Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unladylike pursuits – A perfect title

     Title: Unladylike Pursuits
     Author: Alyssa Goodnight
     Genre: Romance, Historical fiction, Historical romance
     Pages: 373 (plus epilogue)
     My Average: 27 pages a day

A Perfect Title
Emily Sinclair is a free spirit in an era where free-spirited women are pushed into an image of the perfect wife. If they are unable to conform they tend to become spinsters, which is exactly what Emily desires. A little after her twenty-fifth birthday, when hope of a new life as a spinster is budding, Emily’s father and step-mother crush her flowering dreams. She is given an ultimatum, marry her step-mother’s nephew, detestable Desmond, or find a more suitable man in less than a month’s time. With a fiery determined passion, Emily sets out to find someone, anyone other than Desmond, and finds herself deep in an adventure of a lifetime.

What I liked:

There wasn’t much that I disliked about this book. It was an easy read, much easier than a book written closer to the era that it represented. Immediately, I had the feel of Pride & Prejudice (which is a guilty pleasure of mine) mixed with something new and unique.

I enjoyed the story of a free-spirited woman from the Regency period; it’s a nice change to read about someone who is not interested in her appearances as much as a fun adventure. Almost immediately I was drawn into the story, and as you can see (from my average above) I devoured this novel.

The main character was perfectly portrayed, the only hiccups I had was that I felt that she was a little too perfect. Her only flaw it seemed was the fact that she really didn’t want to get married, she was comfortable as a spinster and continued to insist staying that way by her behavior. The Hero of this novel may not be your knight in white armor, but he could defiantly be characteristic as a knight. He swoops in and, even though he may not appear chivalrous at first, manages to help save the day. Lastly, the villain in this novel, is portrayed as a perfectly slimy, vile creature you would never wish your worst enemy to stumble upon. Again, he was lacking a little in some departments. I wished for something to like about him. The author made the villain completely unlikable in every way. The reader should have felt pity or something for this character, something to tear their heart in different directions.

What I didn’t like:

There was one BIG part of this book –which I will not go into detail, because I don’t want to ruin the novel  – that I did not like. I kept going back to the scene and scratching my head, thinking ‘no, she didn’t just… holy cow! She did.’ I understand that this novel is titled –so perfectly I might add– Unladylike pursuits, but the one scene seemed over the top and in the wrong time. In the era that this book was written, I don’t care how unladylike the character is, what she does (near the end) is cause for banishment, and her male counterpart should not have encouraged it, especially with his upbringing. (There I have cryptically said what I have been dying to say… if you would like to know what I am ranting about here, drop me a line and ill let you in.)

The first few pages were a little slow for my taste. I prefer a novel that starts off in the middle of a chaotic scene that starts the journey the main character is about to begin. In this novel, the premises behind the main characters journey doesn’t arise until a few pages into the book. I felt that some of the fat in the beginning could have been trimmed to quicken the reader’s interest.

The cover art, though fitting for the time-period, has nothing to do with the novel. I would have rather seen a woman riding a horse unladylike with a gun in her hand than a nice cup of tea, a rose, a book and a piece of paper. The only part of the cover that made since was the tea, which the main character seemed to have a lot of.
One last thing about the cover, which wasn't the author's fault, was the plastic lining on the cover immediatly crinkled and seperated from the cardboard material. It was a little anoying.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a historical romance, or a romance with a free-spirited main character who gets herself into trouble, but manages not only save the day, and the man, but her heart as well.
Rating: B

About the author
Alyssa Goodnight

Alyssa Goodnight is an engineer with the heart of a writer. I find it interesting that she loves to read and write, I can't say I have meet too many similar engineers. she is also determined, she self-published her first novel... this one, and continued working on her next masterpiece.

Goodnight currently lives between Houston and Galveston with her husband, two sons, and their adventure dog, Indiana Jones. An interesting person, and defiantly a Texas, she does her writing with an ice-cold can of Dr. Pepper. Interesting enough, she is dreaming of the day when she finds herself conscripted into a flash mob dance... good luck, haven't seen any in Houston as of late.

she loves haikus, Anthropologie, live oaks, Hitchcock films, soda fountains, summer fruit, aqua, tea cups, chips & salsa, pretty, sparkly things, rooftop gardens, fairy lights, little splurges, books, quilts, journals, juicy color,

and more food... (had to stop it, I was getting hungry)

Interesting enough, I happened upon Goodnight's novel after telling my family that I was planning on writing a book. My dad apparently knew someone who's daughter had written a novel... and so it began.

Stay tuned for the next book:
Kimberly Derting
The Pledge
YA, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Supernatural

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