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review 2016-10-07 16:30
In for a Penny by Rose Lerner Review
In for a Penny - Rose Lerner

Grand Passion…or epic disaster?


Lord Nevinstoke revels in acting the young wastrel, until his father is killed in a drunken duel. Never one to do anything halfway, Nev throws off his wild ways to shoulder a mountain of responsibility—and debt—vowing to marry a rich girl and act the respectable lord of the manor.

Manufacturing heiress Penelope Brown seems the perfect choice for a wife. She’s pretty, proper, and looking for a husband.

Determined to rise above her common birth, Penelope prides herself on her impeccable behavior and good sense. Grand Passion? Vulgar and melodramatic. Yes, agreeing to marry Nev was a rare moment of impulse, yet she’s sure they can build a good marriage based on companionship and mutual esteem.

But when they arrive at the manor, they’re overwhelmed with half-starved tenants, a menacing neighbor, and the family propensity for scandal. As the situation deteriorates, the newlyweds have nowhere to turn but to each other. To Penelope’s surprise, she begins to fervently hope that her first taste of Grand Passion in her husband’s arms won’t be her last.






Everything you would ever want in a historical romance.


The historical details are spot on paired with crisp prose. The characters are compelling and so well developed you can imagine knowing them.


The class conflict is thoughtfully explored


And the romance...Oh, so good. You believe in the love.


A classic reread.


I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.

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review 2016-08-12 20:20
Why isn't this author more popular?
True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston Book 2) - Rose Lerner

I'm pretty sure I've said this before but if you like Courtney Milan, then you should read Rose Lerner's books. Milan leans better on the focus of the romance between the main couple and Lerner leans better on overreaching story but they are both top contributors in historical romance, in my humble opinion.


I swear the next time I read a Lerner book, I'm buying an extra copy for a friend so I can call them up every time I come across a line and theme that hits me hard in the feels and I feel like I'll explode if I don't get to discuss all angles of it. I think I've read three books by Lerner now and she seems to touch on classism quite a bit, and does an excellent job of it. I posted some quotes from the book in my reading updates but I had to wrestle myself down from quoting many longer passages. I'm not sure if I just don't have the time to write her books proper reviews or I simply don't have the ability. As with Milan books, they hit me on very personal levels and all I want to talk about are my feelings and my back and forth on the ideas, issues, and themes in the book. Gah, is there a strictly Lerner book club?! 


I'm telling you people, if you find yourself complaining about wallpaper historicals, TSTL heroines, over abundance of Dukes, and an overall feeling of sameness in historical romance (specifically in the regency time period) you NEED to be reading Lerner. 


*I did think this one had a bit of slow start with the politic focus but things smoothed out around the 20-30% mark. The story and characters are more subtle in their devastation to your feels and if you like the more overt regency romances (feisty heroines romping around and titled heroes broodingly scared of love, hey, I like those too) then this wouldn't be for you. But if you want something fresh and quietly devastating (the whole scene and speech where the hero says he loves the curtains, I found my eyes watering out of nowhere) then read this immediately. 

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text 2016-08-11 21:48
True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston Book 2) - Rose Lerner

She turned it over in her mind. “It’s more like fear than embarrassment. Fear that you won’t think I’m a lady anymore.”

He propped himself up above her on his forearm, clearly delighted. It occurred to her that he must have picked up everything he knew about being gentry through observation. He had never been able to ask anyone directly before. “Ladies have bodies like other women,”he said.

"Yes…”She couldn’t think how to explain it. “It’s as if…as if one is trying to avoid reminding men that one is like other women. Men don’t always treat women very well.”




She’d worked at being easy to love too. She’d made her father love her, and her brother—or at least it had felt that way. She’d made this town like her. It seemed sad, somehow; she wondered whether other people were loved naturally, without trying, even when they were difficult and useless. Whether she could have been, too.

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text 2016-08-11 17:20
Reading Update: 25%
True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston Book 2) - Rose Lerner

He tried to not want her. If he could just find a part of himself that didn’t want her, he’d know what to say and how to make it sound natural.

He couldn’t even find a part of himself that could breathe.

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review 2016-07-10 01:06
Mostly a winner
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Rose Lerner,Molly O'Keefe,Joanna Bourne,Jeannie Lin,Isabel Cooper

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner

This was easily my favorite short story in this anthology and not just because it had a Jewish character and a bi character. There is just something about Rose Lerner’s story-telling style that manages to sweep you off your feet and make you so invested in a story that not even extreme tiredness can stop you from finishing. Her stories are always engaging and rarely ever have dull moments. All or Nothing tells the story of struggling architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould who is starting to feel burned out because he really cannot seem to make a living off of his chosen career. He wins a bet that allows him to ‘have’ Maggie da Silva for the time period in which her best friend (and sexual partner) is gone taking care of business and instead of taking advantage, he basically takes her to his ex flame’s house party so he doesn’t have to deal with him and his advances. Basically, a slow burn kind of romance happens between Maggie and Simon as they learn more about each other and sparks fly. YAY.

The Liar’s Dice by Jeannie Lin

This short story was really fucking great. It wasn’t my favorite but it came really really close. It isn’t as romance oriented, focuses more on the mystery aspect, is set in China (AND NOT IN the UK/US where most HRs seem to be set) and has a wonderful, dark atmosphere. The subtle romance is just enough to get my heart beating and I REALLY REALLY want an entire novel with the two main characters of this short story. I need to know all the things about them. Either way, I know I have a new author to add to my TBR list.

Raising The Stakes by Isabel Cooper

I don’t really know how I felt about Raising the Stakes. I don’t usually mind magic in my HRs but the magical elements in this short don’t really work for me. Sam, the mc, is pretty darn awesome and badass in that she is a con artist but Talathan--who is fae (I think???)--does not work for me at all as a character. I have 0 emotional attachment to him and therefore care nothing about his presence and contribution to the story. I do think that is just a ‘me’ thing though.

Redeemed by Molly O’Keefe

If you like tortured heros and heroines, this short will 100% be for you. The best part about this short story is that just because the characters are ‘tortured’ doesn’t mean they are angsty. O’Keefe does a great job of characterizing them through and outside their torturedness. They have legit reasons to be the way they are given the horrors they have lived through but they also exist outside of those bad things. They can both be charming, sweet, courageous and awesome. The best thing about this short story is that even though is technically a short story, it is well plotted and well thought out. It functions like an entire novel instead of just a short novella that leaves you wanting more. Basically Redeemed is another winner for this anthology.

Gideon and the Den of Thieves by Joanna Bourne

In theory, I like a lot about this short story but really, I struggled with it because it almost seemed too lengthy. This short story is exciting, features a rescue and lots of other fun things but I literally did not connect with the MC and the love interest. They seemed very bland and more like plot devices than actual characters. It makes sense because the plot of this short is great but the characters made it so that I couldn’t actually enjoy this short in the ways I wanted to. That isn’t to see that all the characters sucked but the two that I should have liked, I couldn’t and that made it really hard to enjoy this story.

Overall, with me more than liking ⅗ of the short stories in this anthologies, I can safely say that Gambled Away is a winner. It features diversity of characters and locations and very well worth the read if you love your Historical Romance as much as I do!

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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