Kill or Be Kilt
Author: Victoria Roberts
Series: Highland Spies #3
Tags: Highlanders!, childhood sweethearts, older man, strong and silent
Oh man, I so thought I was going to enjoy this.
Growly, terse older man! Younger woman with a long held crush! HIGHLANDERS! Who can say no to that?
The whole story, though, was just kind of blah. Goes to show that you can’t rely on catnip tropes alone to get you through a novel. I eventually started skimming.
Besides the mediocre writing, the hardest thing about this book was that there was no tension. This was the last unmarried couple in the trilogy, and all signs pointed towards marriage. He was from a band of army buddies now married to two out of three female relatives living together. OH GEE WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. All he had to do was to get over himself a bit.
I mean, I’m not expecting a murder mystery, but maybe just a bit more resistance. If I wanted to read about two people getting together and everything is fine, I would just read Facebook posts from married people.
Probably won’t read another Victoria Roberts unless it is extremely convenient to me.
Sigh, I was so hoping for another Highlanders author…
Just Like Heaven
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: The Smythe-Smith Quartet #1
Tags: Regency, stick-in-the-mud, nursing back to health, childhood friends, family
Okay, hold onto your butts, folks. We are heading deep into Julia Quinn territory…
I think that Quinn and I have some common predilections. Stick-in-the-mud AND nursing back to health?! An author after my own heart!
I can’t decide if I like this better than Because of Miss Bridgerton. BMB had such a fun heroine, but I just really have a soft spot in my heart for this hero.
Marcus! My sweet baby boy!
Quinn has the ability to make men not so asshole-ish. Marcus is stodgy and a rule follower, but he’s not callous. He is just misunderstood! He just doesn’t know how to talk to people, and doesn’t want to bring attention to himself. When they put on plays while they were growing up together, he was always given the role of tree! He liked it, being part of the family, but not the center of attention.
My baby boy was a tree! *Big puppy-eyed smile*
Our hero and heroine have been friends since childhood. The story starts years after Marcus has agreed to watch over Honoria while her brother was away. They both start to see the other person as other than a childhood friend, but the true catalyst is when Honoria takes it upon herself to catch a husband…literally.
Honoria digs a hole in the ground at a house party, hoping to create her own meet-cute. She will pretend to hurt her foot in the hole, and then the eligible gentleman will valiantly carry her to safety.
Instead, Marcus falls in the hole, sprains his ankle, and almost dies of infection.
Nurse back to health, please!
The characters are more fleshed out than usual, including a touching make-up scene between her and her mother. Also, family abounds, which is one of my favorite things. Lots of cheerful, helpful, annoying, frustrating relatives skipping in and out of scenes. Add in the comical Smythe-Smith Musicale and you have got yourself a rollicking good time.
What fun! I’m looking forward to the next books in the series.
A Night Like This
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #2
Tags: regency, mistaken identity, governess, stalker, back from banishment, previously ruined
I am here for three characters only, and their names are: Frances, Elizabeth, and Harriet.
The story is that our heroine was ruined by a rake and has been hiding from him ever since. He seeks vengeance for his facial scar and he’s a little craycray. She becomes a governess under an assumed name. The prodigal brother of last book’s heroine comes back from banishment to the continent. He almost killed a man in a duel and his opponent’s father just lately stopped sending assassins to kill him.
Eyes meet. A kiss was shared. And now the hero (an earl) is trotting after the governess like a puppy.
We have to take some big leaps in suspension of disbelief (more than usual, anyway) to be okay with our hero pursuing her. I mean, she’s a governess for god sake. Even though our hero is written as the most gentlemanly, courteous, sly, charming abuser of power, he’s still coming onto her against her will.
If this were anything other than humorous, fluffy, romance novel, this would be a #metoo situation.
It’s a shame. I would like him, if he wasn’t, you know, hounding the governess. He is quite charming.
I don’t much like her either. She is very proper and sweet. She LOVES to be a governess. I’ve just read too many Bronte novels to swallow that.
However, the CUTEST kids are her charges, and I just love all interactions with them.
Salacious playwright Harriet, sullen Elizabeth, and unicorn-enthusiast Frances have the most adorable conversations, tripping over each other the next most ridiculous thing. When our hero meets them after a long absence, he can’t even understand what they are saying, since they are talking so fast.
Don’t worry, they are also in the next book!
The Sum of All Kisses
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet
Tags: Regency, man with limp, mathematical genius, hate–>love
I was poised to like Hugh Prentice, our hero, a brilliant mathematician with a leg injury, and I almost succeeded.
There was something missing, however. I don’t know, his personality was kind of lost in the mix after a while, and he just seemed like every other hero in these stories.
Sarah was fun and petulant, but mostly like every other heroine.
Which is fine.
Hugh was the man that last book’s hero shot in a duel. His lame leg is testament to his own idiocy in challenging the man in the first place. His evil father only cares about the lineage, so Hugh really doesn’t have anyone in his life right now.
Hugh is invited to both weddings of the two previous books, as a public show that they are now on friendly terms. Honoria wants to make sure that he feels included in the festivities, so she has Sarah hang out with him.
Sarah hates him. She also needs a husband.
Hate to love plot line!
When I was reading the previous book, I developed a little crush on Hugh and his tragic tale. I was thinking that Hugh wouldn’t get his own story, so I ended up making up one for him in my head.
He’s just so tragic…*excited whisper* MAYBE HE’S GAY.
And suddenly he had unrequited love for the man he dueled, and could never express it, and his leg is an eternal symbol of the folly that comes with unwanted desire.
And then I found out his story was in this book.
Ah, ohhh well.
His father is a villain of the mustache twisting variety.
Sarah sprains her ankle (Geez, what is with Quinn and injured legs?) and there is a cute scene where they dance together, as well as they can. And there is also there’s a great point where she massages his leg.
On the Radar
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn
Splendid by Julia Quinn
Dancing at Midnight by Julia Quinn
The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston
The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston
The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston