Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Mistaken-Identity-or-Disguise
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-02-15 01:37
"The Hooker and the Hermit" by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
The Hooker and the Hermit - Penny Reid,Luci Cosway

I had some believability issues with this book, but on the whole I enjoyed it quite a bit. Ronan is staying in Manhattan after being suspended from his rugby team after beating up a teammate for sleeping with his long-time girlfriend. He reluctantly hires a P.R. firm to help clean up his public image, where he meets Annie, a deliciously uptight nerd who can do wonders with his online reputation. Unbeknownst to everyone, Annie is the public alter-ego of famous celebrity blogger Socialmedialite, who has already established a slap-slap-kiss-kiss email correspondence with Ronan after posting a post-workout picture of him on her blog. 


I've never read L.H. Cosway, but I like Penny Reid, and this book had the funny-yet-decidedly-oddball flavor I've come to associate with Penny Reid, especially in the dialogue. I found the plotting of this to be tighter than other books of Reid's that I've read, which was a good thing, and the dialogue and the authors' voice was smart and funny, which I really enjoyed. The sexy parts are a little racier than Penny Reid's usual fare, with a mild BDSM-kink, but nothing that the average mainstream romance reader would find too off-putting. 


As I mentioned, I struggled a little bit with willing suspension of disbelief. First, there's the coincidence that Annie-as-Socialmedialite and Annie-as-P.R.-professional both run in to Ronan at the same time. Second, Ronan gets followed by paparazzi everywhere he goes, which I can buy when they're in Ireland, but I had a hard time believing that the NYC paps would give a fig about a disgraced Irish rugby player. Third, Ronan's fall for Annie is pretty insta-lovey, especially since he's just getting out of an ugly relationship. 


Those issues didn't do much to diminish my enjoyment of the story, though, which was fast-paced, lighthearted, and a lot of fun, and very engaging even as I had several quibbles with the plot. I will definitely read on the series. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-12-15 15:17
Beautiful, Sexy Little Holiday Read
Snowfall (Novella) - Mary Ann Rivers

This is probably the best holiday novella I've ever read, and possibly the best novella, full stop. Jenny, a microbiologist who makes her living viewing tiny organisms under a high powered microscope, moves across the country to become a research scholar, and then almost immediately receives a life-changing medical diagnosis:

she's going blind.

(spoiler show)


While working through the stages of grief related to her condition, and adjusting to her new job and new city, Jenny strikes up a serendipitous cyber relationship with the former tenant of her apartment. After several innocuous online interactions, their relationship turns to very spicy cyber sex, which is both a physical and an emotional refuge for Jenny, who is lonely and tending toward depression.


Meanwhile, Jenny also has sexual tension developing in her contentious relationship with her occupational therapist, Evan, whose job it is to help her adjust to the new reality necessitated by her medical condition.


The reader realizes much sooner than Jenny that Evan and her online lover are one and the same, and when Evan realizes and doesn't immediately tell Jenny, that could have been a huge turnoff for me (I hate intentional dishonesty tropes), and yet Mary Ann Rivers negotiates that plot twist deftly enough that both characters' motivations and reactions are both relatable and ethical.


The writing is hauntingly beautiful. I'll be thinking about this story long after finishing it, and I'll definitely read it again -- perhaps every Christmas season.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-11-23 16:30
Typical NA Taming-of-the-Manwhore Sports Romance
Roommates - Erin Leigh,Tara Brown

Brady and Natalie get set up by mutual friends to be roommates; each misled about the other's gender. Brady is a hockey player; Natalie is a graphic designer. Both are Gary Stu/Mary Sues: the best at everything they attempt, despite their total lack of experience at adulting. Brady starts off the story as a manwhore douchecanoe, spared from being a totally misogynistic cardboard character only because he loves his mama, knows how to cook, and is a graceful loser when Natalie kicks his ass at video games. Then he gets into Natalie's magical hoo-hoo, and suddenly he's a One Woman Man.


What saves this book, and actually makes it a fairly entertaining read (for what it is), is that the author knows she's relying on some timeworn, tired tropes, and lets herself have a little fun with them. This book doesn't take itself seriously, and the writing and dialogue is fast-moving, snappy, and funny.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-02-09 22:09
Cinderella Story Triggered My Infidelity Squick
A Kiss at Midnight - Eloisa James

This is a retelling of the Cinderella story, and is on sale for $2.99 (kindle), so I picked it up. I'm always entertained by fairy-tale trope romances, so I'm glad I read this, but it wasn't enough to get me out of my historical romance slump.


Kate is the granddaughter of an Earl, but when her mother died, her father waited a whole fortnight before marrying again, and then he promptly died himself. His widow, the wicked stepmother, had relegated Kate to a glorified servant while heaping all of the wealth on herself and her daughter, the (not-so) evil stepsister, and allowing the estate to be badly mismanaged. When the stepsister suffers an accident, the stepmother forces Kate to impersonate her (the sister) by going to meet a prince whose approval is necessary for the stepsister's marriage to her beloved.


Kate meets the Prince, who is awaiting the arrival of his betrothed, a Russian princess whose dowry will fund his lavish lifestyle and, more importantly, his scholarly pursuits. He and Kate clash initially, but this is one of those books that employs what Sarah Wendell at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books likes to call the "I don't wanna like you, I can't stop thinking about your hair DAMMIT" trope. Tempers clash, sparks fly.


My problem with the book is that much as I love angsty romance where there's some good, nearly insurmountable reason why the lovers can't be together, I'm majorly squicked out in historical romance when heroes seduce a lady to whom they're not able to commit. Contemporary girls can sleep around all they like, and that's fine with me, but in a historical setting, it's just dishonorable to risk a woman's reputation that way. So, much as I enjoyed the chemistry and the bantering between Kate and Gabriel, I couldn't root for them to get together because Gabriel was promised to a perfectly nice girl who'd come all the way to England to marry him and give him all her money, and it's just wrong of Gabriel to be sniffing around Kate's skirts in those circumstances.


I couldn't get over that squick enough to enjoy the story, but a lot of readers will find much to love about this book.


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-02-09 21:12
Hmm, How Many Tropes Can We Fit in One Crazy-Sauce Romp?
I Married the Duke - Katharine Ashe

I really need to get better about writing reviews as soon as I finish a book, but I've been crazy busy lately. If I wait, I'm left with only vague impressions, no matter how many quotes I highlight or notes I make as I read.


I Married the Duke was my first book by Katherine Ashe, and I will read on in the series because I liked this fairly well even though I've been kind of "meh" on the whole historical romance subgenre lately. I also liked it despite the fact that the hero was actively misrepresenting his identity to the heroine for the first half of the book, and since dishonesty is a major turn off for me, the fact that I like this as well as I did speaks well of Ms. Ashe's skill as a writer.


The funniest thing about this book is that it hits so many of the tropes of historical romance, it's almost as if someone dared Katharine Ashe to write a book with as many stereotypical tropes as she could manage. Gypsy fortuneteller? Check. Penniless orphans? Check. Scarred hero? Check. Love affair between a lord and a governess? Yup. Mistaken identity? Marriage of Convenience? Big Misunderstanding? Sudden Blindness? Check, check, check, and check.


The plot was very, very complicated. I was able to follow it, but I think a lot of the layers and plot twists were only necessary to continue the hero's deception about his identity, which (as I've said) I could have done without.


Anabella is the middle child in a trio of sisters orphaned as children. They know very little of their past, except that it involved a shipwreck, and they have a very expensive ruby ring which a gypsy told them holds the key to learning their roots. That same gypsy foretold that one of the sisters would marry a prince, so Anabella has made that her life's ambition.


Fast forward a few decades; the girls have grown up and are in service. Anabella is on her way to France to be a finishing governess for a princess; she hopes to meet and marry the princess's brother, the prince, to fulfill the prophecy. Unfortunately, through a series of unfortunate events, she misses the ship that is supposed to take her to France and ends up hitching a ride with the hero, Luc, instead. Luc is a former naval captain with a Tortured Past who retired because he's in line to become a Duke when his uncle passes on, and he can't risk being killed in action (though he's still sailing, obviously).


During the story, Luc's uncle dies, but Luc's ascendency to the title is uncertain because the uncle's wife is preggers, and if she has a boy, the child will inherit. The wife is the sister of the story's bad guy, a priest who molested Luc and his brother when they were kids.


When Luc takes Anabella to France, he doesn't tell her who he is, even though her destination is (through one of the crazy coincidences that would never work outside of Romancelandia) a castle he owns, and the home of his brother.


During their journey, Luc finds himself in Mortal Peril and marries Anabella because he might be a Duke and she might be carrying his heir... and, oh, yeah, also because he might possibly be in love with her just a little bit. Then he dies, but not really, and Anabella is heartbroken, but maybe she'll get to marry the prince after all, so there's always a bright side. 


Yeah, this is the sort of crazy sauce plot you can't really explain... but I liked it anyway. I Married a Duke hits enough familiar tropes that most readers of historical romance will find something about it appealing -- catnippy, if you will -- but it can come across as chaotic and crazy, which isn't to everyone's taste.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?