Thursday, September 16, 2010

Book review: In For a Penny by Rose Lerner

Now why haven't any one ever told me that historical romance novels can be good? I tend to judge a book by the cover and quite often a romance novel has a cover with a lady in a lovely dress(barly hanging on her body) and a half naked man, that just doesn't appeal to me. Luckily for me In For a Penny didn't have that kind of cover or else I might have missed out on an excellent debut novel.

A summary of sorts:
Nev is the oldest child of Lord Bedlow, he has never know how to live without money and spends his time having fun; drinking and gambling, with his friends and mistress. One day Nev's world is turned upside down, his father has been murdered in a duell and has left his family in great debt. Nev has to figure out how to best provide for his sister and his mother, it is out of the question to marry his young sister off to some old, rich man. Nev can only find one solution to his problem, he has to marry a heiress to save his family from bankruptcy.

My thoughts:
I haven't read many historical regency romances in my life(read: none), I haven't really though romance novels was my kind of thing, but I read some excellent reviews of this book and I decided to buy it.

I wasn't sure if I would like the main character Nev while I was reading the first pages in In for a Penny, but I ended up falling in love with both him and his wife Penelope.

Nev was such a wonderful and honest hero, he didn't hide his reasons for proposing to Penelope so there was never any doubt for the reason behind the proposal. I'm sure this book could have had a lot more drama if author Rose Lerner hadn't created such an main character. Some characters tend to annoy me if the spin themselves into an intricate web of lies and I'm annoyed to the point where I'm tearing my hair out wondering why the heck the person just didn't tell the truth.

Poor Penelope was such a kind and insecure girl who her entire life had tried to behave like something she wasn't(a lady). Penelope's parents were born poor but her father worked his way up and became a very rich merchant. Being rich didn't necessarily meant being respected, people who were born into a life of wealth looked down at the self-made-man and his family, even if they were rich they were trash.

I only have one minor issue with the story and that was a little secret that as far as I can remember never was reveled to one of the parts involved. It just annoyed me a tiny bit but just a tiny tiny bit.

Rose Lerner has good knowledge about the period of time she is writing about, 1819, and I learned plenty of new things; like the Blood or bread riot in 1816 and the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester in 1819.

I will most definitely be on the look out for Rose Lerner's next novel(by the look of it it is to be expected in January 2011) because In for a Penny was a great debut novel.

The cover:
Not a huge fan of the cover, I would have liked it if the picture was on the entire cover or I think it would have been great if the old building Nev's grandfather built was on the front cover. The cover wouldn't have intrigued me enough to buy the book so I'm glad I read two fab reviews(see links further down the page) that made me want to pick it up.

My rating of this book:
5 stars out of 5.

Want to know more?
Visit Rose Lerner's homepage

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Full disclosure: Purchased

I purchased this book after reading two lovely reviews; one written by Ana over at The Book Smugglers and the second one was written by Mandi over at Smexy Books.