A Dark and Stormy Knight by Kerrigan Byrne
Victorian Rebels #7
June 2, 2020 Self Published
Kerrigan Byrne quickly jumped onto my auto-buy list the moment I read the first book in the Victorian Rebels series, The Highwayman. I was with Fiction Vixen back then, so I went back through Goodreads and read my review and I was positively gushing with praise and adoration for this author’s words. Jump to five years later and I still look forward to every one of Ms. Byrne’s releases. A Dark and Stormy Knight is the seventh installment in the series and we FINALLY get to see Carlton Morley find his HEA.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I can honestly say this wasn’t quite it. This book took me by surprise in a few ways. Carlton has always been a bit of a staid, proper (maybe almost boring at times) character who wears his Chief Inspector badge with honor. I mean after reading the rest of the series I knew he had a past on the streets, but it’s hard to imagine him as daring and passionate as Dorian or Ash, but then he meets his heroine, Pru, and uh… wow.
Prudence Goode is determined to lose her virginity and take a lover after overhearing her sister and a good friend talk about her fiancé’s infidelities and children born out of wedlock. She visits the gardens of a bawdy house, where women go to find sexual companionship. She finds exactly what she is looking for, but it isn’t until her wedding three mo
As always, Kerrigan Byrne’s prose is delightful. I enjoyed Pru and Morley, their love story didn’t dazzle me like a few other couples in this series, but I did enjoy them. I liked seeing Carlton fall under his wife’s spell and come undone, slipping out of the cold mask he has worn for so much of this series. Pru is a tad naive at the beginning, but I appreciated her character growth by the end.
This is a mix of the marriage of convenience and forced proximity tropes with a murder mystery thrown in for added excitement. I think fans of this genre and author will be pleased with this love story and HEA.
Final grade- B-
Beach Read by Emily Henry
May 19, 2020 by Berkley
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I think I saw someone tweeting about it a couple of weeks ago, so I grabbed it and plugged it into my review schedule. Thank goodness for Twitter, because Gus and January were amazing.
I don’t think this is strictly a contemporary romance, more like a WF/Romance mix. January goes through a deep and satisfying emotional journey and it was just as enjoyable for me as the lovely romance between her and Gus.
If I’m quickly summarizing, I would say this book is about a romance writer at loose ends and falling into a depression after discovering some hard truths about her father after his death. She finds herself living next door to her college nemesis (who also happens to be a Very Serious literary fiction author) and after some back and forth ribbing and sly banter, accepts a dare to switch genres with him.
But this summary doesn’t do this book justice. Beach Read is told entirely from January’s POV and she is wickedly smart and funny. I positively adored her comebacks and the delicious wordplay between her and Gus. As a couple, they worked for me in every way. They have a slow burn romance that is incredibly lush and sexy. I never knew what was going on in Gus’s head and it lent a bit of tension to this love story.
There were some weighty themes and topics discussed and while I believe they are balanced very well with the more lighthearted and comedic aspects of this book, I do think the cover might mislead some readers. I wouldn’t say this is a romantic comedy, but I do think it
Final grade- A