Now Face to Face

Now Face To Face - Karleen Koen 3.5-4 starsTough for me to rate this book... As much as I loved and hated the 1st book, I didn't love and hate this book. It's a satisfying story in many ways, but upon reflection, it seems a bit disjointed. I agree with some other reviewers listed here who feel as if the author attempted too much in one book -- especially trying to tie up loose ends from the 1st book.But because the 1st book left me shattered, I was very glad that this book filled that emptiness and replaced the hope and light the first book took away. I was happy that Barbara moved on... happy that she got past Roger and found love again... happy that she found a way to have a family.Some things, though, were still very wrong to me: 1) Philippe - I wanted nothing more than to see him die in front of Barbara's eyes, while she rubbed it in his face that, ultimately, Roger loved her and she was the one who won. Philippe might have taken him away for a time, but Roger sated his lust for Philippe when Barbara left him. And despite his obvious regard for Philippe, Roger never gave in to that lust again. I wanted Philippe to PAY - to be stripped of his arrogance and artifice and exposed to the world for the cruel bastard that he was. Or something. 2) Tony - I was so happy for him that he seemed to not only be reconciled to marrying another (other than Barbara), but that he genuinely seemed happy with Harriet. Until Barbara re-appeared. And she did nothing to encourage him or give any sign that she wanted anything more than friendship from him. So why did Tony become so cold and calculating? Even at the end of the book, I got the impression that he wouldn't yield to Harriet... and that made me sad for her and irritated at him. 3) Diana - Too many loose ends with her. I suppose she's a cat that always lands on its feet, but still... I'd rather have seen her die in childbirth at the end. Taking Charles as a lover was...icky and so Diana & Charles-like, it made me giggle. And their names together made me giggle. I suppose the implication is that the two of them were truly a pair, and Diana got her heart broken, of a sort. She always did pick the wrong man to fall in love with. Maybe she got some sort of payback.4) Hyacinthe - Too many gaping holes in this poor young man's life between the time he left Virginia to the time he showed up in front of Therese. 5) Therese - She got her shop, obviously, but I still wanted her to return to Virginia and have her shop there -- and Blackthorne, too. 6) Sloan/Dunncannon - Again, too many holes from where we leave him to where we have to assume that he's the man Barbara is to marry. And while we learned somewhat of his life before this time in Italy and somewhat of how he & Barbara met... I don't know - maybe theirs was the kind of love/courtship where 2 people are in the right time and place and just KNOW - no need to take so much time. So why 2 years before they marry?7)Virginia - I guess the purpose of the trip was for Barbara to emerge from the shell she'd built around herself from the whole thing with Roger. And I was proud of her to not become involved/entangled with a man there, especially Klaus. Although his story was puzzling, too - what happened to make Beth change her mind? That was left dangling. And speaking of Beth, was it just jealousy that caused her to turn against her own father and sue him? Again, too much left out.8) Perry - The stuff with the "archangel" whom we know to be Roger was good. But again, too much dangling. Was this supposed to be Roger's way of making amends? Was Perry supposed to be the better side of Roger, the only one who could truly help Barbara to see the truth and to heal? Dunno. Again, too much left dangling.The history stuff was OK... I knew of the 1715 attempt by James, the Pretender, and I knew of Bonnie Prince Charles' attempt to take the English throne in 1745. I had no idea of the in-between attempts, and that, to a degree fascinated me. As did, to a degree, the South Seas Bubble and the early Virginia. But at time, I admit that I simply skimmed pages and pages at a time.Overall, a good book and a satisfying way (mostly) to end the 2-part story.