Thursday, August 13, 2009

Review: How To Tame A Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist

First I'd like to thank everyone for the positive feedback yesterday on the new look :) I'm happy that everyone seems to like it! :)

Otherwise, there's not much to say LOL :) Supervisor is on vacation, the summer student is leaving next Monday, already. Going to be quiet in the lab. My uncle came to help my dad do some manly work involving wood and a hammer LOL :) My cousin might swing by with her boyfriend - I hope so.

Watched SYTYCD Canada yesterday. Unfortunately, I missed the first episode on Tuesday because I went to see G.I.Joe. The auditions yesterday were enjoyable :) But man, I think they'll be a lot of people for the Top 20 selection ^_^; And there's a lot of people from last year returning. I like the fact that the judges are so encouraging, but I'm thinking they might be a wee too nice? Ah well, we'll see :P

How To Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist
published by Grand Central Publishing in August 2009

Commitment-phobic Sam Carson has only dated model-gorgeous women. But one stolen kiss from a plain-Jane schoolteacher and he's hell-bent on stripping away her floral dresses and teaching her the art of being bad. If only her good-girl ways didn't make him want to be a better man...

Ally Giordano is at the end of her rope. Her beloved grandmother actually believes that she's living in her favorite romance novel in Regency England and Ally doesn't have the heart to set her straight. But now Granny Donny's last wish is for a retreat to the country and Ally can't refuse her...until she demands that Sam accompany them. And though his smiles turn her knees into jelly, Ally knows better than to trust a playboy...and she definitely knows better than to try to change one. Or does she?

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: None (so far)

The Story: Ally Giordano is turning 25 years old and she has plans: moving on. About 10 years ago, she was abandoned by her parents who ran away due to debts after Ally's grandmother, Granny Donny, cut them off. Ally gave them a deadline - they had 10 years to come back for her... The deadline is expiring the next day and so Ally is getting ready to move on - move to San Francisco where she got a teaching position in a prestigious high school.

However, Ally's careful planning goes down the drain when Granny Donny shows up on her doorstep, dressed in regency clothes with a handsome playboy, Sam Carson. Unfortunately for Ally, it seems that her grandmother suffered of a mild stroke and believes herself to be in the world of her favorite historical novel (1812), The Dulcet Duke, and is determined to see Ally married to the Duke Whatthehell, also known as Sam. Ally realizes that this could be her grandmother's last wish and wanting to please her, Ally agrees to retire to the country (to their beach house) by horse carriage where they will host a ball. Intrigued by Granny Donny as well as Ally, Sam Carson decides to join them for the ride.

My Opinion: I've read a few books by Ms Holquist in the past and I have to admit, they've mostly been misses for me ^_^; However, the back blurb of How To Tame A Modern Rogue sounded so fun and intriguing that I had to get it. Just had to get it... so I did and I'm glad :)

How To Tame a Modern Rogue was a very cute book :) The premise/idea is quite original and refreshing and is complemented by some very interesting characters. I loved Granny Donny, such a resourceful woman who won't take no for an answer. I fell for Sam and was rooting for him all the way. Mateo's storyline was quite interesting and I hope there'll be a follow-up on him and his budding romance with Ally's best friend. However, this book wasn't perfect and my biggest caveat was unfortunatly Ally, the heroine.

I found Ally extremely annoying ^_^; I don't enjoy Ally's type of heroine: controlling, pessimistic and suspicious. I hate how she kept jumping to conclusions and how she always thought the worst of Sam, simply because he enjoys life. The first time she saw Sam, she immediately thought he was a conman after her grandmother's money. Then, when she saw Sam's penthouse - she still didn't quite believe he was rich himself, must have gotten it from some old rich women (i.e. she thought he was a gigolo). During their journey, when Granny Donny and company ended up at the horse racetracks, of course, it must have been Sam. Or whether he was sleeping with the hired help. Ugh, it drove me nuts!! Yes, she has a sad past and I could understand some of her reactions, but she went too far, she was too much. I mean, after all, she was raised with Granny Donny - who enjoys life. Did her grandmother abandon her too? Nope. As a sidenote though, I think that Granny Donny should have told the truth to Ally much earlier. Yes, Ally might have suffered, but at least she would know and it would have allowed her to move on earlier.

I also didn't understand why Sam fell in love with her. Why her? Okay, so he was attracted to her after the kiss. Fine, but otherwise? I thought Sam was an interesting character, especially given his upbringing, a modern rogue who fit the duke's description to a T, LOL. I thought it was cute that he was all outraged after reading The Dulcet Duke :) At the same time, it also showed him how empty his life is... It's quite sad when you realize that you're all alone and that nobody would really miss you. However, that's how he chose to live his life and I admire him for standing by his decisions. He started from scratch and made a fortune. I mean, he did succeed in life... and is it really our business how he chooses to live his life? Whether he does join a firm or not and his strings of affairs. So it makes him commitment-phobic... but how many out there are this way? Does that make him a bad man? No. So that's why the way Ally treated him annoyed me a little. I didn't like that Ally couldn't accept Sam for who he was. She wanted a sad story to justify his choice, the way he lived his life... In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with Sam and the way he is. He's not a bad man and as long as he's willing to change his ways for the right woman, it's great! Of course, he did have a sad story in his closet ^_^; but at least, he didn't use it to excuse his choice. I liked the fact that he stood his ground, that he knew the choices he made were conscious and that they couldn't be excused by his past. All in all, I thought he deserved better than Ally. The only redeeming factor in this relationship between Ally and Sam to me is the fact that Sam is the one who walked away from Ally and she's the one who had to grovel. Although, Sam went easy on her, in my opinion.

It might sound like I didn't enjoy this book, but I did. The storyline overshadowed the characters in my opinion and it made up for the heroine. I mean, it was just fun imagining this party crossing New York in a horse carriage and making their way to the beach house. The soccer's tidbits were also fun :) LOL, the fact that Sam was so passionate about soccer... it fit him :) Mateo's storyline was also quite interesting and as I said earlier, I hope we'll see more of him in the future.

My Grade: B. A cute book, fun and enjoyable. The grade would have definitively been higher if I'd have liked Ally better.


  1. I almost picked this up the other day. But didn't. Something about the OBC copy just doesn't sit right with me - I can't figure out why. Weird.

  2. Hi Nath,
    This doesn't exactly rock my boat and characteristics like; controlling, pessimistic and suspicious is something I don't link in both my male or female leading character. Okay, rephrase, a male can be somewhat controlling but the other two are no-no's.

  3. Hi Nathie... I saw your Kenyon review. Ugh! I started, which means I only read 50 pages, and put it down. Now my worst fears are realized. Blerg!!!

    What I really wanted to comment on was you new page. It looks so great and is so easy to read. Way to go!

  4. Good review Nath
    I was curious about this one.

  5. Hmmm.... nath, not my favorite type of heroine either! The book/story itself sounds interesting, though. Hmm... undecided. Still. Ugh!

  6. I don't know about this one...great review..just don't think this is the type of book for me. I have a hard time liking heroines and I know I wouldn't like this girl!

  7. I liked the review but not sure about the book. I don't think I'd like this heroine enough to put up with her. :)

    LOVE the new look! It's definitely you. :)

  8. Lori - I think the story was cute. If you like this author's previous work, I say go for it :)

    Leontine - Hmmm, I might have been a little bit harsh on the heroine ^_^; She's not that pessimistic... I don't know ^_^; I didn't want to turn people off with my review! LOL :P

    Rosie - Did you stop because of my review or because of the first 50 pages? I mean, Zeek liked it a lot, so you might... Just let me know what you think when you finish it :)

    Thanks, I like the new look, a lot :) I think it's going to last much longer than the previous one... I think :P

    Mary G - You're welcome.

    Hilcia - Like I say, it's really cute :) I enjoyed it.

    Mandi - Hmmm, if you're hard on your heroines, then this one might not be for you.

    Leslie - Seems like I turned off many people for this book ^_^; oups.

    thanks about the new layout.

  9. Hi nath! I liked your review though I have to say, I'm also more inclined to pass on this one. One of the few things that appeal to me is that Sam is passionate about soccer. I'm not, but my boyfriend is which is why I think it would be interesting to see how this is handled in the story.

    I know, not the best reason to read a novel when there are so many other books around. LOL So yeah, I pass. :)

  10. Taja - I know, it seems that most people are inclined to pass on this book after reading my review ^_^; Oups. Maybe the author could re-write the book a little?

    I think the soccer aspect is written with enough accuracy. It's not a small deal in the story, but not big either. I wouldn't buy it just for that...