Sunday, December 1, 2013

Early Review of 'Twas the Night Before Mischief (Daring Hearts #2.5) by Nina Rowan

Title: 'Twas the Night Before Mischief (A Daring Hearts Novella)
Series: Daring Hearts
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
File Size: 304 KB
Print Length: 103 pages
Publisher: Forever Yours (December 10, 2013)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Author's Website:
Notes: Received and eARC loan from the publisher.

Christmas is not Penelope Darlington's favorite time of year and hasn't been for the past 10 years. Her mother, whom she loved and still misses, died on December 18th and with her went Penelope's own love of the season. Now her father has done the unthinkable--he's planned an elaborate Christmas feast on the 18th without even realizing the significance of the day. Penelope is looking for a means of escape, for something more than her seemingly boring life, and thinks running off and eloping with Simon Wilkie will achieve it. Little does she know the person who can provide her with what she's looking for has been right in front of her all the time.

This was a great intro to the Daring Hearts series if you haven't read any of the books yet. It can be read as a standalone and will give you a nice taste of Ms. Rowan's writing style and the series. To me the holidays are the perfect time to indulge in novellas because at such a busy time they allow you to bake your cake and read a story too, all while curbing your hunger and need to read.

Penelope is afraid that like her mom, she'll be forgotten and unseen. While she knows her father loves her, she misses the quality time she spent with her mother. In a way, I feel her rebellion is, in a way, a misguided tribute to her mom whom she describes as having been bold, something she'd always admired and wished to be. After all, if someone like her mother can be forgotten, what chance does she have?

Darius Hall is described by Penelope as the serious twin who doesn't know how to smile. Unbeknownst to her, he's had his eye on her for quite some time. The quiet, soft spoken man has always seen her, but ironically it's her who hasn't ever really seen him as he truly is. I loved how we get a glimpse of how she'd first viewed him and how she finds she's totally misjudged him as he finally gets the chance to explain himself. This is one man who truly does have a way with words but in a truly unexpected way. You see he's been contracted by a publisher to create an encyclopedia of scientific and literary terms. I have to admit at first I thought his tendency to recite words in his head might equate him to Raymond Babbit of the movie Rain Man, but as his dictionary project was revealed, I quickly realized it was just his way of dealing with his unease, nervousness and an upcoming publishing deadline.

Overall, a sweet and touching novella that warmed my heart. I wondered if Penelope inspired Darius to create an encyclopedia when she asked if there was a word that describes a feeling that is bigger than ordinary happiness? Plus, I adored Darius' explanation as to why he started talking of the atmosphere (of all things) when she said she didn't wish to be invisible. A totally unexpectedly romantic answer that made me smile. This one gets 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Notes to keep you in the know:
tumshie - a stupid or foolish person. Etymological Note: Originally jocular or colloquial Scots for ‘turnip.’ Common insult tumshie-head and other comparisons of a head to a turnip probably preceded the stand-alone tumshie. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

Order of the series:

 And coming in May of 2014: 

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