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Cora Downes was only a merchant's daughter But when she saved a duke's son from drowning her reward was entry into London high society Then when she saved a highborn lady's poodles from disaster she became belle of every ball But nothing could save her from the threat of heartbreak nothing perhaps except a most unlikely love


10 thoughts on “The Famous Heroine

  1. says:

    Ms Balogh herself says this book is a farce so I knew beforehand I couldn't take it seriously if I intended to enjoy itI did have fun reading it and even laughed out loud a couple of times but there was something missing and it was the fact that I couldn't believe that the hero and the heroine were truly in love with each other I didn't doubt they loved each other as friends not as lovers I just couldn't shake the feeling that their marriage was like a friends with benefits relationship than a love match The fact that Francis spent the whole and I mean the whole book pining for Samantha his former love interest didn't help matters He only realized that he had fallen in love with Cora in the last chapter of the book Sorry but I didn't buy itRegardless of that I did loved Ms Balogh's writing She's got a knack for transporting me to Regency England and bringing her characters to life and in this particular book she kept me hooked even though I wanted to smack Francis for his constant mooning over Samantha All things considered Ms Balogh's writing saved the book for me and made reading it a very enjoyable experience despite the lack of a strong romance to support the plot Good stuff


  2. says:

    THE FAMOUS HEROINE was the fifth romance in the Stapleton Downes series and was Lord Francis Kneller's story At the beginning Kneller was still having a hard time getting over his one true love Samantha from LORD CAREW'S BRIDE He had proposed to her numerous times but she had always turned him down even though she dearly loved him As A Friend Instead she happily married landscaper extraordinaire Lord CarewKneller had returned to London and had been approached by the Duke of Bridgwater another secondary character from LC'sB He wanted Kneller to partner Miss Cora Downes on her first dance at a ball that all of them were to attend The Duke's mother was sponsoring the young woman; she had saved her great nephew's life Cora extremely rich but a tradesman's daughter had become the lady's protégée Her Grace was determined to find Cora a husbandCora was ian in height with large feet attractive but not beautiful and had a habit of saying and doing things that for lack of a better word was non plussed Kneller was fascinated by Cora's common sense her laughter and easy going personality Still somewhat depressed over Samantha when he was in Miss Downes' presence his moodiness clearedIn turn Cora had never met anyone like Lord Francis Simply put Kneller loved color in his wardrobe The ton kept a careful eye on what he wore and he was emulated The best words to describe him would be a clotheshorse fashion plate and a macaroni a dandy But not in the way you would typically think He was also very much a man he practiced at Gentleman Jackson's gym and had several mistresses in past years Of course Cora did not know any of this; she innocently thought of protecting himAs I have said in some of my other reviews with this series I highly recommend you read the books in order of seuence Various characters are introduced and I believe most everyone would enjoy the stories if they are read in order THE FAMOUS HEROINE was a tale of opposite's attract I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these two good people suffer through uirky moments and eventually surrender to love


  3. says:

    This was a lot of fun kept me up late finishing but had enough drawback to seriously compromise the central romance Yes Cora is fun and Francis is excellent and I really liked that they establish a solid grounding in friendship I particularly liked Cora's fish out of water experiences and her impulsive need to act when she perceives danger And I even liked how she often found herself with social compromise as a result Balogh does a good job making this flow naturally from her character without making her seem brash or stupid or manipulated or slapstickBut the central conceit in their relationship that Cora thinks Francis is gay is so horridly done that it kept pushing me out of the story Cora jumps to this conclusion when she first sees him because he dresses rather flamboyantly in a time when men's fashion trended towards sober This has two major problems First Cora maintains that conclusion despite regular and pervasive evidence otherwise So Balogh has to maintain her blindness to his sexual interest in other women including Cora herself Indeed he has many very masculine pursuits that contradict her initial assumption and yet never bothers to revisit her conclusion This takes obliviousness to the next level and there's nothing else in Cora's character to believe she's that impervious to external evidence Indeed she's remarkably rational in all other aspects of her characterSecond and this is far worse authorial intrusion there are maybe a dozen times when Cora says something about Francis based on her homosexual assumption and nobody ever ever bothers to ask her eh what?? including Francis himself the handful of times he's the one she's talking to I might have bought once or twice but she intimates his lack of interest in women at the drop of a hat and every single time nobody bothers to ask her for clarification Homosexuality was a big deal at this time and deeply shameful so she was essentially lobbing great big conversational bombs and nobody even flinched This was so unreasonable I almost want to reread it just to keep countThis weakness aside I loved the characters and the romance I loved seeing them develop feelings for each other that start with respect and admiration and graduate to love and trust over time This was awesome and kept me going through the authorial intrusion idiocyA note about Steamy There are two or three explicit sex scenes so the middle of my steam tolerance That Cora's homosexual assumption survives even past the first sexy times is only further proof of how very stupidly unreasonable this idiocy persists


  4. says:

    I really liked this book and thought that it was very funny The writing was absolutely superb and having this been the first Mary Balogh book that I've ever read I can't wait to read her entire backlistthose that I can get my hands on I loved this heroine She the kind of person that I'd want for a friend She is sweet kind down to earth and calls a spade a spade She is not a member of the ton although her father is extremely wealthy She saves a child from drowning and for a reward gets entrance to the elite society of the titled in order to snag a husband She is somewhat clutsy and has a bad habit of having her mind wonder when she's supposed to be listening I thought she was delightful and loved how she spent the greater part of the book believing her good friend Francis was gay Francis dresses in flamboyant colors is effeminent and very easy to talk to He is also in love with the heroine from Lord Carew's Bride It's Francis who makes me not give this book a 5 star Although I really liked how different he is from the stereotypical alpha male he spends all his time dreaming about another woman never really convinces me that he loves Cora and is a lousy lover Tell me why anyone would voluntarily like to read about disappointing sexual experiences? I just never really liked him or thought him good enough for Cora the true gem of this story If not for the witty clever and easy writing style of this talented writer I might not have viewed this book in the favorable light that I do I laughed and laughed and loved Cora DownesI think you will too


  5. says:

    35 stars


  6. says:

    Francis is the son of a duke The brother of a duke Cora is a mess He dances with her at a ball and they strike up a friendship That gets rocked by scandal when they're caught in compromising situations that aren't actually compromising1 I will give this book mad props for portraying a relationship that isn't angst ridden or entirely erotic or guilty or any of those things it's a relationship built solidly on laughter and silliness and that was so great2 except that there's a subplot about how Cora thinks Francis is gay? And so she has zero sexual thoughts for him for 75% of the book? And then she falls in love with him like immediately? And while it did allow the text to challenge the dandy homosexual trope that abounds it also definitely made the relationship feel very much one of a deep and true friendship but not necessarily one of romance or everlasting sexual devotion There's so little physical awareness between the two of them that I was really disconcerted by what was in the text; it felt ham fisted into the middle of things 3 I wanted so much of Cora's lack of self confidence subplot ESPECIALLY BECAUSE SHE SPENDS THE WHOLE BOOK LAUGHING OFF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF FRANCIS'S COMPLIMENTS ONLY TO HAVE HIM END THE BOOK SAYING OH I DID NOT KNOW YOU THOUGHT YOURSELF UGLY SHOCKER And just If you'd actually been paying attention NOT A SHOCKER AT ALL 35 I have a lot of feelings about heroines who lack self confidence4 Repeating the word 'farce' or variations thereof does not a farcical novel make


  7. says:

    Is it ethical to just copy and paste Kris's review?Specifically this part except that there's a subplot about how Cora thinks Francis is gay? And so she has zero sexual thoughts for him for 75% of the book? And then she falls in love with him like immediately? And while it did allow the text to challenge the dandy homosexual trope that abounds it also definitely made the relationship feel very much one of a deep and true friendship but not necessarily one of romance or everlasting sexual devotion There's so little physical awareness between the two of them that I was really disconcerted by what was in the text; it felt ham fisted into the middle of things I think it could've worked if she only thought that for say 25% of the book But it was waaaay too long And while I don't think sexual attraction is the most important part of a romantic relationship I DO think it's important And Cora had so thoroughly dismissed Francis as a romantic prospect that her falling in love with him felt REALLY falseFrancis's side didn't really work for me either I do believe he was always charmed by her but I didn't feel it go much deeper I guess I do at least believe they could've gotten there eventually I just think it would've taken timeAnyway done with this Balogh series for now I think though I have some interest in reading Cora's brother's book


  8. says:

    After reading reviews I saw that this book was intended to be a little ridiculous so I took that into consideration There are two things that slightly bothered me The first is the way Cora laughed Every time she laughed she threw her head back I understand it was meant to be ridiculous but JEEZ She threw her head back laughed you can only read this so much before you get the impression of a cackling hen The second thing that bothered me was the fact that I really don't feel love between the characters There COULD have been but I think Balogh gave enough time for me to believe it Francis realized he loved her in the last few pages He was walking with Samantha the girl who had his heart for years he kept watching Cora Good start but I wish there would have been at least one chapter so that he could prove I could believe that he was no longer in love with Samantha was head over heels for Cora Heck even in the next book when Cora is describing her marriage she says But Francis I are now the dearest of friends hold each other in the deepest affection It would have been nice for some mention of LOVE some snap crackle popSOMETHING Otherwise it is a slightly ridiculous easy read


  9. says:

    Delightful I always enjoy books that feature an outsider as the protagonist The person who isn't part of the norm or establishment and whose wry observations often can be used to hold a mirror up to people who are part of the establishmentThis is Cora in a nutshell She isn't part of the ton but she is embraced as one of them because she has been reared gently and saved the life of one of their own And although she is often perplexed by the rules of polite society she learns the hard way that they must be abided Through the course of the story Cora comes to understand that appearances are truth and reality And that is a theme that underscores this story throughoutBut Cora is a wonderful heroine I always like it when Balogh gives us a fun natural heroine like Chris in Slightly Dangerous Cora reminds me uite a bit of ChrisFrancis Kneller who was a fixture in the previous two books Dark Angel and Lord Carew's Bride is the hero in this one And I was happy to see that he was He is a great character a dandy with a bored drawl and a propensity for bright colors he had fallen in love with Samantha from the previous book and didn't react to well at her rejection of himI wondered how Balogh would deal with Francis' love for Samantha and was gratified that she didn't downplay it but allowed it to follow it's logical conclusioni am really enjoying my foray into Balogh's backlist


  10. says:

    Meet Ms Cora Downes and Lord Francis Kneller in a gently amusing regency tale Cora is the daughter of a rich merchant who has just joined the landed classes and who having allegedly saved the duke of Bridgewater's nephew from drowning finds herself launched into society by the Dowager Duchess without further ado Cora is a well intentioned and engaging character she is enthusiastic about life and has an amusing tendency to run idea doing into scrapes in order to protect other people She is well mannered and likeable but just a little exuberant than what would be expected of a standard ton lady and farce tends to be close of her heelsLord Francis for his part who had previously featured in Lord Carew's Bride is a bit of a Pink of the Ton and is all the rage Alas but he is suffering from an alleged broken heart as a result of events in the previous book Cora's first glimpse of him involves touruoise then lavender pink etc and whilst she warms to him uickly and is extremely comfortable with him all the bling and dandyism lead her to a rather unfortunate conclusion about his preferencesThey find themselves in a compromising position which is not at all what it seems and are forced to marry We then have an amusing comedy of errors whereby Francis is struggling to control his desire for his wife whereas she is informing him that it doesn't matter that he can never want her in that way Everything works out well in the end and following a visit to Yorkshire to see the couples from the previous 2 books Francis recognises the strength of his feelings for his own wife and we have a sweet happy ever after Amusing light entertainment