Series: Girl Bachelors

Lightning Review: With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted November 12, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Holly
With Seduction in Mind by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Girl Bachelors #4
Also in this series: And Then He Kissed Her, The Wicked Ways of a Duke
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 25th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Her proposition . . .
London Society is harsh for a young woman with no family connections who has to work for a living. But when Daisy Merrick is sacked from yet another job, the feisty and outspoken miss comes up with a plan that could give her a future beyond her wildest dreams. There's only one problem. Her success depends on a man, the most infuriating, impossible, immovable man she's ever met. His resolution . . .
Sebastian Grant, Earl of Avermore, is England's most infamous author. Known for his notorious reputation, he is more interested in play than work, and has no intention of cooperating when Daisy shows up on his doorstep with a mad plan. The provoking, fire-haired beauty stirs his senses beyond belief, and Sebastian knows he has only one way to stop her. Seduction.

 

I enjoy LLG’s writing style. I really liked parts of this book, but something about the seduction of the heroine bothered me. I can’t quite put my finger on what. It might have something to do with me being a prude over a woman losing her virginity outside of marriage in a historical. I need to contemplate for a bit before deciding.

That aside, I enjoyed the setting and the basic premise. I like that LLG tends to write characters outside of the norm. In this case the hero is an Earl, …more I enjoy LLG’s writing style. I’ve read all but one of the previous books in this series and I was anxious to finally get to Daisy.

I really liked parts of this book, but something about the seduction of the heroine bothered me. I can’t quite put my finger on what. It might have something to do with me being a prude over a woman losing her virginity outside of marriage in a historical. I need to contemplate that.

That aside, I enjoyed the setting and the basic premise. I like that LLG tends to write characters outside of the norm. In this case the hero is an Earl, but also a writer. That’s refreshing.

I liked Sebastian’s character. He’s been suffering from writer’s block for years and he’s all but given up on finishing another book. His frustration when Daisy pushes him to write came across well and I really did feel for him. I like that Guhrke gave us a reason for his writer’s block.

Daisy was fun and feisty, and I really like that she didn’t back down just because society expected her to. Watching her and Sebastian verbally spar was great fun. I think one of the reasons I liked her was her willingness to admit when she was wrong, but still persevere. She kept going even when things got tough. I really admired that about her.

It was good to see the other Girl-Bachelors again. I like that the women formed a strong friendship and Guhrke really showcases it. Overall a good read. If you’re looking for something light and quick, this is a definite winner.
4 out of 5

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

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

four-stars

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Review: The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted November 5, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Holly
The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Girl Bachelors #2
Also in this series: And Then He Kissed Her, With Seduction in Mind
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, Victorian, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

She thought she was the luckiest woman in London . . .
Surviving on a seamstress' income and a steady stream of fantasies, Prudence Bosworth has always longed for love and romance. Then she inherits a fortune from the father she's never seen, with the stipulation that she wed in one year. Prudence is determined to marry for true love, and after seeing firsthand the splendid chivalry of a certain duke, only one man will do . . .
Rhys de Winter, the Duke of St. Cyres, hides his cynicism behind a quick wit and an even quicker smile. He must marry an heiress, and as luck would have it, the pretty little seamstress-turned-heiress is exactly what he needs. But he never expected to fall for Prudence, and when his shocking deception is revealed, he will stop at nothing to win her back . . . even if it means renouncing every last one of his wicked ways.

 

The Wicked Ways of a Duke is the second book in Laura Lee Guhrke’s Girl-Bachelor series, which is based around four working-class women who call themselves girl-bachelors. I read and enjoyed the first book, And Then He Kissed Her, so I was looking forward to carrying on with the series.

I had some issues – namely that the heroine had major self-image issues and the author kept referring to her as “plump” when she was described as anything but. In this case the author actually gave the heroine’s measurements and they’re pretty much spot-on with mine. I take offense to being called “plump”, which I most certainly am not (and even if I were, that’s an offensive word, IMO). Also, the hero was a complete ass for the first 1/2-3/4 of the book.

However, the author really turned it around for me. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed both characters at the end, and how glad I was to see them fall in love. I almost put the book down because of my frustrations, but I’m glad I finished it.

Prudence was a down-to-earth kind of girl who wanted to be a dreamer. She was a realist about her situation and did her best to stay focused on the here and now, but she couldn’t help daydreaming about a better life and someone to share it with. I really liked her.

St. Cyres was a complete ass for the first half of the book. Prudence thinks he’s a true gentleman who cares for her, and he plays her and manipulates her without even a pinch of his conscience. He needs to marry an heiress and that’s all that matters to him. At first I was really put off by him, but as the story progressed I really warmed up to him. Although he doesn’t want to admit it, we as the reader can see him falling in love with her. Because he was such an ass, watching him fall was sweet indeed. Plus it helped that Prudence didn’t make it easy for him.

The story got off to a rocky start, but I’m glad I hung in there and kept reading. Annoyances aside, this was a cute story.

3.75 out of 5

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

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

four-stars

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Review: And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted June 25, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Holly
And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Girl Bachelors #1
Also in this series: The Wicked Ways of a Duke, With Seduction in Mind
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical, Victorian, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London’s readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she’s in the perfect position to make her dreams come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for cancan dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city’s leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he’s her best chance to see her work in print…until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can’t believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it’s time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren’t proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more…

 

I haven’t really been in the mood for a historical in ages, but Kris had a review of this book up and it sounded nice, so I decided to pick it up.

Emma is a girl-bachelor and secretary to Harry, Viscount Marlowe. She’s been writing etiquette novels with the hope of being published by him, but he keeps rejecting her manuscripts. When Harry let’s it slip that he hasn’t actually read any of Emma’s works, she gets extremely angry and resigns her position with him – without notice – and starts writing a column for one of Harry’s competitors. Harry, left in a lurch at the sudden departure of his invaluable secretary, hunts her down to offer her job back to her. Something he feels is quite gracious. Emma refuses.

Through a series of events, however, Emma ends up writing for Harry once again and they both battle their mutual attraction for one another.

Emma was a wonderful heroine. She was a bit stodgy, but she was also a woman who knew her own mind. I really liked that she didn’t fancy herself in love with Harry like so many other women and that she was very practical. She was aware of her strengths and weaknesses, and was willing to admit when she was wrong or had made a bad judgment call. She was a breath of fresh air for a romance heroine.

Harry was also very enjoyable. Though he was somewhat predictable, I truly enjoyed watching him come around and realize what a gem Emma was. He was forced to face some hard truths about himself, and he did it with aplomb. Although it wasn’t as easy for him as it was for Emma, he, too, admitted when he was wrong. It was totally refreshing.

I seem to be following a pattern here, but one of the things that worked best for me with this story was that the focus stayed on Emma and Harry. We met several secondary characters – Emma’s roommates and Harry’s sisters – but they didn’t detract from the main protagonists HEA.

Although the story was rather simple, a bit predictable and somewhat fluffy, it was truly enjoyable.

3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here.

four-stars

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