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review 2017-11-09 11:53
If you love Austen, Regency-period novels, and bad boys, you must read this
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues - Joana Starnes,Amy D'Orazio,Katie Oliver,Karen M Cox,Jenetta James,Beau North,J. Marie Croft,Christina Morland,Lona Manning,Brooke West

Thanks to Rosie Amber from Rosie’s Book Review Team for alerting me to this opportunity and to the editor Christina Boyd for providing me with an early ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

After reading many great reviews of The Darcy Monologues, when I had the opportunity to sign up for this blog tour I could not resist. My fondness for Jane Austen’s novels cannot compare to that of the authors of this anthology, but rest assure that you don’t need to have read several times all of Austen’s novels to enjoy this collection (although I don’t doubt you might enjoy it even more if you have).

Each story centers on one of the rakes or gentlemen rogues in one of Jane Austen’s novels (sometimes several from the same novel). As the editor explains in her note, after The Darcy Monologues she and some of the authors started looking for another project and noticed that there are many characters that are fundamental to Austen’s novels, but we don’t get to know much about, and on many occasions we are left wondering how they got to be how they are, and what happens to them later. All the stories retain the historical period of the novels, sometimes going back to give us information about the background of the characters, to their childhood, early youth, and on occasion we follow them for many years, getting a good sense of who they become when they exit the novel.

Each one of the stories is prefaced by a little snippet about the character chosen, and by one or several quotations (sometimes spread throughout the story) taken directly from Austen’s novel, where the character is mentioned. I must say the authors remain very faithful to Austen’s words although they use their imagination to build upon those snippets, always remaining faithful to the language and the spirit of the period, although the modern sensibility is evident in the stories.

We have stories with happy endings, stories that are dark and sad, stories of broken hearts, funny stories (sometimes thanks to the wit of the characters involved, others thanks to the wit of the writers who follow in Austen’s footsteps and poke fun at the most preposterous individuals), and some touching ones. There are very clean stories and some steamier ones (as it seems only appropriate to these “gentlemen”), but the editor includes a very detailed classification of the degree of heat of each one of the stories, and apart from one of the stories A Wicked Game, the rest are not scandalous (even by Regency standards).

Many of the stories are told in the first person, and that helps us share and understand better the characters (however much we might like them or not), but the few told in the third person also work well, especially as they tend to centre on characters that are perhaps particularly insightless and more preoccupied with appearances than by the truth.

I imagine each reader will have his or her favourite stories. I was a bit surprised because I thought I’d enjoy more the stories featuring characters of the novels I was more familiar with, but that was not always the case. (OK, I truly loved Fitzwilliam’s Folly about Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride and Prejudice, but not only because of the novel, but because the character is wonderful, witty, yes, Darcy makes an appearance so we get to see him from somebody else’s point of view and someone who knows him well at that, and I loved the female character in the story too). Some writers managed to create a sense of a small society, as it must have felt at the time, where characters from several novels kept meeting or just missing each other but are all connected or know of each other. I know this was a book about the gentlemen, but I was very taken by some of the female characters, that on many occasions were the perfect match for the men.

If you are curious to know which of the characters are featured, here is the list: John Willoughby (Willoughby’s Crossroads by Joanna Starnes), George Wickham (A Wicked Game by Katie Oliver. This is the hottest one and there are some similarities to the previous story but, if you’re a fan of the character, I think you’ll enjoy this one), Colonel Fitzwilliam (Fitzwilliam’s Folly by Beau North. I’ve already mentioned this one. I love Calliope Campbell too. Well, love everything about this story and the style and the repartee reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s plays), Thomas Bertram (The Address of a French Woman by Lona Manning. How blind can one be, or perhaps not!), Henry Crawford (Last Letter to Mansfield by Brooke West), Frank Churchill (An Honest Man by Karen M Cox. One of these characters enamoured of himself who tries to do the right thing but only if it is convenient and at little personal cost. I suffered for poor Miss Fairfax), Sir Walter Elliot (One Fair Claim by Christina Morland. This is one of the stories told in the third person that do follow the character for a long time. The song “You’re So Vain” might as well have been written about him. I really enjoyed this one, first because the comments about the character were funny, later, because the tone changes and I liked his wife, who, of course, loves to read), William Elliot (The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot by Jenetta James. This somewhat related to the previous story but is quite different and particularly interesting for the comments about life in the theatre), General Tilney (As Much As He Can by Sophia Rose. This story, that uses both third and first person, I found particularly touching. Appearances can be deceptive, indeed), John Thorpe (The Art of Sinking by J. Marie Croft. This is a farce, the character a buffoon and the story really funny, especially because the character is the butt of all jokes but remains full of his own importance), and Captain Frederick Tilney (For Mischief’s Sake by Amy D’Orazio. Another great story. The main character justifies his actions insisting that he is helping other men avoid mistakes, but eventually learns to see things from a female perspective. A great female character too, Miss Gibbs).

I highlighted many passages and lines, but I don’t want to make this a never-ending review. I’ll just say the language is perfectly in keeping with the period and the stories and I’ll be exploring the books of all these writers. (There is information included about each one of them after their respective stories).

I did not cry with any of the stories (although some were quite touching), but I did laugh out loud with quite a few. I recommend this book to readers of historical romance and romance of any kind, those who enjoy short-stories with fully-fledged character, and I’m sure anybody interested in Regency novels and Jane Austen’s, in particular, will love this book.

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review 2017-10-31 12:25
Review For: The Trouble with Love by Heather Boyd
The Trouble with Love (Distinguished Rogues Book 8) - Heather Boyd

The Trouble with Love by Heather Boyd is book 8 in the "Distinguished Rogues" series. This is the story of Whitney Crewe and Everett Dean the Earl of Acton.
Everett has settled on the ideal that it is time to marry and goes ahead and signs wedding contracts before meeting his future bride, Alice Quartermane. Everett knows she is young and hasn't come out yet and also that she does have the red hair that he used to love on his women. The night before he goes forward to propose to Alice he goes to a party where he meets Whitney.
Whitney is a free spirit that loves to paint and has no plans to every marry. Whitney would rather enjoy her freedom. When she sees Everett at the party she and him quickly connect and start to get passionless but she learns he is about to ask someone to marry him the next day. This proves to her why she would never marry and walks away from him. But they meet up again and they both try to stand their ground on how they feel about the other. But over time they start to learn more about the other and find it harder to fight their growing feelings. But they both have a lot to overcome before they can even be together.
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Source: www.amazon.com/Trouble-Love-Distinguished-Rogues-Book-ebook/dp/B074NR22GX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509914880&sr=8-1&keywords=the+trouble+with+love+by+heather+boyd&dpID=41v%252BGu-BffL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
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review 2017-10-03 20:06
The Trouble With Love (Distinguished Rogues) by Heather Boyd
The Trouble with Love (Distinguished Rogues Book 8) - Heather Boyd

 

Love was never meant to be easy, but Ms. Boyd sure knows how to make it entertaining.  Beyond the scandal, beneath the secrets and above all else are characters not unlike you and I.  People searching for a place to belong in this world.  The Trouble With Love blends fanciful with emotional and begets exceptional.  If nothing else, Whitney and Acton prove that life has a sense of humor and sometimes the heart is the last to know, what the head has already discovered. 

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review 2017-09-25 11:37
Book Review For: ' King of Hearts' by Eileen Putman
King of Hearts: British Rogues Historical Romance (League of Rogues Book 1) - Eileen Putman

'King of Hearts' by Eileen Putman is the First Book in the Series "League of Rogues". This is the story of Gabriel Sinclair and Louisa Peabody. Gabriel in a drunken card game ended up at the Convent where he was looking for a lock of Virgin Hair. But ended up getting caught and the Nuns had made it out to be that he tried to murder and rape one of their girls. In addition the man that he was playing cards with where he won a Ship from try to say that he had stolen it. Which his crimes set him up to be hanged. Louisa believes she knows the evil of men after what her father and husband had done to her. So Louisa has chooses to help the women that have suffered from the evil of men. On one of this runs to save a women that is to be hanged she ends up rescuing Gabriel. Louisa is Leary of Gabriel at first but he is now in good health so she must house him with her. Gabriel from the first time seeing Louisa he thinks she is an Angel and asked to marry her. Louisa thinks she knows Gabriel's type and that he is the King of a Thousand Hearts.
Gabriel starts to meet the collection of people that Louisa has saved and his feelings for her just grow. But Louisa has allot of past hurts and trust she will need to overcome before she can fully be his.
I truly enjoyed this book. It had everything that I look for in a Historical Romance Book. I hope to read more of Miss Putmans books soon!
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
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Source: www.amazon.com/King-Hearts-British-Historical-Romance-ebook/dp/B073WTY21T/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506276659&sr=1-1&keywords=King+of+Hearts%3A+British+Rogues+Historical+Romance+by+Eileen+Putman
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review 2017-08-29 09:21
Book Review For: Once a Rebel by Mary Jo Putney
Once a Rebel (Rogues Redeemed) - Mary Jo Putney

'Once a Rebel' by Mary Jo Putney is Book Two in The "Rogues Redeemed" series. This is the story of Catherine Callista 'Callie' Brooke and Lord George Gordon 'Richard' Audley. I have read the other book in this series but feel this can easily be a standalone book.
Callie and Richard have been childhood best friends until one day when she was sixteen her father informed her that she will marry and older man. Callie's father never really liked her, he beat her and was happy to be rid of her. The same with Richard, his father never had any use for him since he was the third son of Marquwss of Kingston. So they had build a closeness that each went to the other for help and advice. So when Callie needed away out of this up and coming marriage she ran to Richard for help. Richard suggested they run off and get married. Scotland allows a 16 girl to marry and Richard was 21. But they were caught midway there and Callie was forced to go through with the marriage to save Richard from her father trying to kill him. His father didn't care if he was killed but Callie stood firm that she would only go through this marriage if her father didn't hurt Richard. But her father did ship him off and she thought he had died on the prison ship. Now years later, Callie is a widow with two step-children on the run from her former husbands family member. This has her in Washington DC where there is a fight brewing and she just got placed in the middle of it. Richard is an Captain now and has been asked to help find a former English Women by her family. It seem that she is thought to be in danger and they also want to make sure that she is well off. But when Richard finds this women he sees it Callie who he hasn't seen since that faithful night they were separated. Callie is using a false name to protect herself and her step children. But Richard claimed her as his wife to save her from the headed seen he found her in. But can these two pickup where they left off or are they meant to be more than best friends?
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
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Source: www.amazon.com/Once-Rebel-Rogues-Redeemed-Putney-ebook/dp/B01N8ZCNEF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503854371&sr=8-1&keywords=Once+a+Rebel+Mary+Jo+Putney
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