against his new nemesis, the Viennese composer Gustav Klein. So Bridget becomes his student. But she’s rusty, and the piece she’s asked to play – Beethoven’s No. 23 – is a complex and impassioned work. Bridget knows she is out of her depth, as well as petrified of performing in public and of failing in general. Which is why and when Oliver comes to her rescue, engaging in a variety of activities to help Bridget become more comfortable and engaged in her lessons, including – yes – arranging for harlequins to juggle while she practices to keep her from becoming too nervous. (So not exactly clowns, then. But you know.) When Oliver and Bridget walk home from one of her practice sessions, he gives her another lesson, this time in kissing. It’s not long before Bridget begins to realize that there’s more to Oliver and that he’s also helping her discover that there’s more to her, too. “Let It Be Me” began slowly, more slowly than Flunky liked, with a lot of action centering on Bridget and her woes in England. Even when the story moved to Venice, things seemed to delay, and it wasn’t until Bridget began her lessons with Carpenini that “Let It Be Me” seemed to move onto firmer footing. Once it did, Flunky began to enjoy the tone and pace of the story. In a pleasant deviation from every other historical romance she has read of late, Flunky found this to be a story of building heat, one where Bridget and Oliver’s connection take time to grow. They are not immediately concocting new and creative ways to rip off each other’s garments, and while there is a physical component, friendship is at the heart of the attraction. It felt real to Flunky, easy, appealing and charming without being overly twee. Now, that all said, it was a shame that it wasn’t more of the book. While Flunky found the concept of a musical competition appealing (many members of her family are musical, although not Flunky herself), it often felt as though we were sandwiching a romance into a story about a music competition. (And yet, when it actually came time for that competition to take place – well, it all came together nicely, so maybe Flunky doesn’t know her Aeolian harp from her bandoneon.) While Flunky can utter no complaint about the quality of the writing, she was left with a bit of longing. Longing for more Bridget and Oliver, longing for a bit more passion to be expressed. It's ironic that she should say that it was refreshing to find a book where the H/H weren't drooling on first sight, and that's still true. But passion can be expressed in many ways -- music, for example, as this book makes a point of developing -- and ultimately, there just wasn't enough here to satisfy a Flunky.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mikki Crisostomo

    Reading a description of music is hardly ever as good as hearing it in person, but Kate Noble's retelling of the premiere night of Beethoven's Ninth had me holding my breath. I felt I could hear it in my head, exploding forth from my skull and soaring into the heavens, and I wanted nothing more than to be there to witness such a historical performance (first thing I'll be doing with a time machine, thank you very much!). I don't think I've ever read anything as moving or heartbreaking as her des Reading a description of music is hardly ever as good as hearing it in person, but Kate Noble's retelling of the premiere night of Beethoven's Ninth had me holding my breath. I felt I could hear it in my head, exploding forth from my skull and soaring into the heavens, and I wanted nothing more than to be there to witness such a historical performance (first thing I'll be doing with a time machine, thank you very much!). I don't think I've ever read anything as moving or heartbreaking as her description of Beethoven coming out from the audience to conduct the music only he could hear. I loved this book, and not just for the way you could sense such a respect and passion for music in the writing -- the romance was pretty good too. I don't mean to damn the other part of the book with faint praise (interesting that for me, the romance forms the 'other' part of the book), but the atmosphere of nearly constant background piano music makes this book so much more enchanting to me, and that works out to the benefit of all the other parts. This is the story of Bridget Forrester, middle sister to the apparently most beautiful girl ever and piano genius sorely afflicted with stage fright. She receives a letter that changes her life (also a tree falls on her house) and ends up travelling to Venice to seek out the famous composer Carpenini, but it is his friend the dependable Mr. Oliver Merrick who she ends up falling in love with. Along the way, there are deliciously Italian theatrics, high-stakes piano competitions, and delightful strolls through Venice, not to mention a memorable trip to Vienna. Bridget and Oliver seem to be one of those solid couples in romance that you can truly see working out in real life. I liked that there was no real tension with them -- it's rare to find such easygoing relationships in the genre that you can just settle into, like an old comfortable armchair. Having had terrible stage fright and a tendency to speed up my tempo myself, I could relate completely with Bridget's performance anxieties, and reading about her overcoming them was vicariously satisfying (though I honestly doubt falling in love would wipe away my own performance faults). The development of her character was one of the best things about this book -- it's rare to see a heroine work as hard as she must have over the course of the story. I didn't even think twice about giving this book five stars. If you love music, if you love characters that actually get things done through hard work and determination, if you love Venice and its own particular romance, you'll love this.

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Window Seat

    Books don’t come with a soundtrack. Sure, authors may post a list of songs that inspired them while writing, but it isn’t as if each track could be played as you’re reading each scene. Yet, when music plays such a major role in the character’s lives and the author’s words are so lyrical in their execution, that image of separation falls away and a reader should seek out that which inspired. This was exactly what I found myself doing as I read through Kate Nobel’s book Let It Be Me, listening to Books don’t come with a soundtrack. Sure, authors may post a list of songs that inspired them while writing, but it isn’t as if each track could be played as you’re reading each scene. Yet, when music plays such a major role in the character’s lives and the author’s words are so lyrical in their execution, that image of separation falls away and a reader should seek out that which inspired. This was exactly what I found myself doing as I read through Kate Nobel’s book Let It Be Me, listening to the music of the old masters like Beethoven and allowing that music to sweep me away as much as the story did. I was immediately taken with Bridget Forrester and empathized with her struggles to find her own identity against the ton’s memory of her sister’s glorious triumph as the Golden Lady. Having a disastrous debut season, Bridget had hopes that her second season in London would produce better results, yet too many of the eligible men still remembered her sister fondly while she was the lesser Forrester girl. Adding to her struggles, Bridget accidentally sets the gossips on herself with a claim she will be instructed on the piano by the Italian virtuoso Vincenzo Carpenini but then runs away when she is pushed into a public performance. Bridget’s saving grace comes when the family home is damaged and her mother accepts her idea to leave town during the repairs and travel to the continent, specifically Italy. What her mother fails to realize is Bridget’s ulterior motives in traveling, to seek out Carpenini and take him up on his offer to teach her. For the full review, please go to http://www.thewindowseat13.com/2013/0...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gerrie

    This last book in the Blue Raven series was wonderful, and I am so very sad to see the series end. It so beautifully depicted two people going from a real friendship to falling in love. And the city of Venice - a city I love - was a very vibrant character. This book had it all: a terrific hero and heroine; great secondary characters who contributed a real richness to the story; and a compelling plot involving music (and a scene with Beethoven based on one of my favorite, and most poignant, stori This last book in the Blue Raven series was wonderful, and I am so very sad to see the series end. It so beautifully depicted two people going from a real friendship to falling in love. And the city of Venice - a city I love - was a very vibrant character. This book had it all: a terrific hero and heroine; great secondary characters who contributed a real richness to the story; and a compelling plot involving music (and a scene with Beethoven based on one of my favorite, and most poignant, stories about him). All I can say to Kate Noble is "Bravissima"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I adored the hero, Oliver. It took me a good while to warm up to Bridget . The best part was the use and inclusion of music in the story. Bridget is challenged to play a very difficult piano concerto by Beethoven, and the piece of music becomes a part of the story, illustrating Bridget's character and highlighting the importance of music and theatre in the lives of the characters. I adored the hero, Oliver. It took me a good while to warm up to Bridget . The best part was the use and inclusion of music in the story. Bridget is challenged to play a very difficult piano concerto by Beethoven, and the piece of music becomes a part of the story, illustrating Bridget's character and highlighting the importance of music and theatre in the lives of the characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I loved the Venetian setting and the musical metaphors.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I know I listened to this earlier this year, but can't remember enough about it to review it! I know I listened to this earlier this year, but can't remember enough about it to review it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Pace

    REVIEW: LET IT BE ME by Kate Noble is the 5th book of the Blue Raven Historical Romance series. I have not read any of Kate Noble's books other than this one. I fell in love with the book as it is very enjoyable and has some humor to it. I always enjoy reads from the 1800's. This took place in London in 1824. The heroine Bridget Forrester is attending the first season's ball. None of the men asked her to dance and she was practically ignored. Bridget sort of brings this on herself. She has a smar REVIEW: LET IT BE ME by Kate Noble is the 5th book of the Blue Raven Historical Romance series. I have not read any of Kate Noble's books other than this one. I fell in love with the book as it is very enjoyable and has some humor to it. I always enjoy reads from the 1800's. This took place in London in 1824. The heroine Bridget Forrester is attending the first season's ball. None of the men asked her to dance and she was practically ignored. Bridget sort of brings this on herself. She has a smart mouth and has become known as a shrew. She has always been in the shadow of her married sister, Sarah. She receives an invitation to train with a top composer, Vincenzo Carpenini. So it was disappointing when he never came to England. Then there was damage to their home and Bridget, Amanda and their mother tour Italy until the house is repaired. Bridget still wants to be trained so she sees this as her chance to visit Carpenini. Half-brother to Carpenini, Oliver Merrick takes care of his affairs. He wrote the letter to Bridget. He is supposed to be the hero but I kind of feel he tried to pull a fast one with Bridget. It was a plan to make money since his bother was having trouble composing. Carpenini walks by just as Merrick opens the door. Who is standing there but Bridget. Bridget is insulted by Carpenini and leaves in tears. It seems like Carpenini is a cad. He takes a bet and starts working with Bridget determined to win. There is romance in the air but who will it be, Oliver, Merrick or Carpenini? This book gives you it all, romance, music, intrigue, mystery and so much more. Ms. Noble did an excellent job of writing a joyous and interesting read. It wasn't so fast paced. It let you take in every moment and savor it. I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a marvelous read. More realistic than fiction. I would give this book 4.5 Stars. I was given a complimentary copy of LET IT BE ME penned by Kate Nobel from Manic Readers for this unbiased review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    What a unique book. I loved it. The (far too few, in my humble opinion) descriptions of the streets and canals of Venice. The flawed but sympathetic characters. And all the music! I've never seen music, proper music, so infused into a romance before. This is not your average young lady playing a simple tune at a musicale music. This is full-on, professional, classical musician music. This is fucking Beethoven, bitches, and Kate Noble manages to write about it in a way that you can almost hear it What a unique book. I loved it. The (far too few, in my humble opinion) descriptions of the streets and canals of Venice. The flawed but sympathetic characters. And all the music! I've never seen music, proper music, so infused into a romance before. This is not your average young lady playing a simple tune at a musicale music. This is full-on, professional, classical musician music. This is fucking Beethoven, bitches, and Kate Noble manages to write about it in a way that you can almost hear it. (Although I'd personally recommend playing some Beethoven in the background as you're reading. So evocative!) The story started out a bit slow for me, but about a third of the way through I found that I couldn't put it down. Which is evidenced by my writing this review at two in the morning. Sorry if it rambles. I've seen some reviews that say they find Bridget somewhat unsympathetic at the start, and I can kind of see why. She's so entrenched in her own loneliness and fear and the sense of her own inferiority that she comes of as kind of petulant and ... mean. But my heart went out to her. After all, doesn't everybody experience that kind of thing? The feeling that everyone in the room is not only talking about you, but is comparing you unfavorably to someone else and waiting patiently for you to fail in dramatic fashion. And kind of enjoying themselves while they're at it. So I sympathized with her at the beginning, and began to love her as her confidence grew enough to put the smackdown on someone very important to her who made a very, very bad decision. Anyway. I'm veering into spoiler territory, so I'll just end by saying this is my favorite Kate Noble book so far. And I'd like to visit Venice again. Preferably in the near future.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nita Eyster

    Good things: Description of the music was amazing. I even listened to Bach and Beethoven while reading the book. Oliver---simply a good guy. Nothing dramatic--just did the right things. (circus performers) The setting--true Venice descriptions. Could have used a few more actually Venice sights but... Not Good things: Bridget-yawn. No wonder she wasn't a success in her season. Her maid Molly was WAY more interesting. Didn't see chemistry, there was no tension. Just didn't care if she got her HEA. Good things: Description of the music was amazing. I even listened to Bach and Beethoven while reading the book. Oliver---simply a good guy. Nothing dramatic--just did the right things. (circus performers) The setting--true Venice descriptions. Could have used a few more actually Venice sights but... Not Good things: Bridget-yawn. No wonder she wasn't a success in her season. Her maid Molly was WAY more interesting. Didn't see chemistry, there was no tension. Just didn't care if she got her HEA. Oliver deserved better. Granted I have not read the first book (Bridget's beautiful sister). But they didn't allude to any devastating event or events that would have caused Bridget to be so Blah. (one lousy piano performance). Her family obviously has money (hello Italy vacation). So why was her season/life so awful???? Better question; who cares?? Only reason I finished ---- book club.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ticktock

    Just some quick thoughts because I marathoned this one last night after it DL-ed on my Kindle at 11:15. I loved the use of music in the story and how it bled over into the other descriptions & thoughts of the characters. I saw some reviews questioning the prologue (the heroine is looking back when she's 90 and says her husband died 6 years ago) for ruining the HEA. I dunno, it didn't bother me. Maybe I'm not that picky about the mechanics and structure of romance but I mean, I read a LOT of hist Just some quick thoughts because I marathoned this one last night after it DL-ed on my Kindle at 11:15. I loved the use of music in the story and how it bled over into the other descriptions & thoughts of the characters. I saw some reviews questioning the prologue (the heroine is looking back when she's 90 and says her husband died 6 years ago) for ruining the HEA. I dunno, it didn't bother me. Maybe I'm not that picky about the mechanics and structure of romance but I mean, I read a LOT of historicals. And it's kind of a given that everyone in them is dead, isn't it? Like, spoiler alert!! ...To me, them being married 60+ years is plenty happy enough.

  19. 4 out of 5

    *MariaA*

    'OLIVER & BRIDGET' 'OLIVER & BRIDGET'

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This was a very enjoyable book and quite different from most books that I read since it revolved around the world of music. I'm not very musical, so much of the technical stuff was over my head, but the romance between Bridget and Oliver was beautiful. Another different aspect of this book was the beginning.. it has a prologue that is actually more like an epilogue..with the book itself being a flashback. It worked for me though. This was a very enjoyable book and quite different from most books that I read since it revolved around the world of music. I'm not very musical, so much of the technical stuff was over my head, but the romance between Bridget and Oliver was beautiful. Another different aspect of this book was the beginning.. it has a prologue that is actually more like an epilogue..with the book itself being a flashback. It worked for me though.

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Hennessy

    Really different for a historical romance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meghan V

    Sublime. Delicious. The kind of romance I actually want in hard copy to put on my keeper shelf. Set almost entirely in Venice, we get transported to a very different world and a very different romance with this book, the 5th in a phenomenal series. The romance is a powerful one between a daughter who doubts her worth and travels to a famous composer to help her find it at a piano and our wealthy hero who struggles to find meaning in his life. Sometimes, it's these more minor internal journeys th Sublime. Delicious. The kind of romance I actually want in hard copy to put on my keeper shelf. Set almost entirely in Venice, we get transported to a very different world and a very different romance with this book, the 5th in a phenomenal series. The romance is a powerful one between a daughter who doubts her worth and travels to a famous composer to help her find it at a piano and our wealthy hero who struggles to find meaning in his life. Sometimes, it's these more minor internal journeys that tug at my heartstrings and pull me in as a reader and, in all honesty, these are the journeys that are harder to convey as an author and Ms. Noble does it so well. The story was beautiful and included such fun, and new, historical details as our characters traveled to watch Beethoven in Vienna, spend most of their time on the canals of Venice,and, finally, touched base in London. I loved this book so much, I'm always shocked it's not recommended on more romance blogs and websites. This book is a gem. Read it. Series review: The entire series is full of wit and humor. Our heroines are sensual and powerful- smart, no-nonsense women who make the knees of our flawed heroes buckle until they're realizing the error of their ways and clambering to show our heroines their true colors. They're such fun reads and should be read, in any order, by everybody who loves romance!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)

    I liked Let It Be Me!  It did start off slow, I didn't like it nearly as much as the first book in the series (which I did read ages and ages ago, though I don't think there are a lot of connections between the two). I did like Merrick and Bridget together, though there was a point when I thought that maybe she would end with Carpenini.  I'm not sure why I thought that, since Merrick was why Bridget ended up in Italy in a musical wager in the first place.  And while I liked them together, I didn' I liked Let It Be Me!  It did start off slow, I didn't like it nearly as much as the first book in the series (which I did read ages and ages ago, though I don't think there are a lot of connections between the two). I did like Merrick and Bridget together, though there was a point when I thought that maybe she would end with Carpenini.  I'm not sure why I thought that, since Merrick was why Bridget ended up in Italy in a musical wager in the first place.  And while I liked them together, I didn't love them together.  Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for romance when I read this book. It started off slow, but it did pick up when Bridget started her lessons with Carpenini.  I liked that she liked music, and the musical competition was interesting, but it felt like the romance between Bridget and Merrick took a backseat to the musical aspects of the book.  At the same time, I liked that things did move slowly between them (a little bit more than what I would have thought).  But...I also found myself wanting more moments between them.  They felt few and far between in this book. My Rating: 3 stars.  I liked Let It Be Me, and I liked Merrick and Bridget together...I just wish their romance was as important as the music.

  24. 4 out of 5

    MK

    Oliver! *sigh* Possibly the best H I have ever read. I had ideas to mention how grounded the book is in music, how wonderfully drawn the characters are, how wonderful the various locations are used, but I keep coming back to Oliver. He is swoon-worthy, a man of the theatre who isn't written as a man of dubious character but, rather like so many men in theatre I am privileged to know, a good, kind, interesting, intelligent, and fundamentally decent man. I want an Oliver! ********* And upon more ref Oliver! *sigh* Possibly the best H I have ever read. I had ideas to mention how grounded the book is in music, how wonderfully drawn the characters are, how wonderful the various locations are used, but I keep coming back to Oliver. He is swoon-worthy, a man of the theatre who isn't written as a man of dubious character but, rather like so many men in theatre I am privileged to know, a good, kind, interesting, intelligent, and fundamentally decent man. I want an Oliver! ********* And upon more reflection I realize that I AM Oliver. I've been a theatre producer and director for a couple of decades and I've also referred to myself as the one who didn't have enough talent to make it but could spot it in others. And I completely understand his actions at the climax - you can't reason with divas just after they've done a great performance, especially when you have to deal with the consequences immediately. He would not have let things stand in the morning.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Phoenix77

    Books don’t come with a soundtrack. Sure, authors may post a list of songs that inspired them while writing, but it isn’t as if each track could be played as you’re reading each scene. Yet, when music plays such a major role in the character’s lives and the author’s words are so lyrical in their execution, that image of separation falls away and a reader should seek out that which inspired. This was exactly what I found myself doing as I read through Kate Nobel’s book Let It Be Me, listening to Books don’t come with a soundtrack. Sure, authors may post a list of songs that inspired them while writing, but it isn’t as if each track could be played as you’re reading each scene. Yet, when music plays such a major role in the character’s lives and the author’s words are so lyrical in their execution, that image of separation falls away and a reader should seek out that which inspired. This was exactly what I found myself doing as I read through Kate Nobel’s book Let It Be Me, listening to the music of the old masters like Beethoven and allowing that music to sweep me away as much as the story did. I was immediately taken with Bridget Forrester and empathized with her struggles to find her own identity against the ton’s memory of her sister’s glorious triumph as the Golden Lady. Having a disastrous debut season, Bridget had hopes that her second season in London would produce better results, yet too many of the eligible men still remembered her sister fondly while she was the lesser Forrester girl. Adding to her struggles, Bridget accidentally sets the gossips on herself with a claim she will be instructed on the piano by the Italian virtuoso Vincenzo Carpenini but then runs away when she is pushed into a public performance. Bridget’s saving grace comes when the family home is damaged and her mother accepts her idea to leave town during the repairs and travel to the continent, specifically Italy. What her mother fails to realize is Bridget’s ulterior motives in traveling, to seek out Carpenini and take him up on his offer to teach her. Unfortunately for Bridget, the invitation for instruction wasn’t penned by Vincenzo but by his friend Oliver Merrick, an expatriated Brit living in Venice. Her arrival at Oliver’s home is completely unexpected by both men and she receives a rather crude welcome by Vincenzo. In the months between the letter being sent and Bridget’s arrival in Venice, both Vincenzo and Oliver have seen their stars dim in the artistic circles of the city for drastically different reasons. In a gamble to attract the patronage of a wealthy and influential Venetian nobleman and discredit the misogynistic composer who is now the toast of Venice, Vincenzo wagers that he can pit his female student against any male student of said composer, proving he is the better overall teacher. Of course, this leads to a lot of groveling by Vincenzo to gain Bridget’s forgiveness, but she agrees to become his student only when Oliver trusts her with the truth that they need her more than she needs them. Having this small bit of power gives Bridget the courage to accept the challenge and push herself farther than even she thought she could reach. Oliver was my perfect kind of hero. From his first appearance on page he was presented as the best of a practical sensibility matched with an artist’s passion. He allows himself to feel things and to get swept up in moment, yet he can maintain enough awareness to know where his actions will take him. It was this balance in his personality that lifted him quickly though the theatrical ranks of Venice to become director of the premiere company in town. He has a deep loyalty to those who have helped him along the way, with his deepest ties to Vincenzo until Bridget comes into his life. Even before she starts her lessons, Oliver works hard to protect her from the darker sides of artistic fervor, keeping Vincenzo from completely overpowering her passion or breaking her spirit. I loved how Bridget’s emotional maturity is shown in contrast to how her musical gift matures through Vincenzo’s instruction. During her earliest lessons she admits to herself being enamored with Vincenzo and all that he represents. His exuberance and passion excites her and she wants to be swept up in that whirlwind of emotion with him. Someone like Oliver, with his cool demeanor and more steadfast ways, seems too calm a presence for her. The more time she spends with both men, the more Bridget begins to appreciate Oliver’s presence and how his nature allows for others to express themselves while he remains a constant support. It is that kind of person that Bridget has wanted all along, a man who would see her for herself. I was so happy that the book never pitted the two men against one another as suitors to Bridget’s affections, but it allowed her to grow from all the experiences they afforded her until her true soul mate was revealed. Something else I loved about the book was how much the city of Venice became a character within the story. The story is so removed from the standard historical settings of London or the English countryside that it really made me pay attention to the details that Ms. Noble inserted into her story. The descriptions of the buildings, the canals and the people of Venice were so vivid that one could almost feel the same inspiration that Bridget does from her walkabouts with Oliver. Having such detail available to form a mental picture of the city’s lifestyle it’s easy to understand how a character like Vincenzo could thrive while someone like Oliver could lose himself. Let It Be Me does have ties to the previous stories in the Blue Raven series; however a reader could be very comfortable picking up Bridget’s story and understanding everything that came before without having to go backwards. Both the opening and closing of the book allowed the reader to truly understand the nature of Bridget’s love for music, the love that she and Oliver came to share and how they both worked to keep those passions alive in their hearts for all the years to come. When the curtain closed on this story, in my own heart I wished there could be an encore after such an amazing experience.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a pleasant enough read. If it were standalone instead of part of a series, it might have even gotten 3 stars. But, at this point, it has nothing to do with the Blue Raven at all so making it #5, is odd and thus my expectations didn't match the book. Sure, it mentions characters from the first few books once or twice but there's nothing other than those mentions. There's only a single scene that I can think of with two of the main characters of previous novels. She also took and told the This was a pleasant enough read. If it were standalone instead of part of a series, it might have even gotten 3 stars. But, at this point, it has nothing to do with the Blue Raven at all so making it #5, is odd and thus my expectations didn't match the book. Sure, it mentions characters from the first few books once or twice but there's nothing other than those mentions. There's only a single scene that I can think of with two of the main characters of previous novels. She also took and told the story of the most unlikable person from the previous novel, which was an interesting choice. When I get beyond that, I think that this was okay, not good or great. There's some lovely description of Venice. Not much else to say about it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    The last in the series, though there is one more sister, oh well. If you love Venice and if you love music, you will love this. Part of this is based on Beethoven and the characters go to Vienna and see the premiere of Beethoven's 9th. I loved the walks through Venice and reminded me of my trip, making me want to visit again. The hero, Oliver Merrick is the son of a British Lord and an Italian Opera singer. Our heroine is Bridget, the sister of Sarah from the previous book, who goes to Venice to The last in the series, though there is one more sister, oh well. If you love Venice and if you love music, you will love this. Part of this is based on Beethoven and the characters go to Vienna and see the premiere of Beethoven's 9th. I loved the walks through Venice and reminded me of my trip, making me want to visit again. The hero, Oliver Merrick is the son of a British Lord and an Italian Opera singer. Our heroine is Bridget, the sister of Sarah from the previous book, who goes to Venice to find a piano teacher. The relationship between Oliver and Sarah unfolds slowly and quite beautifully. I will definitely read more if Kate Noble.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved this book until I reached the ending.. I was just disappointed.. the whole drama in the end could’ve been easily resolved by Vincenzo just saying that he composed his new piece with Bridget after she played Appassionata on stage.. and I don’t think it would’ve been that much of a big deal honestly.. that part was just disappointing And tbh,, Vincenzo is an ass but most artists have pride in their work,, I find it hard to believe that he would plagiarize... and Oliver decided suddenly he d I loved this book until I reached the ending.. I was just disappointed.. the whole drama in the end could’ve been easily resolved by Vincenzo just saying that he composed his new piece with Bridget after she played Appassionata on stage.. and I don’t think it would’ve been that much of a big deal honestly.. that part was just disappointing And tbh,, Vincenzo is an ass but most artists have pride in their work,, I find it hard to believe that he would plagiarize... and Oliver decided suddenly he didn’t want his theater anymore? I just got bored towards the end. I didn’t wanna hear Bridget’s story at 90 years old either.. for me, it made the ending more cheesy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Chambers

    Not the best in the series. I liked the plot. I love stories about music and artists. I don’t typically get those in historical. It was exciting and interesting and had a good twist at the end that I should have seen coming. The characters were kind of blah. But I do love people who love music. The couple was just ok. Not great chemistry. But I do love a book that takes place in Venice! I really need to read more historical romances that take place somewhere other than England. They are so diffe Not the best in the series. I liked the plot. I love stories about music and artists. I don’t typically get those in historical. It was exciting and interesting and had a good twist at the end that I should have seen coming. The characters were kind of blah. But I do love people who love music. The couple was just ok. Not great chemistry. But I do love a book that takes place in Venice! I really need to read more historical romances that take place somewhere other than England. They are so different and fun.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chris Hart

    Second book I've read by this author, and it's likely to be the last. If a book has a historical setting, I prefer my characters to be more true to the times they were supposed to be living in, rather than 21st century constructs. Second book I've read by this author, and it's likely to be the last. If a book has a historical setting, I prefer my characters to be more true to the times they were supposed to be living in, rather than 21st century constructs.

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