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18 January 2012

A Tryst with Trouble - Advance Review

A Tryst with Trouble by Alyssa Everett  
Publication date: 1 April 2012 by Dorchester Publishing
ISBN 10/13: 1428516425 | 978-1428516427

Category: Adult Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Keywords: Mystery, suspense, romance, Regency
Format: Paperback (received as an eARC from Netgalley)

Jacket copy:

Dogged for years by painful gossip about his father’s homosexuality, the Marquess of Beningbrough—Ben, to his friends—has protected himself by becoming the ultimate man’s man. Passed over by suitor after suitor in favor of her pretty but vapid younger sister, clever, forthright Lady Barbara Jeffords has reached the disappointing conclusion most men are shallow, boorish clods. 

When a philandering footman turns up dead, the two square off: he’s sure she’s determined to pin the crime on his hapless young cousin, while she thinks he means to shift the blame to her sister. To find the real killer, Ben and Barbara must declare a truce that threatens to expose both their buried insecurities and their growing desire for each other.

Alethea's review:

It's been ages since I read a really satisfying Regency romance. I read a few last year that I don't even count as having read since they were so poorly written and disengaging, I might as well have been leafing through a ten-year-old copy of Cosmo. (Wait, is Cosmo still around?)

A Tryst with Trouble, Alyssa Everett's debut novel, was just what I needed to revive my love for Regency. Ben and Barbara provided everything I look for in a good couple--likeability, chemistry, and conflict. Everett embroils them in mystery, a few improper situations, and just enough comedy to keep it from being a stuffy Historical with a capital H. At first I thought I'd be annoyed by the alternating points of view, but I ended up enjoying it. It's really the author's knack for balancing all the story elements that kept me firmly engaged in this novel.

Here's a bit from Barbara's perpective that made me laugh out loud:
"Do you think my pulse always hammers that way?"
"I don't know." I gulped, afraid to let myself believe I was the cause. "You might have a heart condition."
Everett also throws in a bit of commentary on homosexuality that strikes me as very modern, and that I found very welcome especially against the backdrop of prim and proper English society. It's done well in that not only does it seem plausible, but it also figures slightly in the plot--not enough to be a central issue but shaping and nudging the rest of the puzzle pieces into place.

Oddly enough, the last three Regencies I read were sadly lacking in the department of hot and bothered--sad wastes of a romance novel, in my book. I know they're supposed to be more on the tame side compared to Historicals, but there's a fine line between getting some and getting none at all. Again, Everett manages to balance tension with release--not too much, not too little--just right.

A too-transparent mystery would have ruined this for me, but don't be too quick to decide whodunit. Everett managed to keep me guessing almost up until the end. (It also didn't hurt that my mind cast the actors from the new BBC Sherlock in some of the leading roles--yum!) This is definitely one I will be picking up to re-read, and I'll be looking forward to more entertaining releases from this bright new author!

Visit the author online at www.alyssaeverett.com and follow her on Twitter @Alyssa_Everett.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. Haha this is an awesome review. I am gonna check it out.

  2. Oh yes. Read it everyone. Alyssa writes intelligently so that her characters are deeper than most. An excellent writer.


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