Author: Kathryn Smith

Throwback Thursday Review: When Marrying a Scoundrel by Kathryn Smith

Posted June 18, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: When Marrying a Scoundrel by Kathryn SmithReviewer: Holly
When Marrying a Scoundrel by Kathryn Smith
Series: Victorian Soap Opera #2
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 385
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

A lady must be prepared for anything . . . when marrying a scoundrel.

Sadie Moon once thought she was in love. Then her dashing husband left her to seek his fortune, and she had no choice but to transform herself from a heartbroken waif into London Society's favorite fortune-teller. But even she could not have foreseen Jack's return—until their paths cross in the last place either would have expected: London's most exclusive house of pleasure.

Now wealthy and successful, Jack Friday has everything he'd ever dreamed of . . . except Sadie. He swears he will never trust the woman who broke her promise to wait for him, though his passion for her burns as hotly as ever before. But love, like the past, comes back to haunt them—drawing them into a web of intrigue and betrayal that could save or destroy them both.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on June 18, 2010.

Kathryn Smith is hit or miss for me. I’m never sure which way a novel is going to go for me with her. Some are fabulous and others leave much to be desired. This one falls under the “hit” umbrella.

I really like the “reunited lovers” plot device, and I think Smith did a good job with it here. It was easy to see why both parties felt they were the ones who got abandoned. I really liked that Jack never stopped loving Sadie, and had no problem admitting it. He no longer trusted her, but he still loved her. I really loved that though Jack and Sadie had issues with each other, they were able to set them aside to help one another when they needed it. They were very adult about their relationship, which was refreshing.

Jack frustrated me at times because he refused to believe in Sadie, especially early in the book. When he called her a fraud my heart broke along with hers. My frustration didn’t last long, though, because Sadie kept belaboring the point, ad nauseum.

I know why Sadie felt so angry toward Jack, and he toward her, but I found myself getting frustrated with Sadie as the novel progressed. Her reasons for pushing him away seemed contrived and silly. She didn’t think she was good enough for him or the class he belonged to, but that didn’t hold water since she’d already married him once. I also had an issue with the way she kept the nature of her relationship with Jack a secret from Mason, the man who was courting her. They had no formal arrangement or agreement, but it was obvious they both thought it could go somewhere. Sadie owed him more than lies, IMO.

I was able to let it go, however, since she realized the problem was hers and made it right.

Though I had issues with both main protagonists, they weren’t enough to detract from my overall enjoyment. Yes, I became frustrated by their actions at times. But more, I was swept up in their rekindled romance, waiting to see when they’d finally realize what we as the reader knew all along – they were meant to be together.

4 out of 5

Victorian Soap Opera


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Review: Let The Night Begin (Brotherhood of Blood #4) by Kathryn Smith

Posted June 27, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Let The Night Begin (Brotherhood of Blood #4) by Kathryn SmithReviewer: Holly
Let the Night Begin by Kathryn Smith
Series: Brotherhood of the Blood
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 6th 2009
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

A Vampire Will Not Rest Until He Satisfi es His Hunger . . .
And what I, Reign, hungered for most of all was Olivia Gavin. I have never met a woman more beautiful, more tantalizing, and so I made her my bride. She promised me her heart and soul . . . in return, I plundered her flesh, and bound her to me for all eternity. Then, terrified of what I'd made her, she fled.
Now she has returned, desperate for my help in saving her beloved nephew. But my assistance comes at a price: She must share my bed once more, for the feel of her soft skin, the heat of her kiss, excite me still. And I know she desires me, even as she resists her own heart.
Yet, as we rediscover the passion that brought us together, an enemy waits to destroy us both . . .


Let the Night Begin is book four in Kathryn Smith‘s The Brotherhood of the Blood series. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this before I read it. I actually thought it was the second book. I’m rather annoyed that I’m three books behind, instead of one.

I know I’ve mentioned before that if done well, the “married couples reunite” story line really works for me, so I was really excited to start this one. Although that aspect of the story was strong, and the suspense plot was good, my enjoyment was overshadowed by the heroine.

30 years ago Reign lost his control and turned his wife into a vamp on their wedding night without asking her permission. It freaked her the hell out, so she disappeared. Then her nephew got kidnapped and they demanded she turn her husband over in exchange for her nephew. She goes to her husband Reign and tells him she needs his help, but doesn’t tell him she plans on betraying him.

Reign knows she’s up to something, but isn’t sure what. Regardless, he feels awful for ruining her life 30 years ago, and knows he needs to make it up to her, so he agrees to help her. In exchange for her returning to his bed. But the more time they spend together the less satisfied with a physical relationship alone Reign is. Before long he’s caught up in the intrigue and determined to win her forgiveness.

I love Reign. I love that he admits from the very beginning that he loves Olivia. I love that he admitted he was wrong and did his best to make it right. He apologized, he supported her, he offered her comfort and strength. He told her more than once that he cared for her and he would do anything to help her. He was basically everything us women want a man to be. It was a refreshing change from the norm, where he’s tortured and refuses to believe he needs a woman in his life. Reign fully admits Olivia is it for him.

The problem with this novel is the heroine. Period. End Stop.

She blames Reign for ruining her life 30 years ago, and at first I understood that. He frightened the hell out of her and took her choice away by turning her without her permission. But..she fully admits she wanted to be turned (or would have gladly accepted it had he asked). And she admits she would have forgiven him in short order had she stayed with him. She also admits to loving him in the beginning, and wanting eternity with him. She pines for him those long 30 years away from him (even while she curses him) and she immediately agrees to his demands that she return to his bed because she wants him so badly.

So I don’t understand why she then spends the next 200+ pages whining and crying about how he’s awful and horrible and RUINED HER WHOLE EFFING LIFE by turning her into a vamp, then feeling guilty because she’s going to betray him. It’s effing ridiculous how she forever blames him while she’s planning to turn him over to be slaughtered! She treats him like shit, constantly screaming at him, saying ridiculously cutting things to him and taking advantage of everything he offers her. Then she blames him for her attitude. Again and again she refuses to accept any responsibility for anything that’s happened in her life, putting all of it on Reign.

At one point, he gets down on his KNEES and begs her forgiveness (literally on his knees) for changing her without her permission, and two pages later she thinks to herself that she might have forgiven him, if he’d just shown some remorse. Shown some remorse? What does getting down on his knees and BEGGING FORGIVENESS show, if not remorse?

I think I would have been able to move past that, however, if she’d – at some point – fallen to her knees to beg HIS forgiveness. Unfortunately that never happened. And don’t get me started on her blindness in regards to her nephew’s true character. I have to tell you, it didn’t surprise me one bit that she raised him and he was nothing more than a spoiled brat (just so you know..he was an adult in the story) who would betray his family to get what he wanted. That she would continue to defend him and see only what she wanted to see, even when faced with proof of his true character was just the icing on the cake.

What started out as a strong, character driven story soon turned into one of my worst nightmares. While I think the hero was a wonderful character, the plot tight and the dialogue well done, they weren’t enough to overcome all the shortcomings of the heroine.

2.5 out of 5

I read something else by Smith ages ago and enjoyed it, so I’m going to assume this is a fluke and pick up the rest of this series. I’m a masochist, I know.

The series is as follows:

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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