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All posts for the month July, 2015

All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue review

Published July 29, 2015 by francesothomas

The heroine of Sophie Jordan’s All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue very nearly accomplishes this task when the book is scarcely underway. That is if implying that his, ahem, masculinity is somewhat lacking counts as ruin.

Aurelia has an unusual talent for drawing unflattering caricatures that she unleashes on Max. She’s in the throes of puppy love until she stumbles upon him in throes of another sort with a housemaid. The two have wasted no opportunity to snipe at each other for years since that incident.

Faced with the prospect of moving to a remote corner of Scotland, Aurelia decides it is time to acquire a husband. Her choices don’t sit well with Max. He says he’s only looking out for her since she is his best friend’s sister. Of course, the bickering has alerted us that he wants Aurelia for himself.

I’m not a fan of this book, I must confess. My tastes tend more toward witty repartee than in cutting remarks. I also felt there wasn’t much plot here.

This is the second book in the Debutante Files.

jordan

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A Match for Marcus Cynster review

Published July 22, 2015 by francesothomas

laurens

I have long been a fan of Stephanie Laurens, but A Match for Marcus Cynster didn’t do it for me. First off, when I had to wade through seven pages (large type, but still) of names and ranks of characters who would appear in this book, I should have foreseen trouble ahead.

The entire novel was just too wordy. I found myself skimming l-o-o-o-ng paragraphs or skipping them altogether.

Still, I did keep reading. A plot device was inventive (I won’t give it away), and the heroine and especially the hero were appealing. The climax of the story was attention-grabbing.

Perhaps Laurens should have written this as a novella. Or perhaps the Cynsters have run their course. This one is the 22nd Cynster novel and the third Cynster Next Generation novel. Star Trek it ain’t.

The Maddening Lord Montwood review

Published July 15, 2015 by francesothomas

We’ve all heard the adage “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” That pretty much sums up the situation of Frances, the heroine in The Maddening Lord Montwood by Vivienne Lorret. She’s rescued from impossibly bad circumstances by an aristocrat who claims to be an old family friend. He is praised far and wide for his goodness and generosity. So why does Lucan, the maddening lord of the title, keep warning her to be cautious?

It seems Lucan has already had one good deed backfire on him at the hands of the deceptively charming Whitelock. Yet he is still determined to save Frances and her hapless father from the deliciously slimy villain.

The plot ventures into implausibility here and there. One wonders how a large dog can stand guard within a house with nobody the wiser, for example. And it does take Frances rather a long time to notice that something peculiar is going on.

There are some appealing secondary characters, however, and all the plot threads are neatly sewn up.

Lorret is a new author for me. I’m glad I found her.

vivienne

Vanity Fare Review

Published July 8, 2015 by francesothomas

Megan Caldwell. Megan Frampton. Tomato. To-mah-to. Equally delicious no matter what the name.

I finished Megan Caldwell’s Vanity Fare almost in a single sitting. In fact, I got so caught up in it that I nearly missed dinner. And I never miss dinner. I was inspired to seek out the contemporary version of  Megan after I read the regency Megan’s Put Up Your Duke.

An English major myself, I got many a chuckle from the outrageous literary puns that the book’s heroine Molly concocts to market a bakery that is to open a stone’s throw from the New York Public Library.

For a woman who has been dumped by her husband, Molly certainly is surrounded by gorgeous men. The celebrity baker has an ego that fits his status and looks. His business partner is almost too good to be true, what with taking a shine to Molly’s six-year old.

Molly’s two BFFs, not to mention her therapist, are both loyal and honest. Her son is adorable. Even the scrapbooking party is fun.

I can’t resist a novel in which the heroine learns to stand up for herself. I only wish I could tell people off as skillfully.

Megan Caldwell

Megan Caldwell

Put Up Your Duke Review

Published July 1, 2015 by francesothomas

I just loved Put Up Your Duke by Megan Frampton, Dukes Behaving Badly Book Two. Nick is in the midst of an evening’s pleasure with not one, not two, but three “ladies” of ill repute when he learns he has become a duke. Along with the dukedom, he acquires a fiancée.

Said fiancée Isabella has been corseted physically and emotionally to within an inch of her life to become a perfect duchess. The only time she can let down her guard is with her sister Margaret behind bedchamber doors.

The inner monologues as these two try to figure each other out are as entertaining as they are revealing of character.  So are the clever excerpts before each chapter from the imaginary serial that mirrors the plot. Watching Izzy at last have an opportunity to come into her own is great fun. And the title is oh so apropos.

I don’t know how I missed Book One of this series, but I am making it my business to find it.  I hope  Margaret gets a book of her own too.

Megan Frampton

Megan Frampton