Galen, Shana. I Kise. IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2016.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1402298776 | 341 pages | Regency Romance
While I Kisseed a Rogue is not a bad book, it does suffer from not being nearly as good as the prior books in the series, especially the prior installment, The Rogue You Know. While the mystery element is one of the highlights of the book, culminating in an action-packed climax that I’ve come to expect from Shana Galen’s books, I found the reveal of who was behind Lila’s abduction seemed too predictable and cliche.
While I got off to a rough start with Brook and Lila, as they have such animosity standing between them, I do think their characters and emotions were well-written. I love that Lila looks back on some of her superficial mistakes from her past with new eyes, and has grown up. And while I’m not often a fan of the heroes that are jaded against love, Sir Brook provides a nice twist on this trope, as I truly felt he had good reasons for not believing in love or believing a future with Lila, given how she hurt him. I did find the sex a bit much in this one, especially since they are both convinced, despite their growing feelings and/or desire for one another, that they would be parting, but I feel that there is enough of them baring their souls to one another that it isn’t a case of mistaking lust for love.
I also feel like this book could have gone through another round of edits, perhaps with someone who is an expert at all the intricacies of the British titles and forms of address giving it a look as well. Because there were a ton of inconsistencies. Between Lila’s brother being referred to as both “Lord Granbury” and “Lord Danbury” and the faux pas as to how to address a knight and his wife, the latter of which kept changing, I felt perturbed. I did appreciate that there is a conversation in there about whether she would be addressed as “Lady Derring,” as befits a “Miss Lastname” who married Sir Brook, or “Lady Lila”/”Lady Lillian-Anne,” out of respect for her being the daughter of a duke. But there were also inclusions of the blatantly incorrect “Mrs. Derring,” as well as addressing her husband at times as “Sir Derring,” which made me cringe so much while reading. While I have gotten upset over incorrect forms of address, the inconsistent ones are even worse.
Galen, Shana. The Rogue You Know. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2015.
Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1402298745 | 345 pages | Regency Romance
This may be my favorite of Shana Galen’s books so far. While there is a balance of the same elements that are signature to Galen’s work, such as the meeting of the glittering ton with the darker elements of life, the characters of Susanna and Gideon are some of the most interesting I have read.
I can’t recall many romances where the heroine truly comes of age, as she is usually pretty self-sufficient already, so I found this one refreshing. Susanna’s naivete could have been annoying if executed poorly, but all of her desires and actions were consistent with her character and motivations. And in a genre that is so often focused on the love between the couple, often in defiance of the cold, disapproving parental figures who end up alienated from them by the end of the book, it was wonderful to read about Susanna’s relationship with her mother and how that evolved, with Lady Dane going from keeping her daughter a prisoner of her gilded cage to encouraging her to be happy, as well as pursue a second chance with the man she loved.
I also loved Gideon’s growth. He has shown potential to be more than a thief in both this book and the prior one, and despite his outward devil-may-care attitude, he shows he really does care for Susanna.And it was refreshing, after reading a number of Galen’s books where the power dynamic was largely skewed in the favor of the heroes to see a hero who had a life without a lot of advantages, and how he managed to turn it around, even when I thought it might be impossible.
Galen, Shana. Earls Just Want to Have Fun. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2015.
Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-9871-4 | 376 pages | Regency Romance
Shana Galen is another new-to-me author, and I can’t believe it took me this long to pick up one of her books. This book is charming and funny, even if the plot is a bit improbable in places. There’s also a wonderful cast of characters that I’m excited to read more about.
Marlowe is a great heroine, and I like how we see how strong she is physically, but also that the things she has seen throughout her life has led her to have a vulnerable side as well. She is so reluctant to trust that there are aristocrats who can care for, and even love, her, and others like her, because of the way most of them ignore the poor. And it is great to see Dane grow as a character through her as well, going from someone with more an indifferent concern for the poor at most to a more personal investment in making the lives of Marlowe and her friends better. While this is not a wholly original concept, Galen makes it her own through the execution of the story.
The supporting characters are also wonderful, and this is one of those series where I truly cannot wait to pick up the next couple books to see how things turn out for them, especially Gideon. He has his own issues with aristocrats to work out, and I am definitely intrigued, based on what I know of his story, as to where he ends up.