Improper Gentlemen by Diane Whiteside, Maggie Robinson and Mia Marlowe

August 12, 2011

Throbbing, Twitching, Pounding, Thrusting, Spilling, Spurting, Sucking!

You would think this was an adventure story with all the action verbs being thrown around. But it just an anthology published by Brava with a plethora of descriptive sex verbiage. Whenever I buy an anthology I always keep my fingers crossed, because you never know what you're getting. However, in this case, since it was a hot Brava publication, I had a pretty good idea of what I was purchasing. Since this is a trade-sized book, the price was a tad bit higher than a normal paperback. In the back of my mind was also the apprehension that because this was a Brava anthology, the sex in the book might have a tendency to overwhelm the storyline. Short story+Lots of sex=Tiresome.

Talbot's Ace by Diane Whiteside
So, let's begin. Our hero and heroine: Charlotte and Justin. Yup. Sorry to say, this proved to be my least favorite in the trio of offerings. First of all, the storyline takes place in the American old west, my least favorite romance land. Yeehaw, yup and howdy ma'am moments are not my cup of tea. That aside, what could have been a good story just didn't work. The dialog was awkward, the plotting rushed and the sex overwhelmed the narrative. The whole thing had the feel of one of those old B cowboy movies from the 50's, but with oodles of sex. Interesting idea, just didn't grab me.

Time/Place: American Old West
Sensuality Rating: Scorching

To Match a Thief by Maggie Robinson
The second story. Hero and heroine: Simon and Lucy. After reading this story, I've decided to check out Ms. Robinson's upcoming full-length novel. Even though this was a short story, it still delivered. The characters were well-written and there was plenty of sexual tension. Even though it had tons of sex, some of it in unbelievable places, it still did not overpower the story. And, there were some humorous moments - always good in my book. This is also one of those stories that could have been so much better in full-length format.

Time/Place: 1820's England
Sensuality Rating: Scorching

A Knack for Trouble by Mia Marlowe
The last in the group and my favorite. Hero and heroine: Aiden and Rosalinde. This story is complete. It is a short story that had the feel of a longer tale. We have likable characters with funny dialog. We even have room for a red herring when it comes to solving our mystery. I would have liked to have known more about Aiden's supposed supernatural gift, but you can't have everything in a short story. I did have an EEEWWWW moment that threw me out of the story with a giggle and a raised eyebrow. (Spoiler: for some reason the mentioning of a hairy scrotum just doesn't do it for me...especially on the hero. My hero's don't have hair there and it doesn't stand on end. I don't know, maybe that's just me or maybe it's one of those words that I find hilarious and not romantic. (And, I'm not talking about the word hairy).

Time/place: 1820's England
Sensuality Rating: Scorching

In the end the book turned out to be pretty much what I expected. Short on character study and long on sex (so to speak). Some of the stories handled that better than others and I found a new author that I'm going to check out. I already have Mia Marlowe on my list. If you don't mind the higher price for a trade book, this is a fair read. Also, remember Improper Gentlemen is not a light-weight fluffy historical read, but a Brava scorcher - be prepared to have the fan on.


Melanie said...

Oh, my Dear!
You made me laugh-out-loud with this one:)

I, like you, am not a big fan of 'western' romance, but I do read them once in a while. Sometimes we need to get out of our 'comfort' zone :) I've read Leigh Greenwood's WHEN LOVE COMES and thet was just so, so bad. I'm talking F- bad. But then I read
Caroline Fyffe's MONTANA DAWN and I just loved it!

I've joined and I've just got done with ONE NIGHT IN LONDON and loved it so much that I'm re-reading one of my faves of CL's 'A Rake's Guide to Seduction' and one of my fave hero's Anthony Hamilton.

I see you're reading KM right now, and that's on my TBR as well, so I'm looking forward to your review of it:)


Melissa said...

I don't plan to read this one but your review had me laughing pretty hard.