RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: A Lady Never Surrenders by Sabrina Jeffries

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Title: A Lady Never Surrenders
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Publication Info: Pocket 2012
ISBN: 9781451642490
Genre: Historical: European

Book A Lady Never Surrenders This RITA® Reader Challenge 2013 review was written by Kisah. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Historical Romance category.

The summary:     

When the youngest Sharpe sister hatches a plan to gain marriage offers, the straight-laced Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter knows he'll do whatever it takes to ruin her scheme…

Lady Celia Sharpe hopes that if she can garner offers of marriage from several eligible gentlemen and show her grandmother she is capable of gaining a husband, she can convince Gran to rescind the marriage ultimatum for her. And if that plan doesn’t work, at least she’ll have a husband lined up.

But Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter seems determined to ruin her plans by disapproving of every suitor she asks him to investigate. It’s only when she and Jackson work together to solve her parents’ murders, plunging them both into danger, that she realizes why–because the only man he wants her to marry is himself!

And here is Kisah's review:

I recently started to glom Sabrina Jeffries during the past year, so I had read this title when it first came out and had to go back over it again to review certain points – oh, the things I do for a review!  :)

This title is the last in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series, and this title wraps up the mystery/family scandal thread running through the series, so if you really want to keep track of that (and know the back stories of the other happy couples, of course!), you really should start with the first title, The Truth About Lord Stoneville ( A | BN | K | ARe).  You would also have the advantage of watching the hero and heroine spar in previous books, leading up to this title, which is always a plus for me – no case of instalove here!  Unless it's done really believable, I'm not a fan…..anyway….

The premise?  Lady Celia Sharpe is the last of her siblings to remain single, and she must marry soon per her grandmother's ultimatum (SPOILER: which isn't really as hardcore as all that since in previous titles, the siblings have softened grandma on that stance, but no one has shared that knowledge with Celia yet), so she hires Jackson Pinter, a Bow Street Runner the family hired to look into the mystery/family scandal, to screen her suitors for her. 

What worked for me?  Besides the no-instalove thing, I liked the mystery thread (one of my other genre loves is mysteries).  I loved the dialog between the characters – they're pretty witty, and while there are a few misunderstandings, they aren't grand ones that make you scream obscenities at the characters to TALK TO EACH OTHER ALREADY!  I also loved the way the author's writing just sucks me in and makes me forget things like to get off the bus or train at the proper time (and yes, this has happened).  I also thought the reasoning behind why she loved being one of the best at target shooting was handled well – I so felt for Celia.  I also loved the characters themselves – I was so rooting for them both to find their happiness with each other.  The camaraderie between the siblings and siblings-in-law was a hoot, too – I love it when family members in books actually act like real family members, teasing and all.

What didn't work for me?  The cartoony-villianness of their cousin Ned (I so wanted to whack him with many blunt instruments).  I also didn't like how you really have to be caught up on the series to keep track of everyone – this didn't deter me, but I could see someone being ticked off if they picked this up and jumped right into the series at this point.  Finally, this wasn't my favorite couple of the series – don't know why, as I rooted for them, just not as hard-core as some of the other siblings' pairings.  Burnout at the end of a series, perhaps?  I couldn't say….

I would have to grade this a high B as part of a series, but an A- based on this title alone.


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