Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jenna Petersen: Her Notorious Viscount


Title: Her Notorious Viscount
Author: Jenna Petersen
Release Date: March 31, 2009
List Price: $6.99

Read: June 16-18, 2009
My Rating:

Author Website | Book Page | Excerpt |

Setting: April 1816, London, England

Her Notorious Viscount is my first historical romance by Jenna Petersen and I greatly enjoyed it. Starting a new HR author is always loaded with risk (IMO), but I was extremely relieved to see that Petersen doesn't employ any of those annoying story ploys that drive me crazy: NO major misunderstandings, NO ridiculous fights and obstacles that only exist to make the book longer, NO saboteurs who are in love with either the H/H and do everything they can to keep them apart (and of course, always almost succeed).

Summary (from back cover):
Beauty and her beast ...
Viscount Nicholas Stoneworth is infamous - even being mentioned in the same breath with him is enough to ruin a lady's reputation. Why, the man's spent years in London's underworld pursuing every sort of vice while parlaying his hard muscled body into fame and fortune as a fighter! With his brother's untimely death, Nicholas must assume the title and relearn the civilized ways of the ton ... and proper Jane Fenton is more than willing to teach him everything she knows.

Circumstances may have forced Jane into the role of ladies' companion, but she knows the danger of associating with a notorious man like Nicholas, a man who woucl dtempt any woman into certain scandal. But her brother disappeared into the same underworld four long years ago, and if she trasnforms the libertine into a gentleman, he will use his connections to find him. Still, Jane will not - cannot - lose control. She must ignore the promise of sinful pleasure in his eyes ... and her own wild desires desperate to break free.

MAIN CHARACTERS, Miss Jane Fenton and Viscount Nicholas Stoneworth:
Jane and Nicholas were wonderful leading characters and there were some really humorous interactions between them, since Jane is Miss Prim and Proper and Nicholas has basically been shunning society and cast out of the ton for ~10 years. Another plus is the chemistry between them, which is very well written and sizzles off the pages.

*Super priceless* was when the Jane saves the Nicholas - such a nice change! She doesn't literally save him, but usually you have the hero who ends up facing down her bullies and yelling at them and then all of us female readers understandably sigh dreamily (probably don't need to add gender, since I think the size of the male audience is negligible - if it even exists). HERE, however, we have the heroine who sticks up for the hero and it was a total "you go girl" moment ;-).

I loved Nicholas' best friend, "Rage," and think he would be great as a hero in another book. I was also surprised to find that I really liked Viscount Patrick Fenton, Jane's cousin, and hope that he gets his own book. It was such a nice change to have another character who is in love with the heroine yet isn't manipulative, is an actual decent and honorable human being, acknowledges that the heroine doesn't like him in that way (also nice, because I hate when an author creates divided loyalties like that) and so goes out of his way to help the hero.

Although there was a mystery subplot, the way it played out was very interesting and it was a nice change to not have some crazed murderous greedy villain confusing things and somewhat unnecessarily. In some ways it kind of stretched plausibility, but we read these books for enjoyment, not reality, so it wasn't enough of a stretch to truly bother me.

Her Notorious Viscount was a light and enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend for a lazy weekend afternoon. As an author, Petersen lines up with other historical romance writers like Julia Quinn and Karen Hawkins.

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