Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pink Heart Picks - The Proud Wife

Donna Alward returns with her thoughts on June's pick - THE PROUD WIFE by Kate Walker - and the announcement of the read for July!

I have loved tackling the TBR. I can look at my stack of category romances and pick what tickles my fancy. I remember Kate mentioning something about being unsure of this cover (the UK version) and how it fit the story, but I found the cover really intriguing! I wanted to know more about who this woman was. The US cover is more "colour correct" - the heroine has red hair - but there's something about this one that I love.

But inside the pages, and while I enjoyed being in Marina's head, it was the lovely Pietro that really was my focus. My favourite heroes of Kate's are the ones who appear uncompromising and domineering on the outside but are really intensely emotional and tender on the inside - and the books that do it best for me is when that is immediately apparent to the reader.

Pietro is giving Guido a run for his money as my fave KW hero. Maybe it's a Sicilian thing?

It could be said that a lot of problems could be solved over a cup of tea and a good conversation. But the problems start when that conversation means being honest - and vulnerable.  There are times when you want to say to both Marina and Pietro - just say it, for the love of Mike! And yet you understand why they hold out for so long. It is not easy facing your hardest, most painful moments, with the one person you love the most but are sure doesn't love you in return.

What really strikes emotional chords is how both are affected by Marina's miscarriage in the early days of their marriage. We can sympathize and relate to BOTH characters from the get go. That they held on to hurts and failed to communicate is common - personally I think a grief of this sort either brings people together or pushes them apart. I was reading along waiting for my kid's band concert to start the other night and had to put it back in my purse - no crying in the school auditorium!

One last thing - it always amazes me how Kate writes stories that "compress" time. The majority of this story happens in a 24 hour period. There is a richness to her language, a depth of emotion and physical beats and imagery that, if I attempted to emulate, would result in a draggy pace. But it never does with Kate. I don't know how she does that (she has a very skilled hand). It just goes to show why individual, strong voices are so important in series romance.

This is right up there as one of my favourite KW romances - did you read it? What did you think?

And now...drum roll please! It's time to announce what I'm reading in July!

I've gone to my TBR and plucked out a book that's been waiting for me since FEBRUARY! We're going to be reading Married: The Virgin Widow by Deborah Hale - the first book in her Gentlemen of Fortune Series!

We'll meet back here on July 28th to chat about the book!

You probably won't find Married: The Virgin Widow on the shelf now, but you can definitely find it at amazon, and at eharlequin and other online retailers, as well as getting it in ebook from those same retailers.


  1. I have this book near the top of my TBR pile. I'm moving it up.

    And the July book looks good, too.

    Hope you're having a blast in NY!

  2. Donna - thank you for a wonderful generous review that has truly made my day! If Pietro can rivel Guido in yuor affections, then I know he's done his job as a hero. Thank you for selecting The Proud Wife as a PH Pick - and I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it so much.

    Blogger is messing me about again - I can't even get into my own blog! So I'm hoping I can post here - even if only as 'anonymous'!

  3. So can comment at least - though it took me several tries!

    Christy - thank you for having my nook in your TBR pile. I hope you enjoy it as much as Donna did when you get to read it.

    And yes, I'm tempted by the July titltoo


  4. Err - that was meant to say I'm tempted by the July title too!!!

  5. Great review Donna. I've read The Proud Wife and found it to be a great read - one of Kate's finest IMHO. AND I loved the cover - red hair or not! Caroline x

  6. Hi Caroline - and thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed The Proud Wife - one of my finest? Really? Double thanks. And I agreee - I love the cover - it's just not quite my heroine Marina - but it is lovely

  7. I didn't get to read this book but it's certainly on my TBR and has been bumped up following this review. Well done Kate and Donna for sharing.

  8. Hi Donna and Kate ~ I just finished The Proud Wife. I agree with Donna completely. I really enjoyed the book. The first part written over a 24 hour time period was full of insights into each of the hero and heroine's feelings. It was a great build up to what happened in the last part of the book. I fell a bit in love with Pietro, a strong Alpha hero with a soft core. I just loved his statement on the top of page 178 (you have to read the book to find out what he said) ~ everyone should be lucky enough to have someone love them that way.

    PS ~ Donna I liked Guido as well but his brother Vito is my favorite Sicilian hero that Kate wrote.

    For general information Guido is from Sicilian Husband, Blackmailed Bride and Vito is from The Sicilian's Red Hot Revenge.

    My capcha in order to comment is quite fitting as it is "perfect" which applies to the ending of the book .

  9. "The Proud Wife” was a lovely read, with a clear message. People dismissive of romantic fiction might be surprised at the depth and relevance of the message. It is, I feel, that when one is wrapped up in the throes of a romantic relationship, it may feel that nothing could ever come between the two of you, yet real life can bring you back to earth with a bang, with tragedies and tears. Then, it is astonishing how the wires can cross and misunderstandings can occur. Happily, there is a way back and it comes across beautifully in this novel.

    Had problems all day with the captcha. Hope my comment takes this time.

  10. Hi Kiru - I'm glad that Donna's lovely review means that you're bumping The Proud Wife up on your TBR - I really hope you enjoy it when you get to read it. Thanks for having it on that TBR pile to start with!

  11. Amazing! Blogger actually reconised me . . . let's hope this lasts!

    Kaelee thank you for your lovely review too - I'll admit that I had to go and look at page 178 to remind myself! I'd forgotten - but yes, that is a lovely statement .. .I wonder who wrote it! ;o) But I did remember the ending - so glad you thought it was 'perfect'.

    So you have Vito as your favourite of those Corsentino brothers? So many readers pick one or the other - I love both of them, of course

  12. gaelikka - that's a wonderful summary of the emotional story of The Proud Wife. And I agree with you about people who are dismsissive about romantic fiction. So many people think they are sweet and sugary stories of boy mneets girl when the truth is that they are grown up stories about men and women and adult relationships - but we knew that anyway, didn't we? ;o)