This is a new segment called '8 Romances in 8 Sentences' :)
What I decided to do is write quickie reviews on all the romances that I've read lately. The first 4 sentences are a recap of the novel in my own words and the last 4 sentences are my opinion.
Synopsis: Miss Alice Lister feels anything but respectable. Bad enough that she is a maid-turned-heiress. Now the insufferably attractive Lord Miles Vickery is certain he can gain her fortune by blackmailing her into marriage—even though it was his deceitful charm that broke her heart once before. But she's positive the terms of her inheritance will prove an impossible task. After all, what rake could be completely honest for three long months? For his part, Miles finds his newfound frankness invaluable in entangling Alice in positions deliciously unbecoming of a lady. Of course, he doesn't yet know that he's falling hopelessly in love with this formidable innocent…or that he will soon go to impossible lengths to prove himself hers forever…
Lord Miles Vickery is a relentless rake in pursuit of marrying the perfect, rich bride - and he has set his sights on Miss Alice Lister, the newest & richest available heiress. Alice almost let herself fall for Miles once until he dropped her for someone else...now he's back and trying to get into her good graces again. Little does he know that gaining her inheritance via marriage is not such an easy task. He must prove himself to be completely and utterly honest for a period of three months in order to wed her.
Miles was your typical Victorian rake with a seedy past chock full of affairs. Alice Lister was a truly innocent and sweet character who was shunned by society simply because she wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth. I liked this book better than its predecessor because I loved how the characters evolved throughout the story and I found the storyline got more interesting. There was a bit of a mysterious twist to the story that could have been better developed, but I still enjoyed the story!
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Note: This is the predecessor to "Scandals of an Innocent". There is a third book to this series that I haven't yet read...but is patiently waiting on my bookshelf like a good little book :)
Laura (cousin of Miles Vickery) has a secret; actually she has two and boy are they "doozies". Her secrets come very close to being revealed when the new law takes effect and Dexter Anstruther, her one-night stand from several years ago, comes storming back into her life. The pain of Laura's abrupt departure from Dexter's life still stings...yet he is still inexplicably drawn to her. He knows she's hiding something, but what he doesn't know is how her secrets will rattle him to the core and tie him to her forever!
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Laura is incredibly clever and a Robin Hood of sorts so I found that to be rather unique. Dexter seemed a little tortured & torn between love and hate for Laura so that really fueled a lot of the tension between them. Overall the book wasn't my favorite, but I wouldn't say it was bad either.
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Synopsis: When Elliot Wallace, Viscount Lyngate, arrives in Throckbridge, the small village is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming Valentine's Day dance. The ladies of the town are busy gussying up for the ball and gossiping about the viscount's mysterious arrival, but Elliot has more urgent matters to attend to. His arrival marks a mission to retrieve the rightful Earl of Merton, while his promise he has made to find a wife by Christmas weighs heavily on his mind. When Elliot meets the new young earl, Stephen Huxtable, and his three sisters, the disagreeable Margaret, the cheery Katherine, and the plain, widowed Vanessa, he becomes absorbed in the family's life. Could it be possible that with the Huxtables he's found both an Earl and wife? If Elliot thinks he's hit two birds with one stone, to which sister will he cast his throw... and will she catch the bait before she discovers his ulterior motives?
Elliott is introduced as a rather stand-offish and condescending character; it takes a while to really warm up to him. Vanessa was the "plain one" of the family, but has a very optimistic and sunny personality which at first conflicted with Elliott's character. However, it was Vanessa's honesty and sweetness that would eventually soften Elliott into someone you could love. What started off as a marriage of convenience would grow into an undeniable love. I think this was a great start to a new series.
Balogh did a great job in developing the personalities of not only the main characters, but of the secondary characters that would follow with their own books. There were some really sweet and even "LOL" moments that made me smile. The only thing that I could say I didn't care for was how often Vanessa was referred to as "plain or boring or not beautiful, etc." even by herself; however, this in effect was part of her charm.
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
MEMOIRES OF A SCANDALOUS RED DRESS by ELIZABETH BOYLE
Synopsis: At the end of the last book, "Confessions Of a Little Black Gown", Pippin made a heart-wrenching decision: In order to save Captain Dashwell's life, she agreed to marry Viscount Gossett. Twenty years later, a young American sailor passes her and stops her entire world. The man is the spitting image of Dash, and is in fact, Dash's son, Nate. Pippin, now a widow, decides to right the mistake she made all those years ago - she wants to see Dash and discover if the love she's carried in heart for all these years is nothing more than a fiction or if it is possible to find it a second time around. In disguise, she books passage on Dash's ship, and after three days at sea, reveals herself. When Dash sees Pippin on the deck of his ship wearing a red gown, he swears she's still as breathtakingly beautiful as she was the first time he saw her, but at the same time, he's furious over the years they've lost. But he can't simply return her to England, for she left a note that claims Dash has kidnapped her for a huge ransom. Can he make it across the Atlantic before the British Navy catches up with him, or worse yet, before Pippin claims his heart again?
Note: A while back, I reviewed "Confessions of a Little Black Gown" which was this book's predecessor. I loved it so much, that I had to read "Memoires of a Scandalous Red Dress". I still need a 3rd book, "This Rake Of Mine".
This is the story of Tally's cousin Pippin and her dashing American Pirate "Dash". This book was written a little differently from 'COLBG' in that it doesn't take place when Pippin & Dash first meet (although you get flashbacks of their passionate past) but rather many years later into their middle-ages. Dash has become a drunken recluse aboard his own ship and is a mere ghost of the fearless pirate he used to be. Pippin sneaks onto his ship with the hope that she can save him from himself and finally put her heart to rest.
Their reunion is stormy at first because not only is Captain Dashwell a drunken lush, but he's bitter because of the way Pippin left him so many years ago. Pippin had grown to love her husband and they had a happy marriage, but she never forgot her first true love. Over their time together on the ship, Dash's wounds begin to heal, he starts to regain control of his life and Pippin's love for him begins to flourish again. Pippin wants a new chance at love with Dash, but her children aren't about to let her become a society renegade!
RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
(PS: Again I ran out of words but there's a juicy little twist towards the end :)