I have two RITA® Reader Challenge reviews for His at Night, one from Donna, and one from ReadinginAK. Donna gave this book an A, saying, “So far, I’ve found that everything that spills out of Sherry Thomas’ brain is an A read. I bet her even shopping list would be interesting.” Meanwhile ReadinginAK gave it a solid B, so I’ve averaged the two to B+.
Plot Summary: Elissande Edgerton is a desperate woman, a virtual prisoner in the home of her tyrannical uncle. Only through marriage can she claim the freedom she craves. But how to catch the perfect man?
Lord Vere is used to baiting irresistible traps. As a secret agent for the government, he’s tracked down some of the most devious criminals in London, all the while maintaining his cover as one of Society’s most harmless—and idiotic—bachelors. But nothing can prepare him for the scandal of being ensnared by Elissande.
Forced into a marriage of convenience, Elissande and Vere are each about to discover that they’re not the only one with a hidden agenda. With seduction their only weapon—and a dark secret from the past endangering both their lives—can they learn to trust each other even as they surrender to a passion that won’t be denied?
And here are Donna and ReadinginAK’s reviews:
First, Donna’s review:
It must be said up front that I fell in love with Percy Blakeney when I was 12. If your hero is hiding his superior intellect behind the face of a fool as he fights on the side of the angels, well, you’ve got me at “that demmed elusive Pimpernel”.
And if he’s got a brother named Freddy? Well, now it’s almost guarenteed to be a good time.
While you have the usual misunderstandings- pesky male concepts of honor, cutting words and drunken debauching- you also get this lovely story of two people whose real selves live solitary lives locked inside their own heads finding each other. Of course, she’s more realistic about the sustaining and transient nature of her dreams of Capri than he is about his fantasy of the ideal woman, but that’s a man for you. Does he get a clue when Ellisande replaces IW in his daydreams? No, he’s irritated and mystified.
They also behave like adults in the end, apologizing and giving forgiveness for transgressions made: her trapping him into marriage, his asinine behavior towards her. He also comes clean to dear Freddy and gets the punch he deserves along with understanding and forgiveness.
And his family calls him “Penny”. Wonderful.
And here is ReadinginAK’s review:
Occasionally you read a book, where you know the HEA is coming, but you aren’t sure how it’s going to get there. In the case of His at Night(Sherry Thomas), you know that Vere and Elissande (yes, that’s her name) are going to end up together, but how? The initial premise of the book seems a little strained, but in that “I guess this could happen” kind of way that doesn’t totally annoy, but doesn’t completely have you on the hook.
There’s a laudanum-addicted aunt who functions as a kind of plot moppet for the first half of the book and her over-bearing husband who has threatened and mentally abused our heroine, Elissande (yes, that’s her name). There are spies, an artistic brother and rats.
One thing that I really liked about this book is that Vere, our hero, had a “fantasy woman”. Essentially, he had a LIST- that mental image of hisperfect women. She wasn’t totally detailed, but he had enough of an idea to know when he didn’t meet her. Of course, Elissande (yes, that’s her name) looks like his ideal, but then she doesn’t act like his ideal. The coming to grips with the difference between fantasy and reality is something that everyone who meets a potential partner has to do and that played out well in this book all the way to the HEA.
Part of this reader’s HEA was learning whence Elissande’s (yes, that’s her name) came.