Monday, May 21, 2007

My May Must-Read: Beware a Scot’s Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries

I always love it when my favorite authors have a new book being released. It’s generally a sure-fire way to pick up a book you’ll enjoy and Sabrina Jeffries never disappoints. But even I, a devoted Jeffries reader since I came across her Swanlea Spinsters series, was blown away by her newest, Beware a Scot’s Revenge.

Beware a Scot’s Revenge is the fourth story (third full-length book) of Jeffries’s School for Heiresses series. It’s the story of Sir Lachlan Ross and Lady Venetia Campbell, both of whom you briefly meet in the first Heiress book, Never Seduce a Scoundrel. Without giving away too many plot details, the basic premise of the book is that Venetia’s father is Lachlan’s enemy and he kidnaps Venetia in order to force her father to give what is owed to him.

This book was perfection to me. It had adventure, humor, and a wonderful romance. Venetia remembers Lachlan from when they were children and she had a crush on him that has never faded. Lachlan remembers the girl he thought was too proud to live a poorer lifestyle and is amazed to discover how wrong his assumptions were. And while there is a kidnapping plot, Lachlan isn’t cruel to Venetia, rather the kidnapping serves to provide adventure and is an avenue for the romance to develop. The story also takes place entirely in Scotland which for me was another point in its favor.

Lachlan is exactly the sexy, daring hero I dream about and Venetia is the intelligent, adventurous heroine I dream of being. Beware a Scot’s Revenge is a fabulous, sexy, and entertaining romance that I can’t recommend highly enough. While I love all of Jeffries’s books, this one has surpassed even To Pleasure a Prince as my favorite of her books. And while Beware a Scot’s Revenge is part of a series, it can be read on its own.

From the characters, to the story, to even the title and the gorgeous cover, Beware a Scot’s Revenge was and is a pleasure. I cannot wait for the next story in the series and I am especially eager to learn more about Charlotte Harris and the mysterious Cousin Michael.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I’ll Take That Rake

Seductive, smoldering, sensual…a rake is one of the easiest characters to find in historical romance, and I, for one, am happy about that. There’s nothing I love more than a jaded seducer meeting his match, whether it’s with an innocent debutante, a bookish spinster, or an experienced widow. But the term rake seems to be too liberally applied – sometimes it seems as if almost every hero who isn’t noticeably awkward is referred to as a rake. To me it feels like the term “rake” should only apply to only the most elite of the sensual heroes. Granted, in the universe of each book, the rake in question might be the only one to whom the term applies. But in my head, the place where all historicals set within a certain two hundred year period get mushed together, I’m often tripping over rakes right and left.

Don’t get me wrong – as I said before I love a rakish hero. But unlike having the plethora of dukes, earls, and viscounts in novels (which I also love even though there couldn’t possibly have been even a fraction of that number running around), I don’t think just any hero should be termed a rake. They’re the bad boys of romance – the ones the good girls want even though they know they shouldn’t. The ones with seemingly untouchable hearts who can only be tamed by the right woman – that’s what makes their stories so exciting. To me, the true rakes are the darkly seductive types, like Sebastian St. Vincent in Lisa Kleypas’s Devil in Winter. Jaded players like the Earl of Mayne in Eloisa James’s Pleasure for Pleasure. And the smoldering tempters like John Grayston, Viscount Rochdale in Candice Hern’s upcoming Lady Be Bad. These are the rakes that deserve the title, and no, because I hate book-bashing I won’t list the ones I think do not.

So for this week I leave you with these questions:
Do you love a rakish hero?
Do you think the description is too liberally applied?
And, most importantly, who are your favorite rakes?

And for those of you who’re fans of the non-rakes, never fear. They’ll get love in my next post :)