Sarah's Reviews > Never a Gentleman

Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer
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's review
May 24, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-regency, super-favs
Read from May 19 to 24, 2011

** spoiler alert ** OK, let me just say that whether you loved or hated this book, there is no way anyone read this without some strong emotions coming into play. Ms. Dreyer is fantastic at drawing you into this emotional roller coaster ride where most everyone is flawed, and not just a little, but some serious human errors. And I loved it! I'll give my review first then some thoughts on "THE SCENE".

I really liked Grace. I know some people thought she was weak, but I looked at it differently. Her entire life she had been taught to do what was expected and needed regardless of how she felt or how it affected her personally. Every soldier's mantra, in fact. So for her to suddenly stand up to Diccan and demand her happiness would have been completely out of character. In fact, she tried a few times to do just that and ended up going back to take care of other people. Again. I truly thought this was in line with how Ms. Dreyer had written her. Do I wish she would have told Diccan off? Absolutely! But I am glad that she stuck true to her own character because at the end of the day she had to be able to look at herself in the mirror.

Diccan was an a$$. He comes to know Grace very well, and knew she could handle what he was going through, but he chose not to tell her because he was selfish. He even admitted as much when he went to Longbridge to get her back. He knew she was safer and happier in Longbridge, but he wanted her back in London for himself. But I also thought this was in line with his character as well. She soothes his roiling emotions at a time when he doesn't know which way is up, and he craves that peace and light that she brings. So he selfishly holds onto her even when he knows logically it isn't the best for her. And honestly, which one of us could do any different if we were mired in something that made us feel so dirty and unworthy? I loved that throughout the book we get his thoughts about how much it hurts him to hurt her. Without seeing that I think his actions would have been unforgivable. To know that he was slowly losing his mind every time he hurt her was a nice little piece of revenge for the reader. Obviously, I think that just trusting her in the first place was the answer because she has been raised a soldier's daughter. I think she would have understood and done her duty to help, just as she always had. But, of course, then we wouldn't have had a book, and that would have been much worse!

OK, the big one. THE SCENE! Was it horrible? Yes. Could I forgive so easily? I honestly don't know. Was it unnecessary to the story? I'm not sure here either. But do I think it took away from their romance? I don't think so. Here's why before everyone starts throwing rotten fruit. This story isn't based on us or what we would have done. It is based on these two characters, both of which have a steadfast belief in doing their duty. Diccan truly thought if he could just get through this one assignment, he and Grace could go off into the sunset so that is what he was working toward. Grace thought her duty was to be whatever Diccan needed, whenever he needed it, and so she did. Did it crush her? Yes. Did she "man up" and do what she thought was needed anyway? Yes. And I think that speaks more to her strength than her weakness. She really believed that she could just be who she used to be and fade into the background for Diccan. But I liked that it was her relationship to Diccan that finally taught her that she was worthy of more. The only thing I would have changed about the scene was the climax. To have Diccan so thoroughly spent you can use the words "blind orgasm" was too much to me. If he was truly disgusted by his behavior, I think not being able to orgasm would have been much more appropriate. Other than that, I think both characters remained true to the writing.

All in all, this is not a fluff romance novel. This is a dark, twisted tale of what life is really like for some. It's not always roses, rainbows, and unicorns. Ms. Dreyer does an excellent job of making her H/h earn their HEA which, for me, makes it that much more believable. Although, I will admit that I probably wouldn't be able to read all of these books back to back. I'd have to have a good Anne Mallory in there somewhere for some lightness! But then I'd dive right back into Drake's Rakes salivating for more pain and misery. Does that make me sick?

BTW, the sneak peek into Kate's book was already so emotionally charged that I was begging for more even as I turned on Spongebob to deflate!
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Reading Progress

05/19/2011 page 1
0.0% "I am so excited to start this one! Is is lunch time yet?"
05/19/2011 page 135
34.0% "I'm not particularly liking Diccan at the moment. He, of all people, should know people aren't always what they seem."
05/20/2011 page 245
61.0% "I love her writing - it's so real. But I can't help but feel that there is another answer to this dilemma that won't be introduced because she needs this obstacle."
05/23/2011 page 365
91.0% "UGH!! So close to the end when my lunch hour ended!! Why haven't I won the lottery yet?"

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Sarah I hope I win. That teaser chapter at the end of the first book was just too good!!

Denise Awesome review Sarah!

Sarah Thanks! It's hard not to give such a good review on such a fantastic book!! I'm pretty excited over these!

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