Lately, I've read a few enjoyable books. These fall under the short format category ranging from a 100 page novella to a 230 page book. I chose to read works by Ruthie Knox and Courtney Milan. Ruthie Knox is an author that fellow blogger Nath has been recommending to me for a long while, and by now everyone has heard praises about Courtney Milan's writing and works, right? Well, here are my quick impressions.
About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
Nev, or City as Cath call him, is an excellent example of a male beta character. He is giving and loving without coming off as a pushover. Nev is in control when need be, but gives Cath the space she needs to work out personal insecurities. Does he push? Yes, but Cath needs a little push in order to see herself for the woman she has become despite the multitude of challenges she has faced in her life. This is not a one way relationship though... Cath helps Nev come to terms with what holds him back from achieving true happiness.
Initially, there doesn't seem to be much depth to Cath as a character except that she's trying to be a 'good girl' after having been a 'bad girl' in the past. However as the romance moves along, there are layers and layers to this woman. I really love how Knox uses humor, personal angst, sensuality, and passion to reveal this character. Cath doesn't come off as a brooding, broken, or depressing character.
The tattooed American girl from Chicago and the wealthy buttoned-up Brit may seem like they don't fit, but in the end they are perfect for each other. About Last Night by Ruthie Knox is a lovely and a passionate romance with a great balance between humor and heavy conflict, a rather imperfect and unique heroine, and a gorgeous beta hero whose passion and love win the day. Grade: A-
Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox
Lexie and Tom's road trip romance was fun, hot and really enjoyable. I love the growing sexual tension that builds between these two, the fun, fun moments on the road, as well as reading how Tom's grumpy personality slowly melts and changes into that of a man that Lexie considers a viable partner. Lexie's own change from an uptight woman to one who enjoys the moment is also a wonderful experience. In this romance, I love the fights between Lexie and Tom just as much as the hot and passionate love-making. Another lovely contemporary romance by Ruthie Knox. Grade: B+
The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan
Serena Barton is a governess who lost her position when she was compromised by the Duke of Clermont when he visited her employer's home. She decides to seek compensation from the sleazy Duke even if she has to sit in front of his London residence until everyone who matters notices. Hugo Marshall, also known as the Wolf of Clermont, is the Duke's man of business. An ex-pugilist, Hugo is also known for his ruthlessness in dealing with those who dare cross the Duke. What happens when the ruthless Hugo and the determined Serena meet? There lies the conflict and the romance.
Oh Hugo! I fell a little in love with this ruthless man who turns into a passionate bit of mush after he meets Serena. He's an 'ordinary' man with ambitions and a keen mind, but what a soft touch! And Serena is damaged, but she's a stubborn, determined woman who refuses to stand down. Hugo's soft touch combined with his honesty wins her over, just as Serena's backbone and admirable stand win him. I loved them both. Milan gives both Hugo and Serena backstories -- a lovely surprise in this quick 100-page romance. This is a short historical romance that I will probably re-read in the future.
Favorite Moments: The sexy hairpin exchange bedroom scene, and the letters and notes exchanged between Hugo and Serena. Grade: A-