Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin (The Debutante Files #1)" by Sophie Jordan

For my historical romance needs these days, I mainly acquire them during free ebook 'hunts' on Amazon. I used to be very willing to part with my money for a book I thought I'd love, but most of them, sadly, I ended up hating (I'm very picky about romance). There are very few authors I trust to write something I'll at least like: Courtney Milan, Maggie Fenton (whose historical romance debut made me grin), Julia Quinn, and Julie Garwood, but Sophie Jordan has just made 'the list' with A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin.

I read this book in one night. Admittedly, it was an unquiet night due to me noticing a mouse creeping around on my carpet, but even that loathsome issue couldn't detract my attention from this book. It's very easy to put off reading the ending of most historical romances until the next day, but with A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin, I simply couldn't wait that long to find out what might happen with the characters.

The Plot: (As Seen on Goodreads)
'The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .
'Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.
'. . . is about to become the only one he wants.
'But Rosalie isn't about to go along with Declan's plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.
'In a shadowed alcove, Declan can't resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.'

Although this is one of those stepbrother/stepsister romances, I wasn't bothered by it. Maybe if I had stepbrothers, it might bother me, but Declan and Rosalie were separated for much of their growing up by a mysterious falling out between Declan and his father, that later becomes a central part of some of the odd moments in this book.

Rosalie, who starts this book a penniless young woman in search of her mother, grows a much-needed spine over the course of the book, with help from her new friend Aurelia. Aurelia is to be portrayed in the next book, but I must say she's one of my new favorite heroines already- and I haven't even read her book. Rosalie tries her best to make her own way, even when things seem insurmountable, but with Aurelia at her side, she (almost) has a fairy godmother.

My favorite part of the book? There was a fat tabby named Lady Snuggles. Best cat name EVER! (Yes, I realize that my favorite part of this book is only a side character/pet. But if you name your side character/cat Lady Snuggles, you must have a sense of humor/be an incredibly talented author.)

A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin is as fun as the title suggests, but also has darker aspects near the end that are seldom addressed in light historical romps. The romance parts were dramatic, but never got too out of hand, and Declan and Rosalie had wonderful chemistry, even when they were themselves. I recommend A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin to the reader who has a sense of humor, but also likes a good Gothic storyline that may have more than a tad of angst.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars for a freebie historical romance that took me by surprise!

Content: Ages 18+ for sex scenes, violence, and mentions of past abuse.

Page Count: 384 pages

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