Reviews by Marian Perera

C+
Knave's Wager

I had a love-hate relationship with Loretta Chase’ Knave’s Wager. Loved the heroine, hated the hero. Loved the writing, disliked the tropes. I didn’t want to put the book down, but not for the reasons anyone would keep reading a romance. That made it a difficult book to grade, but at least it ...

D+
How to Tame a Willful Wife

Christy English’s How to Tame a Willful Wife is the first in her Shakespeare in Love series, and on the whole, I would rather read Shakespeare. This was a forgettable romance - bland, insubstantial, and always, always choosing the most predictable path through the plot. Caroline Montague, the d ...

B+
The Red

As I read Tiffany Reisz’s The Red, at different times I was admiring, disappointed, spellbound, and horrified. At no point, though, did I want to stop. I doubt I’ll read it again, but damned if memorable quotes from it aren’t stuck in my head somehow. Mona Lisa St. James owns an art gallery ...

D
Letter from a Rake

In Sasha Cottman’s Letter from a Rake, Millicent Ashton and her family have recently arrived in London. Her brother is the heir to a viscount and it’s time for twenty-year-old Millie to take her place in Society. However, Millie grew up in India, and as a result, London is foreign to her. Worse, ...

F
Blackmailed Bride

I wouldn’t usually review a book like Chris Stevenson’s Blackmailed Bride, because both the cover and the blurb are unappealing. But there’s a reason I bought this, and I’ll get to it at the end of my review. The plot begins when Ryan Barlow, a cover artist, stops near a church for a smok ...

D+
Lord Bredon and the Bachelor's Bible

In Mia Marlowe’s Lord Bredon and the Bachelor’s Bible, Edward Lovell, Lord Bredon, owns an estate in dire need of money. Fortunately for him, he discovers The Bachelor’s Bible, which reveals the dowries of eligible girls, so he decides to marry Miss Martha Finch’s eighty thousand pounds. ...

B
The Disgraceful Lord Gray

Virginia Heath’s The Disgraceful Lord Gray is a pleasant read with some awesome moments, all of them courtesy of the hero. It doesn’t offer anything new plot-wise, but the energy of the dialogue and the excellent writing stand out. Lord Graham Chadwick (aka Gray) and his superior, Lord Fennim ...

C-
A Lord Apart

I slogged through Jane Ashford’s A Lord Apart by promising myself I could do whatever I wanted when the book was over. Then I remembered it had to be reviewed, so I’m holding off on eating lunch until that’s done. This wasn’t even a bad book, just a stupefyingly dull one. Daniel Frith, Vi ...

D+
London's Best Kept Secret

London’s Best Kept Secret began as a C read, but rose to a B because the story improved after a lagging start. Then the hero revealed he’d done something unforgivable - which everyone forgave him for - and the grade took a nosedive. I’d try another of Anabelle Bryant’s books, but this one is ...

A
Slammerkin

A slammerkin is a loose dress, and also a loose woman. Emma Donoghue, author of Room, based this book on the true story of a girl who was executed in 1763 for murdering her mistress, and who apparently did it from a longing for ‘fine clothes’. While this wasn’t exactly a pleasant read, it was ...