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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

St. Martin's Press Blog Tour: Ready Set Rogue by Manda Collins (review)

Hi everyone! So, who is a fan of Manda Collins? I've only read about two or three books from her, I need to fix that. I had a good time with Ready Set Rogue even if there were a few things I had a problem with.

About Manda:

Manda Collins is the author of The Lords of Anarchy series, which includes Good Earl Gone Bad and A Good Rake is Hard to Find, as well as several other Regency-set romances.

She spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside.

Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books.

When she’s not writing, she’s helping other people use books, as an academic librarian.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: January 3, 2017

When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another...

Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?

What’s it About? Ivy Wareham is one of four ladies to inherit Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate, complete with an amazing library (So jealous) and Ivy can’t get there fast enough. However, the late Lady Beauchamp’s nephew Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr isn’t thrilled that four bluestockings are inheriting his aunt’s house and the circumstances surrounding Lady Beauchamp’s death are suspicious. Quill needs Ivy’s help solving the mystery but he doesn’t expect to become so attracted to her or to have to work so hard to convince Ivy that he’s not playing games with her.

Describe the hero in five words: Charming. Persistent. Funny. Snarky. Loyal.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? So, for a man of his time Quill is actually pretty modern with the way he treats Ivy once he realizes how bright she is. I loved his charm, intelligence, and his humor but I did feel like I didn’t really get to know Quill like I should have. The little bit I found out about him was likable though. What kind of boggled my mind is that Quill is most definitely NOT a rogue. He’s educated, polite, and doesn’t have any skeletons in his closet that would make him a questionable character. All in all he is genuinely a nice guy. So the title is a little misleading.

Describe the heroine in five words: Intelligent. Brave. Independent. Sassy. Loyal.
Did you like her? Yes.
Why? Oddly enough I felt like Ivy was the lead in Ready Set Rogue. She was the smart one and had a way of searching out clues that pushed the mystery aspect forward. She was an expert in translations and ancient Greek and I do love a historical romance heroine who can excel in areas that were considered masculine pursuits. Again though, I didn’t feel like I had a real chance to get to know her and fully connect with her. I did like what I knew though.

How convincing were the main characters as a couple? This is where the book struggled for me. Quill and Ivy had a pretty entertaining first meeting that I enjoyed BUT after that I felt like the romance suffered in favor of the mystery of Lady Beauchamp’s death. There’s insta-lust going on which I don’t mind but the love seemed to appear out of nowhere and after only a very short time. No explanation, no progress. It was all resolved off the pages. What was shown was how good Quill and Ivy were as a sleuthing team and even as friends. I liked that part of their relationship but I expected more in the way of romance and passion.

Is there a “Scooby Gang” worth mentioning? Ivy was just one of four women who inherited Lady Beauchamp’s estate and each one is rather unique. I have high hopes for all of them but Daphne in particular caught my interest with her very “out there” personality. There’s also Serena, Quill’s cousin who acted as a sort of chaperone for the four women. Each one of them has such potential to be great heroines.

How “Lost” did you get in the story? I struggled a bit with the timeline of events which to me was a bit unbelievable. It was a short amount of time for what was essentially a murder mystery with a dash of romance in it. I think if the timeline had been stretched out over about a month at least then I could have found the romance and the mystery more believable. The pace was fine though, I was able to follow along with no problem and I can honestly say that Ready Set Rogue was a fun if predictable read. I liked the idea of four vastly different women being put together in a setting that could showcase their individual talents. But as far as categorizing this as a historical romance? That’s a bit of a stretch. It’s definitely more of a murder mystery with some romantic elements in it.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. It’s a cute read with a solid mystery plot with likable characters and some fun dialogue.

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