Bliss

Bliss

Judy Cuevas Judith Ivory / May 26, 2019

Bliss Hannah Van Evan was a young American who wished to learn about the world and to make her way in it She was determined to improve herself but was often baffled by exclusive turn of the century high so

  • Title: Bliss
  • Author: Judy Cuevas Judith Ivory
  • ISBN: 9780515115871
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Hannah Van Evan was a young American who wished to learn about the world and to make her way in it She was determined to improve herself, but was often baffled by exclusive turn of the century high society Nardi de Saint Vallier was a gifted young Frenchman of noble blood who had given up his passion for sculpting Hell bent on self destruction, he resigned himself to aHannah Van Evan was a young American who wished to learn about the world and to make her way in it She was determined to improve herself, but was often baffled by exclusive turn of the century high society Nardi de Saint Vallier was a gifted young Frenchman of noble blood who had given up his passion for sculpting Hell bent on self destruction, he resigned himself to a life without beauty and an engagement without love.Then Hannah came into his life They met during a Normandy summer on the grounds of an old French chateau Hannah was cautious, but intrigued by the somber Frenchman Nardi thought the American girl hopelessly naive But slowly her indomitable spirit cast a ray of light upon the darkness in his soul and opened both of their hearts to the infinite possibilities of love.

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    454 Comments

    1. Any time I even think of Judith Ivory a/k/a Judy Cuevas' writing . . . all that comes to mind is that I'm totally in LOVE with her sense of prose. We've all experienced the feeling that "reading" in it's best sense is a movie that runs through the mind of the reader. Ivory makes this happen for me 100%. Her writing is clear and concise and instantly places the reader at the scene of whatever her fancy is for any particular story. "Bliss" opens with Hannah Van Even applying for a position with Ms [...]


    2. Judy Cuevas, aka Judith Ivory is phenomenal!Have you ever felt like you opened the perfect book for the perfect moment for maximum enjoyment?That's me, right now having just finished this wonderful book. The novel is:Dark and light.Simple yet layered and complex.Accessible while feeling at times esoteric,as though I have a special grasp of it meaning and can to see into it's brilliance. It felt personal for me. I could relate to the metaphors and messages.It plays with themes of art and beauty; [...]


    3. This book has remained my favorite historical romance since I started making such lists. Nobody writes like Judith Ivory (AKA Judy Cuevas). I'd heard that she stopped writing due to back trouble. If she ever put out a call for someone to type as she dictated, I'd offer to do it for free.


    4. Verbose & slow. I did like the setting & the era (an old French chateau in the early 1900s), but there was no plot to speak of. Despite the plotless nature of the story, my biggest complaint is the characters. Hannah was an idiot & Nardi was a whiner. (Also, I don't care if he never outgrew his childhood pet name -- "Nardi" is a pansy-ass monicker for your hero.) At one point we had a 25-page scene of conversation between the H/h as they discussed turnips, then translating telegrams [...]


    5. A very different romance!I wasn't sure how everything would work out at the end, but it did. I also found the characters unusual, the hero is a lost artist, lost in the world of his addictions. While the heroine seems to be spunky, full of dreams and in some ways lives in the clouds dreaming of a better life. I liked how these two discover reality and each other.


    6. The first book in the series de Saint Vallier Brothers by Judy Cuevas. Unlike so many I was not in love with this book. It started slow for me and I kept going because of all the hype about it. I didn't totally hate it but I couldn't love it either.


    7. Fans of Kinsale might very well like Cuevas/Ivory. It is lighter and more humorous but there is definitely some poetic prose and more than surface human interaction. Not quite as exceptional as Kinsale but very good. I even had to look up some words - always a plus to me. Some flowery passages--Struggling hero describes his love affair with ether consumption (apparently they did this as an alternative to alcohol - do not try this at home!)"Sulfuric ether was sweet and hot, pungent and burning to [...]


    8. I've never read anything like this before!!!!! Nardi de Saint Vallier is a "burned out" French sculptor. He is ether addicted and is destroying himself. Hannah is a "ruined" woman who has come to France as the companion to an art dealer. Hannah and Nardi meet on the grounds of an old French chateau as Nardi is being "watched" as he "detoxifies" and Hannah is helping her employer look through the old, worn down chateau looking for anything that could be auctioned off. This is the backdrop for thi [...]


    9. 4.5 starsThis took me a LOOONNGG time to finisht sure why. Judy Cuevas aka Judith Ivory writes beautifully (I've readandand so far, The Proposition is my favorite). One thing that may be a drawback is all the French used, while generally translated, it was still quite daunting to someone who speaks no French. I did the best I could with it and enjoyed it, for the most part. Also, the middle of the book dragged. The last 100 pages were the best and I didn't know how this was going to work out; I [...]


    10. Blissis one of the novels you pick up unexpectedly hoping you'll get something out of it. I've been through a reading slump lately and haven't finished the last couple of novels I began. I just don't want to make myself read, I want to want to read, and luckily for me I picked up the perfect book. This novel sets in the early 1900s in Normandy, France. First of all, I love the period and the setting, I don't read enough historical novels that are based outside of London and I'm starting to think [...]


    11. The prose of Judy Cuevas/Judith Ivory is sublime. She manages to convey her heroin's feeling by the simple swishing a petticoat. Or how different the main characters' background is when the hero puts on his expensive and luxurious alpaca coat. It is masterful. Hannah is an American of more modest origin who attracted to the lifestyle of high society, their people, money and beautiful things. She is bright, full of life and curiosity, but her enthusiasm sometimes makes other people underestimate [...]


    12. Not going to do a huge review. I do want to say that it took a long time to read this book. Not because it was a slog or that it was slow or anything, because that is definitely not the case. But because Cuevas' prose is really, really lovely, you really need to pay attention to her writing and her words. She takes her time with the story/plot. Instead you really get immersed in the characters and their sense of time and place. I loved how very unconventional (for historical romance) her charact [...]


    13. The start of the book was intriguing and Cuevas writing was rather captivating. I love Nardi as the all too human hero, battling his demons and his self-serving family members. Hannah appeared initially as a sunny, intelligent and irrepressible energy source, but turned out to be this impulsive, immature creature with rather loose morals for someone from her era, all too willing to go the distance with any attractive rich male in sight. What's worse was that she was completely unapologetic about [...]


    14. BEWARE: a rambling review full of really long quotes and spoilers is about to be written here. You have been warned!Hannah straightened her skirt then touched her hair, surprised to find a pencil there. She pulled it out. "Shall we finish?"He reached across the table and covered the telegrams with his hand. "Let us take a pause."A pause? Hannah looked at him, at his handsome face brought closer as he leaned into his stretched arm. His eyes were thick-lashed, heavy-lidded, dramatic—of that ligh [...]


    15. It was mostly interesting. The chemistry between the two characters was there; they made a lovely couple. Hannah was odd though. Firstly, what on earth is her body shape? I cannot imagine a woman who is described as petite and slim, but has huge breasts and a huge butt. It put to mind an extremely scary image of a distended female body which was disturbing. Secondly, Hannah came across as a practical, strong person at first. Yet, apart from the initial introduction where she showed spine and bra [...]


    16. I wasn't overly thrilled with this storyline, for I always felt uncomfortable with the developing relationship between Nardi and Hannah, all the while thinking "This can't end well" and well, it did but not like you think it will. I really was not "into" either the hero or heroine, there wasn't a lot to like in him and she was hard to pinpoint. Kind of an odd book, but I love this author and am going through her entire backlist.3.5/5


    17. H couldn't be more different from the alpha heroes I adore (he's an addict who could benefit from an army of therapists) but there was chemistry enough to hook me on the developing love story. Hannah is a wonderful heroine, quirky and original. Judith Ivory/Judy Cuevas never disappoints. If only she had written more.




    18. This is not a lighthearted romance. Cuevas takes you through a lot of mud, up until the very end, before things are resolved. There are good stories in here, tales of self-discovery for each of the main characters, recovery for Nardi, a certain amount of redemption. But as a reader, if you're expecting a tale of romance, it is one of a darker variety. You first meet Nardi as a drunk bombed-out on ether, throwing up in his future potential father in law's piano. He makes the deal with the devil t [...]


    19. I enjoyed this story. There were some very good lines and some thought provoking ideas.After the lovers get together they are separated. I was impressed with the author's method of separating them. It was well done, not like many authors who rely on vague communication causing a separation. On the other hand, I had two problems with the story. One, the author used many French phrases in the book. Some were explained in English and some were not. I wish she would have explained all of them. I fel [...]


    20. Hmm how to articulate how I feel about this book? IT comes highly recommended by all my favorite authors. Honestly though, Cuevas/Ivory just doesn't do it for me. She doesn't capture the love that so many other authors do.Hannah's character wasn't very likable. I guess it's because I like to relate to the characters and I just couldn't relate to her. She has this crazy naivete about her that the Cuevas is constantly harping on, she's also very vain and wants lots of money. The ending was super c [...]


    21. It was such a wonderful surprise to find a historical romance that wasn't built around the sexual tension between the h/h. Rather it reads like literary fiction following the life of Hannah, a young American girl with an unsavoury reputation, now a companion to a rich and accomplished older woman who is an art critic and valuer. Hannah accompanies her employer to a crumbling French castle to help inventory and evaluate its contents and there runs into the mysterious Nardi, younger son of the fam [...]


    22. Judy Cuevas/Judith Ivory is spectacular. It's the third book of hers I've read, an once again I'm amazed at this writer. Bliss isn't a light-hearted romance, tho. It's not one you breeze through while eating bonbons. It's one you relish, each word and each scene. I can't wait to read the older de Saint Vallier's book.


    23. Cuevas/Ivory is so so good. Back when I first read bliss it was so different, light years beyond mainstream romance. It still stands the test of time. She and Kinsale spoiled me royally over the years (many thanks)! Books under Cuevas are more experimental in setting and subject but all of her books are truly wonderful. She is the best of the best.


    24. Marvelous, unusual historical romance, with the setting of a grand, crumbling chateau in Normandy in 1903. The sculptor with an ether addiction was portrayed in impressive detail. But after he and the heroine become lovers his character loses focus and the ending is overdramatic and unsatisfying.


    25. Esto es simplemente una maravilla. Un tesoro escondido entre tanta romántica mediocre que se escribe hoy en día. Esto es ambrosía pura. Perfección. Sensualidad. Un libro de primera e insuperable.Gracias Sra. Cuevas por sus espléndidos regalos!


    26. Cuevas/Ivory does it again--an interesting, nontraditional romance involving an American girl and a high-born French sculptor in Normandy and Paris at the turn of the century (the one before last).



    27. One of my all-time favorite historical romances. Judy Cuevas (Judith Ivory) wrote books that really pushed the envelope--an addict hero in Bliss was certainly unheard of at the time.


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