A Gentleman Never Tells by Juliana Gray

By | 30 January 2013 | 3 Responses

A Gentleman Never Tells  by Juliana Gray (Affairs By Moonlight, Book 2)You know this is a good book when I’m compelled to read the entire series.

When they find themselves accidentally renting the same castle in Tuscany, three lords and three ladies make a bet to devote themselves to scholarly pursuits for an entire year without intimate interaction with the opposite sex.

In this book, the second of the Affairs By Moonlight series, Elizabeth Harewood, now the Countess of Somerton and mother of a precocious five-year-old son, encounters Roland Penhallow, the ex-love of her life. She’s escaped to this castle to hide from her husband, who is abusive and somewhat depraved. She cannot afford to give away here whereabouts, as she is afraid he will take her son away. Roland has been in love with Elizabeth for years and sees this opportunity as a chance to get her back. Will this work itself out?

Of course, it will.

This series is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. I did not read the summary before I read the book. Maybe that would have helped make sense of certain things; I’m not sure. Nevertheless, it’s not a requirement. The story basically follows the premise that men and women can’t be together without succumbing to romance, so to speak, and the characters bet each other as to who will succumb first—the men or the women. (Deliberate temptation is definitely involved!)

This book is interesting and witty. If you can get over how Elizabeth and Roland end up in the same house in the first place—a rental mix-up that seems like, well, one of you is a Duke, so perhaps you should be able to buy yourself another house?—then everything falls into place. The characters are well written and the exchanges are interesting, even between the secondary characters, which means I now  have to read the rest of the series.

I do feel that the villain is slightly cookie cutter-y, even though his motivation is explained. He is really not a nice person and I understand why his wife wanted to divorce him. I feel that the novel has a pretty realistic depiction of divorce in those days—how scandalous it was, how determined you had to be to go through with it, and how much it would affect you, especially if you were a woman.

*** MILD SPOILER & POTENTIAL DEAL BREAKER ***

For those who consider adultery a deal breaker, the heroine leaves her husband (there are hints of abuse) and hooks up with the hero. Technically, yes, they’re not divorced, but she leaves her husband, so I consider that separation already, although in those days it probably wasn’t. Your mileage may vary.

*** END SPOILER ***

All three books in this series take place at the same time. I haven’t read the other two, but I am looking forward to catching up.

Yay or nay?

Good enough to make me want to read the entire series!

Who might enjoy it: Readers who enjoy second-chance romances

Who might not enjoy it: People who dislike cookie cutter villains

Title: A Gentleman Never Tells
Series: Affairs By Moonlight (Book 2)
Author: Juliana Gray
Publisher: Berkley

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Fishpond | Other
EBOOKS: Books On Board | Diesel | Kindle UK | Kindle US
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library

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Wandergurl

Wandergurl is a sometime traveller who spends her daylight hours making sure that things go the way they're supposed to with minimum bureaucracy (don't ask!). A firm believer that thirty is the new twenty, she will probably never look her age (or act it!). An enthusiastic football supporter (that would be soccer to you) she will get up at odd hours to watch a game, and of course it's not just because the players are hot. She loves history, geography and is pretty good at trivia, thanks to her propensity to remember random bits of celebrity gossip. When not reading or travelling, she can be found indulging in her other passion -- eating -- and can be found at Wake up and smell the coffee.

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3 comments »

  1. Marg

    I just read the first book in this series today and liked it. Yes, that part of the premise is probably a bit weak, but it does the job of getting everyone to the same place at the same time.
     
    The other thing that I wasn’t sure worked 100% is the fact that all three stories are happening at the same time so there are glimpses of the other couples. It does make me want to read more, but there are a couple of things that happened where there was little or no reaction from the main characters which surprised me.

  2. Lauren

    This sounds like a great series! Lovely review, Kat.

  3. Kat

    This review was by Wandergurl, but from the sound of it, I’m going to have to give these books a go, too!

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