Tag Archives: Suzanne Enoch

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 double-secret probation right now actually)
Laura Florand
Lisa Kleypas
Julie Anne Long
Courtney Milan – The. Very. Best.

-A-
Albert, Annabeth Waiting for Clark (Bryce/Clark)
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)
Ashe, Katharine In the Arms of a Marquess (Ben)
Ashley, Jennifer The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (Ian, not surprisingly/Beth) – GENRE OUTLINE
Ashley, Jennifer Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage (Mac/Isabella)
Ashley, Jennifer Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Cameron/Ainsley) – GUILTY PLEASURE
Ashley, Jennifer The Duke’s Perfect Wife (Hart/Eleanor)
Ashley, Jennifer Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (Ian, Mac, Cam, Hart)
Ashley, Jennifer The Seduction of Elliott McBride (Elliott/Juliana)
Ashley, Jennifer The Untamed Mackenzie novella (Lloyd/Louisa)
Ashley, Jennifer The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Daniel/Violet)
Ashley, Jennifer Scandal and the Duchess novella (Steven/Rose)
Ashley, Jennifer Rules for a Proper Governess (Sinclair/Roberta “Bertie”)
Ashley, Jennifer A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (Ian/Beth)
Ashley, Jennifer Bodyguard (Shifters Unbound) novella (Ronan/Elizabeth)

The list has gotten SO VERY LONG, please click on the jump.

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The Scandalous Highlanders Series: The Devil Wears Kilts by Suzanne Enoch

enochThere is an entire historical romance sub-genre based around Scottish Highland lairds and the tartans that love them. You can recognize the books instantly by the swathe of kilt and bare, muscular chest on the cover. I don’t read them because I get preoccupied with how cold everyone must be in Northern Scotland. Hitting on two genre quadrants, the new Scandalous Highlanders series from historical romance novelist Suzanne Enoch features members of a Scottish Highland family looking for love in Regency London. It’s kind of brilliant cross-marketing, really. The men are enormous, testosterrific, and entrenched in a kind of noble feudalism; the women are bright and steely Bennett-Dashwood-Elliots.

Rowena MacLawry of Glengask has fled her Highland home in hopes of having a London season. Her brother Ranulf, the Marquis, tracks her down at the home of their mother’s friend, Lady Hest. The Hests have two daughters, the older of whom, Charlotte, is our heroine. Ranulf and Charlotte clash in the standard “He’s a philistine!”, “She’s a busybody!” manner yet somehow manage to overcome their differences, indulge in sexual liaisons, and become betrothed. All this despite internecine clan warfare, English obnoxiousness, real estate purchases, morning rides, and a stable fire trying to distract them. The days are just packed.

The Devil Wears Kilts was fine, better than most and less than some. Suzanne Enoch is the tiptop of my romance B List. I read a lot of her work, but I avoid paying for it. I’d say I won’t bother to read more in this series, but who are we kidding? It will come to the library and I will bring it home with me. The books will be mostly enjoyable, but never quite enough somehow to lift them to the next level. I have inserted links to other Enoch books below and recommend the titles in bold.

With this Ring Series (fell swoop review)
Reforming a Rake
Meet Me at Midnight
A Matter of Scandal

Lessons in Love Series (fell swoop review)
The Rake
England’s Perfect Hero

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

Lessons in Love Series: The Rake and England’s Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch

GOD DAMN IT! 

When will I learn with Suzanne Enoch? WHEN? It always goes so well and then falls apart.

The Rake

the rake

This was published less than 10 years ago and yet with 1970s Maid of Honour dress.

The conceit of this historical romance series is that three friends decide that men need to be taught “lessons in love”, or, more precisely, how to conduct oneself as a gentleman and a decent human being.

Tristan Carroway, Viscount Dare, and Lady Georgiana Halley met when he was 24 and she was 18. They were mad for each other. He was young and stupid, so he participated in a silly wager regarding her virtue and broke her heart into a thousand tiny pieces. Despite completing the task *wink*, Tristan kept quiet and protected Georgie’s reputation, but he has regretted his actions as much as, if not more than, Gilbert Blythe did for calling Anne, “Carrots.”

Fast forward 6 years and Georgie is still furious (in a love/hate way) and decides to teach Tristan a lesson. Thence things proceed in an orderly fashion towards a happy ending until the book comes to a screeching halt and derails. It was all going so well. It was romantic and fun. Then Enoch painted herself into a corner and blam! the book ends happily, but with a scandal of truly epic proportions hanging over Tristan and Georgie’s heads, and with me wondering WHEN will I ever learn about Enoch.

Tristan has been added to my favourites list. He’s charming, rakish, and sincere.  I shan’t blame him for Enoch’s storytelling shortcomings. Georgie is delightful as well. They have chemistry and snappy banter that leaps off the page.  Tristan’s four brothers (Bradshaw, Robert, Edward, and Runt) feature as supporting characters and are set up well for their own books; in fact, part way through I realised that I had read Bradshaw’s book last year as part of another series. Robert was set up so endearingly that I immediately bought his book when I finished The Rake despite the aforementioned fiery plot crash. I was, of course, disappointed. WHEN? WHEN WILL I LEARN?! Enoch pulls me in and lets me down every time! The Rake painfully so. It was thisclose to greatness.

England’s Perfect Hero

England's_Perfect_Hero

What a surprisingly almost-non-cringeworthy cover, but fear not!, here is the front flap:

perfect hero

I feel better now.

Because there are as many men in these novels who fought against Napolean as there were actual soldiers at the time, Robert Carroway is one of a legion of Regency romance heroes with PTSD.  He is still struggling to re-enter the world of the living four years after coming home. Lucinda, Georgie’s best friend, is actually in pursuit of another man, the one in the title, but gets increasingly distracted by Robert. She should be. He’s lovely.

England’s Perfect Hero lacked the ebullience of the The Rake, although the characters were sweet and well-drawn, especially the Carroway family. They are such fun. Suzanne Enoch got bogged down in a convoluted, and really rather obvious, subplot and that’s where this one went off the rails.

Both of these novels careened into their endings with ridiculous behaviour from their characters and illogical plotting decisions, thus bringing me back to WHEN? I actually said, “this is stupid” out loud during one particularly egregious incident. If you want to write a love story with neither machinationsnor major subplots, there is nothing wrong with that; in fact, it’s my preference. However, if you choose to have villains and intrigue, you have to make them convincing, compelling, and logical.  As a purist, I won’t like your story as much, but I will appreciate the effort.

Note A: Georgie is heavily pregnant throughout England’s Perfect Hero. It was Chekov’s Womb. Chekov’s Unfulfilled Womb! There’s an unrealised subplot involving fans in The Rake. I mean, honestly!, why set these things up and then leave them dangling. WHEN?

Note B: There is a novel between Tristan and Robert’s in the series, but it doesn’t involve the Carroway brothers, so I wasn’t interested.

Also by Suzanne Enoch
Reforming a Rake (Lucien/Alexandra)
Meet Me at Midnight  (Sinclair “Sin”/Victoria “Vixen”)
A Matter of Scandal (Grey/Emma)
The Devil Wears Kilts  (Ranulf/Charlotte)

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

With This Ring Series: Reforming a Rake, Meet Me at Midnight, and A Matter of Scandal by Suzanne Enoch

More B+ romance from an author I go to in a pinch and only if the price is right. Suzanne Enoch is almost really good. Her romances leave something to be desired, but I can never quite put my finger on what. It may be that she’s not good at conveying passion, or maybe intimacy, or even besottedness.  Love beyond the initial attraction? I’m still trying to puzzle it out.

Reforming a Rake

Amazon is giving a publication date of 2009, but the cover art tells a different story:

rake

Despite appearances to the contrary, the hero is not Kevin Sorbo of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

Lucien Balfour, a rake and some sort of noble, needs a social tutor/guide for his country cousin. He is impeded by both the cousin’s gauche behavior, and the young woman’s vulgar, grasping mother. He hires Alexandra Balfour, a genteel-y impoverished lady, to act as her governess; not because of sterling references or experience, but because he really wants to have sex with Alexandra, and he figures she can teach his cousin to be alluring to men as well and thus get the young woman off his hands and out of the house with alacrity. Lucien and Alexandra fall in love, he locks her in his basement (in a fun way) for reasons I cannot begin to remember, they get married, the end.

I feel behooved to mention that only in romance novels can a name like Lucien, or Sebastian, be ruggedly masculine, although, truth be told, I actually like the name Lucien. Not enough to burden a child with it, but certainly well enough to aggrandize a cat, if I weren’t violently allergic to them, which I am.

Meet Me at Midnight

rake midnight

The woman’s 1987 prom dress appears to be sliding off her body.

I almost always like romance novels when they get married at the beginning. This is one of those.

Victoria Fontaine, nicknamed Vixen, is beautiful (Regency Elizabeth Taylor), bright, and vivacious. Tired of her “my eyes are up here” life, she’s a hoyden whose parents don’t know what to do with her; fortunately, she gets caught making out with her new acquaintance, Sinclair, Marquess Althorpe, at a party in Chapter One. Victoria’s parents know an out when they see one, so they insist these two gorgeous, sexy people marry right away.

Sinclair, nicknamed Sin, louche by all appearances, is the standard indolent-younger-son-who-was-never-supposed-to-inherit-and-now-has-to-make-good. Lucien (Kevin Sorbo up there) was in the same position. Sin has recently returned from a life of endless indulgence on the continent, but he was really a spy, of course. Victoria figures it all out pretty quickly and sets out to help him with the maguffin-y sub-plot.

Speaking of sub-plots, Vixen has a menagerie of animals that she brings to Sinclair’s house with her. Animals that, once again, are you listening romance novel authors?,cannot be house-trained. Plus there’s a parrot that repeats what was said during love scenes. It’s kind of charming, but also kind of COME ON! PARROTS DON’T LEARN PHRASES THAT QUICKLY!

Regardless of the bluebirds on her shoulder, Victoria and Sinclair are rather delightful together, and I enjoyed their jaunt to a happy ending. There were moments of genuine humour and Enoch did a good job at the falling in love narrative. I didn’t even mind their nicknames, Vixen and Sin, since they represent the personas they had hi— RECORD NEEDLE SCRATCH!

I just discovered that there is a third book in this series, A Matter of Scandal, and I scooped that sucker up on Amazon for $1.99 in 1.3 seconds flat. There will now be an indeterminate delay while I read the book and add it to this review.

[Muzac version of The Girl from Ipanema]

I’m about a third of the way through. So far, so good. Great banter, good chemistry. Funny.

Greydon Bsomething, Duke of Wycliffe is helping his uncle reorganize his finances and the first step was a huge and long overdue rent increase for all of his tenants. That’s endearing. The lovely redhead, Emma Grenville, who owns and runs the finishing school on the estate is displeased, to say the least, so she and the Duke enter into a wager to prevent the increase. She has to come up with a better plan than the Duke’s to fix his uncle’s finances. He has to teach a class at her school for some reason. Translation: They have to spend a lot of time together.

Wycliffe is gorgeous (natch), large (obvs), thinks all women are trying to ensnare him ( ’cause, you know, Duke), and is magnetically drawn (of course) to the bluestocking who doesn’t give a toss about any of it, except his dismissal of her school and efforts (natch).  Apparently,  the best way to improve someone’s opinion of women is to make him spend extended periods of time with a group of teenage girls. Has the author ever met a teenage girl?

Wycliffe is annoyingly arrogant so far. I’m hoping he’ll be taken down SEVERAL pegs.

[Muzak resumes]

There is a hilarious moment when Emma is giving Grey what for at a dinner party and his entire response is to silently wish everyone else would go away so he can enjoy her insults without interruption.

[Muzak transitions to We’ve Only Just Begun]

A Matter of Scandal

rake scandal

 Why is Clint Eastwood pushing her into that rose bush?

Well, that was Enoch’s best effort: very funny, great chemistry, a romp; and once again, it was lacking something I can’t quite put my finger on. Do the leads need to talk to each other more? Talk to each other differently? Is there only sexual chemistry and no intellectual connection and therefore although that part works, it doesn’t go deeper? Is it something about the intimacy? Blargh!

I discovered another book in the series, The Rake, but it’s $7.59 on Amazon, so this won’t be happening any time soon:

rake rake

Pity.

Also by Suzanne Enoch
The Rake (Tristan/Georgiana)
England’s Perfect Hero (Robert/Lucinda)
The Devil Wears Kilts  (Ranulf/Charlotte)

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