And this months quick reviews are all books that came out in the last month or so, which is a record for me I think, and conincidentally several are books that I flagged to you on release day that I’m now reporting back on, which is also a record for me. Savour it for it may never happen again!
Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by K J Charles*
Well this is really good. Smugglers! Marshes! Beetles! Recovering legal clerks! A big noisy family! Awful family! Genuine peril! If you ever read The Unknown Ajax and thought “well this is good but I want more of the smuggling, less rich people problems and lots of walking on the very atmospheric marsh” then this might be the very thing – as long as you don’t want closed door of course, because maybe don’t read this on public transport. Gareth and Joss have plenty of issues to work through but they both grow and come into their own as they find a way though everything. Lovely.
No Life for a Lady by Hannah Dolby*
From one extreme to the other in some ways – in the KJ Charles there is a lot of… bedroom action whereas in Hannah Dolby’s debut our heroine is delightfully clueless about sex and the like as she tries to figure out what happened to her mother who disappeared a decade earlier. This is charming as well as witty and I’m hoping that it’s going to turn out to be the first in a series. Hopefully enough people will buy it to make that happen because we have Savvy lady sleuths but not so many of the slightly bewildered by the the range of human behaviour ones and I would like more!
What Happens in the Ballroom by Sabrina Jeffries*
Like the Hellions of Halstead Hall series, this has a mix of high society and earning money. In this case the series is based on a trio of women who have started a party planning business to avoid being governesses. I’ll leave you to decide how realistic you think that is, but I’m happy to go with it, because I like my heroines independent and finding ways to have some choices and control over their lives. Anyway, this is the second book in the series and our heroine is Eliza, a military widow who is building herself a future after the death of her husband. Our hero is her husband’s best friend, who asks for her company’s help to help another young widow find a new husband. Eliza is puzzled about why Nathaniel is taking such an interest in the young woman and her child, but goes along with it. She is burned from the way her marriage unfolded (as well as her parents marriage) and he has secrets that he’s hiding. Can they find a happily ever after? Of course they can. This is a fun and easy read – I guessed a few of the secrets that were going on, but not all, and I enjoyed watching Eliza and Nat grope their way towards a happily ever after. Steamy, but in line with what you would expect from Jeffries. I think.
And that is your lot – what a great month of reading March was. Really and truly I read some really, really good new stuff as well as revisiting some favourite authors and series.