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4.2 out of 5 stars17
4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 6 November 2012
Wonderful book and a real page turner. It had humour and quirkiness and plenty of intense romance and most of all it is beautifully and sensitively written. Yes there was a slight problem (in the Kindle version at least) about the titles - Wareham and Balmain - but I was so involved in the story it never really bothered me. It's great how this series doesn't follow the usual pattern of a book about each sister and then the brother (thinking Kleypas or Balogh) but is set in a community and involves not just the two main families - the Everseas and the Redmonds - but ancillary characters and distant relatives too which makes for a bit more variety and less predictability. You can easily read each book in isolation as a stand alone. Adam makes a great vicar - not at all prissy or dull but very human with plenty of self doubt. The Countess of Wareham arrives in Pennyroyal Green after the unexpected death of her husband to live in a small manor house that he has left her. The residents soon find out that she has a very scandalous past and she is shunned, however resourceful Lady Wareham (Eve) enlists Adam's help to try and integrate herself into the local ladies charity circle so that she might find some friends. She manages to a degree after being put through the ladies equivalent of the trials of Hercules but they turn on her when some dodgy characters from her past show up in Pennyroyal Green and to top it all they begin to realise the vicar and Lady Wareham are developing feelings for one another - shock horror! Great book with lots of lovely local characters and I'm guessing the next one will tell Olivia's story (and Lyon??). Julie Anne Long is rapidly becoming a favourite of mine - up there with Loretta Chase.
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on 26 November 2012
It is the story of Evie Duggan (an ex courtesan surrounded by scandal) who has fled London to take up residence in the only place available to her - Pennyroyal Green. Her aim is to find friends and be accepted by the people who live in Pennyroyal Green but it isn't easy when scandal precedes her. However, help comes in the form of Vicar Adam Slyvaine, who sees the good side to Evie and ultimately falls in love with her and eventually the town comes to accept them both. This is a nice love story and even though I only gave it 4 starts (mainly because I felt it was very predictable) I still enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone else wanting an easy read.
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on 9 February 2015
I have been blessed with an embarrassment of riches with my choice of reading material lately. This book is part of my riches.

I was nervous about the premise at first. I avoid stories about courtesans and mistresses if I can. But this was a Julie Anne Long story, and I am hooked on the Pennyroyal Green series, and so there was no skipping it.

I’m so glad I read this story. It contained moments where I was literally holding my breath over a chaste kiss! Oh, my heart was aflutter over a man of the cloth, Adam Sylvaine. This man is naïve in some ways, yet so brave and admirable.

It took me a little time to warm to the heroine, Evie, given her past and her initial attitudes when she moves to Pennyroyal Green. She had some growing up to do.

The romance, emotion, sexual tension and storyline were complex and extremely moving. The closing scenes in church had me weeping because of the sheer beauty of them. I rarely cry, but I confess I was blubbering. Adam and the Pennyroyal Green residents found a way to squeeze my heart.

When I finished this novel, I went back immediately and re-read those final scenes – easier the second time because the tears had been wiped away.

My only gripe was that Evie was addressed by two different titles and this had me confused and wondering. But I decided to ignore this in order to get on with the story. I still don’t know the reason for it but I don’t care. This was a very romantic, emotional and sensual read. Julie Anne Long wrote another winner.
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on 17 November 2012
Wow. This was simply amazing. If I had read the summary I would not purchase this book.I am not into Vicars...or things like that. However, I have purchased nearly every book by this author because of the first book "What I did for a Duke." I loved, "How I won The (or A?) Marquess"...another just amazing book. The woman was not considered a beauty, but seen through love's felt every part of that romance. Simply stunning writing...but that is for another review. I thought, she could not top that book "What I did for a Duke"...and probably it is still number one in my measures, but wow. This book was amazing. This author curls herself into every corner of the mind and understands true romance. She is a master of words and bringing the reader into that moment, as if you were there and after all... that is why we read romance...we love to live that moment again and again. I have read romance since I was 16 years old and this author should and soon will be on the best seller list. I marked the best authors as Rebecca Brandywine, Kathleen Woodiwess, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn....this author not just understands character and romance, she delivers it with breathtaking prose that just sets you back. This book totally delves into not just romance, but people. The truth about people. It illustrates all sides of things in a beautiful way, from each person's perspective. I've not gotten to the end of this book, but I checked it today to see how it did in UK because I check such things. It is five star...all the way. As to those who get upset about what? Typing erros? I don't know. Perhaps I was too much into the story to worry overmuch about other things...I don't care if she is an Indie writer or not. Her work is amazing and if Avon or someone else has to compete with Indies...well....we have a lot to work on. Who cares about such things? It is the story, the characters...this was a stunning book as are all of them I have read so far. I wish I could be jealous. But she gives writers something to work for. Maybe I just identify with her characters...but then..most readers of romance would. Truly one of the best romance writers of my time, if not the very best. Well done. And I am not even to the end yet.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2013
I enjoy these books, started with the first and am looking forward to the next, It Happened One Midnight: Pennyroyal Green Series, Jonathan Redmond's story, coming July 2013 (sorry everyone - she's making us wait for Olivia and Lyon!).
What I love about Ms Long's writing are the little gems you keep coming across, for example,
"... and when he remembered how this came to be, his thoughts tugged at their tether - they wanted to surround the countess again. He frowned the thought away."
That made me stop, read it again, highlight it on my Kindle, and regret that I'd never think to write something like that.
So, the story is a okay, although the ending a tad unlikely (I know, I know, the whole premise is unlikely, but the end stretched even my "this is historical romance" credulity). There's maybe a bit too much lovingly described sex (I read a review for a Stephanie Laurens book this morning that said there was only so much laving of peaks and caressing of nubbins that particular reader could take!) because Ms Long's books are about so much more than sex - they're about people wounded by life or circumstance finding love and peace, with a degree of humour, pathos, carnality and romance thrown in along the way.
Yes there are some errors, and yes this one stretches credulity a bit too far for my liking, hence the 4 stars, but I enjoyed it, I'll definitely read it (and all the others) over and over, so well worth the pennies.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2012
I read the paperback version of this book and it features the same glaring error as the Kindle version apparently does. This is not an Indie book, it is published by Avon Books. Surely publishing houses have the books proof read? Here we have Evie Duggan, widow of the Earl of Wareham, called "Lady Wareham" and then "Lady Balmain" alternatively throughout the book, sometimes on the same page. The first time it happened, I was a bit confused and thought Adam Sylvane was making a joke or reference to something I'd missed. He wasn't! It then became irritating.

However, glaring error apart, it was a good story, with a lovely central male character, the handsome, hardworking, honourable Reverend Sylvane who works to help his flock of adoring parishoners. He first meets the notorious Lady Wareham when she falls asleep during his Sunday sermon. The handsome vicar sets many a female heart aflutter and Evie is no exception. Although she can't understand why she isn't able to be ammune to him, as she is to other men, why she can't manipulate and control him with her womanly wiles. For some reason they don't seem to work on the Reverand Sylvane.

Having just inherited a small manor house in Pennyroyal Green, Evie discovers that the scandal about her has reached the womenfolk of the small town and that she won't be accepted by them. Lonely, she enlists the vicar's help to win the local women over.
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on 7 November 2012
The PennyRoyal Green series is fast becoming a must read of mine and this latest book is a great addition. Julie Ann Long has woven a wonderful group of characters in these novels, all quirky, humorous, passionate people and the plots do them justice. I wont go into detail on the plot of this one as it has been covered in other reviews but I loved the juxtaposition of the shunned disgraced countess and the "saintly" sinfully gorgeous vicar. Their struggle with an almost immediate passion for each other is an exciting pageturner and there are sufficient obstacles in their way to keep you interested to the last page. I sense we are coming towards the end of the series now (sob) and I will be sorry for that. However all the books are keepers in my opinion and this is certainly one. I enjoyed it very very much and am sure you will too.
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on 6 December 2014
that she also was bored by her (unofficial?) biography.

When asked, by this reviewer, about the part where it says that she only had two lovers - and one was her husband, the Countess of Wareham a.k.a Lady Balmain blushed prettily and did not elaborate how 2 lovers (well one really) made her famous as a skilled Courtesan. I also asked Lady Balmain why the use of those two different titles - Countess of Wareham and Lady Balmain? The Countess of Wareham declined to answer and her publicist referred me to take that up with the author. I declined.

All in all - a boring story that had me yawning and skipping sections.

2.5 stars.

3 stars The Perils of Pleasure (Pennyroyal Green Series) Colin's story.
4 stars What I Did for a Duke (the first half was 5 stars and the last 3.5 stars).
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on 3 June 2014
Julie Anne Long 's books all have such sparkling wit and humour and wonderful characters. This book has all of that but also such insight and pathos. It is a beautiful story of a Vicar who gives all of himself for his people and a beautiful, brave woman who has had to become somewhat scandalous because she needed to give all of herself for her family and who therefore could not be accepted as the woman their Vicar loved. I will read this over and over again. It is strongly romantic.
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on 2 July 2014
When I read one of the main character was a men of church I was apprehensive. However, as it is usually the case with this author, the story is compelling and you really care about what happens to the main players of the book.
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