Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Regency

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

AISN: B00JBETURA

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.

whiskey and glassesTemple has spent the last twelve years with the title of “Killer Duke”, everyone having believed he murdered Mara Lowe on the eve of her marriage to his father. In No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean, Temple doesn’t remember what happened that fateful night but he does know what he has done the last twelve years to survive after being disowned by everyone who knew him, he has spent it fighting. Now Temple is one of the powerful men behind the exclusive casino that everyone in the Ton flocks to, having thought he had seen everything he is shocked when Mara arrives at his house one night offering the one thing he never thought he could get, absolution from the charge of murder.

Mara ran twelve years ago, ran from the arranged marriage she didn’t want, ran from the society that would allow its daughters to be sold off to the highest bidder, and ran from having no real purpose to her life. Now Mara is facing the fact that she will have to leave the life she has created for herself in order to save her brother from debtor’s prison.

Normally I love Sarah MacLean’s novels but I really struggled with No Good Duke Goes Unpunished. Partly because I love MacLean for her humor and so I went into No Good Duke expecting humor and it was a lot more serious novel and partly because I just didn’t like Mara a whole lot. Mara felt really flip-floppy to me, I realize what MacLean was trying to do in creating an incredibly strong heroine but having her have some vulnerability however, she came off as whiny, selfish, and not very likable. Also, a key part of the novel is that the brother, her only family member she has maintained any contact with, has gambled away all of his money (and hers) and Mara approaches Temple with the offer in large part to save her brother and then the brother just kind of disappears from the novel. I do really like Temple’s character, he has suffered through a lot but has managed to find a place for himself in the world, fighting at the casino. And I loved the boys at the orphanage and wished we could have spent more time with those entertaining scamps.  No Good Duke Goes Unpunished is the third book in the Rules of Scoundrels‘ series but you don’t need to have read the previous two novels to read it. I recommend No Good Duke Goes Unpunished as a one time read but honestly I would probably check it out from the library or borrow it from a friend rather than purchasing it outright.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rules of Scoundrels Reading Order:

A Rogue By Any Other Name

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

no good duke goesRating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

Author: Sarah MacLean

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 405

AISN: B00BEFPSMA

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: November 26, 2013

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.

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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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