Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Minis: Ruthie Knox, Courtney Milan

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

I decided to give Ruthie Knox's work a whirl and picked up her contemporary romance About Last Night. I love that this romance is set in London, but the most attractive aspects of this novel are its characters and my reluctance to reduce this story to a specific trope. My one quibble is a rather rushed ending that needed just a touch to make this book the perfect contemporary romance read for me.

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

After finishing About Last Night I just had to pick up another contemporary romance by Ruthie Knox and settled down with Ride With Me. This romance involves Lexie, a female cyclist who wants to ride cross-country from Oregon to Virginia and needs a male partner to accompany her. Tom is set up to ride with an unwanted partner by his sister, and doesn't find out Lexie is a female until they are about to take off. Needless to say, their first meeting is not a good one. He's a grumpy man with a complicated past and just wants to be left alone to enjoy the road at his own pace. She is pretty much a happy-go-lucky woman with a  set path and just wants to enjoy the ride and meet people along the way.

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

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan is currently being offered free of charge and it is only 100 pages long, so why not read it? What a gorgeous little novella this one turned out to be!

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-


6 comments:

  1. Glad you're finding books to enjoy, Hils! :)

    LOL, actually, I'm not such a big fan of Ruthie Knox. I really did enjoy About Last Night tho! It was just a great romance :) Ride with Me, that one, I enjoyed a lot less. I think I gave it a C... Lexie got on my nerve.

    Sigh, I've been seeing good reviews for Courtney Milan's Governess series... but I don't know, just doesn't seem to appeal to me. So I guess I'm going to continue skipping them and just read the reviews :P

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    1. Nath, thanks for recommending About Last Night I really enjoyed it. And you didn't like Lexie from Ride with Me? I thought that was a fun read. And, I don't know about the series, but I can recommend the Milan novella. LOL. It was a great, great read for me.

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  2. OMG THE HAIRPINS! That scene was just so deliciously wonderful. One of my favorites. I read The Governess Affair when it first came out and actually recently re-read it. It wasn't quite as breathtaking the second time around, but I still really love this one.

    I had fun reading Ride With Me last year, too. I plan to read About Last Night soon myself!

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    1. Christine, the hairpins! Sigh... I will re-read this novella too. I was in the mood for it, and hope it is as good the second time around.

      I hope you enjoy About Last Night! Nev and Cath are a great pair.

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  3. Hi Hilcia...
    I haven't read Ruthie Knox but Ride With Me has a type of plot I'm really interested in...was it really enjoyable?
    ****

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    1. Hi Sonia,

      I enjoyed Ride With Me. It's a road trip on a bike and it was a fun ride. The situations that present themselves are different because of that too. I liked both characters which is important, so yeah... it was a great read for me.

      PS: I'm enjoying Ruthie Knox's contemporaries at the moment.

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