Review Briefs: A Lady and a Spy & The Perfect Guy

I received both of these books for review by their authors. Both are clean romances (the first is in the Adult genre and the second is in the YA genre), which is why I wanted to review them. Both are novella length (131 and 120 pages), so were quick reads, and as such I just have brief reviews for them.

A Lady and a Spy
by Ranee S. Clark
Historical Romance
May 29th 2013

Goodreads summary:
Blanche Audley's old-fashioned grandfather cut off her mother after she married Thomas Audley and his millions of "new money," and for the last ten years since her parents' deaths, Blanche has lived under the gloom of his disappointment. So when she recklessly loses a thousand dollars to Etta Channing in a game of baccarat, she will do anything to keep her foolish actions from him. Except he oversees every penny she spends of the wealth her father left her, leaving her no way of paying the debt without his knowledge.

Until Etta offers her a deal. Alexander Whealdon, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, needs a companion to shepherd his younger sister through her first season. Etta wants Blanche to take the position and use it to infiltrate the household and pass along information that will help Etta get her hooks into the reserved Mr. Whealdon. It seems like an easy way to pay off the debt and save face at the same time. But the more Blanche sees of Mr. Whealdon's playful side, not to mention his surprising generosity, the less she wants to help Etta win him over.

Backing out means humiliating herself and disappointing both her grandfather and Mr. Whealdon, not to mention losing Miss Whealdon's trust and friendship, but if she goes through with her promise to Etta, she will lose what might be her last chance for love.

What I thought:
I love reading clean Historical Romance, especially when it is set in England. I don't know what it is about that time, but a lot of it I like. Maybe it's the slower pace, the grand buildings, fine dresses (not that I actually would want to wear them), and most of all the old-fashioned manners. The setting was fairly well done in A Lady and a Spy and I enjoyed that part of it. There were some things that I didn't feel were authentic as in some of the choices and situations, such as Blanche choosing to accept Etta's offer and Etta offering it in the first place, and that Blanche lives in the same home as the young and single Mr. Whealdon. I analyze what I read a lot of the time, thinking about if the characters and what happens feels real or authentic, so this was an issue for me. Once I decided just to ignore that, then the story was rather enjoyable. There are some silly and humorous situations and dialogue between the characters and I did like the characters and the roles they played overall.

Pick this up if you want a sweet, quick Historical Romance, especially if you want to read it on your Kindle, as it is only $.99.

Content: Clean
Source: Author

The Perfect Guy
by Ann Herrick
YA Contemporary Romance
February 3rd 2013 by Books We Love, Ltd.

Goodreads summary:
Can Rebecca turn her new stepbrother into her new love?

When Rebecca's mother marries Pres's father, Rebecca is sure that living in the same house with the guy of her dreams will have its perks and it will be just a matter of time before Pres sees her as more than a kid sister. Even though her best friend, Celeste, warns her to face reality, Rebecca doesn't listen. She thinks Pres is the perfect guy for her. But Celeste's brother, Josh, has been friends with Pres for years, and Celeste thinks she knows what she's talking about. 

Rebecca's not so sure about her relationship with her new stepfather. She knows he can't replace her real dad, but she thinks she can break through his cool surface by helping him with the school play.

But things don't go as planned, and as friendships start to change, Rebecca faces surprising truths about herself and her friends. Will she find happiness in her new family and find The Perfect Guy?


What I thought:
This was a really sweet story. The situation struck me as being a little off. I mean, Rebecca wants to date her soon-to-be brother through marriage. Rebecca believes that Pres will definitely fall in love with her once they're in closer quarters, even though Pres has never shown any interest in her. Ever. There are just all sorts of complications and reasons why this would be weird and not work, but Rebecca doesn't see any of them. I was trying to think back to when I was that age to figure out if I was that clueless. I think not, but maybe I just don't want to remember. ;) Because of Rebecca's motives and thoughts, she was kind of an annoying character. I just wanted her to stop obsessing over him, open her eyes to reality, and move on. Eventually she does, but it is a hard lesson for her. I did like a lot of the dialogue and I loved Josh. He is what saved this book for me.

This is a sweet, quick read for those who love Contemporary YA.

Content: Clean
Source: Author

Disclosure: This review is of a book I was given for free by an author, tour host, or publisher, or through NetGalley or Edelweiss. This in no way influences the opinions shared in my review. You may see my complete policy on my policies page. This post also contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

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