Midnight in Austenland (Austenland #2)

Penny’s Rating: C This is my first time reading anything in author Shannon Hale’s Austenland series, but it totally appeals to the Jane Austen obsessed nerd in me. The people in this book go on vacation to a historic estate in the English countryside, and proceed to dress up and act like people from… well, a Jane Austen novel, of course! All I could think when I started this book, was how much I would freaking LOVE to actually do that. This is the second book in the series, but this book can be read as a stand alone without any confusion. Publisher Description: “When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests’ Austen fantasies. Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn’t sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs…

A Tryst With Trouble

By Alyssa Everett Penny’s Rating: C I was not enamored of this book. It falls somewhere in the middle of the plethora of historical romance novels I have read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I was actually impressed by first time writer, one Alyssa Everett, but have to acknowledge that this book just isn’t my thing. Publisher Description: “Dogged for years by painful gossip about his father’s homosexuality, the Marquess of Beningbrough—Ben, to his friends—has protected himself by becoming the ultimate man’s man. Passed over by suitor after suitor in favor of her pretty but vapid younger sister, clever, forthright Lady Barbara Jeffords has reached the disappointing conclusion most men are shallow, boorish clods. When a philandering footman turns up dead, the two square off: he’s sure she’s determined to pin the crime on his hapless young cousin, while she thinks he means to shift the blame to her sister. To find the real killer, Ben and Barbara must declare a truce that threatens to expose both their buried insecurities and their growing desire for each other.” In addition to the romance between Ben and Barbara, this is also a whodunnit mystery, and for me, it…

How to Dance With a Duke

By: Manda Collins ebook, 400 pages Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin’s Press ISBN: 142995261X (ISBN13: 9781429952613) original title: How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1) Penny’s Rating: C- Publisher Synopsis: “What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants… Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it. Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could…

On Names in Historic Romance Novels
Musings / December 16, 2011

My husband thinks that all the historical romance novels I read have characters names Sebastian and Felicity. As much as I disagree vehemently with him whenever he brings this up, giggling as he makes his way through Eddie Izzard’s “Room with a View, with a Pond” sketch about Sebastian arranging matches, I have to admit that there is a grain of truth to his claim. I haven’t been keeping track, but whenever I do read a novel where one of the characters is named Sebastian, I have been telling him, just so I can watch him roll his eyes. To tell the truth there have been several. More that I expected. I am totally keeping track now, and I will list theme here as I find/remember them. Sebastian’s in Literature/ Romance Novels Sebastian Griffin, Duke of Melbourne – Suzanne Enoch, Sins/Griffin Family Series Sebastian (Bastian) Valmont, character in Les Liasons Dangereauses (Dangerous Liasons) Sebastian Flyte, a character in Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited Bastian Koehler, a character in With the Band, by L.A. Witt Sebastian, a character in William Shakespeare‘s play, The Tempest Sebastian, a character in William Shakespeare‘s play, Twelfth Night Yes, different names were more popular in Regency…