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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Guest Review - - No Place for a Dame

No Place for a Dame
By Connie Brockway
Publisher:  Montlake Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2013





The thing I adore about a Connie Brockway book is the guaranteed surprise I’m sure to find in every single one of them.   Whether it’s a twist of phrase, a word choice, a quirky character, or an unusual plot development, Brockway never fails to give me this gift.

What’s more, she draws her readers in with a particularly polished skill I like to call “the vulnerability of character” lure—a vulnerability that is so relatable, so fragile, yet both tragic and humorous, I can’t get out of her books until I’ve scarfed the pages down in one sitting.  

No Place for a Dame is no exception.

Avery Quinn, beautiful and brilliant but of no standing in society, has a deal to propose to her late guardian’s handsome heir, Giles, Lord Strand:  she will save him from a disastrous marriage if he promises to present her to the Royal Astronomical Society.

And he must present her dressed as a boy since the Astronomical Society only includes male members. 

And, actually, she proposes this deal after she saves Giles from said disastrous engagement.   Hopefully he’ll accept (and hopefully he didn’t want to marry his pea-brained fiancée in the first place).

Giles has always had a thing for redheads so when his late father’s beautiful crimson-haired ward tells him of her ridiculous scheme he has trouble refusing her.   But then again, he’s always had trouble refusing her.   And, perhaps, it was Avery who first introduced him to his penchant for redheads.   Meanwhile, he’ll strive to ignore her while he looks for a missing colleague.   And how hard will ignoring her be?  She’ll be dressed as a man and he has more important things to attend to. 

With biting repartee and moments that had me both cackling and sighing, Brockway has paid worthy homage to a favorite character first introduced some 15 years ago in her beloved novel, All Through the Night.      

And if my review hasn’t convinced you to buy No Place for a Dame

immediately, perhaps these two paragraphs will—found within the first 15 pages, no less: 

            The morning sun had burnished his golden head as he rode up the lane, lithe and graceful, his face alive with the pleasure of homecoming, his gaze traveling with pride over Killylea’s ancient façade.  He must have felt her gaze for he’d looked up and spotted her.   She’d frozen, red-faced at having been caught spying, and scowled down at him because she hated feeling awkward.  Then he’d compounded the injury by winking at her.  Winking.

                  It had been Avery’s first experience with masculine charm and it proved a disconcerting one.  She could not explain it—it was ineluctable, mysterious, and confusing—and even at such a tender age she had distrusted anything she could not explain.  It also irritated her.  He wore the unassailable certainty of his own consequence with as little self-consciousness as another man wears shoes and used his magnetism as easily as another breathed, and she’d despised herself for falling prey to it after just one wink just like everyone else, because she was not like everyone else.


            As I said.   “The vulnerability of character” lure!  

~J. Perry Stone


26 comments:

  1. Thanks for the terrific review, Julianne! I was lucky enough to get an ARC from Connie last month and I have to agree with you completely: I could not put it down and finished it in one session and loved every minute of the book. Connie Brockway fans have been waiting a long time for Giles' story and it was well worth every second of the wait! Do yourselves all a favor and get "No Place for a Dame" for yourself ASAP. Give a few as Christmas gifts as well; your friends will love you for it!

    Thanks again JPS and PJ!

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    1. I can't agree with you more, fsbuchler (my friend). Brockway writes it so you cannot close the book!

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  2. PS. I can't wait to go back and read it all over again just to see if I left any of the trademark Brockway Gems undiscovered!

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    1. I've dogeared so many of the pages, it's an embarrassment of riches.

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  3. I like intelligent heroines. Marriage of convenience and impersonating a man... sounds intriguing!.

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    1. Every character is intelligent, Laurie. I think, because, the author is so much so. :)

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  4. This is what I call an Amen review, J. :) I've been raving about this book at every opportunity. I loved it! It was definitely worth the wait. And how wonderful that Brockway has given us a new novella as a bonus!

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    1. Agreed, my friend. She's amazing, and at her best!

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  5. Sounds like a great novel! I’m interested to read about the Astronomical Society and how Avery interacts with its members. Thanks for your great review.

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    1. You will NOT be disappointed, Connie. I guarantee it.

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  6. J, you make me even more excited to read this book than I already was. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I can finally lend it to you, PJ. But I gotta have it back for my keeper shelf. :)

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  7. Sounds like a good one - thanks!

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  8. Sounds great! Thanks for the review!

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  9. I loved loved loved this book. I had a smile on my face from the first page to the last!

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  10. I LOVE this review and can't wait to read this book!!!

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    1. Andrea, as you know Connie, I have to say all the wonderful quirky things about her come out in this book. Her humor, the unusual way she has of looking at things, her amazing writing ability. All.

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  11. well, a little birdy told me I had to read this book and read it I did (that little birdy gives good recommendations!)
    I will say that all you said J was so true...what a wonderful book. In fact in my opinion, I like pretty much all the romances I read, let's face it MOST are likable. I love a few less...they are the ones I MUST re read and pretty much smile or throw things as I read. Then there are the even fewer in the ADORE group. They are the ones that the characters stick with you, make you think, sometimes you wish you might just run into them...the story takes you places, makes you scared, laugh or even just sigh big. THIS was that for me. I adored this book. Yes, the whole premise was done very well, it was believable, but what made them all so touchable, what made them reach me and had me reading this all through ONE night, it WAS the vulnerabilities and honesty of which Connie writes. You are right...but for me, and hopefully you, they were nuanced, they were subtle but no less real. Ms B didnt throw those vulnerabilities in my face to make me accept any odd character development or weird occurrence she needed to explain away. No, they fit, they were completely real and done in that way that it made you LOVE them more and more. It didnt take me long to adore Avery, I loved our man Giles but it took me a short while to get to know him...Avery's save in the very beginning endeared her to me from the first. (and even savored them both a bit more as I re read the book just one weekend later!) Great characters, great story and finally I realize that I have been remiss, it has been on my list to read much more Connie Brockway... Many folks have rec'd her and I have read a few of her latest but now, finally, I will go to the back list and start going nuts reading her library of amazing books. THE big question, where the heck do I start? So many great ones to choose! LOL

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    1. First of all, Hope, YOU should write reviews. Wow.

      Secondly, you must start with the ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT since you already know Giles. Then go read the McLaren's (sp) Ilse trilogy. Then start chomping your way through the rest.

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  12. Thanks for the review. "Vulnerability of character" is something I always enjoy in a story. I'll be checking for ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT on my TBR mountain and be keeping my eye open for NO PLACE FOR A DAME.

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    1. librarypat, ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is one of my personal Brockway favorites. Definitely start with that.

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