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Sunday, 22 September 2013 16:31

Review: It Takes Two to Tangle

Written by Jennifer Porter
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ItTakesTwotoTangle“It Takes Two to Tangle” by Therese Romain (historical, Sourcebooks, September 2013, $6.99, 352pp)




Wooing the Wrong Woman...

Henry Middlebrook is back from fighting Napoleon, ready to re-enter London society where he left it. Wounded and battle weary, he decides that the right wife is all he needs. Selecting the most desirable lady in the ton, Henry turns to her best friend and companion to help him with his suit...



Is a Terrible Mistake...

Young and beautiful, war widow Frances Whittier is no stranger to social intrigue. She finds Henry Middlebrook courageous and manly, unlike the foppish aristocrats she is used to, and is inspired to exercise her considerable wit on his behalf. But she may be too clever for her own good, and Frances discovers that she has set in motion a complicated train of events that's only going to break her own heart...


When I read books, often times there are things in them that stand out – that make the book memorable. This was the case with Theresa Romain’s “It Takes Two to Tangle.” It contains what I will always think of as “The Best Duel Scene Ever.” Romain managed to surprise me with the duel. I admit that I was not thrilled when the hero challenged another character in the book. But the duel scene actually makes this book, providing the catalyst to cause the hero to finally grow up and take charge of his life – and become worthy of the heroine.


Henry Middlebrook is a beta hero. He is the younger brother of a titled gentleman and one who has been permanently wounded in the war against Napoleon. He is unsure of his place in life and hasn’t entirely made peace with the fact that his right arm will likely always be lame. When his sister in law promises to find him a wife, he throws himself into her scheme with hesitant gusto. Yet, he finds that he has much more in common with Frances Whittier, the widowed cousin of the woman he is supposed to court.


Frances and Henry form a friendship, although Henry doesn’t seem to notice her as a romantic partner – at least not right away. He is blinded by his belief that her cousin could bring him normalcy and a place in London society. This is mostly due to the fact that he hasn’t come to grips with his place in life now that he cannot paint.


So Henry is a bit slow on the uptake. He takes too long to see Frances as the woman who completes him. He worries a bit too much about what his life will be – and he broods a bit too much. However, these things all fit in with his character. And he sheds the shackles of his self-doubts when challenges a lord who makes disparaging comments about Frances, and he conquers the villainous lord perfectly if in a rather unexpected way.


Henry shines when he finally comes into his own, and this is when he stole my heart. I had wondered about his ability to grow up, but he more than answered any doubts that I had.


“It Takes Two to Tangle” by Theresa Romain is a book not to be missed. This one made me remember why historical romances are my comfort books, and I can see myself reading this one time and time again.


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Book Disclosure: A book was provided by the author.

Last modified on Sunday, 22 September 2013 16:39
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

Romance Novel News

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