Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MY NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN by Gaelen Foley

So last week, I had an issue of believing in a heroine who suddenly did something inexplicable to what I thought her character was. This week, not so much.

There are some minor similarities--in the roughest of ways--between LOVE AND OTHER SCANDALS and MY NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN. Both Regency; both have rakes; both have these wallflower type heroines (spinsterish), and both end up in a scandal in which could have been easily prevented if they'd been using their brains at the time. Very circumstantial, I admit.

In MY NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN, Grace Kenwood is the parson's daughter (oh, how I love a heroine who is bound by this sort of double-virtue; it's conflict I can easily relate); and Trevor is the new neighbor who happens to be a war-hero and a notorious rake. Emphasis on the notorious rake. He takes a shine to Grace--she's not your typical girl, mainly one of the women trying to take off his pants in every dark room of a ballroom. (Really, ladies, do you not have any pride? Come on.)

So something very different happens with Grace and Trevor. They become friends first. It's lovely. They have a bit of a rocky start, and there's a bit more drama than the typical friendship romance found in a Julia Quinn book (she does love the friends-to-lovers trope too). But it feels natural and fun and you really do root for them. Also Grace introduces a new mission in life for Trevor. Without his soldiering/spying, he was at a loss, flailing around, but with Grace, he saw that the town he chose to live in needed an insurgence of work, pride, and money to become a real town again and he knew how to go about making it happen. Grace gives him a purpose.

Trevor gives Grace...a bit of self-interest. Grace is usually so busy helping everyone else, she doesn't take care of her own needs. She puts herself last. When she first meets Trevor, she knows he'd be perfect for the town belle, because she'd be the vivacious flirty fun he'd need to get his smile back. (Trevor is done with vivacious flirty fun of that variety. He plans to find it with the parson's daughter.) She didn't entertain the thought he'd remotely want her--it just wasn't possible. She put herself last. Trevor was keen to put her first--and when Grace began to realize that, she realized she rather liked being put first, especially in Trevor's heart.

So when they embroil themselves in a scandal--that could have been easily avoided--I could see more of the reason why they engaged in it. She was putting herself first for the first time, taking a chance; and he...well, there was no doubt he loved her and was going to keep her, so it wasn't wrong to him.

Also there's like a red herring of an ending, where the Black Moment was something else, and that was probably wise. I'm not sure the drama overly fit the book, it was possibly the one thing out of the book where I was like, "This seems out of sync" but in fairness, the author did set up a lot of threads that allowed this to happen so it does seem necessary. I think my confusion was the fact that town is so quiet and peaceful, and this action sequence that happens is very London. *LOL* But it worked. It all worked out in the end--all those threads nicely tied up--and all is forgiven among the characters.

Now I just need to hunt up the first book in the series and read it. (And you won't miss it. This one is imminently readable by itself.) Nicely done. Highly recommend.

What are you reading this week? Have you read MY NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN? What did you think?

14 comments:

Maureen said...

What am I reading now...well, I got three books at the con...a contemporary, a scifi and an erotic romance... I also have several books on my phone... Not sure what I'm gonna read.

I do like the friends first. I did that in my short Holmes story and I found I really liked doing it.

Janga said...

I confess that I'm behind on Foley's Inferno Club books. I have several on the TBR, but other book keep claiming priority. Don't hate me, but I recently read Kristan Higgins's The Perfect Match and loved it. Her Blue Heron books are both among her best, but Tom, the professor hero of the new book, is my favorite Higgins hero yet. Another recent read that set me raving is Lauren Willig's The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, which features a hero and heroine over forty. I also liked Jo Beverley's Silk Is for Seduction, an unusual marriage of convenience tale. Lots of great reads! I'll save some until the next time one of you asks the question. :)

Terri Osburn said...

I'm not reading anything at the moment, though that hasn't stopped me from buying about a book a day. Damn that 1-click thing. Makes it too easy!

This book sounds wonderful. I happen to know a thing or two about a people pleasing heroine. LOL! But I am already smitten by Trevor. Hmmm... I might have to go 1-click this puppy.

MsHellion said...

Mo, your Holmes story was really fun--and I loved the friends to lovers trope there too. :)

MsHellion said...

Janga, I don't hate you--ever--though I'm perhaps wickedly jealous. Glad to know it's awesome as usual--can't wait to read it!! I always say that about her books. Her newest hero is who I love best. *LOL*

A heroine over 40? Now that's nice!! Have to check into that one!

MsHellion said...

Terri, do it! Trevor is pretty dreamy.

Terri Osburn said...

I did it. That's the THIRD book I've bought since 9am. LOL! I need to slow down. One was a preorder that came out today - Go get Julia London's new one! - so that one doesn't really count.

P. Kirby said...

There's a pretty positive review of The Passion of the Plumeria over at Dear Author today. Unfortunately, at $8.89, it's waaay over my price point, especially for a historical. (I'm a little iffy on the subgenre.) I did pick up Never Too Late by Amanda Royce, for cheap recently, intrigued by the older heroine, younger man (cougar, heh), in a historical setting premise. Not usually my cuppa, but the author's voice passed the first page test.

Currently reading The Dragon's Path, a fantasy, which isn't doing much to excite my muse, but is still oddly engaging. Also, Y:The Last Man: Safeword, book four in a series about literally the last man on earth.

Marnee Bailey said...

Awh, I like the idea of this story. I love some rakes reformed.

I have been eyeing both of these stories up but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I will, though.

I'd preordered Tiffany Reisz's The Mistress way back and it arrived on my Kindle in time for vacation. I read it on the beach and it was good. A little less emotional growth and more suspense than her other books, but still very good.

Maureen said...

Thanks, Hel! One day, when all the court cases are settled with Doyle's heirs...maybe I can see if I can publish it! (I really don't want to be sued by his estate...for absconding with his character.)

Janga...a historical with an over 40 couple? Hmmm! Must go check this out!

MsHellion said...

Yay, Terri! I hope you enjoy it!

MsHellion said...

Pat, I understand! Some books I'll pay out the wazoo for, but untried authors, I'm less convinced. The last man on earth? No women even? Is he still wrong when he speaks? That would totally answer that philosophical question.

MsHellion said...

Marn, I'm glad your beach read turned out to be a satisfying beach read! :) It's always good when a book and a vacation can work together like that...it's like multitasking. :)

MsHellion said...

Yes, Mo, do look for the way of non-litigation when publishing...that'd be best.