Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review: MOONLIGHT ON MY MIND by Jennifer McQuiston

Title: Moonlight on My Mind
Author: Jennifer McQuiston
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Rating: 4 stars

From the book:

To ruin a man's life once takes a regrettable mistake. To do so twice takes a woman like Julianne Baxter.

Eleven months ago, Julianne's statement to the authorities wrongly implicated Patrick, the new Earl of Haversham, in his older brother's death. The chit is as much trouble as her red hair suggests, and just as captivating. Now she has impetuously tracked him to the wilds of Scotland, insisting that he return home to face a murder charge and save his family from ruin. A clandestine wedding may be the only way to save her reputation—and his neck from the hangman's noose.

Julianne has no objection to the match. More and more she's convinced of Patrick's innocence, though when it comes to igniting her passions, the man is all too guilty. And if they can only clear his name, a marriage made in haste could bring about the most extraordinary pleasure . . .

My review:

This refreshing historical romance is a fantastic blend of traditional historical romance with unexpected plot twists and characters. 

Despite his nobility, Patrick, the hero, is a veterinarian (swoon). He was the spare heir, and when his brother dies in an apparent murder (of which Patrick is suspected of), he becomes the heir apparent. A good deal of politics of the time is inserted into this book, but rather than boring the reader with details, McQuiston cleverly drops the pertinent information in, drip-feeding us what we need to know (and leaving out a good deal that we don't, of which I was very appreciative!). 

Julianne is a different kind of heroine. When we're in her point of view, she's a very typical English miss. She's been prepped to take on a household, marry a title, she's clever...all the things you'd expect in a plucky Regency heroine....but then we see her from Patrick's point of view: She's spoiled, big-mouthed, fickle, unreliable, and a general pain to deal with. I loved this!! It gave me a fresh perspective on the genre which I needed, as I was getting a bit tired of the stories set in this time period. I'm still not sure how McQuiston did this so flawlessly; she really made me love/hate understand/scratch my head at Julianne. Kudos - that's never happened to me in an historical. (*happy dance*)

Patrick was fantastic from the start. His explanations of the day his brother died are so realistic and wonderfully written that I felt for him. I wished his brother was still alive, that his family wasn't so broken, that he was able to practice closer to his family - I just wanted his life to be perfect! 

I also had NO idea who the killer in this novel was. It seemed pretty obvious, then I was given pause. Then I thought the next obvious, and again...given pause. When the killer was finally revealed, I had to scrape my jaw off my Kindle so I could finish reading. I didn't see it coming, but when I look back, there's a couple of extremely subtle hints McQuiston placed in there that I didn't miss, per say, but I certainly overlooked them in favor of the obvious choice. Again - well written!

My only complaint was the acceptance Patrick's mother had of his and Julianne's marriage, and her immediate takeover of the Countess role. I understand it was part and parcel of a marriage, but with their history, I really expected a little more hostility or perhaps motherly concern. I didn't find her to be a plausible character. For someone in her position, the Dowager Countess (Patrick's mother) had no problem handing over the reigns of the entire household to a nineteen-year-old girl who, for all intents and purposes, accused her now-husband of murdering his brother. It just didn't ring true.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I read it straight through in a day, and I think it's a good use of your book money. It's on sale for less than $5 at all retailers, so go get yours. I don't think you'll regret it!

About the Author

Jennifer McQuiston is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Victoria-era historical romance, including  What Happens in Scotland and Summer is for Lovers. The third book in the series, Moonlight on My Mind, will be released March 25, 2014.

A veterinarian and infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. She grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters (who got a pony out of mom’s book deal!), and a house full of  pets.

Jennifer was a 2011 and a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist with two previous novels. Jennifer is signed with literary agent Kevan Lyon, and works with Tessa Woodward and the amazing team at Avon.

(Disclaimer: I was provided a digital Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC) from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)


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