Tag Archive | victorian romance

R is for Ravished #atozchallenge #ABCofRomance @AprilA2Z

risfor

Ravished ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Gideon has a bad reputation as a defiler of innocents, but Harriet always has thought he was the perfect gentleman.

She had a way of making him feel heroic, noble, and proud.”

Harriet is a country girl who loves to explore the caves near her home. She has no intention of getting married so she does not care what the general perception of her is. She likes her freedom. However, she is very attracted to Gideon.

If you had any sense, you would run from me as fast as possible.” – Gideon

Opinion

I have nothing but good things to say about this book. I like Harriet because she is no-nonsense and full of energy. This does mean that she gets into trouble because many of her harebrained schemes are better on paper than in action. It makes for interesting times. Most importantly though, she is fair in giving Gideon the benefit of the doubt instead of falling in line with believing the tawdry, unfounded gossip. She sounds like the type of person with whom I would like to have fun.

She was playing with fire when it came to getting physical with Gideon. While he tried to warn her, but “making love to Harriet had become as inevitable as the dawn.”

Her hesitation to commit after the deed was done was also humorous. Not because she did not love him, she was worried about getting tied down. In true gentlemen’s fashion, he was able to convince her that they needed to do the honorable thing and get married.

This is a romance all the way, but there is also a dash of mystery and suspense that are essential to the plot development. The villain of the story was unexpected the first time I read it. I thought it was going to be someone else. There are a few red herrings along the way.

As for the romance part of the plot, Harriet and Gideon have great chemistry. That is not all, they also have a lot of common interests. The fact that she “inflamed his passions” was an added bonus.

Should you buy? Of course! This is one of my favorites from Amanda Quick because I like Harriet as character. Gideon was the strong silent type of man who is trying to do the right thing even though he does not get any credit for it. Harriet is his champion. My kind of love story.

Book details from Goodreads
Mass Market Paperback, 385 pages
Published December 2005 by Bantam (first published July 1992)

Available on Amazon

D is for Dangerous #ABCofRomance #a2zchallenge @aprila2z

Disfor

Dangerous ♥♥♥♥

Synopsis
Prudence is 25 (old maid by Victorian standards) and meets with Sebastian in the middle of the night to request that he not fight her brother in a duel. Sebastian is intrigued that Prudence has such a lack of regard for social conventions, that he grants her request. Additionally, they share an interest in investigating mysteries.

It seems that Prudence is constantly getting into precarious situations and Sebastian feels obligated to stick close to her in order to help her. Prudence has nothing but confidence in Sebastian’s abilities to protect her because she thinks he is a gentleman despite his supposed reputation.

Opinion
Before I begin, I must preface this opinion by saying that I have loved Amanda Quick’s writing style since I was a teenager (all her heroes are my book boyfriends). Even though a lot of her books have a very consistent formula using a surly, but honor bound hero and a very independent, sometimes rash thinking heroine, I find her books very entertaining. This book met expectations and did not stray from the proven base formula.

One of the things that I most enjoyed about this book is the dialogue between Sebastian and Prudence.

My dear, there are occasions when I don’t know quite which it is that I admire most about you: your cleverness or your passionate response to me in bed.” – Sebastian

Prudence’s reply, “I know it is a difficult choice.”

Of course, Prudence rarely listened when Sebastian told her to stay in one place. This led to many potentially risky situations. Sebastian took it all in stride. He knew his woman.

I had a hunch you wouldn’t follow orders” – Sebastian

He only had himself to blame for marrying a woman who shared his enthusiasm for investigation.

Prudence was not my favorite heroine of all of the books that I have read by Amanda Quick because at times I thought she seemed to be shrewish. However, I think that Sebastian’s personality was so strong that it didn’t matter as much that she was too bossy because he’s only going to let her get her way when he wants her to. The most important aspect is how she made him feel and that was all that mattered.

She was so warm and he had been cold for so long.

Should you buy? Yes! Especially so if you are a Victorian romance fan. I think you will laugh out loud at some of Prudence’s antics.

Book details from Goodreads
Paperback, 339 pages
Published April 1993 by Bantam Books (first published January 1st 1993)

Available on Amazon

Breaking the rules hoyden style


The Harlow Hoyden: A Regency Romance♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Emma is known as the Harlow hoyden because she flaunt society’s expectations of the core for young ladies. She prides herself in engaging in adventures that would not be becoming of a young lady.She enlists the help of Alex, Duke of Trent, to woo the affection of her engaged sister Lavinia.

What good is a libertine if he won’t toy with your sister’s affections and then ruthlessly drop her?”

Alex is a bored Duke that humors Emma because she intrigues him. On one hand, he is a very proper person that tries to follow the rules of polite society. But on the other hand, there is something about Emma that keeps him coming to her rescue. He tries to justify his behavior by thinking that she needs someone to keep her out of trouble.

Opinion

When I read the synopsis, I thought that this would be like an Amanda Quick novel. When I finished the first chapter, the opening scenes emphasized my first impression. As I continued reading, the similarities between Emma and Amanda Quick’s character were there but not as profound.

I have mixed feelings towards Emma. She had spunk and energy that I like. However, her irrational behavior meant that she had a less than credible reputation. She would blow things out of proportion to such an extent that she came across as being high strung. There were many times that she would act before she knew the full story. In the situations where she had all the facts, she did not elaborate, filling people in with the information that would be useful for them to make a decision. Therefore, when there was a verified threat, no one believed her.

I wish I could have shaken her.

The only reason why Trent went along with her harebrained schemes is to be able to save her when things inevitably went wrong. It could all be summed up when he said, “I have a vested interest in keeping that beautiful body of yours safe”. Mmm hmmm. He did it all for the nookie.

At least by the end, she acknowledged to some extent her limitations because of society’s expectation of women.

Overall, while Emma was not one of my favorite characters of all time, her antics did make for an entertaining story. She found true love and her happy-ever-after ending. The Harlow Hoyden: A Regency Romance is a good read if you like Victorian and Regency style romances. Just be prepared for Emma’s antics to drive you a little batty.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Lonely Lords Series: Ethan


Ethan: Lord of Scandals (The Lonely Lords) – ♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Ethan is the oldest brother to Nicholas and he is a widowed father of two young boys. Alice is their governess. (there is so much going on in this story that I did not even know where to start).

Opinion

It would seem that this story is the standard “man falls for governess” trope. While parts of the story seem to drag on (blame Victorian polite society for all the prevaricating), all of that seemingly fluff helps the reader understands why there is so much hesitation on both sides to enter into a relationship. Every scene helped me to understand the Ethan and Alice so that they were more than characters on a page. They became more 3-dimensional.

The villains caused so much drama that I wondered if the main characters would be able to overcome it all. I disliked Ethan’s wife more and more as the story developed. She did a number on his emotional state that almost ruined him for future relationships. Throughout the story, I could ascertain bits and pieces of the main villain despicable character, but the depths of his evilness were spelled out near the end. He got better than I think he deserved considering the havoc he cause on the lives of so many people.

Out of all the Lonely Lords series romances, so far Ethan: Lord of Scandals (The Lonely Lords) was my most favorite, possibly because Ethan and Alice were so damaged. I am a sucker for the underdog getting a happy-ever-after ending.

 

Her foolish not wicked ways


Her Wicked Ways (Secrets & Scandals)   ♥♥♥

Synopsis

Miranda is a bored, spoiled girl from a rich family. Her parents find her misbehavior unbecoming of a young lady and banish her from London to the countryside to stay with her cousin and learn some propriety. She is supposed to stay until she has learned her lesson.

Foxcroft (Fox) is trying to manage a massive house with hundreds of acres and an orphanage using little income. He resorts to illegal means and justifies his spoils since he is like Robin Hood. He needs to marry an heiress to have the funds to support all those in his care.

My Opinion

The book should have been called “Her irresponsible/foolish/imprudent ways”. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but in Miranda’s case, it almost ruined her reputation. There was no explanation into her foolhardy behavior. Since she was determined to do what she was previously told not to do, she had a penchant for getting into sticky situations without thinking about the consequences. Miranda was a self-centered brat that was used to getting her way and hoping that her parents would overlook her indiscretions.

I do not know what to say about Fox. He had noble goals but I think he could have gone about it a different way.

In the end, Miranda was less self-centered due to her interaction at the orphanage. As for the romance, I did not think that Miranda was mature enough to handle a relationship. Fox was a little endearing since he was caring for the orphans, but that is about all he had going for him. Why Fox fell in love for such an immature chit of a girl is beyond me.

Her Wicked Ways was not too long, probably taking about a day to read. The story was okay. Not the best, but not the worst either. Miranda’s character lacks common sense, so that might annoy some readers. A few times, I thought she was an idiot for her behavior. However,  if you are looking for a Victorian-era romance, you might like this book.