Vexed by a Viscount, from Erin Knightley (All’s Fair in Love #4)

Hello! Today I’m going to review my last book read in August, Vexed by a Viscount, from Erin Knightley. I received this book through NetGalley and it was a delicious reading: light, funny, romantic and short. All I needed after several too complex books, haha! ❤

from my Instagram <3
from my Instagram

The story

Prudence is a girl that always has blindly obeyed her parents, not used to break the rules and social conventions of 19th century England. However, when she finds herself betrothed to an old squire, Prudence decides that being a little rebel won’t harm anyone and will ensure her some good memories for the rest of her marriage time. That’s how Prudence’s list was created, full of things to do on a two weeks’ time, before she marries.

The first item on the list is to swim naked on a lake in bright sunlight and all was well during this particular task – the lake was located on her neighbors’ propriety, but as they were travelling, she was safe to swim without being caught by someone expected. Viscount Ashby, her neighbor’s son and acquaintance, definitely wasn’t someone expected.

William, Viscount Ashby, can’t believe his eyes when he finds shy and proper Miss Prudence Landon swimming naked on his parents’ lake and soon finds out about her secret list. For some reason, Will wants to help Prudence, as he couldn’t imagine her marrying the squire. He couldn’t even imagine himself married to his own betrothed – an arrangement made by his and the girl’s parents at birth.

Between escapades and lots of fun, both Prudence and William need to make a very important decision: will they have the best two weeks of their lives and get over it or will they find the courage to fight for their freedom to be truly happy?

The analysis

Just wanted to remind that those are my impressions and opinion while reading the book 🙂
I loved this romance! It’s amusing and simple, proving that a book doesn’t need to be complex, big or even pornographic to be wonderful. I admit that I am partial to historical romances, specially England/London set ones, and that they have to exceed themselves for me to not like them, but I regret nothing, haha! This book was a 5 stars for me, even without any brilliances or anything unusual. It’s the kind of book that I love reading and served me right 🙂

The book is short, you can read it on one sitting (and that was basically what I did, haha!). The narrative is simple and fast, but without compromising the characters consciousness’, their thoughts and insecurities. The book is narrated in third person and, for the most part, we follow Prudence around, but William also has his own moments. This is nice because it leaves no holes on the plot, something that really bothers me. A+ for Knightley here!

I really enjoyed all characters, even without being able to connect with Prudence – I always was a very decided and independent person. It was easier to see me grounded because I rebelled than because I was disrespectful or something worse, haha! I never understood people that just follow orders that can change their lives without even hesitating, without thinking about it. I’m not criticizing anyone, as I do believe that each person has their way and their own reasons to do what they do, but that’s not my style, nor now, nor ever 🙂 Of course that we also have to think of the historical aspect of Prudence’s personality and that’s why I think Prudence is more than an heroin: she’s a symbol. She was always good and dutiful without not a single sign of recognition from her parents. Never allowed her true self to surface her mask of tranquility. This is the story of thousands of occidental girls in the 19th century, not only from England. They went from their parents’ hands to their husbands’ without ever being asked what they really wanted and spent the rest of their lives living lies, suffering in silence. Prudence made me reflect a lot about occidental society’s evolution and how much it’s still missing to be okay. For example, one of the items in Prudence’s list is to eat a very large piece of cake because her mother never allowed her to do so. It’s such a modern situation: how many girls don’t feel guilty for eating every day? It’s something to think about. The ghost of the “good” shape already haunts occidental women since the end of the Dark Age. Isn’t this enough already? Aren’t people tired of trying to fit all women in a same size/shape/look? I’m not here to indoctrinate people into seeing how each woman is beautiful as she is, but it’s something that I truly believe in 🙂

Sorry for the mega reflection, haha! Thanks, Erin Knightley, for making me reflect about this. Let’s go back to the characters, haha! I already talked ~ a lot ~ about Prudence, so let’s go to William: one more bookish boyfriend for me! (I do really need to start an official list just for fun, haha!) He was a sweeting and a little goofy – so realistic, haha! By the way, reality and verisimilitude were a very strong point on Knightley’s book, especially on characters. Nobody was forced or too out of the world, haha! Even the squire was very believable.

The plot was simple and well-constructed, without holes. We know what happened to all characters in the end and the reader doesn’t get lost in any moment. As I said, it wasn’t anything brilliant, but I loved it. For me, this book is one of those novel of manners, that show the routine of the time pictured.

Overall, I did miss some description on some parts, like in Prudence’s house and on the lake, but it wasn’t anything that could compromise the book. I also had a great time imagining Prudence’s closet, haha! Besides, I’m curious about the apparent sex “habits” of the squire… We get something here and there on the book and thank god that Prudence didn’t find out, but I got curious to see how bad it was, haha! I really enjoyed this book, I was missing a good historical romance on my life ❤

Bonus point: this cover ❤ I loved it so much! So beautiful, so true! I love this green dress *–*

That’s it! Thanks for reading my review and thanks to Night Shift Publishing for approving me on NetGalley! And, of course, thank you Erin Knightley and congratulations on the awesome book!


The Need, from S. L. Hannah

Hello, guys! In July, I received from dear S. L. Hannah her new release, The Need, in exchange for an honest review. Thanks again, Hannah! ❤

from my Instagram :)
from my Instagram 🙂

The Need is the story of Angie, a very insecure girl that has a fight with her boyfriend and is left alone to wait for him in a club. After more than an hour waiting for him and observing a beautiful woman on the dance floor, Angie engages in conversation with the object of her attention. Heather seems a strong and wild woman and Angie finds herself accepting to go to her house, tired of waiting for Eric.

After a good and passionate night, things start to go very wrong with Heather when Angie tries to go home and finds herself drugged and tied up to Heather’s bed. A new deal is on the table: Angie must stay a week in Heather’s hands and then, if she still desires to go home, Angie was free to go.

However, a week in the hands of the most amazing and terrifying woman that Angie has ever met is a journey to self-discovery – will Angie be able to walk away without a broken heart?

Now, the best part: analysis! Just remembering that this is just my opinion and impressions of the book 🙂

I was very excited to read this book, as I’m a big fan of LGBT romances and the fact that this was a thriller romance only spiced things up (also, the cover is breathtaking <3). The book was a good passing time, but I expected more. At Goodreads, I rated it 3 out of 5 stars because I had some issues with Angie – the narrator character – and I got so excited and happy with the end’s twist just to be disappointed by the end itself :/

I commented before here on the blog that I tend to have problems with first person narratives because I get too angry at the narrator’s actions and can’t take a break from their thoughts, besides the basic problem that no one never knows everything that is happening or will happen with everyone – which leads to inevitable holes on the story.

The narrative had a good pace – the book is a fast read, easily finished in one sitting (it took me more time because I buddread it with some Instagram friends <3). Angie is very accurate on details, sometimes a little too much, as she lives a true horror story in the hands of Heather, haha! You can feel her horror, her force and her excitement through the pages; you connect with her and wants to help her. And because I wanted her to see reason is that I got angry. Angie edges between a Stockholm Syndrome and the acceptable since the moment that Heather locks her up and it tired me a little. It all happened too fast to justify it, you know?

The plot is freaking awesome. The idea was very original and Hannah executed it very well, leaving the reader in the edge of tension, not knowing until when Angie will survive or if Heather will push her to the point of no return. You keep asking yourself in Angie will leave the apartment in one piece, literally! I admit that, in this aspect, the first character narration worked perfectly, as it intensified the reader’s feelings as well as Angie’s. We feel what she feels: you get confused, agonizing, scared, everything. And, at the same time, there’s all Heather’s complexity, her contradictions, her humanity – this last one is defied until the very last moment, haha! But I can’t with the end of the book. No spoilers, easy now, but I really found the way things turn up very inconsistent. The story was too fast for the characters relationship to grow as it did, in the way it did, you know? Even being an insane and crazy experience, in the sense that normality just pushed itself from the window, the end was too much for me… :/

Moreover, we never find out what happened with Heather’s company, with Eric, with Angie’s parents and, to be very honest, I’m not even sure of what happened with Angie and Heather. Maybe that’s me, I do have a closure problem, haha!

Now, let’s talk about characters. Hannah has such rich describing powers, it’s amazing. She builds each person of the book for her reader and we can feel the reality of it all – from abilities to insecurities, from looks to small habits (like Heather’s one, to chew her nail when she got unsure about something). For the first time in a really long time, I felt during the whole book that I was dealing with real people all the time. Even with all the mental sickness of everything that happened in Heather’s apartment, I felt the human essence of each character, in kindness and evilness. You can understand even uncle Johnny and Rachel’s need of being there. All the time, each character needs something, is moved by a stronger force of desperate desire that can’t be full filled – even Angie herself and Eric, the worst boyfriend ever, haha! Hannah plays with her reader from beginning to end, trying to break them as Heather tries to break Angie. What’s real? We don’t know and so doesn’t Angie.

However, the book key is the breaking. In the story, Heather uses a metaphor about the butterfly that leaves its cocoon. The break of the cocoon is the real start of the butterfly’s life and it applies to all characters. While they are at their comfort zone, they are not really living. They are not getting any satisfaction, just like The Rolling Stones, they can’t be truly happy. This was ingenious.

Another strong aspect of The Need is the sex scenes. I admit that I kept questioning myself how on earth could Angie feel any pleasure some acts, but it’s because of personal beliefs and views – I have a strong feminist trace in my personality, haha! In quality, form and intensity matters, the scenes were unique and perfection.

Overall, the book was good and got my attention in a high level, but my personal problems with Angie and with the book’s end were too high for a totally fair rating and I’m sorry for that – this is the shit of having strong opinions, haha! Still not giving any spoilers, but I would like to leave a reflection here. If Hannah’s intention is to make Angie grown into a real woman, capable of fending for herself and sure of her desires, why does Angie have to choose between Heather and Eric? There are 7 billion of people in the world. She is not trapped with only two people and gained the capacity of seeing what’s good and what’s bad for her after this insane week.

That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading this review and thanks again to S. L. Hannah for sending me this, it was a very interesting book! The Need will be officially out on August 25th (really soon!), don’t forget to check it out on Amazon 🙂

What do you think of psychological thrillers?