A Gentleman Undone
Lydia Slaughter understands the games men play—both in and out of the bedroom. Not afraid to bend the rules to suit her needs, she fleeces Will Blackshear outright. The Waterloo hero had his own daring agen ...more
"Honor is the best part of you Will Blackshear. And I don't make that pronouncement lightly. No woman could, who's ever seen you naked."
Will Blackshear has returned from the Battles of Waterloo and Quatre Bras a broken man. Haunted by the death of his friend Talbot, he is desperate for funds to secure the future of Talbot's widow. As a youngest son with no fortune his only hope of quickly accruing the capital he needs to invest, is at the gaming tables.
Lydia Slaughter is another man's mistress. ...more
I slowly made my way through the beginning of this book, realizing it's not your usual. Nor was the story for Martha, Will's older sister, so this came a no surprise, but somehow I was surprised. It's stunning how brilliant this series is. How quietly rich and subversive, how oddly fresh. How terribly difficult too.
I'd tell you to expect plots more like Sherry Tho ...more
"With all the insolence she swallowed, it was a wonder her corsets still laced. Retort after rejoinder after sharp-edged remark: Why do you address me? What can I possibly have to say to a man who would split a pair of fives? Be quiet. Go to ...more
When Will Blackshear (former lieuten ...more
After a second read, I still love this book! Cecelia Grant is sitting pretty on a custom-made pedestal! Why? She provides compelling relief in a sea of monotonous romance novels. If you think you’ve read it all and believe you can predict what will happen next in a romance, then you haven’t read A Lady Awakened or A Gentleman Undone! The only thing guaranteed is a happy ending.
”I begin to...more
Cecilia Grant's voice remains intelligent and insightful. She understands and fleshes her characters better than most and with impeccable prose and such a human familiarity. Couples from A Lady Awakened and A Gentleman Undone respectively, Theo, Martha, Will, and Lydia never mimic cardboard. They're three-dimensional ...more
Once again ...more
In Grant's debut novel, A Lady Awakened, she gives us a young widow so desperate to keep her late husband's estate out of the hands of his incompetent heir that she hires someone to impregnate her. Not the most romantic of themes, to say t ...more
But it seems that I must have masochistic tendencies, because this book is as painful as it gets. I know, it doesn't sound endearing, but it's challenging.
I won't go too much into the plot. There are other reviews which did a wonderful job explaining it. A Gentleman Undone is for all those who kn ...more
Basically the story is about an ex-soldier and a courtesan working together to make some fast money at cards. Lydia Slaughter has a mathematical gift and can count cards like a pro, but she needs a ...more
I finished this book yesterday and still can't settle between a 2 and a 3 stars' rating. The first half was noticeably better than the second IMO, even though there was little to no romance there. Still, the writing was very good and both main characters were likeable until that point. However, when the heroes let go of blackjack and 21 lessons, and start indulging in their passion and need, the book surprisingly took a turn for the worse for me. The hero who was nice until then, if a l ...more
This book did not immediately engage me, neither did the characters. Cecilia Grant has written a very different story from her debut novel A Lady Awakened, a 5star novel that I absolutely adored. In this second novel, the tone is far more bleak and ominous, the circumstances are darker, and the characters are flawed to a frustrating degree. However, I have grown to appreciate the characters and their dark circumstances. The book is thoughtful and well-written, but ...more
If she keeps improving with every book like that, she might very well soon find the romance genre too limiting for her and end up winning a Pulitzer or something. I kid you not. If there is such a thing as a 'literary romance', this is it. None of the auburn ...more
The first third of the book is Lydia teaching Will how to count cards and improve his gambling skills. I'll admit I occasionally got bored during this part because it felt repetitive (and I was recovering from a reading slump), so it took an embarrassingly long time to get through. However, once the two of them started going to the gaming hells and getting emotionally closer to one another, I was sucked in and didn't want it to end!
*Some Google-fu has revealed that her once-dormant blog is now semi-active, and she is apparently writing again! No idea what she is writing, though. Apparently it ...more
On the next in the series - A Lady Entangled!
This second book in the series is my favourite. It's much darker and more intense than the first one and I loved every minute of it.
We have two broken characters fighting their demons who come together despite all the odds and this is just my favourite kind of romance story.
Broken war hero and courtesan may be a familiar trope in hi ...more
In the previous book we had a heroine who was emotionally detached. She didn't like sex but for the sake of greater good she engaged in carnal relations with hero from the beginning of the story.
Here we have another emotionally detached woman who actually LIKES sex but she won't have it with hero. For a better part of the book she sleeps with her "protector" and our hero actually witnesses these acts twice.
This is something that puts me off. I don' ...more
I had trouble getting into this story. The hero is a gambler and the heroine a whore.
The first chapter, about the hero (an officer) carrying one of his dritically injured men to the battle field hospital, didn't ring true to me.
As an officer, he would have had had the authority to organize the chaos around him, such as comandeering transportation and ordering uninjured men to move the injured men. He behaved like a foot soldiar, not like an officer.
And then he's in a gambling establishment ...more
I admire Ms. Grant for her unflinching and gritty characterisation of Lydia, whose very flaws make her such a complex, unconventional and fascinating heroine. I admit that it is difficult to like the bold, ruthless, cold-hearted, sexual ...more
Once again I had very basic problems with digesting the prose. Apparently I am not the target audience, I do like sparse, but I want elegant instead of dry.
The other problem is how the author tried to milk Regency stereotypes to come up with a halfway "modern" narrative, with characters she apparently believes are more comprehensible to modern readers and sensitivities. Unfortunately that's not at ...more
Cecilia Grant is such a fresh voice in this genre. Will and Lydia are interesting, well-drawn, clever characters, and every seemingly predictable plot twist is subverted. This is beautiful and touching writing.
Perhaps a longer review to come when I've caught my breath. ...more
Will too had his back story and I loved his attraction to Lydia he was a helpless puddle around her.
Really enjoyed the sexual chemistry and how the Heroine was the brains behind the operation but not dampening the hero's own light.
Great story. Love Cecilia Grant's writing.
I didn't see ...more
One thing that I noticed in this book, and her earlier one, was that Ms. G ...more
This might be the biggest discrepancy yet between the book and its cover. It’s not about abs! Cecilia Grant has done it again and written a book about brains. Specifically, how one brain meets another brain, and how that connection can be just as profound as bodies or hearts. This got me, I admit it, the part where Lydia, untoward card sharp, has stacked a deck of cards for Will:
By the time he set down the king of spades he was sitting up straight, his whole face alight with such a look as Pa...more
And this was one case where the cameo from the previous couple in the series practically made me cry. I hate cameos! I hate spawn of cameos! What is happening to me? Why am I grinning?
And it appears her next in the series stars a Kelly LeBrock?! One of my fav ...more
A word about the "reviews" I post here: Please think of them as recommendations rather than reviews. If I like a book, I'll list it here and scrawl a few sentences about why I liked it. I've gone back and forth about whether to use stars (it feels like a sled ...more
Other books in the series
He could picture her holding the word with fingertips at arm's length, like a scullery maid disposing of a dead rat.”