Read Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale Online


The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant - and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the "D of J" in scandal sheets. But sometimes the most womanizing rakehell can be irresistible, and even his most causal attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms. Then one fateful day she receives the shocking news - the duke is loThe Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant - and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the "D of J" in scandal sheets. But sometimes the most womanizing rakehell can be irresistible, and even his most causal attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms. Then one fateful day she receives the shocking news - the duke is lost to the world. And Maddy knows it is her destiny to help him and her only chance to find the true man behind the wicked facade. But she never dreamed her gentle, healing touch would alter his life and her own so completely - and bind them together in need, desire...and love....

Title : Flowers from the Storm
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780380761326
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 533 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Flowers from the Storm Reviews

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2019-06-04 02:49

    I'm going to start with a warning -this is probably the worse review I've ever written because of how deeply, how emotionally I connected with the hero. My review is a cheesy, rambling, hot mess, so read at your own risk.With any book I read, I hope to connect with the hero and heroine, to feel what it is the author is trying to convey. Well, I didn’t have to try hard at all with this story, and no matter how many times I’ve attempted to write this review, I find myself in tears. And, as odd as it might sound, I find that I’m very protective of Christian, worried about revealing too much of his story. And wow, when I say that out loud, I realize how strange it sounds. So how does one review a book like this, one that hits so close to home that it literally could be your own story? The words I’d use to describe Flowers from the Storm are amazing, incredible, and heartwarming, compelling, complex, gut wrenching, joyous, painful, comforting… such contrasting words and emotions that it would take pages and pages to explain why it all means so much to me and frankly, I just don’t have that in me when it comes to this story. Part of what makes this story so hard for me to write about is that I’m married to a Maddy, the heroine of this book, my husband being a man who uses God as the ruler by which everyone is measured, and no one, especially not me, measures up. In this way I have a connection to Christian unlike any other fictional hero I can think of and found myself often in tears, not only for him, but for myself. As with all books, anyone reading Flowers from the Storm will bring to it, and take from it, different things. In addition to living with a religious… enthusiast, for lack of a better word, I have this fear of something happening to me that will leave me unable to communicate with those around me. I fear being mentally whole, being able to think and understand the things going on, but unable to express myself, to let people know that I’m… here. We learn early on in the story that Christian suffers a stroke of sorts and becomes unable to communicate. His mother believes that this was a punishment from God in judgment of Christian’s immoral behavior. I’ve also dealt with judgments against myself of a similar nature and so, for me, as I read this paragraph, and understanding Christian’s state of being, both physical and mental at the time he thought these words, this quote truly hit home.He lay facedown on the bed, his arms spread, his cheek against the silken sheets. His ribs ached. If he'd known a prayer he would have prayed it - coward that he was, to ask for favors now, when he'd never deigned to ask before.He didn’t reckon that God owed him anything. He reckoned that he’d had it all, and wasted it. Burning lakes and howling fiends had just never seemed that convincing, perils hardly fit to frighten naughty children.He turned over, staring up at the darkness.Damned… having found out now what hell was really like. Well, as you can see, I can’t seem to write a coherent review of Flowers from the Storm, and trust me, I’ve spent months trying. And as silly as it might sound, I’ve been afraid to write this review, because if you’ve read the book and didn’t like it, or if you believe as Christian’s mother and Maddy did, that he was deserving of the “punishment” God set upon him, then you believe those things about me, too, because this book is my life. But, fortunately for Christian and Maddy, they got their happily ever after. So, rather than write anymore and try to explain it all, I’ll just continue to watch over Christian and keep him close to my heart.Click the link for My review of the audio verion.Thank you, Mshj Kate, for making this a Secret Santa gift. It's a story that will stay with me for always.

  • Duchess Nicole
    2019-05-20 03:44

    “God forgive, Jervaulx - that I sh'd love thee.""That I should love thee.”Out of all of the Historical romances I’ve read, this is the one that stands out as the most unconventional of them all. What a brave author to have tackled this subject, and what a remarkably insightful, tender way to do it. ~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`MY SYNOPSIS:Archimedea Timms is a Friend…a Quaker…a quiet, devoutly religious and pious woman who grew up in that lifestyle. She knows no other way; and even if she did, she would still choose her way of life. She lives for God, to honor him in all ways, eschewing anything material, convenient, stylish, creaturely and popular for her people’s way of life. Meanwhile, Christian, the Duke of Jervaulx…or the “D of J”, as he’s referred to in the gossip columns, is as far from religious and pious as can be. His way of life is one of parties and womanizing, indulging in any spontaneous vice he can. He’s a Duke, and he lives as if he has no rules.These two couldn’t be further apart socially or morally, so where’s the connection? Maddy’s father is a brilliant mathematician, and so is Christian. Though they haven’t met, they have been collaborating on a breakthrough formula sure to amaze the world of mathematics. To be blunt, they're nerds in the very best way possible, and this fact not only brings Christian back down to the world of mortals, but it brings him into contact with Maddy. “Maddygirl deserved to be a duchess. It had been a great mistake of nature to make her a thee-thou sugar scoop bonnet.”Maddy and Christian have one night of interaction between them, when Christian presents his case to the London Analytical Society. And he proves that he does have a good character when he also gives credit to the blind Quaker man who has so diligently worked with him on this project. He also shows his romantic, poetic, and compassionate side to him when he gives her father the gift of a lifetime…he lets him “see” the daughter that he hasn’t seen since he lost his eyesight more than a decade ago. This is really the only taste that the reader will get of Christian before a horrific incident takes everything away from him…Christian Nicholas Francis Langland, His Grace the Duke of Jervaulx, Earl of Langland and Viscount Glade…has a stroke.He wasn’t a two-year-old. He had not lost his reason. He isn’t mad; he is maddened. Of course, no one back then knows what a stroke is, so it seems as if overnight, the Duke has lost his mind, his ability to speak and reason, and much of his ability to move. He is spirited off to an insane asylum. Of course, the proprietors think they are helping to cure the poor helpless (and very rich) inhabitants of their establishment. But ice baths and isolation, chains and condescension don’t seem to be doing the trick for a man who is completely sound of mind. In fact, Christian is perfectly fine inside his head…he just can’t move right, or speak well, and his frustration and anger add to the illusion of insanity. Fortunately, fate steps in and Maddy is led to help her uncle who runs the very asylum that Christian was taken to. And Maddy feels it is her calling to reach out to the mad Duke. In fact, Maddy realized very quickly that Christian isn’t mad at all. And this realization is the beginning of a tender, remarkable story unlike one I’ve ever read before. ~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`~`*`MY THOUGHTS:This was definitely unexpected but I’m so happy that I read it. I heard from a few people that they didn’t like Maddy very much and at first I couldn’t see why. However, as the story wore on, her pious attitude wore on me. A the beginning, she was such a strong character, doing not what was expected, but what she felt was right. Even though she disapproved of Christian’s lifestyle with ever fiber of her being, she literally put aside all prejudice and judgment in order to help the helpless.“It was pointless, this small attempt at escape. He defeated her. What she wished to avoid was inside her; not for one instant as she walked did she think of anything but Jervaulx.”And boy, was Christian helpless! I’ve never felt such pity and horror over a character’s treatment before. To be reduced to this raving madman…going from this vital, brilliant man with the world at his feet…to THIS…imprisoned against his will, his own family unwilling to see anything but madness and insanity…poor Christian! He really was a figure of pity. However, my pity turned to admiration quite quickly. Talk about stubborn and tenacious! As Maddy begins to weaken in character for me, Christian became the stuff of legend.He just never gives up. He is so willful and strong, and with the help of this lowly Quaker woman, he overcomes so much. All he needed was for one person to believe in him.“He was the Devil - smiling a little tender, a warmth that she’d never foreseen, not in all her everyday prayers to God to keep her soul safe and in spiritual grace. Never once had she imagined that Satan would smooth her hair, would smell of heat and earth…wouldn’t speak, wouldn’t hiss evil promises in her ears. Never once had she thought he would be anything but ugly and corrupt and easy for virtuous Archimedea Timms to scorn.”Their romance…it’s truly epic. It’s so much more than I can say. It’s a forbidden love for so many reasons but not the typical taboo pairing. This is a slow, sensual dance. There’s nothing lascivious about it…I wonder if people will be turned away, thinking of a romance between a slobbering, raving madman and a shy, dowdy, naïve Quaker woman. Not at all. It was beautiful.“I‘m afraid,” she whispered. “I‘m afraid of what thou wilt do to my soul and my heart.”“Your heart…is precious to me,” he said quietly.”Christian himself is reduced to a small world, relying on his “Maddygirl” for everything…dressing, feeding, even speaking at first. As the threat to his title, his lands, his standard of living and his very freedom becomes more and more real, it is apparent that small successes and slow progress in everyday functions is critical. Maddy believes in him, and she falls for him despite her every attempt to stay devoutly impersonal. “Oh, stop, say stop, but it‘s too late.Too late. Because God forgive me, I love thee more than my own life.”I encourage anyone who likes a romance with depth, who loves the tortured hero but is tired of the same old same old story being retold by different authors, who likes to read outside of the box every once in awhile to do themselves a favor and pick up this book. It's not a happy story...for the most part. It's a heartbreaker and a tearjerker. I mean, it literally made my tummy hurt and my heart ache for all that both of these two went through. But in the end, I was left feeling that happy, sigh-worthy feeling of a beautiful love story, for that's what this really was. And also a story about the resilience of humanity, about how much we each need someone to build us up, to believe in us. In everyday life, perhaps just for an ego boost, someone to say "Yes, you can" when the rest of the world is saying "No, you can't." That's a real partnership, a real love, and true devotion. In the end, Christian and Maddy had that, and it was a hard fought war...but oh, so worth it.

  • K.
    2019-06-10 05:43

    Laura Kinsale’s “Flowers From the Storm”(From my thread discussion topic post “ on Amazon’s “Historical Romance Forum” sometime around Feb. ‘09 (unchanged))I recently finished reading "Flowers from the Storm" by Laura Kinsale. This is a well-loved book by many and remains high on the "keeper" shelves out there. So how come I can't figure out why so many people fell in love with this couple? I just don't get it. I found the book to be "all suffering, all the time" (i.e. an over-abundance of serious issues and long drawn out angst). A brief synop.: [SPOILER - BUT IT'S THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE NOVEL!:] The hero begins the story (literally the first few pages of the Prologue) in bed with another man's wife (in the other man's home no less), discussing the fact that he has impregnated her and she needs to make an effort to sleep with her husband again soon in order to pass the baby off as her husband's. (Already questioning the hero's integrity in a dire way here.) Very shortly thereafter he experiences (what is presumed to be) a stroke, which lands him in a mental hospital, employing methods of the times which are cruel and in no way reflect current modes of medicine. There he encounters the heroine (a Quaker woman) whom he previously briefly crossed paths with while jointly working on mathematical theories with her father (our hero is a mathematical genius). She is there to volunteer time with the patients at the facility, and there is where they begin a journey together to help him recover his cognitive speech abilities (the primary disability he suffered) and regain his social standard in life (he's a duke). The hero is not bedridden or physically disabled to any great impairment other than signals of the brain connecting with his right hand to operate effectively (and his ability to talk). In that day and age, there was little known of the effects of strokes, and basically victims of same were treated as mentally unstable. The two go on, in my opinion, as classically dysfunctional and co-dependent peple trying to make a stab as a couple. The heroine extremely frustrated me, as she went on for 32 chapters struggling against who she was as she was rasied (her Quaker sociatal obligations) and berating who she reallywanted to become, as she was drawn to the hero. Consequently, she made him suffer for her indecision the entire journey. Mind you, there are only 36 chapters in this book. The final chapter is widely loved and admired (and it was quite captivating, even for me), but I just did not believe it for these two people, and it certainly wasn't enough to save the story. Some people do go for "all emotional self-torture, all the time" when it comes to what they consider a good story, but that's just not me I guess. Apparently the "balance of happiness" in any given novel when compared to human suffering, can't be considered "serious" reading for a lot of people, I suppose. I don't agree. Like real life, it's more the progress achieved in points of the journey that deserve the most attention and ultimate recognition to my way of thinking. Afterall, it doesn't take much work to remain "miserable and undecided," and that's exactly how I interpreted this read the entire way for the heroine. The hero does come to some self-improvements, but I flucuated between truly caring for his character or just feeling sorry for the way the heroine constantly demonized him and his way of life (ton society). Basically Kinsale failed to slowly "transition" both the characters' self-enlightenment in general, and their journey to establish justifiable romantic feelings for one another IMO, therefore, the ending for me was jarring in effect, and just unbelieveable. I never really connected with either H/H and I believe they never truly understood their own connection.UPDATE FOR GOODREADS (8/6/09): Wow -- Looks like I'm the only one who one-stared it here to actually "tag" it . . . "I didn't like it!" (Maybe because My "stars" here are judged by the "verbage" when you roll over them with your mouse, rather than my "usual" star rating (I like my half stars in that instance). It might be a 2* on that scale, based on Kinsale's writing abilities and potential. I've actually committed myself to read at least one more book of her's to perhaps find the "good one" for me. ;)

  • Mo
    2019-06-06 05:49

    5 Maddygirl stars.I loved this one. Tortured hero, innocent heroine, Society, expectations, fear, love, hate, tears, laughter ...The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant - and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the "D of J" in scandal sheets. But sometimes the most womanizing rakehell can be irresistible, and even his most causal attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms. Then one fateful day she receives the shocking news - the duke is lost to the world. And Maddy knows it is her destiny to help him and her only chance to find the true man behind the wicked facade. But she never dreamed her gentle, healing touch would alter his life and her own so completely - and bind them together in need, desire...and love. Christian, the Duke of Jervaulx is a brilliant mathematician. But his circumstances change and he is lost in a world of hell.He held out his hand. The light behind him caught unexpected color - the long stems of wild Michaelmas daisies stirred by the wind ...I don't want to say too much. I found it might have dragged a bit in the middle but the end and the struggle they both had to reach their HEA, was wonderful.This was set in a time where medical practices are not as advanced as they are today. The Duke suffers what I assume is a stroke but nobody knows what this is and his affliction is seen as insanity. Maddygirl is the only one he trusts. But she is a "Friend" - used to a simple life, not the life of a Duke. Help me. I can't do this alone anymore. Amen.This is my first time reading this author but I will be checking out some of her other books. The change in things, the profound chasm between yesterday and today lay between them. Mist. He'd been living in a mist.

  • Bgurl (don't h8 me cuz I'm honestful)
    2019-06-03 06:43

    Flowers From The Storm, by Laura Kinsale: 5 Perfect Stars* Nurturing * Serene * Spartan * Quiet* Forthright * Spiritual And a Quaker. “Prim and decent, chaste, careful, loyal, moderately brave in some things, a lion in a few, and when he touched her, she fluttered—nice feminine flutter, modesty and passion.” ~ Christian Langland, the Duke of Jervaulx* Damaged* Tortured* Extravagant * Rakish* Devious* HedonisticAnd, a nobleman. “He was the Devil looking at her out of gentian eyes. It’s easy to be virtuous—and deceitfully proud of it—across the abyss of their stations: the nobleman and the Quaker lady. But God had taken the Duke of Jervaulx down to the level of Maddy Timms. From an equal vantage, the Devil smiled at kittens and her… and Maddy felt the prick of it on her heart like a tiny claw that seized at her for safety.” ~Archimedea Timms, aka: MaddyAll wrong for each other. As different as chalk and cheese. Obliged by station and religion to remain apart. Save for the Duke and her father’s mutual love of mathematics, they’d never have met at all. Had the Duke not suffered a stroke, been deemed “morally insane”, and committed to an asylum; they’d never have become inseparable. But inseparable they become. For, when Maggie discovers the Duke chained to a bed at her uncle’s “retreat”, and realizes his “insanity” is merely a loss of speech and motor skills, she has “an Opening”: an inspiration from God commanding her to restore the Duke’s health and freedom. What follows is a series of events that test Maggie’s faith and Christian’s self-assurance. An insurmountable set of circumstances further complicated by their contradictory ethos and mutual inclination toward obstinacy and pride. As they battle against unrelenting adversity, as they endure great pain and overwhelming fear; Maddy and Christian refuse to let their differences divide them, and together, they conquer all. “'That cannot be between us, dost thou understand? I am born a Friend, Jervaulx. Thou art born a nobleman. Dost thou even know what would become of me? Friends would disown me. It is our way.' She exclaimed, frustrated by his lack of response. 'I would be alone!''No,' he said unexpectedly. 'Maddygirl. With… me.'"~Maddy & ChristianA flawless balance of light and dark, angst and humor, bewilderment and charm. The writing is poetic, yet plain; descriptive, yet disciplined; expansive, yet essential. Greedy relatives are neutralized by doting ones; and staid, prejudicial friends by amusing, loyal, ones. The hero is equal parts alpha and beta; and the heroine is both independent and dutiful. Their actions are vulnerable but strong; brave but uncertain; frustrating but comprehensible. Every aspect is sheer perfection.If you haven’t yet read Laura Kinsale’sFlowers From the Storm, I strongly urge you to do it now. You’ll laugh and cry; jeer and cheer; and be utterly amazed at this truly perfect love story. You’ll want to put it on your “Keeper” shelf, and re-read it a thousand times. "'My love.' He held her cheeks between his palms. 'My sweet life. Three horses own—two coaches— velvet—chambers—cushions—bed… my kisses. All my kisses. All to be… for thee alone.'"~ ChristianFlowers From The Storm, by Laura Kinsale: 5 Absolutely Perfect Stars.If you like this book, you might want to try:"Sunshine and Shadow" by Tom & Sharon Curtiss (Laura London)"The Outsider" by Penelope Williamson

  • Ingela
    2019-06-04 08:55

    Written January 14, 20155 Stars - It had it all - A stunning AMAZING epic storyWho dare to start an 19 hours long audiobook? I heard the rumors that in this case there was a great male narrator (Nicholas Boulton) doing this historical romance even better. And, was it worth it?Well, I didn't need more than a few minutes to know this would be an fantastic adventure to take part in. There are for sure a lot of heart stopping moments and I cried, yelled and lost my breath more than once. — But gosh, I loved this book. ‘He liked radical politics and had a fondness for chocolate.’This IS the grand sort of unforgettable romances that will stay in my heart forever. I'm not sure I manage to do it again for a long tim because this was not that kind if easy sweet, fluffy reads I so often do. More the hard, rough, heart-wrenching kind. I'm stunned...and grateful for my silly happy smile in the end.***********************************************Flowers from the Storm is one, by many historical readers highly praised and much loved romance, about Christian Langland, the Duke of Jervaulx, a brilliant and dangerous womanising rake. A confident, intelligent young wealthy nobleman who meet a terrible fate.His companion to be is the sheltered Archimedea (Maddy) Timms, a quiet Quaker daughter of an older blind mathematician. Maddy is a quite young (28) woman who strongly believes in a plain and simple no-worldly way of life. She just want to take care of her "papa" and be stay with the group of these religious 'Friends'.Soon are there som big changes in both our main characters lives. The now suddenly mistreated sick Duke is in big and urgent need of the Quaker girl, Maddygirl's, care and kindness. We are not told what had really happened until much later, but these first rough scenes (view spoiler)[ (in an awful harsh asylum world)(hide spoiler)] really shaked me. It's for the best to not spoil so much about this storyline, and all thrilling events, but lets just say that you have to be in a pretty good mood, and you might need a handkerchief / tissue. ~ It's an long adventure with many turns and both good and bad surprises. Not a calm moment. - An exhausting read. ***********************************************‘Could not. Would not. Was afraid to go alone. He put his hands over his eyes and through his hair, defying the sharp agony in his back. He’d never known he would be a coward, afraid of what he wanted so intensely.’Oh My, Lord Jervaulx! ~ Gorgeous, wonderful, amazing man. This Duke is for sure a larger-than-life hero I never ever will forget. He wasn't an easy man and not always easy to love, but gosh, I admired him. I wanted him the stars and a warm hugging wife. Maddy on the other hand was at times a somewhat next to narrow-minded woman. I wanted to shake her and yell. She was so d@mn inflexible, stubborn and I, not that religious, had difficulty understanding her dumb choices sometimes. Nonetheless, I liked her most of the time and can in a way understand her innocence and that it is hard to leave old truths and life-rules. ***********************************************Flowers from the Storm:Simply fabulous romantic and cruelly nerve-wrackingIt started as a heartbreaking read and I can't even express how much I felt, cried, feared etc in the same time as I enjoyed it all so very much. Luckily it ended in a much better way but it hold you there in a cruel angsty phase to the very last chapter. In my meaning isn't this just another "historical romance" - even if there is a grand beautiful true romance here, and some lovely kiss and yummy steamy parts. I should instead call Flowers from the Storm a very romantic historical novel. It made me think about other, since years adored, unforgettable love-stories, like: Gone with the Wind, The Thorn Birds and Outlander. As well as the fabulous fantastic old Jane Eyre. ~ Yeah, so fervently overwhelming and grandiose felt those nineteen hours audiobooks listening. “You…make me…better.” “Oh, I will try.” She played with a lock at his temple. “But thou art the duke, a bad wicked man, and I love thee too well to make thee something different.” “Bad wicked…idiot,” he said wryly. “No,” she said. “A star that I could only look up and wonder at. Thou perceivest my true covetous nature—I’m glad thou fell, and I can hold thee in my hands.” He gave a hoarse laugh. “Tinsel…star.” He looked down at her lap. “Don’t deserve you, Maddy, but too…reprobate to give you up.”I'm so grateful I had the courage and started this one at last. The paperback has been lying there on my bedtable for months (nearly a year) but then I bought the audiobook a week ago after some indications that this male narrator is amazing. And he really is. ~ Big applause to Mr. Nicholas Boulton. A fantastic well written story, Ms. Laura Kinsale!There will be more from your gifted pen. ***********************************************I'll not rant about my admiration for this novel any more.Flowers from the Storm is my first happy dancing 5 stars read this year (I can already promise it will be on my future 2015’s top list). I LIKE - I'm stunned!!!******A very great choice to use a xmas-giftcard from a very sweet emigrant fellow now in LA. - Thanks hun!! 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  • Julio Genao
    2019-05-20 08:50

    remarkable.deliciously dark and somewhat in my black-hearted sweet spot. love me a humbled bad-boy, and love to hate a puritanical idiot unable to resist the promise of an orgasm.and jesu—what an orgasm.about the most erotic hetero love scene i can ever remember reading.

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2019-06-16 07:41

    It's official - this is my favorite story, ever!I first read Flowers from the Storm in 2009 and fell in love with Christian and his Maddygirl from their very first words on the page, but it's such an emotional story that I couldn't bring myself to read it again, though I thought of it often. That said, when my sweet friend, Lady Wesley, raved about the amazing narration given this story by Nicholas Boulton, I just had to give it a listen.And I am so, so glad that I did!Honestly, I can't even begin to express all the ways in which this audio edition of the story is wonderful. Truly, I'm unable to find the words that will do it justice. Mr. Boulton brought a level of poignancy and sensuality and even an eroticism to the story that wasn't as evident in my reading of it. As amazing as the story was when I read it, it was even more incredible listening to it, because Mr. Boulton gives the characters such beautiful, passionate, tragic, and inspiring voices that you don’t just hear their story, you experience it.If you've had this on your shelf waiting for the right time, stop waiting. Whether you choose to read the book or listen to the audio, stop thinking about it and just do it. But have tissues handy. You'll need them. But whatever you decide, know this - without hesitation I can tell you that this is one of, if not the best, most profound, thought provoking stories ever told, and the most beautiful happily ever after, ever! If you’d like to read my full, rambling, emotional, more than a bit embarrassing review of the paperback edition, written after I read it years ago, click here.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-05-24 09:44

    Approximately twenty-eight years ago, a young girl picked up a book from her mother's box of books out of boredom. Her life was changed. Ever since then, her favorite type of book has been historical romance. She has read a lot of it. There have been many that she has enjoyed. But some books just stand out. This is one of them.Because of how much I liked this book, this is a very long review. I apologize if you don't like long reviews. The short of it is I loved this book very much. If you want to know why, keep reading.Laura Kinsale just doesn't write enough books for me. If you asked me if I want more from her, obviously yes! But do I want less quality but more books? No. A book like Flowers from the Storm is worth thirty lesser books.This book begins with a hero who is doing something immoral and reprehensible (although to some degree socially acceptable). A reader has to decide if they can get past that. While I really dislike what he did, I wanted to know more about Jervaulx and explore his story. I wasn’t going to write him off just yet.With Laura Kinsale, you don’t just get an entertaining romance. She gives you a complex, textured novel that has characters that are not just archetypes, but are realistic and multi-faceted like a jewel (and like a jewel, they may have noticeable flaws). Maddy is at times the bully, at times the victim. Sometimes I liked her, sometimes I didn’t like her very much at all. I felt some identification with her as a person of faith, but at the same time, I felt that she gives people of faith a bad name because of her legalistic and judgmental way of life. It also challenged me to consider how I interact with people. Am I sending out the right message about my faith walk, the loving God and all-welcoming God I love? When she gets the epiphany about why she is with Jervaulx, I was thinking all along I knew why they had been brought together. I felt that Jervaulx and Maddy could learn from each other, could complement each other. Could they love each other despite society’s notions of propriety or station? It was hurtful how she denied the love she felt for Jervaulx, as if it was an ugly thing. It hurt me to read because I could see deep down that Jervaulx needed her so much, and she needed him, and loving someone can be intense and powerful (and yes, inconvenient) without being an obsession or leading to doom and destruction. While people shouldn’t be projects, something we can ‘fix’, we come into peoples’ lives to learn something ourselves and to help them learn something. Love that is selfish cannot be mutual, and for me, their love definitely wasn’t a selfish one.Jervaulx is a very complicated man. It was interesting to see him at the beginning of the story and see his selfish actions and his determination to live a hedonistic life, although deep down, his was a builder and a thinker and a contributor. Those parts of his psyche obviously warred with each other. I don’t doubt that his mother’s cold demonstration of religious faith pushed him to go in the opposite direction. In his own way, he did believe in God, but seeing faith in such an ugly way pushed him further away from God and into a life that didn’t have much meaning outside of his scientific pursuits. I hurt for him. A person of the mind, an intellectual can have an experience almost like dying when that part of their persona fails. It’s like being caged away, and in the case of Christian, his mouth couldn’t say what he wanted it to say, and sometimes the words just wouldn’t come to him. Also, going from a place of having power and authority over your life and losing that is another kind of death. That process was understandably devastating to a man who was one of the most powerful men in England.His family was shameful. They all saw him as a thing to be used or manipulated: as a resource, a pawn, or a liability. That made me very angry on his behalf. And afraid. For most of the book, I felt Jervaulx’s fear tangibly. That’s part of why Maddy’s acts at times grated on me. She didn’t seem to get what it was like to be him, to know that he was one step away from being locked in an asylum for the rest of his life. Even though she does have momentary breakthroughs of understanding and a sense of responsibility to him, her hardheaded beliefs about what she should be doing (that being with him long-term is wrong) seemed to try to get in the way more than it should have. This book feels so realistic, but also beautiful, entrancing, hypnotically romantic. The scenes between Maddy and Jervaulx where their feelings are budding, blooming and coming to full life were the essence of romance. Their passion inexorable, special and inescapable. It’s what makes my heart beat fast when I read romance books. People think writing romance is easy and low-brow. That any hack can write a romance story. How wrong you are. It takes talent and care to craft such a rich story that fulfills both intellectually and emotionally. Especially when you write characters that aren’t just appealing stand-ins for the reader and her dream man. No, they are real people with real lives and struggles. While love doesn’t necessarily solve all our everyday problems, it does get us through the rough spots in life, and gives us hope for the future. Walking through life with a beloved one at our side empowers us to fight for what we need, what we want, what is rightfully ours. While Jervaulx and Maddy didn’t make sense to someone on the outside looking in, who lacked insight, it makes perfect sense to me.I put this book off for a long time, but it was a case of reading it at exactly the right time. I have been going through a horrible book slump, feeling apathetic about reading. That’s horrible for an avid booklover like myself. A book like this is just the medicine to reinvigorate a reader’s flagging interest. Thank you, Ms. Kinsale!

  • Pepa
    2019-06-07 09:48

    Reseña completa:ás un final que no está a la altura del resto de la novela es lo que me hizo quitarle una estrellita la primera vez que lo leí. Pero ahora, que he leído bastante más, creo que se merece las 5Es una novela muy arriesgada, tanto por los personajes tan atípicos que la forman como por la trama y la gran crítica que se esconde detras. Aquí no se salva nadie :Ni Christian, ese "libertino" de vida amoral, derochador y fiel reflejo de una sociedad egoísta e hipócrita. Es un personaje desgarrador. La autora realmente consigue que te angusties con ciertas escenasNi Maddie, enclaustrada en una sociedad-secta que al final se refleja como "no tan buena gente", y esa cobardía al final como muy bien apunta Chisrtian que nos quita un minuto de respiración.Ni esa familia que quiera a toda costa quitarle el patrimonio ni el controlNi la doble moral de una Eydie que asusta con esa frialdad ante su descendenciaPor todo ello, y ese crecimiento y progresión en el carácter de los protagonistas que van evolucionando a la marcha de la tramaPor ese amor que nace poco a poco, por esas cosas que los protagonistas callan y la autora nos dice con hechos. Por esa historia que me ha parecido preciosa. Eso sí, Laura Kindale no es una autora ligera, sus ambientaciones son minuciosas y eso puede no agradar a todos los lectores. A mí me gusta mucho!!!

  • Eastofoz
    2019-06-10 04:48

    This book was recommended to me as a sad story--I think the people thought it was emotionally gripping but I found it to be neither. First thing: it was too long. An easy 150 pages could have been cut out I thought. Kinsale writes very well but I felt the weight. I didn't find it anymore moving or emotionally gripping than any other love story I've read--ie it doesn't stand out for me. On the cover of the book where it says "One of the World's Most Cherished Love Stories"--I think that's a bit over the top.Jervaulx was an amazing character and you could feel his frustration when he tried to speak and control his mind to try and make things work. That was all very well-done. The contrast to his life before was very good, when you see him with a devil may care attitude with Eydie.His family was downright evil! I didn't understand why his mother wanted him locked up unless it was because she was heavily influenced by her son in-laws who were just waiting to grab all the loot. They were big time scum. I didn't always know how to take his aunt Lady de Marly . Maddy's "Quakerness" bugged me to no end --all that thee-thou-thy crap was irritating . I had a hard time giving this book a period. I didn't really like her until the end when she FINALLY got her act together and stopped with the Light/Truth crap of the Quakers and went to Jervaulx. The sex I didn't like. It often seemed awkward or unlikely. Sometimes it was good but it was rare.The abject frustration Jervaulx felt at always being on the edge must have been horrific. Even doing up a button was next to impossible at times for him.Kinsale showed his sanity through what the reader would think were moments of INsanity. All in all it was a weird a book for me. It had some touching moments like any romance novel but it was nothing spectacular as several people have made it out to be I thought. I'd rate it a 4 mild for the writing and Jervaulx's excellent characterization but a 3.5 for romance.

  • Jean
    2019-06-15 02:37

    I wanted to like this book, I really did. The premise sounded great and it received rave reviews. As a work of fiction it was brave, detailed and uncompromising in its depiction of characters who were true polar opposites falling in love. I liked the stark depiction of the Victorian asylum, the inadequacy of health services and rehabilitation, the constant jockeying of mercenary relatives, and political manoeuvring of the upper classes. However, for me, as a romance it failed. I found Christian more compelling than Maddy. For most of the book he was constantly battling being reincarcerated, bankruptcy, his relatives and trying to convey his love for the heroine. It was hard not to feel sympathy for him. I think his character arc began early and remained to the end. In contrast, Maddy's character arc started later, and this is where the romance failed. For most of the book she was so ... unyielding in her staunch religious beliefs, constantly full of prejudice, suspicion, and accusations of Christians' true motives that she came across as sanctimonious and annoying. She had a simplistic moral system, seeing the world only in black and white, misunderstanding his actions, inexplicable though they were at times, and she never gave him the benefit of doubt that all he was trying to do was save himself and his duchy. I stopped counting the times she was obstructive or unsupportive and quite frankly ...dense... about Christian's actions and I got bored of the number of times she contemplated running away from her problems during their marriage. Certainly not "Death us do part". Early on in the book, the moment when she threw his offering of handpicked daisies into the wind and caused him pain pretty much summed up her character's actions for the rest of the novel. Lastly, I don't want to be disrespectful of Quakers as I know nothing about them but Laura Kinsale portrayed them so unflatterringly as ignorant, arrogant, prejudicial people who were not above publicly humiliating their transgressing members that I would not voluntarily read another Quaker novel. In summary, a good historical novel but the religious prejudice and weak, annoying heroine did not endear this romance to me.

  • Erika
    2019-06-10 06:57

    The more we love a book, the harder it is to write the review, right? I have to, with this one. This is not, by any means, an average romance book. It's the kind of romance which I would recommend to those who think romance books have so little to offer. The book is so much more than two people from two different world who break all the rules, find their way to each other, and live HEA. From a woman's perspective, I say this book was too sad, too sweet, too emotionally intense. It's an epic love story which hit every strand of emotions I possess. Personally, it's not my type of romance because it's long. Not overly long, but enough to draw some dramas. But as a reader, I say this is a romance genre at its finest. Christian Langland, the Duke of Jervaulx, is a rich libertine and a genius mathematician. These two unlikely combinations in a character are actually enough to intrigue me. He was brilliant, powerful, confident, and fearless.“My apologies, Mr. Timms. I can hardly help myself. Shall we proceed to her nose? That, we shall call a nose of—character. I don’t think we can call it perfect; it’s a little too aquiline for that. A decided nose. A maiden lady’s nose. It goes with the tilt of the chin. But her eyes…I’m afraid her eyes ruin the spinster effect again, most emphatically. And her mouth. She has a pensive, a very pretty mouth, that doesn’t smile overly often.” He took a sip of wine. “But then again—let’s be fair. I’ve definitely seen her smile at you, but she hasn’t favored me at all. This serious mouth might have been insipid, but instead it goes with the wonderful long lashes that haven’t got that silly debutante curl. They’re straight, but they’re so long and angled down that they shadow her eyes and turn the hazel to gold, and she seems as if she’s looking out through them at me. No…” He shook his head sadly. “Miss Timms, I regret to tell you that it isn’t a spinster effect at all. I’ve never had a spinster look out beneath her lashes at me the way you do.”Laura Kinsale wasn't satisfied with giving her reader a charming alpha hero. She gave us a tortured one. But let's face the fact, from all the romance books I've ever read, I found so many tortured heroes. Too many to count. Yet how many of them did I get the chance to see the process? Most of them have already been 'damaged' from their past when they were presented to me. But not Christian.The real magic of this book was started when Christian suddenly lost his charms. And I witnessed how his life turned upside down.Note: All spoilers are about Christian. It's minor spoilers. Something happens to Christian earlier in the story. I decided to use spoiler because the blurb doesn't tell us what exactly that happens. So I suggest you to skip it if you want to figure out what's the incident by yourself. But if you already know it: (view spoiler)[It's safe to open the spoilers ;P I don't reveal any medical terms except stroke. However I still suggest you to skip the spoilers in case you want to recognize the signs/symptoms that occur before and after the stroke. (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[Gone away…gone…all gone but ruffian shave, dog out-the-doors, sleep room, no privacy, throw down floor…made stuff food throat…eat or no. Cuzzmad. Cuzz-mad. Bed, tied hand foot trussed…trussed like pa—ba—animal, fat pink…curly tail. Word vanish, vanish, always just…far. His head hurt to chase the name.Cuzz-mad. He tried to say it silently, get his tongue around the sounds. He was afraid of how it would come out aloud. No, no, no—that was how it would come out.Not speak, refuse.The rage and fear went endlessly around inside him. They all talked too quickly, that was what; they mumbled, they babbled, they wouldn’t give him a chance to understand.Christian has a stroke. It's a rare case at his age but it's possible nonetheless. The bleeding injured certain parts of his brain and left him with some disorders. He didn't lose his total ability to communicate, but he has to struggle to comprehend speech or written words, and to form sentences and speak them aloud. It's also very difficult for him to write. He can do complicated mathematics, but he can't do a simple one. He can't execute some acts despite he has the strength and will to do it because of his inability to perceive an object. He also suffers from right-left confusion. When Christian can manage to speak, it's often short and the tone is explosive, but it's quite understandable. Sometimes he only responds with facial expressions or gestures. Everyone who talk to him could see that he is actually able to understand them in some way, if they are patient enough or care enough to notice. But they don't want to. While the members of his family are more concern about the future of the dukedom, others are too busy to prove that he is either insane or idiot.Only one person who notices. (hide spoiler)]She moistened her lips. “Why didst thou hit him?”He made a groan, shook his head. “Kill!”“No. No—I don’t believe that. Thou couldst not have wished to kill him. Why didst thou attack him?”He gazed at her as if she were some mysterious vision, then shook his head again, looking down.“Understand?” she asked.He shook his head, dropped it lower.Maddy knelt. “I want to understand,” she said slowly. “Tell me why.”Archimedea Timms is a Quaker. To be honest, I hadn't had the slightest idea what Quaker is until I read this book. So I had googled it. Turned out it could explain a lot of things that would have bothered me, such as the early modern English personal pronoun in dialogues by some characters including Maddy, the term of 'Friend' to refer an acquaintance, the 'Opening' that happened to Maddy and made her devoted herself to help Christian, and many other important details. It's also the ultimate conflict in this heartbreaking forbidden romance.(view spoiler)[Being as what he is after the incident, Christian doesn't change into a saint. The inabilities affect his emotions in every way. When he is distressed, he could be so harsh. He couldn't control his temper when feels threatened. He might have been charming before, but what about after the incident? He never let himself overwhelmed by self-pitying. Christian fights his fears and let no one crush his pride. He saves himself from those who want him to fall. He stops at nothing to give him and the woman he loves a future together. He does it all while he is trying extremely hard to be able to speak and write properly. No, he wasn't charming anymore. He was amazing. And I cared about him so much. Way too much. She wouldn’t do it; she couldn’t send him away to that place again; he didn’t believe her; it was a mistake; he was trying and she thought he was defying her.I will, I will, I can’t no words not back oh God. (hide spoiler)]How couldn't I feel so happy when Christian finds love? He deserves it. Maddy knows it is there between them. But she's also a part of a religious community. They have rules and they have their own ways to serve God. Which was reasonable and acceptable in the period of time. And I believe in the same God. So really, I could understand her. But oh how I was tempted to hate (and curse) her when she decided to do the right and yet wrong things and brought pain to Christian... it ripped my heart, despite the religious principle behind it.It's what I would have done, had I chosen to see every single thing that happened to Christian and Maddy -and every emotion I felt- pieces by pieces instead as one. I didn't like Christian when he was being rude, though I knew I couldn't blame him. I loved him because despite he was far from perfect, he was a sort of perfection in my eyes. I was very angry to Maddy when she hurted his feeling. I loved her because she really showed that it wasn't that easy to turn away from something you had been holding on for a very long time, especially when it involved your faith. When she finally made the final decision, she left me with no doubt how much Christian meant to her. There were moments so sweet and happy, passionate and heartwarming, I just didn't want to stop savoring it. There were also times when I shed my brokenhearted tears. And what happens near the end... no words could describe how I felt. All of those stand for one story, and it was beautiful. Beautiful in an extraordinary way that I would dare to say 'If I have to pick one, then this is -by far- the best romance novel I have ever read'.“Want?” he murmured close to her ear.“They’ll come,” she moaned. “They’ll come, they’ll come.”His arms tightened. “Want me?”Because writing is an artThe romance and the characters were only half of the qualities this book had. The details were written in high accuracy. Like what I said before, I hadn't known anything about the Quakers. But from all the sources I've read on the web, I think Maddy's background as a Quaker was polished with great details. From their religious activities, the Meetings, the way they dress and speak, and other particular details of The Religious Society of Friends in the 1800s, such as they did disown those who married non-Quakers.(view spoiler)[Christian's disease and disorders were also written extremely well. From the early signs and symptoms before the stroke that give us hints what kind of stroke it is, to every acts and words which are the manifestations of some types of the disorders following the stroke. The types of disorders are clues which lead to the specific part of the brain which was injured, therefore we can find out about the prognosis as in whether or not Christian's improvement throughout the story makes any sense. Laura Kinsale even thought to make Christian a left handed person, which was the reason why I had to do more than to read some journals (like, re-read all the signs on Christian) to find out the right answer (at least I think I have the right one now). I met patients like Christian. The disorders weren't the exactly the same, but they suffered the same disease and spoke the same way. I wasn't happy when I realized that until I read this book, I had never wondered how devastating they might have felt when they wanted to say something but they just couldn't find the right words. (hide spoiler)]Romance readers would wonder about the love scenes. There are more sensual words rather than metaphors, but not highly explicit. The main sexual act is not as long as in most romance books. It might be an issue for romance readers, though it wasn't for me. I thought it was wonderful, tantalizing, and their emotions were delivered perfectly. Flowers From The Storm wasn't the sort of 'likable' romance. The book wasn't light and fun at all. It was complicated and outstanding. If you decide it's the right book for you to try, I hope you would feel the magic of it. A book is a magic thing. It has a life of its own. Do you doubt it, in the small hours of the night when you sit up in bed reading and reading, living in a world you never made, unable to bear to leave it until the last page closes and it vanishes into thin air?-Laura KinsaleWell, I guess I have given enough reason why I have to give my standing applause to the author.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Kathleen
    2019-05-18 03:45

    Slowly the realization came to her. "He isn't mad. He is maddened." 4.5 stars.The Saint and the Sinner. The Pilgrim's Progress. Paradise Lost and Found. This one is DEFINITELY on my favorites shelf, despite some quibbles. I've read it numerous times. I've considered keeping a copy stashed in the bathroom. More recently, I listened to Nicholas Boulton's wondrous narration.Try my quiz! sex scenes, somewhat explicit. Some swearing and profanity. Some violence, including abuse at the asylum. Some scripture quotes, but the book doesn't feel like it's evangelizing.Christian Langland, Duke of Jervaulx (sher-voh) is a rogue, humorous and mathematically brilliant. His mother annoys him with her endless preachy piety, which puts him firmly in the rakehell camp, but other than that, life is good. Then he suffers what must have been a stroke on his right side. Pronounced dead, then diagnosed manic, his family locks him away at Blithedale Hall, in Buckinghamshire. Bedlamites surround him. He knows only violently enraged and confused fear, until an angel pays a visitation. (Angels could be Quakers, right?) Archimedea (Maddy) Timms is a Quaker who records her blind father's geometry analysis. Her father John collaborates on geometry with Christian, the Duke of Jervaulx. That's when Maddy first meets the duke. Soon afterwards, the duke suffers a stroke. Time passes. Maddy helps her cousin, Dr. Edward Timms, volunteering at his "health retreat" (asylum). Here, she sees Christian suffering, and her presence calms him, but sometimes he gets enraged with her. He is not an easy patient, but Maddy prevails, because he often responds to her. At first he cannot speak, but Maddy listens closely to his body language. Over time, he gradually learns to communicate, especially with her. This madhouse setting goes on for a long stretch, until they escape. Then things start turning around. Christian has to protect his ducal inheritance. Also, he wants to keep Maddy, but his sins are coming back to haunt his marriage. Her Quaker "friends" become a big obstacle. (A pox on all controlling churches!)Secondary characters:I loved his two friends, the Colonel Fane and Mr. Kit Durham. Loved her blind father, John Timms. Vivid scenes with Larkin "the ape" and Calvin (both butlers) are named Calvin, his Aunt Vesta (Lady DeMarly), his nasty brothers-in-law, and Quaker, Richard Gill (the mule). They all seemed credible.Epilogue: Set 11 months later, celebrating Christmas at the castle. Revelry, babies, dogs, and fireside spirits.Quibbles:I really felt cheated -- wanted to see all his tormentors suffer. Insufficient and vague punishment got just a passing reference. Why was his family invited to Christmas? Bah humbug! Maddy got annoyingly stubborn at times, and I really wish it had a longer HEA epilogue, to offset all the challenges Maddy and Christian had to overcome. As for the Quaker meeting, great "truth" scene, yet I wanted Maddy to show more decisiveness at the end. But she had several bricks dropped on her head, smashing trust. And -- ugh -- congregations can be so scary.

  • María Ángeles
    2019-05-25 04:53

    Pues aquí llego yo y sólo le doy un tres estrellas.Tal vez soy dura. Tal vez me arrepienta.Pero es que he odiado el libro, y después lo he amado. ¿Entonces más estrellas? No, quiero ser justa conmigo misma.La primera mitad del libro {y es una mitad muy larga}, me ha parecido lentísima. Muy muy lenta. Tal vez la autora lo haya hecho a propósito para que sintamos en nuestras carnes la agonía que sufrió Christian en el manicomio, para que suframos como él sufrió el terrible trance de no poder comunicarse. He amado la forma en que la autora me ha hecho pensar para identificar una enfermedad que AHORA se catalogaría de una forma muy distinta. Me ha indignado cómo se trataba entonces {miedo absoluto}. Si, tal vez Laura Kinsale ha jugado con nosotros de forma magistral... pero a mi me ha matado. No podía hacerme esto Kinsale.Es que es tanta la diferencia entre esa primera mitad y la segunda...Qué segunda mitad!!!!!!! La filosofía de los dos protagonistas, tan presente durante todo el libro, en esta parte construye un muro altísimo y, casi, infranqueable. Mil ganas de matar a Maddy por sus creencias, pero a la vez, mil veces compadecida de ella porque no puede pensar de otro modo. Es su realidad: es el blanco más blanco de todos los blancos;porque es el único que ha visto. ¿Y el mundo de Christian? "El aparentar" como única solución, tan absolutamente real.Final PRECIOSO. Tres estrellas??? Lo dudo, lo estoy dudando. ¿Si, no? Si, es lo que AHORA siento.Pues ya más tranquila, he publicado la reseña en el BLOG:

  • Karen
    2019-05-27 10:58

    5 STARSWith no rule but love between us...Wow. This one blew me away. LOVED every painful, blissful, second of it. I want to go back and read it again, and again. Romance perfection is all I can say. There were so many amazing quotes and tender moments, I wanted to highlight the entire book. The writing was brilliant. I have nothing bad to say about this book. I also want to thank my lovely friend Lisa for lending me her book, and her ear, and her now drenched shoulder to cry on, as I made my way through it. This one definitely makes it on my short list of all-time favorites.

  • Felicia
    2019-06-12 06:47

    I did NOT want to read this book, I mean, a Quaker chick?! A dude who can't speak?! Bleck!Well, this is a hot mess of awesome, everything but the kitchen sink is thrown into this dense plot, but in a GOOD way! Characters are great, plot very taunt and gripping (not talking about the sex scenes either, HAR HAR ;) ) I enjoyed it thoroughly and have several other books by the author on my Kindle, including Shadow and the Star, a Victorian romance where the guy is a child prostitution survivor and a Hawaiian ninja. Yes, serious.

  • Karla
    2019-05-22 07:46

    5 Stars!! Brilliant and emotionally draining! There are so many great reviews for Flowers from the Storm, namely one from UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick, who was the friend who recommended this book to me, so I’m not going to get too much into the story, just read herreview . Thanks for the rec Dhes, I loved it!I will say this though, it's a profound story, and while it surrounds tragic circumstances at its core, it's also amusing, passionate, sensual and hopeful. A truly unique opposites attract story. Christian and Maddy were drawn to each other before Christian’s life changes so drastically, and after. They couldn’t have been more different, worlds apart, but she was the one who listened to his silence, felt his desperation and saw something there that no one else could see. They were meant to be and she was the guardian angel sent to save him. What she does and sacrifices for him… beautiful, just beautiful! About the audiobook…Because of the premise of this story and the debilitating disease that Christian suffers from, for a lot of this book, I felt like I was suffocating. I truly believe that had to do with listening to the book and not reading it. Nicholas Boulton is an amazing narrator and I was entranced by the way he told this story, but at the same time, I felt like I was imprisoned in Christian’s body with him, and I did not like it…at all. I can’t even imagine, I don’t want to, but I got a taste, and hope I never have to experience the reality of this ever…never ever!

  • MomToKippy
    2019-06-07 05:36

    I don't always read books with bare chested macho men on the cover, but when I do I read Laura Kinsale... This book has a number of covers without such a picture but just my luck when I swapped for this book and received the bare-chested-man-hair blowing-in-the-wind edition! So it took me a while to start this assuming it might be cheesy. Perhaps the publishers do a disservice to the literary merit of this work by using such covers? Anyway, the writing in this book is just overflowing with imagery and animation and creativity. Sheer genius. The characters and scenario are just so unique. The main characters are compete polar opposites which really adds to the chemistry and story as a whole. I find it funny that some reviews complain of the strongly religious traits in the heroine. If this aspect of her character were removed the whole story would basically fall apart. The two diametrically opposed characters serve to add dimension to the nearly insurmountable obstacles that they must overcome. Adding to the brilliant plot is the author's conveyance of the perspective of someone struggling with disability. It is so well done, you can feel every bit of the hero's frustration and agony as he struggles to save himself and overcome the overwhelming criticisms of those around him. There were many interesting characters all well threshed out. They are still vivid in my mind - it was like watching a movie.An FYI, the "romantic" portions of the story were well spaced, brief and not at all gag-inducing.There was never a lull in the story for me. This is plainly just fantastic literature. Enough said.

  • Misfit
    2019-05-29 10:53

    Oh, how to review this and not say something that's been said 100 times by all the other reviewers? The powerful, brilliant and oh-so-sexy The Duke of Jervaulx has a stroke of sorts, but his family thinks he's lost his mind and shuts him away for his own good - and no one to believe he's not insane and dangerous - until Quaker Maddy Tims comes to Blythedale to help her uncle. "She lifted her head. He wasn’t a two-year-old. He had not lost his reason. He isn’t mad; he is maddened." That's about all you need to know, and this is a much darker love story than the norm for this genre, and I found it a refreshing change. There's also the Quaker angle with Maddy, and the impossibility of one of her faith marrying outside of her own people is just not done. All well and good and I really felt for Christian's experiences recovering from the stroke (especially after the treatment he received in the hospital that was supposed to be helping him), but...At the end I felt there were some loose ends from events and people working in the hospital that were not resolved (or I missed the boat again), as well as some scheming in Christian's family over control of his money, thus I'm knocking off one star. This is the first book I've read by this author, and I will definitely search out more.Kindle copy obtained via library loan, but I'm pretty sure I own a copy somewhere in that pile 'o' books.

  • Ana M. Román
    2019-05-29 07:42 un libro que a quien le guste este género debería leer, es difícil que no lo disfrute.Después de haber leído tantísimos libros del género encontrarse con algo mínimamente diferente ya es un logro. Este va mucho más allá.Sus personajes se salen por completo de la norma. Un duque que sufre una apoplejía perdiendo la capacidad de hablar y al que encierran tomándolo por loco y una cuáquera. Es la primera vez que me topo con unos personajes como estos. Además, están perfectamente construidos y se mantienen fieles a sí mismos. Ninguno empieza a cambiar de manera alarmente y sin motivo.No es la primera vez que leo algo de la autora y si bien la vez anterior no me terminó de gustar su historia (a pesar de que también se sale un poco de lo que suelen ser los tópicos) con esta me ha conquistado. Por una vez, no nos endulzan los errores del clásico libertino como si fueran juergas divertidas y tampoco intentan excusarnos su comportamiento. Actúa mal, no le importan las consecuencias de sus actos y no le importan las demás personas y la autora no le da un halo divertido e indulgente. También es bastante fiel a la hora de retratarnos cómo se comportaban los nobles de la época en lo tocante a varios aspectos como con sus finanzas.Si con lo primero que leí de la autora no tenía muy claro que volviera a leer nada suyo con este estoy definitivamente segura de que lo haré. Tengo la esperanza de encontrarme otra historia de su pluma con este calibre aunque lo veo difícil. Ha dejado el listón alto.

  • MissCherry
    2019-06-01 10:33

    3,5. Aunque el argumento me ha resultado original y la forma de escribir de Kinsale me ha parecido muy buena, la prota y concretamente su personalidad, me ha chafado prácticamente por completo el libro. Hasta el ultimo capitulo no deja de ser una falsa santurrona que se me hace insoportable todo el tiempo juzgando las acciones pasadas, presentes y futuras del protagonista. Cuando el prota se encuentra en la situación que se encuentra, que ya es complicada de por sí, ella a mi parecer más que ayudarle parece que le quiera poner más trabas de las que ya le ponen el resto. Seguramente lea más novelas de esta autora con la esperanza de dar con una protagonista más de mi agrado y con una historia que me una más a la novela.

  • Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical)
    2019-06-03 05:54

    This would have been five stars, if not for Maddie and her obsession with her religion. She started out more open minded, then became less so, which I found strange, since she was supposedly growing more in love with Christian the farther along in the book. Sometimes she's also a little too mean for my liking...I just felt so bad for Christian, I wanted to protect him and put him in this little bubble of safety. I seriously felt his pain as if it were my own. This is one the most UNIQUE romance novels I've ever read (if not in the world). Which I really liked. I was skeptical at first, because I thought it might be too depressing, and I have to admit, there were points I was crying and wishing I could jump into the book, but I got over it. I know Christian wasn't the most admirable of men before his stroke, but honestly, seeing him struggle with simple speech made me just LOVE him. I've never in my life wanted to give someone a big reassuring hug so much in my life, since no in the book was going to do it for me--and never did. I loved Christian's two friends and how they were willing to do anything to protect him. That really makes a book for me. I don't like when either the hero/heroine has no real friends or family, other than his/her partner, so I was happy about this. And I loved his dogs too. I always love a guy who likes dogs. The ending made me want to give Maddie a punch or twelve. I understand that things were different back then, and that her whole life was about her religion, but...I still couldn't help but believe that love should be more important, that the man she loved should be more important, because that's how I would feel about it. It worked out well in the end, when both of them realized (in a matter of two pages) that they love each other and that they need to treat each other better...I think the ending could have been better, but we got the epilogue, so I was satisfied.

  • Caz
    2019-06-06 07:47

    I’ve put off writing this review for a couple of weeks. Partly because I’ve been a bit busy and wanted to take the time to do it justice, and partly because it’s such an emotionally complex story that I felt a bit drained after listening to it and needed to have all my braincell (!) in gear in order to be able to think straight!Even now, I’m not sure that’s the case, but here goes.As with my reviews for The Prince of Midnight and Midsummer Moon, the short version of this review is “It’s absolutely fantastic, so go and buy it immediately!”As for the the longer version. Well. It’s long.The story opens with Christian Langland, Duke of Jervaulx in the bed of his current lover, Eydie, Lady Sutherland. It’s immediately clear that he’s rather a dissolute young man who has no scruples about taking his pleasure where he finds it. But there’s more to him than the face of the rakehell he presents to the world. He is a mathematical genius who runs his estates with an iron hand and who has done much to increase his wealth by a somewhat unorthodox approach to his business ventures and investments, all of which are dependent on his skill and incredible mind as he manipulates and pulls the necessary strings, often on a knife-edge between success and disaster.His mathematical bent also led him to strike up a correspondence with Mr John Timms, a renowned mathematician with whom Christian eventually collaborates on a treatise. Timms and his daughter Archimedia (Maddy) are members of the Society of Friends and Maddy cannot but disapprove of Christian’s dissolute lifestyle.Shortly after the presentation of the mathematical paper, Christian – although only thirty-two – suffers what we would recognise today as a kind of stroke. He is left partially disabled on his right side and completely unable to communicate; and his family – resentful of the fact that they are being kept on a tight financial rein and eager to gain control of the Langland purse-strings –are all too ready to believe him to have been reduced to a state of idiocy. They have him committed to an asylum in Buckinghamshire which is run by one Edward Timms, a cousin of Maddy’s and her father’s.Some months later, Maddy and her father arrive at the asylum in order to assist Edward in his undertaking, and it is there that Maddy is horrified to see Christian again, chained, almost wild and considered extremely dangerous. He cannot speak and it appears he cannot understand what is said to him; and the overwhelming feeling transmitted to the listener is one of Christian’s utter and hopeless frustration - with himself as much as with the inability of his ‘keepers’ to see that there is still a man inside the patient. Even though the Quaker-run asylum seems to be rather more enlightened than other, similar establishments of the time in terms of the way the inmates were cared for, some of the so-called treatments were nonetheless quite horrific. The scene that describes Christian’s ice-bath makes for really uncomfortable listening, as do those in which his “minder” beats him when Christian’s desperation over his inability to express himself boils over into physical outbursts. And Edward Timms’ insistence that Christian not be “over stimulated” by the use of writing implements, while good-intentioned, appears cruel given that written communication seems to be the one way in which Christian might be able show that his sanity is not in question.When Maddy arrives, Christian risks a punishment in order to try to communicate with her. I’m no expert, but I believe it happens sometimes with a brain injury that victims are able to retain certain functions while losing others. In Christian’s case, he can think and speak perfectly well in mathematical terms and by using mathematical equations. His mind has retained that particular skill, and he manages to convince Maddy that he is not mad by drawing an arithmetical symbol.All the years of working alongside her father enable Maddy to recognise Christian’s scrawl for what it is – even though she can’t identify it herself – and she realises – “He isn’t mad. He is maddened.”Believing she has had an “opening”, a truth given to her by God, Maddy requests she be entrusted with his care, and with her help and support, Christian embarks upon the slow road to recovery. There are many obstacles to overcome along the way. Not only is Christian deeply frustrated by his own inadequacies, his family wants him declared non compos mentis, labelled insane and shut away forever. Then there is Maddy’s anguish at her inability to reconcile her conscience with the feelings Christian – this wildly “improper” man - evokes in her. His terror at the thought of being re-committed, his desperation to thwart his family’s intent and Maddy’s heart-felt struggles – all of those things and so many more come vividly, brilliantly to life in Ms Kinsale’s gorgeous, economical prose, and now, even more splendidly in Nicholas Boulton’s awe-inspiring narration.The romance at the heart of the book is beautiful. The protagonists are both misfits in different ways – Maddy because her stubborn streak is not looked upon as an asset by her peers and Christian because of his incredible mind – and yet the dissolute duke and his drab Quakeress are a perfect fit. I adore the way Christian teases Maddy, his wit and risqué sense of humour; and although sometimes the jokes go over her head, I love how she takes her cue from him and allows herself to laugh and even to go so far as to tease him in return. There are times when you could cut the romantic tension with a knife, and the love scenes are gloriously sensual.I especially like the way Ms Kinsale writes Christian’s disjointed, stream-of-consciousness thoughts in such a thoroughly convincing and completely understandable manner. Not only has the stroke left him unable to speak, it has caused aphasia, which is a condition in which it is difficult (or impossible) for the sufferer to articulate ideas or comprehend spoken or written language. So it’s not as though Christian is trapped in a world where his brain is functioning normally, but he cannot express himself. It’s far more than that – he simply can’t find the words he wants half the time, and the way she has the words firing around his brain as he searches feels realistic and is often quite amusing. For example, when he’s trying to think of the word to describe Edward Timms (which I assume is “doctor”) his thought processes go like this: The other, medical blood master bone… blood—the other—only stood there, looking learned and paternal. Or when he’s trying to think of the word for what Maddy wears on her head:he’d never seen anything as beautiful as Maddy in her starched— thing— white—head— sugar?—than Maddy in this prison cell.(It’s a sugar-scoop bonnet.)Christian’s recovery is by depicted in the text through Ms Kinsale’s skilful manipulation of the language; she makes changes to Christian’s understanding and his articulation by such slow degrees that it’s almost unnoticeable until suddenly, he’s speaking in almost complete sentences and you start to wonder when that happened. As a piece of writing it’s beautiful in its subtlety. But actually hearing it brings an entirely new dimension to Christian’s situation and his struggles.I’ve already banged on and on in other reviews about how bloody good a narrator/performer Nicholas Boulton is, but – incredibly – in this, he has somehow taken things up a gear because his performance as Christian is even better than I’d hoped for. I imagine that voicing this particular character presented numerous challenges – which I hope were also enjoyable ones – yet Mr Boulton keeps his performance from becomingA Performance (I’m thinking Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man here!). Christian’s struggles in thought and speech are delivered in a completely naturalistic manner, and there was never a point at which I felt that anything was exaggerated or unrealistic.Christian is – deservedly – a hero beloved in the genre, and that, I think, partly accounts for the dislike of the heroine I’ve come across in so many of the book reviews I’ve read and, to be completely honest, must be a factor in the problems I have with Maddy, too. Despite a past as a louche womaniser, the Christian we come to know throughout the course of the story is a changed man. He does still have some less than laudable impulses, it’s true - like his determination to make Maddy love him and then abandon her - but that one is short-lived and more a product of Christian’s bitterness and frustration than of any real dislike for Maddy herself. But she can be a very difficult heroine to like or empathise with. She has been brought up a Quaker and that way of life is incredibly important to her. She frequently comes across as overly prim, but I have no problem with that; indeed, it would be odd if she were not, given her background. It is quite clear however, that Maddy is not perhaps completely suited to life as a Quaker. She is a little too independent of mind and spirit, things she knows she should squash in order to fulfil her commitment to God and to the Society, and yet she cannot find it in herself to submit completely. As a result she is neither fish nor fowl, and is continually fighting to reconcile her personal desires with her conscience.Maddy does have her own demons to face – her growing desire for Christian, her belief that her feelings for him make her wanton and unworthy of the Society – and she certainly goes through the emotional wringer throughout the course of the story. But her trials don’t serve to make her as sympathetic a character as Christian, and certainly it’s difficult for the modern reader to sympathise with her struggles. The biggest problem for me, and I imagine, for many readers, is what Maddy does to Christian in the latter stages of the book. He is making a last-ditch, all-or-nothing attempt to save his fortune, his name and his freedom by that age-old trick of acting as if nothing is wrong, spending money like water and preserving his appearance as an incredibly wealthy member of the aristocracy while he waits for his plans to reach fruition. But Maddy sees only that their finances are in a poor state and nags him at every opportunity about his excessive spending. She has done so much for him – she was the only one who could see the truth about him when he was incarcerated, she saved him from a life of painful treatments, helped to protect him from his grasping family, helped him to learn to speak, write and understand… loved him - and yet at the time he needs her the most, she begins to withdraw from him.I can understand why she did it. She had just discovered that her marriage to Christian had been contrived by his friends; she could have just miscarried a baby and then discovers that Christian has an illegitimate daughter; she is bemused and somewhat intimidated by a lifestyle so completely contrary to the one she is used to; she is beginning to think that she did a terrible thing in consenting to marry without the consent of the Elders or her father and outside her faith. She is beginning to think she does not know Christian at a time when she is also being threatened with repudiation by the Society and she does not know which way to turn. Christian starts to believe that she is turning from him because she has a fondness for the young Quaker Richard Gill - but he cannot afford to take the time out in order to attend to the state of his marriage, because so much is riding on the massive gamble he is taking in order to restore his finances and secure his – and Maddy’s – future.But although I can understand the reasons behind Maddy’s actions, I still wanted to slap her into the middle of next week. For one who has been so perceptive, especially where Christian is concerned, to deny her support at time of great need seems self-centred and cruel. It’s true that Maddy suffers greatly as a result of her actions – she loves him deeply and is so torn between what she is beginning to see as an unholy love and the teachings she has ahered to for her entire life, that it’s tearing her apart. But instead of turning to him, she gives him the cold shoulder.It’s almost unforgiveable in print. And despite the fact that you can hear Maddy’s heartache and sheer exhaustion in Nicholas Boulton’s amazing performance, and can really feel for her dilemma – it’s still unforgiveable.Part of me thinks that it’s because he has brought Christian so wonderfully to life and made him so real, that my reaction to anyone trying to hurt him would be to look for the nearest blunt instrument. But another part tells me it’s because Laura Kinsale is trying to be true to Maddy as well as to Christian. She’s not an author to shy away from the challenges presented by her characters; and having them react in a way that is true to the character rather than in a way that will make the story more palatable might make for a less comfortable read/listen - but at the same time, it imparts a grittiness and a greater sense of reality overall. I’ll end by saying that if you like the book, you certainly won’t be disappointed in the audio version. I can’t, in all honesty, say that Maddy is completely redeemed in my eyes by what is a truly articulate and perceptive performance – but that is nobody’s fault but mine.In short, as I said at the beginning. Flowers from the Storm in audio is fantastic. Go and listen to it immediately.

  • Bill
    2019-05-21 06:47

    On Amazon, K asked me why I thought this book was romantic. She doesn't. this was my reply:I have been thinking about this for a few days. At first I thought isn't this like trying to describe why chocolate cake tastes good. But that is a sensation. Identifying a book as romantic is a mental process, so I ought to be able to do this.I don't think we are debating whether FFTS is a romance. Its focus is the love between two people and it has a HEA ending. That makes it a romance. It does have other elements. As you point out, it is a life drama. I assume you mean Christian's struggle to recover from the stroke that robbed him of the ability to speak and follow the speech of others. But I think that added element to the plot adds to the story, just as the suspense in a romantic suspense adds to the story. In fact, that struggle is one of the elements of this story that make it so attractive to me.And of course the story has character development. Every one of my favorite romances has character development. Every one. That is part of the reason they are my favorites. From Lizzy learning that she was prideful too and Darcy learning to stop being such a stuck up prig to Mary Balogh's Wulfric unbending and learning to laugh again.But you didn't find it romantic and I did. I think for a book to be romantic to me, I need to feel that the hero and heroine need to be with each other, the obstacles to that happening are difficult to overcome, I like at least one of them a lot and I want very much for them to end up with each other. FFTS had all of that. Christian and Maddy had a strong physical attraction to each other from early on in the novel. And they came to respect and admire each others' abilities. I think Christian also respected Maddy's moral values. In the beginning Christian needed Maddy to help him get over his affliction but while that was happening, he came to know her and fell in love with who she was.Maddy's religion was a huge obstacle to her marrying Christian. It might be the biggest obstacle in romance fiction. But Maddy was not a good fit for the traditional Quaker religion of her birth, although she would have stayed with it and married a nice Quaker man if she had not met Christian. She might not have been very satisfied with that life. But Christian offered her an alternative that was a much better fit with who she really was. The whole book is about her struggle to reconcile her faith with her choice of him. It all rushed forward to that last emotional and very satisfying - for me - scene outside the Quaker meeting hall.I liked Maddy because of her struggle with her faith. I was raised by a devout Catholic mother. During much of my life I have had to work to figure out what my core values are. Like Maddy, I had to set aside some of the principles of the religion of my birth. For instance, I believe the priesthood should be open to women. In fact, I disagree so much with the official precepts of the Catholic Church that I finally decided that I can't call myself Catholic any more. (This turned out to be a more wrenching experience than I anticipated.) So I empathized with Maddy's struggle.I also admired Maddy for her intelligence and compassion. So I wanted her to work out her issues with Christian and find her happy ending. She needed to be with him if she was going to have a fulfilled life. The Quaker Gill could never be a good substitute. So I did feel that Maddy and Christian needed to be with each other, they overcame huge obstacles to be together, I liked and admired them both (and I especially liked Maddy) and I very much wanted them to be together at the end of the book. That is why it is romantic to me.One more thing I liked about this book is that it did not rely on misunderstandings to drive the plot. Christian and Maddy may have not always understood the depth of each other's love, but no lover ever does. But in spite of the difficulty of communication, they actually talked to each other. There were many places in the story when Kinsale might have kept a misunderstanding going, but she didn't. She didn't need to. The obstacles to this pair being together at the end were already great enough. She didn't have to add misunderstanding into the mix.

  • ɴΘεɱí
    2019-06-04 03:55

    Pues me ha gustado muchisimo...creo, si no me equivoco que es el primer libro que leo de esta autora y tengo que decir que me gusta como escribe..La historia me ha encantado al comienzo sufrí y mucho( yo soy muy sufría pa estas cosas) madre mia!!!!sólo pensaba que sacaran al duque de ese sitio. ufff cada vez que salía el Gorila me ponía mala,que corae me daba ese tío y la familia del duque también...por no hablar de los mete mierdas que relación de M y C me ha gustado verdad que son muy distintos pero a la vez se complementan muy bien.aunque tengo que reconocer que entiendo que ella es así y lo que piensa lo lleva a raja tabla pero ha veces me sacaba de quicio lo cabezona que es. y el duque me tiene enchochaita pobre mío por lo que ha tenido que pasar...menos mal que al final a tenido ahí a su niñamaddy para ayudarlo y apoyarlo y el final me ha encantado

  • Marisa Sauco
    2019-06-16 10:30

    La historia es bonita y muy original. Pero, por momentos, la lectura se me hizo un poco lenta. La construcción de los personajes principales es exquisita. En mi opinión, lo mejor de la novela.

  •  ᴍɪᴄs ✖amante de los spoilers✖
    2019-06-02 07:50

    El final es muy precipitado, drama al rolete, drama porque sí que no aporta nada a la trama. Y tira al traste, en 40 páginas, lo que le costó en 400 construir.Todavía estoy pensando qué me pareció este libro y llegué a esta conclusión:*Es un buen libro, está bien escrito y es diferente. Y para los fanáticos del género (como yo) es un soplo de aire fresco.*Maddy se hace odiar por momentos porque es una mujer religiosa pero es prejuiciosa e intolerante. Por un lado pude identificarme con ella porque yo también soy una persona muy creyente y al final me gustó porque el mensaje del libro es que no hay que usar la religión como una forma para justificar la intolerancia (que es algo que hacen muchas personas, sólo hay que ver como se escudan en la religión para discriminar a los homosexuales por ejemplo) Pero la realidad es que:*Maddy y Christian no me convencieron como pareja, son demasiado diferentes, tienen tan pocas cosas en común que es incomprensible, para mi, que puedan ser felices juntos. El problema es que el cambio de Maddy se da de forma tan precipitada que le quita toda la credibilidad. Me dejo un mal sabor en la boca pero comparado con otras bazofias del género es bastante bueno. Y por bastante bueno me refiero a casi buenísimo, traducción= cuando se me pase el enojo del momento lo voy a recordar con cariño y en algún momento lo volvería a leer.

  • Emmy
    2019-05-22 06:46

    Warning: Unpopular opinion timeI'm sorry, I have to call it at 38%. I really wanted to love this. Regency era. Man with a disability has to learn to overcome it with the help of a woman and they fall in love in the process. So much potential. But there was so much wrong with the execution. So, let's recap the first 38% (mild spoilers). Christian, Duke of Jevaulx, starts in bed with a married woman he got pregnant. And he tells her to sleep with her husband so he thinks it's his. -_- Great start for our hero. He later meets Maddy, a Quaker, when he works with her father on a mathematical paper (he's a math genius). He suffers a stroke and his family send him to an insane asylum because he can't speak. The stroke affected his language center and he has trouble connecting his thoughts to speech, but everyone just thinks he's mad. (The first chapter he narrates after the stroke is just one stream of random words. That's how coherent his thought process is.) In his anger and frustration he's become violent. But Maddy goes to work at the asylum and from one mathematical symbol, figures out that he "isn't mad. He's maddened." So this is where you'd think Maddy begins to help Christian learn to communicate again and get better? Not quite. On her second day Maddy decided to get Christian his own clothes to wear (because even though he can't speak and is in an asylum, he still cares what he wears) and he thinks she's taking him away. Why he should think this? Who the hell knows. But when she doesn't, he's furious because he thinks it was all a trick to torture him. He thinks the quiet Quaker girl tried to trick him. Huh? Anyway, he decides in a REVENGE SEDUCTION! Yes, this man who, two days ago was a rampaging "beast" and hadn't been able to speak for months, has already managed to somewhat communicate with Maddy and is planning a revenge seduction.Forget whether or not he would be capable of this, or even forget that his focus at this moment should probably be RECOVERY, but revenge seduction is one of my least favorite tropes. It suggests a really malicious character. Anyway, within 2 days of arriving at the asylum Christian manages to kiss Maddy on THREE separate occasions. The last one including making out in front of her BLIND father. This is a man supposed to be recovering from a stroke and a Quaker woman. Does this sound like two people who are likely to have romance on the brain? At this point I think this book was firmly established as a dime store romance. This has lost all of the possible depth to the story and just relied on sex. In a story like this, the romance should build slowly while the disability is dealt with and overcome. Having so much sex thrown in so early felt cheap and just sensationalized the story. This is really where it lost me. I started skimming from there, but got to the point where Maddy tells him she loves him. To be clear, at this point he still can't even say him name. But Maddy has managed to fall in love with him. Besides all of this, the Quaker Plain Speech was annoying as hell. (Which had to have made it harder for Christian to understand her). And Christian's attitude never got past chauvinistic and arrogant. I read other reviews and found out how this story plays out and it didn't sound like this would get better for me. I had pretty much checked out anyhow.

  • TJ
    2019-06-08 04:48

    This book is the PERFECT example of the old cliche' "you can't judge a book by its cover". I was confused by the effusive praise for this story, thinking it just another dime store romance... judging by the cover. Never has that cliche hit home so strongly as when I started reading. Ms. Kinsale has taken an ordinary historical and completely turned it into a deep and riveting story with a richness seldom seen in this genre. In fact, I think the publishers have done a huge injustice to such a fine book by lumping it among the common. It is so VERY much more. The main reason "Flowers" rises so far above is the subject matter itself. Kinsale has taken a young, prolific and unrepentant jaded rake and thrown him into the nightmare of experiencing a massive stroke, 19th century-style. She then adds a circumspect Quaker girl as his nurse and only hope for sanity or redemption in the asylum he is imprisoned in. The reader is led to see the horrific opinions and practices employed in that era before understanding, as we experience all the emotion, frustration and desperation felt through the eyes of this highly intelligent young man battling to re-learn how to think, talk and move again, all as the world labels him an imbecile and a lunatic. We also experience the struggle of a young Quaker girl thrust into the rich and materialistic world of the aristocracy. Fighting to live her faith and keep her integrity as she unwillingly falls in love with this tortured Duke. The principles of honesty, frugality and total abstinence from carnal temptations seem totally nonexistent in the world she is thrust into. Both stories are told with amazing compassion and unbelievable depth in understanding. Two subjects so common, yet so overlooked are addressed so well that I literally ached and cried along with the characters. Most important, I walked away from this story a much better person for having read it. THAT, my friends is a 5 star accomplishment in anyones book!**disclaimer**There are a couple of mildly steamy scenes, easily skipped if needed.