Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TBR Challenge 2011: Exposed: Misbehaving with the Magnate

I am participating in the 2011 TBR Challenge being hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian
Each month participants read one novel from their TBR list and post a review. I’m hoping this will help with the large number of books I have that I haven’t read yet, but can’t seem to part with. I mean to read them, but I find something else to distract me and somehow never get back to it.

There are a series of suggestions for each month’s post. There’s no obligation to stick to the suggested categories, or even to post every single month.

I have a few rules for myself. I’m only going to post about books I liked. If I didn’t like a title, I will pick another book or just skip that month. If there are bits that didn’t work for me or flaws, I’ll point them out. But if my overall feeling is that the book just was off, I don’t wish to post paragraphs on why it’s not for me. It’s not that I feel that the authors aren’t adult enough to take the criticism. It’s not that I don’t support the rights of bloggers to be honest in their reviews. I just don’t want to waste my blogging time writing something so negative. 

The first suggested read is a category romance. I actually read a fair amount of category so I didn’t have any unread laying around the house.  I did have a bunch of free ebooks from Mills and Boon that I’d never even opened over the holidays and when I looked through these, I did find a reissue of an 2009 Kelly Hunter book I had never read. I had read the sequel to this 'Hot Bed of Scandal' duo. It was actually my first ever Hunter book and I adored it so much that I hunted down all of her Bennet family stories as well.

Exposed: Misbehaving with the Magnate is a reunion story. This is a trope that I love, but that can have so much go wrong. The book opens with Gabrielle's return to her childhood home and her first love Luc. The opening does a great job of setting both the plot of the book and the feeling of the story. Hunter's books for me all have a huge emotional punch without feeling too dark and heavy. And that's really saying something considering some of the issues in this book.

Here's the blurb from Hunter's website.
Forbidden desire... unleashed passion!

Seven years ago Gabrielle was the housekeeper's daughter, and Luc Duvalier, as the heir to a vast fortune, was forbidden! One hot kiss got Gaby banished, but she's returned home determined to face Luc as an equal - in every way!

Both know it's only a matter of time before they give in to their passion - despite the scandal this will cause.

 I loved that she didn't go away and pine for Luc. She lived her life. Gabrielle had a full personal and professional life. She didn't come home a 25 year old virgin. Having had that kind of full life, it's all the more poignant when she realizes what is missing. Gabrielle is a real and flawed heroine. She had plenty of problems in her past (I won't divulge to much here), but she didn't always react well to them. The fact that she recognises and accepts that fact made me love her even more.

The relationship between Gabreille and her mother is complicated and painful. The end of that plot line did feel a little rushed, not surprising given the constraints of a category word count. It was a believable and satisfying ending, where again the heroine refrains from self-pity.

Luc's sister Simone plays a fairly large part in the story, enough of a part that she's more than just sequel bait. And I loved her just as much here as I did in her book Revealed: A Prince and a Pregnancy.


  1. Hi Julia, a great review and I found it interesting that you thought the ending rushed. I wonder how often it happens to those of us who write category, where you run out of words?! What are you writing at the moment, are you trying for series or ST?

  2. Rushed is perhaps unfair. I do think it was the constraint of the word count that forced the author to gloss over one plot line in favor following the romance to its conclusion.

    I'm working on a couple of categories right now, revising one and the first draft of another. But I don't think I'm as quick as you. ;)