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The Perils of Pleasure (Julie Anne Long, Pennyroyal Series)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:

This book has it all… in fact, the main problem I have with this book is it tries to do too much. We have side plots and intrigues (the countess and the footman, a frame-up for a crime), background love stories (that Colin’s brother Marcus is about to marry the woman Colin’s declared as his one true love), sad, involving backstories (our heroine lost her husband and child and has been making her living as a jill-of-all-trades mercenary of sorts), there’s also a race against time (I think the whole novel takes place in one week), and… added together, it’s just too much. We never get to stay, and truly focus on the hero and heroine. Their relationship is so constantly shrouded in outside forces, inherent mistrust and passion-mixed-with-danger, that even when they do decide they’ve fallen in love it just doesn’t feel real. The characters are interesting, their love scenes are sensual, but at the end, the reader is left thinking: really?

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Posted in Romance

Lord of Wicked Intentions (Lorraine Heath, Lost Lords #3)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:

The premise is, perhaps, the hardest part to accept here: a born on the wrong sides of the sheets heroine, the by blow of an earl who’s led a pampered life, is sold off by her half-brother to be a mistress to the highest bidder. Our hero, who has no interest in keeping a mistress acts impulsively and claims her for his own. After some negotiating, he convinces her that being a wealthy man’s pampered mistress would be far better than taking her chances, practically penniless, on the streets. Now, once you get over the premise (as well as odd little details here and there that may pop you out of the story), it’s actually a very engaging read. Though we go delve into overly-dramatic-twists every now and again, these are characters that you like and believe: their choices are measured, thoughtful, and, even when you don’t agree with them, you understand them. At its heart, this is an engaging, fulfilling love story, great for the escapist in us.

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Posted in Romance

Dickens’ London (Peter Clark)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
If you’re a Dickens enthusiast, this is actually kind of interesting… very, very dense (despite the pictures) and with lots and lots of references to Dickens’ life and works. The book is organized via a series of “walks” and oscillates between quotes from Dickens’ works and brief historical notes about particular buildings, when they were constructed (and with what intentions), as well as how researchers deduced how Dickens’ fictional places corresponded with real geographical places (largely through letters Dickens had written and based on what travels Dickens had taken while writing).

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Posted in Nonfiction