Friday, April 22, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer

Title: Never a Gentleman
Series: The Drake’s Rakes #2
Author: Eileen Dreyer | Authors Website
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever)
Available: Now
Genre: Historical Romance
Reading Level: Adult

Description from Goodreads:


Miss Grace Fairchild is under no illusions about her charms. Painfully plain, she is a soldier's daughter who has spent her life being useful, not learning the treacherous ways of the ton.She may have been caught in a scandal with society's favorite rogue, but how can she marry him when it means losing herself?


Diccan Hilliard doesn't know which of his enemies drugged him and dumped him in Grace's bed, but he does know the outcome. He and Grace must marry. To his surprise, a wild, heady passion flares between them. Yet Diccan is trapped in a deadly game of intrigue Grace knows nothing about. Will his lies destroy Grace just as he realizes how desperately he needs her? And how can he hope for a future with her, when an old enemy has set his murderous sights on them both?

My thoughts:

Grace Fairchild is aptly nicknamed Little Colonel. Raised on the battlefield with her soldier father, she is selfless and continuously puts others needs before her own. Content to spend her life as a childless spinster until she wakes up in bed with Diccan Hilliard. It is apparent both Grace and Diccan were drugged, but in order to protect both of their names they decide to marry. Grace is upset to give up the dreams of a simple life on the land she inherited from her aunt. Diccan isn’t thrilled to be stuck with a wife when he prefers the life of a bachelor. They move to London where Grace with her bum leg and plain appearance faces ridicule and teasing. Diccan is wrapped up in political intrigue, and forced to shun his wife and take a mistress to protect her. Neither planned to have genuine feelings for each other, but find it happening regardless. 

I have such mixed feelings when it comes to Never a Gentleman. This was a very hard one to rate and review. I absolutely adore Eileen Dreyer’s style of writing. It is so descriptive and thoroughly captivating. She also creates such well developed characters. With that said, the plot took so many turns that I truly didn’t anticipate. I loved the political side and the tender moments witnessed between Grace and Diccan, but the situations he found himself in for his mission left a bad taste in my mouth. There was one scene in particular that made me especially uncomfortable. The author gave justifiable reasons for his mistreatment of Grace, but this wasn’t what I usually look for in a historical romance. 

I also discovered while reading that I don’t like to spend most of my time feeling pity for the main characters. Poor Grace was continuously made to feel ugly and worthless. She didn’t emanate the strength I’d expected from the “Little Colonel”. I even felt (a little) sorry for Diccan. He seemed sincerely remorseful for his behavior and I think he did an OK job of redeeming himself at least partially, but I really need more sigh worthy moments and warm fuzzies with my romance novels.

Even though the romantic elements weren’t what I had hoped for, there is still top-notch story telling in Never a Gentleman. The ending was also what I’d consider angsty perfection. I’ll definitely pick up the next book in the series which features my most favorite character, Kate. 

My Rating:

Eileen Dreyer on the web:

Win 1 of 3 copies of Never A Gentleman:


Open to residents of the U.S & Canada
No P.O Boxes please
Winners are subject to the 1 copy per household rule
Books ship directly from publisher
Please fill out the form to enter
Comments are always appreciated, but will not count as an entry
Ends May 8th


  1. Well said, Christie!! I agree with so much of what you said in your review. Nice job!

  2. Christie--thank you for giving such a thoughtful review. I know that my story worked more for some people than others. To my way of thinking, Grace was so inured to her self-image that she could be strong for anyone but herself. She needed a LOT to break out of that pattern. But that doesn't mean it makes sense to anybody else. I promise that Kate is feistier. But I think you already knew that. ;-}

  3. O I feel ya on the pity factor. Great honest review.