Monday in Canberra
Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal―but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…
Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realises he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?
Something was niggling at me when I downloaded It’s All About the Duke. It wasn’t until I got into chapter three and the hero and heroine still hadn’t finished the conversation they began at the start of the book that I remembered: Amelia Grey’s writing style just doesn’t work for me.
I actually enjoyed the opening, even though it includes a trope I dislike: the heroine who secretly writes scandal sheets. I liked the characters, enjoyed the dialogue…
However, the conversation just kept going. The first scene of the book takes three chapters and 16% of the text. It’s FAR too long to hold a reader’s interest.
I read the first book in this Rakes of St James series last year, and had a similar reaction. The conversation that opened that book also went for three whole chapters. The pace was far too slow, and with each conversation taking up such a huge chunk of the book, there wasn’t any time left for character or plot development.
I admit: I didn’t finish this one. Scenes that would have been witty and fun if they’d been edited just made my mind wander. I simply couldn’t find the motivation to devote any more hours to the book.
This is Regency (? – I didn’t see a date) romance for people who enjoy writers who use a lot of dialogue, and for readers who like a book that moves at a slower pace. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience for it.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?
The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind–until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.
Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride?
There is a fad at the moment for historical romances involving governesses (or a chaperone from a governess agency, as is the case here). They seem to have overtaken duke-who-is-also-a-spy as the theme du jour.
I have read one other book by author Amelia Grey, and found it was your standard Regency romance. Inoffensive, familiar to those of us who read this genre often, delivering all the things you expect from the subgenre.
This one is no different.
The book is a little slow to get going – all except for the insta-lust! The first three chapters cover just ONE conversation between hero and heroine. He walks into her office, gets a nice feeling in his loins when he sees her, and decides he absolute MUST employ her as the chaperone for his sisters.
The act of convincing her to go along with this plan takes all of those three chapters.
Chapter four is the heroine considering the offer she has accepted, while chapter five sees the hero leaving the office and meeting up with his friends. All three of these men are dukes – that’s more dukes than I’ve ever seen in one series before! – and the others are obviously future heroes of future books in the series.
Chapter five is entirely the three dukes talking.
Chapter six is entirely the heroine talking to her little sister.
I was beginning to wonder if the plot would ever begin!
There is nothing especially wrong with this book (though people’s ages seem to keep changing!); I simply wasn’t enthralled by it.
If you’re looking for a standard Regency read, Last Night with the Duke is just that. However, I’m not sure it will stay with me for long.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.
I will be in Sydney when this post goes up, but plan to add to it when I get back!
UPDATE: So, back in Canberra and the heatwave that won’t seem to go away! Weirdest thing that happened in Sydney: I dislocated my right knee for (I think – as far as I can count) the eleventh time. It is a very common ballet injury, where is why it started happening to me. It’s not as bad an injury as it was the first few times, but still annoying and stupid.
A stubborn nobleman and a wilful young woman are at the heart of bestselling author Amelia Grey’s newest love story.
Can An Improper Proposal
Adam Greyhawke is through with marriage. After losing his wife at a young age, he’s more interested in carousing and gambling at the Heirs’ Club than taking another trip to the altar. When his obligations as the Earl of Greyhawke thrust him into the heart of Society, he dreads the boredom that only a ballroom can inspire in a roguish scoundrel. That is, until he meets a bewitching young woman who captures his curiosity—and reminds him just how delicious desire can be.
Lead To True And Lasting Passion?
Miss Katharine Wright is accustomed to men interested only in her generous dowry. Adam’s attraction is far more powerful—he tests her wits and her courage at every turn, until she finds herself longing to fulfil an everlasting passion she never imagined was possible. But the breathtakingly handsome nobleman is as stubborn as he is scandalous, and Katharine must be the one to convince him that real love is worth any risk…
Despite the mildly sleazy title, this is no porn-fest. Wedding Night With the Earl is your standard Regency romance, complete with language issues! I thought the beginning was strong and it definitely hooked me. However, I found the 30% of the book that came after (devoted to one evening where hero and heroine meet) to drag a little.
There is nothing objectionable here, and while children in books like these can sometimes be irritating, I liked the addition of the little boy. While the “carriage accident” plot point is as common in historical romance as the “traumatised SEAL from Texas” is in contemporary romance, the author found a new take on it.
I am not familiar with this series, but the secondary characters (past heroes and heroines) weren’t too intrusive. I did think there were maybe a few too many people introduced near the start, but I sort of ignored them and got on with the main story!
Some of the characters have pretty ridiculous names, as so often happens when people make up titles for their Regency romances!
Two issues I had:
#1 the run-on sentences. There’re A LOT of them. Paragraph-long sentences with seventy different ideas in them. Do editors not fix these distracting issues?
#2 the English. The characters kept saying “way too many” instead of FAR too many, and it read like 21st century teenagers talking rather than 19th century aristocracy!
There were the usual US-versus-British mistakes, but one I’ve never encountered before in historical romance came up a few times: calling beetroots “beets”.
This is the sort of Regency romance you go to for a comfort read.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.