DUKE OF SIN was probably one of the best regency romances I'd had the pleasure of reading in a while. There are two things I love in romance novels: gamma heroes & slow-burn romances. This book had both. I was able to recommend it to all my friends in good faith & was delighted to see that they enjoyed it, too!
ONCE UPON A MOONLIT NIGHT popped up on Netgalley recently & I was super excited when I was approved. It's a novella following Hippolyta Royle after she escapes from the mad duke. I liked Hippolyta in DUKE OF SIN, and was interested in seeing what her story would be like.
Unfortunately, OUAMN misses in a major way. Hippolyta is made into a foot-stomping, tongue-sticking-outting impotent heroine whose only purpose is to serve as a foil for the hero.
The hero is a jerk, who, when he happens on the scared, mud-covered heroine, assumes that she is either a whore or an actress and doesn't fail to inform her as such. She attempts to correct him and tell him that she's actually a rich heiress (totally a smart thing to do when people are trying to kidnap you for your wealth), but he just haw-haws, and continues to insult her.
DUKE OF SIN was so good that I was expecting to be a little disappointed by any sequel that came after (because it's hard to write two major hits in a row), but this just seemed like it was in a different class altogether- it was rushed, the romance was unpleasant, the hero was a jerk, the heroine was ridiculous, and somehow the characters decided they loved each other even though the hero did nothing but insult her & ogle her chest. I'm hoping that this was a fluke; the result of writing a novella too quickly and making the rookie mistake of assuming that rushed is ok in a novella.
For what it's worth, I did like the secret about the heroine even if I didn't like the way it was broached. Also, the hero has a pet mongoose, and I thought that was neat. :)
1 to 1.5 out of 5 stars.