Candice Hern

Books: Romance | Historical

The Regency Rakes: A Proper Companion (2011), A Change of Heart (2011), An Affair of Honor (2011)

Novellas/Short Stories: Desperate Measures (2011)

A Proper Companion (2011)

proper-companionEmily Townsend is of good birth, but impoverished (her mother ran away with her father, and was disowned by her parents), so Emily takes one of the only options available to a genteel lady: a companion to an older woman.

Robert, Lord Bradleigh is a recently betrothed Earl with a reputation as a rake. When his grandmother finds out who is fiancee is, she is sorry Robert hadn't met her companion Emily before proposing.

So this is a straight-up historical romance. I'll admit it didn't feel particularly British but I wasn't particularly expecting historical accuracy, so that's neither here nor there. (Though I'll admit I do love books that feel like their set in their proper time and place.)

I will admit I was particularly amused by this passage, where Emily talks to the dowager about a book they are both reading.

"Stop!" Emily interrupted, laughing. "Please, don't tell me how it ends. Well, of course I know how it ends. All romantic novels end the same way, but it's the process of getting tehre that provides all the enjoyment."

Though I'll admit that's one of the things I don't love about romance novels.

In this instance, however, it was mildly irritating, because I was actually rooting for Lord Sedgewick to win her hand, even though he obviously wasn't. I mean, who cares about smouldering, I'd much rather have had her end up with the man who made her laugh on a regular basis.

But, of course, Lord Sedgewick didn't win her hand. And there was also drama, but no misunderstandings, which I appreciated.

So, it was a pleasant read, especially for a book I picked up on sale for only a couple dollars.

Published by Candice Hern

Rating: 6/10

A Change of Heart (2011)

A Change of HeartLady Mary Haviland is quite content being a spinster. In fact, she enjoys being a somewhat eccentric spinster, making friends with all sorts, including rakes.

"I much prefer the man who is open and straightforward in his dealing with people, even if he does not often stay strictly within the rules of Society. You can trust a man like that."

Jack Raeburn was a confirmed rake until several unexpected deaths lead to his (unwanted) elevation as Marquess of Pemerton. Now, he has to find a wife, to make an heir, and for other more personal reasons he doesn't want strewn about.

It was interesting, and I enjoyed the historical tone, but I wasn't thrilled with The Big Misunderstanding that I saw coming a mile away.

I suppose her actions were reasonable in response to The Big Misunderstanding, except for her running off without speaking even to Lady Emily, who she says is a true friend. Yes, that might have made The Big Misunderstanding less big and disastrous, but I think it might have been a little more reasonable and sensible. Especially from a woman who is otherwise quite sensible.

But, I fully admit I wasn't expecting completely sensible out of this book. All I was looking for was a pleasant good distraction, and I did get that.

Published by Candice Hern

Rating: 7/10

An Affair of Honor (2011)

an-affair-of-honor-candice-hernThis was both enjoyable and frustrating.

First the frustrating.

She was in the process of removing a jaunty black beaver hat with a green plume, to reveal hair of a remarkable shade of russet, and eyes of almost the exact same color.

What? She has red eyes? That's… weird and doesn't sound at all attractive.

Meg reached across her brother the jam pot and spread a large dollop of marmalade over her muffin.

I quite liked that one, actually.

And then, after we discover someone has attempted to kill Sedge:

Despite the fact he was Sedge's cousin and that Gram had been thoroughly charmed by hum, Meg simply could not warm up to him.

Additionally, I was frustrated by The Big Misunderstanding. Not the initial Big Misunderstanding, but how it played out. It just felt… off.

But there was good.

Meg never ceased to be amazed at how people seemed to forget that the Thornhill stables were a business. A very successful business, but a business nonetheless. If Terrence happens to raise sheep, no one would suggest that he give away the wool. But since he raised horses, many gentleman who called themselves friends expected all sorts of special favors.

I quite liked the fact that Terrence and Meg cared a great deal about their stables, and were show to actively WORK.

And I really liked this bit about Sedge.

This follows a memory of his sister's terrible time coming out:

From that time on, Sedge had made it a point to see out the plain-Janes and wallflowers at each ball or assembly, to offer them at least once opportunity to dance.

That is actually a lovely description of his character.

And I also liked this, which, as I got older I discovered was very true.

"And there you have hit on the very thing that sets you apart this Season," Terrence said. "You are more comfortable with yourself, and it shows."

So, it was interesting, but on the balance I think the frustrating outweighed the interesting for me.

Published by Candice Hern

Rating: 5.5/10

Novellas / Short Stories

Desperate Measures (2011)

Desperate_MeasuresLydia Bettridge is in love with a gentleman who seems not the slightest bit interested in her. So her brother and his best friend, Philip Hartwell, cook up a plan to make this gentleman jealous.

Unfortunately for Lydia, not knowing who the gentleman in question is her brother and Philip end up pulling the very man she loves into the plot.

So, okay. Well.


Published by Candice Hern

Rating: 5/10