Title: Punish Me with Roses
Author: Juliet Moore
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services?
Release Date: October 15, 2011
Genre: Romance – Victorian/Historical
Available at: Amazon
Summary: When her arrogant and politically ambitious cousin and his valet are found dead in their rooms, Victoria Clavering becomes the number one suspect in their murders, even in her own mind. She escapes to Cornwall to visit an uncle she has never met, unaware that she is running right into the clutches of the suspicious relatives of the valet who are out to prove she committed the crimes.
One of these relatives is Alexander Trevelyn, whose job it is to earn her trust and induce her confession. He gets more than he bargains for however, when he finds Victoria is not the cold-hearted greedy woman he was hoping to discover.
Inexplicably drawn together, Victoria and Alexander undertake to solve the many mysteries surrounding her uncle’s life and the deaths of Victoria’s cousin and his valet, all the while falling head over heels for each other.
Review: When I selected this book to read, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, since I have never read any of Juliet Moore’s work before. Many of her Amazon reviews spoke of editing so bad it was impossible to finish the book. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case at all. Were there things missed in editing? Yes. But no more than any other book I’ve seen. All of them were easily figured out as you were reading.
As for the style, I loved the writer’s easy flow of writing. Something about her writing, that je ne se quois, made me not want to put this down. Just enough detail to set the scene, but nothing that distracted me from the story itself. The characters were believable and easy for me to connect to. The heat level is listed as subtle and it was that, though maybe on the sweet side of subtle. All the loose ends of the plot came together at the end.
With that being said, although the resolution was complete and the story ended happily, it wasn’t quite as well developed as I was hoping; it seemed to end too abruptly. But that would be my only complaint of the entire novel. Remarkably well conceived and written.
Recommendation: I would definitely read more from this author. Her writing style is intriguing and her story was compelling. In fact, I’ve already downloaded Hidden Heiress for my next read. To Punish Me with Roses, I give a four quill rating:
Punish Me with Roses by Juliet Moore is a must-read. You won’t want to put it down.
Title: The Seduction of Sebastian St. James
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publisher: Astraea Press
Release Date: December 23, 2011
Genre: Romance – Regency/Historical
Available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Astraea Press
Summary: Sebastian St. James is the Duke of Tempest who earned the nickname “Angel Duke” because of his heroic exploits and his impeccable reputation. When he decides it’s finally time to find a wife, his search leads him to enlist the help of an old friend. It just so happens that old friend is also the cousin Lady Emma Gates, an eligible young woman who is also searching for a spouse.
The duke is very protective of his reputation and his family’s name. Emma is hiding a volatile secret. They team up to help each other find a suitable spouse. But what they thought was a great scheme for finding the perfect spouses turns into a disaster when they find themselves unable to shake the feelings they develop for one another. When their respective pasts come back to haunt them, things get complicated.
Review: This was a fantastic read. It had everything in it I would want. Steamy romance (but clean), suspense, laugh out loud sequences, action. The characters were well developed and consistent. Gotta love the hot, fun-loving male lead – and if I may say so, even Nicholas Renwick was slightly more likable in this book. Emma was just the right mixture of strong-willed and vulnerable. Her strength in her circumstances is inspiring.
The story moves fast and throws just enough twists in to keep it going at a good pace. The plot is well-constructed all the way to the end.
Recommendation: Not gonna lie, there were parts I read several times just because they were so good. Out of all of Rachel Van Dyken’s books so far, this is easily the best. I’m looking forward to Books 3 and 4 in this series! I’m gonna have to give it my highest rating:
You don’t want to miss out on The Seduction of Sebastian St. James by Rachel Van Dyken. And if you haven’t yet read The Ugly Duckling Debutante, you’ll want to pick that up too.