Thursday, June 9, 2011

Book Club: 10 Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

By: Alison Peterson

Hi Everyone!

Let me start by saying I love Julia Quinn’s books! I first read her Bridgerton series and have since read several of her other books and really enjoyed them. Julia doesn’t disappoint with 10 Things I Love About You. Julia is traveling today, but if possible she’ll try to stop in and say hi.

Annabel Winslow is the eldest of daughter of a country gentleman who has traveled to London to marry a wealthy lord to help support her family and send her siblings to school. Annabel fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it has gained the attention of old Lord Newbury. If Annabel has the guts to marry the creepy Earl of Newbury all of her family’s money problems will be solved, but she’ll also be married to a man old enough to be her father. Newbury is after Annabel because “she is so fertile the birds sing when she draws near” and he desperately wants and heir to keep his nephew from inheriting.

Sebastian Grey, Lord Newbury’s nephew, is handsome, quick witted and has quite the way with the ladies. He’s invited to all the best parties, but no one is sure what to do about him. On one hand if his uncle dies without heir he could inherit a wealthy earldom, but on the other if he doesn’t inherit he will just be another untitled gentleman. However; there is much more to Sebastian than just a handsome face and pretty words, he has a secret identity as a writer of gothic novels, which grew from his struggles dealing with fighting in the war.

Annabel and Sebastian meet when she trips and falls on Sebastian who is waiting in a nearby field for a romantic rendezvous. Their meeting begins with a conversation about sunrises and traveling. After hearing about all the places Sebastian has traveled Annabel begins to think about her future with Lord Newbury the places she will never go and things she won’t experience. To make a memory and possibly experience a little passion Annabel asks Sebastian to kiss her. The kiss becomes everything Annabel imagined a kiss could be. At the end of the interlude comes to Sebastian introduces himself, but Annabel keeps her identity a secret. She doesn’t want the man she just kissed to know she is the woman his uncle intends to marry.

During their next meeting, Annabel is introduced to Sebastian as Miss Winslow and he’s invited to join Louisa and Annabel at the opera later that night. Scandal ensues at the opera, when Sebastian and Annabel are seen talking and sitting closely throughout the first act. Sebastian learns Annabel’s true identity later that night when he is attacked by his uncle and warned away from Annabel. Unfortunately, both men stop showing an interest after the incident at the opera and Annabel is faced with ruin.

To save Annabel’s reputation Sebastian begins a fake courtship with her. One of my favorite scenes in the book occurs at the beginning of their “courtship”, when Sebastian comes to call on Annabel with his cousin’s wife. Annabel’s grandmother Lady Vickers makes some inappropriate advances toward Sebastian. Sebastian’s and Annabel’s reactions had me laughing out loud. Eventually, everything comes to a head when Sebastian, Annabel, and Lord Newbury all attend a house party in the country.

I really enjoyed this book! I really felt for Annabel as she struggled with adjusting to the hidden meanings behind the ton’s interactions and whether or not to marry for money. I loved that Annabel was not a silly heroine; she was smart and level headed. Sebastian’s reactions to the other character’s opinions of his books had me smiling throughout the book. I loved how in sync Annabel and Sebastian’s thoughts were; it really made me feel like they had a real connection. This was a great fun read and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

I only have one recipe for you ladies this week; however it’s one of my favorites!

Oreo Cookie Dessert
1 lb package of Oreos crushed
6 eggs beaten separately
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and 1 cup sugar then add well beaten egg yolks. Beat well. Add vanilla. Beat egg whites with the other cup of sugar until firm, like for a meringue. Blend egg whites into butter and egg yolk mixture.
Cover bottom of 13 X 9 glass pan with 1/2 of crushed cookies spread mixture over cookies and place rest of cookies on top of the mixture. Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving