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Sunday, June 23, 2013

|Review| Nearly a Lady by Alissa Johnson

I'm VERY excited about today's Sizzle & Swoon post because I'm reviewing a historical romance book that I LOVED so hard and I will for sure reread it many times in the future! Plus I loved writing this review. It has to be my favorite review I've ever written so far! Per usual, don't forget to stop by Alexa's for another Sizzle & Swoon post.

Published June 7th 2011 by Berkley
Genre: historical romance  
Rating: A
Goodreads summary: 
The woman makes the man…

Winnefred Blythe learned at a young age to make do with very little. After the death of her father, she taught herself to live on a pauper’s allowance—until a charming visitor promises her the funds that had been stolen from her through the years. But Freddie isn’t comfortable with the trappings of money—or the attentions of a stranger from London…

But can a man make a lady?

After the war, Lord Gideon Haverston resolved to never again burden himself with the troubles of others. Still, he was expecting to be greeted as a hero by the tough young woman his stepmother cheated out of house and home, not suspected as a conspirator. Indeed, the situation is more complicated than Gideon had expected—and the task of taming Winnefred Blythe, much more alluring…
Why is historical romance such an underrated and hidden gem? I just want to go to sleep and wake up the next day to find out everyone read this book and fell in love with it too.

begins with a kick or well, a rifle.
"Move so much as a finger, and I'll probably blow a hole clean through you."
Well... Damn.
From the first sentence, I was in love. Our heroine, is threatening to kill our hero? Umm yeah, this is my type of book! When Lord Gideon Haverston finds out that Winnefred Blythe has not been receiving the amount of money promised to her by his family, he sets out to be the hero and deliver the good news that Winnefred will be receiving what has been stolen from her but instead, he gets his ass kicked. By Winnefred.
"...she was rather small for having bested him in a fightembarrassing, that." 
I LOVE IT! (I promise I don't like this much violence in real life!) But that pretty much ends our ass kicking portion because Winnefred, her sole companion Lilly and Gideon clear the matter up and start on the right ground which is something I will address later on in the review.

I fell in love with Winnefred, Freddie for short, the moment I realized she was the one holding the rifle and I only fell in love with her more as the book went on. Her father died when she was 13 and she had to take up residence in Scotland with the Haverston family acting as her benefactor but a certain member of the family made sure she didn't receive the money she was owed so Winnefred and Lilly have been surviving alone for 12 years on a few pounds, VERY few pounds, per year while they run Murdoch House and the farm themselves. This means Winnefred wears trousers, has a pet goat, knows how to fix a fence and she bred a cow. She wasn't anywhere near a lady

But she was beyond awesome. Since Winnefred has been in Murdoch House excluded from society and surviving with Lilly (who's only a few years older than Winnefred) for 12 years, there was absolutely no reason for her to be a lady and she behaved the way she wanted it to because she had all the freedom in the world to do so. Now she didn't do anything crazy, but she spent 12 years helping Lilly and herself survive and because of this, Winnefred was naive in certain ways because she didn't really know the twisted ways of society. She was very direct and honest. She was hardworking and proud and just all around awesome

Enter Gideon who came to Scotland to give Winnefred what she deserves and in the process, he realized he wants to give Winnefred everything. It's not immediate romance but he sees how hardworking Winnefred is and how much has been robbed from her.
What other pleasures, large and small, had been stolen from her?
I was with Gideon all the way. He wanted to spoil Winnefred and I wanted him to spoil her rotten. She beyond deserved it. She barely had anything and she didn't ask for anything but she deserved it all. She wasn't a saint, and she points that out in the book herself, but she was such a kind and funny person and she deserved it. I know, I know. I realize that I love Winnefred. I love her a lot.

Because of Winnefred's hint of naivety and the fact that she lived so far away from polite society, she was very straightforward which is really refreshing because everything in the book was straightforward. After she knocked Gideon out and he woke up and explained himself, the issue was resolved. Straightforward. Their were no games between her and Gideon. First, there were fondness between them then friendship. They made each other laugh and they got in arguments here in there when they unintentionally offended each other but they immediately talked it out and got over it.


Characters. Talking. 
Characters. Talking. In. Romance.
Characters. Talking. In. Romance. And. Being. Honest.

This hardly happens. Anyone who read romance can attest to that but there was no unnecessary misunderstanding or ridiculousness in which was is very refreshing and nice.

The romance was so sweet, it nearly killed me. I love, love LOVE witty banter and sarcasm but Winnefred and Gideon were friends and they had nothing to hide so the dialogue WAS awesome but in a whole different way. The dialogue wasn't a match between Winnefred and Gideon to outdo each other with barbs and such and it wasn't a competition to have the last word. Instead, Winnefred and Gideon and talked and they tried to make each other laugh. It was another nice change and oh so lovely and sweet. And I'll mention the straightforwardness again because I LOVED IT!!! Sometimes Winnefred and Gideon set off each others buttons and then they resolved the issue and did this:
"Are we friends again?" 
I died every time this happened. 

I did. No joke. It killed me. These "forgive me" lines took my heart in their hands and squeezed it really tight until it exploded. It was just so sweet and not romantic but something even better. They were friends and seeing their romance being built on that friendship was really special. I loved how Winnefred never denied her feelings or attraction to Gideon. Straightforwardness, oh I love you. But really, how I love everything about Winnefred. There were times at the book where she doubted herself but she never fell into a black hole of insecurity. 
"Maybe if she made herself into someone else, anyone else...

No. She wasn't going to make herself into someone else.
I loved seeing Winnefred crush these bad thoughts! I really never rooted or loved a character more! And no worries, I loved Gideon too. There wasn't any rake talk which makes me happy because I don't think rake heroes are done well anymore and the fact that he was a Lord and the brother of a Marquess never turned into a Big Deal, thank god for that. All the title, duke/earl/viscount drama gets old and repetitive if I'm constantly reading about it in every historical romance. 

So yeah, I obviously love and everything about it. I can't wait to start annoying everyone by constantly talking about it and recommending it to people because if you're a fan of historical romance, then you must read And there is a pet goat named Claire. After mentioning that, why would anyone NOT want to read this book? Seriously.

Rating: [A] a new book to add to all the "favorite book" list! A truly wonderful read.

"Move so much as a finger, and I'll probably blow a hole clean through you." 
 ...he stopped her by reaching out and tapping her gently under the chin with his finger.
"Come now. It's a disagreement, not a duel. Put your anger away."
'Pass the rolls, Mrs. Butley, and another helping of Lord Gideon's raw heart. No, non, just use your fingers, dear, he's being punished.'

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