I’m not up to date with the Pennyroyal Green series, but I did read the last book (It Happened One Midnight) and enjoyed it very much – I gave it 4.5 stars at Goodreads.
Although I enjoyed this latest addition to the series, I wasn’t quite as bowled over as I had been by the previous book. I’m not completely sure why – there is still plenty of humour in the exchanges between the hero and heroine and between the hero and his numerous siblings, the principals are very attractive characters; it’s sexy and sweet and romantic, and all the secondary characters (who have presumably already featured in their own stories) are well drawn.
I think part of the problem may be because I felt almost as though I had read two books that had been sandwiched together around the half-way point. For the first part of the book, Ian is very wary of Tansy – wary to the point of dislike – because he can see all too well what she’s up to, and Tansy, while she is absolutely knocked flat by Ian’s gorgeousness, is aware of his distrust of her. So they spend the first part of the book watching and circling each other and when they do meet, their exchanges are far from pleasant.
When things change, they change abruptly. The sudden détente comes as the result of a shared concern for a missing girl (who, luckily, is soon found unharmed) and after that, they begin to open up to each other and Ian finds himself telling Tansy things he’s never told anyone else and vice versa.
I am an slightly crazed Pennyroyal Green fan—it’s my go-to series for comfort reading. The last two books in the series haven’t wowed me and I had high hopes for Between the Devil and Ian Eversea. I regret to say , I wasn’t wowed. I found the book to be an enjoyable, quick read but I finished it feeling unsatisfied.
Part of that is my long-standing unhappiness with how little forward motion has in the story around Lyon’s continued disappearance.
Yes – although I’m not up to date with the series, I do know that fans are eagerly awaiting what is probably going to be the final book in the series – Olivia and Lyon’s story – so the ending of this one is somewhat of a shocker!
Ms. Long created one hell of a plot in I Kissed an Earl when she revealed that Olivia’s father is part of a group of investors embroiled in the (in England) illegal slave trade. That plot as well as the complex relationship between the elder Everseas and elder Redmonds have not been explored further much to my frustration.
That’s a good point, and because I’m not up to date, something that hasn’t coloured my reading of the most recent books in the series. But I think I’d certainly be feeling the same way if I were!
I realize my investment in the long-term plot of the series does shape the way I see each book. Yet, even on its own merits, this is not a book I love. Tansy and Ian don’t seem like real people to me—they are so beautiful, so smart, so adept at control. The barriers to their relationship—Ian’s desire to leave Pennyroyal Green and Moncrieff’s insistence Ian is to stay far from Tansy—seemed things two such super beings could easily overcome.
The pair certainly have had a difficult time of it, and I did enjoy the parallels Ms. Long drew between their experiences and their reactions to them. I liked the fact that they were both honest enough with themselves to admit that some of the things they had seen in the other’s disposition also applied to them:
“I think you come at everyone before they can come after you, Tansy. You’re afraid to be – “ He stopped abruptly.
Vulnerable, she comnpleted silently in her head, astonished. Certain that’s what he meant.
Then there’s the point at which Ian realises that what Tansy had to deal with following the death of her parents and brother wasn’t too different to what he had to face when returning from war:
“And for quite some time it has felt like… I’ve been to school and learned everything there is to learn, and nothing has the power to surprise me anymore. Or scare me.”