Downton Abbey Bummer…

cast of DA

…before I even begin with this post, be warned, there will be spoilers so if you haven’t watched the show at all or haven’t seen the ending of the third season, you may want to skip my post altogether…BUT, if you’ve seen all three seasons of it, I would love it if you’d put your two cents in and possibly walk me off the ledge?

I am an avid PBS supporter and my guilty pleasure has always been Masterpiece Theater, even way back when Alistair Cook was the host. I loved watching The Six Wives of Henry VIIIElizabeth RPoldarkI, ClaudiusUpstairs, Downstairs and The Forsyte Saga. For someone who loves history, PBS was a gold mine and I spent hours watching, absorbing and enjoying those shows and many, many more.

Downton Abbey Family

Couple of years ago they started broadcasting a new series called Downton Abbey and I was hooked! What’s not to like?! There’s aristocracy, domestic help, love, intrigue, passion, humor…and tragedy.

Here is a great video from PBS that tells the two first seasons of Downton Abbey in five minutes. If you’ve never seen it, I think this will hook you good…oh, and no spoilers…yet…

*Do NOT continue unless you like the spoilers*

This past Sunday we’ve come to the end of the third season and after three days, I’m still grieving…

I’ve yet to get over the shock of Sybil’s passing, for crying out loud [literally, crying out LOUD!]. Every time I see little Syb and Tom, I get all choked up. I honestly didn’t see that one coming! Watching her parents cope with her sudden death was heart wrenching. Both were left blaming Robert, until the good doctor stepped in with an honest assessment of the situation. And that wouldn’t have happened without the Old Bird’s [the Dowager] interference.

Speaking of, I always loved Maggie Smith [and not only because she’s the mother of one of the best actors to walk the Earth, Toby Stephens] because she not just acts…she embodies the characters she plays to such a degree that you don’t see an actress in a role, but a character that is real, flesh and blood and bone. Someone that reaches out to you and makes you a part of whatever she becomes. Every scene she’s in, it becomes a living, breathing entity that pulls you deeper and deeper into the spell…

The scene in which she grieves her youngest granddaughters death is heart breaking because she’s trying so hard to stay strong for her son and her daughter in law. Priceless, I tell you!

Anyways, I digress. On top of dealing with one loss, now I had to gird my loins for another. That of a beloved main character and a hero…Damn but it hurt to see him like this!

Matthew dies in a car crash

Yes, I knew it was coming because I read even before the season began what its creator Julian Fellowes said about the actor’s abrupt exit, it’s just that I didn’t know how the end would be brought about…and then my last glimpse of  him was just shocking… I just broke down and cried…

Matthew dies

Just when all was going well for this couple… just when they reached that point in their lives when their dream comes true, he gets killed in a car crash! THE END! My last glimpse of him was very disturbing. It will take me a while to get over it and accept his death [I’ve already come to terms of Dan Stevens’ departure and truly wish him the best], but not seeing his smile… his deep, blue eyes… [sigh]…

Dan S Blue eyes

The theme song “Did I Make the Most of Loving You?” is so right after the ending of this season… so haunting…tells the love story of Mary and Mathew…just listen to the words…

The fourth season will open six months after the tragedy and I wonder how Lady Mary is going to deal with his death…I keep picturing her keeping it all in, postponing her grief for the sake of their little boy, which is yet to be named. Or, maybe she has a complete personality change and is trying to embrace everything life has to offer by partying too hard? Or will she take over the Downton project that Mathew never had a chance to finish and see his vision through for their son’s sake?

Oh, and the next suitor for her affections better be someone I approve of!

Downton Abbey

I’m sitting here and waiting for the second season of a show that hit our shores last year on my local WTTW Chanel by the name of ‘Downton Abbey’. I am such a sucker for anything History in general and English in particular. I swear in my past life (if you believe in those) I must have been born English!

Well, I loved this Masterpiece Theater show so much that I thought to let some of you that haven’t heard of it, know that the second season is upon us in about 23 minutes.

The show is set in Edwardian Era, following the lives of the aristocratic family and their servants. It reminds me a lot of ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ from years ago.

The series is created by Julian Fellows (Gosford Park), starring Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern. Last year it brought itself six Emmy Awards out of twelve nominations, and one of them went to Dame Maggie Smith (the mother of my Muse Toby Stephens) and I couldn’t be happier for her and the show.

The rumor is that the show is one of the most expensive ones ever produced (and I do believe it) and the reason for the short season (it consists of only four episodes per).

Trailer for the first Season:

 

Season Two Trailer:

 

By the way, the show is filmed at Highclere Castle and the place is breathtaking.

Instead of me telling you how good the show is, why don’t you check it out for yourselves?

Here is the link to ALL of its EIGHT episodes (both seasons) and a Christmas Special. ENJOY!

“In Total Surrender” by Anne Mallory

STORY: The first kiss was dangerous enough…

Andreas Merrick is the king of London’s dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power…and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace.

And one kiss always leads to another…

Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her. But enigmatic Andreas is no ordinary man to love. He brings dangers from all sides – without and within – while tempting her beyond her wildest dreams…

REVIEW: This is my first time reading Anne Mallory, and I was glad to have stumbled on to her! As this was a part of her ‘Secrets’ series, I thought it best to read them all, and I was glad that I did. That’s not to say that the stories can’t be read or can’t stand alone. I chose to do it only because of my own personal preference. I found out that even though each book tells its own individual story, I always get the ‘feel’ for it by reading its predecessor first. “One Night Is Never Enough” helped me greatly to understand Andreas and his personality and I highly recommend it as well.

Andreas Merrick was one of those heroes that you can’t help but fall in love with, especially when introduced to his painful past. As for the heroine, Phoebe Pace, she will steal your heart with her gullible nature and sunny disposition. As I was reading it, I kept seeing Meg Ryan’s smile and funny banter while Toby Stephens’ throaty voice was Andreas in my mind.

The relationship between the two was developed in stages and that was perfectly fine with me. Their wit, their sparks, and their opposite personalities were very enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining. The chemistry, sexual tension and the anticipation created by the author, was so well written that once those two came together, I couldn’t help but sigh!

Anne Mallory’s style of writing was refreshing and every character she introduced us to was three-dimensional and the plot kept the story moving with measured speed. The author does an outstanding job in drawing you into the story and caring for the characters she created. If you love your hero intriguing, quiet and strong while he falls for a bubbly, bookish and brave heroine, you just can’t miss this story! It is a fun, moving and an overall exciting read.

*To buy this book, click on the cover*

*To learn more about the author, click on her name*

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*