Tag Archives: Regency

A Kiss at Midnight, by Eloisa James

27 Nov

Kiss at Midnight cover

 

“The only thing completely clear about the situation is your infatuation,” Wick said.  “Let me sum it up for you: Kate, very sensibly, shows no interest in you.   Frightened by the imminent arrival of your bride, you are now running shrieking in the direction of the one woman who not only doesn’t want you, but isn’t eligible.  Really, could you be a bit more original?”

 

I was planning on reading a more sophisticated book this weekend, but sometimes you just crave something light.   So I went to my bookcase dedicated to paperbacks and picked out this little gem.

A Kiss at Midnight is Eloisa James’s version of a fairytale.  Usually, I turn to Christina Dodd (highly recommended!) for that kind of thing.  Still, this has its cute moments, including a wicked stepmother, quirky godmother, and glass slippers!

The story starts slowly, introducing Kate Daltry and Prince Gabriel.  I really liked Kate right away, but it took some time to get used to Gabriel. The circumstances bringing Kate and Gabriel together are pretty random and far-fetched.  As a connoisseur of romance novels, I’m used to accepting the implausible, but some of this plot seemed unnecessarily strange.  Still, this was a fairy tale, after all, and it was easy to root for a happily ever after.

One of the easy pitfalls for Regency romance is having too many characters.  I know it leaves the possibility open for spin off stories, but sometimes it just seems too cluttered. In this case, I could barely keep up with all the characters, and it was a bit odd how they were involved in the wrap up in the end.  The best character was definitely Henry, the industrious godmother.  Her fun personality carried this book. Add in some of the hottest…ahem…romantic scenes I’ve read in a long time, and this book was a solid three stars. Overall, this is cute and enjoyable as long as you are willing to accept some of the weird parts in the plot.

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Breaking the Rules to Love

31 Oct

Weekend Reads

To many, the idea of spending a Saturday afternoon curled up and engrossed in a book doesn’t sound all that excited.  For me, a good book, a blanket, and a cairn terrier at my side all make a recipe for a great weekend.  In fact, I often find myself unable to sleep until the story is complete.  My genre of choice for a weekend read?  A good romance novel.  Since it’s easy enough to average one of these books per weekend, I decided it wasn’t enough for a book review post.  So I did something different.  I chose two books that seemed similar and I read them both.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, by Sarah MacLean

Nine Rules to Break CoverThis Regency romance (set in the early 19th century) features Lady Calpurnia Hartwell, nearly “on the shelf” and coming to terms with the fact that she is bland and uninteresting to anyone in the high society.  The only time she ever felt desirable was ten years ago during a brief run-in with Gabriel St. John, notorious rake (of course).  Since that time, Callie has harbored a crush that she knows will never amount to anything.

Until Callie’s younger sister becomes engaged.   This causes Callie to re-evaluate her life.  Realizing that she is practically invisible to society anyway, she creates a list of things that “a lady” can’t do…And decides to complete them.  First on her list?  A kiss from Gabriel St. John.

Gabriel has problems of his own, so when Lady Calpurnia shows up unexpectedly to request a kiss, she’s like an answer to his prayers.  He needs her to help him out, but one kiss quickly leads to complications he didn’t expect.

I personally love the “damsel in distress, strong man sees past the exterior to ignite passion and make the woman’s dreams come true” plot line.  This is definitely one of those books.  Callie occasionally brought me to tears with her vulnerability.  That being said, she was also very self deprecating.  This is a woman who felt that basically her life had no value, and for some readers it may really get on the nerves.  It was fun to see a man work so hard to break down those walls, and it was fun to see a woman slowly grow in self-confidence.

Additionally, the stunts Callie pulls in order to complete her list are full of fun and adventure.  This romance was an easy to read, fun four and a half stars!  Also, I read this just in time for the recent release of MacLean’s next book, Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord.

A Lady’s Guide to Improper Behavior, by Suzanne Enoch

Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior coverTheresa Weller is a very proper lady in the Regency romance.  In fact, she wrote the book on exactly how a single young lady should conduct herself.  However, from the moment she meets Colonel Bartholomew James, she can’t help but to act completely improper.  She looses her temper, but can’t seem to keep away.  Theresa suddenly considers breaking all the rules in order to become the pursuer and court a man.

Bartholomew, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with anyone.  Injured while in service in India, his leg isn’t the only part of him scarred.  He can’t figure out why someone so proper and adored like Theresa would have anything to do with him, but she is the first person in a year to make him feel alive.

Isn’t this cover cute and fun?  I certainly thought so, which is why I was surprised to learn how dark this was.  Unlike the previous book, which was a debut for the author, this book is authored by one of my favorites.  I re-scanned my previous reads by Suzanne Enoch, and I realized that they were a bit dark and brooding as well.  Those books made up for it with deliciously bad boys as main characters.

The refreshing part of this story is the way there is very little tiptoeing around their relationship.  Both are very direct with each other.  This meant that we got to watch the story unfold as their love deepened.  They confronted adversaries together.  On the other hand, the story was a little strange, and full of characters that I think were only there to justify their own story in a series.  Also, for some reason, the nicknames (Tess and Tolly) got on my nerves.  I know that’s kind of personal, but still it distracted me.

I usually really enjoy Enoch, but in this case it is a three out of five stars.  Nothing special, just a quick read.