Rachel Van Dyken is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance authors! She’s the author of The Ugly Ducking Debutante and The Seduction of Sebastian St. James, both novels in her House of Renwick series. When I heard about her short novella An Unlikely Alliance and its relation to the House of Renwick series, I jumped at the chance to review.
Royce Mc Arthur lives quite the life of luxury. Spoiled rich, he spends his days and nights gallivanting around New York without a care in the world. However, all that is about to change after his mother hands down a decree: marry a respectable woman, settle down, and produce grandchildren. Unfortunately for him, all of the woman who Royce are acquainted with are not the kind of women you’d want to bring home to your mother. All of this changes, however, when he meets Evelyn DeJarlias at a ball. Slightly brash and outspoken, Evelyn is the kind of woman that Royce pines for, although she doesn’t seem to return his attentions. Will Royce be able to convince Evelyn to give him a chance to show her that he is not as rakish as she originally surmises?
Van Dyken’s novels always stand out to me for their unique male leads. Her “heroes” (if we can call them that) are all men in serious need of redemption and love from a good woman. They need someone who makes them want to change and be better men. Royce fits this pattern to a T, going from a spoiled selfish man to a man hopelessly in love, willing to do anything for the woman he loves. While I believe in his transformation, I think it would have worked better had it been fleshed out more. Yes, I understand that with novellas you don’t get as deeply detailed character transformations as you would in a whole novel, but I truly believe that Van Dyken has the storyline and characters for a full-blown novel on her hands.
The brevity of the novella is really my only complaint. Everything happens at such a fast pace that you feel rushed through it. I guess you can’t really call it a complaint – it’s a compliment to Van Dyken’s writing style and creativity that I want more! So, if you’re in the mood for a quick and fun story that will hold you captive until the end, An Unlikely Alliance will definitely fit the bill. For those eagerly anticipating book three in the House of Renwick series, The Redemption of Lord Rawlings (out later this month), this will be a good quick fix to get you through the wait!
3 out of 5 Stars
This is my tenth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
An Unlikely Alliance by Rachel Van Dyken
Astraea Press (2012)
eBook 82 pages
Special thanks to Astraea Press for my review copy!