If I Fall by Kate Noble

Setting: Regency 1823

Summary:

Every great romance comes with a risk…

After a duke’s betrayal, the resilient Sarah Forrester reinvents herself as the Golden Lady: society’s leading light, the beautiful and witty life of the party. It’s all a façade of course-one that protects her from another intimate disloyalty. When her old friend, Lieutenant Jackson Fletcher, returns to London, he is determined to rediscover the true and trusting Sarah he once knew. It’ll take more than a kiss and a promise. It might even call for an innocent and necessary deception.

Then Jackson is enlisted to help capture the lead suspect in a murder— a man who happens to be Sarah’s most ardent suitor. Jack must continue the deception, and weathering this newest and gravest betrayal will be Sarah’s ultimate test. But as Jack’s passion for her grows, he must also reveal his own secrets. And as the killer turns his attention to his pursuers, more than love and trust is put at risk.

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Review:

Anyone who loves the work of Tessa Dare will enjoy this fresh, witty, sparkling Regency romance with a twist!

This is a redemption story featuring the jilted fiance from Follow My Lead and her childhood friend. Brokenhearted, Sarah has decided to make herself over and becomes a cold, calculating b—-. Well you get the idea. The only person capable of saving her from herself is the one man who knew her best as a carefree, friendly child.

Things progress predictably at first with Jackson meeting our aloof heroine and wondering what happened to the nice girl he once knew. But things take an unexpected turn when Jackson decides to disguise himself as Sarah’s childhood idol the Blue Raven (a famous national spy) in order to elicit a reaction from her and discover if the real Sarah is still there. The premise is a bit far fetched but it’s fun and makes for a lot of funny scenes. And things get even more interesting when Jackson’s disguise leads him to a real murder!

As a couple, Sarah and Jackson are wonderful together especially those moments when Sarah lets down her guard. It was a great idea to make Jackson a childhood friend as it made it a much more satisfying ending for a heroine I felt very sorry for in the previous book. I would have liked to have seen more of Jackson and Sarah reminiscing on their childhood memories though as I felt the mystery aspect took away from that.

Another great thing about the book was the history. You can tell Ms Noble did her research and there were a lot of new things I learned about the 1800’s like the war between Britain and Burma. I love the way she writes as well: It flows, it’s poetic, funny and very witty.

Part mystery and espionage, this light, happy read will be sure to put a smile on your face. Remember: If you fall, let it be because of a good book like this one 😉

Sensuality Rating: Very warm!

Verdict: Funny, fast-paced and exciting! An exhilarating ride! 😀

Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars

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Follow My Lead by Kate Noble

Setting: Regency 1822

Summary:

Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne is feeling the weight of his responsibilities – one of which is to get married. Being the most sought after bachelor in London can be trying, so who can blame him if he seeks refuge from the voracious hordes of young debutantes at the decidedly female-free Historical Society? Female-free, that is, until Winnifred Crane marches up to the door, demanding entrance.

Despite her prowess as a historian, Winn is denied membership to the Society. So she daringly offers an unusual bargain: if she can prove the authenticity of a certain painting, she’ll be granted recognition, fame, and respect. But to do that, she must go abroad. And to go abroad, she must have an escort, even a stubbornly unwilling one…

Jason has no desire to accompany Winn on her adventure across Europe, but even he is not immune to Winn’s passion for her profession. As the journey proves more difficult than planned, they must work together to stay one step ahead of their rivals… and the closer they get to the proof Winn seeks, the closer she and Jason become. But as their adventure turns dangerous, can Jason keep this headstrong bluestocking safe? And what will become of their growing bond when the adventure ends?

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Review:

Who doesn’t dream of an exciting adventure across Europe, with a handsome companion in tow? And that is precisely the premise behind Kate Noble’s latest novel. Funny, sexy and sweet, this novel is a fresh and entertaining addition to the romance genre, though with a few minor flaws.

The heroine Winn is your typical bluestocking girl, who is happens to be strangely naive for someone who’s supposed to be 30 years old. She wants to gain her independence and is supposed to be a determined, independent woman but she started off being quite selfish, immature and quite unlikeable but by the end, she does grow up and in turn, ends up growing on you.

Jason, the hero is a duke who shirks responsibility, but finds himself taking responsibility on the headstrong beauty he’s joined on her quest for independence.

The writing had to be the best part of the novel, with a great sense of humour and wit to push the story along. The plot itself was commendable in its freshness and though slightly improbable (a lady and a gentleman travelling that long together without money and not appearing too worried about it) but was still well-carried off. I also loved all the historical facts thrown in-so often historical romances fail to deliver on that part of the bargain. The author has clearly done her research! I did feel though, that a lot of focus seemed to be placed on the adventure itself rather than the characters and their romantic development.

The major flaw for me was the lack of chemistry between the hero and heroine. They had chemistry-just not enough of it. The two are as different as night and day and I wasn’t totally convinced they would do well together. This is linked to the lack of focus on the book placed on their romantic development. The ending was also slightly disappointing as there was no closure.

But all in all, this is a fresh, funny spirited adventure-romance for those looking for something different, with plenty of history for history fans, though it would have benefited from a better matched couple and more focus on the romance between the two.

Sensuality Rating: Warm (Love scenes are short and non explicit)

Verdict: Enjoyable way to spend your time

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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