Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer

Posted by Ing on 14 April, 2011 // ★★ 30 Comments ★★


***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Never a Gentleman by Eileen DreyerNever a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer
Series: The Drake's Rakes, #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 1, 2011
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Pages: 480
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Miss Grace Fairchild is under no illusions about her charms. Painfully plain, she is a soldier's daughter who has spent her life being useful, not learning the treacherous ways of the ton. She may have been caught in a scandal with society's favorite rogue, but how can she marry him when it means losing herself?


Diccan Hilliard doesn't know which of his enemies drugged him and dumped him in Grace's bed, but he does know the outcome. He and Grace must marry. To his surprise, a wild, heady passion flares between them. Yet Diccan is trapped in a deadly game of intrigue Grace knows nothing about. Will his lies destroy Grace just as he realizes how desperately he needs her? And how can he hope for a future with her, when an old enemy has set his murderous sights on them both?

Also in this series: Always a Temptress

My Synopsis:
Grace Fairchild is a respectable spinster. She has traveled the world and seen things no woman should ever witness. Grace was raised by her father, who was a soldier during the Waterloo wars. She’ll never be considered the reigning beauty of the ton nor is she their favorite. Grace is very plain, thin, extremely tall, and has one lame leg. She does have the devotion of her friends, the soldiers she befriended during her days marching with her father and her staff. All of them adore and dote on her because Grace has spent her life always taking care of others. Since Grace made her appearance in the ton she has been drawn to Diccan Hilliard. He is everything she is not. He’s adored, charming, handsome and full of confidence. Never in a millions years would Grace have thought she’d end up marrying Diccan.

Diccan Hilliard was on his way to London to impart some very vital information to his fellow Drake’s Rakes. These are the only men he’d trust with this information since they are trying to uncover the culprits behind the planned assassination of Wellington. So Diccan is shocked and appalled to find himself naked and in bed with a very naked Grace as well. At first Diccan insults Grace by accusing her of trapping him into marriage. Diccan quickly realizes that he’s been set up by the enemies to discredit his reputation by having it looked as if he’d debauched one of respectable virgin miss of society. Diccan is not happy about having to offer marriage to Grace but to save them both he will. With him leading a dangerous life as a spy for England having a wife and an unwanted wife at that is the last thing Diccan needs.

Can these two find love out of a rocky start to a marriage that neither really wanted? Will they even have a chance, with conspiracies, danger, spies, old mistresses, a savage killer on the loose and horrible in-laws lurking around the corner?


My Review:
Wow where to begin? Seriously this book had me running through a myriad of emotions. My emotions were up and down and all over the place! It ranged from pity, loving it, disliking it, sadness, intense ache in my chest, happy, hate, frustration and WTF! Mrs. Dreyer had me turning the pages even when I was disgusted and didn’t think I’d want to continue. I had to find out how she was going to make me believe in Grace and Diccan’s happily ever.

The first half of this book was promising. Their marriage had a rocky start. Diccan, respects and likes Grace but he’s not attracted to her. At first I couldn’t see how the author was going to convince me that Diccan would be interested in Grace ever sexually since he didn’t have nice things to say about Grace, physical wise in his head. He even dreads having to bed her to consummate the marriage. Mrs. Dreyer does do a good job of showing how Diccan starts to notice the non-physical aspects of Grace. The conversations they have, the horse riding in the park and her kindness. Through Diccan’s inner thoughts on these discovery of Grace’s other attributes I began to have hope for these two.

Then the middle was like WHAM! Seriously WTF just happened here folks? I kept thinking seriously, really, why? All this is explained below.

Grace is plain, horsey face, pale, drab…etc! This was brought up over and over in the book. You couldn’t read a page where, we the readers aren’t reminded about how Grace is not even remotely attractive. It felt like the author hated the character of Grace or something! Poor girl couldn’t catch a break because not only is she plain on top of that she has a lame leg and is tall. I liked Grace’s character overall. She is a very likable person. I found myself cheering for her during the times she stood up for herself. She tried to make the best of an unplanned marriage. She gave Diccan all she had and lost herself in the process. Even as she lost herself that bit of Grace was still there and I kept waiting for her to give Diccan the ass whupping he deserves. It never came! Grace is put through hell in this book. I mean how much heartache and devastation could one person go through?

As for Diccan wow I’m still not sure what to think of him. I should hate him but I don’t. I think Dreyer does a good job of giving Diccan’s POV, so even during the times where he’s a big time jerk I knew he regretted. Not that him regretting all his insults, cheating and indifference made it ok but at least I knew he was feeling some kind of remorse. Diccan and the Drake’s Rake explained all the things he did emotionally to her as it’s all for the good of Grace and protecting her from the enemies trying to destroy him and England. There is a plot to ruin him and he is forced to befriend the bad guys which include his old mistress. An old mistress that he sleeps with in order to get intel from her. Not once but he sleeps with her throughout the book. He and his fellow Drake’s Rake keep the ladies in this book in the dark instead of warning them about all the danger surrounding them. The guys seriously were idiots for doing this. All the heartache Diccan causes Grace could have been avoided if he’d tell her what was going on IMO.

In the end I think more groveling could have been done! Grace forgave Diccan too easily. Yea..yea..all he did was for the greater good of England…blah..blah!

So with all this said I still liked the book. I know you are probably confused because I’m confused! I think the writing is suburb. This book literally put me through an emotional ringer! Believe me, I felt some strong emotions. The insults and having to be cold hearted and such would have been ok and I could have dealt with that. The cheating is what gets to me and makes me frustrated with the book. I will give her next book a chance because the hero and heroine in the 3rd book caught my attention in this book. The fact that this authors writing and story-line for all its flaws in the middle was suburb. I still found myself turning the pages and engrossed. I still found myself caring about both the hero and the heroine! All this earns Dreyer another chance from me. I won’t quit her yet and hope that the 3rd book won’t involve any cheating heroes again. This was more of a 2.5 rating for the cheating and stupid-ness of the hero and men in this book but the writing was 3-4 rating. I decided to go with a 3 Pages Turned rating. 🙂

★★ Book was read in April 2011. I own my own personal paperback copy. ★★

Books in this Series:

✾ Giveaway Info ✾

The wonderful and awesome peeps at Forever Romance an affiliate of Grand Central Publishing is offering copies of this book to TWO readers of the blog. To enter follow the rules below.

  • Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only
  • No P.O. Boxes please.
  • Winners are subject to the one copy per household rule. This means if you win the same book in two different
    contests, Hachette will only send you one copy of the book.
  • Books will be sent directly from the publisher.
  • You MUST leave a comment with your e-mail address if it’s not on your profile so I can contact you if you win.
  • You MUST tell me why you: What the heck did you think? Are you still interested after the review?
  • Giveaway ends April 23rd

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30 Responses to “Blog Tour: Book Review + Giveaway – Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer”

  1. I have not had the chance to read anything by this author yet. I would love to win this book. if not will have to go out and find something at the bookstore by her. I love this site because i am always looking for new authors and books to read and you guys give great recommendations. thanks for the giveaway and hope i win.

  2. Ing

    @ Christie – I can’t wait to see what you think of the book. I’m definitely going to check out the first book.

    @ mbreakfield – I still liked him so you might too. LOL! You’ll have to come back and tell me if you do. 🙂

  3. Thanks to those of you willing to take a chance with me. I’m with Ing. I seriously would like to know what you thought. VampFanGirl–I thought I put in good groveling, He certainly suffers. (okay, so I like suffering heroes).
    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I’m also running a contest on my website for a chance on books and a grand prize of a sapphire, emerald and ruby bracelet. Stop by.

  4. To be honest, I already know about the spoiler and I don’t have a problem with it. I love books that push the envelope and are full of angst. Barely a Lady was one of my favorite historicals last year but it’s definitely not for everyone. I love that Eileen’s books engender such strong emotions in the people that read them, rather than just being cookie cutter clones of all the other historicals out there! I absolutely would love to win a copy.

    jen at delux dot com

  5. I am still interested to read this book… but to be honest, I didn’t exactly read your review after your spoiler warning since I don’t really like to be spoiled when it comes to books. But based on your synopis, the premise is still intriguing…


  6. I’m still interested. I haven’t read any of Eileen’s books before and I usually like jerky bad boy heroes, as long as he has some redeeming qualities.

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. Hero repeatedly sleeps with his ex mistress?? In a Historical Romance??? And no good groveling??? WTF? No thanks. Definitely not interested in this one. Which sucks cause I’m in love with the cover. 🙁

  8. I read the first one, and I enjoyed it, but I just don’t want to read this one. I have been hearing about the cheating and the particular scene that you are talking about. That is a deal breaker for me. There are so many other books to read.

  9. I’m still interested in the book. I have Barely a Lady in my TBR pile and I want to read that one first. The hero does sound a little bit jerky though. Sometimes I like that but he has to be redemable. Can he be? Now I have to know! Thanks for the review.


  10. Ing

    Seriously I’m glad people are still interested because this is a book worth reading. The writing and storyline is awesome but some of the situations was too much for me!

    @ Barbara – I like jerky heroes! I admit it. Diccan wasn’t a jerk on deliberately. He honestly wanted to protect Grace because he didn’t want his enemies to hurt her so he made it very clear by being a jerk that she doesn’t mean anything to him.

    I had some time to think about this book and I want to state this clarification I think the big thing that irked about the cheating besides him cheating for his country was Grace’s reaction to it. She was umm..stimulated instead and the subsequent love scene just rubbed me the wrong way. When you get this book I’d like to hear what you thought of that scene. It just all felt untrue and gross.

    Anyway if you want to feel angst this book delivers all that. One scene brought me to tears and my chest literally ached.

  11. Wow, that was an in depth review. I don’t usually read spoilers but I’ve read so really conflicting reviews on this book and I wanted to see your POV on it all. This book is definitely for me. The plot sounds fascinating. The whole Plain Jane who snags the heart of the handsome rogue bit gets me every time. Especially if the heroine has suffered many hardships…yeah, I love a good emotionally draining and heart wrenching story.

    Definitely toss my name in the hat for this one. But, even if I don’t win I’m definitely getting my paws on this tale.

    BTW, that cover is absolutely breathtaking. The green is just beautiful.

  12. Ing

    @ Eileen – Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! It’s great to get your perspective on why the “Half Moon Street” scene is thrown in there. I still can’t stomach it but the insight was appreciated!

    I am excited about Kate and Harry’s story. I’m glad to hear there is no cheating. The cover is beautiful BTW! 🙂

    @ Carol – I’m going to go back and read Barely a Lady. I want to get the backstory on Jack and Olivia.

  13. I’m also still interested. I’m Loving Drakes Rakes series so far. Loved Barely A Lady and look forward to to meeting Grace and Diccan.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 at AOL dot com

  14. To be honest, I don’t think I will pick this one up. I just don’t think I’d get over the cheating & repeatedly? That just seems horrible. But I might check out the next one.

  15. Ing–Thank you for your very honest review. I’d love to say you’re wrong about everything, but he does cheat. I knew I was skirting the edge on it, especially Half Moon Street(the scene now has its own name), but I felt that it would take something exceptional to break through Grace’s continued acceptance of status quo. To that point, she is disappearing, just as she always has. She really had to be shaken up(okay, so I grabbed her by the throat and tossed her around a bit). I know it worked better for some people than others, but hoped for the best. And I truly appreciate your giving me the 3.
    Oh, and I’ve just been finishing line edits on the 3rd book, Ever a Temptress. No cheating. I promise.

  16. Wow! He does seem to be like one of those love to hate characters, I think I would still want to read though because I would want to see if it brought out the same emotions in me as it did you.


  17. StacieDM

    Even though you thought it fell apart a little in the middle of the book I am still interested. The fact that you still like the characters a lot makes me think I will like the story. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  18. Ing

    @ChrisS & Robin K – if you pick up this book I’d seriously like to know what you guys think? I have such mixed emotions on it. I wavered between a 2 and a 3 rating but decided to give it a 3 for the reason a gave in the end.

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