Review: Sweet Enemy

Posted February 15, 2012 by Gikany-Una in 4 stars, Historical Romance, Rating A Tags: , , ,

Sweet Enemy
Author: Heather Snow 
Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Publisher: Signet
Veiled Seduction #1
ISBN: #978-0451236104
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates.  His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs.  When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford.  But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.
Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a Countess.  If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge.  However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father. 
Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula.  But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…
What G & U are talking about:
Sweet Enemy is a fun, fluffy read.  Una loves to be carried back in time while reading these types of novels, however she is very picky.  Gikany usually does not read historical romance, but Una was able to talk her into it.  We both enjoyed it!  It would be terrific for a fun escape on a lazy day.  What is surprising to us is that this is the first book in a new Veiled Seductions series, something we didn’t know until we started writing up this review.  This novel did not read as if it was a first in a series.
What we have discovered, what makes us so picky about Historical Romances, is we enjoy the contrast of strong female characters confined by the society of the time period.  We enjoy the journey a strong woman must take to be considered part of polite society and yet not lose her independence.  Most importantly, we enjoy our heroine finding a husband who cherishes her independence and values her personality.  This is what we found in Sweet Enemy.  Miss Liliana Claremont is a fiercely independent and incredibly intelligent woman who refuses (usually gently) to let society dictate her life.  Her stubbornness not only infuriates Geoffrey, the Earl of Stratford, but also ignites his passion.  

He watched this transformation from accused innocent to affronted angel with fascination.  God, she was exquisite – for a conniving little actress.

“I beg your pardon?” Her husky voice sounded purposefully controlled.

“As well you should,” Geoffrey snapped.  “I thought the chit who tried to corner me on the terrace tonight had nerve.”  He shook his head.  “Not as much as the industrious mother-daughter pair who staked out the hallway to my chambers, however.”  He glared at Miss Claremont, taking in her dark attire.  “But at least they didn’t skulk around in shadow waiting to pounce.”

“I am not skulking,” she retorted, her voice high.

“No?”  Determined to shed more light on this absurd situation, he snatched a spill from the jar above the mantel, lit it from a sconce, then lit the fire.  Satisfied, he faced her.

Her violet eyes still glared at him from her flushed face.  Heat streaked through him once more.

We thoroughly enjoyed their banter and the dance they do around each other as they try to get what they think they want from each other.  Then when they realize what they want…how they dance again thinking they have lost it all.  It’s like a great Jane Austin movie!
The mystery did hold a few surprises for us and it was woven nicely into the romance.  This was an absolutely fabulous way to be introduced to a new series.  It was a gripping read; Geoffrey and Liliana (especially) will keep you on your toes.  The way the story is crafted, the characters and writing, it truly feels as a stand-alone type novel in a casually grouped series.  What we mean is, a series with different characters that interact with each other, but the series can be read as a group of stand-alone novels.  The sophistication we found in Sweet Enemy is all the more wonderfully surprising.  
Although it is not the usual read for Gikany, she and Una are interested in reading the next novel in this series, Sweet Deception, due out August 7th, 2012 (birthday present for Una!!!).  If you enjoy escaping this modern world for a bit, please pick up Sweet Enemy.  It is well worth the travel and adventure.
Their Rating:
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

Purchase Info:

3 responses to “Review: Sweet Enemy

  1. Una

    Maybe we should have rated higher…not only is it first in a series, butt we think it is Ms. Snow’s debut novel. Wow!! It was really good!

  2. Wow! Thank you Gikany & Una…I’m honored you enjoyed SWEET ENEMY 🙂 And you’re absolutely right, the Veiled Seduction series is loosely grouped together, but can completely stand alone. Characters will certainly appear in more than one book, but what really ties the books together is the similar theme of science-savvy heroines with a mystery to solve. The second and third do feature a hero and/or heroine that was introduced in book one, so reading them together will deepen the reading experience, but it’s not imperative.

    And yes, SWEET ENEMY is not only my debut novel, but my first completed manuscript ever 🙂 Thank you so much for your lovely review.

  3. Una

    Ms. Snow, thank you for your time responding (and my apologies for my typo above). I have to tell you I LOVED it!! I can’t wait until the next TWO books. You have two, I only knew about the next one. Yay! Thank you for sharing these characters with us. And I must say, your first completed manuscript…we are truly impressed and look forward to more novels from you!