You’re probably wondering why I’m reviewing a seven book romance series all at once. Well, it’s for several reasons. First, I bought the entire series as a nook bundle pack. (7 books for $20 was a bargain I couldn’t pass up!) Secondly, upon finishing the seventh book I felt as though my feelings on each of the seven books was fairly similar and I figured I’d be repeating myself a lot if I did individual critiques of each book. Thirdly, I finished my 82nd book yesterday, and as you can see am only up to reviewing in the 50’s range. I’m so far behind on reviews that bundling seven together is going to help me catch up that much quicker. With all that being said….on to the reviews!
If you choose to read this series, know that the books were written out-of-order. Somewhere around the time of the fifth or sixth book being published a list was put together of what years each book took place, essentially creating a chronological order in which to read. That list (as well as year published) is as follows:
- The Naked Duke (2005)
- The Naked Baron (2009)
- The Naked Marquis (2006)
- The Naked Earl (2007)
- The Naked Viscount (2010)
- The Naked Gentleman (2008)
- The Naked King (2011)
Each book is written as a stand-alone novel, but they have interconnecting characters. If you choose to read the series, I would highly recommend reading them in order! The characters pop up in multiple books, so knowing their back stories helps add a layer to their continuing character developments. I won’t go overboard and spit out plots of each of the books, but suffice it to say each book has the hero and heroine winding up in a situation that forces them to marry if they wish to keep their families out of the scandal pages. The heroines don’t want marriages caused by scandal, they want true love. The men, on the other hand, have no idea that the women they are caught up with are actually just what they need. Will the men wake up in time to realize how perfect these women are for them? Will the women accept them before the men declare true love?
So my biggest complaint about this entire series is each book’s ending. Each book has a central conflict that builds and builds but doesn’t really get resolved. For example in The Naked Baron (prepare for spoilers) Grace, the heroine, is being forced by her father to marry a man she does not love. She spends the entire book fighting her conflicting emotions of submitting to this loveless marriage for her father versus her growing feelings for Baron Dawson. She finally stands up to her father and tells him she won’t marry the man he’s chosen for her. He proceeds to lock her in her room and pushes her arranged marriage to the next morning. She escapes in the middle of the night and winds up finding Baron Dawson at an inn down the road from her father’s home. He was on his way to find her and profess his love and tell her that he wanted to marry her. The two find a priest at the inn and get married. The end. What happened when her father discovered her? How was that conflict resolved? What happened to her “other” fiancée? Each book is left with these unresolved conflicts that just bothered me. Yes, we’re relieved that the hero and heroine get together, but if you’re never going to resolve the main conflict that has come between them, what’s the point of making the reader read so much about it? I really would have loved resolutions to the secondary conflicts of each novel.
Even with this MAJOR upset (for me) with each book I did find them chuckle worthy. The heroines are a bit ditzy, and their comments and observations on society and life are actually pretty funny. In The Naked Marquis there is a society for the betterment of women that basically meet and drink a ton of brandy together. Aunt Bea (their semi-leader) was hysterical and just said anything and everything that popped into her head. Not only was their comedy within the novels, but a surprising amount of action as well. The Naked Duke has a sequence including a kidnapping and subsequent knife fight while The Naked Viscount has an entire mystery that needs to be solved complete with spying, orgies, and whole hidden underground mafia like world.
If you choose to read the series I would highly recommend my favorites: The Naked Duke, The Naked Viscount, and The Naked King. The heroes and heroines of these novels were my favorites and had the best storylines. I’d recommend this series for those looking for light-hearted, quick reads.
3 out of 5 stars
These are my twenty-fourth through thirtieth completed reviews for the Historical Fiction Challenge
The Naked Nobility Series Bundle by Sally MacKenzie
Kensington Publishing Company (2011)
eBook: 1719 pages