Because you can't judge a book by its cover


victorian dueling pistolVenetia Stratham will do anything to save her sister from going down the path she once trod, engaging herself to a man who is unfaithful, even if it means Venetia must threaten her sister’s suitor at gun point. In The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan, Venetia hunts down Quinn Wild, Earl of Traherne, at a gentleman’s club to convince him to give up his pursuit of her sister, interrupting Quinn’s own hunting but Quinn can’t let Venetia’s reputation suffer anymore at his hands so he agrees to meet with her to discuss the matter later. When their later meeting results in an attempt by someone else to shoot Quinn, Venetia is accused of the crime even though she didn’t do it and the rumor’s start to spread that she was the culprit.

Quinn Wild knows that Venetia isn’t serious when she points the gun at him but Quinn can’t let her good name be smeared and so offers the only solution, to wed him. But as difficult as it was to convince the headstrong, witty Venetia to wed him, it will take all the skill he has developed as a rake to love him. As if that wasn’t hard enough, Quinn must keep the both of them alive and track down whoever it is that is trying to kill him.

Nicole Jordan’s The Art of Taming a Rake is a great mix of adventure, mystery and romance. I really felt for Venetia’s character in standing by her beliefs, even at the cost of her family and her place in society.   The Art of Taming a Rake is the fourth book in the Legendary Lovers series but is a stand alone novel (at the time of writing this I have not read any other books in this series).  The Art of Taming a Rake is a good, quick historical mystery that I enjoyed.


You can read an excerpt here.

Legendary Lovers Reading Order:

Princess Charming

Lover Be Mine

Secrets of Seduction

The Art of Taming a Rake

My Fair Lover (release date TBA)

the art of taming a rakeRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: The Art of Taming a Rake

Author: Nichole Jordan

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 416

ISBN: 978-0-553-39255-5

Publisher: Ballantine Mass Market Original

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

victorian horse racingMia Carrington has been in love with Vander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar, since her painful teens. In Four Nights With a Duke by Eloisa James, Mia knows that the action she is about to take will make him hate her forever but she can’t find any other way to take care of what needs to be done other than to blackmail Vander into marrying her. Vander has always felt bad about how he treated Mia when they were in their teens but that doesn’t give her the right to come to his house demanding that he marry her immediately.

I was so excited to get Vander’s story after really liking him in Three Weeks with Lady X and I feel like Four Nights With a Duke just didn’t quite deliver. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments and fabulous, FABULOUS, secondary characters (I adored the drunk great uncle spouting Shakespeare, with only Mia realizing he was quoting the bard and not just being crazy) and the initial scene between Mia and Vander were painfully awkward and well done. BUT (and is a big BUT) I ended up not liking Vander very much and I really didn’t like his treatment of Mia. I get that one of the great tools for a romance novel is mis-communication between the characters but it felt like Vander was just constantly mean in what he said to Mia and how he treated her and I struggled to understand why she would keep going back to him. I get it, the sex was great, but sex alone is not enough to fulfill someone and goodness knows that all Mia wanted was to be loved for herself. I also felt like Vander was unnecessarily crude during the scene where Mia is approaching him to marry her, he was a Duke raised from birth to treat ladies a particular way and I just feel like it was a bit out of character for him.

I did love Mia’s character, I loved that she was a secret novelist and loved the wink Eloisa James gave to other contemporary historical authors Julia Quinn and Lisa Kelypas “P.S. I include herewith not only Miss Julia Quiplet’s works, but a new novel written by Mrs. Lisa Klampas, which I believe you will enjoy.” And I really loved the reference to a Julia Quinn character who was an author “Another Author she knew had caused a character to be pecked to death by pigeons. Pigeons?” It is a stand alone novel but I recommend reading Three Weeks With Lady X before reading Four Nights With a Duke just so you understand the relationship between Vander and Thorn. Four Nights With a Duke is a good one time read but I doubt that I will be rereading it like I do with most of Eloisa James’s other novels.

There is some use of the “F” word.

You can read an excerpt here.

Desperate Duchesses Reading Order:

Desperate Duchesses

An Affair Before Christmas

Duchess by Night

When the Duke Returns

This Duchess of Mine

A Duke of Her Own

Three Weeks with Lady X

Four Nights With The Duke

four nights with a dukeRating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Four Nights With a Duke

Author: Eloisa James

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 384


Publisher: Avon Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.


It’s hard to believe that 202 years ago Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was first published. I wonder if Jane had any idea, as she sat writing out her manuscript with ink and quill stewing over the exact words Elizabeth and Darcy would say to each other, that over two hundred years later fans would still be enjoying the trials and tribulations of the Bennett household?!

The first publication in the US happened in 1832. Since its original publication, Pride and Prejudice has never been out of print. I know that I personally own five different copies of this fabulous novel (I know, I know, a little excessive but one is in a hardbound complete works of Jane Austen, one is the marked up copy I used in college, one is a pretty small bound edition that is just fun to hold and read, one is the hardbound single edition my husband brought with him to the marriage that matches his other hardbound classic novels, and of course I have it in ebook). Bravo Miss Austen! Bravo! I know that I will be celebrating this momentous occasion by watching one of the great film editions (okay, any excuse to rewatch one of my favorite shows) but the hard question, as always, is which one to watch, BBC miniseries or Kiera Knightly version?!

Heyer estate reading challenge

georgette_heyerAsk just about any romance author which author had the greatest impact on them and their writing and they will almost always say Georgette Heyer. Credited with creating the Regency Period genre, Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who published her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of 17 and it has never been out of print since (info from Georgette Heyer Fan site found here). There have been numerous essays, articles, fan gushings, and books written about Heyer, including this latest biography that I am itching to read (Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester). It is not just that Heyer creating fun characters with dashing adventures, it is truly her attention to detail that has helped her capture the hearts and minds of readers for decades.

black moth originalMy mother first introduced me to the wonderful writings of Heyer when I was a teenager. Not only are Heyer’s novels filled with adventure, spunk, sass, and love, they are also clean so no graphic sex scenes. But Heyer’s writing is so great the sex scenes aren’t needed. Years later (I’m not going to share how many years since I read my first copy but know that it is more than a few) my print copies are literally worn out, bindings broken, pages falling out, all because I (and my sisters) have reread them so many times. While I do have almost her entire collection in ebook format now, I find that I just can’t give away my well-loved print copies.

Now I can’t say I love all of her historical novels (not a huge fan of The Convenient Wife) but I do love a number of them. It has been years since I have read some of them so I thought, what better way to kick off a new year on Novel Reaction than by reading a Georgette Heyer novel each month?! For those of you old fans, it is a good excuse to dust off your copy and enjoy a reread. For those of you new to Georgette Heyer, you are in for a treat! The first couple of novels I have chosen but as the year progresses I will post some polls and see what everyone is interested in reading. For this month (and I realize I am late getting this posting up and the month is already more than half over) I thought we would start of reading Heyer’s “series” beginning with These Old Shades.

Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer’s career. It features two of Heyer’s most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.

The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy’s clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys “Leon” and makes the child his page. “Leon” is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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