Never Miss A Chance by Maureen Driscoll

Never Miss A Chance by Maureen Driscoll

Rated 4 out of 5 White Roses.

Content rated with the Pale Pink Rose.

Lady Elizabeth Kellington has no idea what kind of trouble she just got herself into. She  wrote Toward the Enlightenment of England: A Treatise for the Reformation of Property Rights, the Rights of Women in Marriage and Universal Suffrage and not only had it published but also had her named down as the author. She assumed that she would be fine. As a woman in her enviable position, the only daughter of the late Duke of Lynwood and sister to the current one, she figured there would be no harm in dipping a toe in politics and lambasting society for its failure to do right by women. Sure, the ton will be scandalized, but they’ll get over it after a short period of time… yes, they will get over it. Right?

Marcus Redmond, Marquess of Riverton, also the Duke of Lynwood’s best friend has always known that Lizzie was off-limits to him even though it hasn’t stopped him from loving her in silence and admiring her from afar. But when the furor over her treatise spread like wild fire amongst the ton, her family came to the conclusion that a marriage for her would be best to repair any damage to her reputation. Marcus did his best in trying to treat Lizzie like a sister as well as assist her in finding a decent enough gentleman who was worthy to be called her husband. But try as he might, Lizzie is most definitely not his sister and the only gentleman he can see being with woman like Lizzie is… well… him. Now if he can just get her to agree then everything would just be great.

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If I were to judge this book in comparison to the first one, then I would say that Never Miss A Chance didn’t have the same resonance as Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid.  However, in terms of its own merits, well this read is actually quite good.

I did enjoy seeing some of the same characters from the first title as well as being introduced to new ones. The hero was and is a gentleman and I happened to like the fact that he didn’t care about showing his passionate nature to the whole world but only showed it to the one person that really mattered to him. The foreshadowing in terms of the other Kellington siblings and their potential love interests was also intriguing and it makes me rather anxious for the next installment.

As to the heroine, I must say I do understand Lizzie’s passion for social reform and the desire to see it set right. However, I find that at times, she showed her enthusiasm in a rather annoying way that resembled a woman accustomed to always getting what she wanted and not used to thinking of those around her. Never let it be said that I disagree with her treatise or with her publishing it and informing the world of certain social injustices. Her way of going about it, however, was rather frustrating as well as her refusal to heed her brothers’ and Marcus’ caution. As the sister of a duke, I’m sure there are ways she could have supported her causes successfully without drawing unnecessary attention to herself or her family.  

Nevertheless, the story is solid. It was fun to read the subtle nuances of humor injected in the story telling. Even the various twists at the end added to the appeal of the whole tale. With Never Miss A Chance added to the table, I think it’s safe to say that Ms. Driscoll knows how to write as well as keep her readers interested in any future love stories that have yet to be told.

Hugs & Kisses,

The Lustrous Courtesan

~*~*~*~*~

Never Miss a Chance (Kellington – Book 2) sold by Amazon Kindle, August 2011.

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Ten Things I love About You by Julia Quinn

Ten Things I love About You by Julia Quinn

Rated 3.5 out of 5 White Roses.

Content rated with the Pale Pink Rose.

Annabel Winslow knows what it’s like to feel like cattle being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Except in her situation, her grandparents were the auctioneers and the bid they were looking at came from Lord Newbury, a man who, to put it kindly, came from the same generation as the grandparents trying to marry her off. Apparently, he was as desperate to find a wife who would sire him an heir, as she was to find a husband who would help her and her many (eight to be exact) siblings.

Sebastian Grey did not care one bit that his uncle was once again, trying to find an inappropriately much younger wife just to prevent him from inheriting. C’est la vie. If his uncle could find a woman willing to marry him, then more power to the man. That is, until Sebastian bumped into a woman who made the most remarkable impression on him. A woman who asked surprisngly (in a good way of course!) asked him for a kiss. The same woman, who surprisingly (not in a good way) was also expected to marry his uncle, Lord Newbury.

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I have read and I even own many of Ms. Quinn’s books. Many of them, I love and can read over and over again. Ten Things I Love About You, however, is not one of those books. It’s a sweet and pleasing story and the characters are all likable enough. But if I was to compare this story to many of her others, or for that matter, many other romance novels, it’s like the difference between a made for TV romantic comedy with decent albeit not Oscar worthy performances, verses a hit released in theaters starring two A-list actors.

Now, I don’t want people mistaking what I just said by assuming I dislike made for TV movies, when that is definitely not true. I am however, highlighting the difference in quality. Ms. Quinn is a fantastic writer. She has many fans of her work, including those of us at the Reading Haven. But I find that Ten Things I Love About You isn’t up to her normal standards and while it is a pleasant enough read, it’s not one that I can see myself returning to over and over.

Hugs & Kisses,

The Lustrous Courtesan

~*~*~*~*~

Ten Things I Love About You published by Avon Romance, May 2010.

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Lessons From A Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes

Lessons From A Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes

Rated 4 out of 5 White Roses.

Content rated with the Pale Pink Rose.

Colton Northfield, the Duke of Rolthven, has no clue what has come over his wife, Brianna. During the period of their courtship she was this shy, meek, innocent young lady. Now, it seems like she’s out to get him! She went from young fair damsel to sultry and sexy siren in the span of a few months. And Colton is confused as to what brought on this change and where she learned such… things. Could she… no… she wouldn’t have learned it from someone else, would she?

Colton gives Brianna practically everything she could ever want. But what she really wants is for her husband to desire her and only her. She wants him to lose a little bit of his tightly reigned in self-control. She wants him to show her some passion. She wants him to love her… So she educates herself by purchasing a copy of Lady Rothburg’s Advice and gets some very interesting Lessons From A Scarlet Lady.

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It’s really hard to go wrong with Emma Wildes. She knows how to write a good story and Lessons From A Scarlet Lady is no exception. It is a good read. However, there were some things that kept nagging at me that kept me from simply falling in love with the tale.

One particular aspect that kept bothering me, is that Brianna is so self-conscious about the fact she is getting sexual advice from such a scandalous book that she keeps it from her husband, and yet at the same time, she has no inhibitions about sharing it, as well the results of using it, with her friends. The sudden change in Brianna’s actions then leads to Colton questioning how she came to such knowledge since she obviously didn’t learn them from him and therein lies the main miscommunication in the story. I understand that it can be a rather delicate situation for a woman just introduced to her sexual nature but it just seemed a little bit drawn out.

I do however, enjoy Ms. Wildes’ touch of not only adding strong secondary characters that readers come to love, but including their romantic exploits in the story as well. While a part of me almost wishes that Brianna’s friend Rebecca had her own story with Colton’s younger brother, Robert, I must say it does add a nice touch to Lessons From A Scarlet Lady and makes it better. It’s difficult enough telling the story of one couple but to do two and make it flow smoothly at the same time… well, that is a talent.

Hugs & Kisses,

The Lustrous Courtesan

~*~*~*~*~

Lessons From a Scarlet Lady published by Signet, January 2010.

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Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid by Maureen Driscoll

Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid by Maureen Driscoll

 

Rated 5 out of 5 White Roses.

Content rated with the Pale Pink Rose.

The day of reckoning has finally arrived for Jane Wetherby. It is the only day she has been hoping would never happen. Lord Edward Kellington finally found her, which means her secret will be a secret no more.

Seven years ago, Jane had saved Ned’s life while serving as a nurse for the military. He, thinking she was some widow, lonely for attention, seduced her. Then when the next day came to pass, they each went their separate ways and neither has heard from the other since. However, Jane didn’t precisely help the situation any when she didn’t even give Ned her real name. He had searched for her afterwards, but of course, she just couldn’t be found.

Now, here he is. Not only is he back in Jane’s life, he also knows her real name this time, and everyone in town is saying he’s set to marry another woman. She cannot let him know that she’s never forgotten the time they spent together in Belgium. And she most certainly cannot let him know about the daughter they have who undoubtedly has his green eyes.

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One of the best things about being a reviewer (beyond reading the books, of course!) is finding out about a new author who happens to bring forth a tale that not only surprises you but also puts you on the edge of your seat, wanting more. And truth be told, Ms. Driscoll did just that. Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid was quite riveting and I found myself charmed by its story.

There is actually a great many elements to Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid. It’s not a story of a poor little rich boy -it’s a story that actually is able to highlight the good and bad sides of the upper as well as lower echelon of society. Best part is, it’s able to do it with a subtle touch of humor. Now, I admit that at times it was a little bit predictable but that didn’t stop it from providing an entertaining read. To put it simply, the story was brilliant.  

Bring on the Kellingtons, I say! Bring them on.

Hugs & Kisses,

The Lustrous Courtesan

~*~*~*~*~

Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid (Kellington Book One) sold by Amazon Kindle, May 2011.

Posted in 5 White Roses, Book Courtesans, Book Reviews, E-book, Historical, Pale Pink Rose, Romance, The Lustrous Courtesan, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wicked Nights With A Lover by Sophie Jordan

Wicked Nights With A Lover by Sophie Jordan

 

Rated 4 out of 5  White Roses.

Content rated with the Pale Pink Rose.

Not too long ago, Marguerite thought the idea of paying a fortune teller for the knowledge of one’s future a simple scam to lighten the pockets. That is, until a fortune teller predicted the death of her employer and then afterwards tells her she’s only got one year left to live. Marguerite obviously scoffed at Madame Foster’s foresight. What sane person would believe in such things? She certainly didn’t… that is, until Madame Foster’s first prediction came true.

Sure that she’s only got one year left on this earth, Marguerite decides to live life to the fullest. Carpe diem! So when she receives her father’s letter informing her of that fact that while they do not have a close relationship, she does have sisters and that perhaps she would like to meet them, she takes this as a sign. She would like to meet and get to know what little family she has for what little time she has left.

But then Ash Courtland enters the scene. Denied by her father of what is rightfully his, Ash decides he’ll exact his revenge by kidnapping one of Jack Hadley’s daughters for himself and the woman he ends up with is none other than Marguerite. Sparks fly and as they say, the rest is history.  

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For a historical, I am pleasantly surprised that this is a plot line I have not seen much of, if I have seen it at all. Which, of course, is great, because that makes Wicked Nights With A Lover stand out. There is no Duke who meets a young impoverish and plain spoken lady and then they fall in love. It’s a young nurse who meets a man who worked to get to where he is in life. Add the unfortunate fortune and you’ve probably got one of the more unique storylines for a historical romance novel.

How does it fair when one reads it, you ask? Well, it’s actually pretty good. I did enjoy getting to know the characters I was introduced to in this book. However, I do think that I like Ash’s character a bit more than I do Marguerite’s. While I understood Marguerite’s personal conflict in not wanting to tell Ash that they only had a short time to be together, it just got to the point where I wanted to tell her that she ought to give the poor guy a break and just tell him the truth.

As this was my first foray into the writing style of Ms. Jordan’s I must admit that I did enjoy it. Wicked Nights With A Lover is entertaining and the tale is undeniably unique. I guess I will have to check out Ms. Jordan’s other works and see how much I like them, too.

Hugs & Kisses,

The Lustrous Courtesan

~*~*~*~*~

Wicked Nights With a Lover published by Avon Romance, November 2010.

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Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

 

Rated 5 out of 5 White Roses.

Content rated with the Yellow Rose.

Lady Honoria Smythe-Smith would like to find a husband and the sooner the better. She had suitors a plenty during her first season, but then for some strange reason, they ceased to call on her. Now, the annual Smythe-Smith musicale was coming and she is determined that this year be the last year she have to play her violin. Some family traditions are great to uphold, but the musicale is… well, it’s definitely… err… epic. She really needs to find herself a suitable man to marry and now.

Marcus Holroyd, the Earl of Chatteris, has a promise to uphold and nothing will stop him from keeping it. When his best friend, Daniel, asked him to watch over his little sister while he was away and make sure she did not wed any idiots, he took his duty quite seriously. Marcus has known Honoria since she was a little girl. Her family was and is the only family he has ever known in his lonely existence. So when he promised Daniel he’d look out for her, he made sure to do just that. She just had no idea he was scaring all the unacceptable suitors away.

It just happens to be a mere coincidence that all the men she has considered so far were definitely not acceptable.

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May I just say that this, my fellow book enthusiasts, is what a romance is all about. I started Just Like Heaven thinking I would read a few pages before bed only to find that I couldn’t put the book down. It is funny and sweet in all the right places. Who knew mole holes and laudanum could be so amusing? The humor in this read was actually very clever as well as entertaining. It totally drew me into the story and I didn’t want to get out.

I really only have two issues with the story that in the long run are not that big of a deal. The first being that there were characters introduced (like Miss Wynter for example) and some statements were made that may lead to the reader thinking that they are more involved in the tale only to find nothing more about them. Makes one wonder why the continued reference. Then there’s the happily ever after. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad. I just wanted more. But one could also argue that that’s a testament to a good story and its writer when a reader wants more.

I just fell in love with Honoria and Marcus. The way Ms. Quinn wrote Just Like Heaven makes them feel very real and not just realistic. I think I especially like that the resolution wasn’t a melodramatic affair. The main characters were simply honest and forthright and they understood each other very well. Together they made for a perfectly imperfect couple and I can’t help but want to hear more of their story.

Hugs & Kisses,

The Lustrous Courtesan

~*~*~*~*~

Just Like Heaven published by Avon Romance May 2011.

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