Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I've Read This Week

What I've Read This Week . . .

A Slight Miscalculation (A Half Moon House Short Story)A Slight Miscalculation by Deb Marlowe -- Regency Romance short story

William Hampton, Viscount Worthe, received a letter informing him of a mistake in his calculations on the orbit of Uranus. Worthe is furious and heads to London, a place he avoids at all costs, to either call this J.M. Tillney out or thank him; Worth isn't sure yet which. When he discovers J.M. Tillney is a woman, he's even more furious. He heads over to Half Moon House, a sort of club where Jane is at the moment. Upon arrival, he's hit by an arrow, literally, and hits his head. He awakens to Andromeda, the constellation, perfectly formed by a smattering of freckles on the face of a beautiful young woman. He is surprised to discover that Andromeda is none other than J.M. Tilley herself. Jane Tillney volunteers at Half Moon House, a place which helps at risk women to better themselves. Worthe helps them with a tricky problem which pleases Jane. Jane is only helping temporarily. Soon she will finish her Season and choose a husband. She plans to find someone who will share her interest in mathematics, science and helping the unfortunate. Worthe would rather hide away in the country studying the predictable patterns of stars and planets. This mere slip of a girl has enchanted him like no other. Can he be the one she wants?

There's not much substance to this story. It's a love story based on love at first sight. The hero and heroine share the same interests and I can see them being partners but I don't get a sense of love. I can see how they would fall in love based on physical attraction and mutual interests, but the story is too short to fully develop the relationship. Deb Marlow usually writes Regency Historicals (bodice rippers) and despite promises this story is "sweet," it still contains some sensuality. She even worked in the word "manhood" (not referring to masculinity) and the word "heat." Those are key words that tell me I'm not interested in reading more of her books. I didn't place this book on the kisses only shelf for the reason of sensuality. Georgette Heyer probably wouldn't approve.

I liked Jane. She's intelligent and level-headed. She seems like someone I would want to be friends with. The story is very short so she isn't really a fleshed out character. Worthe is a nice change from the rakish heroes I usually enjoy. He's married to his scientific and mathematical pursuits and is unsure if he can let someone else in his cozy little bubble. He's a better developed character than Jane.

If the author had taken the time to develop the characters and their relationship without the physical sensations, it would have been a much better story.

Road to RuinRoad to Ruin by Margaret Evans Porter -- Regency Romance

The dust jacket description is not correct...

Miss Nerissa Newby was brought up by her sea captain father to be broad minded and intellectual. Her attitude has caused a lot of gossip among the villagers. Her fiance adds fuel to the fire by removing the washmaid Lucy and her son Samuel, who are at the heart of the gossip. Nerissa decides to leave her fiance and Olney behind forever. She will journey to

Dominic Blythe, Baron Blythe is at a party at the home of Lady Titus, a newly married former one-time amour and her much older husband, a friend of his late father's. Dominic is joined by his cousins Justin Blythe and Damon Lovell, Lord Elston, and Justin's brother Ramses, Viscount Cavender. When Ram believes Lady Titus, his mistress, is flirting with his cousin Dominic, Ram is humiliated. He is a mean and vengeful man and take his wrath out on his cousin by insinuating to Lord Titus that Lady Titus and Dominic are past AND present lovers. An Angry Lord Titus challenges Dominic to a duel without stating his reason. Dominic fears for his life, but comes away without a scratch. Unfortunately, his pistol did not shoot straight and the bullet hit the older man's thigh. The surgeon is incompetent and unable to help. Terrified for his friend's life, Dominic brings the old man home where he finally expires. Lord Titus managed to live long enough to forgive Dominic, but the coroner's verdict is ruled as willful murder and Dominic must flee London in order to save his life. He has to leave behind his home, his friends and his cozy little mistress. On the road to Ireland, he encounters one difficulty after another. At the inn where he hopes to hire a carriage, they have only one old vehicle left and a young lady traveling incognita has previous claim. Nerissa invited Dominic to share her carriage to the next inn. Upon arriving there, they encounter a Bow Street Runner and Nerissa must trust Dominic if she wants to save his life. Posing as a newlywed couple, Nerissa and "Nick" begin an adventure that will take them unexpected places and last for the rest of their lives.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I so liked Nick and Nerissa's cameo in Jubilee Year that I just had to read their story. I liked the plot for the most part. Because I already knew the outcome from Jubilee Year, it didn't grab me the way it would have if I had read the books in order. I actively disliked a lot of the hero's behavior. He assumed something about Nerissa and based his actions towards her on that assumption. So many of the misunderstandings in the plot could have been resolved if they had talked to each other! Of course Nick could not have outright asked Nerissa about what he assumed, but later, after they grew closer, he should have asked tactfully. This lack of understanding and support shows they never really get to know each other very well. They each have secrets they're keeping. I really couldn't forgive Nick for his assumption and his actions. He does stop before going to far which shows her respects Nerissa but but he does TRY to seduce her and that just did not sit well with me. I also found it weird that he is friends with his late father's mistress. Also, his mistress is mentioned by name several times in the beginning and she's important to him but then he doesn't give her a second thought. don't like seeing the hero's exploits or knowing too much about them. Also, Ellen isn't your usual opera dancer or actress or lightskirt so I wondered about her and worried about her. There's also an ick factor involved in the fact that his former one time lover is now sleeping with his father's friend AND his cousin. It seems rather incestuous to me. He is not as bad as his cousin Ram, though, and he does realize his mistake and apologize. That makes me like him a bit more.

The other characters in this book are interesting and likeable, aside from Ram. Ram is a "douchebag" to quote the modern Bennet sisters. He's not quite as bad as Wickham or even Willoughby because he has a conscience and he does have honorable intentions towards young Lady Miranda Perevell. I didn't really like Damon either. His cynicism was unappealing. He needed to meet his match and learn a lesson in love!

I loved Nerissa. She's strong, intelligent, broad minded, quick thinking and wants nothing to do with the usual tonnish activities. She's exactly the type of person I would like to be friends with. She is a bit modern for that period though. I liked that she had a backstory that explained her behavior and she wasn't randomly modern. I think she should have gone to Cousin William's for she and Miranda would have been good friends and she could have warned Miranda against Ram. The Duke is so kind and I loved meeting him because I liked him a lot in Jubilee Year. I also liked sensitive young Justin. His character was very different than in Jubilee Year, but I see how he changed over the three years because of his experiences. I don't feel so bad about what happened at the end of Jubilee Year because seeing him with that friend shows they weren't that close to begin with.

This best part of this book is the author's research. It shows in her depiction of Cumberland. I knew a bit about it from Regina Scott's Love Inspired novels, but this book shows an entirely different Cumberland. I loved the people and the customs shown in this book. It seemed very nice and Nick was happy there. Sometimes though, the author stepped out of the story to relate bits of history and current events that weren't entirely necessary for the story.

I don't really know what to rate this story. I liked it but I didn't always like the hero's behavior. I will be generous and give it three stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave comments and or suggestions for QNPoohBear, the modern bluestocking.