3 out of 5 Stars
Thank you to NetGalley allowing me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
When a mysterious gentleman arrives on his doorstep, Alexander Moreland is astonished to discover that the stranger is not a gentleman at all, but a beautiful young woman disguised as a man, and in great need of assistance. The woman remembers nothing except her own name, Sabrina, and has only the contents of her pockets as clues to her identity: a handkerchief, a pocket watch, a leather pouch, a torn scrap of paper and a gold ring.
Sabrina is certain that she is on the run from someone, or something—how else to explain the bruises on her face and the pervasive sense of dread she feels? She’s also certain that she trusts Alex to help her, and she can’t deny the sparks that fly between them. As they race through the English countryside, Sabrina and Alex must solve the mystery of Sabrina’s past—before whatever she’s running from catches up to them.
So, This is pretty much the relationship that I had with this book…
Everyone loves a good ole Harlequin Romance with a sexy Son of a Duke and a mysterious woman with no recollection of who she is! FULL DISCLOSURE! I HAVE NOT READ THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE “MAD MORELANDS” SERIES, OF WHICH THIS IS #5. My thoughts about that will come out below.
I wanted to do things a little differently with this review as this book got me thinking about harlequin or period novels altogether, so I am going to give you the pro’s and cons of this book and then we’re going to have a BUT I DIGRESS… (Ha ha! I know… you’re all thinking *groan* come on, I KNOW YOU ALL LOVE MY RANTS!!) So, onwards and upwards! I WILL WARN YOU, THIS DIGRESSION MAY GET A LITTLE RISQUE!!
- Each chapter told from alternating points of view between Sabrina and Alex which kept the story fresh and you got a chance to get into the heads of both characters learning their thoughts and feelings on different occurrences.
- The writing itself is appropriate for the period.
- A few somewhat steamy scenes to enjoy.
- Did I mention a sexy Son of a Duke??
- Alex’s family is AMAZING!! I kind of want to back-track to read each of their individual stories as they are quite the zany bunch! (I say KIND OF because of the points below)
- Definitely an enjoyable cozy read that you don’t have to put too much thought into.
- Enjoyable discussions about the Sufferagette movement.
- Using the same descriptions multiple times (i.e, description of Alex “thick dark hair, soaring cheekbones and the dark slashes of his eyebrows above his clear green eyes”) I understand that you’r describing the same person, but you can switch up the descriptors a LITTLE bit.
- The pacing was VERY SLOW. I was beginning to wonder when something was going to happen. There was an inordinate amount of hanging around with Alex’s family and talking about each family member and no furtherance of the plot. Even the relationship between Sabrina and Alex began to get a little tedious. (1st 80% of the book: “God, I want to kiss her….I REALLY want to kiss her…..CAN I KISS HER NOW?” Last 20% of the book… SEX.)
- Slow beginning. A lot of hanging around and getting the back story on the Morelands (good for me, tedious for those who read the prior books of the series as they STILL seemed to be explaining things 22% through the book. If they do this with each book I would be bored to death by this one. As this was my FIRST novel in the series, it was nice to get the down-low on the other family members)
All and all a decent cozy read! Feel free to check it out yourselves!
But I Digress….
So, onto my thoughts on these novels. I’ve had these thoughts before and I’m glad that this novel reminded me of them so I could finally get them out and maybe get some discussion going! …or possibly just be told that I’m crazy and I think WAY TOO MUCH about things! (which I’m also okay with!!)
Has anyone ever noticed that in Harlequin and some romance novels based in the 19th Century are always so CLEAN?! Now, I’m not talking about all the romance. Some of those books have quite the steamy sex scenes in them.
I’m talking about the actual living conditions and the people themselves!
okay…maybe that’s a little too far back. But, you get my point.
There are so many books where somehow, the male and female protagonists are thrown together in some sort of close quarters situation; caught in the woods, in a cabin, forced to share a room at an Inn, stuck on a boat… the list goes on and on. Well, this is completely improper to begin with, but I can deal with that as it is important to the plot. But, what it doesn’t talk about is the arrangements! This is the age of no indoor plumbing. The age of Chamber pots. What was the situation with that??? Yes, I know that the mention of this “soon to be” couple’s bathroom woes PROBABLY don’t fit into the romance of the story, BUT I WANT TO KNOW!!
I know that a while after my man and I started dating we got a hotel room that had an opening from the bathroom to the bedroom (it was convenient to go from the bathroom into the jacuzzi tub) but if you were on the bed, you could see the person on the toilet. I would actually make him LEAVE THE ROOM and stand in the hall when I was in the bathroom (now neither of us really give a crap… pun intended! Lol!). I can only imagine how it would be to crap in a bucket or chamber pot somewhere with a virtual stranger right there! Even if they do leave the room… what do you do?? When they have to go do you just think “well, guess they’re going to see it all anyways!!”.
The other thing is the sex itself! I don’t know how many books have these people riding all night on a horse just to stop into some barn or Inn and wind up having mad, passionate love! So, there is no deoderant, no toothpaste, you’ve been riding a sweaty horse all day and probably getting pretty sweaty yourself…. YEP, some raunchy sex sounds REALLY GOOD TO ME RIGHT NOW!! Especially when it starts to get into descriptions of licking and suckling….
And on to the main event…. The virgin sex scenes. Now ladies, how many books have you read where the woman is having sex for the first time and somehow it is hot, sexy AND she orgasms!! Then she just says…. well, that was AMAZING! Want to go again?? I see it in books ALL TOO OFTEN! I have never spoken to ANYONE who said “my first time was AMAZING and STEAMY and we proceeded to go at it THREE TIMES!!!” Hmmmm……
Well, Maybe I’m crazy! (okay, who am I kidding. I AM CRAZY.) But, I meant IN THIS CONVERSATION! Please let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments below!!
His Sinful Touch
And My Rant
are Best Served with a Duke Cocktail
Well, what goes together better than a steamy romance with the Son of a Duke and a 19th century sex rant than this cocktail!!! …just keep in mind that Canadians use “sparkling wine” as opposed to “Champagne”. I like to keep it local.
- 1/2 oz Triple Sec
- 1 Tsp Orange Juice
- 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Tsp Maraschino juice
- 1 Whole Egg
- Chilled Champagne
- Add first five ingredients,
- Shake with ice.
- Strain into champagne flute.
- Fill with chilled champagne and stir.