This started out promisingly enough. I liked Ema and I thought it was kind of hilarious that Darian's daughter basically tells him to get over himself...moreThis started out promisingly enough. I liked Ema and I thought it was kind of hilarious that Darian's daughter basically tells him to get over himself and get laid already. Things take a bit of a weird turn when during the role playing Ema is almost eaten alive. Twice.
The one thing that sometimes bothers me about these 1Night Stand stories is that it always feels like I'm playing in a small pool that's attached to a larger ocean. I suppose they're all sort of in the same universe, but the rules seem to vary one to the other. We're not given enough rationale behind why the Agency would pair a (supposedly) human candidate with an Otherworldly one, despite it being against a whole bunch of laws and honestly there's only so much stretch I can give to my disbelief when the author info-dumps about what's wrong with her heroine.
How is it that Ema has gone her entire life without someone questioning things? Why is Darian the first one to say 'Now hold on a second this is odd'?
For a quick romp however the sex is hot and I did like Darian quite a bit. I wish this was longer, so the author could focus more on the build up and less on the 'Insta Lust Just Add Sex' angle. I would have liked to see Darian and Ema explore what exactly her otherworldly senses mean and interact beyond the bedroom.
read THE FLIGHTY FIANCEE during an airplane ride and at the time I was entertained, if kind of baffled. I could not, for the life of me, figure out w...more read THE FLIGHTY FIANCEE during an airplane ride and at the time I was entertained, if kind of baffled. I could not, for the life of me, figure out why these two wanted to be together. No matter which viewpoint the story was from, both India and Bartholomew wonder 'Why doesn't he/she like me more?'. Maybe because you Bartholomew spend your entire time stiff as starch instead of trying to be charming and you India are the biggest hoyden I've ever read about.
India's excuse that she's not a hoyden, just a little wild, is absurd. She admits she pushes the line of propriety and that she's spoiled and heedless of convention, but she should be treated like a lady. Meanwhile Bartholomew is hot to trot and seems to think letting his fiancee run around flirting with every male she meets will help her 'get used to the idea of marrying him'. Don't even get me started on when they decide to teach each other a lesson. Its specious logic like this on both their parts that had me tearing my hair out. This was zero communication and as a result the book became forgettable and frustrating.
Lady India wants passion in her life, the kind she secretly reads about and has dreamed about late into the night. Her fiancee Lord Bartholomew is anything but passionate. Stiff to the point of tiring, India resolves to do everything in her power to get him to break the engagement so she can get that passion somewhere else. Bartholomew, sick of waiting for India to 'gain perspective' on their impending marriage, decides maybe a more forceful tactic is needed to teach her that everything she needs rests with him.
(this review was originally posted at Night Owl Reviews)(less)
Lerner's debut regency, In For a Penny was a surprising, delightful read. Between the careful development of the relationship between Penelope and Nev...moreLerner's debut regency, In For a Penny was a surprising, delightful read. Between the careful development of the relationship between Penelope and Nev and the burgeoning social issues of the time, Lerner crafted a well thought out, entertaining and enchanting novel.
The premise itself isn't anything new or revolutionary--penniless titled gentleman seeks out rich heiress to fill the family coffers and fix all the money problems he has. What surprised me most was that instead of having either one or the both of them fall instantly in love with the other, Lerner detailed the various stages that veritable strangers go through to learn about one and other. Several times throughout the novel either Penelope or Nev would think to themselves that there was still so much to learn about the other.
Certainly their personalities were a good fit--they were both at opposite ends of the spectrum in most ways. Where Nev was careless and debauched, Penelope was careful and calculating. Where Nev could only see one extreme or the other (restraint vs. free reign), Penelope could only think in moderation. The two of them, more than anything else, taught the other how to compromise their ideas. Penelope didn't always have to be the perfect lady and Nev didn't always have to be the perfect embodiment of virtues either.
Lerner also sets up the scene for the background plot of the social confusion and evolving idea of class and class treatment as well. Through Nev we see the ton, through Penelope we see 'new money' and through the tenants of Lowestowe we see the worker class. Since the French Revolution all 3 classes have undergone changes--some swift and some gradual--as the world moved towards a new era of society and class reform. Because of the position Nev finds himself in--trying to restore the profitability of Lowestowe--we can clearly see how disastrous mismanagement can lead to absolutely terrible conditions for all.
Admittedly some of the plot threads and inclusions weren't as neatly tied up. I'm still confused about Tom Kedge and what exactly was going on there, and Amy's reappearance was abrupt and given scant thought unless the plot needed that obstacle.. I would have also liked more development between Louisa and her beau.
On a whole I believe In For a Penny was a sparkling, delightful and engrossing debut.
Re-Released Review. Originally reviewed on 3/10/2010 as a Dorchester title. This book is being re-released by Samhain Publishing on 6/3/2014.(less)
A FRAUDULENT BETROTHAL is more or less standard Regency fare. I should add, classic Regency fare, since it stays safely within the PG range of amorous...moreA FRAUDULENT BETROTHAL is more or less standard Regency fare. I should add, classic Regency fare, since it stays safely within the PG range of amorous intentions (so think more Georgette Heyer and less Julia Quinn). And, I have no problems with that, whatsoever. The story combined two of my favorite tropes, in fact—identical twins and mistaken identity, which alone makes it enjoyable for me.
The better chunk of the story is spent with Clarissa, since Marianne (who she replaces) is meant to be missing. I liked her well enough, though she didn’t really grow much of a personality until after realizing her feelings for Leighton. She grew much feistier then—questioning, a little snarky, and very good with the deceiving.
You can tell from how Andersen sets things up that this is meant to be a story about how Clarissa came into her own, but I felt as if it was rushed and inconsistent. Her common sense seems to have fled her rather abruptly at one point in the story, and for a little while, it seemed like every little thing would make her feel so utterly guilty that she had to confess the deception to whoever was closest.
We see little of Marianne until closer to the end, and what little I saw could have been taken one of two ways. Either Marianne wasn’t quite the frivolous birdbrain everyone assumed her to be, and we just didn’t see her enough early in the story to see that, or she was entirely without any common sense in her body and honestly didn’t understand the implications of her actions. A lot of the personality for Marianne is told to us by various sources; very little of it is shown, so it was hard to tell.
What saved the book for me, however, was Leighton. Especially Leighton around page 200. He was pretty interesting to begin with, but he literally steamrolled over everyone and everything to make things work out the way he wanted them. 'What’s that, you say? No marriage license? No worries, chap. I not only got you that, but got you the necessary time off from your job, told everyone you know, and got you all the official papers for it!' (I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea). The entire scene is really something a reader should read themselves, since if I divulge too much of the hilarity of the situation it will give away a lot.
In the end, this was a light, enjoyable read. It was quick, had some pretty amusing moments, and as long as you don’t want too much substance to the characters, quite diverting!
(this review was originally posted at Romance Reader at Heart)(less)
As this is a collection of three interconnected short stories, all centered around the Loa Bone Daddy, I'll review each story separately first.
"Releas...moreAs this is a collection of three interconnected short stories, all centered around the Loa Bone Daddy, I'll review each story separately first.
This is our first taste of Bone Daddy, the Loa (a voodoo spirit) and all the games he so likes to play. For all his sexuality and highly suggestive banter, he isn't such a bad sort. Wanton, mischievous and determined, but that's just the nature of the Loa (or at least this Loa of Sex). This is by far the hottest of the three stories; Bone Daddy is bound and determined to get Allegra naked and wanting, but than so is Rousseau. A lot of this story is based upon the common element of fear--for oneself, for what could happen, for what has happened. I thought Allegra, at least, was completely justify in her actions while Rousseau at times seems to paying lip service to how much he hated the arrangement with Bone Daddy.
Michelle, Allegra's friend from the first story and Ben, Rousseau's friend, definitely had a lot happening in "Release Me". Because of what happens in the first story I was a little hesitant about Ben in this one, but by the end I was more or less okay with things. Bone Daddy's role in here is less hands on until the end. Since Michelle can see him he hangs around her and this in turn is a good thing since she has a nasty Loa tracking her from her past. I honestly wasn't sure about what her hang up with Ben was. Misunderstanding and miscommunication is what drives a lot of this story and I'm not really a fan of either, especially when one character seems to be stubbornly clinging to the belief that the other is completely in the wrong. I liked the chemistry between Ben and Michelle, and this definitely set up more of Bone Daddy's history/uniqueness that is necessary to understand for story three.
Bone Daddy is the main player of this tale, a tale that has a lot to do with his past and even more with his present. While his exact situation was only hinted at in the other two stories we get the whole low down here and its a bit of a heartbreaker. Despite the fact this is Bone Daddy the heat level is oddly the lowest of the three stories, but I think this is a good thing. I really cared more about the resolution to his situation than if he got his jollies.
Overall this book presented exactly what it promised. Bone Daddy was definitely my favorite character, though his drastic behavioral change from the first story to the third story kind of made me do a double take. He's little more than a sex fiend in "Release Me", by "Redeem Me" he's tamed quite a bit. As this was my first time reading R.G. Alexander I am happy to report I look forward to more of her work in the future!