Category Archives: Harlequin Enterprises Australia

Review: Lingerie for Felons by Ros Baxter

lingerieTitle: Lingerie for Felons by Ros Baxter
Publisher: Escape Publishing-Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 222 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

If there’s one universal truth, it’s this: You’re always wearing your worst underwear when you land in trouble.

Lola’s parents told her that everyone can make a difference. And she believed them. She’s been fighting the good fights since she was eleven years old. But at 23, Lola falls hard for an Australian stockbroker who thinks Doctors Without Borders is a porno and Joni Mitchell sounds like a harp seal being battered to death. She cuts him loose, but over the next fifteen years, through protests, misunderstandings, humiliating predicaments, and a number of poor underwear choices, their lives and paths continue to converge.

Along the way, Lola learns a few important life lessons: Never wear a red lace thong to a strip search. Make sure you take motion sickness pills if you’re going to the Southern Ocean to save the whales. And sometimes, Mr Right can be all wrong, and Mr Wrong just needs time to find the right path.

Funny, touching, emotional and political, Lingerie for Felons is Bridget Jones meets An Inconvenient Truth, about doing the right thing, finding the right person, and always thinking through your underwear choices.

The Review:

With laugh out loud humor, a vibrant heroine and a refreshingly unique storyline, Ros Baxter’s Lingerie for Felons is a fun, light-hearted novel that is also thought-provoking and poignant.

Lola Murphy’s passionate relationship with Wayne only lasts a year, but when their paths continue to cross for the next fourteen years, she cannot help but wonder if he truly was “the one”. But the timing is never right for them to reconnect and Lola falls into a comfortable romance with Clark Cooper, the public defender she meets at her first arrest (more on that later). Just as she decides that maybe it is time to give Wayne another chance, she is thrown an unexpected curveball that forever changes her life.

Lola is passionate, headstrong and she truly believes that she can make a difference. A math geek who finds comfort in numbers, she settles into academia, but continues to wonder what she is going to be when she grows up. She never gives an inch when it comes to her causes and beliefs and while I admired her for it, this trait could also be frustrating. In Lola’s world, everything is black and white, with no shades of grey and that gets in the way of her happiness on more than one occasion. Lola has a great support system but she is so independent that she sometimes has a difficult time accepting their help.

And speaking of her support system, Lola’s family is her staunchest cheerleader no matter what wacky situation she finds herself in. Arrested more than once for acting on her fervent beliefs, they, along with her good friends Heidi and Steve, always rally around her and raise her spirits in the sometimes humiliating, but always humorous, aftermath. It is following her first arrest that she meets Clark and they fall into a comfortable relationship that withstands their differences, but in the end, proves unable to survive her long lasting feelings for Wayne.

Ahh, Wayne. How I wish we could have had more of him! When Lingerie for Felons begins, Lola and Wayne have already split up and we only get to experience their tempestuous relationship through flashbacks and their brief meetings through the years. What little bit we did see of him though is wonderful and I positively adored him. He is kind-hearted, gregarious and well-liked by Lola’s family and friends. While they don’t always see eye to eye, Wayne truly values her opinions and most importantly, he likes Lola just as she is. Although they are complete opposites, Wayne is perfect for Lola but she lets her principles get in the way and ends their relationship.

A lot of Lingerie for Felons is revealed through flashbacks and while it takes a little getting used to, it is an effective form of storytelling. These transitions from present to past usually occur at a critical point in Lola’s life and the shifts add a bit of suspense to the unfolding storyline.

Lingerie for Felons is an extremely entertaining novel with an outstanding cast of appealing characters. Witty dialogue and Lola’s giggle inducing internal monologues perfectly balance the more serious moments in the story. The overall plot is quite clever and I was absolutely delighted by Ros Baxter’s unexpected plot twists. All in all, a very smart and amusing novel that I highly recommend.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Escape Publishing, Fiction, Harlequin Enterprises Australia, Lingerie for Felons, Rated B+, Review, Ros Baxter

Review: His Convict Wife by Lena Dowling

Title: The Convict’s Wife by Lena Dowling
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises Australia
Imprint: Escape Publishing
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 165 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the author of The Convict’s Bounty Bride comes a new Australian historical about a free settler and the wife he chooses from a workhouse…

For Irish convict Colleen Malone, being framed, transported to Australia and forced into prostitution seemed like the worst that life could throw at her. Then she fell pregnant to a client and was sent back to prison by her cruel owner. Now, her only hope of a decent life for her and her baby is to find someone to marry.

Widower and former London businessman Samuel Biggs arrived in Australia hoping to put his grief behind him. When James Hunter offers him a job on his Parramatta farm, he accepts eagerly. He’ll put his back into his new work, and bury any thoughts of new love and marriage in the rich earth of his new home.

However, all plans are compromised when Samuel is manipulated into visiting a workhouse to choose a new housekeeper, and Colleen seizes her chance — literally grabbing Samuel and begging for her life. The only way Samuel can oblige is by marrying her, but on one thing he stands firm — there is no way he will fall in love…

The Review:

If you are a fan of historical romances then you are definitely going to want to purchase Lena Dowling’s His Convict’s Wife as soon as possible. It is a beautiful love story that I absolutely loved and hated to see end!!

Samuel Biggs is still deeply mourning the loss of his wife when he arrives in Australia and accepts a position as overseer on James Hunter’s farm. When Samuel accompanies James’s wife Thea to a local workhouse to procure a housekeeper, convict Colleen Malone pleads with Samuel to choose her. Due to Colleen’s prisoner status, she cannot leave the workhouse unless Samuel agrees to marry her. The two wed, but neither are prepared for the unexpected attraction they feel for one another.

Both Samuel and Colleen are in for a big surprise once they are married. Colleen is shocked to learn that Samuel plans to keep their marriage in name only and Samuel is disconcerted by Colleen’s transformation from a dowdy prisoner into a beautiful woman. Colleen has entered the marriage with a couple of big secrets that she desperately wants to remain hidden and Samuel is determined to protect his heart from any more loss.

I adored both Samuel and Colleen and I found them to a perfect fit for one another. Colleen is vivacious and undaunted by her wrongful incarceration and subsequent transport to Australia. She is not afraid to speak her mind and she is willing to take matters into her own hands whenever she needs to. Colleen is very much conflicted by what she feels she has to do in order to provide a better life for her unborn child and it is easy to sympathize with the dilemma she is facing. She is a refreshing breath of fresh air and I very much enjoyed her character.

Samuel’s journey from England to Australia has brought many changes to his life. When the ship’s crew became ill, he was forced into physical labor for the first time in his life and quite to his surprise, he discovered it suited him. Samuel eagerly accepts the overseers position and he is quite willing to work alongside his men. His decision to marry Colleen is a practical necessity and he is quite confident they can keep their marriage free of both emotional and intimate entanglements. Samuel is charmed by Colleen and they are soon enjoying all of the pleasures of marriage, both in and out of the bedroom.

Samuel and Colleen each have individual problems to overcome and while there is conflict between them, they work through it in a realistic manner. Colleen makes a precipitous decision that unintentionally puts her in harm’s way and when Samuel is blindsided by a revelation about her past, their relationship is threatened.

His Convict’s Wife is a sparkling gem that is light-hearted and delightfully angst-free. It is loosely connected to Lena Dowling’s novella, The Convict’s Bounty Bride, but it can be read as a standalone story. All in all, an absolutely fabulous read that I highly recommend.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment

Filed under Escape Publishing, Harlequin Enterprises Australia, His Convict Wife, Historical, Lena Dowling, Rated B+, Review, Romance