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With this Kiss: The Complete Collection

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With This Kiss: Part One Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace's sparkling, gorgeous sister? With This With This Kiss: Part One Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace's sparkling, gorgeous sister? With This Kiss: Part Two Lady Grace Ryburn has accepted another man's proposal after the love of her life, Lieutenant Colin Barry, asked for her own sister's hand in marriage. But when Colin returns home from the wars, injured in body and spirit, will she be able to turn her back and marry another? Or will she throw away every rule her mother taught her and try to seduce a man who has shown no interest in her kisses? With This Kiss: Part Three Lieutenant Colin Barry returns from the wars knowing that he has no right to steal Grace from the arms of her fiancé. Yet the same warrior's spirit that won so many battles at sea is prompting him to throw propriety to the winds, imitate his pirate father, and simply take what he most desires!


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With This Kiss: Part One Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace's sparkling, gorgeous sister? With This With This Kiss: Part One Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace's sparkling, gorgeous sister? With This Kiss: Part Two Lady Grace Ryburn has accepted another man's proposal after the love of her life, Lieutenant Colin Barry, asked for her own sister's hand in marriage. But when Colin returns home from the wars, injured in body and spirit, will she be able to turn her back and marry another? Or will she throw away every rule her mother taught her and try to seduce a man who has shown no interest in her kisses? With This Kiss: Part Three Lieutenant Colin Barry returns from the wars knowing that he has no right to steal Grace from the arms of her fiancé. Yet the same warrior's spirit that won so many battles at sea is prompting him to throw propriety to the winds, imitate his pirate father, and simply take what he most desires!

30 review for With this Kiss: The Complete Collection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    With this Kiss is a story that was published in a kind of serial form, in three separate instalments. The protagonists are Lady Grace Ryburn, who is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook (The Ugly Duchess) and Colin Barry, the adopted son of Gavin Barry who also featured in that novel and subsequently in his own novella (Seduced by a Pirate). The story falls, naturally, into three distinct parts. In the first – which was my favourite and definitely the best part – Grace and Colin meet w With this Kiss is a story that was published in a kind of serial form, in three separate instalments. The protagonists are Lady Grace Ryburn, who is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook (The Ugly Duchess) and Colin Barry, the adopted son of Gavin Barry who also featured in that novel and subsequently in his own novella (Seduced by a Pirate). The story falls, naturally, into three distinct parts. In the first – which was my favourite and definitely the best part – Grace and Colin meet when they are both quite young (Grace is ten, I think) and he is about to join the navy. On one of the rare occasions they meet subsequently when Colin is on leave, Grace discerns that Colin is not completely happy with his lot – and he isn’t. This is a time of war and he hates the killing and having to watch his men die while he comes through without a scratch. He doesn’t tell Grace all this, of course, but sensing his unhappiness, Grace asks if she can write to him – and he agrees. The correspondence – such as it is, because he rarely answers her letters – continues for several years, with Grace regaling him with tales of home which are full of warmth and humour. Grace is also a talented artist and frequently adds drawings to her letters as she feels that there are some things she can only communicate through pictures. I loved the description of the picture she sent of her as a wallflower – a little mouse in the corner of the ballroom. Of course, Grace has fallen deeply in love, but when Colin comes home on leave and is dazzled by her beautiful sister, Lily, she is devastated. Her parents had no idea Grace was writing to Colin, and kindly but firmly tell her that she must now desist. Colin has offered for Lily, and although her father turned him down, feeling that Lily was too young to marry, Grace’s world is turned irrevocably on its head. What really made this part of the story for me was the depiction of Grace’s love for Colin through her letters and her thoughts. She never had any real hope of a return – he’s beautiful and could have any woman he wanted – but even so, she continued to love him and to try to help him through her letters, sending him stories of home which she hoped would help get him through the dark times. She doesn’t hate her sister either – Lily’s beauty has always drawn men like moths to a flame and she’s not cruel or unfeeling – she just had no idea of Grace’s feelings when Colin proposed to her. It’s not until the second instalment of the story that we get any of Colin’s perspective on this, and we discover that it’s not long before he realises what a stupid thing he did in proposing to Lily. He saw her – her beauty and the fact that she was untouched by the horror of his life at war – as a means of escaping his own nightmares, but he quickly sees his error and laments the fact that it has also cost him Grace’s friendship. And more. In his next action, Colin is injured and is sent home to recover. Grace has, in the meantime become engaged to a lovely young man – but still carries a torch for Colin. It’s here that the story started to go off the rails for me, as Grace breaks her betrothal and insists that she wants to be with Colin, even if she has to seduce him to do it. (view spoiler)[Colin has been blinded and Grace is sure he will reject her in the belief that she is motivated by pity, hence her determination to do something irreversible like sleep with him (hide spoiler)] . In a drug induced haze, Colin – thinking he’s having another erotic dream about Grace – makes love to her (in a moving carriage, no less *eyeroll*) and is less than gentlemanly, leaving Grace sore and rather puzzled as to what all the fuss is about. He compounds his error by putting his foot firmly in his mouth, making Grace believe that he’d been imagining he was having sex with Lily. Thankfully, things are straightened out in part three, as Colin finally tells Grace about his reasons for not writing to her and for proposing to Lily; everything is straightened out and yes, Colin makes up for his previous mistake and proceeds to show Grace exactly what all the fuss is about. *wink* I thought the first part of the story was absolutely beautifully done – I had a lump in my throat at times because I felt so strongly for Grace and her disappointment in discovering that the man she’d fallen in love with didn’t want her; it was absolutely the best thing about the story. The rest of it was a disappointment in comparison, but I did enjoy reading it, even though I thought the second part was rather sloppy. The third part redeemed things somewhat, and I especially liked the idea of Colin finally answering Grace’s letters, which was a nice touch.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MRB

    The hidden problem in falling in love with a certain author's writing style is that my subsequent expectations of her work tend to be too high, setting me up for inevitable disappointment! I love the witty, charming, insightful, sneakily literate writing of authors like Eloisa James, Loretta Chase, Connie Brockway, Meredith Duran (etc., etc., etc.!) so much that I forget loving HOW they write doesn't mean I'll always love WHAT they write. Eloisa James creates a great heroine here in plainspoken, The hidden problem in falling in love with a certain author's writing style is that my subsequent expectations of her work tend to be too high, setting me up for inevitable disappointment! I love the witty, charming, insightful, sneakily literate writing of authors like Eloisa James, Loretta Chase, Connie Brockway, Meredith Duran (etc., etc., etc.!) so much that I forget loving HOW they write doesn't mean I'll always love WHAT they write. Eloisa James creates a great heroine here in plainspoken, artistic, quietly observant Grace, but, alas, she's stuck in a decidedly lackluster, choppily paced story. I had high hopes that I'd like the hero, Colin, who's actually (*gasp*) kind rather than the icy, snarling jerks that dominate way too many recent romances. Unfortunately, Colin proved as insipid as the story he's stuck in, and I had trouble buying into his alleged love for our heroine. It felt more like friendship and gratitude...and, hey, nothing says romance like a guy who initially thinks he's in love with your own sister instead! ;) (That's not a spoiler, by the way---that plot point is given away by the book's synopsis!) Three stars for a likable, interestingly atypical heroine and a few good lines and moments, but overall this one fell fairly flat for me. I'd recommend it only if you get it at a very low price or just feel compelled to own anything and everything written by the normally much more interesting and clever Eloisa James!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Hutson

    Ahhh....wonderful lovely historical romance written by Eloisa James. Long may it reign. :-) There are very few writers, from any genre, that can consistently write marvelous stories. Each very different. Each character very different. There are even fewer that can write a true story in 200 pages. It is rare to find a complete wonderful story, with details, with side stories, whole families, magical conversations, everything in a shortened version. I hope all those authors out there planning to ju Ahhh....wonderful lovely historical romance written by Eloisa James. Long may it reign. :-) There are very few writers, from any genre, that can consistently write marvelous stories. Each very different. Each character very different. There are even fewer that can write a true story in 200 pages. It is rare to find a complete wonderful story, with details, with side stories, whole families, magical conversations, everything in a shortened version. I hope all those authors out there planning to jump on the novella/serial bandwagon will please go read this collection. Then read yours. Then read Eloisa again, then read yours....if it doesn't compare, keep working on it till it does. Thank you, Eloisa James. For a wonderful fun serial. And reminding me how much and why I love Historical reading!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darbella

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is Grace and Colin's love story. These are the children of Phoebe and Griffin (Colin) and Theo and James (Grace). We get to see bits and pieces of their lives as children as they grow up. One of the best things about this story is we get to see James and Griffin are truly in love with their wives. James especially he was so wishy washy in his love story I never really knew. Still, one thing that bothers me is that poor Daisy still is held responsible for James leaving her for almost seven y This is Grace and Colin's love story. These are the children of Phoebe and Griffin (Colin) and Theo and James (Grace). We get to see bits and pieces of their lives as children as they grow up. One of the best things about this story is we get to see James and Griffin are truly in love with their wives. James especially he was so wishy washy in his love story I never really knew. Still, one thing that bothers me is that poor Daisy still is held responsible for James leaving her for almost seven years. They have turned it into a "cute" story that they have told the children about that James always listens to Daisy so he had to leave (that is more like the old James), but Daisy seems fine with shouldering all the blame for eternity. This story has Grace painting and letter writing, sister rivalry (done authentically), and at eventually great chemistry between the Grace and Colin. (They had to grow up first is why I said eventually-Grace always understood Colin more deeply than others). This one gets 5 stars from me because the author took the time to make James and Griffin great fathers and husbands and I loved Grace and Colin together.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lexie

    Here's the thing, to a point I really enjoyed these short stories (all about 30pgs each). I loved how James illustrated how the two grew close over the years, how Grace understood Colin in a way no one else seemed to. I thought it was sweet that Colin treated Grace with respect and didn't talk down to her. Then as they grew older we saw how Grace's feelings for Colin evolved and Colin, for various reasons (I'll get into later), clung to an easier time. I had a rather difficult time with a piece Here's the thing, to a point I really enjoyed these short stories (all about 30pgs each). I loved how James illustrated how the two grew close over the years, how Grace understood Colin in a way no one else seemed to. I thought it was sweet that Colin treated Grace with respect and didn't talk down to her. Then as they grew older we saw how Grace's feelings for Colin evolved and Colin, for various reasons (I'll get into later), clung to an easier time. I had a rather difficult time with a piece of the second part however. We open with Lady Grace acting the perfect daughter of a Duke. She's 10 years old, well behaved, admirably skilled in a variety of activities and in most respects, the reliable Ryburn daughter. This is contrasted with her younger sister Lily who is a vibrant minx, constantly disobeying rules, constantly getting into trouble and acting a hoyden. This leads Grace to one (sadly not entirely false) truth: if you are beautiful (and even as a young age Lily shows every sign of being exceptionally so) you are forgiven anything. She doesn't really feel upset or miserable about this. Indeed throughout the novellas its never really the fact that Lily is so beautiful that Grace is envious or irritated about. Its the fact that despite adhering to the ideal she is always the afterthought. At one point she says to her mother the reason why she enjoyed the attentions of a suitor was basically because he never looked at Lily or flirted with her first. His gaze was always on Grace from the beginning. Colin when he comes back in the second part (he routinely comes in and out of Grace's life due to when he gets leave from the Navy) made me want to smack him. I don't think James did a good enough job illustrating why he felt scared to face Grace, why it was imperative to him that he avoid Grace. Not because of who she is, but what she represents to him. This is all explained in the third part, but at the time I felt so keenly for Grace (I fully admit there were tears in my eyes) because she just doesn't understand. To her all it looks like is that once again she was the best she could be and it amounted to nothing. My issues with a section of book 2 can be considered highly spoiler filled, so highlight the below to read: Through events that transpire Grace ends up in a carriage with a blinded Colin on the way back to his parents' home. He's given a hefty dose of laudanum and as was previously established he tends to have very realistic, very erotic dreams involving Grace. At some point--this is from third person Colin's view, in which he thinks he's dreaming--he starts to basically ravish Grace. Grace had previously stated she was going to either seduce Colin or tell everyone he seduced her in order to do...something (its a bit muddled), so presumably (given Colin saying she was responding) she was totally okay with it actually happening. Its debatable if she knew he was that far gone on laudanum. Unfortunately because Colin thinks this is a continuation of every other erotic dream he has of Grace he believes she's no longer a virgin--she's never one in his dreams because he claimed that right at some point in the nebulous dream past they share--and is...less than restrained. As this is from his POV we don't know how Grace felt in that particular moment, but we know afterwards as she's thoroughly horrified. She enjoyed the beginning (the foreplay), but the end result terrified her because it was so brutal. This is further compounded by the fact she's certain he thought he was making love to Lily. All that? Made me really really dislike Colin. Yes he was under the influence of drugs, had no idea that Grace really was in the carriage with him and really wasn't capable of rational thought--but it bordered on dubious consent sex. It wasn't romantic or sexy--it bothered me the entire time. [end spoiler] Ignoring the second part's section I had no stomach for, the third part really wraps things up well. A lot of miscommunication is cleared up and Colin finally admits why he's such a dope (a monumental dope). There's a lack of consequences however that are never discussed, though I wonder if that is because this is part of the larger "Fairy Tales" books that James is releasing and they will be answered later. Point in fact James has a whole Facebook Group dedicated to this serial. With an interesting discussion, excerpts and an extra scene between James (er the character from The Ugly Duchess) and Griffin (from Seduced by a Pirate) after Colin makes a request from James. Overall this is a treat for fans who wanted to see more of James and Griffin's broods, as well as how the old salty pirates were doing (spoiler quite well).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    This was my first time reading this author. In the end, I thought the book was just ok. The writing was decent and the characters weren't annoying. Just a simple little romance to make my day a little lighter. Would give another book by Eloisa James a chance. This was my first time reading this author. In the end, I thought the book was just ok. The writing was decent and the characters weren't annoying. Just a simple little romance to make my day a little lighter. Would give another book by Eloisa James a chance.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tin

    Colin Barry is the eldest son of Sir Griffin Barry, retired pirate/privateer and notorious justice of the peace in Bath. Grace Ryburn is the eldest daughter of James Ryburn, retired pirate/privateer and now, His Grace, the Duke of Ashburn. Their families have a shared past and have remained connected over the years and the nine Barry and Ryburn children have grown up in each other's company. Being older than the rest, Colin is forging a path (and setting the bar) for the rest of his siblings and Colin Barry is the eldest son of Sir Griffin Barry, retired pirate/privateer and notorious justice of the peace in Bath. Grace Ryburn is the eldest daughter of James Ryburn, retired pirate/privateer and now, His Grace, the Duke of Ashburn. Their families have a shared past and have remained connected over the years and the nine Barry and Ryburn children have grown up in each other's company. Being older than the rest, Colin is forging a path (and setting the bar) for the rest of his siblings and has decided to pursue a career in the Navy, which is as close to piracy as he can legally get. Colin is intelligent and talented and eager to make his father proud of him -- except Colin hates being in the Navy. He hates the violence, the injuries and the deaths that he encounters on a regular basis, and it is only Grace who knows about it. Grace is solid, serious and silent -- the exact opposite of her younger sister, Lily who shines and sparkles and charms everyone. Everyone loves Lily, and Grace doesn't mind it if the whole world loves Lily more -- Grace only wants the love of one person: Colin Barry. They seemed so similar, so like-minded -- and the exchanged letters over the years. In Grace's mind and heart, she believed that Colin favored her, loved her, but her faith gets shattered in a devastating manner when Colin comes home, sees Lily across the ballroom for the first time in a very long time, he reacts to her brightness, falls in love and asks to marry her. "I don't sleep much," he told his father, blinking because Sir Griffin was a little hazy in the dark carriage. "But I think it will be all right tonight." "I'm so glad," his father said, but he sounded sad. So Colin added, "Because of the dancing. Because of Lily." "Lily?" His father sounded a little dubious, so Colin made the statement even more positive. "When she's there, and I'm dancing with her, and she's smelling of roses in late summer, I don't think so much. She's my tonic." - loc 515 Grace puts on a brave face and supports her sister and Colin, both of them very dear to her and whose happiness is of paramount importance to her -- but she cannot help the gnawing ache when she sees how very happy Colin is with Lily. Except Colin isn't truly happy with Lily -- it takes him some time to figure out who it is he really loves -- the question is, will Grace wait for Colin? Their parents' stories were amazing but the children's story was truly enchanting. This novel was originally serialized in three parts and I think Eloisa James maximizes the format really well. Each part has a clear story and purpose and succeeds in building up the stakes and the emotions for the next part. Grace and Colin and the rest of their siblings have known each other since they were children and it is inevitable that love will blossom somewhere along the way -- but even that certainty comes with its own uncertainty: with whom? And Colin surprises everyone when he falls in love with Lily. Bittersweet. Bittersweet. Bittersweet. That one word that encapsulates the feeling of pleasure and pain together -- that perfectly encapsulates Grace's emotions the moment when her hopes and dreams all fall apart. Having spent a few years in London ballrooms, Grace could diagnose love at first sight as well as anyone. Colin had just fallen in Love. And Lily? Perhaps Lily had as well. She had a weakness for men in uniform. She was smiling at Colin, holding his hands and smiling up at him with such unmitigated pleasure that Grace wanted to weep. Or vomit. - loc 457 to 469 Eloisa James is known to write lighthearted romances and there are some really fun moments in this novel, but the author surprises me in this book by making me feel ... pinches in my heart. It was agonizing for me to read this (and I imagine those who followed this as a serial also felt the anguish and the excitement of how the first part ends): we know that Grace and Colin belong together. Why can't Colin see this? How will Eloisa James write their way to love? Depth and candor are both found in this book as James tackles the love between friends, sisters, family and lovers. While this is a follow-up to The Ugly Duchess and Seduced by a Pirate , With this Kiss isn't based on any particular fairy tale -- but, perhaps, it is the one novel that captures that magical moment found in many fairy tales: the kiss -- the kiss that awakens, the kiss that transforms, the kiss that ends the story with "And they lived happily ever after, and the kiss that begins everything. With this Kiss was originally released weekly in three serialized parts (last March) and finally compiled in a complete collection in June 2013.

  8. 5 out of 5

    LadyCalico

    When I hit Part 2 I realized why the author broke this novel into three part...because it seemed to have been written by three different authors. Part 1 was excellent-real, human, original, really plucked my heartstrings--five stars. Part 2 was awful--cheesy, stupid, trite, bi-polar, unnatural, contrived, and anachronistic--one star is being generous. Part 3 was mediocre. It was nice that the author decided to quit dragging out the story with ridiculous stupidity and an excess of gratuitous sex When I hit Part 2 I realized why the author broke this novel into three part...because it seemed to have been written by three different authors. Part 1 was excellent-real, human, original, really plucked my heartstrings--five stars. Part 2 was awful--cheesy, stupid, trite, bi-polar, unnatural, contrived, and anachronistic--one star is being generous. Part 3 was mediocre. It was nice that the author decided to quit dragging out the story with ridiculous stupidity and an excess of gratuitous sex scenes and finally get around to trying to redeem this novel with a decent ending and almost, but not quite, succeeded. Both the parts about the abused horse and Colin belatedly answering her old letters were original, charming, endearing, and worthwhile reading. However, (view spoiler)[ marrying poor sweet, sensitive Lord McIngle to the flaky, spoiled, selfish, useless Lily for whom he originally had the good sense to not even like! That was simply dreadful and such a superfluous cruel final blow to a character I was already feeling so sorry for! So the book ends by leaving a very sour taste. (hide spoiler)]

  9. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    First off, I love the idea of gently retelling classic fairy tales and have been delighted to find this series! Like the other books, this one is well written, very witty, and I enjoyed the banter between the characters. True, the entire plot could have been avoided if the H/H had one good sit down conversation and explained what was going on in each of their heads & hearts, but then you wouldn't have a story. Especially since they sort of already knew, but just hadn't communicated with each oth First off, I love the idea of gently retelling classic fairy tales and have been delighted to find this series! Like the other books, this one is well written, very witty, and I enjoyed the banter between the characters. True, the entire plot could have been avoided if the H/H had one good sit down conversation and explained what was going on in each of their heads & hearts, but then you wouldn't have a story. Especially since they sort of already knew, but just hadn't communicated with each other. The painting and artistic elements in this book were especially nice and I particularly enjoyed that it was the story of the children from two previous books in the series. Like in the other books, yes, the sensibilities and phrasing of the characters is entirely modern, but, overall, I recommend it and am looking forward to reading any more that may come out in this series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Creative, fun, romantic. Good enough that I finished it today and ordered another Eloisa James book right away!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I couldn't even make it all the way to the end. There was so much potential, but the misunderstandings were silly, juvenile and didn't endear me to the characters at all. I couldn't even make it all the way to the end. There was so much potential, but the misunderstandings were silly, juvenile and didn't endear me to the characters at all.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Van Vleet

    Wonderful This had me in tears. I'm such a sucker for romance. There was everything, heartache, men in uniform, misunderstanding, and of course, true love. Wonderful This had me in tears. I'm such a sucker for romance. There was everything, heartache, men in uniform, misunderstanding, and of course, true love.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jess (The Lives of A Reader)

    Actual Rating: 3.5 It's uncanny, how realistically Eloisa James wrote unrequited love. Such a nostalgic little book. Actual Rating: 3.5 It's uncanny, how realistically Eloisa James wrote unrequited love. Such a nostalgic little book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    No more fucks to give. This book contradicts itself so many times before the 50% mark, that I just stopped caring. And then Collin gets very macho and manly and I just can't even. DNF @ 66% No more fucks to give. This book contradicts itself so many times before the 50% mark, that I just stopped caring. And then Collin gets very macho and manly and I just can't even. DNF @ 66%

  15. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    A 2.5 out of 5. An unrequited love is requited romance. Childhood friends growing up together and falling in love. Bonus: sex in carriage scene!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    vylit

    This is one of those books that I would like to give 3.5 stars. It's well written, and I like the characters, but the story needed a bit more depth to make it shine. Grace, our protagonist, is shy and overshadowed by her charming and outgoing sister, Lily. What I like about this is that while Lily can be a bit... self-absorbed, she's a nice girl who loves Grace. She just likes fun and mischief and isn't serious or ready to settle down like Grace. Grace finds herself infatuated with Colin, the son This is one of those books that I would like to give 3.5 stars. It's well written, and I like the characters, but the story needed a bit more depth to make it shine. Grace, our protagonist, is shy and overshadowed by her charming and outgoing sister, Lily. What I like about this is that while Lily can be a bit... self-absorbed, she's a nice girl who loves Grace. She just likes fun and mischief and isn't serious or ready to settle down like Grace. Grace finds herself infatuated with Colin, the son of her father's closest friend, but it's clear from the beginning that while he likes Grace, he's significantly older and sometimes overlooks Grace because of Lily's antics. When Grace is a bit older, she begins to write to Colin, a soldier that hates war and battle, and is later hurt when he returns only to fall into infatuation with Lily, going as far as to ask for her hand. The plot here reminds me a bit of Lisa Kleypas' Love in the Afternoon, and while there is nothing wrong with the story, it lacks the sparkle and depth of Love in the Afternoon. However, if you are sick or alpha male characters that act like jerks, Colin is a welcome change. I actually think that Grace, though perfectly nice, is a bit too much like the wallflower women that dominate this particular genre without anything of note to make her truly unforgettable. She's not a bad main character, but she's a bit generic.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Prachi Jain

    this book made me feel so many emotions...i have read it 3 times in a same day. during my first reading i just could not accept collin and grace together. i was so angry at him for choosing lily . but after my third and final read i realized it was grace's fault all along . she was so wound-up in her comparison to lily she never really appreciated herself. she wrote so many detailed letters to collin love of her life but whenever he visited in person she spent so limited time with him. her condi this book made me feel so many emotions...i have read it 3 times in a same day. during my first reading i just could not accept collin and grace together. i was so angry at him for choosing lily . but after my third and final read i realized it was grace's fault all along . she was so wound-up in her comparison to lily she never really appreciated herself. she wrote so many detailed letters to collin love of her life but whenever he visited in person she spent so limited time with him. her condition to only debut with lily as well as only marry a man who is not attracted to lily explain the same. collin on other hand was attracted to lily maybe a bit infatuated but he was addicted to grace , her words. her letters were only barrier between him and his impending death. he took his time to realize it but when he realized he was ready to fight for her even steal her from her fiance unlike grace who refuse to even acknowledge him when she sensed the attraction between lily and collin. but his injury gave her strength to fight for him . to let go of her insecurities. this novella will always be very special to me because it taught me an important lesson : it is really easy to fall in love but accepting it and fighting for it requires bravery. loving someone through letters and stolen glances is easy but to make it successful you should be brave enought to say it. brave enough to accept possible rejection but it will be worth it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    SSShafiq

    So it turns out I’ve read this one before. One of my favourite tropes and favourite authors so I was predisposed to like this one. And it was cute and fine. Too short to be truly specially this follows the trope very closely. The twist about Colin being blind was a curve ball and I would have preferred him wooing her. But I get the choice to hurry this novella along. In the end the latter half felt rushed. The first third of this and the first half of the second part are good. The rest not so mu So it turns out I’ve read this one before. One of my favourite tropes and favourite authors so I was predisposed to like this one. And it was cute and fine. Too short to be truly specially this follows the trope very closely. The twist about Colin being blind was a curve ball and I would have preferred him wooing her. But I get the choice to hurry this novella along. In the end the latter half felt rushed. The first third of this and the first half of the second part are good. The rest not so much. Overall a quick, pleasant read to pass the time. The hero and heroine are good characters but wasted in this book. I would have loved to see Grace in a full length book - she was kind and insightful without being a bore. 3 stars for that along Ms. James!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    I enjoyed The Ugly Duchess and Seduced by a Pirate and it was nice to read a book about their children. It gives you a glimpse of the lives of the two pairs after they each got their happily-ever-afters. I've wondered about the Christmas get-together that James and Griffin kept talking about in the first book since there was no mention of it in the following book. I'm glad to learn that they did make it happen, and that it became some sort of tradition with their families. It's nice to see James I enjoyed The Ugly Duchess and Seduced by a Pirate and it was nice to read a book about their children. It gives you a glimpse of the lives of the two pairs after they each got their happily-ever-afters. I've wondered about the Christmas get-together that James and Griffin kept talking about in the first book since there was no mention of it in the following book. I'm glad to learn that they did make it happen, and that it became some sort of tradition with their families. It's nice to see James, Daisy, Griffin and Phoebe as parents and how they supported and guided their children to reach for their own HEA.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I am sorry, it feels so twisted. This story feels like it’s being pushed to be that way. :( I don’t know if you can suddenly love someone, or that realization might come to you that you actually love them but it’s too late. But it’s a cute story. Ah, I thought too much with this novel, I guess. Of course fiction won’t happen in real life. Anything can happen in fiction. However, I so agree with the girl, you gotta fight for him!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    What a perfect short read. I think I cried during the whole first part of the book. The love story at the beginning seemed so heartbreaking and at the same time so very sweet. And then it becomes sexy and funny and I was just wondering how did author pulled it off. Definitely recommend it if you are looking for short, light and easy read but still with all emotions eloquently played out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Asia

    This was pretty cute. I liked both MCs and the push/pull and angst in this was great.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    I only gave this two stars because although the first half was really good the second half was lame.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tory Holmgren

    I love this series and I loved the characters. I also would read other books by this author

  25. 5 out of 5

    KYReader

    Start to finish I really enjoyed this book. I was immediately enamored of the character and felt their pain and longing. One of the best books Eloisa James has ever written.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin is it summer yet

    Over all a wonderful book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patti Irwin

    Not exactly sure how this is three parts. It all reads as one piece to me. Nonetheless, fun to find something new by this author.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Doris Raines

    I LIKE THIS BOOKL

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ginny Rodenberg

    Excellent read!

  30. 5 out of 5

    -Bookish Gal-

    Eloisa James' With this kiss series chronicles the lives of Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook and Colin Barry the adopted son of her father' best friend Sir Griffin Barry. Their fathers are reformed pirates who now lead respectable lives along with their wives and children. The families are close and hence Grace and Colin have known each other all their lives. Grace has a younger sister, whose beauty surpasses her own and that proves to be a running theme through Eloisa James' With this kiss series chronicles the lives of Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook and Colin Barry the adopted son of her father' best friend Sir Griffin Barry. Their fathers are reformed pirates who now lead respectable lives along with their wives and children. The families are close and hence Grace and Colin have known each other all their lives. Grace has a younger sister, whose beauty surpasses her own and that proves to be a running theme through the series. As they grow up Grace falls in love with Colin who though does notice her doesn't really think much of the fact. He just believes its something that is natural, and hence bound to happen. Grace is a gifted painter and spends majority of her time with a canvas and brushes while her sister is a natural at balls and dinners. Colin, meanwhile joins the Navy, in order to make his adoptive parents proud of him, however the prolonged exposure to the war and death leaves him with a PTSD, which he is somewhat embarrassed about. All the while that Colin is a part of the Navy, Grace continues to write letters to him narrating to him even the most inconsequential events back home so that Colin may always be aware of even the most minor things and not feel left out of his own family. Things turn around when Colin on a leave arrives back home only to be smitten with Grace' sister. Who couldn't have seen that coming right ? He even asks for her hand in marriage, only to be denied by Grace' father reasoning he cannot wed his daughter who isnt even 20 as of yet, when in reality he knows his elder daughter is in love with him. So poor broken hearted Grace licks her wounds in private and stops with her mails. Turns out its the lack of any letters from Grace' part after her last letter in which she also addresses herself not as his friend but just as Lady Grace is the wake-up call Colin needs. He realizes that it was those letters with the most irrelevant things that kept him sane all the while as he saw horrors and death all around him during his naval service. Only to be blinded - literally - after accidentally being in close proximity to a cannon blast. What happens next is the stuff headaches are made of. Really! Drug induced consummation, the cliche misunderstandings and the happily ever after with a house full of children. This review can also be found at One reader A thousand lives

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