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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review - - Between the Devil and Ian Eversea

Between the Devil and Ian Eversea
Book 9, Pennyroyal Green Series
By Julie Anne Long
Publisher:  Avon
Release Date:  March 25, 2014


 



I have a little fantasy that Julie Anne Long and I are BFFs and whenever I read her books, I can just text message her, go “Pg 241, Tourette’s! Brilliant!” and she won’t have a restraining order issued to me. I’m not sure why this is. I’ve never met Julie. I’m not even really comfortable calling her Julie because, you know, we’ve never met. I mean, when you meet the Queen, you don’t make the peace sign and go, “Hey Bets, how’s it hanging?” There’s a protocol to be observed.

However, I think it’s the friendliness of the Pennyroyal Green characters that inspire this instant affection. Much like I was to the Harry Potter phenomenon (and I want to text JK Rowling frequently too), I was a late comer to Julie’s books. I recall protesting reading the book I started on because “Seriously, how many dukes can there be in the Regency period? Anything but a duke, please.” Then I read the book and I was all, “Anything for a duke.”

Falconbridge was the perfect duke: tired, Luciferian, and imperious. He had the most proper motivation: revenge against an obnoxious git named Ian Eversea who was caught in bed with Falconbridge’s fiancée. Suffice it that Falconbridge decided on some very ungentlemanly revenge by ruining Ian’s sister…and well, now Ian is the running joke in his family about his “climbing” skills. It all worked out in the end; but you could say it’s still a bit awkward at family holiday dinners between Falconbridge and his brother-in-law. Falconbridge is looking forward to the day that Ian takes a slow boat to China and hopefully doesn’t return. So is Ian.

However, before Falconbridge can enjoy himself, he needs to make sure his new ward, Miss Titania “Tansy” Danforth, is married and settled. Tansy was born in England, raised in America, and is now the only one left in her family. It is important to her to find a place for herself, to make a family, and to live fully. She knows the requirements for her future husband: very titled and very rich. She’s going to do it, and as beautiful as she is, it soon becomes apparent she’s going to have her pick, but the fly in the ointment to this little Machiavellian plan is that, well, she meets Ian Eversea and falls head over heels for him. And besides not meeting the minimum criteria, he’s still on Falconbridge’s blacklist. Not that Ian, of course, is remotely interested in marriage.

What’s amusing is a string of scenes where Titania is with her suitors, and her suitors are dancing a merry pace around her. In fact there are suitors who actually belong to other characters, and even one of the Eversea husbands loses his head for a half-second before smartly returning to his wife’s side—Titania just seems to have that effect. Ian can see she’s obviously pretty of course, but she’s so awkward…and she tries way too hard. Whatever her appeal is, he’s immune to it. At least at first.

What’s sweet and poignant is the string of scenes where Titania and Ian are together, and Titania ends up revealing the loneliness in Ian. Why does Ian act like an ass who goes around seducing women he has no right to be pursuing in the first place? Titania and Ian are both attention seekers, but it seems most of the time, the attention seeking doesn’t pan out how they quite wanted, yet they don’t know how else to be either. It’s like they both try too hard at all the wrong things.

One moment I was laughing hysterically, wanting to text BFF Julie about her brilliant scene or snippet of dialogue; and the next I was weepy and wanting to text her, “You’re destroying me!” And there was a dark black moment…I was concerned because the blacker the scene, the bigger the grovel needs to happen.

Oh, the Grovel. This is the Grovel of Grovels. There’s drama, there’s sweetness, there’s justice. Sweet, sweet justice for Falconbridge that someone, finally, has put Ian in his place and there’s the little fact that now he’ll owe Falconbridge for the rest of his life. It’s heartwarming. It’s possibly the first Pennyroyal Green book I’ve read in a while in which I didn’t immediately froth to hear about Lyon and Olivia, who better work out, I’m just saying, Bestie! I just wanted to reread all the books and read Ian’s comeuppance again and just revel. Looking forward to the sequel. Best historical series in a long, long time. Don’t miss a single one.

~Hellie


Hellie Sinclair (a.k.a. Fran) was one of the founding members of the Romance Writer's Revenge, where she frequently got to satisfy her love of good books and her need to expound by writing reviews. Hellie loves to craft on projects she rarely finishes, watch British dramas as a sort of Olympic marathon event, and do most anything that fits the description "indolent and pleasurable." Fortunately reading falls into that category. You can find her at her blog, where she writes the occasional review...and shares updates on her never-ending projects.


26 comments:

  1. Hellie, thanks for the review and the fun comments. Can this be a stand-alone, or will I be lost? It sounds like a fantastic read, but I have only read one of the Pennyroyal books, I think. This one will definitely be on my TBR pile because I like the premise and the grovel of all Grovels. ;)

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    1. Deb, if you haven't read WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE you must read it soon. Trust me.

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    2. I gotta agree. I think you can get away with not reading most of the books, but you should probably read WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE prior to this just to understand what a complete asshat Ian really is. *LOL* And to truly appreciate the scope of Falconbridge. Oh that lovely man.

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  2. I love your review, Hellie, almost as much as I love the book. And I agree with all your praise for the series. The Pennyroyal Green books definitely rank among my top five romance series. I'm torn between my eagerness for Lyon and Olivia's story and my reluctance to see the series end.

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    1. Totally agree, Janga. I almost don't want Lyon and Olivia's book because I don't want to let the series go. I have no idea what I'll do when the series actually ends. (And that is high praise indeed for my review! Thank you!! *LOL*) Yes, Pennyroyal Green belongs up there with the Bridgertons and the Bedwyns (another Duke I adored)...and my Highland Guard series. Oh, how I love reading books. There is just so much brilliance out there!!

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  3. Great revie! I love Miss Long's book also. She is an awesome writer.I have read some of this series but not all, not sure which books I have missed but I am ready for more. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

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    1. I hope you get to read it very soon. It's very good!!

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  4. I definitely will have to reread ALL of them in this series, including this new book, and read them from the beginning again, in correct orders also. Just to get the full throttle and refresh my memories of all the characters in Pennyroyal Green, you know. ;)

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    1. Oh, I *KNOW* *LOL* I know. We should have bookclub.

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  5. I am going to be furiously digging through my TBR mountain to see how many of the Pennyroyal Green books I have. I will then go out and buy the rest. I love series and "need" to read them in order. So as much as I want to read BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND IAN EVERSEA, I'll have to read the others first. A difficult job but someone has to do it. I wish all "chores" were as enjoyable.

    Best wishes for a very successful release of the book.

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    1. Same here! must read series in.. order.. and am known to wait years to find a complete set before I'll read them. I'm that bad, yes. :P

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    2. *LOL* We're so definitely having bookclub. I can't wait to hear what you guys think of Falconbridge...and Adam the vicar. *swoons*

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  6. LOL Library Pat! I will be doing the same. I definitely have 2, maybe more.

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    1. First rule of bookclub: bring chocolate...oh, wait...

      Two? You have to get them all. *LOL* Definitely Falconbridge's and Adam's at any rate. :)

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  7. Great series! I can't wait to read this book!

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    1. It's so awesome! I hope you love it!

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  8. I've been counting down to this one! I LOVE Julie Anne Long and I have met her. :) She's wonderful and not because we share the same taste in bands. I am taking Tuesday off to read this book in one day. Can't wait!!!

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    1. It's SO WORTH IT! I'm almost jealous--I want to read it again for the first time. *sighs*

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  9. I love this series and can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

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    1. I hope you get your hands on a copy very, very soon.

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  10. I haven't read any of the books in the Pennyroyal series. I must remedy this immediately!

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    1. You must definitely remedy this. Only side effect: withdrawal when you realize you're going to have to wait to find out what happens to Lyon and Olivia.

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  11. Hellie, I was also a late comer to Julie's books. WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE was so unbelievably good, I was scratching my head wondering, "Why the heck have I not read her before???" I will admit that the last book wasn't a favorite, but I am SO looking forward to this one!!! Terrific review!

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    1. I know! Exactly the same thing!! And yes, the last one...it was good, but it wasn't Adam...or Falconbridge. Still, I think I liked the heroine quite a bit in the last one. She was a corker, if I remember right. But this one is so much better! I guess, perhaps, because I feel we know these characters better... Thank you!

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  12. Lord, how I love that review, Hellie!

    I'm buying it: the book, your opinion of it, all of it!

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