Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: A Lady Never Surrenders by Sabrina Jeffries (3.5 stars, historical)

Full Description: Amazon

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Thoughts After Reading:
I have been anticipating Jeffries' A Lady Never Surrenders, the fifth and final book in her "The Hellions of Halstead Hall" series, ever since the previous book in the series came out. So naturally I had to read it on its publication day, instead of sleeping like I should have been :). Jeffries is one of my favorite historical romance authors and I was expecting great things. Alas, I was destined for disappointment. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice read; it just wasn't excellent.

The heroine is the youngest sibling in the Sharpe family and thus ends up being the last sibling that needs to marry in order to meet the grandmother's ultimatum. She has a passion for guns, and is much more comfortable chatting about the latest innovations in rifles than trying to flirt with eligible men. The heroine also has some self esteem issues about her looks, partially as a result of tomboy-like tendencies. She can be outspoken, and tends to butt heads with the hero. The hero is the family's Bow Street Runner, who has been investigating the deaths of the heroine's parents. He has been greatly attracted to the heroine since he first met her, yet feels himself too poor and their social positions too different for the heroine to ever consider marrying him. All the heroine really wants is for someone to want her for herself, rather than her money or even position. She asks the hero to investigate her suitors, in case she needs to marry to fulfill her grandmother's wishes and to prove to everyone that she is marriageable material. This sets the stage for the hero and heroine to be around each other frequently, with the hero getting jealous all the time and having a hard time keeping his hands off her. The couple develop a respect for each other, but the heroine is (rightly so) confused about the mixed signals the hero is giving her. They are also thrown together as they make progress in the investigation. Eventually the hero realizes how silly he has been behaving, and later he has the opportunity to rescue her from the villain responsible for her parent's deaths.

Maybe it's just that time has inflated my opinion of Jefferies, but this didn't seem to be her best work. The story was light and fluffy, which was nice, but it was almost too light and fluffy. The back and forth between the hero and heroine was somewhat fun, but things would have gone much smoother if the hero had simply told her how he felt. Similarly, while the hero and heroine had attraction and later respect for each other, it seemed a bit of leap to call it love. I would read it just to get closure on the series, but I probably won't be saving it to read again - it was just too average.


  1. The only Sabrina Jeffries I've read are short stories included in the School for Heiresses and Snowy Night with a Stranger anthologies.

    I've been meaning to read her at some point but the TBR pile is huge and I'm reluctant to add to it, when instead of reducing it I keep getting distracted by new authors and freebies.

  2. Lol, well it's always preferable to have too many books to choose from over not being able to find anything interesting :).

    I think I've read two of Sabrina Jeffries' series: the "Swanlea Spinsters" and the "Hellions of Halstead Hall". As I alluded to in the review, it's been a while since I've read her books but I know I loved them at the time. The crazy thing is that all the ratings for "A Lady Never Surrenders" are really high so far, so I'm not quite sure what to think.

  3. I read comments.... somewhere? A reader complained that the H/h fell in love too quickly, another replied that this love story had developed through earlier books. So maybe you're not the only one who didn't love it.

  4. Oh, really? That's reassuring to hear. It'll be interesting to see the general consensus after more reviews roll in.


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