Series: Book Club Belles Society


How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina

January 5, 2016 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne FresinaHow to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina
Series: Book Club Belles Society #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 5, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher

Reject his marriage proposal
Nathaniel Sherringham has returned to Hawcombe Prior a changed man. Gone is the reckless rake who went out on a limb to propose to Diana Makepiece three years ago. Now Nate's mysterious new wealth has the town's rumor mill spinning. To stir things up (and get Diana's attention), Nate boldly announces his plans to marry "any suitable girl" under the age of 25.

Run away
Diana, now 27 and still single, is acutely aware of Nate's return. When her mother suggests a trip to visit a cousin in Bath, Diana leaps at the chance to escape the heartbreak and regret she can't help but feel in Nate's presence...and avoid his irritating charade to find a bride.

But for Nate, Diana has always been the one. He might just have to follow her to Bath and once again lay his heart on the line to win her attention-and her heart.

HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE is a romantic story about broken hearts and second chances.  Closely mirroring many elements of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, the hero and heroine of HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE, Nathaniel Sherringham and Diana Makepiece were once friends with strong, but hidden, feelings for one another.  Until Nathaniel made a inebriated marriage proposal to Diana which Diana’s mother convinces her to refuse.  Though intoxicated, Nathaniel’s proposal was sincere and he leaves the village quite brokenhearted.  Fast forward three years.  Diana has become a shadow of herself, always cow towing to the wishes of her domineering mother instead of expressing her own desires of opinions.  Nathaniel is back, rich, and looking for a bride.  In a fit of wounded pique, he declares his bride must be no older than 25, even though Diana is now 27.  The plot which then follows loosely mirrors that of PERSUASION, so I would suggest readers be at least a little familiar with that wonderful novel as it would enhance a reader’s enjoyment of HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE.

Diana and Nathaniel are like peanut butter and jelly.  Diana is quiet and introverted.  Nathaniel is outgoing and boisterous.  Together, they are a wonderful match – Nathaniel is able to bring Diana out of her shell and Diana’s calm nature helps bring peace to Nathaniel’s race-about lifestyle.  Ms. Fresina does a marvelous job showing exactly why these two lovers are perfect for each other, despite their polar opposite personalities.  I loved that this was a story about second chances.  It was so painful at first to see Diana so wounded by Nathaniel’s callous comments about what he wanted in a bride.  Yet, I could understand that Nathaniel was just trying to protect himself too; of course, we also got to see that Nathaniel didn’t really mean his hurtful words.  He wanted Diana three years ago and he wants her still.

I think readers can definitely relate to many of the characters in this novel and the experiences they go through.  I highly recommend reading this novel, especially for fans of Jan Austen!


Sinfully Ever After by Jayne Fresina

January 2, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sinfully Ever After by Jayne FresinaSinfully Ever After by Jayne Fresina
Series: Book Club Belles Society #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 2, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 383
Format: eBook
Source: the Publisher
To Rebecca Sherringham, all men are open books-read quickly and forgotten. Perhaps she's just too practical for love. The last thing she needs is another bore around-especially one that's supposed to be dead.

Captain Lucius "Luke" Wainwright turns up a decade after disappearing without a trace. He's on a mission to claim his birthright and he's not going away again until he gets it. But Becky and the ladies of the village Book Club Belles Society won't let this rogue get away with his sins. He'll soon find that certain young ladies are accustomed to dealing with vil

I really liked the hero in this story!  Luke is a great blend of mischievous scoundrel with a healthy dose of honor and a dash of gruff, but charming demeanor.  Rebecca, the heroine, is quite headstrong and demanding, almost to the point of being a little too modern sometimes, but compliments Luke very well, even if she wasn’t exactly kind to him at the beginning.  Watching these two battle it out was very entertaining.  Rebecca’s insistence that she does not need a man, especially a man like Luke,  and Luke’s determination to win her over created this great back-and-forth conflict that held my attention through most of the story. (Believe me, when you read as many historical romances as I do, it’s difficult to keep my attention since they can sometimes blend together.)  I attribute much of that enjoyment to Ms. Fresina’s witty dialogue and refreshing ability to write a spirited heroine that can simultaneously be bold and progressive without coming across as a modern transplant in a historical setting.

It took a while for me to connect with these two because I felt their “romance” was a little off.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I got this feeling – perhaps because I didn’t feel the characters changed all that much for one another?  I didn’t see how Luke and Rebecca made each other better people just from knowing the other.  I also felt there were times where the line between Regency and modern day idiosyncrasies blurred a bit too much

One thing I don’t see often, but really enjoyed seeing in this book was the age gap between Luke and Rebecca.  I think it is fairly unique in this genre.  Luke is almost 40 in this story and Rebecca is in her early 20s – a December/May romance.  This is certainly an accurate reflection of marriages of the time period, but I also liked seeing this age gap because this still happens today.  I have friends married to men and women over 10 years their senior and more than once have heard about their struggle to not get “those looks” when they are out in public or the lack of representation in the media.  So to see this December/May romance play out in such a sweet, accepting way made me love this story all the more!