- Title: A Season for Sin
- Author: Vicky Dreiling
- Series: Sinful Scoundrels, Book 0.5
- Genre(s): Historical (Regency)
- Publisher: Forever Young (Hachette), September 2012
- Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley (99¢)
- Length: 100 pages
- Trope(s): Rake, Widow
- Quick blurb: Rake intends to make a beautiful young widow his mistress, but she’s not interested.
- Quick review: Can’t really review an unfinished story.
- Grade: DNF
Although I actually read the whole thing, I’m tagging this as a DNF, and here’s why:
Introducing the Sinful Scoundrels…
The Earl of Bellingham is nothing is not a creature of habit: money, meals, and mistresses must be strictly managed if a man is to have a moment’s peace. It’s a system that works splendidly for him — until now. With his oldest and dearest friends succumbing, one by one, to wedded bliss, Bell is now restless and a trifle lonely. Enter the Sinful Scoundrels — Colin Brockhurst, Earl of Ravenshire, and Harry Norcliffe, Viscount Evermore — who drag him back into society and draw his rakish eye to the ton’s new beautiful young widow. Bell isn’t after a wife, but a challenge. And Laura Davenport should fit the bill quite nicely…
Word count: 29,000 words
That’s the official description of this “novella” from Amazon. Do you see the words “preview” or “teaser” in there anywhere? No? Me either.
This is not a prequel. This is not a novella. This is not even a short story. Characters and conflict are introduced, but there is no resolution.
The “prequel” story ends at 67% of the Kindle version, with the remaining third an excerpt from the beginning of Dreiling’s upcoming full novel. If I had paid for this — even just 99¢ — I would have been really irritated at the blatant misrepresentation.
What’s there was an OK read, but I got the impression it would be just another typical Regency. And the publisher’s tactics in charging readers for a useless bit of fluff will not compel me to pay $7.99 for the author’s next release.
- Title: Forever and a Day
- Author: Jill Shalvis
- Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 6
- Genre(s): Contemporary
- Publisher: Grand Central, July 2012
- Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley ($7.99 ebook)
- Length: 385 pages
- Trope(s): Nanny, Millionaire, Plot Moppet, Animal Antics
- Quick blurb: Klutzy accountant takes a temp job as a dog-walker, and ends up as a nanny and more for a wealthy doctor and his troubled son.
- Quick review: Read it straight through in one sitting – but then it was just…kinda…gone.
- Grade: B–
Unfortunately, he was a man through and through, and therefore had a penis, which meant that there’d be no reasoning with him.
I was sucked into this immediately, and read it in a one-night book trance. But after I was done, I realized I enjoyed the humor far more than the romance – I never really connected with the h/h enough to really care about their HEA.
- Title: Thief of Shadows
- Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
- Series: Maiden Lane, Book 4
- Genre(s): Historical
- Publisher: Grand Central, June 2012
- Source: Free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley ($7.99 ebook and mmpb)
- Length: 377 pages
- Trope(s): Angst, Beta Hero, Virgin, Widow, In Disguise
- Quick blurb: Manager of a foundling home with a Deep Dark Secret gets deportment lessons from a wealthy widow.
- Quick review: Not my favorite from Elizabeth Hoyt, but the Virgin Caped Crusader hero makes it a memorable read.
- Grade: B
She might think this was merely a physical joining, but he knew far better.
He was claiming her as his. He’d warned her once before what this physical act meant to him. This was a union. This was forever.
The happy couple….
Lady Isabel is a wealthy widow in her 30s who fills her days with charitable works. Winter is a 26-year-old manager of a foundling home who rescues children from the depths of a desperate slum.
Georgian London. Hoyt is one of the best at historical world-building, and her descriptions of the sights and sounds and smells of St. Giles play a big role in reinforcing the tension and loneliness and despair of the story.
A little over the top with the masked vigilante and the child slave labor and the random murder of a peer and the meddling patroness, but it was exactly what I expected, so it worked for me.
I loved how Winter and Isabel were drawn to each other out of loneliness and their mutual need to draw each other out from behind their masks – literally and figuratively.
….Winter talked to her as if she were as intelligent as he. As if she would be interested in some of the same things that engaged him. As if he might want to know what she thought about. He talked to her as if she mattered.
…. “That’s our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together.”
But for whatever reason, I never felt that gut-wrenching connection between them like I have with nearly all of Hoyt’s previous couples, especially Hero and Griffin in Notorious Pleasures and Helen and Alistair in To Beguile a Beast. There was dramatic and romantic tension, but it seemed like it never really resolved to give me that sense of relief I was looking for.
Not my favorite from Elizabeth Hoyt, but the Virgin Caped Crusader hero makes it a memorable read.