Monday, April 12, 2010
In For a Penny by Rose Lerner
Why this one: I received and ARC and after reading AnimieJune's Most Excellent Review, I moved this one up in the TBR pile
Steam Level: Yep, it was steamy
Blurb: IN FOR A PENNY No more drinking. No more gambling. And definitely no more mistress. Now that he's inherited a mountain of debts and responsibility, Lord Nevinstoke has no choice but to start acting respectable. Especially if he wants to find a wife -- better yet, a rich wife. Penelope Brown, a manufacturing heiress, seems the perfect choice. She's pretty, rational, ladylike, and looking for a marriage based on companionship and mutual esteem. IN FOR A POUND But when they actually get to Nev's family estate, all the respectability and reason in the world won't be enough to deal with tenants on the edge of revolt, a menacing neighbor, and Nev's family's propensity for scandal. Overwhelmed but determined to set things right, Nev and Penelope have no one to turn to but each other. And to their surprise, that just might be enough.
My Thoughts: My reading of historicals is way down this year compared to other years. In fact, this is only the second historical I've read this year and it's already April! I pondered a few posts ago on why that was, and this book blasts away all those reasons. I really enjoyed it.
Penelope Brown is the wealthy daughter of a 'Cit' who made his fortune owning a brewery. Unlike many a historical heroine, she's not a young innocent miss. Yes, she's young. And yes, she's innocent in some ways. But she's also quick thinking, intelligent and has a mind of her own. She decides rather quickly to accept the offer of marriage from Lord Nevinstoke, better known as Nev.
Nev, you see, quickly discovered upon the death of his father that he was deeply in death and responsible for his sister and mother. He's at a loss as to what to do since he's never had to work for a living. He was just a 19th century party boy. But after meeting Penelope at a ball, he is rather taken with her and thinks that with her money and his basic attraction to her, they can make a go of it.
They make a go at making their marriage work, Nev thinking he's not good enough for Penny since he feels he's a failure at everything, and Penny not thinking she's good enough for Nev since she's not a member of the 'nobles'. But what makes this book work so well for me is they communicate with each other whenever they seem to be a cross purposes. Penny though, is reluctant to tell Nev of her growing feelings for him, fearing he won't feel the same. And Nev isn't what I consider an alpha hero - therefore I can say he's just adorable. He's like a fish out of water as he struggles to take up his responsibilities to his people and not be the wastrel that his father was.
I really enjoyed everything about this book and hopefully it will jump start me back into historicals. I've missed them.
Grade: 4.25 out of 5