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Historical Romance ARC DNF Reviews

The Rake Gets Ravished by Sophie Jordan (The Duke Hunt #2)


Publication Date: February 22, 2022


New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan returns with an all new sizzling historical romance in her Duke Hunt series about a woman determined to reclaim her family home from the dangerously handsome owner of London’s most popular gaming hell.

The owner of London’s most popular gaming hell, wealthy and powerful Silas Masters is feared by men and desired by women—except Mercy Kittinger. When the blackguard wins her family home in a game of cards, Mercy steals into Silas’s rooms, intent on destroying the proof. But things don’t go to plan…

She would have her way with him…

Caught in the act, Mercy must be bold to save herself… even if it means seducing the dangerous rogue and then disappearing with the dawn, debt voucher in hand. Safe at home and determined to settle back into her quiet, uneventful life, Mercy burns at the memory of her night spent ravishing the most compelling man she’d ever met. Thank goodness she’ll never see him again!

He didn’t see her coming…

No one trifles with Silas Masters. Even if he could forget the dark-haired seductress who undid him, he can’t allow anyone to steal from him. He will hunt down the sultry woman who haunts his dreams and show her just how sweet payback can be.

My Review:

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This was disappointing. I love a good regency romance, but good is the operative word here. The premise looked interesting, but as it progressed I became more and more convinced that it was not for me. The idea that Mercy would have had no romantic relationships and yet have extensively studied her brother’s erotic literature collection and be ready and willing to put that study to use stretches plausibility. But I could have forgiven that if the writing style hadn’t grated so.

We have such phrases as “he husked” — which I take it means his voice was husky, not that he suddenly started husking corn. Even that I could have forgiven.

However. Then I encountered this sentence: “Those unfurling lips were like a forest on a moonless night, with all kinds of magic humming below the surface, out of sight, but real and present.” And that’s where I decided my time could better be spent elsewhere. Sails unfurl. Large pieces of cloth unfurl. While lips miiiiiiight be described as “furled” I have never seen them described as “unfurling.” Not to mention the rest of that ridiculous sentence.

Not for me. If you like overly flowery and slightly strange similes, or can forgive them more easily than I, then you might enjoy this book very much. I care about writing style too much to do so.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for providing an e-arc for review.

Say You’ll Be My Lady by Kate Pembrooke (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #2)


Publication Date February 22, 2022


Opposites attract in this irresistible Regency romance, where a proper gentleman who lives by the ton‘s rules and a lady who lives to break them try to resist one another—perfect for fans of Netflix’s Bridgerton series.

Lady Serena Wynter doesn’t mind flirting with a bit of scandal—she’s determined to ignore society’s strictures and live life on her own fiercely independent terms. These days, she chooses to pour her passions into charitable causes with the vibrant group of ladies in her Wednesday Afternoon Social Club. But there is one man who stirs Serena’s deepest emotions, one who’s irresistibly handsome, infuriatingly circumspect, and too honorable for his own good…

Charles Townshend, former boxer and consummate gentleman, worries Serena’s reckless nature will earn her the ton’s scorn…or put her in serious danger. Though Charles isn’t immune to the attraction between them, a shocking family secret prevents him from ever acting on his desires. But it seems Lady Serena doesn’t intend to let his penchant for propriety stand in the way of a mutually satisfying dalliance.

My Review:

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This book was disappointing. It started with a conversation between a group of ladies at an unconventional ladies’ club. Which… should have been interesting. But it was so. Boring. Mostly because we have no sense of who any of these ladies are? There’s a name and some insipid comments to another name and… They’re not really discussing anything of substance and it goes on. And on.

The same sort of thing keeps happening. We get the introduction of the Hero and … yet another boring conversation with a lot of words that say very little. I started to skim about there and nothing really changed — the book seems to rely very heavily on long-winded telling and absolutely no showing. Nothing about it snagged my interest.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing an e-arc for review.