Setting: Regency 1820
*Book 3 in Burgundy Club series*
Being kidnapped is teaching Miss Celia Seaton a few things about life:
Lesson one: Never disrobe in front of a gentleman . . . unless his request comes at gunpoint.
Lesson two: If, when lost on the moors, you encounter Tarquin Compton, the leader of London society who ruined your marriage prospects, deny any previous acquaintance.
Lesson three: If presented with an opportunity to get back at Mr. Compton, the bigger the lie, the better. A faux engagement should do nicely.
Lesson four: Not all knowledge is found between the covers of a book. But an improper book may further your education in ways you never guessed.
And while an erotic novel may be entertaining, the real thing is even better.
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When it comes to Miranda Neville, I’ve come to expect great things. I’ve followed her since she made her debut on the romance scene a couple of years ago and I have loved every single one of her works.
This novel was eagerly anticipated as it is book 3 in this series about a group of male book collectors and the hero has always been one of the most interesting of the men. He is a dandy through and through and every romance reader knows a dandy is never hero material. Which is why I was so curious to see how Miranda would handle Tarquin, our fashion obsessed hero after doing such a good job with Sebastian (the super geeky one) in The Dangerous Viscount.
While I can’t say this was a bad book, it certainly wasn’t what I expected from Miranda; in fact I was slightly disappointed with this novel. From the start, I felt almost as if Miranda was rushing through the story without spending time developing the characters and the romance. I actually did a double take wondering if she really wrote this book, as the style was so different; short, choppy and full of confusing head hopping.
The story itself didn’t do much for me and I didn’t warm to the heroine. By the end, I still couldn’t understand fully why Tarquin had fallen in love with her-she was plain and mostly un-interesting. Tarquin was quite well handled though but I still felt like we barely scratched the surface of his true depth. Essentially Celia and Tarquin are people who both have had to hide their true natures from the world under the cover of respectability. I just didn’t buy it. I kept waiting for Miranda’s magic to take hold and to fall in love with the story… but something was missing. Even the sex scenes felt dry and rushed, so different from her older books. The title was also misleading-the whole naughty book subplot wasn’t the main focus though reading about this real 19th century book did have a certain fascination.
Basically this is is your standard amnesia plot: guy forgets who he is and falls for girl he normally wouldn’t and then things get very complicated once he gains his memory back. It’s been done before and in a much better book recently by Delilah Marvelle.
I’m hoping Miranda’s next novel will remind me once again why I love her romances.
Sensuality Level: Pretty warm (Short love scenes)
Final Verdict: Just ok.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5