Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Let's Misbehave by Rae Summers

TITLE: Let’s Misbehave
AUTHOR: Rae Summers
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 20k)
GENRE: Historical romance
COST: $3.00

Jazz singer Gabrielle wants to embrace her freedom, taking pleasure wherever she can in search of filling the holes left inside her at her father’s death. When she meets the uptight Sebastian at his bachelor’s party, she’s unsettled by the way he seems to read her. He, on the other hand, can’t get the free spirit out of his head, but it’s impossible for him to turn his back on everything he’s had to devote his life to, even though he feels trapped by its constrictions…

Though this is a short novella, I was utterly entranced. Color me surprised when I slipped into the Jazz Age London setting with little problem, and got lost in the emotions surrounding these two lost people.

The story is a simple one. Wild child girl meets uptight boy. Each misunderstands the other, until they take steps to see past their surface misconceptions to the truths that were hinted at in their first meeting. Love affair blooms. Differences rest in the character’s roots. Gabrielle is a Flapper who yearns for the freedom so much of her generation is striving for, determined to run from the emptiness inside her left behind at her father’s death. Sebastian is the only remaining son of a politician, forced into a life meant for his older brother before the brother was killed in the war, fighting against all his natural instincts to let his control go. They feel iconic at the same time they come to life, their emotions worn on their sleeves like a hungry desperation. They are the heart and soul of this fervent romance, and completely swept me up in everything they were experiencing.

It’s helped by a smooth authorial voice, with just enough lyricism in the descriptions to give it an easy, lovely flow. It’s not overbearing, and while I can’t be sure if it’s all completely accurate, nothing jarred as really wrong, so I was able to immerse myself into the love story unfolding before my eyes. I loved, too, that nobody’s villainized or canonized. Even characters I thought risked such treatment became fully fleshed by the end of the story.

I’ll remember these two and their driving needs for a long time, I think. I’m very curious now to find out if this author has written anything else. If she can sustain this kind of emotion for an entire novel, I imagine it would be a really magical experience indeed.


8/10 – Smooth, with an easy lyricism


8/10 – I ached for his loneliness and determination to do what he perceived was the right thing


7/10 – I needed more of her motivations early to truly feel for what she was experiencing

Entertainment value

9/10 – As simple as the story was, I was completely and utterly entranced with it

World building

8/10 – I’m not sure how accurate everything might have been, but it felt real, with the sense of lively desperation I associate with the time period



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