Category Archives: HQN

Review: What a Hero Dares by Kasey Michaels

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2Stars

As a directionless youth, Maximillien Redgrave’s grandmother had him become a soldier. There he learned the skills he needed to protect England and hunt down those who want to destroy his family. In his quest, Max met and fell in love with his fellow agent Zoe Charbonneau. Only Zoe betrayed him and killed most of their associates in the process. Now, nearly a year later Zoe is back just when the Society is ready to attack.

Framed for a crime she did not commit, Zoe must work with the man she still loves to clear her name and catch the real culprit.

The story began with an extensive summary to catch readers up on the events of the previous three books in the Redgrave series. The synopsis is thorough, but a bit dry and dense.

The main issue with this novel is that it does not feel like the focus of the story is about Max and Zoe. In fact their issues are settled right away and there is no further conflicts that would prevent them from being together.

WHAT A HERO DARES is the final chapter of a larger saga and it shows by pushing aside the romance to finish the story of the Redgraves and the Society. The ending seemed rushed and hinged on a reveal that did not really make sense and it left me feeling cheated.

SPOILERS AHEAD

A better ending would’ve been to have the Exalted One to have been the Redgraves’ mother. She was a far more plausible and had much more motivation to see England and the Redgraves legacy destroyed. It would also make sense as to why she would be sexually obsessed with Niall who was said to be the spitting image of her late husband Barry. The Exalted Leader’s eventual suicide would make for a more compelling and emotional scene. She is losing, but she also does not want to face her children—whom she abandoned years ago—as the monster she has become.

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Filed under Harlequin, HQN, Regency, Review, Romance Novel

Review: The Trouble with Honor by Julia London

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4Stars

As the eldest stepdaughter of a dying earl, Honor Cabot has a little problem: Once her stepbrother marries and attains the title, his bride intends to toss her and her family out. So desperate times call for desperate measures and she enlists the help on an infamous rake George Easton to seduce her sister-in-law to be.

The unclaimed bastard son of a royal duke, George Easton isn’t a stranger to people thinking the worst of him. At first, he refuses but he finds Honor intriguing and irresistible. Even though they are perfect each other, life and society are against anything permanent.

The first of new series entitled “The Cabot Sisters,” Julia London begins strong. She does not shy away from real life. Honor Cabot has problems. What seems like selfish self-interest and fear of losing her life of luxury is actually just the surface. What is the real fear is her family being adrift and penniless, and her mother’s declining mental health.

London does an excellent job developing the relationship between Honor and George. Their progression from acquaintances to lovers is well-paced and understandable. The story never makes the reader feel that the obstacles keeping the hero and heroine apart are contrived and only there for padding. And her approach to Honor’s problems feel authentic, a refreshing change from the new trend of over dramatizing every issue.

In the end, “The Trouble with Honor” is a fun, sparkling start to a brand new series and is a must-read whether in print or ebook.

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Filed under Harlequin, HQN, Regency, Review, Romance Novel