Girl in a Spin by Clodagh Murphy
Linda's Review: I came across Clodagh Murphy’s Girl in a Spin by accident - something about the cover information appealed to me. This is a lively romance about a young Irish woman (Jenny) now living in London, who becomes involved with the leader (Richard) of the British political party expected to win the upcoming election.
Because of Richard’s high profile, and the recent separation from his wife, the affair has been kept top-secret, but keeping it that way is becoming difficult. This means that Jenny must be groomed to be the appropriate partner for a PM and any skeletons in her closet need to disappear. Enter Dev, Richard’s newly-appointed Director of Communications. He is handed the task of making sure that Jenny’s image is squeaky-clean, a bit tougher chore than she had led him to believe. Needless to say, there is initial friction between Dev and Jenny, but circumstances, and Richard’s less than stellar character, lead to the predictable conclusion.
Yes, it’s predictable, but the journey to the happy ending is worth taking. Jenny’s active social life, most of it including her two delightfully odd male flatmates, combined with the challenges Dev faces in sanitizing Jenny’s past – minor indiscretions, at least in her mind – make for a pleasant way to pass a cold winter’s evening.
A couple of months back, Publisher Weekly magazine released its annual list of the Best Romance Novels of 2010. Here is their picks:
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
PW's Verdict: In mid-revolution France, a noblewoman and a spy are torn between wartime practicality and headstrong passion. The gripping espionage story and wry voiceovers from the heroine will win hearts.
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
PW's Verdict: Brook's fabulous steampunk tale has an iron-boned war hero and a half-Asian detective inspector matching wits and wills on airships and battleships and in smoke-choked London as England recovers from 200 years of Mongol rule.
The Heir by Grace Burrowes
PW's Verdict: Burrowes pulls off an improbable Regency affair between a spoiled ducal heir and a housekeeper with a secret.
Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer
PW's Verdict: The wartime amnesia romance is as old as the hills, but RWA Hall of Famer Dreyer (aka Kathleen Korbel) makes this one work.
Note: Click on this link to read May's review
of this book.
Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan
PW's Verdict: Modern readers will be as intrigued by the Victorian-era political issues as they are by the central story of a man trying to reconnect with the wife he abandoned.
Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester
Summary: Georgette Heyer fans will delight in Jennifer Kloester’s definitive guide to her Regency world: the people, the shops, clubs and towns they frequented, the parties and seasons they celebrated, how they ate, drank, dressed, socialized, voted, shopped and drove. A fun read for any Heyer fan.
May's Comment: A terrific reference guide especially for those aspiring Regency romance writers. This book is also suited for those interested in the social history of England prior to Queen Victoria's reign. Regardless of your reason, this is a must-read for history buffs.
Seducing the Duchess by Ashley March
May's Review: Here is the storyline: Charlotte, Duchess of Rutherford, has spent the past three years causing all kinds of scandals to force her husband, Philip, the Duke of Rutherford, to divorce her. At long last, Philip will grant the divorce but only if Charlotte agrees to help him to become a better husband to win back the woman he was suppose to marry before Charlotte. Will love strike twice for this couple?
If you want a story packed with emotional angst just oozing from the pages, then this is the book for you. Unlike in Dreyer's Barely a Lady (note: link takes you to my previous review) where the couple had this grand love affair before their estrangement, the relationship between Charlotte and Philip was already destined to failed. Within the first couple of pages, the author reveals that Philip married Charlotte to get back at her brother who ran off with Philip's fiancee--a fact that Philip cruelly reveals to Charlotte on their wedding night. Needless to say the relationship is severely strained between the two but it gets more complicated when Philip realizes he is actually in love with Charlotte and hatches a plan to win her back. Despite the folly of Philip's plan, you can't help but sympathize with him as he works to regain Charlotte's love as well as her trust. What I like best about this book is that even when the full truth is finally revealed, there is still a lingering doubt whether these two will get together.
A really good read for those seeking a new Regency/Historical Romance writer.