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1.0 out of 5 starsHorrible
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2018
This is a book about a lady who just wants a man to have sex with. That's pretty much all the whole thing is about.
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2012
There are books which are so very, very bad that they become entertaining. The same way E.T. is so ugly he's cute. I've read train-wreck books and been ashamed of myself for finding them entertaining because of their badness. Fern Michaels books come to mind for that category. This isn't one of those books. This is just BAD.
Olivia Blakesly (or is it Blakesley? Who cares?) is a Regency-era spinster of twenty seven. And she's pretty OK with that, she has her "studies," an allegedly overwhelming interest in astronomy (we'll get to that in a moment). With five married sisters and accepting of the notion she won't marry herself, Olivia decides to take the seduction bull by the horns and get herself a no-strings-attached temporary lover, just to see what the fuss is all about and to experience passion for herself, at least once.
After considering and rejecting various men for various reasons, Olivia settles on Nathanial Jenkins as her designated seducer. After all of eighteen seconds of extremely silly conversation. Right. Because he's so overwhelmingly sexy and gorgeous and built like a god? No. As far as I could tell, she picked Nathanial because he wasn't those things but he was discreet. And there. So she propositions the fellow on their second meeting and he thinks she's insane (rightly so in my opinion) but then he can't stop thinking about Olivia and agrees to deflower her at their very next meeting. But Olivia doesn't just want the sex, she wants the illusion of being courted--walks in the park, nights at the opera, dances at the balls. And they have their sex and their faux courtship then Nathanial does the unthinkable and falls in love with her, proposes and is rejected. That all happens within the first 50 pages or so. The rest of the book is spent with Nathanial trying to change her mind, which he never actually does but change her mind SHE does and off they go to wedded bliss.
Oh, this book was bad in so very many ways. In broad strokes--the writing was juvenile. Which shouldn't be surprising since the "heroine" acted like a rotten teenager most of the time. The research was nonexistent. The language choice was decidedly modern. People didn't say "OK" in Regency England. I know this because I LOOKED IT UP. Something the author clearly didn't do. And Olivia's raison d'etre, astronomy? (By the way, the word astronomy is not used once in the book, even though it has been in usage since the 13th century. I looked that up, too. But's OK because we have "OK" in there so I guess it evens out.) This burning passion is referenced but only in passing general terms. The only time a specific reference is made, the author has Olivia point out Orsa Major, supposedly the Big Bear constellation but I'm pretty sure that should have been Ursa Major, what with "ursa" being the latin root for bear. I didn't believe for a moment Olivia knew what the devil she was talking about.
And there's Olivia's wardrobe. She dresses abominably. A superficial concern perhaps, but it's a recurring theme through the story. She consistently wears ugly, unfashionable clothes that don't suit her and that she herself doesn't particularly like. I was left with the feeling that she was punishing herself but if so, Olivia never discloses the reason. She seems to take a great deal of petty satisfaction in thwarting everyone for no good reason, right down to her clothing choices.
Finally, the reason Olivia consistently refuses to marry Nathanial (even though she expects him to drop his pants and perform on her command--ick)? She doesn't think she's marriage material. She's too headstrong, too dedicated to her studies (though she can't name a major constellation correctly), too off-beat, too strong-willed. So says Olivia. This reviewer says, "Oh, please!"
I know I was supposed to view the heroine as courageous in her convictions, strong in character for pursuing unwomanly interests, on a higher plane for her lack of interest in clothes, marriage and gossip. I didn't. I loathed her for being unreasonably truculent, for throwing tantrums when Nathanial won't be her on-demand stud, for admitting that Nathanial is everything she could ever hope for in a partner and that she loves him but digging in her heels like a spiteful seven year-old. I did not cheer her on. I did not relate to her purported independence (an independence that would make her a life-long financial burden to her parents and then her sister and brother-in-law and no, I'm not making that up--the author told us that was Olivia's plan). I wanted to drop her in a deep well, nail a cover over the opening and wait to see how long it would take for her bones to rot. I had difficulty forming an opinion about Nathanial because Olivia was just so very awful that she took up all my opinion-forming space.
This was just a bad book all around. Poorly written, poorly researched, poorly plotted and with a thoroughly unlikable heroine. There was no romance here. There wasn't even a decent smutty scene. In the end, there is absolutely no reason to read this tale.
Let me start off by saying that I liked this book. It was a fun and quick read (I finished it in a day), and some of the scenes made me laugh out loud.
However, the character of Olivia was tiresome. I get that she considers herself a spinster at the ripe old age of 27 (although that was considered old back then), and I understand her desire to never marry. However, when it becomes obvious that she has feelings for Nathaniel, and he for her, and she still continues to act haughty (and spoiled), it gets old. I can't honestly say if I were Nathaniel that I would have kept perusing her. Then, for a moment let us consider the whole "proposition" that she gives Nathaniel. She doesn't want to marry him, but she wants him to court her. She wants that much at least. Oh, and she wants him to have sex with her. The no strings attached kind that you know.. didn't happen in Regency England between people of respectable families.
Another thing that bothered me about this book is the way the dialog would suddenly switch to a more "modern" way of speaking, and the way the actions of the characters were completely inappropriate given the time period. While some actions were considered "appropriate" for the main character, they were not for the time period, and regardless of her antics, she would not have been allowed by her family to get away with them.
Aside from being a stubborn pain in the arse, Olivia has an abysmal fashion sense, which I only bring up because her "hideous" fashion choices were more a topic in the book that her supposed love for astronomy.
The one started off strong, but lost momentum about half way through. I think if more attention had been paid to the pair building a friendship and their resulting courtship, it would have made for a more sustainable book.
2.0 out of 5 starsI Tried. I Really Tried to Like This
Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2016
Even after having read the negative reviews prior to reading this 'story', I still wanted to like it but couldn't. The nay-sayers were right, and it's a good thing it was free. The author should consider Fantasy or Time Travel (or stick to Contemporary) instead of attempting to corrupt a genre that doesn't need corrupting (or fixing). Had Olivia brazenly lifted her skirts to show her sisters (or Nathaniel) her latest tattoo, it wouldn't have surprised me in the least, and that is what is so wrong with this book. Make-believe and feminist ideals have their rightful places in literature, but a 21st Century mindset simply clashes with any era that precedes it in the same way Olivia's high-neck button up bodice clashed with the lower-cut Orange gowns at the ball. It makes even less sense that a reader who chooses Historical/Regency/Victorian novels should be forced to have to put up with a lot of modern claptrap, and that doesn't mean a bygone era heroine can't or shouldn't read like an intelligent, realistic woman. IF I had wanted to read a Contemporary Romance I would have chosen one, and not a Regency that is mostly a Contemporary. Unfortunately, I won't be reading anymore 'Regency' by this author.
Not quite your usual Regency Romance, in the sense that it is the heroine who is not interested in marriage. This is the first time I’ve read Megan Bryce’s historical romance. I have previously read “Some Like It Charming” - a contemporary romance - which I did enjoy apart from the frequent sex scenes & bad language. “To Catch A Spinster” contains a couple of love scenes.
Olivia is quite happy to be a spinster. What’s not to like when she’s got the freedom to do what she likes: staying outside on clear nights to paint the stars which she loves studying. Not for her the latest fashions or gossip. If only her family would leave her alone, although she would like to experience the thrill of the chase, being seduced & learn the art of lovemaking. She decides to find a man to proposition & sets her sight on Nathaniel.
Nathaniel is the only son & heir to the Jenkins family. Although not titled, he’s considered a good catch & a gentleman. He’s quite happy to be a bachelor, although he escorts his mother to various balls & functions to do his duty(find a wife). Not for him the simpering young girls who wear the latest colours & fashions, & talk of little else too.
When Olivia approaches Nathaniel with her proposal, he’s - quite rightly - shocked. However he’s quite enchanted by her: she’s different & refreshing; independent & unpredictable; knowledgeable, but not talkative. He accepts her proposal, & both look forward to seducing & being seduced. However, what happens when he falls for her, & she’s not interested in marriage? Can Nathaniel change Olivia’s mind, or will they have to go their separate ways, leaving her with lifelong loving memories but in ruin?
I found this to be a sweet & light read, with some predictable parts. I loved some of the conversations between the H & h: quite comical in parts! What I didn’t like was the “wooing”: it was far too short & they had sex rather soon (I think they’d only been out on 2 occasions.) I also didn’t like Olivia in parts as she was quite selfish, & didn’t seem interested in protecting her & her family’s name/ reputation. 3.5*, but I have bought the rest of the series, which seem to be standalone books.
5.0 out of 5 starsA new slant on the regency novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2018
A spinster who has watched her 5 sister marry, wants to experience lust and desire without the.marriage. She finds her responsibi!e man who loves her and would do all to keep her but as his wife. This book made me.laugh out loud and cry in the sad bits .A great easy read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2014
* blush factor - medium/high *
This story is about a spinster who does not want to ever marry but wants to know the physical aspect of love.
I liked the beginning of the book - how the hero and heroine meet and how Olivia manages to convince Nathaniel to agree to her proposal. Along the way, Nathaniel of course, falls in love with Olivia.
After that, begins his marriage proposal and we go through a third of the book, as to why Olivia is against marriage, marriage will not do for her, she will not be a good wife, she does not wish to be a mother, Nathaniel deserves better etc etc etc. It became so boring, listening to her go on, and on about why she should not marry Nathaniel.
I could not believe the proposal. I did not like Olivia (except in the beginning). Nathaniel is ok.
5.0 out of 5 starsa lovely read - not long enough!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2014
At first I thought the characters were way too “modern”. After a bit of research, I discovered many novels with differing points of view. They had been around for many years, including some rather racy reads: - The History Of Tom Jones By Henry Fielding, Fanny Hill Or The Memoirs Of A Woman Of Pleasure By John Cleland, Moll Flanders By Daniel Defoe, Evelina By Fanny Burney, The Adventures Of Arebella By Charlotte Lennox, Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady By Samuel Richardson, Cecelia By Fanny Burney, Camilla By Fanny Burney, The Adventures Of Peregrine Pickle By Tobias Smollett, Justine By Marquis De Sade, Amelia By Henry Fielding, A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women By Mary Woolstonecraft, Roxana By Daniel Defoe, The 120 Days Of Sodom By Marquis De Sade, Charlotte Temple By Susannah Rowson , Etc, Etc.
Maybe Olivia did have access to some of these reads? She certainly wasn’t typical of her time, but she was possible. She was stubborn as a mule. Silly woman, she held on to her point of view, to the point of possibly losing her man. He was pretty unusual for that time as well.
Although not of the period, the modern tone of the writing suited the book. It didn’t bother me at all ín this delightful, charming love story about grown-ups, for a change.
What a great read I loved the characters everyone of them, the interaction between Nathaniel and Olivia was brilliant, I found myself smiling . They were both as stubborn as each other. Must admit I fell a little in love with Nathaniel. Well written easy to read romance.