Historical romance lover that I am, for some bizarre reason I ve been avoiding Sherry Thomas on purpose because the stories just didn t seem all that interesting Strangely enough I did the same thing with Shana Ab and now I can t say enough good about either author and they re exceptionally talented writing style For a book that doesn t have much steam just like Ab s Thomas wrote a very original story that had me whipping right through the 417 pages in just a few short days.The story is deftly put together seamlessly combining love story, mystery and thriller Normally I don t like thrillers in my historical romances because they turn into silly capers, but not here The novel opens with a spy powwow basically They are trying to figure out how to get inside and the heroine s uncle s house without being suspected of anything The hero, Lord Vere, an otherwise brilliant man, plays the role of a harmless idiot who s often underfoot and speaks a bit too frankly all the while oblivious to everyone around him or so it seems Vere is a secret agent for the Crown and no one would ever suspect him anything The heroine, Elissande, has to find a way to escape her very scary uncle so she sets her sights on the hero s brother initially but ends up orchestrating a forced marriage with the hero She thinks she s saved but this is where the juicy story is just beginning She also leads a kind of double life because she s all smiles and acquiescence to her uncle but seethes with hatred and fear of him Now you might be thinking, I hate spy novels, well rest assured so do I because the focus is on the spy stuff and not the relationship but this isn t the case here and the writing is so good that you just don t notice.Vere reminds me of some of Anne Stuart s Ice characters the way he appears to be one thing but he s a dark mean bastard when you see him as he really is I cringed than once at how he treated the heroine Yes you could argue that it was deserved to some degree because she did force him to marry her but he had no sympathy for her situation at all As the story unfolds they develop a friendship and it s only during the night that she sees him for what he truly is and he realizes that she may not be such a conniving witch after all.All things considered, the h h aren t at the forefront all the time and I still really enjoyed the book It was impressive the way Thomas showed Vere as a bumbling moron who was really funny sometimes and then as a very serious, cold, calculating man who planned everything about himself down to the last letter What I liked is that the h h weren t gushing over each other They were both very apprehensive about how things would pan out As for the mystery part, well done You get all these pieces of the puzzle and it takes a bit to wrap your head around it all which again shows some great writing skill.It s a smart story that takes your standard tropes and shakes them up making it all seem fresh and new There is a side story with the hero s brother that felt like unnecessary filler which was why I could only go as high as 4.5 stars This is my first Sherry Thomas and thankfully, she has a backlist D I absolutely loved this book I m not sure anything can surpass my love for Private Arrangements, but after reading this one back to back with Not Quite a Husband, which I also adored, I think this one s my second favorite after all HaN starts lightly enough Lord Vale is a Crown s agent pretending to be an idiot, working on a case about the heroine s uncle Ellisande on the other hand wants to escape her uncle s home anyway she can And the opportunity presents itself when Vale and a group of other yound men and women ask for refuge in her house while her uncle is away If only she can get someone to marry her before her uncle comes back, she ll finally be free But light and humorous as it seems, there is darkness hidden beneath and it slowly but steadily reveals itself Vale is a man who s extremely lonely because of his charade, hiding his true self from everyone He dreams of someone gentle and kind whom he can trust and who can see the real man behind the mask But his wife, beautiful as she may be, is no gentle lady she s an actress herself and a unfeeling manipulator, right Ellisande on the other hand has suffered incredible psychological abuse in the hands of her uncle She has always been alone, fending for herself and her aunt, and wants someone on whom she can rely at last But can her husband forgive her for using him And even if he can, can an idiot be the man she needs This was a story that had me smiling, sighing, worrying and actually crying while reading it It had me enthralled the whole time and kept me up until very late to finish it The characters were flowed, in classical Thomas style, but that didn t keep me for caring deeply for them, perhaps because I could see the reason behind their actions There is also a secondary romance about Vale s brother, Freddie, who also appeared in Private Arrangements I m sorry to say that as much as I liked him in PA, I could have done without his story here, but maybe it s just because I didn t like the spotlight moving away from the main couple A highly recommended book, for those who like their stories with a lot of depth and many layers. SINOPSE Elissande Edgerton Uma Mulher Desesperada, Uma Prisioneira Na Casa Do Tio Tirano Apenas Atrav S Do Casamento Pode Ela Reivindicar A Liberdade Por Que Anseia Mas Como Encontrar O Homem Perfeito Lorde Vere Est Habituado A Armadilhas Irresist Veis Como Agente Secreto Do Governo, Localizou Alguns Dos Criminosos Mais Tortuosos Em Londres, Enquanto Mant M A Sua Fachada De Solteir O Idiota E Inofensivo Mas Nada Pode Prepar Lo Para O Esc Ndalo De Ser Apanhado Por Elissande For Ados A Um Casamento De Conveni Ncia, Elissande E Vere Est O Prestes A Descobrir Que N O S O Os Nicos Com Planos Secretos Com A Sedu O Como Nica Arma E Um Segredo Obscuro Do Passado A P R Em Risco As Vidas De Ambos Poder O Eles Aprender A Confiar Um No Outro, Mesmo Enquanto Se Entregam A Uma Paix O Que N O Pode Ser Negada My first Sherry Thomas book, and while some say this book has a lighter feel to it, it still packs a big emotional wallop, that had me going through a major range of emotions from anger, to tears and cheers Sometimes it can be hard to feel for the characters, and for me it took sometime for me to really feel and understand where Vere was coming from At first glance he comes across as a loveable idiot But as an agent of the crown, he can move freely when everyone just thinks you don t have any brains in your head This works so well for Vere that he even convinces his own brother, whom he sees the hope die each time they meet that he would one day be the amazing man he once was Vere at times was a hard pill to shallow You felt for him, but it was hard to understand where he was coming from, but slowly the layers are taken away and Vere the selfish man behind the idiot it shown to be a man broken by his past and not being able to let go of the past and forgive not what happen, but to forgive himself Vere hung on to his anger and grief after the death of his parents Letting go of anger and even grief is hard for many of us, and I finally understood where Vere was coming from as I cried for the young man Vere was and what he finally saw what he was missing in his life and seeing his bright future in front of him Elissande, I understood very quickly, she was the mirror image of Vere, in the way she acted to hide her fear from her evil uncle While Ver played the fool, Elissande hid behind her cheerful smile Instead of breaking under her uncle cruel watch, she was a fighter, she may have been beaten, but she was unbroken and willing to keep on fighting, to I cheered when she kicked her uncle s butt Elissanda saw herself as weak and lair, but I saw a woman whom was willing to move mountains and hold on to that hope, while she crawled herself out of the darkness and into the light Thomas plays with the darkness and the light within her story, with you guessing what may be in the light, may not be what s really the truth hiding in the darkness Both Elissande and Vere fight their own darkness but with each other they see a mirror of the other, and while Vere fights this at first he sees how much he s fighting his love for Elissande and Elissande fighting her love to be with Vere The sensual level was high between them, but not the sex scenes between them wasn t graphic, but sensual While there was many dark moments in the book, and the continuing mystery crime going around Elissande s uncle, there was also some very light and humorous moments with Vere acting the idiot and some of the things he would do make me laugh out loud many times, and the blooming romance Freddie Vere s bother and his best friend as the woman she is and the love she s held for him for so long.Overall Sherry Thomas writes a great dance of light and dark with His At Night, with strong leads with understandable troubles they face This maybe my first Sherry Thomas book, but it won t be my last. Every romance novel needs an obstacle The idea is that the characters are perfectly suited for each other but there is something that is stopping them from being together some misunderstanding or some dark secret for example.The first thing to do if you want to write a romance novel is to come up with that obstacle Sherry Thomas came up with this let s make the male lead really smart and handsome but let s make him pretend he is dumbshit because he is a secret agent and dumbshit is his cover Now the female lead is a clever girl so she is appalled by the fact that Lord Vere is as dumb as a box of rocks but also weirdly attracted to him because he has a six pack and a very big you know what which she discovered when she accidentally sat on his lap This is the situation I quite often found myself in so I could emphatise I usually gave those guys the benefit of doubt, because, you know, it might just be that they were undercover secret agents Sadly each time it turned out that they were bona fide idiots.I can t give this book five stars because that s just embarrassing.Here is what happened Karen started a Readers Advisory group on goodreads and I wanted to be nice and posted a thread there asking for a romance novel that would fill all my requirements Mariel kindly provided recommendations Anyway, long story short I woke up on Saturday morning and started reading it Before I knew it was 4pm, I still hadn t taken a shower or eaten anything other than chocolate.This is precisely the reason I don t read romance novels too often because I can t be trusted with them I mean, thank God it was Saturday Otherwise I would ve probably called in sick or something. Admittedly, I m hard to impress when it comes to standard romance novels But I can t stand it when these books are peddled as something they re not His At Night is another in that oh so risque clump of romances the ones that want to be Hardcore Fiction in ways not dictated by Tab A Slot B sex But it didn t work.Novels like this are terrified of offending their audience They re desperate to reassure the reader that there s a familiar path, regardless of changing this trope or that angle of seduction And that desperation leads to the same boring subplots of secondary charactersthe same spoonfed emotion laden monologuesthe same fakey relationship rollercoasters shorthand character development, regardless of whatever bizarre backstory or villainy is wedged between scenes of psychological lint picking However, since Vere feels free to gnaw on overwrought bits of wangst re his undercover persona, I thought it only fitting to compare his efforts with a favorite escapist drama of yours truly Miami Vice Remember they re all perfectly capable of kicking your ass And look at the awesome juxtaposition of dates 1890s 1980s Break out the Twilight Zone theme Truly, His At Night demands an absurd utterly incomprehensible suspension of logic an unbridgable gap that left me reeling in a perpetual fog of disbelief I didn t buy for one second that Vere was a legit government agent Why Because his cover is absolutely ridiculous, everything about his toddling spymaster gig has the feel of a terrible one act play Her Majesty might as well have sent Bingo Little to solve the Great Train Robbery Undercover work is dangerous Undercover work requires balls Undercover work requires a believable persona Posing as drug dealing pond scum is one thing but keeping that cover week after week is something else entirely, even for a pair of badasses like these guys.Unleashing uber fashionable justice on dealers ped0s the world over.So how does Vere s technique compare snort Let s put it this way Lieutenant Castillo, retired special forces military assassin professional asskicker, thinks you re an unrealistic moron.As if Idiot Vere his spywork wasn t insulting enough, we have a small army of characters who are completely fooled by this pathetic undercover gig which means the reader has no choice but to put up with it Somehow this stupid disguise has managed to fool not only Vere s acquaintainces social network, but also his family closest friendsFOR THIRTEEN YEARS Yup Apparently Vere s convinced everyone that he s a harmless idiot completely brainless devoid of common sense because he walks into the wrong bedrooms spills food knocks over vases thinks people melt in the bathtub discusses cow udders in mixed company , but he s not so stupid as to be Special Victims material He keeps several houses has servants enjoys an occasional roll in the hay with merry widows His idiocy is charming His idiocy is cute His idiocy is sexy Relax, Larry It s just Vere blowing up an office filled with vitally important documents How charming In the long run, I suppose it s important to establish Vere s idiocy as the half assed slapstick dumbassery that it isotherwise Elissande s obsession over his manly physique would label her a sexual predator Even with the reader understanding Vere s undercover guise, Elissande s initial battling against lust for his body omg, his luscious shoulders giant dong make my ladybits tingle disgust at his mental failings holy shit, I ve married a fucking moron is somewhat on the creepy side But no worries it s only a moral quandry until midway through the book The guise that fooled his closest friends family for THIRTEEN YEARS doesn t fool Elissande She s known him for less than two weeks is suddenly noticing patterns to his idiot remarks the way he deliberately knocks things over Are you fucking kidding meCrockett Tubbs are horrified at such piss poor undercovering The icing on this cake of WTFery wasted suspense is the romance itself Boring sex, thin plotting, talking head dialogues, wooden characters equal a MASSIVE ROMANCE FAIL Let s break it down, shall we 1 I didn t buy into these people hating each other.2 I didn t buy into these people loving each other.3 I didn t buy into these people healing via lukewarm sexual encounters.4 I didn t buy into the Big Bad Villain s villainy.5 I didn t buy into the Big Bad Villain s downfall.6 I didn t buy into the schmoopy secondary friends to lovers subplot.And that s not to mention the gag worthy cheeseball closing chapters of repetitive navel gazing Even after the Big Bad Villain plot is concluded, we spend anther 40 fuckin pages on sifting through emotional belly button lint.Awesome times, yo Overall, it s a fantastically dull storythough in the hands of someone else, it could have made for decent romantic suspense I know some readers consider Sherry Thomas to be hardcore edgy for massmarket Regency Clone audiences, but I ll say it again You can t be afraid to offend the overly tender sensibilities of some readers still offer real drama, tragedy, fear especially with the sort of story this wanted to be Larry is amused by your failure, but only because there s nothing better on television.2 stars Barely.N.B This was the fourth installment of an epic Buddy Read Square with these three ladies I think it s pretty safe to say none of us will be reading ST again. 3.5 STARS 3.5 starsI m conflicted over this one My feelings kept changing as I kept reading this My first Sherry Thomas read and this book in particular kept coming my way so I caved and gave it a shot The overall idea and story set up was intriguing and not typical But the execution of it could have been better in some parts I started out enchanted with the hero and heroine s first meeting Cliche in many ways yes But still, these two people who are so lonely and have to playact most of their life to hide something, I found it sweet and poetic that they would find solace and happiness in each other But then things went all helter skelter when the heroine Elissande, who is in desperate straits, view spoiler sets up the hero Lord Vere into getting caught with her so they would have to get married hide spoiler His at Night was a very clever, multi layered story It is about two people who live their lives while playing out a role, 24 hours out of the day Both Vere and Elissande have very good reasons for why they pretend to be someone that they are not Vere does it to right wrongs, to exact vengeance when he could not save his mother so many years ago Elissande does it for her survival.I was quite impressed with how Ms Thomas wrote this book that made me laugh myself giddy in some scenes, and feel a deep sense of sadness, frustration, and anger in other scenes You see, Vere plays the fool, and he does it very well He pretends to be what many called an idiot I wonder how I would feel if I knew him Probably, I would find myself loving him and wanting to protect him, since the world is cruel to people who are different and who don t live up to their standards That s what his younger brother, Freddie did Others simply treated him with contempt I imagine that was really difficult for Vere To be such an intelligent person, with so much to offer the world, and to be perceived by the world in such a negative light Thus, he is a very lonely man He has created a female companion, his perfect woman, who shares his life, and sees him as he truly is That is his only solace, outside of his ability to see justice done, and taking care of his brother.When Vere first sees Elissande, it s love at first sight, although he rejects this feeling And when he sees that she is scheming to catch herself a husband, he becomes hardened against her When she engineers being caught in a very compromising position with his brother, he arranges to be there instead, and his opinion plummets to an all time low but he must marry her Such begins their marriage.Elissande turned out to be an equally complicated heroine She s led a life of fear, living with her frail aunt and her cruel, wicked uncle by marriage She learned to always smile and act as if everything is okay Her sunny smile is a mask to hide her deepest fears and pain from the world When she meets Vere and realizes that he s an idiot, smiling gets really hard Physically, he s a dream come true But, does she want to spend her life married to a fool, even if he represents freedom for her aunt and herself Desperation leads to her trying to entrap Freddie, his younger brother, but she gets Vere in her clutches instead She ll make do with him, make a marriage that helps her to gain her freedom.Elissande doesn t expect to feel such passion with him, like she is coming home in his arms He seems to be two different people the idiot, and the demanding vital husband who will take all of her, or nothing She comes to realize that being free from her uncle is not the only possibility from her marriage Neither come to realize how much they will come to love each other Watching their relationship unfold kept me riveted.I must give Ms Thomas my respect for capturing the late Victorian period so beautifully Her prose is elegant and vivid I felt like I was in the 19th century as I read this story When I had to put the book down, it was with a sense of annoyance I think this would make a wonderful movie The characters in this story are realistic, sometimes to a painful degree The confrontational encounters between the characters made me wince, because it felt so real to me I don t think Ms Thomas is afraid of showing her characters at their ugliest, and I m not sure that this would work well for every reader At times, it was jarring to me, to see the cutting way Vere used words with Elissande, to push her away How Elissande was not afraid to stab back with her own words Conflict of this sort isn t comfortable for me But, it felt authentic, which is something that I appreciate I like a story that has elements of darkness, with characters that are flawed and struggling His at Night does have this element in spades But, it s also a fun, enjoyable book I liked Vere s cleverness, his ability to stay in character and get the job done, even when it was so hard for him I liked seeing his covert capers He stands out as a crusading hero who fights the good fight, and that endeared him to me He is a strong, vital man my favorite kind of hero in that regard His willingness to make personal sacrifices for the good of others only made me love him If only he realized how well Elissande complemented him She really wasn t so different I wish he hadn t tried so hard to push Elissande away, afraid to let himself love her because it wasn t comfortable for him I was glad that he came to his senses and realized that an honest relationship isn t always comfortable, that true love hurts But some hurts heal us deep inside.It was hard to say what I thought of this book, but to put it simply, I valued my reading experience with His at Night This was my first book by Ms Thomas, and I look forward to reading books by this talented author. His at Night will surprise readers of Sherry ThomasPrivate ArrangementsandNot Quite a Husbandused to her regretful, subtly intense narratives and realistic characters and dialogue Both novels follow the conflicts facing two fully realized people in a relationship In contrast, His at Night hinges on a implausible premise unrelated to the central romance, where hero Lord Vere adopts the pose of an idiot for years as an agent of the Crown Perhaps the rockiest leg of this foundation is that Vere adopts this pose even before his younger brother, who idolized his intelligence and competence before Vere s life changing accident and afterward becomes his devoted keeper On the one hand, Thomas spins us a terribly heartrending situation where a brother must every day hurt and disappoint the man who was once his best friend On the other hand, Vere s disguise is an idiot. This undermines the gravity of Vere s dilemma It s hard to take his pain seriously when he s so upset that he has to play a puffed up fool At one point Vere muses that he could have taken the disguise of an indulgent, self destructive rake equally well if not for his scruples about harming his body He has a my body is my temple attitude I think it likely Thomas simply didn t want to add to the body of rakes in historical romance Of course, this attitude towards his body certainly pays off He s tall and strong, and for once, an aristocratic hero s fitness is believable and three dimensional, excuse me as I ogle Vere s idiocy was hilarious He s not satisfied with simple blunders or social faux pas, he s a clever man and he amuses himself as he fools people, so we end up with brilliant dinner conversation like this Have I told you the Edgertons motto he asked, after a beat of silence I do not believe so Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo. On her other side, Lord Frederick coughed, a hacking fit of it, as if he d choked on his food.Without a care in the world, Lord Vere rose, strolled to his brother, and struck him a few times between his shoulder blades Lord Frederick, red faced, muttered a word of thanks Lord Vere ambled back to his own seat We too have scattered arrows Isn t that what the Edgertons motto means, Freddie Vere s internal dialogue and his orneriness as a drunk smacked of Romancelandia when he denies his love for Elissande Lamentably, I ve read plenty of heroes fighting love I humor the authors Thomas interpretation is the first that s actually convinced me, and let me say, the man in denial, non romanticized, is another animal Elissande is also flawed, and the hero knows it thank you There are genuine, unscripted conversations So Thomas realism is still present to some degree Likewise, Thomas singular because I have yet to see another like her smooth, concise style that sees whole chapters passing in a blink but every word potent, ixnay on the metaphors, superfluous rhapsodies on scenery and lengthy internal monologues A prose and wordcraft lover like myself can glut herself on Thomas writing, always Her narrative s sensual, as usual, through the placement of a few careful, unabashed details, so that we re riveted by the raw, earthy power of the stuff Her fast pace was slowed somewhat by the unnecessary scuffle near the end, and the powerful revelations which unravel Vere s character and affect our opinion of him ought better to have been seeded earlier in the narrative, but otherwise fans of Thomas will enjoy her interpretation of the historical romantic comedy and newbies to Thomas will enjoy this lighthearted romance, provided they also enjoy a flawed hero PS There s a bit of a spoiler forPrivate Arrangementsin Night.
A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN , book 1 of the gender bending Lady Sherlock mystery series Sherry Thomas has done the impossible and crafted a fresh, exciting new version of Sherlock Holmes From the carefully plotted twists to the elegant turns of phrase, A Study in Scarlet Women is a splendid addition to Holmes s world This book is everything I hoped it would be, and the next adventure cannot come too soon Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author Thomas weaves a lush, intricate fantasy world around a gorgeous romance that kept me riveted until the very last page What a breathtaking journey Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series Sherry Thomas is the most powerfully original historical romance author writing today Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
- 372 pages
- His At Night
- Sherry Thomas
- 14 November 2019 Sherry Thomas