Desperately Seeking Suzanna
Tricks of the Ton - Book 2
By Elizabeth Michels
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: March 4, 2014
I enjoy discovering bright new voices in romance fiction. Last month, I introduced you to debut historical romance author, Elizabeth Michels (click here to read our interview) and her first book, Must Love Dukes. Sourcebooks recently released the second book in Michels' Tricks of the Ton series, Desperately Seeking Suzanna and it's just as delightful as its predecessor. Set at the same time as the first book, this one tells the story of Miss Sue Green and Holden Ellis, Lord Steelings, secondary characters readers will recognize from Must Love Dukes. Readers will also recognize some scenes from Must Love Dukes but, this time, told from the perspective of Sue and Lord Steelings. It must be said, however that Desperately Seeking Suzanna stands on its own and having not read Must Love Dukes first should in no way impair a reader's enjoyment. And enjoy it, I did!
Miss Sue Green is facing an unimaginable fate: banishment to the wilds of Scotland as companion to a crotchety old aunt who hates sweets (I mean, really, can you imagine a life without chocolate?) if she can't manage to land a husband before the end of the season. If only she hadn't let her sister and cousins talk her into sneaking into that masquerade party, or let them ply her with champagne or transform her from sensible Sue into mysterious and sensual "Suzanna." For one night, Sue had felt beautiful and desirable and powerful...until her mother discovered her at the party, dragged her home and issued her awful ultimatum.
Holden Ellis, Lord Steelings is a handsome, charming rogue keeping a secret with the potential to mire his family in ruinous scandal. He's made the decision to never marry - it would be too dangerous - but he's fascinated by Suzanna and determined to have her. Only he can't seem to find her. After an unconventional meeting at his aunt's masquerade - dancing down the staircase, Suzanna broke his nose with a rather enthusiastic high kick - the lady helped him to his room then proceeded to charm him...and fill him with desire. Then disappeared. His only clue is her connection to his aunt and uncle's new neighbors, Sue's cousins. When they return to London for the Season, Holden follows, determined to unmask the woman who has him tied in knots, even if that means suffering through numerous balls and dodging matchmaking mamas at every turn, including Sue's own determined mother set on matching him with Sue's younger sister, Evangeline. It is at a London ball that he meets Sue Green and convinces her to help him find Suzanna. In essence, she's helping the clueless man find...well...her. It's so much fun watching these two dance circles around one another as Holden slowly comes to realize that he's seeking our Sue's company more and more and thinking of Suzanna less and less.
Elizabeth Michels has written a fast-paced Regency romp that is a delight but also tackles some deeply emotional issues. Sue is an intelligent, creative woman who is also a (secretly) successful artist but she's spent much of her life being told by her mother that she is plain, uninteresting and has no worth - the exact opposite of her younger, beautiful sister, Evangeline. I enjoyed watching her come into her own during this story and finally take charge of her life. Holden has spent most of his life holding people at a distance...for very good reasons. Were there times I wanted to bash his clueless head? Of course, but that made his capitulation, when it finally came, all the sweeter.
I'm already looking forward to the next book in the Tricks of the Ton series. I'm hopeful that the heroine may be Sue's younger sister, Evangeline. She shows signs in Desperately Seeking Suzanna of having more substance than her beauty and behavior would imply. I have hopes for her and if her hero is who I think it is, I'd say we're in for another fun ride.
GIVEAWAY: Two randomly chosen people leaving a comment on today's post will receive Must Love Dukes and Desperately Seeking Suzanna, both signed by the author. (U.S. and Canadian addresses only)
Have you ever attended a book launch party or a book signing? A few weeks ago, I attended a launch party for Desperately Seeking Suzanna at a local public library. Elizabeth Michels shared her journey to publication with the readers present and read an excerpt from her new book. After the reading, she signed books while answering questions and chatting with readers. One has only to meet Elizabeth Michels once to understand why Desperately Seeking Suzanna sparkles with humor and charm. Here are a few photos from the signing.
|Reading from Desperately Seeking Suzanna
|Librarian Siobhan Loendorf and Elizabeth Michels...and really good cake.
|Signing books for a new romance reader