Of Old Shades, Ridiculous, and Red Apples

A whole week late with May’s reading list? Oh the shame of it! I blame the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend… and the fact we had family staying over… and two birthdays to celebrate for screwing up my schedule. It’s not easy to stick to a schedule when faced with the distractions of champagne, wine, decadent and delicious chocolate birthday cakes, good food and great company :)

And now to bookish delights!

First up: These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer.

If you like your historical romances heavy on sharp, witty banter, light on the, er, bedroom scenes, and with superbly drawn, fun and surprising characters, then go no further than These Old Shades. I laughed out loud numerous times at Leon/Leonie’s antics and his/her earnest attempts to be “proper”. And as for Justin, the notorious Duke of Avon…. Well *fans herself vigorously*. Where this hero is concerned, appearances are most definitely deceiving; Justin is the epitome of “Dangerous Dandy”.

Now normally, I’d include a blurb, but in this case I don’t believe the back cover blurb of the edition I read does the book justice. Nor does the pretty cover (see above), for that matter. Neither clue me in that I’m going smile and giggle and laugh at this very unique heroine, nor do they hint at the complexity of a hero who plays the fop — even to the point of mincing around wearing high heeled shoes and carrying a beribboned cane — yet is as dangerous and ruthless as they come. And yeah, I’m probably being terribly unfair to the marketing department (who must have had an extremely difficult job indeed!) but I confess to finding the contrast between the softly pretty cover, the somewhat dire tone of the back cover blurb, and the actual contents of the book a little jarring. But folks, it’s Georgette Heyer! Her name speaks for itself. So, as Leon/Leonie would say: Bah! Who cares about covers and back cover copy? Simply dive right in and enjoy.*g*

Next: Ridiculous by D.L. Carter.

Oh, how I enjoyed this romp! Millicent is both tragic and hilarious, vulnerable and strong, dignified and yet, dare I say it, ridiculous. I loved her to bits. She made a wonderful male character. And I’m afraid she rather outshone and overwhelmed the hero of this story, but I didn’t much care. I was so invested in Millicent that I simply wanted her to be happy. So much so that I was happy to go along for the ride, not caring how it all worked out, so long as it did work out, and Millicent got her happy ending. Which she did. So… WIN!

Here’s the blurb:

Identity theft regency style. Funny. Sexy. Cross Dressing. Not your mother’s Regency Romance. 

After the death of her miserly cousin Antony North, Millicent Boarder is determined her family should never be poor or vulnerable again. To protect them she conceals her cousin’s death and assumes his identity. Now she must face the Ton and the world as Mr. North and accept the price she must pay for her family’s safety—she will never be loved. Which means, of course, at this point she will meet the perfect man.

And finally, for something completely and utterly different from the previous two books:

Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson.


Warning: This is a 21,000 word romantic comedy novella… featuring a 62 year old “politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon” hero, and a 59 year old “sexually repressed know-it-all in pearls” heroine.

I’m not usually a fan of novellas. I’m usually left wanting more. But for me, this novella was soooo emotionally satisfying. The beginning, the middle, the ending, the characters — everything worked for me. I LOVED it! What more can I say? Well, nothing that hasn’t already been said by Laura Florand. (You can check out Laura’s Dear Author review — and an excerpt from Apples Should be Red — here.)

  • Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson
  • I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre**
  • On A Night Like This by Barbara Freethy**
  • May Day! by Heather Graham**
  • Shopping for a Billionaire by Julia Kent**
  • Built To Last by Susan Mallery**
  • Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer
  • A Baby of Her Own by Brenda Novak**
  • Dare To Love by Carly Phillips**
  • Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
  • Play With Me by Piper Shelly
  • Rebel Ice by S.L. Viehl
  • Plague of Memory by S.L. Viehl
  • Executive Seduction by Jennifer Probst**
  • Just A Little Embrace by Tracie Puckett
  • Just A Little Sincerity by Tracie Puckett
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodie Taylor
  • Just A Little Promise by Tracie Puckett
  • These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
  • Omega Games by S.L. Viehl
  • Ridiculous by D.L. Carter

**A Sweet Life Boxed Set

That’s it for May’s reading roundup. Happy Reading!



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