Skip to main content

Review of "A Gentleman's Game" by Theresa Romain

A Gentleman's GameA Gentleman's Game is a very different kind of romance novel.  While it takes place firmly within the Regency Period, it is worlds away from any other Regency novel.  First off, the hero is the younger son of a minor aristocrat whose title only goes a few years back (rather than all those Dukes that can trace their titles back to Agincourt).  It was not at all what I expected it to be and I'm still not fully sold on it or on the romance between the lead characters.

Nathaniel Chandler is the younger son of a minor aristocrat and he doesn't really know who he is to his family.  He's not the heir and his father doesn't trust him to take part in the family business--horse racing.  After asking his father to let him take the horses to Epsom for the Derby, he doesn't expect to be told to take along his father's secretary, Rosalind Agate.  He likes Rosalind, but the fact that his father trusts her more than he trusts him upsets him more than he wants anyone to know.

Rosalind Agate is not who she claims to be--the only true thing about her is her name.  She's only working for Sir William Chandler because she needs to find paperwork for her real employer, so leaving Newmarket to travel across England with his son is the last thing she wants to do.  Until Nathaniel promises to stake a wager for her.  150 pounds.  The price of her freedom.

I should be jumping up and down over this book, but I'm not.  I don't know why.  It was written well.  Ms. Romain has an engaging voice and both her main characters are likable enough.  There's just something missing.  The only thing I can think of is that I didn't fully believe that they were truly in love.  Yes, there were feelings involved and they were both depressed at being separated, but it all happened too fast.  One minute he's buying her sugared almonds and kissing her senseless and the next they're all each other can think of--it kind of left my head spinning.

I was also disappointed in how little there was involving the horses.  This series is supposed to involve horse racing, but this was mostly background here.  The Derby was almost an afterthought (and while horse racing tends to be an afterthought for me in most cases, I wanted to see more of this here).  I was more than a little disappointed in this turn of events.

There was also a suspense plot (of a kind) involving Rosalind and the person she was actually working for throughout the narrative.  It was fairly predictable and could have been handled better.  I saw the result coming from about a mile away, and honestly only a blind person would not have seen it.

This isn't to say that there weren't aspects that I liked.  I enjoyed the banter between Rosalind and Nathaniel, although once they were on the road most of that went away.  They joked with each other in Newmarket and then in the Chandler home in London, but there wasn't much of it at any other point.

I also like that Nathaniel was a flawed hero.  He wasn't perfect and part of who he is was based around a problem that most people wouldn't have considered an issue at that time (and many people still have problems thinking of this as something real).  I liked the way this was handled.  It could have been brushed aside very easily and I was glad that it wasn't.

3 Stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2


Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:


Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…

Review of "Come Sundown" by Nora Roberts

Title: Come Sundown
Author: Nora Roberts
ISBN: 1250123070
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Price: $14.99 (e-book) $16.49 (hardcover) $23.95 (Audible)
Rating:⭐️⭐️

I read my first Nora Roberts novel when I was a 16-year-old high school junior.  I remember seeing her books in all of the drug stores long before the fateful day on which I decided to actually buy one but had never thought anything of them.  From that day on, La Nora became the gold standard--the author all others had to live up to, the one to beat.  I remember sitting at my mom's kitchen table with one of her paperbacks and a sheet of paper, marking down which of her books were available at the libraries near me.  Her backlog was (and still is) immense and I was going to read them all.  While I still haven't read all of her books, I've read a good chunk of them, many of which have a place on my virtual keeper shelf, which is why I was so deeply disappointed in Come Sundown.

From the PublisherA novel of suspense, fam…

Review of "Ace of Spades" by Sandra Owens

Title: Ace of Spades
Author: Sandra Owens
ISBN: 9781503948990
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Series: Aces & Eights #3
Price: $4.99 (e-book) $9.17 (paperback) Free (Kindle Unlimited)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was really excited for this book.  I devoured the entire K2 series a couple of years ago, but somehow I missed the first two books of the Aces and Eights series.  I'd hoped that I'd be able to jump right into this book without having read the others, and in a way I was able to do so as the main plot had nothing to do with the others.  However, I feel that had I known the characters' backgrounds a little bit more, I would have felt more of a connection to them, which would have helped me have a better reading experience.


From the Publisher:
Two FBI agents struggle with desire in the shadow of a killer, in the third installment of Aces & Eights. Nate Gentry has been a rock for his two younger brothers since the day their mom walked out and left them with their abusive father. Now that…