Category Archives: 3.5 stars

Review: Penelope: A Madcap Regency Romance by Anya Wylde


Penelope: A Madcap Regency Romance3.5 Stars

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this one going in, but I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the story much more than I thought that I would, especially considering that, despite what MrsJ claims, I am not really a romance reader. Occasionally I’ll dip a toe into romance, but it’s not really my genre of choice.

So, I actually liked this. It was a bit over the top, and in the middle I started feeling like it was getting repetitive with the antics and mishaps, but, thankfully, the book overheard me, and moved along.

I thought that the characters were fleshed out pretty well, and I liked seeing things from both Penelope’s and Charles’ perspectives. I particularly enjoyed Madame Bellafraunde. She reminded me quite a lot of Lord Akeldama from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger… Only, you know, not vampiric. Apparently I find Fashionistas in Regency fiction appealing, despite being abysmally fashion-backwards myself.

I enjoyed the progression of the story, though the ending felt a little rushed. But I thought that the tension was done well, and that the little chips in Charles’ ice-facade were well-placed and mostly well-timed. His situation, with Lydia, was a little coincidental, but of course it had to be something. I did think that his history though was a little much. It’s a little much to believe that Charles would have fallen so many times for so many different women, all of whom would try the exact same snare tactic in such a short period of time. I think it would have really only needed one to put Charles’ guard up, not 3 or 4 or… however many there really were.

I also noticed several typos and misused words in the text. For instance, “bucked” was used instead of “bucket”, “peak” instead of “peek”, and “breath” instead of “breathe”. “Of” and “off” were mixed up more than once as well. I noticed that the frequency of typos increased the further along in the story I got – the beginning was quite clean and well edited.

Overall, this was a fun read, and I enjoyed it. I’d recommend it to fans of Regency romance easily.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-book copy of this book for review from the author.

View all my reviews


Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly


waking up married Photobucket Blurb:

Her first thought: “Who are you?”

It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

This should have been a 4-5 star read but there were a few draggy moments in the middle that pulled the rating down.

For the most part…this is a rather cute story about finding the love of your life when you aren’t looking for it. The H/h meet in Vegas and wake up married…but that’s just the beginning.

Both characters have major hangups left over from childhood that has made forming permanent romantic relationships difficult (if not impossible). Watching them learn to trust and enjoy each other was a delight.

What started to feel flat for me was the constant effort by the heroine to “show her worst moments” so that she could run the hero off. It happened…two times to many for my personal enjoyment.

The other thing that pissed me off was the final Big Misunderstanding. (Spoiler, go to page two to see.) There were enough moments of foreshadowing for the reader to guess what the Big Mis was going to be. What surprised me was the execution of the Big Mis. I…just wasn’t feeling it.

So, the Big Mis. was a big FAIL for me.

But DAMN I loved the ending! HAWT and romantic! Plus I love the fact that her back biting cousin and friends saw that gorgeous man in love with Megan.


How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren


This is a hard book to review.

It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m thinking that it is closer to the original than the Disney version.

How Beauty Met the Beast.

In this retelling Beauty is Jolie Benoit. Jolie is a burlesque dancer and the youngest daughter of a media mogul (ex: Rupert Murdoch). The Beast is Wesley “Hauk” Haukon, a severally burned and scarred ex-Army Ranger.

The story starts with Hauk and a friend being chased by some bad guys – part of a group that is run by Jolie’s father. In order to escape they drop by a (I hate to call it a strip club…) burlesque club that is run by a friend. Performing at this club is Jolie. Hauk gets a chance to see her perform and he is entranced.

After Jolie’s performance he goes to the back of the club to catch up with his friends when he runs into Jolie backstage. Jolie is changing clothes behind a white sheet. Hauk walks up to the sheet and they strike up a very short conversation that culminates in Hauk performing oral sex on Jolie through the sheet. They never actually touch or look at each other but Hauk brings Jolie to orgasm.

Afterwards Jolie is almost kidnapped and raped. Hauk saves her but she doesn’t realize that he is the same guy who ate her out via a sheet. The next day Hauk and Jolie find out her 12 y/o cousin Whitney was kidnapped at the same time. Hauk abandons his position in the Underlight for a time to assist Jolie in locating and rescuing her young cousin. It is assumed that Jolie’s attempted kidnapping (and attempted rape) and her cousin’s completed kidnapping is done to force her father in to publishing (via both TV news and Newspaper) some false story that would change the possible outcome of a major political event. The best example I can give is to imagine Rupert Murdock’s young granddaughter is kidnapped in order to have Rupert Murdock publish false information to influence the US Presidential election.

I really liked this book…but I also disliked it as well. I loved Hauk – he has been through so much and has so little. He’s such a great guy. I also liked quite a lot about Jolie. I loved that she had a gluten allergy and I loved that she was a burlesque dancer. She seemed to make her mind up quickly and didn’t come across as a helpless damsel in distress. I also loved the fact that she seemed to own her sexuality. She made no excuses for it and I ♥ that.
Read the rest of this entry

Review: Nowhere Near Respectable by Mary Jo Putney



Lady Kiri Lawford –the half-English and half-Indian daughter of an English Duke and an Indian Princess – was spending time with her prospective fiancée and his family in the English country side when she overhears her prospective mother-in-law say something so ghastly about her and her mother that she gathers her belongings and left. Alone. Not the best idea.

She’s captured by smugglers but rescued by a gentleman by the name of Damian “Mac” Mackenzie. As Lady Kiri and Mac travel, she finds out that he is bastard born and owns a gambling casino. Not what would be considered the appropriate company for the daughter of a Duke. Although Kiri knows that she should not be interested in Mac, she can’t help her attraction and actively searches him out. In her attempt to spend time with Mac, Kiri learns about a plot against the crown – and only she and Mac can stop it.

It’s been a while since I read this book and I still have mixed feelings about it. I really enjoy historicals but this one felt a little off for me.

The book itself is rather interesting. The writing is good and the pace is pretty swift. I was certainly entertained and I enjoyed the read. It was upon finishing the book that I recognized some of the issues that had unsettled me while reading.

The first issue was Lady Kiri: Lady Kiri is such a Mary Sue. Ugh. She’s beautiful and perfect (of course), extremely intelligent, has that “sparkle” that makes all eyes turn to her when she enters a room. She knows hand to hand combat (??), mixes her own perfumes and has such a great ability to sort out fragrances by smell that the entire plot revolves around her abilities. There are very few items that help keep Lady Kiri from being obnoxiously perfect: she’s more sexually aggressive then the hero and she is half-Indian and takes great pride in it. I loved the fact that the heroine was bi-racial and very proud of her heritage but goodness Kiri got on my nerves!

I also had a problem with Lady Kiri’s sexual aggression. Not the fact that she was sexually aggressive but the fact that she actively tried to take advantage of the hero on more than one occasion. Mac knew that he was not the proper person for Lady Kiri and he wanted to be honorable about that fact – he did NOT make passes at her because he respected her and her position. In fact, Mac has to berate her about her aggressiveness. Lady Kiri, on the other hand, went so far as to mislead Mac regarding her sexual experience. If a man had been that aggressive, he would have been considered a total jackass. But since it was perfect Lady Kiri, all was ok.

The final thing that bothered me was the fact that the majority of the plot revolved around Lady Kiri’s nose. More specifically it revolved around her “perfumer’s nose” that allowed her to pick out specific fragrances. It was such a thin plot that it ticked me off. Just to add insult to injury, Lady Kiri is allowed to leave her parents and ALL chaperones and go live in a house with more than one single man.

Those are the thing that bothered me about the book but all in all was an entertaining read.

Note: I received an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of this book free through the Goodreads First Reads program.