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The Reluctant Miss Van Helsing [Kindle Edition]

Minda Webber

Kindle Price: £3.71 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

In a paranormal England full of anachronism, hijinx, pop culture, and romance, Jane Van Helsing is about to deliver a sharp wakeup call to 1828 London’s leading lothario.


Having long listened to London’s ton, Ethel Jane Van Helsing well knew her faults. She had skin marred with freckles, a nose too snub, and hair of a brown that reflected neither red nor gold highlights. She was plain. And yet, at a masquerade ball an ugly duckling could become a swan.

If only tonight were for fowl play. But Jane came from distinguished and determined stock. Where other young ladies denied monsters under the bed, Jane’s clan sought them out and snuffed them—under, beside or on top. She was expected to do the same. Her father, the Major, had shown her very early how to use the sharp end of a stick where and when the sun didn’t shine. And tonight, seeing Neil Asher, the dreamy, rakish and oh-so-delicious Earl of Wolverton, her name was at stake. Something was going to get driven very deep into a heart, or she wasn’t a Van Helsing.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 796 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0505526387
  • Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group (4 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #425,858 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny from beginning to end 12 Jan. 2006
By Deborah Wiley - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow- this was significantly better than the first in the series, THE REMARKABLE MISS FRANKENSTEIN. Jane Paine Van Helsing is a very likeable character. Her father is the drill sergeant of vampire killing and has taught her from an early age how to kill vampires in a myriad of ways, usually involving the use of the Van Helsing stakes. Unfortunately for Jane, she gets nauseated at the sight of blood and is absolutely terrified of the spiders that tend to populate the cemeteries and crypts where vampires are usually found. Jane would prefer to be bird watching, and much to the embarrassment of her family has never successfully staked a vampire. Oh she has tried, generally resulting in ruining her gown and causing great amusement for her cousins. Clair Frankenstein Huntsley, Jane's best friend and the main character from the first book in the series, has the hare-brained idea to matchmake Jane and the Master Vampire of the city, Neil Asher, the Earl of Wolverton. Meanwhile, Jane is determined to please her father and attempts to stake Asher, only to have the two of them found in a seemingly compromising situation. And did I mention that Jane also staked Asher in the rear end? Needless to say, Asher reluctantly marries Jane and it is only when the true villain of the story, the infamous Dracul, attempts to make Jane his bride that Asher fully realizes his feelings for Jane. This book was funny from beginning to end with numerous plays on words and intermingling of history. I was particularly amused with the play on words involving Madame and Colonel Saunders and the house of ill repute, the Birds of Paradise Club. This book is highly recommended! I'm glad I gave Minda Webber a second chance as she truly delivered with this hilarious novel.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok, I get it. She's plain... 25 Jan. 2006
By Ember - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
How many times does the reader really need to be reminded that our heroine is a plain Jane? Apparently about 30 times or so to make sure we get the fact she's not a babe. Fine. She's plain. Move on.

When I find myself talking to the heroine, telling her to get a backbone, it's always a bad sign. Jane is brave on occasion, but is an utter doormat and victim when dealing with her father, another person who reminds us Jane isn't pretty. Her willingness to be abused by every man in her life made me a little sick.

And, the sad attempts at humor by changing cliches and sayings into vampiric mottos got tiring very quickly.

The book had a great premise, but a good editor would have made a huge difference in this book.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars goes for farce, falls short of good genre fiction 15 May 2006
By R. Kelly Wagner - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read vampire novels (you can see my reviews of dozens of them). I read Regency romances (and have reviewed a few). So you'd think that something that purports to be about a Regency-ish vampire hunter would be right up my alley, right? Well, it would be, if it were well done. But I'm picky about "well-done." I insist on at least the basics of characterization and plot, and a bit of historical accuracy in my historical romances, and dialogue that's witty. This book fails on all those counts.

It falls most seriously short on historical accuracy and period atmosphere. Some of that is deliberate; the author is trying so hard to get in sly puns and allusions to 20th-21st century pop culture that she deliberately stretches the way the characters talk. But other anachronisms are accidental and annoying - references to going to Plan B if Plan A doesn't work; references to someone's ego (I notice that one in many historical romances; people seem to space over the fact that we didn't start using that terminology until Freud laid it out at the turn of the 20th century...) Incidentally, the book is allegedly set in 1828, which is technically post-Regency, but not yet Victorian. There's a reference to Dr. Jekyll, even though Stevenson didn't write "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" until 1885. And so on.

Some of the plot devices were so predictable as to be passe - our heroine is carrying a flask of brandy and a vial of holy water in the same pocket; of COURSE she's going to accidentally throw the brandy instead of the holy water. (Let's never mind how our heroine has a liquor flask in the pocket of a light muslin gown; let's never mind that gowns of the period did not have pockets as we know them...)

And many of the allusions to pop culture were not worth making - the version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," for example, was (a) stupid; (b) not very well done as to imitating meter and rhyme, and (c) totally pointless with regard to the plot.

There are also the usual typos, grammatical errors, and word misusages that one finds in all too many mass market paperbacks these days; publishers don't seem to employ copy editors any longer.

To give the book its due, it's not totally unreadable. For a few pages, the allusions to pop culture are fun; if they came at about 1 every 10 pages, instead of being smushed together in run-on fashion, it would be a very funny style. I suspect that someone who isn't a dedicated Regency reader would be far less annoyed by the anachronisms than I am, and might therefore enjoy the book more. And if your only previous exposure to vampire fiction has been recent work that's more or less romance - Betsy the Vampire Queen, for instance - and has not included the serious authors such as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, then you probably wouldn't be as bothered by the haphazard treatment of vampire powers and weaknesses, or the mixing of vampire and other supernatural cultures, as I am. So, if all you're looking for is a light read, not holding out for an actual good Regency or intense vampire experience, then this might be acceptable.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Case Of Trying Too Hard 28 Mar. 2006
By S. Lewis - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the "The Remarkable Miss Frankenstein," I can not say the same for "The Reluctant Miss Van Helsing." Correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't a romance novel contain some romance. Asher's constant lascivious thoughts about Jane made me feel dirty given his obvious contempt for her. It is unfortunate that the author felt the need to beat the reader over the head with Jane's lack of external beauty as if we are too stupid to grasp the simple concept. Did that fact truly need to be reiterated 5 or 6 times in each chapter by everyone she came in contact with. We get it; she's not beautiful, and she's not considered worthy to be with Asher nor is she considered worthy to be a Van Helsing. Also, the author seemed overly concerned with getting laughs that quickly became extremely irritating. I mostly just felt very sad for Jane's part in a verbally abusive life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and Charming 16 Feb. 2007
By Inked Flamingo - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is not attempting to be the next War and Peace, in fact it's not even attempting to be a historical romance novel, all it's attempting is to give you a light hearted read, and it completely succeeds!

I picked this book up, amused by the premise, and found it to be very enjoyable. No it's not breaking any new roads into literature and no it's not really that exact on dates and such, but it's a book about VAMPIRES how historically accurate can it really be? I loved it! I couldn't wait to keep reading it. I found the jokes amusing and the situations full of comic relief, and it just fueled my passion for tall dark vampires.
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