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

Throwback Review: The Dream Trilogy by Nora Roberts

There are some books that stick with you no matter how long it has been since you first read them.  For me, the Dream Trilogy has always been in the back of my head.  I probably read them a good 15 years ago and the last time was a good 10 years back.  As a matter of fact, that trilogy was part of the first round of books I purchased when I got my first kindle for my 24th birthday (I never actually read it after buying the digital version; I guess I just needed to know that I could read them if I wanted.


The first book of the trilogy, Daring to Dream, was released in 1996 when I was just 10 years old and more concerned with passing math (I did, but not without many a night of struggling to remember what the E in PEMDAS meant) than I was with the goings on of fictional characters inside the pages of a book.  In fact, if I read at all during that time period it was to get a free pan pizza through Pizza Hut and the Book It! program.  I've mentioned this a few times before, but I act…

Review of "Bay of Sighs" by Nora Roberts

A couple of months ago, I volunteered to read Stars of Fortune, the first book in Nora Roberts's Guardian Trilogy for the Smart Bitches RITA Reader Challenge because ParaNoras are my crack.  If they were illegal, I'd be serving a life sentence for possession/intent to sell a controlled substance.  Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of book 1, but I'd already requested Bay of Sighs, so I felt the need to read it too.  Plus, I liked the idea of a mermaid heroine -- one whose name was not Ariel.  I really wish I resisted reading this.  It was awful.  It took everything I hated about SoF and magnified it to the level that I wasn't able to finish it.

Annika is a mermaid, sent to "the shore up above" to stop an evil goddess from getting the Stars of Fortune.  Together with the five other guardians, she must search for the stars and protect them.  Afterwards, she must return to the sea, which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't for Sawyer King...

Sawyer has be…

Review of "Sleepless in Manhattan" by Sarah Morgan

I bought this book with the intention of reading it on a plane from San Francisco to New York City last weekend.  Of course I read about 30% before even stepping foot onto the plane and once I was actually on it, I read maybe 5%, listening to the most recent Smart Bitches podcast and watching a few episodes of Charmed on Netflix because I had an awful night sleep the evening prior and was too tired to read.  I finally sat down to read it Sunday and Monday night.

Paige Walker has lived a sheltered life, brought low by a heart condition that had her in and out of the hospital until her late teens, but now in her late 20's she's finally healthy and happy.  She loves her life in Manhattan.  She'd felt stifled in her hometown of Puffin Island and as soon as she was able she moved to New York with her best friends, Eva and Frankie, as well as her older brother, Matt.  On the verge of a promotion at work, she figures she's got it all, but then the rug is pulled out from unde…

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of "Lord of Chance" by Erica Ridley

Title: Lord of Chance Author: Erica Ridley ISBN: 1943794049 Publisher: Webmotion Series: Rogues to Riches #1 Price: $7.99 (paperback) $3.99 (e-book) $9.97 (Audible Audio)
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 





I was recently given the opportunity to take part in a Blog Tour for the newest Erica Ridley novel, Lord of Chance, and as I've liked her books in the past, I decided to do it.  The publisher quickly provided me with  a whole folder full of goodies, so without further ado:
The Excerpt
'Charlotte harrumphed to hide her amusement. “How are you at pressing wrinkles from gowns?” “Let me assure you,” Mr. Fairfax informed her with utter seriousness, “that I have never worn a wrinkled gown in all my life.” “Very gentlemanly.” She tried not to smile. “Let’s see your skill as maid-of-all-work, then. My gowns are in the wardrobe, as is my traveling iron. See what you can do.” “At your service.” He bowed, then turned and marched to the wardrobe like a soldier off to war. Now that he couldn’t see her, she let her…

Review of "Magnate" by Joanna Shupe

The first thing that intrigued me about Joanna Shupe's Knickerbocker Series (other than the fact that Knickerbocker is the full name of the New York basketball team) was that it took place in Gilded Age New York.  I remember reading about that time period in both my high school and college American History classes and through the 21st century liberal gaze, I saw that period as rivaling our current economic situation (which is true in some respects and utterly false in others).  This alone was reason enough for me to check out this series, but seeing as the hero of Magnate is one of those figments of the GOP's collective imagination -- the self-made man, who struggled out of the slums of Five Points and made his way into the boardrooms and ballrooms of Manhattan (of course, this description is the true difference between the late 19th Century and today, the fact that a boy from the slums actually can become a millionaire) -- my finger deftly pressed the "Buy with One Clic…