The Week: 9th – 15th October

Spring Flowers Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 10th October 2017 Pink Garden Nature 1

Spring Flowers Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 10th October 2017 Pink Garden Nature 2

Spring in Canberra this week.

It seems this was the week the Christmas ads started on television. Maybe not for the US  or Canada, with Halloween and Thanksgiving and all of that, but they did here!

This week marked a month since I returned from Spain. However, on Monday we booked a trip for next year: to Ireland and England, so I’m planning again!

We’ll take advantage of Qatar Airways’ new flights out of Canberra and fly into Dublin (where I lived and worked for a little while), and then travel up to Belfast and spend a few weeks in Northern Ireland. My surname is 100% Northern Irish. Even though I’ve only ever seen Northern Ireland in dreary late-November, I remember it as gorgeous.

After that we’ll fly to Leeds (in England) and then spend a few weeks in the Peak District and Yorkshire before flying home from Manchester. My dream Pride and Prejudice adventure…

The plans were changing for weeks. I still “have” to do a more extensive trip around Wales, and spend more time in Scotland. I also want to visit Cornwall, Devon etc. – I’ve seen quite a lot of the south over the years, but not that part. For a small place, there’s too much to see!

Interview: Rachel Brimble

My review of Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

My review of Ethan’s Daughter: Templeton Cove Stories (Templeton Cove #7) by Rachel Brimble

My review of A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

A Baby for Christmas (Sweet Home Montana Book 2) by Joan Kilby

Britain’s Libraries Week

Romance Books Category Romance

Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

Pursued for the Viscount's Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

Beneath that puritanical dress she was quite beautiful

Viscount Gilmorton had never seduced a woman before but, as the only way to avenge himself on her deceitful brother, he was prepared to disgrace the buttoned-up Deborah Meltham.

He was planning nothing more than to shame her, but not beyond repair. Gil would ensure that she came to him willingly, because if Deborah was as lonely as he thought, she should be receptive to him. Only Gil hadn’t counted on his feelings for her changing—nor her reaction when she realised he’d been deceiving her from the start…

Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance by Sarah Mallory

The tropes in Pursued for the Viscount’s Vengeance are pretty common in historical romance, and the main theme is one I am not very comfortable with. However this book came with excellent reviews, and I am very glad I gave it a chance.

The idea of a man seeking to avenge the death(s) of a family member(s) by ruining his enemy’s sister is a popular one, but a difficult one to pull off. As much as I enjoy a bit of dark drama, and as much as I enjoyed this book, there’s still such a level of sexism and viciousness to it in most cases.

On the other hand, this WAS very good read. The author created realistic historical characters who came across as very “Regency England” to me. I was never bored, and I put aside some review books for this one – one I actually bought for myself.

I loved that hero and heroine take their time getting to know each other, much more than in most romances these days, and even though the hero was doing it under false pretences.

Another bonus was that the revenge plot wasn’t the entire plot. This meant that the deception wasn’t drawn out for the whole book. There is also a secondary story involving counterfeiting and crime that the heroine is inadvertently caught up in.

An interesting take on a much-used trope.

It’s just a pity none of the character’s distinctive marks (scars, way of dress etc.) made it onto the cover!

The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory

the-dukes-secret-heir-by-sarah-mallory

‘This, madam, changes everything.’

Years ago, in the Egyptian desert, Ellen Tatham fell wildly in love and exchanged vows with Max Colnebrooke. But, when made to believe Max could not be trusted, she fled…

Now, Max is back in England to take up the reins as Duke of Rossenhall. And when he spies Ellen at a ball, the sparks are hard to contain! Little does Max know, though, that Ellen has a secret… And soon, he must learn to embrace an unexpected heir, and an unexpected–and disconcertingly defiant–duchess!

The Duke’s Secret Heir by Sarah Mallory

I picked this one up after I read the review at All About Romance. I’d probably not have otherwise, because I’m becoming exhausted with all the Harlequin/Mills and Boon titles with children on the covers.

The review suggested that this is a good book (it is), but with a hero who is very hard to like (he is).

I love reunion stories, and this is one. Hero and heroine met and married in a hurry when they were both in Egypt. However, world affairs got in their way, and they were separated, each thinking they were betrayed by the other.

When they run into each other again in England four years later, there is a son to consider.

This is all the sort of drama I love to read, and why this is my favourite trope.

The problem here is that the book is all about the hero’s sense of betrayal, and he demonises the heroine, gives her no chance for her own pain, and treats her terribly for most of the book.

He seems incapable of seeing that both of them were wronged in this situation, and he takes no responsibility for the secrets and lies on his part. It is such a contradiction to the man he was in the flashback scenes it made me a bit angry. He waits for her to prove herself – over and over – before he “forgives” her; he does nothing of the sort in return.

Only a few pages before the end of the book he is still blaming HER for the fact HE took off on dangerous missions and got people killed.

Max blaming Ellen for HIS recklessness is distasteful; his resentment has little foundation. X

I can’t help imagining what would happen the next time there was a misunderstanding. Would he be such a bastard again?

(However – yay for a fair-haired, green-eyed hero!)

On the other hand, this is beautifully written, and the English author brings more authenticity to the dialogue than you will find in most Regency romances.

There are also some excellent side characters (including one sad storyline), though the sister-in-law character is just a tad too mean for me! The little boy isn’t annoying, as romance novel children so often are.

I think that your enjoyment of this book will be dependent on your tolerance for heroes acting like jerks.

For me? I thought it was worth a read, even if I’d have been looking for ANY way to divorce, not reunite with, the man!