Review: Not Proper Enough by Carolyn Jewel

Posted September 25, 2012 by Ang in 3.5 stars, Historical Romance, Rating B Tags: , , ,

Not Proper Enough
Author: Carolyn Jewel 
Release Date: Sept. 4, 2012
Publisher: Berkley
Seducing the Scoundrels # 2
ISBN: #978-0425250976
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): Paperback (304 p), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
The Marquess of Fenris has loved Lady Eugenia from the day he first set eyes on her. Five years ago, pride caused him to earn her enmity. Now she’s widowed, and he’s determined to make amends and win her heart. But with their near explosive attraction, can he resist his desire long enough to court her properly?
After the death of her beloved husband, Lady Eugenia Bryant has come to London to build a new life. Despite the gift of a medallion said to have the power to unite the wearer with her perfect match, Eugenia believes she won’t love again. And yet, amid the social whirl of chaperoning a young friend through her first Season, she finds a second chance at happiness.
Unfortunately, the Marquess of Fenris threatens her newfound peace. Eugenia dislikes the man, but the handsome and wealthy heir to a dukedom is more charming than he has a right to be. Constantly underfoot, the rogue disturbs her heart, alternately delighting and scandalizing her. And when their relationship takes a highly improper turn, Eugenia must decide if the wrong man isn’t the right one after all.
What Ang is talking about:
Steamy, Scandalous and Sexy as well you know how the saying goes. These are the first words that come to mind when describing Carolyn Jewel’s novel Not Proper Enough. The plot line of Not Proper Enough is fairly simple: Fenris, our hero loves Eugenia, our heroine, and Eugenia hates Fenris for wrongs done to her when they were young. Fenris refuses to accept this and so he must win her whatever it takes.
It would seem then that Fenris would spend the novel trying to win her back by wooing her, explaining his pass behavior, forming intimacy and romancing her, so the reader would be able to watch their relationship unfold and maybe understand the intense hate Eugenia has for him. Instead he seduces her quite thoroughly over and over again. She believes she is simply using him to fulfill a need left void with the death of her husband, but somewhere along the way falls in love with him. Although the reader recognizes this as the course being taken fairly quickly, it isn’t until the last few pages of the book that Eugenia admits it to herself.
Overall I found the characters to be smart, passionate and strong-willed, with some well written dialogue–which was a relief given the simplicity of the plot line. Had the characters not driven the story I would have been bored very, very quickly. 
All of that being said, I did have a couple issues with the book. The first big complaint was the language. I found it to be coarse and out of place. For example, the use of the F bomb, which always feels out of place and forced to me when peppering a historical romance, is so frequent that I nearly didn’t finish the book. Thankfully the dialogue and witty banter coupled with the steamier than a turkish bath love scenes distracted me enough that I was able to look pass its overuse.
My other major issue was the lack of actual intimacy. I will admit there is serious heat between Fenris and Eugenia right out of the gate, but we never seem to get any deeper than the physical side of things. I’m not a prude. I enjoy a well written sex scene as much as anyone, but for me the sex needs to be connected to something deeper-intimacy and romance must be present-and I felt like both were skipped over in lieu of the steamy, scandalous sex scene instead. In my opinion, sex can’t carry a novel, and this one came awfully close to asking it to do just that. Both of these items seem to be put in place to shock the reader, and if that was what Ms. Jewel was going for, she succeeded with this reader.
All in all I would give this book a B+. Would I read it again? not likely. Did I enjoy it the first time? Overall, yes. Do I think others would enjoy it? Absolutely! Especially if they are looking for witty, cleverly scripted dialogue, in a steamy, sensuousness romance that would shock any Victorian mother’s socks off with its impropriety and scandalous liaisons. If that is what you are looking for, this book is certain to fulfill all your needs.
Angs Rating:
Liked it – recommend (B+)

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