Monday, August 18, 2014

The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell by Stacy Reid

The Basics:
The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell by Stacy Reid
Entangled: Scandalous
Book Two in the Scandalous House of Calydon series
Historical Romance
Published August 11, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I was drawn in by the blurb, and I've had good luck with the publisher.


With a longing for adventure, the last thing Phillipa Pippiwell wants is to marry. After a painful betrayal by a man she trusted, she is wary when she unwittingly catches the attention of roguishly handsome - and sinfully tempting - Lord Anthony Thornton. Forbidden desires she secretly yearns for threaten to crumble her icy facade and reveal a past scandal best kept buried.

Dissatisfied with his empty life, Lord Anthony seeks a deep and lasting connection... and finds himself intrigued by the Ice Maiden of the haute monde. Undaunted by Phillipa's aloof nature and her distaste for the idea of matrimony, he sets out to thaw the bewitching beauty by enticing her with adventures of the most sensual type. But he, too, hides a scandalous secret... and if it's discovered it could rip them apart.

My thoughts:

The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell was delightful and odd for me. It was a mash of modern and period sensibilities, and I ended up enjoying that more than I thought I would.

Here we have Miss Peppiwell, considered an ice maiden, but with secret, strong passions that she must keep hidden for the benefit of her family. And then we have Lord Anthony who is drawn to her and perfectly happy to try to crack through her facade. I appreciated his tenacity, even when I wanted to smack him for threatening Phillipa's efforts to appear prim and proper.

The sex scenes are rather scandalous for a historical romance - or perhaps I need to recalibrate my scale for these things. For some reason, I have it in my mind that historical romance novels tend to have more of the 'fade to black' style love scenes with more traditional or 'vanilla' sex - basically that contemporary romances tend to be more explicit. However, this is definitely something that's changed, and for whatever reason, I still have that impression of milder scenes as my expectation. What does this have to do with the book? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the more risque scenes. I liked that Phillipa wasn't completely oblivious when it came to her sexuality as so many historical romance heroines are. What I found disappointing, amusingly, is that Anthony kept hinting at his darker sexual desires, but I didn't think the book ever truly delivered on these. Or perhaps what we did get was so good, that I wanted more and exploring Anthony's fantasies would have been a great way to do that?

I enjoyed the ways in which Phillipa bucked against the expectations heaped upon her. She recognized a lot of the ridiculousness of the society rules she had to follow, but also that in most cases, ignoring those rules would be disastrous to her family.

Aside from the more sensual scenes in the book, I didn't find anything about this book to be particularly memorable. I enjoyed the story while I was reading, but it didn't make a big impression on me beyond those moments.

Bottom line:

An enjoyable read, I'd recommend The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell to anyone who enjoys the genre. Good for passing an afternoon or a long commute (on a train or bus - don't read while driving!)

3.5 stars
For fans of historical romance, American-British romances

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