>> Thursday, April 03, 2014
So, I just realised I've got a few half-written reviews that have basically fallen down the back of the sofa. For completeness' sake, and because I've got more than a touch of OCD, I'll be doing a few round-up posts. I really liked most of these books and I wish I could do proper reviews for them, but unfortunately, it's been so long since I read them that I'd have to reread them if I wanted to do so.
TITLE: The Forbidden Rose
AUTHOR: Joanna Bourne
Just like The Spymaster's Lady, which I adored, Bourne's The Forbidden Rose has spies and adventures in France just after the Revolution. The heroine, Marguerite, is a French aristocrat who's part of a secret organisation devoted to smuggling people out of the country, and she teams up with Doyle, a British spy. Both are pretending to be someone they're not, and each knows the other is doing so.
I enjoyed it. The writing was great and I enjoyed the adventure feel of the story. My only issue was that I felt Marguerite couldn't quite compare to Annique, from Spymaster's Lady. She felt a bit more passive, and wasn't quite as interesting. I did like Doyle, and particularly enjoyed one of the secondary characters, Adrian, the boy Doyle's taken on a sort of apprentice. He has the makings of a fantastic character in his own right, and I will definitely be reading his book, which Bourne has now written.
MY GRADE: A B.
TITLE: A Lady's Lesson in Scandal
AUTHOR: Meredith Duran
A Lady's Lesson in Scandal is a terrible, generic title for a book that's really unique. Our heroine is Nell Whitby, a young woman who was brought up in the slums of London but who turns out to be the long lost heiress of an aristocratic family. Simon St. Maur is the current holder of the title, which came to him without any of the money. So the perfect solution occurs to him: if Nell marries him, he'll help her get access to the family fortune, and as her husband, he'll have access to it as well.
It sounds like a bit of a hokey setup, but the thing is, it's done with subtlety and characters who have real psychological grounding. Ok, so if a woman really had grown up in the slums and now had the chance to take her place as a heiress, how would she feel about it? How would she react? And how does a cynical man react to someone like her? We get the full thing, complete with complex feelings and motivations. Both Nell and Simon are intelligent and realistic and they fall in love with their eyes wide open. I really enjoyed it.
MY GRADE: A B+.