Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Thoughts: Mr. Ridley

Mr. Ridley

by Delilah Marvelle
Book 1 of The Whipping Society

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Meet Mr. Ridley.
BOOK 1 of 3, all roped together by one man and one woman bent on twisted passion: making the other writhe.

Criminals fear the iron fist of justice he delivers.  Scotland Yard will do anything to get their hands on his mind.  Whilst women?  They crawl in the hope of becoming his.  But only one woman is about to hold his career and his body and his mind hostage.

Jemdanee (Kumar) Lillian Watkins is a botanical savant from India who ends up getting arrested for a crime she didn't commit.  Only one man believes her: Mr. Ridley.  Drawn to him and the rope he knots in her presence, she quickly realizes this regimented dark hero hides nothing but his passion.

Themes include Dark humor, BDSM, mystery, and romance.

This book is definitely a breath of fresh air in comparison to the historical romances I'm used to reading.  In truth, it's not the best written book in the world and could benefit from a bit more editing, but you soon forget that there are any quibbles and flaws in the face of how much fun it is to follow the interactions between Jemdanee and Mr. Ridley.  This couple is brilliant together, and even as some of the dialogue can be a bit incredible and tacky, the banter is to die for!

While I love that Jemdanee is a gem of a heroine--sunny disposition even in the face of everything that's happened to her, and a smart tongue that makes you smile--I honestly feel like it's Mr. Ridley that stood out for me more.  I'm so used to the broody, mysterious alpha heroes.  And in a way, that's what Mr. Ridley is, except that he's so much more.  To be honest, his fatalism got a little frustrating at times, but his blunt, straight-forward actions and mannerisms just made him a bit more refreshing than the typical historical hero.

Don't get me wrong--I loved Jemdanee as well.  She's basically everything I love about strong heroines with a level head on her shoulders, a heart of gold, with appropriate flaws, as well as some girlishly adorable quirks.  She's young, but sometimes you forget how young she is because of how mature and worldly she acts.

Meanwhile, I wish there had been a bit more about the murder mystery, and I wish we could have seen more of Jemdanee using her botanical savant skills for the investigation.  But it's quite apparent that this book was more about the slow developing lust and romance between our main couple.  There was also a heavy emphasis on the BDSM proclivities of our hero, but the theme is fairly underplayed compared to other romances I've read (and I honestly haven't read many) with this theme.

And to be fair, I'm not as interested in BDSM as much as others may be, so the honest truth is, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book anytime soon based on the summary, if not for some of the high praise, and lots of interesting quotes, I saw from a trusted reviewer I follow (a quick shout out to Whiskey and her Romancies for 2018, which is where I made the decision to read this book!).  Even if this book really does come off more BDSM-lite.

I'm quite glad this book caught my attention in this fashion, though, because in the end, it's the interactions between Jemdanee and Mr. Ridley that really made me fall for it.

This is my first favorite read of 2019, with hopefully more to come, and a good outlook for the rest of the year!

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