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The Perils of Pleasure: Pennyroyal Green Series Mass Market Paperback – 29 Jan 2008
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About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up (and she has the guitars and fringed clothing stuffed in the back of her closet to prove it), but writing was always her first love. Since hanging up her guitar for the computer keyboard, Julie has penned books that frequently top reader and critic polls and have been nominated for numerous awards, including the RITA®, Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice, and the Quill, and reviewers have been known to use words like "dazzling," "brilliant," and "impossible to put down" when describing them. Julie lives in Northern California.
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Colin Eversea has been arrested for murder but on the way to his hanging someone rescues him - that someone being a woman, Madeleine Greenway. It seems, though, that the person who paid Madeleine to rescue Colin is now trying to kill her. Colin and Madeleine work together to find out what's happened, to try to clear Colin's name and to return him to his family in time for him to prevent the marriage of his brother to Louisa, the woman Colin has always loved. Their investigations into the events are hampered by Colin being a famous criminal with a price on his head and with the paucity of evidence as to what actually happened. However as Colin and Madeleine travel, hide and investigate together they begin to see more in each other than they originally thought.
What was outstanding about this book was the author's writing style. She has an excellent light touch with the writing but covers deep themes with some well-drawn characterisation. Her sense of time and place in history worked well in the book and the plot always kept the reader interested, even when it got quite complex. Some surprises as the villain was revealed were unexpected and the overall feel of the book was very much one of an enjoyable read with more depth to the plotting than many other stories in this genre.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
"Sacks of what appeared to be flour were stacked at one end, and other smaller sacks that no doubt held coffee beans and spices leaned against the big sacks like bashful children"
I found that was an image that slowly grew in my head until I could just SEE that store room, and maybe even smell it as well!
There's a lot of gentle humour and a few laugh out loud moments, and two lovely leads, both strong and capable people, who slowly and reluctantly feel their way towards a relationship - it isn't lust at first sight, he's in love with someone else and she has plans - big plans that don't allow for any attachments.
There's a lot of family background that will no doubt feed into the next books in the series (this is Book 1), but the individual family members are barely introduced at this stage, apart from one or two.
Starts well, totally snagging your interest from the off, and never really lets go. Why not 5 stars? Well, I know books like this are fantasy, but I like a brush stroke of reality with my historical romance, and while this covers countesses, hangings and resurrectionists, not to mention convoluted blackmail and attempted murder, I never quite managed to suspend my inner realist.
The series goes, this one, Like no Other Lover, Since the Surrender, I Kissed an Earl, What I did for a Duke, and coming next year, How the marquess Was Won.
So far, all the stories in the series have been 4 & 5 star reads.
Unfortunately and to my great disbelief, The Perils of Pleasure was a miss for me. I would rate it no more than “Okay”. And this makes me nervous because I desperately await Lyon’s story and want that to be a HIT!
In later books, the mention of Colin’s story has some funny laugh out loud moments, particularly in “What I Did For A Duke.” But here, I felt the book fell flat of its romantic, emotional and sexual tension potential.
Colin and Madeleine lacked the chemistry I expected. I didn’t feel the romance. Sorry, this book didn’t do it for me.
This being said, Julie-Ann Long is still one of my favourite authors. I’ll keep on reading about the Pennyroyal Green residents.
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