If you like Stephanie Laurens work, or steamy sex scenes, then you will probably quite like this book. It's about average for her though. Thomas CarriIf you like Stephanie Laurens work, or steamy sex scenes, then you will probably quite like this book. It's about average for her though. Thomas Carrick and Lucilla Cynster are fated for each other, but Carrick has lived most of his life in Glasgow, and knows that Lucilla is tied to Casphairn Manor. So he's been avoiding her, hoping his fixation will eventually die off and he'll be able to marry some nice city girl. However, when Carrick receives disturbing news concerning problems with Carrick Estate, his clan holdings, he heads off to see what he can do.
Truth be told, I found the problems at the Carrick Estate much more interesting than Thomas and Lucilla's love life, but after three attempts on Lucilla's life, Thomas and Lucilla head back to neighboring Casphairn Manor where they pursue their romantic inclinations. The mystery part of the story is put on hold and isn't really addressed again until the epilogue, nor our the bounders brought to heel. Instead, the story of Carrick Estate will be carried over the Lauren's next book, A Match for Marcus Cynster, which is due out in May.
A few things that bothered me...the Adder and the Gargoyle: evidently there are not too many inventive ways to make attempts on people's lives in the Regency Era, but Laurens has used the Adder and Gargoyle in her previous stories. So you just know when those scenes are coming up. The attempt to smother Lucilla with a pillow was kind of new. It just sort of bothered me that rather than rousing the household and at least trying to find the murder, Lucilla treats it as a way to get Thomas into her room and into her bed.
The other thing was the use of the double "that" in a sentence as well as the double "had". Yes, technically, they are grammatically correct, however, they are difficult to read. Laurens uses them a fair bit the in the book. I just found it unusual, as given the amount of reading I do, I can't remember the last time I've see the double "that" used in a book, not to mention seeing it used more than once in the same book.
Yes, I've got the sequel on order. I'm quite sure there is more villainy to come, so I'll be looking forward to Marcus and Niniver taking over the investigation in May....more
The tale of the up and coming ape leader who is determined to have one night of passion before resigning herself to the life of a spinster is a commonThe tale of the up and coming ape leader who is determined to have one night of passion before resigning herself to the life of a spinster is a common trope in Regency Romance. And while the basic plot of the story may not be terribly original, the characters certainly are.
Author Erica Ridley carries off this story line with wit, humor, intelligence and a fair bit of madness in the "The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress". Our heroine in this tale has an interesting problem. She isn't just "plain" Jane Downing, she is totally forgettable Jane Downing, at least in the eyes of the ton. At four-and-twenty she has only danced twice, and one of those dances was with her brother! So when the opportunity presents itself, Jane takes herself off to Chelmsford and in the middle of a snowstorm that would make Greenland proud, shows up at the cottage of Captain Xavier Grey, the one man she just can't get out of her head.
Grey, like most of Ridley's heroes, has problems of his own. A decorated hero, Grey has done terrible, terrible things during the Napoleonic wars, things he cannot forgive himself for. The last thing he wants to do is deflower Miss Downing, but he finds her not only unforgettable, but quite delectable as well.
Snowed in for several days, and determined to keep his hands to himself, Grey tries to find ways to amuse Miss Downing that do not have to do with the bedchamber. And aside of the the amusing activities they get into - including trying to stop the Miss Downing's demon cat from destroying everything in the house - they talk, and they learn things about each other. Trying not to bare their bodies, they instead bare their souls.
Aside from the humor, there is a good deal of history in the book, as Ridley weaves both real life and fiction into the story. And while there is some angst on the part of both of the characters, it never overwhelms the story and drags it down.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the ending had me in tears! This is the second complete novel in Ridley's "Dukes of War" series, but it stands up quite well on it's own and you need not have read either the introductory novella, or the first book in the series to enjoy this one.
I received an ARC of this book for free in exchange for an honest review, but I also have it on pre-order on Amazon, as this is one story I'll want to enjoy again - perhaps when I'm snowbound for a couple of days! ...more