Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: The Downfall of a Good Girl by Kimberly Lane

"Why would you decide to seduce me? And why now after all these years?"
Southern debutante Vivienne LaBlanc can't believe bad-boy rock star Connor Mansfield is back in town for the New Orleans annual Saints and Sinners pageant. He has a reputation as wicked as his devilish smile, and Vivi has no intention of becoming one of his latest groupies!

He once crushed her high school heart, so playing the saint to Connor's sinner should be easy. But how can Vivi get those less than angelic thoughts out of her head—especially when Connor's so good at tempting her to be bad?

A sweet romance from a new Harlequin imprint KISS, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I began The Downfall of a Good Girl.  I think I secretly hoped there would be a lot of sexual tension between Vivi and Connor, so I was disappointed when moments that could have knocked my socks off between the two didn't.   It's my understanding the KISS line is marketed as a more sensual romance, but I didn't find that to be true at all with The Downfall of a Good Girl.  (I haven't read any other KISS books  yet either.)

I also didn't like the high-school mentality of Vivi.  She seemed to be stuck on an incident that happened between she and Connor in high school rather than focusing on the man he was now, ten years removed.  It was a conflict between the two that I didn't believe, especially since Connor had to be reminded by Vivi about the incident. 

Overall, The Downfall of a Good Girl was a good way to pass an afternoon and give this new imprint a try.  I will read another before passing final judgment. 

(A very special thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Downfall of a Good Girl.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

 What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets...

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them... even her heart.

I have Ms. MacLean's previous trilogy on my TBR pile, but I am so glad I picked A Rogue by Any Other Name from the library.  I could not put it down!  I never expected to love it so much or to rush through it so quickly. 

A Rogue by Any Other Name has everything I like in a historical romance:  childhood friends to lovers, rogues/bad boys, sequel bait.  Bourne's motives are just, I think, though he does use rogue-like tactics to obtain them, such as keeping Penelope prisoner, thereby ruining her and forcing him to marry her.  Their marriage ensures Bourne will receive the childhood home he lost in a game of cards as it has been attached to Penelope's dowry. 

But there was one thing of which Penelope was certain. Eldest daughters of good breed did not inspect strange lights in the middle of the night. 

What Bourne doesn't expect when he marries Penelope, I imagine, is a wife who's very interested in what goes on at  The Fallen, a well-known gaming hall in London which is co-owned by Bourne and three other rogue-like peers (all four men have fallen from their stature as members of the ton, hence the name of their club). 

Because Bourne's primary motive for success is revenge, he is quite cruel to Penelope, despite their share childhood past.  However, as more layers open and Bourne allows himself to become vulnerable, particularly about Penelope, that he begins to appreciate what he already has and his need for revenge lessens. 

All in all, A Rogue by Any Other Name is a great start to a series I'm very much looking forward to reading. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

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