TV Rave: Great Expectations 2011

Summary:

An orphan boy meets an escaped convict, a crazed rich woman, a bewitching girl, and grows up to have great expectations of wealth from a mysterious patron, on Great Expectations, Charles Dickens’ remarkable tale of rags to riches to self-knowledge.

Cast:

Douglas Booth as Philip ‘Pip’ Pirrip

Vanessa Kirby as Estella Havisham

Review:

Imagine my delight when soon after finishing the famous novel by Charles Dickens, I found out there was to be a new BBC version to be broadcasted over Christmas.

I had just given hope getting hold of the 1999 TV version and seeing the modern version with Gwyneth Paltrow looked to be my only chance of seeing Pip and Estella’s story brought to the big screen.

So naturally I managed to get a hold of this new version and settled down to watch what I was sure to be a great adaptation of a great piece of classic literature. It is the BBC after all and they rarely get anything wrong.

And boy, was I right! This version of the novel perfectly managed to capture the spirit of the book, despite being only 3 hours long compared to the 6 hour version in 1999. The setting was right, the tone was right, the casting was brilliant, especially for Miss Havisham who was just downright creepy and ghostly. Yes, the dialogue was slightly modernized and shortened but considering the time constraints, it still managed to maintain the essence of the book and the characters personalities without completely being anachronistic. From the moment the drama opened with Magwitch threateningly rising out of the stream, I was hooked. The pacing was good and those episode cliff-hangers made me want more!

I particularly loved how they handled Pip and Estella’s romance-bringing out a lot of the subtext and letting it take center stage. In the book, it’s implied that Estella returns Pip’s feelings but it’s never stated outright and this version does one better by showing that and in turn, making Estella a much more likable character. I swooned over their scenes together and was completely entranced. The only thing I will criticize is the actress playing Estella, while pretty, isn’t the stunner Dickens made her out to be. In fact, it’s a bit strange that the actor playing Pip is more good looking than Estella! But hey, I’m not complaining about his looks! I also loved those extra romantic ‘moments’ that were added, especially that sexually charged lake scene. 😉

I did think they shouldn’t have cut out one character, Pip’s childhood friend, as she played an important part in the book as a foil for Estella and another rival for his affections. The production didn’t suffer because of it but it could have been that much better. All the other characters were physically well-casted and were also acted very well. I ended up slightly crushing on Herbert, Pip’s best friend, who is played by the great-great-great grandson of Dickens himself, which was very cool to know.

All in all, this was a great adaptation, well directed, well-executed and well-acted. Even on it’s own it’s suburb drama and the BBC at it’s best. Well done BBC! 😀

Historical Drama Rating: 5 stars out of 5!!!

Sexiness Rating: 5 out of 5 :D

Ladies, we’ve got the gorgeous, blonde, model-worthy Douglas Booth (who plays Pip) who looks good even when he’s sad and brooding, and the unexpectedly cute Harry Lloyd (who plays Herbert) who you might all recognize as a villain in the HBO show Game of Thrones. He makes quite the turnaround here!

Guys… There’s the ice-queen beauty of Vanessa Kirby to keep you happy as you enjoy this mini-series.

Broadcasting Information:

BBC One: Aired December 27, 28, and 29 2011

PBS: Due to air April 1 and 8, 2012

Click here to view the BBC page.

Click here to view the PBS page.

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Spotlight on Tessa Dare-SUMMER READS

It’s summer timeeeee! 😀 😀 😀

And for most people that means sun, beaches, tanning, hot shirtless men… 😀

Alas, for me, that means packing and moving to Malaysia to prepare for my first year of university. The romance addict will be around, she will have just changed her mailbox address!

And I suppose it’s rather exciting going to be able to leave on my own and get a part time job and study things I actually like for once! (Sorry my dear math teacher-I did appreciate your efforts to infuse a love for the subject into me)

One thing that won’t change however, is my love of romance novels. In fact, I already have a huge pile waiting to be shipped off to Malaysia with me and a few novels I’m going to be looking out for once I’m there.

The first ones on my list?

Tessa Dare’s new back-to-back trilogy-The Stud Club.

In Tessa’s words—

“An all-new historical romance back-to-back series, The Stud Club Trilogy. The heroes—a duke, a war hero, and a low-born scoundrel—hold shares in a priceless racehorse. When the club’s founder is tragically murdered, these three unlikely associates are united by chance, divided by suspicion, and brought to their knees by love.”

Source: http://tessadare.com/bookshelf/

This is a series of three books one after another with one already out in May and two more out this June and July. Now that’s a great way to spend a summer! And it gets better-Her covers are super delicious. Check them out below…

ONE DANCE WITH A DUKE—May 25th 2010

True temptation begins at midnight…

A handsome and reclusive horse breeder, Spencer Dumarque, the fourth Duke of Morland, is a member of the exclusive Stud Club, an organization so select it has only ten members — yet membership is attainable to anyone with luck. And Spencer has plenty of it, along with an obsession with a prize horse, a dark secret, and, now, a reputation as the dashing “Duke of Midnight.” Each evening he selects one lady for a breathtaking midnight waltz. But none of the women catch his interest, and nobody ever bests the duke — until Lady Amelia d’Orsay tries her luck.

In a moment of desperation, the unconventional beauty claims the duke’s dance and unwittingly steals his heart. When Amelia demands that Spencer forgive her scapegrace brother’s debts, she never imagines that her game of wits and words will lead to breathless passion and a steamy proposal. Still, Spencer is a man of mystery, perhaps connected to the shocking murder of the Stud Club’s founder. Will Amelia lose her heart in this reckless wager or win everlasting love?

TWICE TEMPTED BY A ROGUE—June 22nd 2010

How long could she resist him?

Luck is a double-edged sword for brooding war hero Rhys St. Maur. His death wish went unanswered on the battlefield, while fate allowed the murder of his friend in the elite gentlemen’s society known as the Stud Club. Out of options, Rhys returns to his ancestral home on the moors of Devonshire, expecting anything but a chance at redemption in the arms of a beautiful innkeeper, who dares him to take on the demons of his past — and the sweet temptation of a woman’s love.

Meredith Maddox believes in hard work, not fate, and romance isn’t part of her plan. But when Rhys returns, battle-scarred, world-weary, and more dangerously attractive than ever, the lovely widow is torn between determination and desire. As a deep mystery and dangerous smugglers threaten much more than their passionate reckoning, Meredith discovers that she must trust everything to a wager her heart placed long ago.

THREE NIGHTS WITH A SCOUNDREL—July 27th 2010

The third time is the charm.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Julian Bellamy is now polished to perfection, enthralling the ton with wit and charm while clandestinely plotting to ruin the lords, ravish the ladies, and have the last laugh on a society that once spurned him. But meeting Leo Chatwick, a decent man and founder of the exclusive Stud Club, and Lily, Leo’s enchanting sister, made Julian reconsider his wild ways. When Leo’s tragic murder demands that Julian hunt for justice, he vows to see the woman he secretly loves married to a man of her own class.

Lily, however, has a very different husband in mind. She’s adored Julian forever, loves the man beneath the rakish facade, and wants to savor the delicious attraction they share — as his wife. His insistence on marrying her off only reinforces her intent to prove he is the only man for her. Obsessed with catching a killer, Julian sinks back to the gutters of his youth, forcing Lily to reach out with a sweet, reckless passion Julian can’t resist. Can her desire for a scoundrel save them both–or will dangerous secrets threaten more than their tender love?

***

The first one being out and summer already underway, it’s great to know that there are another two books to look forward too! I will be getting my copies and posting my reviews on here ASAP!

For more information on the books (as well as excerpts), please visit-

http://tessadare.com/

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean

Setting: Regency 1823

Summary:

A lady does not smoke cheroot.

She does not ride astride.

She does not fence or attend duels.

She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing. But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love . . .

Click cover to order from Amazon

Review:

A book that starts with an adventurous list… What’s not to like?

I completely fell in love with this book from page one. Callie was such a great heroine and one with issues we all can relate to. She’s been a wallflower much of her life because she isn’t considered beautiful by society’s standards and yet she’s passionate, adventurous and so much more than anyone would have expected. I really related to her and rooted for her the entire novel.

Ralston on the other hand… Well, let’s just say he had me glued to the page, my cheeks aflame for much of the book. 😛

But it wasn’t just his obvious sexiness that hooked me, it was his ability to recognize Callie as worth so much more than his typical courtesans-to fall in love with her and see her for the true beauty she really is.

As for the rest of the characters, they were all easy to fall in love with as well-Callie’s sister and brother and Ralston’s sister and brother were all great; really fleshed out characters that are REAL.

The romance was spicy and well-written and it was clear that Callie and Ralston were well-matched. I love that in books when you can really see the connection between a hero and heroine and I could certainly see it in this one. I loved how Raslton was simultaneously irritated and bewitched by Callie-it made for some spicy interludes. The interactions between them were also so real you can almost imagine them taking place right in front of you.

The premise was unique and very well carried out-It wasn’t at all predictable in terms of what she would do to get the things on her list ticked off and more than that, the book was funny. I laughed several times throughout at the wittiness and the antics that the characters performed. Sarah Maclean has some serious talent and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for the hero of her next book, Ralston’s twin brother, Nick!

Sensuality Level: Very, very spicy 😉 (Very explicit love scenes)

Verdict: It was fresh, witty, sexy and very romantic–Sarah Maclean is now on my favourite authors list!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Romances coming in 2010

Already in terms of romance, the new year is already looking promising. There are tons of new books on my list this year that I am simply dying to read and naturally I thought I would share some of them with you 😛

Jan 1-Proof of Seduction by Courtney Milan


I’ve heard tons of good things about this novel from loads of romance authors like Anna Campbell, Tessa Dare and Sherry Thomas! Apparently, this is not a novel to be missed!

Sadly, as it turns out when I went eagerly to the bookstare to purchase this novel, I was disappointed as all the copies were sold out 😦 I had to order a copy myself which means that I won’t get it for at least another three weeks. For the rest of you folks who are lucky enough to find it at a bookstore, don’t hesitate to buy it because I’m betting you won’t regret it!

http://www.courtneymilan.com/proofbyseduction.php#praise

Jan 12-At the Duke’s Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren

The third book in her wonderful Bryons of Braebourne series. I haven’t actually read any of the books in the trilogy yet but I can already tell they are going to be good. I guess you could call it intuition. I already have the first two books in the series and I’m buying this one, no questions asked.  And with such gorgeous step backs, how could any girl resist? 😉

http://www.tracyannewarren.com/books/atthedukespleasure.html

Feb 2-All Night With a Rogue by Alexandra Hawkins

DEBUT AUTHOR ALERT!

Quite by accident, I discovered this new author, and was pleased I did because  subsequent research into her upcoming books led me to an spicy excerpt that now has me waiting to read this first book! The cover is also tempting and the title full of promise…

I’m sure you’ll agree when you read the excerpt I provided below…

Excerpt:

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=422515064&blogId=518281883

Link to website:

http://www.alexandrahawkins.com/

Feb 2-Promise Me Tonight

Another debut author!

This one is the first in a series of 7 books that reminds me of Kathryn Caskie’s books. I have to say that I like the covers in these much better 🙂

I’ve read the excerpt for the first novel and I liked it. Alot. Also a new premise that I haven’t read before! Enjoy checking this one out!

http://www.saralindsey.net/bookshelf/promise-me-tonight/

March 9, 2010-The Wild Marquis by Miranda Neville

Miranda’s first book was brilliant! Fresh and it had a great historical perspective! Can’t wait to read her new one!

Read an Excerpt:

http://www.mirandaneville.com/contentpage.php?contentid=0014

May 2010-Seducing An Angel by Mary Balogh

The hardcover version of this book did come out last year but the paperback version will soon be available. For those of you who are a little shallow in their pockets (like me) this is a chance to read the story that we’ve all been waiting for!

I’ve mentioned Mary Balogh a million times as a great author so naturally one of her books has to be on this list! I’ve been waiitng since last year to read this book and was sorely dispointed to discover the paperback won’t be out till this June. (Hardbacks are too expensive and too troublesome to carry around, personally)

This is the 4th in the Huxtable series so it’s probably best if you read the others first.

Enjoy the excerpt below-

http://www.marybalogh.com/seduce-ex.html

June 2010-My Reckless Surrender by Anna Campbell

Sadly, no cover for this one yet but will put on up when it comes!

Love Anna Campbell, will love this book 😀

Excerpt-

A well-practiced rake, weary of easy conquests and empty pleasures, Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft, knows women-and his every instinct warns him to beware of this one. Diana Carrick’s brazen overtures have thrown the haunted, sinfully handsome lord completely off his guard. Why, the exquisite temptress stated outright that she wishes to be his lover! But it is neither Diana’s boldness nor her beauty that intrigues him so-it is the innocence he senses behind her worldly mask.

Intent upon the seduction that will finally free her, Diana has set her sights on the notorious Ashcroft-never dreaming that there is much more to the enigmatic rogue than sin and deviltry. His kiss is bewitching, his caress intoxicating-and even the dangerous secret Diana must protect cannot shield her from Ashcroft’s dark allure.

Tessa Dare Trilogy-Back to back in Summer 2010

Yes, that gorgeous cover is the start of her new series! I can’t believe it’s back to back! That means no waiting time people! June, July and August are going to be filled with Tessa-packaged romance!

Excerpt of the first book:

http://tessadare.com/bookshelf/one-dance-with-a-duke/

May 25, 2010-His At Night by Sherry Thomas

Sadly, never read any of her books but have seen excerpts. I decided that her next book is as good a place to start as any!

http://sherrythomas.com/his-at-night.php

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