This is my first book by Elizabeth Essex, and it's made me want to read more of her books. The hero, Lieutenant Dance, is a wonderful, scrumptious speThis is my first book by Elizabeth Essex, and it's made me want to read more of her books. The hero, Lieutenant Dance, is a wonderful, scrumptious specimen. I liked everything about him. He's very determined and a great leader, his discipline as a naval officer and his sense of excellence in doing his job spoke to me. But at the same time, he retains a sense of humanity and kindness and integrity that made me love him even more. I like that even though he's a very self-controlled man, he has a hint of playfulness and earthy masculinity that adds to his appeal. He takes on the role as a second-in-command on a ship that has something very wrong with it, mismanaged, with undisciplined sailors and corrupt crew members. The captain is a complete drunk and has withdrawn in practically every way from the running of the ship, so Dance is forced to take over many of his responsibilities, to the resentment of the crew. Things are only getting worse, and now he has to keep Jane and the rest of the scientists safe, not to mention fighting his feelings for her.
Jane is the kind of heroine that makes a reader happy. She feels like a normal person who you might have known. I cheered her on because she was very brave, going on this expedition, especially as a woman who wouldn't hardly be taken seriously even by other scientists, and bravely facing the distrust and misogyny that a group of mostly undereducated sailors had for her.
I found this book very romantic. I like that things do get very steamy at the appropriate time, but also Essex builds the tension beautifully as they get to know each other. There are wonderfully written scenes and an undercurrent of romantic tension in their interactions. You can tell that they have a love match, and it makes you look forward to seeing how that unfolds.
It's not much of a spoiler, because it's on the blurb, but when they get stranded on the island, that's one of my favorite parts. Finally the walls are able to come down and Jane and Dance know each other in the most elemental way, their passion for each other is no longer deniable. Jane shows what an incredible woman she is in those moments, not only being saved by Dance, but saving him and facilitating their adjustment to the island they take shelter on.
There is a lot of detail attended to life on a ship, and it gives an element of authenticity to the story. A lot of naval jargon gets thrown around, but it's not disruptive. What I didn't know or couldn't parse didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. Ship life adds an element of suspense and tension as Dance is trying to figure out what exactly is going on and working to keep a ship that is literally falling apart together despite the grumbling of the crew.
If I could change anything, the ending is a bit abrupt, but I was also satisfied because Dance and Jane get to be together, and this is one couple that I definitely rooted for. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Ms. Essex (who coincidentally graduated from my college alma mater :)
This was a very enjoyable Regency romance. Dominic seems a bit stiff-necked, but he mellows beautifully. Any man who could fall in love with a kittenThis was a very enjoyable Regency romance. Dominic seems a bit stiff-necked, but he mellows beautifully. Any man who could fall in love with a kitten has my thumbs up! Dotty is a very lovable heroine, and I liked the look at Regency manners. It was nice to visit with the Worthington clan again.
I picked this one up from the library because I was in the mood for a historical romance, and the Scottish hero was a draw, of course. This turned outI picked this one up from the library because I was in the mood for a historical romance, and the Scottish hero was a draw, of course. This turned out to be a cute and enjoyable read. It feels a little light and uncomplicated, to my tastes, but sometimes that's what you're looking for. The hero, Alex was determined not to fall in love with the heroine, Catherine, but he couldn't seem to stay away from her.
I liked the family dynamics on both sides. Both Alex and Catherine are driven by duty to their families. Catherine needs to make a successful marriage and Alex wants to see his young sister married off before he returns home. He made his mother a promise not to marry an Englishwoman, but Cat is making that very hard for him to keep. Cat is appealing in every way. She's sweet and kind, beautiful, and has a good head on her shoulders. When she keeps trying to look for another husband, it makes him realize that the only man he wants her to marry is him. Cat likes everything about Alex, but the problem is he isn't the suitable husband she desperately needs. She can't afford to let love or lust keep her away from her objective. She has to keep a roof over her family's head, since her father had died and her mother had squandered most of their inheritance. She needs a husband who is willing to take on responsibility of her family, along with a new wife.
Good chemistry and likeable characters make this a pleasant read. I would like to continue this series.
I have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayedI have to be honest. I did not like the hero William, much at all. He was a selfish prick, in my opinion. He did come around slowly. He felt betrayed by his wife, but for good reason, but then he becomes a bad husband, visiting brothels and getting drunk, and when he decides to focus on his marriage, his wife has fallen into a depraved lifestyle. I know he was young, but he was old enough to know better. Then he goes into hiding in a small town, Loves Bridge. He sees his old flame, Belle, and decides he deserves to start hitting that again, and says something really mean to her when she says no, before they can do the dead. She had every right to stop things with a married man. Also, I didn't like that he was perfectly okay with cheating on his wife with prostitutes, but not with a respectable woman. I think prostitution is reprehensible. I don't think prostitutes deserve any less respect than any woman (even if they're paid sex workers), and I think less of a hero who believes that. While William does apologize for what he said to Belle, it left a bad taste in my mouth. As well as his double standards about his wife's behavior. She was acting out and he couldn't be a man and love her and commit to his marriage, even if she wasn't what he thought she was.
This novella pushed my buttons in the worst way about male and female relations and societal double standards that still exist today. The woman gets into trouble, and is forced to deal with it alone, and the man skips out blissful and free from responsibility. Young William didn't deserve Young Belle, and I'm not 100% sure that Old William does. She gave him her virginity and he goes off and forgets her, and leaves her to deal with a situation he definitely contributed to. Then when he sees her, he assumes she's going accommodate his horniness despite his wife back in town. Ugh. Belle definitely loved more than he did. I like that Belle is a normal woman with normal needs. I'm so glad that her conscience kicked in and she won't go through with sleeping with him, even if he's in a bad marriage. I think it would have been a dealbreaker if she did sleep with him while he was married. Women do have sex drives, and while she was celibate for many years, she still had those feelings. I hated that she was made to be the fallen woman by her awful father (a vicar of all things) while William goes off and sows plenty of wild oats, before and after his marriage (and going to prostitutes doesn't make it better than his wife's more public, less discrete behavior).
I'm really glad this was a free read. I would have been a lot madder if I hadn't read for free. I normally like this author a lot. I couldn't get past William's behavior and the blase' attitude about prostitution, which I know she's not alone about. It's treated as a casual thing but it's a social ill and it's a terrible life for those women (and often men and children). I would like to see more heroes who realize how wrong that it. Like another reader, the high point was the cat, Poppy, who becomes not just a matchmaker but a protector of the spinsters. I'm crazy in love with cats so that worked for me.
Having said that, if a reader wants to get a prequel for this series, it's free on Kindle. I have the Kindle, but I read this as a bonus novella with How to Manage a Marquess.
This was so good! I loved Lachlan. He was so vulnerable and lonely. Lana was perfect for him. Her sweet confidence comforted his lonely soul. DefiniteThis was so good! I loved Lachlan. He was so vulnerable and lonely. Lana was perfect for him. Her sweet confidence comforted his lonely soul. Definitely my favorite of the series.
Although I miss the laugh out loud humor of the first books in the series, I still really enjoyed this book, and I was drawn into the romance. Alex woAlthough I miss the laugh out loud humor of the first books in the series, I still really enjoyed this book, and I was drawn into the romance. Alex won my heart. She's a great heroine.
I love Manda Collins' narrative voice. It's so friendly and inviting. Trent was a scrumptious hero, and the conflict sheds light on the problematic meI love Manda Collins' narrative voice. It's so friendly and inviting. Trent was a scrumptious hero, and the conflict sheds light on the problematic mental health system of the 19th century. A good conclusion to this series.
This was a very romantic book, and Matt is a wonderful hero. I think I would have liked more conflict to round it out. I love the idea of a heroine wiThis was a very romantic book, and Matt is a wonderful hero. I think I would have liked more conflict to round it out. I love the idea of a heroine with a big family (of siblings) ending up with a hero with a big family as well. That was fun. Kind of reminded me of "The Brady Bunch."
Enjoyable, but a bit too bland for me. It needed more conflict to give it more impact. If you've read a lot of Regency romance, you might find somethiEnjoyable, but a bit too bland for me. It needed more conflict to give it more impact. If you've read a lot of Regency romance, you might find something missing here.