March 2024
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Mini Romance Reviews

I like the mini review format so much that I’m going to use it for a lot of my romance reading.  In general, I don’t have enough to say about these books to generate a full review, and I like to clear out my review backlog, so I’ll be posting a set of four mini reviews every time I’ve finished four books!

To Wed a Wicked Prince, Jane Feather

Prince Alex Prokov is an intriguing, compelling man and captivates Lady Livia Lacey from their very first meeting.  What she doesn’t realize is that he is foremost intending to inspect her house, legally his because the eccentric woman who left it to Livia was his mother, and claim it if necessary.  He finds Livia interesting enough to marry her instead, but their relationship is a minefield of secrets and half-truths.  Will their love sustain them through Alex’s lies?

I was less than enchanted with this book.  I liked the atmosphere, but Alex’s lies drove me up the wall.  I could see that if he’d only told Livia the truth, practically all the bad things that happen to them in the novel would have been solved.  I could see why he’d kept secrets about his activities, but about his mother’s identity?  Not so much.  Furthermore, he is very domineering, even wishing to get rid of Livia’s faithful servants despite the fact that they were first his mother’s.  He’s just so hard to relate to and in the end I couldn’t figure out why Livia loved him.  I did like her character, though, as I really like the more independent heroines as non-historical as they may be.  Overall, this book was “eh” for me.  Not a compelling plot, some irritating characters, and not enough genuine historical detail or good writing to override its faults.

Compromised, Kate Noble

I’ve been looking forward to Kate Noble’s books for a good long time, ever since I heard about her on The Book Smugglers.  In this, her debut, the Alton sisters have just returned from the Continent, new stepmother in tow, and it’s time for their first Season.  Bookish Gail has no interest in a Season, however, and as an attempt to placate her, her father gives her a horse.  That horse leads her to a gentleman, Maximillian, Viscount Fontaine, with whom she ends up in a lake, and who absolutely infuriates her.  Things don’t get much better when that man is found in a compromising position with her sister – and they get worse when Gail starts to fall in love with him and vice versa.

I definitely had fun with this book.  Gail’s interactions with Max sparkle and I could totally believe that they loved one another by the end.  And I felt like they really knew each other before they hopped into bed, which is pretty much the standard by which I judge romances, especially historical ones.  I like to read about love, not just lust.  Anyway, probably the only thing that irritated me here was that Gail is quite a stereotype.  There are so many books with the bookish heroine who shuns society, who doesn’t think she’s pretty, blah blah.  She does get along with people eventually because she has issues, she’s not shy, but I don’t understand why a heroine can’t be bookish and still like to spend time with people occasionally right off the bat.  I will also confess that I was largely drawn to this book by the cover, which is refreshingly not sexual and has the prettiest yellow dress on it.  I’m not shallow at all, no.

Crazy for You, Jennifer Crusie

When Quinn McKenzie meets a little dog she names Katie, she decides her life has to change.  She’s gone along with everything her too nice boyfriend wants, with what her parents want, and has generally been the fixer of the family.  She’s bored of her life and she’s had enough.  When her boyfriend sends the puppy to the pound, she decides to leave him, and begins encouraging everyone to make little changes to make their lives better.  She has no idea what she’s about to inflict on her family and friends.

I suspect all of Crusie’s novels are this delightful.  While this has a similar premise to Welcome to Temptation, the other book by her that I read, it’s still totally charming.  I loved Quinn and I was 100% behind her.  Any guy who takes a puppy to be killed when his girlfriend has fallen in love with it probably deserves to be dumped.  And after that boyfriend’s further behavior, I completely sympathized with her.  I really enjoyed the love story and all the little tangents that followed, too.  I can’t wait to read more of Crusie’s books.  I hope they’re all this fun.

Miss Wonderful, Loretta Chase

Alistair Carsington took great pleasure in falling love with women before he was involved in the Battle of Waterloo, where he nearly lost his life.  Since his return, he has become obsessed with clothes to the detriment of everything else.  Seeking activity and income, Alistair joins his friend’s scheme to build a canal through Derbyshire, and heads there to persuade the locals of the brilliance of his plan.  Miss Mirabel Oldridge, practically on the shelf, is fiercely resistant of a canal cutting its way through her land, but soon she and Alistair realize they’re not particularly good at resisting each other.

This book wasn’t very memorable – I read it yesterday and I’ve already forgotten most of it.  It struck me as a fairly typical romance.  I liked that Mirabel was older and independent and had had a past with another man.  I’d call it an enjoyable read but not much else.

As I just skimmed this post (which I put together over maybe a month), I realized that none of the covers are your typical half-naked embrace.  I know British covers are way, way more conservative in this regard, but it doesn’t explain the two American ones.  I am really, really tired of the endless parade of half-naked men and women on romance covers, and apparently I am showing my resistance by choosing books that don’t have it.

I am an Amazon Associate. I purchased these books or borrowed them from my local library.


11 comments to Mini Romance Reviews

  • Interesting about the covers. Funny that UK covers are more conservative because, in general, I find Americans more prudish. Just my experience.

    Anyway, thanks for the mini-reviews. I’m not big on romance, but I like to see what’s out there.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday 62 =-.

    • Meghan

      It’s a bit of an intriguing mix – Brits are freer in some respects but much more conservative in others, and I think sexy covers is one of them. I can’t recall seeing even one whereas American publishers slap them on books that don’t really deserve them.

  • I think the half-naked men and women on the covers is part of what turns me off of romance. You did a great job with this mini-review format.

    • Meghan

      Thanks, Kathy! I’m not surprised – I don’t mind when it’s on the stepback because then I don’t have to look at it but people who can are welcome to.

  • I loved Compromised. It’s cover is gorgeous! Bright colors are really appealing and they pop off the shelf if you know what I mean!

  • Crazy for You is one of my favourite Jennifer Crusie novels, especially of those older ones.

  • Oh…Jennifer Crusie is a pro at these. Her books are never dull. I wonder why I don’t read more of them

  • I’ve also picked up quite a few books from the Smugglers :)
    Mini-format is a great idea for these kind of books. thanks for the reviews :)
    .-= jennygirl´s last blog ..Giveaway: The Second Date Love Italian-American Style =-.

  • The only one of these books I’ve read is Miss Wonderful–and I totally agree with you that it wasn’t very memorable. The only thing I remember about it is Derbyshire, and that’s because I really love Chase’s post about her visit to Derbyshire on her blog. =/
    .-= heidenkind´s last blog ..Books for Non-Readers =-.

  • I like the mini reviews and a couple of these sound like good reads to me. I know what you mean about all those heaving bosom covers. It’s hard to take those books seriously when they are all over the place. Great set of reviews, I am looking forward to more of them!
    .-= zibilee´s last blog ..The Believers by Zoë Heller – 352 pgs — Giveaway! =-.