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This is a slow development. This is character development. This is beautiful writing. This is a wonderful story about wonderful people. And I love every single one of them.

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Pay attention to the secondary characters. They are perfection, fyi. So why 4. It was a little slow for me in places and while the logic part of me gets it View all 18 comments.


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I loved it. I shed a few tears in the end. But when it does, WOW it was passionate and tastefully done. I can see why this is on the AAR top list. This was my favorite Connie Brockway novel so far. View all 7 comments. Miss Bede is to take possession of the property for a period of five years, and at the end of that time, if the farm and land are profitable, the house will belong to her fully. Avery is furious, but he can do nothing, and opts to leave England rather than watch someone else take possession of the only home he has ever known. Lily Bede is astonished to find herself the recipient of a house, and does worry that if she accepts the bequest, she will be doing the legitimate heir — whom she has never met - a bad turn.

Taking the house is, as far as Lily is concerned, the lesser of two evils. Avery has gained a reputation as an adventurer and explorer, and has also made himself a lot of money by writing up the stories of his exploits which are serialised in a popular newspaper. Yet he still carries with him his ideal of home and is still determined to claim Mill House when he returns to England. Even though she and Avery have been corresponding for nearly five years by the time he returns home, Lily is in no way prepared for the way he affects her from their first meeting.

His insistence on being a gentleman is very sweet - especially as his view of what is gentlemanly tends to be somewhat fluid — but the subtle message, that the mark of a true gentleman lies in the truth and honour of his actions rather than in his manners and the adherence to convention is expertly and effectively conveyed. Lily, too, is a great character, and I liked her very much even though there were times I wanted to shake some sense into her near the end of the book. The relationship that evolves between the pair is just lovely. My main criticism of the book as a whole is that the ending is very abrupt, and, given all the angst that has gone before it, the tiniest bit anticlimactic.

There is an epilogue set around a decade afterwards, but I needed a little more closure on the original story rather than a glimpse into the future. Shelves: historical-regency. It's the story of two adversaries fighting it out to get ownership of a house in five years time. The hero who was supposed to inherit the house got on his dead relative's nerves and to teach him a lesson the dead guy decreed in his will that he had to play a wait and see game with the heroine. She a nobody who was aquainted with the dead guy does her best to manage the house and make a profit because if she does after five years it'll be hers finally giving her a place in society.

During the five years she has to send the hero his allowance he's roaming the world during that time and that's how they stay in touch and write some in-yer-face-Jack letters to each other until they finally meet once the end of the five years approaches. Sort of like the really good movie preview but a real dud of a movie when you see. This book had its moments but they were far and very few between. There was some good banter, sarcasm but it never went anywhere.

Things were at a standstill in terms of the relationship development between Avery and Lily. There's also a lot of narration that skirts the boring more than once or suddenly things happen and you have to go back and reread to make sure you understand where "that" just came from. They suddenly loved each other even though there was no real build-up to it. View all 12 comments. Mar 09, Catherine rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , historical , england , comedy , friends-to-lovers.

I was charmed by this book. I had my share of problems with it, but overall it was wonderful. I'll be putting it on my keeper shelf for a future reread. The letter exchange that Lily and Avery participated in was so perfect. Their back and forth banter was one of my favorite parts of the story. I really loved the feel of the scenes when Avery would pull out the newest letter and read it aloud to his friends. Being able to see a little of his interaction with his friends in that setting really hel I was charmed by this book.

Being able to see a little of his interaction with his friends in that setting really helped add insight to Avery too. I loved that Avery kept bellowing that he was a gentleman. It cracked me up. His ability to ignore or insist on his gentlemanly qualities as the situation warranted was cute. I really found his character endearing. The scene where he comes in and bellows for Francesca really illustrates his personality.

I didn't warm to Lily as much as I did to Avery. I thought she was a little hypocritical. I loved the scene where Avery acted like he felt violated because she had forced her attentions on him. I really felt like she got what she deserved then. I didn't enjoy her reasons for not wanting to marry. I thought wanting to be with Avery but only her way was selfish. I really respected Avery when he refused to have children with her if they did things her way. Bravo for him. I found Francesca more interesting than Lily and couldn't help but want to know more about her.

I really felt that she stole the show whenever she was in a scene with one of the other characters. This was my first Connie Brockway book, but I'll be on the lookout for more. View all 28 comments. Jan 05, Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness On Hiatus rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-romance , hilarious , read-n-reviewed , favourites. My Dearest Enemy has been sitting there tucked away for over a month,gathering dust on my shelf. As I skipped through genes, from historical friction to chic-lite,triller and back This was my first Brockway novel and defiantly not my last The storyline,the characters and humorus banters between the two leads,I enjoyed everything about this book!!

Defiantly adding this My Dearest Enemy has been sitting there tucked away for over a month,gathering dust on my shelf.


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Defiantly adding this one to my prestigious favourite list! Highly recommened to anyone searching for a book that has both the fantasies and realities of that time period. View all 27 comments. Not in the mood. Couple of major irritations as well: --the hero has gone YEARS without having sex with a woman, barely speaking to women because he is shy and uncomfortable around them.

Then, after 5 years of traveling the world and corresponding with the heroine he meets a woman on the ship back to England, and it is implied that he had a little sexual affair with her. He had no connection to the heroine really at this point, so it was not cheating, but I was so pissed off.

Why not just wait the two freaking weeks until he got home, and met the heroine? There were maybe 6 total? Big disappointment. Maybe I am missing some great love story by quitting now, but I simply can't take it anymore. View all 11 comments.

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Jul 01, Miss Rail rated it really liked it Shelves: badass-heroine , fun , historicals , friends-or-enemies-to-lovers. Thorne, [ And at the end, I shall accept Mill House as my reward.. I loved the banters and Avery turns I loved the banters and Avery turns out to be a very sweet hero. What will you do? For a long tense moment he studied her and when he spoke his voice was low and furious and yearning.

You can leave, take yourself from my ken, disappear for the rest of my life but you cannot untangle yourself from my -- my concern. That I have of you, Miss Bede, for that, at least, I do not need your permission. But if he just perservered, really exhausted himself out, then he would be able to get Lily Bede out of his thoughts. I just decided to interpret that quote in a "non-sexual way" and keep on loving him. I know, this clarification is not completely sane This book was not perfect. The story is a bit slow paced, I wished there were more letters exchanged in the 5 years correspondence, the ending is super-lovely but felt too rushed Feb 16, Autumn rated it really liked it Shelves: favorite-authors , historical-romance , online-waiting-orders.

This was my second book form Brockway. Although the premise was different from what i have read before from her, the book still delivered! I had may laughs over the witty bickering. I loved the tone of the book! Connie seems like a poet morphed into a writer I found the premise of the book quite interesting: "A battle of sexes". Avery and Lilly were really well paired IMO, because they both brought the best and and challenge the worst of each other. One thing that really stood out for me was the unintended lightness of the plot.

While it was witty, funny, and certainly charming the way they way the story was played out. It was more than prove a point in strength or intelligence,but to be respected as human being. I really really enjoy books that stray from the stuffy "Aristocratic ton-society". Her prose, premises, characters are more than outstanding! I want to get to know them all! Favorite quotes - "Love is not a reward,it is a chance. A chance to be something more" - Avery : shh.. Tomorrow is waiting outside this door. Its crouching there in an ocean of words and uncertainties.

But its not here yet and we are. Im begging you. Let me love you again, let me love you all night long. Fav Correspondence Lillian: I have looked over the bills you left outstanding upon your flight from London and paid them. It is doubtless my plebian antecedents which have me drawing faint breath over settling an account of 50 pounds for a hunting jacket.

Pray, sir, satisfy my curiosity. Could you not hunt in, say, a simple jacket? Or would the fox take exception? Avery: I hope you enjoy Billy [a stuffed crocodile], as man-hating, crusty an aberration of nature ever to lurk upon earth. Billy here is actually a female … any chance resemblance between old Billy here and, well, whomever is unintentional. View all 19 comments. Feb 10, Leona rated it it was amazing Shelves: romance. I usually never read historical romances, and I've never read anything by Connie Brockway.

But, the 5 star reviews from my goodread friends along with being available through my library decided me to give this one a try. It did not disappoint. The character development was stellar. But, what I enjoyed most were the subtleties and sophistication that gave this a complexity you don't typically find in the genre. I especially enjoyed the letters, which actually took on a character of their own. I I usually never read historical romances, and I've never read anything by Connie Brockway. I was sorry to say goodbye, not only to Avery and Lily, but to all of them. This one will be tough to beat.

View 1 comment. Nov 20, Ursula rated it liked it Shelves: adorable-heroine , historical-romance , alpha-and-beta-hero-in-one , sweet-and-sexy , bluestocking-heroine , independent-woman , cannot-suspend-my-disbelief , love-the-banter , angsty-goodness. Solid 2. Nicely written with interesting characters and some terrific letters that go back and forth between the MCs.

I really liked both the hero and the heroine. They seemed real people to me and had real issues they needed to overcome, even if these issues were a bit far-fetched and too modern for me. Lots of hard work to get to their HEA. It didn't make me swoony or accelerate my heartbeat at all, and I had trouble swallowing a lot of the details, but I let that go and just enjoyed th Solid 2. It didn't make me swoony or accelerate my heartbeat at all, and I had trouble swallowing a lot of the details, but I let that go and just enjoyed the story.

Apr 18, Jultri rated it it was amazing Shelves: humorous , illegitimate-heroine , angsty , keepers , letters. I first read this book in and this was my take on it then: 5 stars. Beautifully written, emotionally expressive with a great deal of witty humour. Sizzling chemistry conveyed, even prior to them meeting, through their letters.

As a young boy, the orphaned Avery Thorne was invited to spend a few holidays at Mill House Estate by his uncl 4. As a young boy, the orphaned Avery Thorne was invited to spend a few holidays at Mill House Estate by his uncle and owner of the estate. He promptly fell in love with the place and was subsequently promised by said uncle that the estate will be his one day.

He held on to this promise as a life buoy as he battled loneliness and isolation throughout his school years - caused by a combination of asthmatic lungs and the cruelty of fellow students who saw his frail health as easy picking. It is thus a great and bitter shock to Avery to discover, upon his uncle's passing, that the estate has been placed under the management of one Miss Lillian Bede for 5 years, during which she will be responsible for Avery's as well as the estate's keeping. If she makes a profit at the end of the five years, the estate will pass in to her possession permanently otherwise ownership will finally go to Avery.

Angry and resentful of his uncle's terms, Avery promptly leaves England to seek his own fortune rather than wait around under the thumb of a woman and a suffragist at that. At 19, orphaned, illegitimate and without financial security, Lillian never expected to be granted a chance to be in charge of her own estate and future. It is far more than her feministic fantasies have allowed her to dream of.

She immediately rises to the challenge posed by her distant relative, rolls up her sleeves, ditches the skirt for practical bloomers and gets to work to do what menial and cerebral tasks must be done to keep the estate in profit. For the next almost 5 years, she does a most credible job of turning Mill House into a comfortable home for herself, her instant 'family' consistent of a sickly young boy and the heir of the bulk of the family fortune, the boy's mother and great aunt as well as a collection of pregnant maids and retired race horses - all the while keeping up a steady exchange of fiery and entertaining letters with Avery Thorne, Mill House's owner-in-waiting.

They trade lively insults and challenges as her letters chase him around the world and his letters regale tales of his travel adventures in various exotic locations. After almost 5 years of wandering the globe, Avery decides it's time to return back and check on Lily and his young cousin, whose frail lungs remind him of himself as a boy.

His first meeting with Lily is unexpected for both. She expects a skinny, pale young man and not this robust picture of masculinity before her and she - well, overlooking her strange manly attire - she is even more alluring than he had pictured. What has not changed is their abilities to rile one another up, although more than tempers get aroused when they clash as becomes obvious to the whole household. Evelyn could practically see the sparks leaping between their locked gazes. And she weighed near thirty stones. They had their challenges growing up, events of which shaped them into the people they are now.

Even when they finally succumb to their attraction, Lily remains enchained by the sufferings of her past and memories of her mother's pain of losing her two legitimate children Lily's older half-siblings to her husband, so much so that she cannot contemplate the possibility of a future with Avery. She wasn't infallibly wise, after all. She was far too human in her failings. She'd chained herself to a dead woman's grievances and made a crusade of her mother's pain.

There was no room in her heart for him.

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He was witty, warm and once he finally realised that he was already goner for her, he was unafraid to express his feelings: "Yes, I'm allergic to the wretched creatures her horses ," he flung out. What difference did it make if she knew of his weaknesses? She already owned his heart, an atrociously defenseless organ. He was respectful of her intelligence and independence and yet with her independence came a streak of stubbornness that frustrated him: "I don't give a bloody damn if I never share your bed, your name, or your house - you are still my concern.

You can leave, take yourself from my ken, disappear for the rest of my life but you cannot untangle yourself from my - my concern. That I have of you, Miss Bede, for that at least, I do not need your permission. Lily was a very unusual heroine. She had made her own way in the world after her parent's deaths, surviving on her wit and ingenuity. Due to her mother's heartbreak at losing her children forever to an angry husband, Lily had embraced the the cause of feminism to empower women in their marriages, in the work place and in society. Yet even in her scandalous pants, she remains feminine and warm, caring for her adopted family and household and animals - even reached out to console a broken Avery who wrote to her of the death of his long term travel companion and friend.

And she secretly relishes each gauntlet he throws her way. She'd once disdained his exaggerated masculinity. She'd lied, to herself, to him. She gloried in it. Unfortunately, much that I sympathised with her sentiments, she held Avery off for too long. The ending though: Avery: " The only way you could ever hurt me is by leaving me.

Because I'll never find the likes of you again. I've wandered all over the world, Lily, waiting to come home. I'm here.

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Don't send me away. Here is my future. They've been yours all along. I was just too blind to see. Jan 22, Bekah rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-star-reads , read-own , reads. This was my first Connie Brockway and it will not be my last. This book.. What a man, a true gentleman!! The only reason I didn't give it a 5 is because there was a short period of time where I just wanted things to hurry up and happen and boy did they!! And also, let me say that as far as I can tell from this first book of Connie Brockway's that I am reading, her writing is just inspiring.

It's how I som This was my first Connie Brockway and it will not be my last. It's how I sometimes in short spurts of pure genuius can write, but never with any satisfying accuracy. She managed to do it for almost pages. I'm looking forward to more of her books!!! Update: I decided it deserved a 5 star review!

The way I laughed and cried and the way there were some lines in the book that just stayed with me AND the way it made me run out and find more of her books says it all I think! View all 5 comments. Jun 09, Beanbag Love rated it really liked it. This book was recommended to me over and over by so many people, but every time I would remember to look it up it cost more than I was willing to spend on an ebook. It finally went on sale and I snatched it up. It's a fun little story about an inheritance and the two people who are put in a position to "compete" for it.

The characters are sharp and funny and their attraction is believable and organic. The language is deft, Brockaway being a skilled historical romance author. It's on many people' This book was recommended to me over and over by so many people, but every time I would remember to look it up it cost more than I was willing to spend on an ebook.

It's on many people's HR recommendation lists and it makes it to mine as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. View 2 comments. And that it freshens the spirit not sickens the soul. And that it lasts forever. Of course," she sniffed, "I have my suspicions about those people's drinking habits. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to it, but I'm so glad I did. This book was adorable. I was a little worried going in, everyone seems to love it so much. H "Some people swear it exists", she continued. High expectations are often my downfall.

Thankfully, this book delivered. Plot: Horatio is a nasty curmudgeon of a man who couldn't just leave the world peacefully. Oh no, he decides to pit his suffragette relative- Hold up. I'm not sure it is ever actually said what her relationship is to nasty old Horatio. Is she even related? I'm not so sure. Especially considering that her love interest is Horatio's nephew. Do I have this right? Oh well. What was I saying?

Oh yes. He pits Lily against his nephew Avery, who he considers weak and useless. His will states that after his death, Lily Bede will inherit Mill House. She has five years to manage it and turn a profit or Avery will get Mill House. It that wasn't enough, if Lily loses Mill House to Avery, she will get a generous amount of money to live on but only on the condition that she publically states that she failed because she was a woman and her entire suffragette cause is stupid.

Because Horatio, even dead, is an asshat. So Horatio bites the big one and it begins. Avery, instead of biding his time in London as someone else runs the home he's dreamed of inheriting his entire life, goes off to explore the world and live his life. Lily and Avery exchange letters over the five years and what develops is a strange kind of friendship brought on by their long-distance verbal sparring. Until of course, he comes home.

And then the real fun begins. This book is a perfect example of a slow burn romance done well. The progression of their relationship was slow but it never dragged. Granted, five years of letters certainly helped slow things down a bit, but still. I liked that when they finally came face to face, there wasn't an immediate BAM! Their affection for one another kinda crept up on them. And their banter? The room was ready to combust every time they were together. I loved their verbal sparring. It also helped that Lily always seemed to come out on top. She could really handle herself.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was filled with fun secondary characters and it felt as though so much happened in one book and it never felt rushed. It was incredibly romantic and oddly realistic. Which somehow made it even more romantic. I loved Avery as a hero and I found Lily to be very relatable, especially with her trust issues. I don't think I'll ever read it again but I wholeheartedly recommend it. It was a lovely way to pass a few hours. May 09, Fangirl Musings rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Every human and humanoid on the earth! Shelves: trope-letter-writing-couples , genre-romance-historical , trope-hero-rogue-or-rake-fake , trope-heroine-genius-or-cerebral , trope-big-misunderstanding , trope-heroine-tortured , trope-at-odds-couple , trope-hero-introverted , trope-heroine-misfit , trope-revenge-plot.

So, imagine you're me, and you've just completed the greatest novel ever written in the entire history of humanity, endearingly named My Dearest Enemy. I so went there! Screw logic, and reality, for Connie Brockway has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt she owns that title like a boss. I, after all, was once convinced that an historical romance written prior to could never, not ever be of good quality.

I love my historical romance novels like nobody's business, but hot-damn, even I real So, imagine you're me, and you've just completed the greatest novel ever written in the entire history of humanity, endearingly named My Dearest Enemy. I love my historical romance novels like nobody's business, but hot-damn, even I realize how god-awful the "old school" romance was, truly.

The covers to such books were about as cringe-worthy as the overabundance of bad writing. Praise the literary gods and french fries, My Dearest Enemy is the very proof that this genre can rock, even in Hell, one knows a book has gotta be good when the author says the following in her book's Acknowledgements: "As always, my gratitude to the trolls for providing me fodder. And, oh-boy, did this book deliver on that unspoken set-up. Are you a drama teacher or administrator looking to provide students with useful theatre research tools?

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