Summary: To win her love…
As an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, can have any of the maidens at the ball he attends. The only problem is they are all English and Gowan is not so certain they are suitable. He is accustomed to the hard-working lasses from his Highlands, not these dainty noblewomen who spend their days drinking tea or some other such nonsense. But then he makes the acquaintance of Lady Edith Gilchrist. Utterly bewitched by the emerald-eyed beauty with lush golden locks, he knows he must have her.
He must free her from her tower…
“Edie” had the misfortune of being dreadfully ill at her debut ball and barely remembers what Gowan looks like. Even worse, she accepted his proposal the following day. Edie’s only true passion is playing music—until Gowan writes a scandalous letter and stirs the most irresistible desire. Yet when they marry, Edie realizes her husband needs a lesson and locks herself in a tower. Somehow Gowan must find a way to enter the tower and convince his new bride that she belongs in his arms.
Heroine: Edie will be quite a memorable heroine to me because of her passion for music. I love that her marriage did not do anything to alter that. She doesn’t give up her love of music to run a household. I also loved how the story revolved around her insecurities in the bedroom. I think that this is very realistic, as opposed to other romance novels who kind of sugar coat one’s first time. This is one of the rare occasions in romance where the long awaited event goes horribly wrong.
Hero: One of my favorite parts of the novel is the fact that Gowan isn’t your stereotypical romance hero. Unlike most romance heroes, it turns out that he’s only 22 (a few years older than the heroine, as opposed to a decade or two) and that he’s inexperienced. He reminds me a lot of Jamie Fraser from Outlander, which is a huge plus. Also, Gowan isn’t a tortured hero, which is so refreshing. His problems are a lot more realistic.
Supporting Cast: It’s not that often that I find secondary characters that intriguing, but I really enjoyed the subplot that revolved around Edie’s father and her stepmother. Lord and Lady Gilchrist’s subplot provides another look at problems that one might encounter in a marriage – which complements nicely to Edie and Gowan’s story. At the beginning, I even found myself more interested in the subplot rather than the main story. I’m glad that Lady Gilchrist plays a big role in the novel.
Plot: I enjoyed the fact that Once Upon a Tower is loosely based on both Romeo and Juliet and Rapunzel. The storyline didn’t mimic either stories, but instead, parts of their stories inspired scenes in Once Upon a Tower. Instead of a kind of predictable retelling, the plot was kept a lot more interesting.
Romance: For a lot of the book, there was no “wooing” that needed to be done. Once Upon a Tower is about the romance of a young, newly wedded couple who have to overcome a lot of communication and intimacy issues very early on into their marriage. They do fall in love fast, but they certainly have chemistry. The romance is believable and I found myself rooting for their happily ever after.
Love Potion Strength:
– Exceeds Expectations
I can’t believe I waited this long to start this series – even if I didn’t start at the beginning. I am definitely getting my hands on the rest of the series as soon as possible!
Summary: The second in the incredible new Rules of Scoundrels series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean.
Lady Philippa Marbury is odd. The bespectacled, brilliant fourth daughter of the Marquess of Needham and Dolby cares more for books than balls, flora than fashion and science than the season. Nearly engaged to Lord Castleton, Pippa wants to explore the scandalous parts of London she’s never seen before marriage. And she knows just who to ask: the tall, charming, quick-witted bookkeeper of The Fallen Angel, London’s most notorious and coveted gaming hell, known only as Cross.
Like any good scientist, Pippa’s done her research and Cross’s reputation makes him perfect for her scheme. She wants science without emotion—the experience of ruination without the repercussions of ruination. And who better to provide her with the experience than this legendary man? But when this odd, unexpected female propositions Cross, it’s more than tempting . . . and it will take everything he has to resist following his instincts—and giving the lady precisely what she wants.
Heroine: I like that Philippa Marbury is exceptionally different than other romance heroines. For instance, she wears glasses. Secondly, she likes science! I’m usually a sucker for protagonists who go out of their way to learn – even if this isn’t something that’s expected for women in the time period.
Hero: My main issue with this book is Cross. His reasons for being a “tortured” hero just didn’t compel me enough. I can see why he would feel guilty over his brother’s death, but it didn’t make sense to me for him to put that much burden on himself. I just wanted him to stop feeling sorry for himself as opposed to empathizing with him. I like the fact that he was noble enough to not want to ruin Pippa, but I wasn’t falling for his reasoning of him not being a worthy suitor.
Supporting Cast: I’m really looking forward to learning more about the rest of Cross’s friends in the upcoming books. I really like their dynamics as a group in the Fallen Angel.
Plot: I really love romances where the novel starts off with the protagonist propositioning the hero. I just wish that they could have gone through the Scientific Method or something because you know, Pippa is so brainy. (or did the Scientific Method not exist back then?)
Romance: No complaints on the romance aspect. As can be expected from any Sarah MacLean novel, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is steamy.
Love Potion Strength:
This is the first Sarah MacLean book that was just average for me. I guess not all books can be winners. I’m still definitely looking forward to reading more of her books in the future though!
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.