Thursday

No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman

May 30, 2019
“Dying is easy, Comedy is hard” 
Peter O’Toole or Edmund Kean or Jack Lemmon or Donald Crisp, take your pick.

http://www.valeriegbowman.com/
Valerie Bowman is not one of my auto-buy authors, but the book booty seems to be a little sparse right now. Just how many times can one read Julie Quinn’s The Duke and I before one knows all the narrative? Consequently, I thought I would give Valerie Bowman another chance. While I was not very impressed with The Unexpected Duchess back in 2014, perhaps that particular story was one of her off moments. I decided to pick up No Other Duke. As it turns out, No Other Duke is the 11th in the Playful Brides series. Much to my surprise the first book in the series happens to be The Unexpected Duchess. I vaguely remember that book because the hero had handy-dandy fat fingers, which were constantly dipping into the heroine’s valley of love. Light bulb moment. It dawned on me that this was the 11th book in a series that started in 2014. That is sort of five years. I am no math whiz, but that mean’s Ms. Bowman is pumping out books at a high rate of speed. Calculation: approximately 2 ½ books a year. That is a lot of writing, editing, writing, and more editing. Sometimes speed and writing does not mix. I will be honest, this book did not encourage me to go out and purchase anymore in the series. So much for glomming.

Evidently, Lady Delilah Montebank and her friend Lucy have been a matchmaking duo in previous books. Now it is time for Delilah to find her one true luv. She has a man in mind who fits the bill, the Duke of Branville. She just needs to figure out how to corral the elusive man. Here is the deal, because I have only read one other book in the series: I am not familiar with Delilah’s personality. You know what I mean. Just what makes her tick? I am only assuming that a reader would become familiar with Delilah from Ms. Bowman’s previous books. Maybe there was some character building in those books, because the Delilah in this book does not seem to have any complexities I was able to grasp.

What I do know is that Delilah has a loathsome mother, one who bullies her. She has to sneak around behind her mother’s back to do anything. Right now, that anything is putting on a play with allllllll of her friends. Delilah and her friends are going to perform A Midsummer Night's Dream – in secret. Remember a few months ago I mentioned book plots not making sense? Well here is a plot that does not. A Midsummer Night's Dream has a gazillion characters in it. All those characters in Shakespeare’s play would require a bunch of Delilah’s friends being in the play. How could they possibly keep this a secret from the evil mother? It made no sense, and it bordered on the absurd. However, that was not the only part of the story that had me rolling my eyes. No, that would be the Harry Potter love potion moment.

Love potion. Delilah decides to buy a love potion from a near-by potion maker. There is a trick to the potion. If you want someone to fall in love with you, you must make sure that after you give the brew to your victim, you will be the first person he or she sees.  A-n-d, you cannot tell anyone about the potion. Delilah actually thinks the potion will work. OMG this is not a paranormal romance book! This is not taking place in the medieval time! There are no Vikings around. This is just a regular historical romance book. Evidently, the heroine is just silly. For me this part of the plot was over the top. When you mix that into the put-on-the-play theme, you get a real mish-mash. There is more. Enter our hero Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley.

Poor Thomas. Thomas has a conundrum. He has luved Delilah forever and ever. There will never be anyone for him but her. He is her bestist friend. He has wanted more than friendship for a long time. He wants her to fall in love with him; after all, he has been saving himself for her. He has a plan. Yes, it is a doozy of a Romanceland plan. He will take the potion and make sure that Delilah is the first one he sees. What a great plan, nothing could go wrong! 


The moon is blue. When night falls, Delilah sneaks into Branville’s room to sprinkle the potion on his eyes. In the meantime, Thomas has found out about Delilah’s goofy plan. He switches places with Branville, and then he falls asleep. Delilah drops the potion on his eyes. The moon shines into the room! Whoops! Instead of Branville’s face, she sees Thomas. It is Thomas! What’s he doing here? She cannot let Thomas see her! She must avoid him! What a mess! She doesn’t want Thomas to love her because of a potion. She wants Thomas to love her for herself! What can she do? She wants true love, not potion love. Wait a minute, wait a minute! What about Branville? I guess the potion was ok when Branville was on the receiving end.  On top of all that nonsense, the secret love potion did not stay secret for long. There were scads of unmarried people using the so-called secret potion. Just like in the play, people were running around falling in love with people they do not want. It is a love-mix up story with a love-mix up play inside it. It was all very dizzying.

Authors should be careful when they borrow storylines from tales that are well constructed. It always encourages comparison, and Ms. Bowman’s story does not make a good fit for a Shakespeare tale. While I understood the potion vs Puck’s faery dust, there could have been some zany slapstick without the magic. As we all know, I am a big fan of humor in my books, but this book was just too implausible for me to enjoy. Sorry to say, I cannot recommend this story.


Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot

Tuesday

Holy Rhubarb Pie!!! Upcoming Historical Romance

May 28, 2109
Authors with an asterisk*, I'm picking up! For more Upcoming Releases that aren't historical see HEY DELIA!! June 15, 2019 to July 14, 2019. By the way, it is not my fault if a publisher changes the release dates - just so you know, they do not consult me. Let me also add this warning - since I am now using different sources, I am finding that one person's genre isn't necessarily another persons - sorry if your book is in the wrong genre.  
**Book by an author who is either new to me or has fallen off of my list.
Historical Romance 

Amy Jarecki
http://www.amyjarecki.com
The Highland Earl
Lords of the Highland
June 25

Anne Gracie*
http://www.annegracie.com
Marry in Secret
Marriage of Convenience series
July 2

Carol Arens
https://www.harlequin.com/shop/authors/23485_carol-arens.html
The Earl's American Heiress
Paperback - June 18, Email – July 1

Caroline Fyffe
http://www.carolinefyffe.com
An American Duchess
June 27

Eliza Knight
http://www.elizaknight.com
The Highlander's Enchantment
Sutherland Legacy series
June 25

Elizabeth St. Michel
https://www.goodreads.com/ElizabethStMichel
Lord of the Wilderness
Duke of Rutland series
June 15

Eloisa James*
http://eloisajames.com
Say No to the Duke
The Wildes of Lindow Castle series
June 25

Emily Murdoch**
https://emilyekmurdoch.com/
Catastrophe with a Count
Ravishing Regencies Book series
July 6

Jane Goodger
http://www.janegoodger.com
The Reluctant Duchess
the Brides of St. Ives series
July 9

Janice Preston
http://www.janicepreston.co.uk
Daring to Love the Duke's Heir
Beauchamps Heir series
Paperback - June 18, Ebook – July 1

Janna MacGregor
http://www.JannaMacGregor.com/
Rogue Most Wanted
The Cavensham Heiresses series
June 25

Jennifer Ashley*
http://www.jenniferashley.com
A Rogue Meets a Scandalous Lady
Mackenzies and McBrides series
July 9

Jess Michaels
http://www.authorjessmichaels.com
My Fair Viscount
The Scandal Sheet series
July 9
Jillian Eaton
http://www.jillianeaton.com
The Summer Duke
A Duke for All Seasons series, novella
July 9

K J Jackson
The Wolf Duke
Valor of Vinehill series
July 2

Lara Temple
https://www.laratemple.com
The Rake’s Enticing Proposal
Sinful Sinclairs series
Paperback - June 18, Ebook – July 1

Marie Tremayne
http://www.marietremayne.com/
Waiting For a Rogue
Reluctant Brides series
July 2

Mary Balogh*
http://www.marybalogh.com
Someone to Honor
Westcott series
July 2

Maya Rodale
http://www.mayarodale.com
Some Like It Scandalous
Gilded Age Girls Club
June 18

Michelle Mclean
http://michellemclean.blogspot.com
How to Forgive a Highlander
The MacGregor Lairds series
July 8

Sabrina Jeffries
http://www.sabrinajeffries.com
Project Duchess
Duke Dynasty series
June 25

Sarah Mallory
http://www.sarahmallory.com
The Highborn Housekeeper
Saved from Disgrace series
Paperback - June 18,  Ebook – July 1

Scarlett Scott
http://www.scarlettscottauthor.com
Dangerous Duke
League of Dukes series
July 8

Sophie Barnes
http://www.sophiebarnes.com
More Than A Rogue
The Crawfords series
June 25

Stacy Reid
http://www.stacyreid.com
Sophia and the Duke
Forever Yours series
July 9

Victoria Alexander*
http://www.victoriaalexander.com/
Lady Travelers Guide to Happily Ever After
Lady Travelers Society
June 18

Virginia Heath*
http://www.virginiaheathromance.com
The Determined Lord Hadleigh
King’s Elite
June 18
Historical Fiction


Amanda Lee Koe
http://www.amandaleekoe.com/
Delayed Rays of a Star
July 9

Beatriz Williams
http://www.beatrizwilliams.com
The Golden Hour
July 9

Celeste Norfleet
http://www.celesteonorfleet.com
One Night in Georgia
June 18

Jeanne Mackin
http://www.jeannemackin.com
The Last Collection: 
A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel
June 25

Laura L. Sullivan
http://www.lauraleesullivan.com/
Milady
July 2

Meg Kenneally
https://www.facebook.com/megkeneally/
Fled
July 9

Friday

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas - Pass the Time with the Hathaway Family Project

May 10, 2019
Hathaway family...farewell

Spoilers ahead

https://lisakleypas.com/
Have you noticed that these reviews are getting shorter? Anyway, on to Love in the Afternoon, the fifth in the Hathaway series and it’s Beatrix’s turn. I will say right up front, portions of the story are based on the play Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano has never been one of my favorite plays/movies. I’ve always had a problem with people pretending to be other people. The other issue I have with Cyrano is that it implies that you have to be physically beautiful to be worthy of another person’s love. For me, that sends out the wrong message. On to Beatrix and her hero Christopher.

Beatrix can talk to animals. She runs around through the woods, climbs trees, doesn’t wear shoes, splashes in water, and says hello to fish – she’s a Snow White kind of gal. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho. All the animals in the world love her, because she’s just so…nice. I was puzzled because she’s so wonderful, and everyone loves her, and the animals love her, and she’s so wise, gentle, and knows alllllll – but, she can’t see what an obnoxious friend she has in a young woman by the name of Prudence. Prudence is a very selfish, nasty, piece of work. I never understood what Beatrix and Prudence had in common, but oh well, maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, Prudence is the belle of the ball; she has scads of men just tripping over her bosom. One of those men is Christopher. Christopher goes off to war, and he’s having all kinds of problems. Evidently, war isn’t the picnic he thought it would be. He has written a letter to Prudence, the woman who he luvs. Prudence doesn’t have time to respond, so she passes the job on to Beatrix. Beatrix writes to Christopher, pretending to be Prudence. Christopher and Beatrix begin a correspondence. Beatrix signs all of her letters using Prudence’s name. Christopher falls more in love with the Prudence in the letters, never knowing that it is Beatrix. As you might guess, this turns into all kinds of future problems. Besides the letter deception, there is also a back history of Beatrix and Christopher. They were part of the same social circle, and Christopher had some rather unkind things to say about Beatrix. The correspondence set-up has tons of tension because we all know that Christopher will eventually find out, we just don’t know when.

And, he does. I actually liked the way he found out that Beatrix was the letter writer. He was also smart enough to be puzzled about the difference he sees between the letter writing Prudence, and, the flesh and blood Prudence. When it dawns on him what has been going on, he is a tad bit upset. However, Ms. Kleypas doesn’t string out the I’m-mad-at-you-for-lying moment too long. Then the story shifts to working out the relationship, and Beatrix trying to bring some peace to a war-traumatized Christopher.

Nefarious where did that come from? This moment came out-of-the-blue and once again was not needed. Anyway, Christopher thought one of his buddies was killed in the war. He blamed himself for his friends death. We all know that heroes are never to blame. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Christopher’s friend wasn’t dead. However, his friend has become unhinged; he blames Christopher for leaving him behind. He tries to murder Christopher. He becomes a raving maniac, and like all of the other villains in the series, his reaction is overly dramatic. Beatrix to the rescue. We all know that Beatrix is able to quiet raging animals. It seems that she can also do the same trick with maniacal men. She saves the day. But there was even more. Not only do we have a senseless nefarious instance, we also have an OMG moment. Evidently, it’s okay to act as cupid between ones lovely sister-in-law and ones maniac friend. Yes, Beatrix can cure anything! Even turn an attempted murderer into a loving husband. I was flabbergasted. I repeat, this guy tried to kill Christopher! Now he’s alllll cured, and was deemed suitable as the love interest for a woman. I hope she knows how to sleep with her eyes open.

Overall, Love in the Afternoon had a great heroine, and a nice hero. I liked the first part of the story, but Ms. Kleypas couldn’t keep the gentle momentum going to the end, and then she threw in another Nefarious moment.

What can I say? Except for Married by Morning, and most of Love in the Afternoon, the Hathaway family series was a disappointment to me.

Time/Place: 1855 England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot

Thursday

Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas - Pass the Time with the Hathaway Family Project

May 9, 2019
Hathaway family continues...

Spoilers ahead
https://lisakleypas.com/
Finally, it’s Leo’s turn, and at last we have some character building. I adored Leo. I’ve always
have a soft spot for clever men with a bit of bite in their humor. Leo is full of wonderfully sarcastic comments. Cat, our heroine, is a great match for Leo. She’s a very prickly woman, and doesn’t but up with too much from Leo. They make quite a delightful couple – constantly picking at each other, while all that passion is simmering just below the surface. I loved watching their romance unfold.


On the other hand, I was not a big fan of Cat’s continual refusal to Leo’s marriage proposal. The marriage refusal theme in romance novels has become overused. It’s even more irritating after the refusal reason is explained, and it turns out to be something absurd.

The big hero in this story is Dodger the ferret. He’s been in almost all of the books and I’ve grown rather fond of the the little Mustelidae.

Nefarious brothels. Once again, we have to rescue someone. In this case, it’s Cat. She  is kidnapped, and taken to a brothel. A berserk person gives her drugs. Everyone in London, and, Leo race all over town trying to find her. In the meantime, she escapes, and in a drugged stupor climbs along a building ledge. Leo rescues her and confesses his love. Cat confesses her love. I’m not quite sure what happened to the villain, but a year later Cat and Leo have twins. This was another example of chapters of wasted words, and trying to add action to a story. This brothel interlude scene was not needed because the characters in this story were developed enough to make the story work.

But all is not lost. Leo makes a wonderful hero and if not for the goofy race around London portion, Married by Morning is actually quite nice.

Time/Place: 1852 England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot

Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas - Pass the Time with the Hathaway Family Project

May 9, 2019
Hathaway family continues..

Spoilers Ahead
https://lisakleypas.com/
After the last two books in the Hathaway series, I started to think sometimes rereading old books doesn’t work out the way one would wish. I even might be tempted to think writing historical and contemporary romances at the same time might be spreading an author tooooo thin. I had high hopes as I started to reread Tempt Me at Twilight, but it didn’t take me long to recall why I was disappointed in this story the first time I read it in 2010. And, for the same reason – Harry.

There are bonehead heroes, and then there are bonehead heroes. Harry is a primo bonehead hero. I see a pattern forming in this series, a dark pattern. Starting with Cam, all of the heroes in this series seem to be trying out for the Steve Morgan Bonehead Award. I thought no one could be as much of a stinker as Kev from the previous book. I was wrong. Harry wins! He’s the top stinker! He’s the most unpleasant hero in the Hathaway series. When he sees Poppy for the very first time, he becomes obsessed with her – he must have her! He doesn’t really care how he does it. He’s a cruel, manipulative, self-centered-looby. He’s such a detestable character that when his redemption came towards the end of the story, I didn’t buy it. Poppy deserved someone better. And, yes I know Kleypas has tons of manipulative heroes in her books. I looked back on some of my favorite manipulative heroes from her other stories. For me, what they had, and what Harry lacked was an underlying humor, an ability to laugh at themselves. There just wasn’t anything funny about Harry. 


Once again, Leo almost steals the show in this story. In the first book of the series, Leo was the character to keep an eye on. He was a big boo-hoo drunk with lots of problems and lots of angst. As the series has progressed, his character has started to grow and develop. He has become so appealing that it is easy to forget about the main characters. Of course, I wanted to forget the hero in this book.

Nefarious interlude. Our villain wants Harry to create a weapon that will make the villain rich. Poppy doesn’t want Harry to build that weapon. Harry tells the villain no. The villain kidnaps Harry and locks him in a room. Poppy, Leo, and a bunch of secondary characters run all over London trying to find Harry. They find Harry. The villain is locked up. Harry and Poppy confess their love for each other. The epilogue happens. I found myself asking, what was that kidnapping all about? What was the point? It did not add anything to the story – except filler words. It was just a bit of an interlude.

As you may be able to tell, this story was definitely not my favorite of tales, and I am forming the opinion that the Hathaway family is not one of my favorite Kleypas’ series.


Time/Place: 1852 England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot

Wednesday

Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas - Pass the Time with the Hathaway Family Project

May 8, 2019

Seduce Me at Sunrise, the second in the Hathaway family series
https://lisakleypas.com/
Spoilers Ahead
It’s amazing to me how much ones tastes change over the years. What is even more interesting to me is that sometimes those years are not all that long ago. Seduce Me at Sunrise was released in 2008. I was surprised because this story had the feel of an older romance books; it has all the earmarks of something written in the 70s or 80s. Those were the days, my friends, the days when obsessive, dominating, bonehead male “heroes” inhabited the pages of romance novels. The hero in this book, Kev Merripen, reminded me of one of those antiquated romance heroes. As I read this book, I became less and less thrilled with Kev. I know there have been angst-filled, manly-men who I have liked in the not so distant past, but I could not get past Kev’s overbearing behavior. I’m not a big fan of controlling males.  There’s a big difference between a man who is responsible, protective, and strong, and the one who has to be in control. In addition, Kev also had the: I’m-not-worthy syndrome.

Seduce Me at Sunrise returns us to the crazy Hathaway family, and this time Winifred is the focus. At least, she’s supposed to be. As happened in the first book in the series, our heroine is overpowered by characters that are more dynamic. Leo Hathaway, the drunkard brother is back again, and still eating up the scenes. As I’ve mentioned before, I wasn’t all that fond of Kev. He overwhelmed every scene he was in. At times Winifred seemed as if she was a secondary character. 


Kev Merripen has been the Hathaway’s watchdog protector for years. The Hathaway family brought him into their house when he was starving and living on the street. He, like Cam, is of Romany descent. His parentage plays an enormous role in the plotline later in the story. Anyway, when the Hathaway’s were young, they were exposed to  Scarlet Fever. Winifred contracted the disease, almost dying in the process. Ever since then, everyone has treated her like an invalid. She’s cosseted, and not allowed to do anything which will drain her of her strength. By the way, Leo’s fiancée succumbed to the disease. Her death is the reason he is a boo-hoo drunk.


Kev and Win have a strong emotional bond, but Kev will never, never, ever act upon that. He loves Win, but he cannot dishonor her. He is not worthy. Win loves Kev, and she has always loved him. She wants him. She has tried and tried to attach him, but he has resisted – strongly. Well, she has had enough. She has heard of a doctor who can work miracles, and she’s going to seek treatment at his clinic. She believes that if she is strong, Kev will not be able to resist her. So, she’s off to Europe for a couple of years. While she is gone, stoic Kev will work, work, work, sweat, sweat, sweat, and moon over Win. Then she returns.


Win returns almost healthy. She is of the opinion she is healthy enough to act upon her hankering for Kev. Kev is still the same old bonehead he was before she left. After numerous attempts, Win starts having doubts she can ever break through the wall Kev has constructed. Enter the little green jealousy bug. Win has also brought her handsome doctor back with her – our eventual villain, Julian Harrow. Julian Harrow seems to be interested in Win, which makes Kev jealous. Of course, he won’t do anything about his jealousy, except act like a moron, throw temper tantrums, and say hurtful things to Win.  Kev can’t have her, but he won’t allow anyone else to have her either. He thinks there is something suspicious about the doctor. I never understood what it was about Kev that Win loved.


Nefarious time, or “The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle. The chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.” Spoilers ahead. We have another maniacal villain (Julian); this one is a doctor. His weapon is poison. He wants to poison Kev, but the wrong person ingests it by mistake. I am not sure why the good doctor was trying to poison people. He may not have liked Gypsy/Romany heroes, or maybe he didn’t like Win being in love with Kev, or maybe people had started to suspect he murdered his wife. Nothing made tooooo much sense to me. Anyway, Cam, our hero from the first book accidentally drinks the poison, and the rush to save him is on. There are a zillion characters flying around the countryside trying to save Cam. They are looking for weeds and antidotes. In the end, the ferret Dodger turns out to be the biggest hero. While Dodger is stealing the vial with the poison, drunk-Leo and staid Catherine Marks exchange verbal witticism, Win threatens to burn the villain up, and another Romany spouts wisdom. The villain is caught, and sent to jail. Kev finds out he’s Cam’s brother, a-n-d, he is actually an Earl. Now, he is good enough to marry Win.


Overall, I found Seduce Me at Sunrise to be an irritating book. The hero was tooooo possessive, jealous, stubborn, and obsessive for my taste. Our heroine, Win, was overpowered by all the male testosterone floating around in these pages. And, once again the dramatic threat at the end of the book turned out to be a poor substitute for story development.


The Pellet with the Poison - courtesy The Court Jester, 1956
Time/Place: 1848 England
Sensuality: Warm

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas - Pass the Time with the Hathaway Family Project

May 8, 2019

Those Crazy Hathaway’s or How to be Nefarious in Five Easy Lessons
https://lisakleypas.com/
Spoilers ahead
Mine Till Midnight is the first in the Hathaway family series by Lisa Kleypas. Lisa Kleypas
happens to be one of my all-time favorite authors. She’s one I can turn to in case of an emergency. Because of the recent spate of lackluster books, I’m declaring an emergency. Thank goodness I have a few old books to turn to during dry spells. But, beware fellow travelers, sometimes those old stories can backfire. My Wayback Machine took me back to 2007, and the introduction of the Hathaway family. The main characters in this story were Cam Rohan and Amelia Hathaway. You may remember Cam from the Wallflower series. He was the Gypsy/Romany majordomo who worked at St. Vincent’s gambling club. He was also the one who kissed Daisy, one of the heroines from the Wallflower series. Time out for a complaint. I know I am not alone in this, but there was a lot of chemistry between Daisy and Cam when that kiss happened. I, like many people were disappointed when Daisy ended up with someone else. I might even have booed. It seems that Ms. Kleypas had other plans for Cam. She was saving him for another series, and this series would connect the Hathaway family with the Wallflower series. Much to my sorrow, she saved him for Amelia Hathaway. It was a bitter pill to swallow. But, did I hold a grudge? Ummmm…..maybe.


Even with my disappointment over the not-Daisy heroine, Amelia, and because this was a Lisa Kleypas, I tried to move on. I really did. Alas, as I turned the pages, I was unable to find any chemistry between Amelia and Cam. They just didn’t have any spark. They did not work as a couple. Why? Here’s my theory.


Theory. My biggest issue with this story was that there were just tooooo many characters, and tooooo much time spent setting up their future storylines. All those Hathaway siblings – five of them: Amelia, the bossy one; Leo, the boo-hoo drunk; Beatrix, the one who talks to animals; Winifred, the sick sister who is carried from room to room, and Poppy, the one who steals when she’s nervous. There was the governess, Catherine Marks; the Gypsy Hathaway family protector, grumpy Kev Merripen. There were assorted animals, including a ferret by the name of Dodger. And, there was a ghost (although the ghost didn’t have a speaking part). There were numerous characters from previous books walking through the pages. One of them happened to be Sebastian St. Vincent. You remember Sebastian, a scene-stealer if ever there was one. Authors, be careful when you bring back characters who eat up pages. They can distract from character building. It’s not Sebastian’s fault that he’s bigger than life. And, that was the main issue I had with this book. With such a huge supporting cast clamoring to make their voices heard, is it any wonder that Cam and Amelia were lost in the shuffle.  It was a shame. Cam had been such a strong character in the previous books. He had just the right touch of mystery and angst in the previous book. Was it any wonder that we were attracted to him? But, in Mine Till Midnight, he had to compete with two other angst-filled males – Leo and Kev.


Scene-stealers. When there are strong secondary characters in a book, I often have a habit of picking out one who is outstanding, and following that one to the end. Amongst the plethora of characters in this story, Leo was the one I fixated on. He was just so loathsome; so angst-filled. He was just a big, boo-hoo-I-lost-my-love-and-now-I’m-a-drunk-with-a-smart-mouth kind of guy. He was the perfect hero. Out of all the people in this book, he was the one I would remember. He had such a long way to go to climb to the top of the hero-hill. I could hardly wait for Ms. Kleypas to take him in hand. 


Nefarious time, or how to add extra filler to pages. Sometimes there are books which combine a great adventure story with a great romance. Sometimes there are books which are character-driven, and they don’t need any escapade to enhance them. This book was neither. Because there were so many characters, none of them had enough space to become fully developed. There was a “danger Will Robinson” gimmick added toward the end which I guess was supposed to make the story work. The nefarious threat came in the form of boo-hoo Leo’s friend. This best friend turns out to be a treasure hunter. He wants the lost jewels, and he wants them now! He becomes a maniac; holds a gun on Amelia and Cam, threatening them with death. In the meantime, Leo’s eyes turn silver because of his ghost-fiancée. The villain turns into a wild-eyed, cartoon-like, bad-guy, waving the gun around, screaming and shouting, his eyes rotating around in his head. Take heart my little Petunia’s, there is no need to worry. Amelia and Cam are saved by a bee-wrangling ghost.


Mine Till Midnight was not my favorite Lisa Kleypas.


Time/Place: England 1848
Sensuality: Warm