❰Reading❯ ➻ Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick Author Deb Marlowe – Uroturk.info
Miss Chloe Hardwick sudah memendam rasa kpd Braedon, Lord Marland yg angkuh dan penggila kolektor barang barang antik Saking kompetennya Miss Hardwick, Marland menganggapnya sbg hardwicknya.Setelah bertahun tahun bekerja pd Lord Marland dan diabaikan sbg wanita membuat Chloe nyaris putus asa Sempat resign tapi Chloe kembali pada Marland setelah didatangi Mereka sedang berburu tombak Skanda yg sangat legendaris tsb Plot cerita membosankan krn membahas masalah yg itu itu saja, terutama tombak Skanda Blm lagi ttg Rob, anak haram almarhum kakaknya yg dibuang kesana kemari Chemistry Chloe dan Marland tawar menurut saya, gak ada hal spesial Marland cenderung egois, sedangkan Chloe agak mirip keset kakinya Marland Endingnya juga diburu buru spy HEA Yasudahlah. I really wanted to love this book How many time do you come across a HR with an independent, working heroine Not only was she working a real job and highly competent at that, but she s trying to figure out her place in the world, like any modern woman It was refreshing to see a heroine who isn t running away from crazy relatives or something equally unrealistic.Chloe Hardwick works as the highly efficient assistant to the Marquess of Marland, Braedon After meeting him, she s slowly fallen in love with him, who only see her as Hardwick Determined to find her place in the world and possibly have a future other than longing for her employer, Chloe leaves her job to plan a party for his sister Of course, Braedon misses her efficiency and tries to get her to return to her position, but her transformation into social world leaves him wanting Chloe than he wants Hardwick Of course, being an emotionally broken man, it takes Chloe a little while to convince him to believe in love, but in the end, they both learn to love and live.Obviously, I have a soft spot of Chloe She s just kinda a badass Braedon, I think I was a little underwhelmed by his hero role He just didn t do much for me, so that alone may have decreased my enjoyment in this book.The side characters were acceptable, normal I liked the Braedon s sister and the little kid.The other problem with this book was the premise of an artifact called Skanda s spear It s cool that there was an Indian artifact mentioned, but considering that it s a religious relic, I was a bit disgruntled that Braedon and the other men like him wanted it for their collection just to have in their collection I do give Ms Marlowe kudos for trying to give us a short anecdote about Skanda, There s so many to versions of the same story, so I can t be excessively picky about it but it was wrong at least the reason for the competition.Overall, it s really not a bad book I think I m just not feeling Ms Marlowe s writing style, but otherwise it was a pretty good book. Adopting The Guise Of A Buttoned Up Spinster Is Nothing New For Chloe Hardwick But Under The Watchful Eye Of Her Unnervingly Handsome Employer, The Marquess Of Marland, For The First Time Chloe Yearns To Be UnbuttonedYet He Sees Her Only As His Assistant, The Efficient Hardwick Not As Chloe The WomanDetermined To Escape Braedon S Cold Detachment, Chloe Leaves And When He Pursues Her To London, Determined To Entice Her Back, Braedon Is Utterly Unprepared For What He Finds There The Real Chloe Hardwick My review contains spoilers and they re mostly my thoughts as I went with the bookHonestly, Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick was up at Netgalley for ARC review but I wasn t remotely interested in requesting it One, because I don t usually request from authors I haven t tried before Two, I thought it was another of those rakes unbuttoning some spinster theme Not that I don t like that theme, but not every author can morph such a common theme into something amazing But, the reason I m blabbering on is that I was SO GIGANTICALLY wrong about everything This book had a slow burn quality on the outside, you ll think it s too slow and Braedon s activities might annoy you at some point But, Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick also had some really beautiful and soul searching moments for both the main characters, which makes us, the readers also aware of our inner selves Have you ever been hurt by a loved one I mean really hurt After years, do you still think about it Does it, sometimes, make you feel vulnerable to the other intense emotions Have you even ever asked yourself about it, that why you feel this way I can say yes to almost all the questions I ve posed here So, I think I did understand, even if a little, as to why Braedon was so sensitive about being hurt by someone Men like him can be exasperating but honestly, it s a reward a woman can reap if she can get underneath his skin Oh but Chloe was perfect for that role It was also the fact that I loved DM s writing a lot.Chloe had a different childhood than most girls of her age she spent it mostly alone After her father died, her mother married her father s best friend, Mr Hardwick Chloe observed an unrequited love from her stepfather s side, as her mother never really loved him back Sadly, we don t have a lot of exploration on Chloe s childhood but whatever we get from her musings or talks with Braedon Fortunately, Chloe had a very good and close relationship with her stepfather, who gave her his name Even at that young age, after knowing poverty for a short time just after her father s death, Chloe knew she has to keep her stepfather happy in order to have a good life It wasn t a tough task for her as her stepfather was a loving man But he didn t really understand the real Chloe and what she wanted As the story progresses, we also see that even Chloe doesn t understand what she really wants in her life since it s was mostly spent by making others happy In order to do that, she molded herself into a person as per necessity, and none of them are her real self Chloe s experiences in the school weren t happy ones, since no one came to visit or take her away in the holidays Mr Hardwick, being a collector of antiquities, would be often out of the country Chloe s mother has already died, just a few years after the marriage, leaving him devastated So, as I said, Chloe was alone and learned to fend for herself It started in the school, when she was teaching and the headmistress was being a b tch to her, she molded herself to someone that the woman would approve of In return, she gets to be safe and can go unnoticed Then when she was back, she worked closely with her stepfather, who also returned from abroad to work for the Marauding Marquess or the Marquess of Marland, Braedon, to take care of his collection of antique war weapons It s a task no one better than Mr Hardwick could do, and so, Chloe learned from the best Chloe also has some marvelous skills She s not only smart and intelligent, she can do amazing sketches She s also very industrious and focused on whatever she is doing In short, no one can get a better assistant than Chloe Hardwick and she proved it over and over again when her stepfather passed away and she started working for Braedon, who had no idea about it since he was abroad at that time But the question remained, who is the real Chloe Harwick The day Braedon returns is the day Chloe begins finding some answers Initially she was scared that the marquess would fire her for being an imposter of sort And she startles Braedon without a doubt, a scene I totally loved Braedon was looking for his Hardwick when he finds this young woman working where Mr Hardwick should ve Then, when the young woman confessed to be Mr Hardwick s stepdaughter, he had no idea what to think I mean, a woman Working with his invaluable weapons, the treasures of his life Managing the works of his newly built weaponry wing A woman who wears that weird, box like dress, with a row of buttons in front of her, as if it works like a shield A dress that basically gives nothing away about her, not even her glasses and tight bun OMG, the horror But, soon, very very soon, Braedon begins to notice Chloe s industriousness and tries hard not to dwell on what s inside that dress They work together on various weapons, Chloe or Hardwick, as Braedon calls her, surprising him at every turn She never fails him in anything, always very good in whatever it is she s doing for him Braedon can t possibly find a better assistant than his Hardwick The irony In between, some of Braedon s past comes clear about his abusive and cruel elder brother or his ignorant father who spoiled his eldest son to the core Some of the imageries that DM portrays of Connor s cruelty were very disturbing, starting from his childhood and cruelties towards small animals And it grew to a monstrous proportion by the time he was a young man Bummer but I love the name Connor pouts Anyway, this Connor was horrible in every way He was mean and vicious to his younger brother and sister as well Both Braedon and Mairi have been the victims of emotional abuse from Connor in a various way I don t clearly know about Mairi since her experience with Connor wasn t explored But she was a bit anxiety riddled all the time, which tells me she also witnessed some things that surely affected her But Braedon knew what his brother was capable of from his childhood, when Connor killed his favorite puppy for no reason at all Then, there were some other examples of Connor s cruelties, that came out in a letter by his father, written on his deathbed That letter explains why he had to kill his favorite son with his own hands My reactions towards Braedon s childhood traumas and hurt were sympathetic I can see why a little boy would be frightened to love someone, or something, too much and fear of the risk of losing it Sometimes, even when you grow up, it doesn t go away An older Braedon made sure he s nothing like his father or Connor no unrelenting wenching, gambling and other idle sports to prove their manliness Braedon s love for antiquities was entirely accidental but a savior nonetheless His father even mocked his little hobby Braedon fought in the war something proved to be a diversion to him and did a fine job Afterwards, he began exploring his long loving interest and pursed in full force Can t tell you how much I loved Braedon s focus on his work and the fact that he wasn t a womanizer If all the indications are true, he was celibate Even after he returned to London, met Chloe and worked with her for about a year afterwards The rumors of his vast conquests in Europe, to me, were just what they were rumors Braedon was in love with his work and devoted himself to it And he would avoid being emotionally entangled with anyone, by any means, because he was scared of being hurt.But where does that leave Chloe, who was already falling a little for this man each day Why I said that Chloe begins finding some answers to her soul searching, is that, the moment she saw Braedon, things changed She saw a purpose that she couldn t deny And it developed into something meaningful in a very short time Of course, she was totally devastated by his manly good looks But she also loved his devotion to his work, his brilliance I LOVED the way she would at Braedon and think of how it d feel like to touch him and his manly muscles , just once Unrequited longing, can I ask for anything Chloe loves to see him in motion, be it walking, working on his weapons or practicing swordfight with his friend Sir Thomas But, the object of her obsession, it seems like, doesn t know she s a woman And why would he Chloe knows how to hide herself and apparently, so far she s been doing a splendid job, again In the meantime, Mairi comes to visit Braedon It s very evident, the love these siblings share and also, a dislike for their elder brother Mairi sees what Chloe and Braedon have been trying so hard to hide A shared passion for the same work, they understand each other like no other On her inquiry, Braedon is shocked Hardwick OMG, the horror Yah I know, he was a bit obtuse but I also knew why Braedon knew how dependent he really is on his Hardwick What if he becomes emotionally involved It d just devastate him again But Mairi doesn t give up Even though she had her own troubled marriage to deal with, Mairi plans to bring out the real Chloe At least, somewhat real Now, Chloe is also horrified and very uncomfortable Would it be a good thing to make herself vulnerable But she also knew that the marquess needs to see her without her usual dress up and so, she accedes The new Chloe does have a devastating effect on Braedon He knew there was something underneath all those buttons but he didn t foresee the kind of effect she ll have on him Along with her efficiency and her hard work, his Hardwick is also a beautiful woman Oh, the horror God, it was as funny as it was exasperating to see Braedon in a tizzy about the whole thing And he was a bit of a jerk towards Chloe because of his own reactions I know it sounds ludicrous but Braedon was trying so hard to maintain that thin line, and now, it d be so hard But, Chloe interprets his attitude as her own defeat She decides, maybe she ll have to go away for a while to let him stew a bit I gladly approved Sometimes it s required, isn t it Mairi was already a bit nervous about her own marriage and wanted to save it in any way possible Braedon also gave her some admonitions, asking her to think hard about what she wants from it It seems like Lord Ashton actually loves his wife and the whole thing between them was a gross misunderstanding As Mairi and Chloe talk, there is a plan of surprising Ashton for his birthday Mairi would love to have an assistant like Chloe to help her for the tremendous work that it d take So, when Braedon hurts her with that indifference, Chloe decides to resign She leaves for London with Mairi.In a few weeks, Braedon begins to feel what it is to miss his Hardwick I know, he tried telling himself it was all for his weaponry collection, that the work of the new wing is being delayed because the workers are squabbling over small things but he missed her presence too Then there was the talk of an ancient spear called Skanda s Spear, which Braedon wanted to acquire no matter what Chloe was supposed to have helped him with her spidery network of informants, among other things In a nutshell, Braedon decides he needs his Hardwick back at Denning Hall, and soon In London, Chloe was stealthily trying to find herself Since leaving Denning Hall, she s been afloat, not knowing what really to do with her life Should she live as a chameleon, molding herself as per someone s need forever or should she decide on something that makes her happy or at least gives her the self assurance she needs She was still working of that surprise for Lord Ashton, and visits this baker s shop She sees that Madame Baker is very happy about what she does Chloe wanted to see if this is her calling and this is how Braedon finds Chloe, as she was laughing and helping the baker Another scene I loved because this bright and laughing Chloe is something Braedon has never witnessed and it strikes him again, hard.Braedon tries his best to convince Chloe that she s needed back in Denning Hall but Chloe refuses And she was right to refuse Chloe knew she can t go back to that life again In this process of convincing, there are a few kisses as well, first of which happens kinda accidentally, as a ruse, but it was an insane kiss nonetheless Even though Chloe decided not to return to Denning Hall, she agreed to help Braedon out in his search for Skanda s Spear They meet this very old Italian antiquarian, Senor Pisano, who was, I believe, Chloe s stepfather s acquaintance The Senor is very affectionate towards Chloe As they talk, another competitor for Skanda s Spear barges into the shop, when Chloe and Braedon is forced to take the ruse of a newly married couple This the little push they needed The kiss was full of passion because neither Chloe nor Braedon held back This ensue kisses and arguments later on that only proves that they can t really go back into their old existence There s just too much awareness between them now It s so passionate and intense that Braedon finds himself in a fix And he again, begins to act like a jerk, so that he can get hold of his sanity I was exasperated, TBH but I applauded Chloe that she held on, even when Braedon s words hurt her Then again, she knew that any kind of future between them was not foreseeable But her foolish heart won t listen to reasons One day, after returning to his townhouse, Braedon finds a big surprise waiting for him, something not wholly unexpected but hits him just the same Braedon finds Connor s illegitimate son waiting for him with his foster mother He doesn t know what to do with the boy when the woman demands he take Rob in He begins planning on sending Rob to one of his tenants In the midst of this, there are some problems in Mairi s own townhouse and they needed to move the ball somewhere else Braedon was not really happy about it, but on Mairi s insistent, he gives in Now, the ball would take place in his Later Braedon remembers Rob and is concerned about Mairi s reaction towards him since Rob is the spitting image of Connor I don t know why he needed to hide Rob away but I got his brotherly concern It was heartbreaking nonetheless, from both sides Rob was hurt, because cruel as it was, he understood why his uncle didn t want him anywhere near other people And Braedon felt like a worm to have made such dealings with a little boy I felt his helplessness and sympathized as I felt much for Rob The boy tries his best to stay hidden but his acquisition, a puppy given by Braedon, in exchange for his hidden state would make cute troubles Chloe, who was working in Braedon s house for the ball, begins noticing the boy and the puppy, but had no idea who they were Braedon lies to her later that it s a tenant orphan boy he s taken in for a short while.In the meantime, the mysteries surrounding Skanda s Spear become a tense one They were close but not enough With the help of the Senor, Chloe and Braedon meet Lord Conover, another antiquarian, the only person who has seen the spear himself I won t go into the whole mystery of Skanda s Spear, but Chole s acquaintance to Conover incites jealousy into Braedon Already Braedon knew what Chloe wanted, something he wants himself as well And so, one night, Chloe convinces him to give into this thing they have Good God, I wish there were love scenes because it was hot and sweet altogether The scenes afterwards between them were very heart tugging I them, especially the one very next day, after Chloe spied on Braedon in his sword practice, again, something she found utterly delicious Those scenes proved how much they both belonged to one another and made me than once But I wish Braedon wasn t being a doucebag to Chloe, again, on the day of the ball Chloe understood, even wanted to soothe away his fears Braedon has so far bared a lot of the things that hung heavy on his soul, as Chloe did of hers But somehow, he just couldn t yet take that big step You know what, that should ve made me wanna throw a hissy fit but as I said, I sort of understood his standing The last misunderstanding was bittersweet but the subsequent grovelling was just Braedon finally realized that that big step he was denying himself would lead him to something he could cherish for the rest of his life He might get hurt, or not, but without taking that step he d never find out He also grasped at the need to share his life and so, he chose Chloe Honestly, when a man, so awkwardly talks about his feelings and begs forgiveness, I can t just not feel anything for him And the best thing was, Chloe understood Braedon like no other and never stopped loving him The only thing, I thought was missing from the book, was an epilogue, which I would ve appreciated So, would Rob grow up and be the hero of his own book Even Sir Thomas somehow I need to know about him and why he did what he did I don t know the answers but I ll keep my eyes open for of DM s works 5 sighing stars from me Wonderful book 3.5 stars While falling into a lot of tired old romance cliches sudden makeover awakening sudden feelings, so MUCH emotional drama and idiocy, the damsel distressed, the good at everything counts for characterization points hero , this book manages to salvage itself but trying to identify childhood trauma reasons for the characters neuroses, and gains bonus points for them trying to work their way through it by talking and emotional re connection I have to admit, however, that the relationships between the main characters and other people Braedon and his sister, Braedon and Rob, Chloe and that cranky old weapons collector interested me far than the relationship between them While there were definitely moments of oh, i like this the needless influx of romance cliches kinda took away most of my interest in their story It was strange to see paragraphs of actual self determination and emotional connection followed with the usual I AM PANTING AT THE KNEES YOUR BEAUTY MAKES ME WEAK and I KNOW I SHOULD NOT BUT YOUR MANLY ARMS MAKE ME SHIVER WITHJOY The latter was sometimes entertaining, as Hardwick actually has agency than many female characters, but eh It grows old fast.On an added note, I m not sure if the author realizes that having an artifact that s said to be the actual spear of Subramania Skanda become part of the family inheritance of an English lord would be a bit like the Holy Grail being part of a Hindu family s ancestral possessions It s perfectly in line with the attitudes of colonial Britan so I didn t factor it into the grading, but it was somewhat bemusing nevertheless. Originally posted at off the buttons was never this exciting or sexy.I m still new to historical romance and wasn t much of a fan I ve since changed my stance on historicals Why Because I read Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick Ms Marlowe s words flow from the page I felt like I was right there rushing down the road in the phaeton, feeling the wind whipping my hair I could see the characters well and am looking for my own Braedon Goodness, he is yummy.There are many layers to this novel Peeling them back was a lot of fun Chloe is very complicated Once her back story comes to the forefront, I was able to fully respect her I loved the line about her buttons and what happens to them I ll leave it at that because it s a great little surprise Braedon, as sexy as he was, drove me berserk than a few times I understood his motivations well Ms Marlowe does a great job of layering him But what irritated me about him was how he held back Like I said, I understood it and liked how his back story was unfolded Getting irritated with him was a good thing because it got me thinking about him long after the book closed That doesn t happen often, so I chalk it up to Ms Marlowe s excellent story telling.My favorite character was the boy I won t go into much detail about him, but I liked the way he was worked into the story and how he played a part in the ending Very nice.The sensuality was the right amount Enough was left to the imagination that I could picture what happened and fill in the blanks the way I wanted Loved it.If you want a romance that s heavy on suspense, emotion and filled with characters you won t forget, then this book is for you. Loved, enjoyed and looking forward to of her books Strangly, it seemed that I was in the world of contemporary, because it felt common that I would see Chloe being Brandon s assistant Also to for her to hide herself in uncommon clothing was truly an eye opener It certainly fit the regency period that there were to the dinner parties I was even surprised of the magnitute to food delicacies that were created to become vehicles of life The Spear s background history was another fascinating thing that I loved about the novel Also I had so much compassion for Rob who was Connor s son He was a very interesting child who seemed to heal some of Brandon s wounds The rest of his wounds were opened by Chole which seemed to be a complete success at the end But it seems she and Brandon had to go through a lot to finally love each other I can agree with the author when she mentioned that couple s relationship is of a journey I truly loved the book and I m glad I bought it I very much enjoyed this Miss Chloe Hardwick took over for her stepfather in overseeing the absent Lord Braedon Marland s construction and restoration project when her stepfather fell ill The Marquess returned after his military service and overcame his shock to appreciate her competence and skill.While they have a solid working relationship, Chloe comes to realize that she really wants for herself than to be an invisibly perfect right hand She wants to be seen and appreciated for herself, as a woman, and wants everything not only respect and the satisfaction of a job well done but love and family She also realizes that Braedon doesn t see her that way, if at all, and makes the wrenching decision to leave.Ms Marlowe portrays these two beautifully, from their personalities to their heartfelt journey to love.Will definitely look forward to reading of Ms Marlowe s work It s been a long time since I became so fascinated by characters in a novella, Deb Marlowe created two heartbreaking characters, with their pasts that haunt them and weight heavy on their present Living behind masks that protect them from the world It s until them meet one another does the ice that encases their hearts slowly start to melt Chloe Hardwick hides behind her clothing and being helpful to those around her, as those who has cared for her has sadly abandoned her without showing her about love On the other hand Braedon, Marquess of Marland has emotional scars from his childhood that has case a dark cloud over his life that causes him to be cold to those, with his only passion of being a collector of swords He finds Hardwick nothing then someone who has helps him with his collection a efficient assistant and obtaining the cursed Skanda s Spear As time passes Chole slowly starts to fall in love with Braedon and the glimpses she sees behind the his icy mask Chole wants Bradeon to see Chole and not Hardwick so she starts on her on journey of trying to discover who she is Braedon is floored with the change in Chole but still wants her help to find the spear, but with Chole s change also starts Braedon s I loved Chole, she was a woman on a mission, finding her true self, and her discovery of herself is a wonderful journey to be on with her It s her new inner strength that helps not only herself, but Braedon come to terms with the things that has happen in their lives Chole I felt grew the most in the book, setting the path for her and Braedon, but accepting the gift of understanding from another battered soul in Braedon Braedon is a man scarred emotionally by the actions of his Brother and his Father The few pieces given to us are enough to see what kind of bad environment he and his sister grew up with With his sister she acts out, while he hides behind his icy mask that protects him from all harm, a numbness that cloaked him when he was younger Breadon has a great heart, and it s shown countless of times in the small things he does and shows It takes alot of time for him to come to terms with everything, which for me was realistically as some scars never truly heal, but we survive and move on and let go of the pain Seeing these two characters, be changed by one another actions, and their own actions and feelings just had me at awed to know what would happen next between them The growing tension was truly passion filled but was at the same time a tug of war between trust and old hurts These old hurts at times did come to get on my nerves, mostly with Braedon with his one step forward two step back dance with Chole, a the sudden focus on the cursed Spear did halter the story but it s that finally leap of faith for our couple that makes it all that worth while This was a truly beautifully done character driven novella, that capture and held my attention but earned it s place on my keeper shelf and heart. A must read from Deb Marlowe She is a new author to me but her style of writing drew me right in I couldn t help but fall in love with this book An enjoyable read from beginning to end.