Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
A woman yearning for a taste of the forbidden...
At twenty-six, aspiring novelist Avis Copley intends to wear spinsterhood as a badge of honor. But when she discovers a volume of erotica that ignites a searing fire within her, Avis realizes just how much she doesn't know about the actual pleasures of the flesh. Determined to learn more, she devises a daring plan...
A man ready to teach her much, much more...
Avis chooses Emory Billingsworth, a fellow novelist-not to mention a beautiful specimen of manhood-to instruct her in carnal pleasure. But when the brash earl of Selby, Banning Talbot, a man she has known for years, unearths Avis' true intentions, he claims she's made a dangerously bad choice. Volunteering his services for one wicked night of reckless, abandoned passion, Banning promises he will satisfy all of her deepest longings. Yet Banning cannot begin to imagine the effect his willful, voluptuous, and very eager student will have on him-or how far an innocent lesson in desire can go...
A sexy, romantic page-turner of a debut!
This was a delightful book and don't let the special value price fool you into thinking its a cheapy read. This story was excellent, better than many books I've read over the past year at twice the price, so don't pass this one up! The back cover blurb (above) really sets the story in motion but, in particular, I liked that the hero recognized his own feelings first and was the one who had to do the convincing, even if that meant blackmailing the heroine into an affair! But when Banning proposes marriage and Avis refuses, he must discover why Avis is so stubbornly against marriage. Will he be able to convince the woman he loves that not all men are the same?
This is a fast paced, sensual read that really gives romance readers what they want in a Regency romp. The story flows smoothly and the focus stays on the main characters without cramming a bunch of subplots and secondary characters into the mix. Its nice when I don't have to draw a series of matrices and roadmaps to keep the story straight. And I love reading dialogue versus excessive narration that creates overly internalized assumptions leading to the inevitable conflict. Bravo! Ms. Kelley's story doesn't need to resort to such tactics. Sexual tension abounds in this enjoyable read leaving readers wishing there was more beyond the short, but sweet epilogue.
I will make haste to pick up Every Time We Kiss, which is Banning's sister Jeanette's story (book 2) in The Spinster Club series. Something Scandalous (book 3) tells Elizabeth's story and has just been released this month. Scandal of the Season (book 4) is due out in October followed by book 5 slated for a June 2011 release.
My rating: 9 – Loved it!
The series in order so far:
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Ok. I loved this one! An arranged marriage but with a big twist. The families HATE each other. So why the arrangement? Well, when an Earl's daughter runs off with a coachman, scandal ensues, rendering Annabelle unmarriageable in the eyes of the ton. So when the neighboring Masons see the opportunity for advancement in society through Annabelle's disgrace, what other choice is there for Annabelle and her cash-strapped family but to accept?
Ms. Balogh uses a ploy in this book, but really to good effect. The first chapter sets the scene in present day (Regency time), then the even-numbered chapters 2 through 8 are flashbacks. I kinda raised my eyebrows to this discovery at chapter 2 because I've read a book similarly written in this form and I was really disappointed. But Ms. Balogh accomplishes this task beautifully and it really works! And as much as I would love to put a spoiler alert on this entry and gush about how she did it, I just can't because I really think this was a great novella, and you need to enjoy it for yourself.
And speaking of novella, that is indeed what you are buying when you cough up the full price of $15.95 at the bookstore - a 190 paged, small hardbound (about 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches) with 3/4 to 1 inch margins. Now aesthetically, the book is very pleasing. I truly wish more books were published in this way because I love the size and shape and I always prefer hardbacks especially when it comes to my favorite books on my keeper shelves. While I didn't pay full price, I still paid a bit more than I would for the average 300+ page full-length novel. But I am not complaining too much. It will grace my keeper shelf, and be a story I return to when I am in want of a dreamy, quick read.
But back to the story now... I will raise my hand and admit defeat - I did not see the plot twist coming until shortly before it happened! And now I want to go back and re-read the whole thing and scour for clues! It was brilliant! The flashbacks were really sweet and romantic (and rather idealistic), so when mixed with the present day chapters (again, Regency time) it really made you ask 'where is all this going?' So, read the book to find out! Its a great short story, and one I will enjoy again. There is no epilogue, but (I never thought I would say this) ...it does not need one! :)
Oh, and this is only my third Balogh novella. I have yet to read any of the handful of full-length novels I have waiting patiently on my shelf. I need to rectify that.
My rating: 9 – Loved it!