- Title: Never Too Late
- Author: Amara Royce
- Genre(s): Historical
- Publisher: Kensington, May 2013
- Source: NetGalley
- Length: 226 pages
- Trope(s): Bookselling Widow, Angsty Nobleman, Age Gap, Blackmail, Deep Dark Secrets
- Quick blurb: Young viscount falls in love with the older widow he’s been blackmailed into ruining.
- Quick review: A bit uneven, but I’m really looking forward to this debut author’s next title.
- Grade: B-
“I will never be done with you,” he said, low and fierce.
While I had issues with the rather melodramatic plot and the heroine’s Deep Dark Secret, I loved Royce’s voice and storytelling. The hero and heroine were equally compelling, the relationship-building was spot-on, and the sexy times were hot.
- Title: Bewitching the Duke
- Author: Christie Kelley
- Series: N/A
- Genre(s): Historical (Regency)
- Publisher: Kensington, December 2012
- Source: NetGalley ($1.99 ebook promo, regular $5.99)
- Length: 290 pages
- Trope(s): Fiesty/Sassy/Saucy/Etc. Heroine, Angsty Grumpy Duke, Tragic Past, Big Misunderstanding(s), I Hate You Except When We Kiss
- Quick blurb: Duke tries to evict local healer/midwife because of painful memories and unwanted erections.
- Quick review: The title and blurbed worried me, and it just didn’t measure up to the fun of her previous books.
- Grade: DNF
Dammit! This little hoyden had disturbed his thought process.
I struggled to reach my 33% decision point, and there just wasn’t anything different about this Regency to keep me reading. The dialogue was repetitive, the plot had yet to move forward in any meaningful way, and I never connected with either of the main characters.
Also: Important secondary characters are twins named Mia and Tia. That’s not a good way to encourage me to keep reading or, god forbid, buy their sequels.
However, I can recommend nearly all of Kelley’s backlist — her Spinster Club series has the smart heroines and swoony heroes and chemistry and romance and just-unpredictable-enough plots that Bewitching is lacking.