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June 2013

A Woman Entangled by Cecelia Grant

When I read historical romance novels I tend to look for books with witty writing, where the action sometimes borders on farce, the best of which deliver emotional wallops in between the laughs. I blame Jane Austen. I do tend to shy away from angsty books, books that sell themselves on heartbreak.


Cecilia Grant writes books that make me feel and care, neither angst-fest or farces.  Her latest novel A Woman Entangled is the story of Nick Blackshear, brother to Will of  A Gentleman Undone and Martha of A Lady Awakened.  Nick, a skilled Barrister toiling away at the Inns of the Court is trying to live down his brother's scandalous marriage to a former courtesan.  He enjoys a delicate friendship with the beautiful Miss Kate Westbrook, daughter of his former mentor, who he once tried to romance.  Miss Westbrook feels strongly the effects of her own parents scandalous marriage, and despite her loving home, she longs for a reconciliations with her tonish Westbrook relations and hopes that her beauty may secure her an advantageous marriage that might lift the fortunes of her siblings.  After years of careful cultivation they both are rewarded with possibly life changing opportunities that draw them together outside their normal sphere.  Nick is offered the opportunity to tutor a new Baron, an opportunity that might finally allow him to embark in the political life he had sought, and the same time Kate is finally able to secure invitations to the ton balls and soirĂ©es that might allow her to attract a peer's attention. Their encounters in these different social test their friendship and make them question not only their desires but with their own identity and ambitions.  There is no insta-love, or magical healing vaginas in this story instead closeness and intimacy.  This is not a fluffy confection, but rather delicate exploration the complicated ties of friendship & family that define us.



I received a copy of A Woman Entangled from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes

Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

Carrie has stopped taking chances, or looking for more, "a woman of a certain age" she has friends who love her, and a job she loves, but she feels a loneliness and a lack in her life. One night reading the free MetroLink singles ads amusing herself with the blunt, bold and naked language of need she finds herself captivated by one asking "for kissing only". Fascinated by his profile photo, a candid portrait that reveals both vulnerability and self-containment Carrie starts an IM conversation in the wee hours of the morning with the funny, witty but reticent "GearTattoo" and after he explains his ground rules. she surprises herself by agreeing to meet him. Their first meeting both excites and confuses Carrie and while she can't stop thinking about him, she questions the wisdom of meeting him again but her friend's Justin's unexpected advice to indulge herself because he might turn out to be "a story guy" and "Story guys are life highlighters. Your life is all these big blocks of gray text and then a story guy comes in a big ol' paragraph of neon pink so that when you flip back through your life, you can stop and remember all the important and interesting places." challenges her to go back to the park again.

Carrie and Brian's complex connection takes them both places they didn't expect and is at times heartbreaking and exhilarating. This is a debut novella and I am looking forward to reading a lot more from Mary Ann Rivers in the future.

Book provided by the Publisher via Netgalley for review purposes.

Originally Published on Goodreads