Novella Review: ‘Twas the Night Before Mischief by Nina Rowan

‘Twas the Night Before Mischief (A Daring Hearts Novella)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

This is a cute Christmas read, with a surprising amount of angst.  Both Penelope and Darius long for something more, yet neither knows how to break out of the mold of perfect behavior they have shaped themselves into.  Penelope has bridled for freedom, for recognition, for anything but being the paragon of perfection she has become.  She seethes with passion and she desperately wants to be something else.  Anything else but the obedient daughter of Henry Darlington.  Darius is the son of an earl, and being a younger son among many, he feels just as ignored as Penelope.  After his mother causes a family scandal that almost ruins his family, he is determined to do the right thing.  Even though he bristles at being unemotional and passionless.

Ha!  This couple burned up the pages with their wicked flirting, most of which consisted of word play sizzling with innuendo. Darius has just accepted a commission to write the Scientific and Literary Treasury, an encyclopedia of terms to replace more antiquated dictionaries, so words and their meanings are played up in the narrative.  He is also an inventor, seeking better methods of mixing chocolates for use at the Darlington’s confectionary.  He places a great deal of pride on his ability to think things through, so his attraction to Penelope puzzles him.  She is impulsive and so not like him.  After running away with a rake, Darius has agreed to go fetch her.  While he can pretend that he’s doing Henry a favor, he’s really chasing after her for himself. 

Penelope has run off to the wilds of Scotland with a fortune seeking rogue.  When his mother firmly rejects her because she’s the daughter of a shop keeper, she finds herself stranded in a tiny town, with no money and no possessions.  She’s desperate to make enough money to get herself back home.  When Darius arrives in town to fetch her back, she’s not happy.  She thinks he has the emotional depth of a herring, but their journey back to London will show her how wrong she is.  Even though she’s angry that he’s come to collect her like an errant schoolgirl, she’s relieved that her horrible ordeal will soon be over.  She’s also reminded of the fiery kiss she and Darius shared under the mistletoe…

I really liked Penelope.  Her mother died when she was a child, and when her father remarried and started a new family, she never felt that she was a part of it.  Though her new step-mother treated her with kindness, Penelope was aching over the loss of her mother, and she felt betrayed by her father.  She felt that he ignored her, and that she was invisible to him.  When he planned a Christmas celebration on the anniversary of her mother’s death, she finally gave into the temptation to be seen and heard.  Yes, in retrospect she could have chosen her rebellion a bit more carefully, but how could she have known that Wilkie was still tied so firmly to his mother’s apron strings?  Being sent packing with no money and no means to get home gave her time to think, and also gave her the opportunity to get to know Darius better when he finally showed up to escort her home.

‘Twas the Night Before Mischief is a pleasant way to while away some time  between holiday preparations.  The ending is very cute, too, and now I’m curious to read a longer book by Nina Rowan.

Grade:  B+

Available December 10, 2013

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting-it was time to break out! 

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days-and nights-in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide . . .

Novella Review: ‘Tis the Season to be Kissed by Amy Andrews

 

‘Tis the Season to be Kissed (Entangled Indulgence)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I loved this novella!  It’s sweet and sexy at the same time, and is funny as hell.  I couldn’t put my Kindle down once I started ‘Tis the Season to be Kissed, and I was completely engaged in the story from the first page.  Both protagonists are extremely likeable,  the story is told with humor, and the set up and character interactions are completely believable.   This novella blew me away with its charm, and I can hardly wait to read more by Amy Andrews.

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Stranded With a Hero Blog Tour-Meet Roxanne Snopek, Author of Saving the Sheriff

 

Please give Roxanne Snopek a warm welcome to the virtual offices!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave the house without?

[Roxanne Snopek] My water bottle. And, for those of you who are wondering, it contains only water.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Roxanne Snopek] Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy

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Happy Holidays with Forever and Giveaway!

With the ramp-up to the holidays kicking in  full force at my house, I am so in the Christmas mood it’s not even funny!  I love the holidays!  Usually we spend Thanksgiving at Disney World, but this year we (read I) decided to try something different.  We’re going in December.  I can hardly wait to see all of the decorations at the resorts and I have big plans to hunt down the special holiday cupcakes! 

One of the things I like to do during the holidays is read holiday themed books.  I’ll bring you some holiday themed title suggestions during the upcoming weeks, and to help spread the holiday cheer, I have a copy of Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis to giveaway!  I received this copy from Forever, but since I already have most of the contents in electronic format, I wanted to share this with one of you.   Do you enjoy reading holiday books? Let me know in the comments!

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Novella Review: Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy

‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa (Entangled Indulgence)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

That description below?  It does not do this novella justice.  Not at all!  This was a surprisingly emotional read that actually had me blinking back tears a couple of times. 

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?  Grumpy Mitch has no reason to love Christmas, so it’s an unpleasant shock for him when his boss asks him to play Santa at a party for siblings of children at a local hospice.  While he really wants to refuse, CJ reminds him that even though Mitch has worked hard to ensure that he’ll take over as head of CJ’s PR firm when he retires, nothing is written in stone.  To prove he is the man for the job, Mitch has to show that he has a heart to go along with his ambition and drive.  CJ isn’t about to leave his company in the care of a guy who doesn’t understand the value of social responsibility.  It’s nice to be dedicated to work, but a leader is also dedicated to the community.

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Novella Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

 

 

Santa to the Rescue (Entangled Flirts)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Santa to the Rescue is a very cute story.  Jamey is the new guy in town, and he’s working through his probationary period at Appleton Fire Station.  He’s feeling a little blue because it’s his first time away from home during the holidays, and he doesn’t have anyone special to spend Christmas with.  When he meets Heather at the grocery store, he’s instantly charmed, but can he convince her that he’s worth taking a risk on?

This novella worked for me because Jamey is such a sweet guy.  He’s proud to be on the Appleton fire fighting team, and now that he’s accomplished that goal, he’s eager to move on to his next life goal; finding the perfect woman and starting a family.   Being away from home for the first time is rough on him, so he wants to meet someone special to spend Christmas, and possibly the rest of his life, with.  Heather seems like the girl of his dreams, but when he has to break a commitment he made to her, he has to show her that he’s not a flake or a liar.  A tough job, because Heather has been burned many times in the past.

I’ll admit that Heather’s attitude irritated me at first.  Jamey was upfront about why he couldn’t make it to the party at the hospital, and I thought she was acting like a spoiled child about it.  If she couldn’t accept his odd fire fighter hours before they are officially even dating, how is she going to deal with them if they do enter into a long term relationship.  When she finally pulled on her big girl panties and admitted to herself that she needed to be more accepting of his erratic schedule, I did like her better.  Part of Heather’s problem with Jamey breaking the date was because of betrayals in her past, but if she never even gave him a chance to prove himself to her, she was going to be one lonely RN.

Jamey is desperate to make Heather understand how important his job is to him, and I loved how he was able to integrate a job conflict into her party.  Here’s a guy who goes above and beyond the call of duty because he is such a nice guy.  He was willing to think outside of the box to make Heather, his boss, and the hospital administration happy, and it’s hard to fault a guy for that.

Santa to the Rescue kicked off my holiday reading spree on a positive note.  Clocking in  at about 50 pages, there is a realistic conflict to Jamey and Heather’s romance, and a satisfying resolution for everyone.  You can’t beat that, especially in a holiday read.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn’t go back on his word; never hurts a woman; and lasting love isn’t a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don’t offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing "Santa Baby" in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can’t keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.