Friday, January 14, 2011

Housebound - Anne Stuart

They were never meant to become friends -- or to fall in love

The rest of the family was skating when Anne Kirkland met Noah Grant. He'd obviously been invited to New Jersey for the weekend, but by whom? Noah wasn't one of Anne's sister Holly's jet-set friends, but nor did he seem part of her brother Ashley's flamboyant entourage.

As Noah and Anne sat in the gracious house that was Anne's pride and joy, talking like old friends, she almost wished her family wouldn't return to unravel the mystery of Noah's identity....

Having met Ashley and Holly, Noah wasn't prepared for Anne. She was warm and kind, and he almost wished he didn't have such a hard job to do

Another Anne Stuart oldie for my collection. I really enjoy how she can fit her trademark hard-to-like heroes in every kind of plot and in this one she succeeds in doing it one more time.

I did like our heroine, Anne Kirkland, a lot! However in some things she sounded too good to be true, I mean she was treated like the one in the family without any talent - with her father, brother and sister all excelling at something - but the fact is that she excelled at several things too. They just weren't as fashionable and visible as their artistic endeavors. On the other hand her love for the house seemed a bit too much, although it is something I understand the fact that she was the only owner ready to make sacrifices for it should have alerted her to what they were planning. But she was sensible, nice, and crafty and it was impossible not to like her.

When Anne meets Noah there's instant chemistry between them. However, he is supposedly her sister's guest and love interest which leaves Anne uncomfortable when she finds out. The fact is that Noah is a bit of a bad guy in what concerns Anne, he is there under false pretenses, to evaluate the house she loves and buy it since the other 3 members of her family have agreed to sell.

While I think that if there are 4 owners and 3 want to sell then they are entitled to do so, I felt there was really no excuse for Noah to keep Anne ignorant for so long. She should have been told the truth as soon as they become serious about each other. Not that he made her any promises but taking her to bed when he knew how she loved that house and he was the one who was going to take it away from her sounded wrong. I think I needed much more than just one conversation at the end to feel that things would be made right between them.

The relationship between Anne and her family is sometimes a bit over the top. They all have serious problems and she takes all their bad behaviour without complaining. I just couldn't believe it.

But in the end Stuart's magic worked for me once more. Great characters that you feel about, a nice - almost gothic - atmosphere. Although this book has quite a few years I find myself more entertained when spending an afternoon reading it than with some of her more recent titles.

Grade: 4/5

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