Monday, October 19, 2015

REVIEW: "Sweet Disorder" by Rose Lerner

Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston, #1)
(Lively St. Lemeston #1)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Historical Romance -- Regency England

Samhain Publishing -- Published on March 18, 2014
Ebook, 321 pages
Read in October 2015
Purchased from Amazon


Small Town Setting, Politics, Class Differences, Beta Hero, Returning Military, Widow Heroine, Curvy Heroine

Nick Dymond enjoyed the rough-and-tumble military life until a bullet to the leg sent him home to his emotionally distant, politically obsessed family. For months, he’s lived alone with his depression, blockaded in his lodgings.

But with his younger brother desperate to win the local election, Nick has a new set of marching orders: dust off the legendary family charm and maneuver the beautiful Phoebe Sparks into a politically advantageous marriage.

One marriage was enough for Phoebe. Under her town’s by-laws, though, she owns a vote that only a husband can cast. Much as she would love to simply ignore the unappetizing matrimonial candidate pushed at her by the handsome earl’s son, she can’t. Her teenage sister is pregnant, and Phoebe’s last-ditch defense against her sister’s ruin is her vote—and her hand.

Nick and Phoebe soon realize the only match their hearts will accept is the one society will not allow. But as election intrigue turns dark, they’ll have to cast the cruelest vote of all: loyalty…or love.

Warning: Contains elections, confections, and a number of erections.

"Phoebe sat at the foot of her bed, her elbows propped on the deal table she'd placed under the window."

I read Rose Lerner's debut historical romance, In for a Penny, years ago and enjoyed it.  She has a refreshing voice that reminds me of Courtney Milan, Mary Balogh, and Carla Kelly.  Sweet Disorder is the first book in this series which consists of stories that take place in the small British village of Lively St. Lemeston.  In particular, this book focuses on an upcoming local election and provides the readers with a sweet (and spicy) love story between two people from different parts of society with some political intrigue to balance everything out.

Nick was a wonderful hero who had me falling in love from the beginning of the book.  He is the son of an earl and has recently returned to the country after being injured in the war.  As he struggles to figure out where he wants to go with his life now, his mother coerces him into helping with his younger brother's campaign in Lively St. Lemeston.  He is a genuinely nice guy  who just wants everyone around him to be happy.  I enjoyed watching him start to take a stand and prove that his feelings are also valuable.

Phoebe was also a joy to read about in Sweet Disorder.  She is a widow living in a small flat and spending her days helping run the newspaper that her late husband's brother now runs.  Phoebe also is passionate about politics though her party allegiances are put to the test after her sister reveals her pregnancy.  I thought Phoebe was a great heroine and she is someone I would definitely like to have on my side in a crisis.  She hasn't had the easiest life, but she still tries to fix everything and find the positive.

Nick and Phoebe had amazing chemistry from the moment that they met.  It was obvious that they were meant to be together, but they had a lot of obstacles to their happy ending.  First, and foremost, is the fact that Nick comes to Lively St. Lemeston to convince her to marry another man for political gain.  They also come from completely different parts of society with Nick being a member of an aristocratic family and Phoebe being in the lower classes.  Some romances will just gloss over these class differences, but Rose Lerner really made them come up with a solution to this issue before getting their happily ever after.

I just loved how different this story felt in regards to the characters, the plot, and the setting.  I enjoy ballrooms and dukes, but it is nice to read something else in historical romance.  Politics usually aren't a subplot that I like yet I thought it added some external drama for Nick and Phoebe's situation.  Sweet Disorder also provided some fun characters and anecdotes that I always look for in good small town romances.  I am definitely looking forward to reading more in this quirky village.

"It’s the worst sort of snobbery to condemn a book without reading it, merely because it’s popular."

1. Sweet Disorder
2. True Pretenses
3. Listen to the Moon (Coming 2016)

Goodreads -- Author Website

Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance


  1. Nick sounds wonderful! Id not heard of her before. Thank ya for the heads up, Jennifer!

    1. She has a really unique voice that I love. She has a new book coming out in January that is the romance between a valet and a maid. Yeah for historical romance featuring people besides lords and ladies!

  2. This one sounds like fun! I might have to pick it up. :)

    1. It was! I'm usually not into politics in books, but I thought the author blended it together with the romance really well.


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