Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Desperately Seeking Suzanna

Desperately Seeking Suzanna (Tricks of the Ton - Book 2) by Elizabeth Michels

Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
ISBN-10: 1402286023
ISBN-13: 978-1402286025

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Elizabeth Michels on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Tricks of the Ton:

1. Must Love Dukes
2. Desperately Seeking Suzanna

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Desperately Seeking Suzanna, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


Her Cinderella Moment
Sue Green just wanted one night to be the pretty one. But a few glasses of champagne and one wild disguise later, she's in some serious trouble. Who knew the devastatingly handsome face of Lord Holden Ellis would get in the way of her foot?  And how exactly did all that high-kick dancing start in the first place? At least she blamed it all on her new persona--Suzanna. So Society's most eligible bachelor will never find out the truth.
All Holden wants is the truth. Who was that vixen who seduced him so thoroughly, then disappeared? The only one who seems to have any answers about Suzanna is Miss Sue Green. She's promised to help him find his mystery woman, but in truth she's not being all that helpful. And in truth, the more time Holden spends with Sue--witty, pretty, and disarmingly honest--the more he realizes he may have found exactly what he's been looking for all along...


The second book in Elizabeth Michel's Tricks of the Ton series, Desperately Seeking Suzanna has a Cinderella like, fairy-tale theme, complete with an evil mother. Readers who are looking for a great Regency read with all the trimmings will enjoy this novel about finding true love, right under our noses. Michels has a way with writing characters that are fun and entertaining and readers will quickly fall for the enigmatic Suzanna and her alter ego, Sue, as well as the handsome Lord. A great addition to this engaging new series.

What I liked:

Elizabeth Michels has only recently landed on my Historical Romance radar. But I'll have to say it was a lucky find. I enjoyed the first book in the series, Must Love Dukes very much. I liked the fact that the heroine was unconventional and Michels continues that theme into her second book in the series, Desperately Seeking Suzanna. Sue Green is not a beauty as some would expect, but she is witty and surprising and completely unexpected when it comes to her personality. She isn't the prim and proper Regency debutante, she wants to kick it up a little bit, have a good time for once in her life and that clearly changes her life.

I really enjoyed the underlying ties to the Cinderella fairy-tale as well. Readers may not find a glass slipper or a coach with footmen turned from mice, but they will definitely see the similarities. Sue's mother is the biggest giveaway. I can see her as evil stepmother in some senses. She is not the most loving of women and she rides Sue completely off because she does have the beauty of her younger sister. The younger sister steals the spot light on every occasion. The prince, or in this case the Lord, is desperately looking for the woman who took his breath away at a masquerade ball. All of these things added together, shape this story up to be a perfect modernized version of the fairy-tale and I absolutely loved that touch.

Holden is an interesting hero for a lot of reasons. He is technically a liar. His whole life and persona is built on lies that he not only tells the other members of the ton, but lies I thought he was even telling himself. I loved the fact that he gets a chance to redeem himself and find true love in the offing. He has to keep up appearances, at least he thinks he does. When finds a very carefree and happily masked Sue at the ball, masquerading as her alter ego, Suzanna, he is knocked off his game. He falls for her instantly and has to find her, but I loved that eventually he finds what he is looking for, without and masks or tricks. Sue was right under his nose all he time. Michels does a fantastic job with his character as with all of the others she creates for this series.

What I didn't like:

The situation with Holden's mother was necessary to the plot of the novel, but still somewhat confusing. I think readers may get the wrong idea about why Holden believes he cannot marry and his reasoning for trampling on Sue's feelings by asking her to be his mistress. I think a little more clarification was needed and would have helped move the story forward.

There were also little snippets of things readers may not understand here and there. They may be memories or even visits from other characters that kind of took away from the main objective of the story. I think they are probably little things that will have significance in later books in the series, but still found them a little distracting.

Bottom Line:

This was an excellent re-telling of the Cinderella fairy-tale romance. I loved Michel's way with writing characters and felt this was an excellent addition to the series. There were a few little distracting issues but nothing to take away from the overall enjoyment of this book. 

Desperately Seeking Suzanna is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Michels blends life and laughter with a touch of sass into the Regency Era. This flirty debut author turns ballrooms upside down, and challenges what lords and ladies are willing to do to get what they most desire. She lives in a small, lake-side town in North Carolina with her husband, "Mr. Alpha Male," and her son, "The Little Monkey." Elizabeth is furiously typing away at her next novel while dinner burns in the kitchen. She loves to hear from her readers. Please visit her website at elizabethmichels.com