I hope the pirate’s daughter won’t come for me because of this review…

How to Beguile a Duke by Ally Broadfield

hmm…this dress may not be the best cover choice! It’s a beautiful cover, but where are the stays to keep it nice and tight? She could definitely keep her cutlass under her skirt in this loose dress!

The spirited Catherine Malboeuf has just arrived in England to reclaim her ancestral home, Walsley Manor, and a valuable missing heirloom. Nicholas Adair, the attractive and frustratingly inflexible Duke of Boulstridge, however, is quite unwilling to sell the estate back to Catherine. Unless, of course, she accepts a small wager…
Nick will sell Walsley Manor if—and only if—Catherine secures an offer of marriage from an eligible member of the ton before the end of the London season.

You know when you’ve finished a good romance book, but you can’t quite figure out a way to distinguish it from all of the others you’ve read?

That is how I feel about How to Beguile a Duke by Ally Broadfield. It was a good story but it lacked that spark for me in books that are generally published by Entangled Publishing. I was so excited to read this story based on the enticing book summary, but that exciting tension of two people (Catherine and Nick) both fighting to win a wager while struggling to fight their growing attraction..well, that just fell flat for me. It was quite obvious early on in the story how the plot would progress. I also believe the author tried to make the story different from other regency romances by having the two main characters hunt for a missing tiara by reading a journal, yet they never actually did any serious hunting in the manor house in which it was supposedly located. I felt like the sole purpose of the journal was really to make Catherine blush in front of the duke (Nick) for reading salacious entries rather than to honestly offer clues that would allow the missing diamond tiara to be discovered.

Compared to some other Entangled Select novels I’ve read as an advanced reader, I feel like there wasn’t quite as much character development that would have helped me connect to the characters as strongly as I would have liked. At one point, Nick actually ticked me off when he called Catherine “my little impatient one” right when they were about to make love for the first time. That line just struck me wrong–like the two characters weren’t two equal adults consummating their relationship. I know that unmarried women were shielded from knowing about sexual relationships as much as possible in that time period, but I just couldn’t buy that Catherine was THAT innocent when she was reading out loud some juicy sexual exploits written by her great-grandmother. True, she blushed some, but still..

Basically, I’m being tough on this novel, but I would still recommend this novel if you want a quick read, say at the beach or when traveling. It won’t knock your socks off, but it will still help you pass the time in an enjoyable way. For $.99, it is an affordable source of entertainment for a few hours!

Advertisements

Bookworms Deserve Love, Too

The Love Match Lily Maxton

I love her dress. It reminds me of my senior prom dress!

If you have just a couple of hours to immerse yourself in a regency romance, Lily Maxton’s A Love Match is a great choice that just hit the market. This novella is the third one in Maxton’s Sisters of Scandal series, and it features a delightful bookworm named Olivia Middleton who catches the attention of the charming and slightly infuriating William Cross during a country house party. Now that Olivia’s two older sisters are happily married, Olivia is forced to attend the party by her overbearing mother who can’t wait to have an empty nest. Of course, no country house party can happen without some late night trysts during which someone gets caught. The question is, will it result in a marriage between Olivia and the bachelor who states he will only marry for true love?

If you want something short and sweet, I’m quite impressed by Maxton’s ability to create such lovable/chokable/just-say-that-you-love-her already characters. The only negative I have about this book is that I wish there was more of it, which I’m not even sure that is a bad thing to say. I felt like I was finally getting to know the main characters and be fully drawn into the story and all of a sudden–poof! I’ve reached the last page. As a quick reader, I zipped through this story in under an hour. Olivia is an atypical heroine who isn’t dying to get married, and for that alone, I would have loved to have spent more time with her. It’s nice, too, to have the classic beauty in the story snubbed in favor for someone whose beauty isn’t quite as obvious.

Entangled Publishing gave me this book in exchange for an honest review. You can pick up your copy of it for just $.99 from their site as well as copies of the first two novellas in the series! Dude, three stories for $3 is a steal! You can afford to purchase them and your pumpkin spice latte without feeling too indulgent. 🙂