Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle’s most intriguing—and persistent—admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition…but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.
Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon—and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon’s passionate embrace and tempting kisses…and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.
Heroine: I like that Annabelle is willing to marry to save her family from ruin. I like that she has her family in mind, but she isn’t desperate enough to be someone’s mistress. I like that she was still able to hold on to whatever dignity she has left even if she doesn’t have much money.
Hero: I like that Simon didn’t come from the nobility class. It was refreshing and different, and I liked how it reflected the changing environment in England due to science and technology. However, one thing that bothered me about his character is the fact that it took him basically the whole book to tell Annabelle what he really wanted was marriage. For someone that’s so set on Annabelle, I don’t know why he didn’t make his intentions clear in the beginning.
Supporting Cast: I really love the Wallflowers and this group of friends – it makes me wonder why I didn’t choose to read this sooner!
Plot: I love the concept of the Wallflowers coming together to find husbands for each other. Furthermore, I really enjoyed that the story doesn’t end at the marriage. We get a glimpse into their married life, which usually doesn’t happen in romance novels. I think it worked for Secrets of a Summer Night, and I never felt once that the resolution was too stretched out.
Romance: I looked forward to a lot of the Simon/Annabelle interactions. I’m already a fan of Lisa Kleypas so I knew that the romance would be up to par. I was not disappointed with Secrets of a Summer Night.
Love Potion Strength:
- Exceeds Expectations
I’m definitely reading the rest of the Wallflowers series as soon as possible.
Summary: “Welcome to a world of reckless sensuality and glittering sophistication…of dangerously handsome gentlemen and young ladies longing to gain a title . . . of games played for high stakes, including–on occasion–a lady’s virtue.”
A marquess’s sheltered only daughter, Lady Roberta St. Giles falls in love with a man she glimpses across a crowded ballroom: a duke, a game player of consummate skill, a notorious rakehell who shows no interest in marriage–until he lays eyes on Roberta.
Yet the Earl of Gryffyn knows too well that the price required to gain a coronet is often too high. Damon Reeve, the earl, is determined to protect the exquisite Roberta from chasing after the wrong destiny.
Can Damon entice her into a high-stakes game of his own, even if his heart is likely to be lost in the venture?
Heroine: Roberta is really not that likeable. First of all, she claims instalove after a not so romantic first encounter. I guess I can throw her a bone and say she’s a very determined young woman, but she really needs to get her senses straight and go for the right target.
Hero: The Earl of Gryffyn is the “true” hero of DESPERATE DUCHESSES by Eloisa James but I guess it would be hard to figure this out if it weren’t for the book summary. I’m a sucker for Daddys with Cute Little Kids and the Earl of Gryffyn definitely falls under this category. It’s not his fault that he had such a sucky plotline. He would have been a more dashing hero if the circumstances had been different and the heroine had been more interesting and less naive.
Supporting Cast: I think the fact that I enjoyed the supporting characters and the subplot a lot more tells a great deal about how much I enjoyed Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James. I much rather would have liked to just focus on Jemma and the Duke of Beaumont but apparently, that’s another book! I don’t know why they played such a big part then, because it ended up just being a really big teaser of a book to come.
Plot: The plotting of DESPERATE DUCHESSES by Eloisa James is unfortunately somewhat a mess. Really, I had a hard time figuring out who the true star of this little soap opera was. There were subplots aplenty, and sadly, the least interesting one ended up being the main highlight of DESPERATE DUCHESSES.
Romance: The Duke of Villiers is such an anti-hero that there really is no romantic tension. There’s not even a pseudo love triangle. So obviously when you are introduced to the Earl of Gryffyn, there is a clear winner already. I guess they have banter and good chemistry, but nothing mind-blowing and quite memorable enough to make a lasting impression.
Love Potion Strength:
I guess every author has their not-so-great book. DESPERATE DUCHESSES by Eloisa James is not my favorite work by this author. Though disappointing, I am certainly not discouraged to pick up more books by her.
THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray Book Review
Series: Diviners, #1
Publication Date: September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Acceptable |
Book Summary: Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.
Book Review Overview:
- Colorful and diverse cast of characters
- Transports you to the 1930′s New York City
- Just too long that the story started to drag
As engrossed as I was into the mystery, The Diviners by Libba Bray just isn’t a book that you can read in one sitting. At 600 whopping pages, The Diviners has a lot of heavy material in it. Bray does justice in exploring the world of 1930’s New York – it’s just a lot to handle in one book.
When it comes to reading a great book, length shouldn’t matter at all. But unfortunately, I was hit with Restless Reader Syndrome about 2/3 of the way into THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray. I was just itching for the mystery’s resolution at that point, even if I had a long way to go. I would have liked the pacing to be a little more fast-paced, but I can understand why Bray would want to take her time to develop the characters and the setting as this is the first book in a new series.
I love the way Bray effortlessly transports readers back in time during the 1930′s and New York City. The city was such a fascinating period throughout the Prohibition Era. I loved the fact that Bray did not focus on just one neighborhood. I loved the similarities and contrasts between the different neighborhoods such as Harlem, the Upper East Side, and the Theatre District in Midtown. I could easily picture 1930′s New York in my head. Bray is probably one of my favorite historical authors because of this reason.
Other than the masterful crafting of the 1930′s, the strongest point of THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray is the vast array of colorful characters. Each character was well-developed and interesting. I wanted to know more about every single one of them and it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I think that most of the fun was uncovering each character’s backstory and learning more as to what made them a Diviner. I enjoyed the fact that Bray included a diverse set of characters that further showcased what it was like to live as a teen in the 1930′s.
I think that part of the reason that I started to get restless was the fact that THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray started to reflect what I was learning in school. The Book of Revelation plays a big role in the murder mystery. There have been lots of interpretations of the Book of Revelation in pop culture, but I really enjoyed the way that Bray took this idea and incorporated it into a murder.
THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray is a start to a promising series, but I do hope that Bray caps off her books at around 600 pages. I don’t know if I can take any longer than that. However, THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray is still a highly enjoyable read. Crossing multiple genres, THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray has a bit of everything to please a wide audience.
About the Author
Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing); the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; Beauty Queens, an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist; and The Diviners series. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats.
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