Tag Archives: Julie Anne Long

The Palace of Rogues Series: Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long

Huzzah, Julie Anne Long has returned to Regency historical romances. Granted, the cover is displeasing, but the contents are not.

Delilah, Lady Derring is not only recently widowed, she’s also discovered she is virtually penniless, and had the delightful experience of meeting her husband’s mistress, Mrs. Angelique Breedlove, immediately on the heels of the first two shocks. Showing disregard for the notion that they are competitors,  and demonstrating intestinal fortitude and chutzpah, Delilah and Angelique take the jewels they have from the erstwhile Earl Derring and invest them all in the only thing left to them – a derelict townhouse and former brothel called The Palace of Rogues.

Renaming the dilapidated building “The Palace on the Thames” and down to their last farthings, Angelique and Delilah open a boarding house on the London docks. One of her first patrons is Captain Tristan Hardy. He claims to be retired and working in trade, but in reality is working undercover to ferret out a tobacco smuggling ring. He’s not sure whether Delilah and Angelique are involved, but all roads lead to their new business. I cheered Long’s choice of making Captain Hardy fight the Regency version of organized crime. Criminals aren’t dashing or particularly appealing to me and acknowledging their frequent ruthlessness was bonus in my reading experience.

Long brings her trademark wry sizzle to Lady Derring Takes a Lover. The humour is quippy, the writing dry, and the connection between the lead characters carefully built and believable. Long is especially good at portraying even the most jaded hero finding himself in over his head emotionally.

There was nice steam in the build up, in particular Captain Hardy’s realization that while he might be all tough’n’stuff, he rather likes his creature comforts, including the company of a pseudo-family, and especially Delilah. For her part, she is strong arming her way to a new life without ever losing her innate kindness and desire to make a home for everyone around her. She’s a bit naive, but that’s hardly a crime and it’s what helps her succeed. Having spent her life in the roles created for her by other people, her self-discovery leads her to a carefully reckless and droll version of the woman her parents and husband thought they created.


(Did you know there was going to be a “but”? I debated between it and a “however” and decided that “but” conveyed a weaker objection.)

But while the romance is solid, there just isn’t enough of it in Lady Derring Takes a Lover. Always a liability in the first book of a new series, I found the love story took too long getting started and wrapped up rather quickly. It needed more of either conversation and connection in the build up or in the period after they formally get together; however, none of this changes Long’s historical romance status as an autobuy for me, and the tease of the next book piqued my interest and I look forward to reading Angelique’s story Angel in a Devil’s Arms.

A complete summary of Julie Anne Long’s catalogue, with recommendations and a ranked order of the Pennyroyal Green series, can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author and Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful, or on my  streamlined recommendations list.



My Favourite/Favorite Romance Novel Heroes and Heroines

There are books and novellas that I recommend. There are novels I loathed.

Inspired by a commenter’s request, these are my favourite romance novel heroes and heroines, and I have a separate post for my couples. Ranking them would take too long, so I haven’t.

If you’re uncertain, I suggest leaning towards the couples list for a starting point.

Favourite Heroes

Ashley, Jennifer Many Sins of Lord Cameron  – GUILTY PLEASURE
Ashley, Jennifer The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie
Balogh, Mary Only Enchanting
Bowen, Sarina The Understatement of the Year M/M clarification: Graham
Callihan, Kristen The Game Plan
Dare, Tessa Three Nights with a Scoundrel
Dare, Tessa A Week to Be Wicked
Enoch, Suzanne The Rake
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Touch
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Temptation
Gabaldon, Diana Outlander  OBVIOUSLY, plus the series
Kelly, Carla Libby’s London Merchant
Kelly, Carla The Surgeon’s Lady
Kleypas, Lisa Where Dreams Begin
Kleypas, Lisa Lady Sophia’s Lover
Kleypas, Lisa Secrets of a Summer Night – Top 5 Hero
Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter 
Kleypas, Lisa Tempt Me at Twilight  TWO REVIEWS
Kleypas, Lisa Smooth Talking Stranger
Lauren, Christina Wicked Sexy Liar
Linden, Caroline Blame It on Bath
Long, Julie Anne What I Did for a Duke  CLASSIC
Milan, Courtney Unveiled – I’d marry him.
Milan, Courtney Unraveled FAVE
Milan, Courtney A Kiss for Midwinter  CLASSIC
Quinn, Julia An Offer from a Gentleman
Zapata, Mariana Kulti 

My Favourite Heroines

Bryce, Megan To Tame a Dragon
Chase, Loretta Lord of Scoundrels  CLASSIC
Dare, Tessa One Dance with a Duke
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Touch
Gabaldon, Diana Outlander  OBVIOUSLY, plus the series
Heyer, Georgette Venetia
Jenkins, Beverly Indigo She’s amazing.
Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter 
Kleypas, Lisa Scandal in the Spring 
Kleypas, Lisa Mine till Midnight – I’d marry her.
Lauren, Christina Beautiful Player
Milan, Courtney This Wicked Gift
Milan, Courtney The Countess Conspiracy
Milan, Courtney The Suffragette ScandalI want to be her.
Quinn, Julia Romancing Mr. Bridgerton 
Quinn, Julia It’s In His Kiss
Reid, Penny Neanderthal Seeks Human
Thorne, Sally The Hating Game CLASSIC

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful or my  streamlined recommendations list.


My Favourite/Favorite Romance Novel Couples

There are books and novellas that I recommend. There are novels I loathed.

This list is my favourite romance novel couples and there is a separate one for my favourite heroes and heroines as individual characters. If I put them in order, I’d never get this list published, so they aren’t.

If you’re uncertain, I suggest leaning towards the couples list for a starting point.

Balogh, Mary Slightly Dangerous CLASSIC
Bowen, Sarina Blonde Date novella  CLASSIC
Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Him
Bryce, Megan To Tame a Dragon
Chase, Loretta Dukes Prefer Blondes  – LOVE THEM
Cole, Kresley Dark Desires After Duska guilty pleasure THUNDER SEX™!
Dare, Tessa One Dance with a Duke
Dare, Tessa Any Duchess Will Do
Duran, Meredith Fool Me Twice
Florand, Laura All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Kiss
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Touch – Top 5 romance and couple
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Heart Whoops! One of my least favourite couples.
Florand, Laura Chase Me
Gabaldon, Diana Outlander  OBVIOUSLY, plus the series
Garwood, Julie The Gift – Old School
Hoyt, Elizabeth The Ice Princess
Kelly, Carla The Lady’s Companion
Kelly, Carla Marrying the Captain
Kennedy, Elle The Deal
Kinsale, Laura Flowers from the Storm
Kleypas, Lisa Dreaming of You
Kleypas, Lisa Where Dreams Begin
Kleypas, Lisa Again the Magic
Kleypas, Lisa Secrets of a Summer Night
Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter 
Kleypas, Lisa Love in the Afternoon
Lauren, Christina Beautiful Player
Lauren, Christina Dirty Rowdy Thing
Linden, Caroline One Night in London
Long, Julie Anne Like No Other Lover
Long, Julie Anne What I Did for a Duke  CLASSIC
Long, Julie Anne A Notorious Countess Confesses 
MacLean, Sarah One Good Earl Deserves a Lover
McNaught, Judith Almost Heaven  OLD SCHOOL
Milan, Courtney The Duchess War
Milan, Courtney The Suffragette Scandal  IF YOU READ ONLY ONE…
Parker, Lucy Act Like It
Phillips, Susan Elizabeth Natural Born Charmer
Quinn, Julia An Offer from a Gentleman
Quinn, Julia Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Quinn, Julia It’s In His Kiss
Reid, Penny Neanderthal Seeks Human
Reid, Penny Beauty and the Mustache
Spencer, LaVyrle Vows
Thorne, Sally The Hating Game CLASSIC
Willig, Lauren The Seduction of the Crimson Rose 

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful or my  streamlined recommendations list.



So You Want to Read a (Historical, Contemporary, New Adult, Paranormal) Romance …

Alternatively: The Worst Romance Novels I Have Ever Read

This recommendations list is gleaned from at least 80 authors and over 500 books.

Ten Great Romance Novellas to Get You Started

Looking for something specific? Here’s a list of authors I’ve read enough to see thematic consistencies and it’s hard to go wrong with these writers:

Tessa Dare – FUN, bring your willing suspension of disbelief, on double-secret probation right now
Laura Florand – contemporary romances set in France, great intensity
Talia Hibbert – contemporary romances set in England
Carla Kelly – lovely Regency romances, often military-themed
Lisa Kleypas  – the gold standard, also writes contemporaries
Julie Anne Long – extremely clever and funny
Courtney Milan – The very best currently publishing, one for the pantheon.
Lucy Parker – great romance, great fun
Julia Quinn – An excellent place to launch your reading. Start with The Bridgertons.
Sally Thorne – Only two books, but the linked one is a CLASSIC!

I lovehate Jennifer Ashley’s sincere romance mired in tortured heroes and overwrought plotting.

This list is an edited version of my Complete Reading List by Author. Reviewed books are linked.

Mallory, a frequent commenter, asked me to make a personal Top 5 list. I tried. I couldn’t do it.


  1. Balogh, Mary Slightly Dangerous – historical
  2. Bowen, Sarina Blonde Date  – new adult novella
  3. Chase, Loretta Lord of Scoundrelshistorical
  4. Gabaldon, Diana Outlanderhistorical
  5. Heyer, Georgette Venetia (Dameral/Venetia) – historical
  6. Jenkins, Beverly Indigo  – historical
  7. Kinsale, Laura Flowers from the Storm old school, historical
  8. Kleypas, Lisa Dreaming of Youhistorical
  9. Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter  – historical
  10. Long, Julie Anne What I Did for a Duke – historical
  11. Milan, Courtney A Kiss for Midwinter – historical novella
  12. Milan, Courtney The Suffragette Scandal  – historical
  13. Montgomery, L.M. The Blue Castle – historical now, but not when published
  14. Quinn, Julia Romancing Mr. Bridgerton  Bridgerton Book 4 – historical
  15. Thorne, Sally The Hating Game – contemporary

Continue reading

The Pennyroyal Green Series: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

Having read Julie Anne Long’s eleven book Regency romance Pennyroyal Green series, I am not really in a position to judge how this novel reads as a standalone, but as a long-awaited end to the series, I have but two syllables: BRAVO! Somehow The Legend of Lyon Redmond manages to be both epic in the way required of its buildup and personal in its sweet and believable love story. What’s more, Long successfully tied up every single loose end I could think of from the preceding books. I can’t imagine the planning and plotting involved.

As the two big fish in the small pond of Pennyroyal Green, Sussex, the Redmond and Eversea families are centuries-long rivals for fame and fortune.  They also share a legend that once in every generation, there will be a pair of star-crossed lovers in their rival folds. In the current generation, it is eldest son Lyon Redmond and eldest daughter Olivia Eversea. Like Romeo and Juliet, they spy each other across a crowded room and are instantly, overwhelmingly drawn to each other. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, they do not die owing to a Big Misunderstanding; however, when their secret relationship is discovered it ends with Lyon disappearing for five years. Nothing is known of his whereabouts or what on earth Olivia did to make him leave, so this thread of the missing son and the self-contained, possibly pining woman has woven through the first 10 books. Olivia and Lyon have had character development over the series, so when Olivia decided to moved on and take a suitor, readers knew their end was in sight.

The Legend of Lyon Redmond starts with Olivia preparing for her wedding to an incredibly patient man, Lord Landsdowne, and then flashes back and forth to her relationship with Lyon and the eventual final straw that drove him away.  I loved it. The juxtaposition of who they were then and are now was a great display of character development, particularly hers. Lyon may have gained a reputation as a mystery man, and possible pirate, but Olivia has been living under the weight of her role as a jilted woman, and consequently a matrimonial prize, for years and she has been worn down by it.

Long is always a funny, clever writer, but she sometimes leans towards the twee. That was not the case with The Legend of Lyon Redmond. What I found instead was that she seemed to be giving the historical romance genre and its tropes a big, enthusiastic kiss. I greeted so many of the events with a delighted “of course!” as Long used many standard romance turns, but the joy was in recognizing and embracing them while they were happening. They ALL work because the reader is in on the joke (such sounds of glee, I made), knows what is going on, and because the emotional connection between Lyon and Olivia is written so sincerely and is so completely understandable. Thank you, Julie Anne Long. The Legend of Lyon Redmond  was a long hoped-for gift wrapped with a beautiful bow.

A complete summary of Julie Anne Long’s catalogue, with recommendations and a ranked order of the Pennyroyal Green series, can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.


Julie Anne Long’s Catalogue


Early Books:
The Runaway Duke – early work, dated
To Love a Thiefvery enjoyable

Three Sisters Trilogy: early series, fine
Beauty and the Spy
Ways to Be Wicked
The Secret to Seduction

Pennyroyal Green Series:
The Perils of Pleasure  – fun
Like No Other LoverDelightful, hot
Since the Surrender – fine, prostitution shouldn’t be funny
I Kissed an Earl – very popular
What I Did for a DukeCLASSIC, fantastic hero
How the Marquess Was Won – really good, but it fell apart
A Notorious Countess Confesses excellent
It Happened One Midnight very good, but somehow not memorable
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea – meh, more of the hero from What I Did for a Duke
It Started with a Scandal – enjoyable enough, but nothing special
The Legend of Lyon Redmond FANTASTIC, better if you read the series first
Malcolm and Isabel (Malcolm/Isabel) – contemporary coda to the series

The Pennyroyal Green series ranked, numbers 1 and 2 are non-negotiable:

1. What I Did for a Duke
2. The Legend of Lyon Redmond
3. A Notorious Countess Confesses
4. It Happened One Midnight
5. Like No Other Lover
6. I Kissed an Earl
7. Between the Devil and Ian Eversea
8. It Started with a Scandal
9. The Perils of Pleasure
10. Since the Surrender
11. How the Marquess Was Won

Palace of Rogues Series:
Lady Derring Takes a Lover (Tristan/Delilah) – very enjoyable, recommended
Angel in a Devil’s Arms (Lucien/Angelique)

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCES –  I really prefer the historicals

Hellcat Canyon Series:
Hot in Hellcat Canyon
Wild at Whisky Creek
Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap (Mac/Avalon) – pleasant, nothing special
The First Time at Firelight Falls

The Complete Reading List by Author

Short Version: Recommended books are in bold, reviewed books are linked, these are ruthlessly streamlined recommendations lists –

So You Want to Read a (Historical) Romance
Ten Great Romance Novellas to Get You Started
Plus just for funsies: The Worst Romance Novels I Have Ever Read

I have more content based lists over there on the right  –>

Annual Reading Tallies & Author Commentary 2012 – 2017
On reading romance: Emotional Version and Pseudo-Intellectual Version.

My AUTOBUY List (Links Will Take You to a Summary of the Author’s Catalogue)
Tessa Dare (on probation right now actually)
Laura Florand Though she stopped publishing.
Talia Hibbert
Lisa Kleypas   The Queen for a very long time. Her back catalog is very deep and strong.
Julie Anne Long  Historicals only
Courtney Milan  The. Very. Best.
Lucy Parker Delightful. witty contemporaries
Sally Thorne Because her debut was just that good!

Albert, Annabeth Waiting for Clark (Bryce/Clark)
Albert, Annabeth Save the Date (Randall/Hunter)
Alexander, R.G. Ravenous novella (Declan/Trick/Jennifer)
Alexander, Victoria Love with the Proper Husband (Marcus/Gwen)
Alexander, Victoria Lady Amelia’s Secret Lover novella (Robert/Amelia)
Alexander, Victoria The Prince’s Bride (Rand/Jocelyn)
Alexander, Victoria The Importance of Being Wicked (Winfield/Miranda)
Alexander, Victoria Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements novella (Winfield/ Felicia&Lucy&Caroline)
Alvarez, Tracey In Too Deep (West/Piper)
Andre, Bella The Way You Look Tonight (Rafe/Brooke)
Ann, Jewel E. When Life Happened (Gus/Parker)
Ashe, Katharine In the Arms of a Marquess (Ben)
Ashley, Jennifer The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (Ian, not surprisingly/Beth) – GENRE OUTLINE
Continue reading

The Three Sisters Trilogy: Beauty and the Spy, Ways to Be Wicked, & The Secret to Seduction by Julie Anne Long

Before I begin: Thank you, Malin, for the loan of these books. My Julie Anne Long collection was not going to complete itself.

These three historical romances are an early trilogy from one of the genre’s best writers. Good, but not great, one can feel Julie Anne Long picking up speed and confidence as one moves through the novels. The heroines of each of the three books are the daughters of a Member of Parliament and his beloved mistress. Although never married, their parents had an exclusive, long-term relationship until their father was murdered, their mother was accused of the crime and fled into exile, and a loving family friend took it upon himself to see to the welfare of the three little girls. It was the worst Tuesday ever. The sisters’ efforts to reunite and to bring their father’s murderer to justice is the through line of the trilogy.

Beauty and the Spy (Kit/Susannah)

Susannah is feeling a skooch squelched in her perfect life. Everything is fine, but she’s not really able to completely be herself. Don’t worry, complications are about to enter her life like whatever the Regency version of a Mack truck is. Her father dies, she is left penniless, subsequently fiance-less, and she has to move to a remote village to begin a life of genteel poverty. Fortunately, Kit is there conducting a wildlife survey on his estate.  It’s a McGuffin within a McGuffin as Kit’s convenient presence is at the behest of his tired and protective father. Sparks fly, romance ensues, family secrets are discovered and create a through line for the next two books…

Ways to Be Wicked (Tom/Sylvie)

Ways to Be Wicked offered a pleasantly different take on the Regency era. Everyone actually works for a living – QUELLE HORREUR! – and no one looks askance at taking what opportunities for increased financial security may come.

Sylvie has just learned that she has a sister in England (Hint: It’s Susannah.) and runs away from her life as a Parisian ballet dancer/aristocrat’s mistress to find her family. She ends up working in an, um, gentleman’s theatre as one of a collection of young women whose job it is to wear diaphanous clothing, twirl, and exclaim “Whee!”. She’s not to happy about it, but the man who hired her, Tom, is meshuggah good-looking and fascinated by her. Sparks fly, romance ensues, family secrets are discovered and create a through line for the next book…

The Secret to Seduction (Rhys/Sabrina)

I don’t find the remnants of feudalism all that appealing, but they are very important to Rhys who is an aristocrat of some sort. An earl, I think. I can’t remember this book well. Sabrina is a vicar’s daughter and joins her friend as a house guest (It’s coming back to me.) at Rhys’s recently restored estate. She falls ill and has to stay behind, Rhys is a jerk who decides to  compromise her as some sort of egotistical entertainment – Rhys does not start well, readers – they get caught in a MAJOR clinch, and end up in a marriage of convenience.  (I remembered!) Rhys and Sabrina live separate lives for a bit, he shows up of an evening for procreative purposes, they find their way into a good marriage, then Rhys’s deep dark secret comes out and everything goes KABLOOEY! before being put back to rights. Note: The KABLOOEY! inducing plot twist is pretty darn good.

The Secret to Seduction wraps up the Three Sisters trilogy with a neat bow thus freeing Julie Anne Long to move on to her current Pennyroyal Green series. I have read all of her output and will now spend my time eagerly awaiting her next book. Unfortunately for the readers, but pleasantly for the author, Long’s publishing schedule is about one novel a year. She is a clever and fun writer with a deep and joyful love of sarcasm who pens entertaining and charming novels. Long’s most compelling work so far is What I Did for a Duke. In it, she pulls off a huge age difference and creates a fantastic hero. The heroine is pretty terrific, too, but he is magnificent. All of Long’s books have themes of vulnerability and the necessity of laying oneself bare in order to take a chance on creating genuine happiness for oneself. It’s a lovely thought and she does it so well.  I like to keep her handy on my autobuy list.

A complete summary of Julie Anne Long’s catalogue, with recommendations, can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.


The Pennyroyal Green Series: Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long

Tansy Danforth is isolated, orphaned, and looking to a family friend to help her both settle in a new country and, this is a historical romance after all, marry to gain access to her inheritance. Fortunately for Julie Anne Long fans, the friend is Alex Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge who, along with Genevieve his Duchess, is from Long’s classic romance pairing in What I Did for a Duke. Tansy is staying at the Eversea estate in Pennyroyal Green while she gets her footing. Her hero is Ian, the lone unmarried Eversea son and someone who has always been an entertaining addition to the novels.

In What I Did for a Duke, Ian was the story catalyst when he was found in whatever state is the razor’s edge of in flagrante delicto with Alex’s soon-to-be erstwhile fiance. Alex planned a retaliatory ruination of Ian’s sister Genevieve and, of course, fell in love with her instead. As an added bonus to the falling in love, Alex took the opportunity to torment a well-deserving Ian for his sins. Rakish to the degree that he shows very poor judgement and behaves selfishly, Ian needs someone to lead him a merry chase to help get him back on track as the person he manages to be in other aspects of his life. Enter Tansy and Between the Devil and Ian Eversea.

Tansy is the woman who stories like to tell us women hate. She is beautiful. She steals all the male attention. She feigns confusion and claims incompetence to flatter and soothe. (Okay, I admit I do loathe that in men and in women.) She flirts endlessly, shamelessly, but not really as subtly as she thinks she does. Instead of being cold or calculating, Tansy is desperately lonely and doing her best to garner attention, even superficial attention, to take the edge off her isolation. This is not to say that she can’t be a bit annoying. It’s a habit she needs to break. Tansy is young, she has had too many bad things happen in her life, and she is doing her best. Ian sees through the flirtation inasmuch as he recognizes it as an act, but it takes longer for him to truly see Tansy. Long shows the reader Tansy’s real self through her interactions with her guardian and the people most would consider inconsequential in their world. When Ian and Tansy genuinely see each other, they, of course, find their match.

Julie Anne Long seldom disappoints and she does not do so here, nor does she truly succeed. She is one of the best writers in the historical romance business and I always eagerly anticipate her new releases. As one would expect, Between the Devil and Ian Eversea is wry and frequently laugh out loud funny. She balances character development and sincere romance with a consistently droll tone which is a fine accomplishment indeed. From a thematic perspective, I’ve realised that a lot of Long’s protagonists are people trying to figure out how to be in control in world where they have little to none. Even those who seemingly have power or choice are not immune to loss, life, and the struggle to manage it. Only when they surrender the masks or efforts for control do they have the opportunity to build something more. It’s a lovely through-line for her books.

I don’t know if I’ve been too subtle about it, but What I Did for a Duke is delightful and a classic of the genre. If you are a romance fan and have not yet read it, do yourself a favour and snap it up at the same time as you buy Between the Devil and Ian Eversea.

A complete summary of Julie Anne Long’s catalogue, with recommendations, can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.


The Runaway Duke by Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long has written a classic historical romance, What I Did for a Duke; two excellent ones, A Notorious Countess Confesses and It Happened One Midnight; a rather delightful novella, To Love a Thief; and an assortment of very enjoyable books in her Pennyroyal Green series. The Runaway Duke is one of her earliest novels and I read it for back catalogue completion purposes only.

Through a convenient and maguffiny series of Napoleonic War events, Conor Riordan, fifth Duke of Dunbrooke, has shucked off his title and is living incognito as an Irish groom at the home of the novel’s rather young heroine Rebecca Tremaine. In The Runaway Duke, the two take it on the lam when the  villain mistakenly compromises the wrong Tremaine sister, Rebecca, and she is going to be forced into a reputation saving marriage. Hijinks ensue.

I mentioned in a review of another author that I often find a writer and think that she shows promise only to discover that she has already published a lot of books. That is not the case here. I knew going in that this would not be of the current quality I expect of Julie Anne Long. The Runaway Duke has issues including heavy plotting, an unbelievable false identity (no one would volunteer to be Irish at that time in British history), and the story does goes on a bit; however, all of the elements that would develop into Long’s signature style are present: wonderful humour, clever writing, charming central characters, and, yes, the fact that maybe, sometimes, I don’t know, I’m just saying, she can be a skooch twee.

One of the things that people suggest when trying to save me from the ignominy of reading so much romance is that I should write one. It’s as though all of the shame they think I should feel for my reading choices, and that they feel on my behalf, would be washed away under the cleansing justification of “research”. There is nothing like reading an early effort by a talented author to intimidate any writing   impulse right out of me. I am far too lazy to write a book in the first place and far too impatient to be willing to write several before I have the chance to be even remotely as good a novelist as Julie Anne Long now is.

A complete summary of Julie Anne Long’s catalogue, with recommendations, can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful which includes the aforementioned observations.