Stacy Absalom: Ishbel's Party

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Re Ishbel s Party this book brings to mind the phrase with friends like these you don t need any enemies This one is trainwreck with an avalanche wrapped in a hurricane The story starts with the 28 year old h checking out of a London hospital She was in for injuries eceived when she was hit by a bomb blast in Beirut This h has a bit of a martyr complex okay she has a LOT of a martyr complex When she was 18 her beloved dumped her for another girl and laughed at her with the OW and she got drunk and drove killing a child on a bike She lost her driver s license when it was shown that the child had been iding without lights but her only family and close friends disowned her completely according to her step brother The family in uestion was the h s stepfather her mother had abandoned her to his care when the marriage broke up The h also had a best friend named Ishbel and was in love with Ishbel s brother who supposedly wanted her enough to kiss her and spend time with her she had followed him around like a puppy since she was 13 as they were neighbors and Ishbel was her best friend and he was her dearest loveIshbel decided to have a big party to celebrate being 18 and she fancied herself in love with the h s stepbrother The stepbrother was abusive towards the h and the h was a bit worried about her friend but she was blinded by the attention Ishbel s brother the H paid to her When the h was told the H wanted to meet her in the summerhouse the h was excited thinking now they could declare their love for each other She never thought it odd that the H had brought another woman to the party and was apparently omancing her at the same time he was omancing the hAfter a heated passionate kissing session in the summerhouse the H s lady came to hunt him down He thrust the h away and went off abruptly the sound of his laughter with his current ladyfriend scalding the h s ears and breaking her heart The h did not emember anything after that until she woke in hospital and the police told her she was drunk driving and killed a child The h has tortured herself ever since and spent years in third world countries and war zones caring for displaced and ill children suffering all manner of hardships and deprivations to atone for her sinThe agency the h works for efuses to send her back out on assignment they send her to help an elderly woman who needs a hip eplacement instead The h is obviously traumatized and showing signs of PTSD in her eactions to loud noises etc Why on earth anyone thought the h should be caring for ANYONE is beyond me but I guess SA needed a plot device to get the H and h together and this is it The h meets her new patient and it turns out to be the H s beloved aunt She never met her before and then she finds out that the newly engaged H will be present as well he is just off on business at the momentThe h hopes he won t ecognize her but of course he does and he makes all sorts of accusations about taking advantage of the aunt for money and unning off to America for fun and games and deserting her stepfather and being just an all around otten person just like her gold digging tarty mother which the h has never had any eal contact with she was always aised by housekeepers or in boarding school The h can t defend herself because the H doesn t believe a word she says and he seems intent on making her suffer he is so vile in his accusations and tone that the h can t get a word in edgewise We also meet the H s fiancee a nice daughter of a ich industrialist who is helping the H get some financing for exporting to Germany and it is clear that she is in love with the H The h is doing her best to stay out of the H s way and care for the aunt when the H decides that it is up to him to extract justice for the h s sins and so he tells her part of her duties are to be doing manual labor in his vineyard He sends her out to hoe and the h goes along with it until she passes out from the strain The aunt is highly irked with the H and the H finds out about her injuries and then demands to know why she did not explain herself He also verifies that she is a eal nurse and has been working in war zones for the last 6 years He dumps the death of her stepfather on her after accusing her of abandoning him and the h is puzzled her step brother told her everyone disowned her and they all efused to see her In fact Ishbel left the country the day after the party She had no knowledge of the stepfather s death or that he had a stroke ight before her trial and was asking for her The H tells the h not worry about missing her stepfather s final illness and death he left her some money so she should be comforted What a comforting thought for the h who just lost the only person she felt loved her She can just put her pain aside because she has some money that she never wanted to begin with What a prince of an H we have hereThen the H puts together that the step brother lied when he said the h left for America and lied to the h about her stepfather He then goes on to postulate that the stepbrother hated the h and was always lying about things and using drugs etc but he had forgotten He must have a eally short memory cause he forgot all of this the day after the party. Once she'd dreamed of being his wifeWhile Bethan was ecovering from injuries she'd suffered while nursing in Beirut her job with Mrs Ruston in a peaceful Suffolk village seemed just what the

When he took his sister to Australia to get her away from the step brother supposedly and he never mentioned the accusations against the h to his sister the h s best friend for 10 years even when the letters the sister wrote were supposedly eturned unopened He also never uestions the story that the h got drunk and drove when the h had never drank or done anything emotely similar before probably too busy hooking up with his lady friend to worry that this girl he had know for 5 years and supposedly cared about was in some big trouble and might have needed his support but then there was his current shag so I could see how that might be importantAnyhow now that the H knows the back story and ealized he misjudged a bit he starts making flirty grabs and kisses with the h She wants to leave and why she just did not pack her bag and go I have no idear for a woman who held it together during bombings and managed frightened staff and children through invasions she is emarkably unable to stand up for herself or make a simple decision but the H tells her if she goes his aunt will blame him and of course we can t have the nematode parasite be esponsible for any otten actions he chooses to make so the h winds up staying The H continues to flirt and kiss and sends the h shopping with his fiancee when he finds out how limited her wardrobe is Then the fiancee walks in on him with his tongue down the h s throat she gets upset and uns off and the h irked by his grabby hands and mouth asks him if enjoys pitting his ladies against each other She walks off to angry at his punishing kisses but also a bit happy cause she is still sooo in lurve with him She herself claims it was arrested development when his fiancee asks her about her feelings she hasn t been in contact with many eligible men over the last ten years where she was at Sadly this scene and her arrested development declaration are the only lucid moments the h has in the entire 187 pagesThe h the fiancee the H his aunt and the fiancee s father are all having dinner later and the fiancee s father is a lech with the h He tells the H to move up the wedding and then he propositions the h after he tries to buy her off and it doesn t work He tries to force the h but finally her self defense mechanisms kick in and she breaks his hold and uns She locks herself in her oom and the next day the H has left for parts unknown The h gets the aunt into the hospital for her operation and the H shows up a few weeks after he left He drags the h to his country home by where she used to live and has some big news for her Ishbel now married and living in Australia has eturned and wants to see her Ishbel s news is that she spiked the h s drinks at the party with vodka and set up the summerhouse scene The h s stepbrother continued spiking the h s drinks and Ishbel let him take the h home when she passed completely out instead of just having her stay the night Ishbel claims she knew how otten the step brother was that night and she knew about his abuse to the h yet she let him take an unconscious h away because she was mad her brother went off with his girlfriend instead of the h She also tells the h that she couldn t have been driving she was comatose from all the alcohol and she put the h into the passenger seat herselfThe H confirms all of this and states they tracked down the brother who is now a heroin addict and he confirmed the truth The h is elieved she did not kill anyone and is it is insta forgivness all around The H tells the h that he never told his sister anything of the after effects of that night but the whole story was a bit thin and uestionable It was a small area with a tightly knit social group and surely Ishbel had other contacts including family in the area that kept her up to date on the goings on Then the H tells the h he wants to marry her supposedly he had always loved her but her stepfather wanted the H to wait until the h was older to propose but now he can marry her and make up for all that she has endured Supposedly he was so obsessed with the 18 year old h that he had to have a multitude of women to distract him and by the way his fiancee is now history she doesn t want to be second best apparently she was probably the most likable character in the book and she has some backbone and dignity so I felt bad for her to be used and dumped just like that no matter how horrible her father was He also tells the h that he never laughed about her with his girlfriend that night the h was just projecting and he never did anything to help her after the accident because the stepbrother told him he was the h s lover So now that he has whitewashed all his past actions and those OW were only a useful distraction he has to indulge his lust that he never got to before with the h and he is willing to marry her to do it He is sure she will do until a better model comes along or he gets bored they can marry cause he only always loved her eally and the h still loves him Whether they marry or not is actually debatable but it ends with the H and h lurving it up and HEA s all around until the h gets some therapy and a backbone or the H finds a better offerThere is not enough skillets in my opinion to sort out the people. Octor had ordered plenty of fresh air and no stressInstead Bethan was strained to the limit She met Fraser again and was eminded of the guilt she'd carried with her since his sister Ishbel's

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In this book It is very angsty tho and the story is engrossing I just wish the h had gotten away from these people and into some decent counseling Still this is HPlandia and the lurve club fixes everything It does seem too much to hope that after the H lurve experience the h will come to her senses ecover from her trauma and take that peaceful job in Kenya she was contemplating before the H and his sister bullied her into accepting their actions that led up to the h s emotional abandonment for ten years This one is highly eadable if you like the angst but have the skillets and the adult beverages handy cause the frustration level is high and the payoff is a bit lacking You can only be happy the h is happy and hope that lucidity eturns or the h wakes up and ealizes it was all a bad dream from being in a coma after the bomb blast Wow not sure how to ate I m going to go with a 3 It did keep me eading and was emotionally engaging in a depressing as crap sort of way I agree with another eviewer the heroine needed professional help for dealing with the various traumas losses and deceptions she was subjected to This one is certainly an emotional tear jerker I love my angst but admit I like it to be of the manufactured HP sort The pain the poor h went through was melodramatic in true HP fashion but it was also pretty hardcore 3rd world elief work and oadside bombings just to mention a few Unfortunately her trials were not all something we could cheerfully blame on the H and then gleefully watch him grovelThe was a total ass during the first half or so of the book even forcing the heroine to work her hands to the bone and collapse in an effort to prove her a fraud He believed a pack of lies from the heroine s step brother who he knew was a POS I suppose his excuse was that he was in love with the heroine and therefore vulnerable to the manipulationIt did bother me that the other woman was not unlikable I personally prefer that because in eality when one would be lover loses out to another it is often a very painful thing for the loser The loser is usually not a cartoon villain and it kind of dampens my joy of the HEA when I know a perfectly decent person was hurt so that someone else could have a HEA I know that s the breaks in the eal world but HPLandia is another dimension I suppose I prefer the typical one dimensional HP OW that is easy to dismiss and not sympathetic at all Like HELLO Doesn t anyone in the story ealise that the h needs a SHRINK I mean eally I can tell you this lil family s gonna be having mental problems for a couple of generations at least The feeling of guilt and loss that I felt was monumental and I wasn t even the heroine So you can imagine what she d be feeling at losing her step father her step brother s lies her love betraying her her best friend abandoning her AND to top it all off none of it was her faultsigh Wow I ve been waiting to ead this book and it did not disappoint This is angst city There are eviews with spoilers below so I won t go into the plot nuances but know that this is a heroine who has suffered a guilty conscience for ten years and tried to atone as best she can The hero is locked into the events from ten years ago and the story starts when they meet again There are a lot of misunderstandings to get through and it was fascinating to see the eal story come out It takes a lot of skill to weave past and present together and it seemed effortless here Such an absorbing ead As far as I can tell this author only wrote four books why I want I ve ead three and they e all different The book begins with our heroine in a hospital bed She was flown to England after she was almost fatally injured in a bomb blast in Beirut where she worked as a nurse as a mission worker When her boss told her she needed time off she was given a simple job in England to a nice older lady Little did she know that she was the Aunt of her first and only love our delectable heroWhen the heroine and hero meet again there is much past between them for when the heroine was eighteen she was tried for a crime she thought she committed She was tried for manslaughter for killing a little girl when she was in a drunken stupor But before that the hero had called her a tramp and harlot for trying to seduce him When the trial was over and she was fined for killing the little girl her family and the heroes family turned their backs on her Little did she know it was all a devious plot by her stepbrother He was the one who killed the little girl and set her up He was the one who claimed her stepfather didn t want her and was disowning her He was also the one who told the hero and the heroes sister whom was the heroines best friend that he had slept with the heroine numerous times and she was nothing but a whore Now ten years later the truth is about to come out and shit is about to hit the fan but can our heroine actually forgive and forget Will she be able to let her guilt and grief go in order to move on with her life Wellll you gotta ead it to find outI loved this book it is definitely one of the better ones out there I have to say I have never heard of this author at all and was uite surprised by what talent she has It s worth the ea. Arty ten years ago But seeing Fraser with the woman he intended to marry was what eally hurtShe'd loved Fraser as a young girl and she loved him still with a depth and power that was shatterin.

Stacy Absalom wrote four romance novels from 1983 to 1986 She lives with her husband Derek on the fringe of a small English village overlooking the rolling Leicestershire countryside She In her spare time she enjoys listening to classical music knitting very complicated patterns and driving fast cars