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The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
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The Shadow and the Star (edition 2009)

by Laura Kinsale (Author)

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3951640,177 (4.01)16
Member:lizbandit
Title:The Shadow and the Star
Authors:Laura Kinsale (Author)
Info:HarperCollins e-books (2009), 468 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:novel, romance, historical, victorian, england, hawaii, ebook, 2019

Work details

The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale

  1. 10
    The Hidden Heart by Laura Kinsale (KaiaRose)
    KaiaRose: Laura Kinsale's first novel and prequel to The Shadow and the Star.
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Loved it but would've liked to see H/h travel back to England and have moment between Kai and Samuel or at least Samuel have the moment where he realized he didn't love Kai like that. Would've liked an epilogue or at least a little glimpse past where it ended, to see how the other characters were doing. ( )
  mary23nm | Feb 27, 2019 |
Laura Kinsale definitely adds depth to her books and that is a good thing. I've only read [b:Flowers from the Storm|360259|Flowers from the Storm|Laura Kinsale|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275622146s/360259.jpg|788122] before this one. And yes her books tend to be on the melodramatic side. This book started amazing but in the last 5 chapters it simply jumped the shark and went completely downhill. What a shame because it was kind of amazing so far. ( )
  unfufu | Jul 13, 2016 |
Quitting her job as a seamstress after being horribly insulted by her employer, the heroine is without money and destined for the streets. Then she finds a man in her room and promptly breaks his foot. The men is a thief, but he doesn't believe in calling himself one. He's been hiding in her room in the rafters for a few days now and when she discovers him, he offers her a much needed job as his secretary to stop her from alerting the police. The heroine moves into the mansion the hero lives with his adoptive family and she begins her job by reading to him and writing his business letters. The hero spends most of the book in love with the girl he grew up and, though she has no idea of his affections or even wants them, he vows to marry her. The heroine is very prudish and refuses to allow herself or other to act in any unladylike or ungentlemanly manner. She's a stickler for the rules of society but slow bit by bit, she relaxes around the hero and often converses with him in her bedroom late at night. But after yet another attempt for the hero to gain the notice of his lady love, he comes to her for companionship and in the morning, the heroine initiates sexual activities. The lady of the house finds them together and the hero, reluctantly and with undisguised bitterness, demands they marry. The hero was a giant asshole for most of the book and I found myself strongly disliking his character. He was mean to the heroine who wanted only to be close to him and help him in any way she could. At first, I thought him to be a Mr. Rochester figure. He dropped like hints that maybe he felt more for the heroine then he let on but much to my surprise, there were no secret motives on his part. He only started to feel sexual attraction for the heroine half way through the book and even after sleeping with her, he refused to marry her and instead thought to ship her off and keep her a secret like he would a mistress. The heroine was a crazy combination of prudish, brazen and feminine weakness. She often panicked in dramatic fashion and would burst into tears at the drop of the hat. But she would also sometimes have a spine of steel and refuse to allow anyone to take advantage of her. I can't truly say that I completely understood the whole subplot of the sword and his Japanese culture and I was disappointed at how the characters treated each other through the book. I'm torn because I did enjoy it but I so wish that it would have been better. PS. the paranormal aspect of the story is the whole woowoo Japanese samurai nature of the character who possesses what I would call magical talents and abilities but it's very muted. ( )
  Eden00 | May 14, 2016 |
This book really sneaks up on you by starting out kind of slow and then before I knew it I couldn't put it down! Story of near destitute young woman who through a series of strange circumstances winds up working for an enigmatic, handsome young man in London. She comes to know his adopted family and falls in love with him, but he is aloof and has many secrets. Their life becomes entangled together through an arranged marriage. A bit convoluted at the end while in Hawaii and Japanese secrets, etc. Still, I really enjoyed it and now I've finally read this book I've heard so much about over the years. ( )
  ktleyed | Nov 30, 2013 |
When Lisa Kleypas rates a book as a Desert Island Keeper, attention must be paid.

Our hero, Samuel Gerard, is a survivor of childhood abuse who has been rescued and reared by the wealthy Ashland family in Hawaii, then a kingdom. The family's Japanese butler, Dojun, helps this damaged boy by teaching him the techniques and philosophy of Eastern martial arts. Samuel becomes a skilled warrior, unbeknownst to the family, and works in the family shipping business. He loves his foster sister, Kai, from afar, but his training has taught him that his sexual side is dangerous and must be suppressed by self-discipline. (Note: Samuel is not a ninja; the word never appears in the book.)

In 1887 the entire family comes to London to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, and Samuel has a series of chance encounters with Leda Etoile. He is immediately attracted to this genteel but impoverished seamstress, who works for one of the leading modistes. After she unfairly is dismissed from her job, Samuel hires her as his secretary. She begins living with, and treated as a member of, the Ashland family. Samuel and Leda fight their attraction to one another, but eventually Samuel seduces Leda. They are exposed the next morning, and the Ashlands persuade a reluctant Samuel to marry Leda, destroying his hopes of marrying his true love, Kai.

The action shifts back to Hawaii as Samuel and Leda journey there to set up their home. Eventually, Leda helps Samuel overcome the legacy of his abuse and become devoted, happy husband.

What I Liked
Samuel is a delicious hero: strikingly beautiful, fabulously wealthy, horribly tortured, but ultimately passionate. Leda is strong and proud and dedicated to helping her husband succeed in his personal and professional struggles.

There is lots of interesting detail about life in Hawaii, as well as London, during the 1880s, along with fascinating secondary characters. The Ashlands are not your typical Victorian family, which leads to often humorous scenes.

The love scenes are amazingly touching and erotic, particularly given that the two lovers are both virgins. Kinsale does not yield to the temptation, so often seen in other books, of making the couple suddenly adept at love-making on the first few tries.

What I Didn't Like
There isn't much to dislike, but the last few chapters involving a bizarre power struggle between Samuel and his rival are too long and rather silly.

Conclusion
I can do no better than to quote Lisa Kleypas:
I reread this book occasionally to remind myself of a few things . . . that a romance writer needs to push the boundaries of a story beyond what is comfortable, and to give the hero a necessary streak of vulnerability that will emphasize his strength. Exotic locations, colorful characters, expert writing, a tender love story . . . The Shadow and the Star has it all.



( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380761319, Mass Market Paperback)

From nationally acclaimed bestselling author Laura Kinsale comes a boldly original, breathlessly unforgettable tale of honour, adventure and undying love.

The Shadow is wealthy, powerful and majestically handsome, he is a man of dark secrets - a master of the ancient martial arts of an exotic distant land. Scarred by a childhood of shocking degradation, he has sworn to love chastely ... but burns with the fires of unfulfilled passion.

The Star is lovely, innocent and nearly destitute, and drawn to him by a fevered yearning she could never deny - following her enigmatic ′shadow warrior′ into a dangerous world of desire and righteous retribution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:42 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"He is a man of dark secrets - wealthy, strong, majestically handsome - the master of the ancient arts of a distant land. Scarred by a cruel childhood, he has sworn only to love chastely yet he burns with the heat of unfulfilled desire. She is innocent and nearly destitute, yet she possesses a beauty as indandescent as a heavenly orb. And she is drawn to this powerful stranger by a need she cannot deny"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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