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on 16 February 2008
What a surprise this book was! The title isn't very promising and cover was a rather generic picture for a historical romance with a lady falling out of a dress and a man's hand on her thigh. However the story within the cover was an excellently-written, at times amusing but also complex and enjoyable story about a man and a woman on the run, trying to clear the man's name so he can marry the woman he's loved his whole life.

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
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2011
There's some lovely writing here; an example:
"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.
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VINE VOICEon 24 August 2011
This is the third of her books I have now read in fairly rapid succession and I can't tell you how nice it is to discover a new (for me) author in this genre who is as good as this. Julie Anne Long writes beautifully and with great subtlety. Her plots are well constructed and believably told, not too predictable and wonderfully romantic. I've not read the Pennyroyal Green books in any particular order so far and they do all stand alone very well - they are essentially about two families from Sussex, the Everseas and the Redmonds, bitter rivals since forever. This book is all about Colin Eversea - the youngest of the Eversea brothers who has been framed for the murder of a Redmond cousin. He's sentenced to death, is rescued at the last moment by Madeleine and then their adventures begin. I won't summarise the plot further - it's essentially a tale of their adventures together as they try and establish Colin's innocence. It's wonderfully done with funny moments, tender moments and a couple of very erotic moments too. Can recommend this book highly and also the other two I've read so far which are "Like no Other Lover" and "What I did for a Duke". They've all been good and 5 stars worth but my favourite so far is "What I did for a Duke".
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on 12 February 2015
This is book one in the Pennyroyal Green Series. I’m reading the series out of order. It was good to read the book that set up the series. The background information about the 2 rival families of Pennyroyal Green was very good.

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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on 14 December 2008
At the same time as knowing so well and using usual writer skills, this books goes farther, for me it gave life lessons as well as delight, and also not only the main but other relationships also so well came out of it.
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on 11 September 2012
A deIight to read !! Read this book in a whole day so captivated I was by Mrs Longs writing style and her creativity and the sense of adventure she weaves into her stories . I like how daring she can be in her writing especially impressed with her book 'i kissed a duke' and her story she weaves about pirates and captains and perilous journeys over seas. All the while her protagonists are strong willed passionate people i especially like how strong her heroines are
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on 8 July 2012
not a bad read nice enough but the plot totally overtook the romance and though anticipation is nice the relationship gets going near the end of the book which is too little too late but i have to say ms long definitely writes well its just too little in the romance department for me and more in the mystery plot
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on 27 July 2013
A well written fun book. The languaging exceptional, the story entertaining and plausible. I am looking forward to reading the whole series.
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on 12 February 2013
Great book well written. my first j.a.l. book but will now read the rest as this has really impressed me.
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on 3 June 2015
One of her best and I have read nearly all of them now. Great read.
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