Expect the unexpected, especially in a room filled with books Honoria Duchamp is well aware that men often consider widows easy prey for the role of mistress What else could explain the attentions of handsome Lord Devin, and his visits to her bookshop The much younger Viscount has even shown interest in the printing press with which she creates pamphlets on London s basest injustices Yet his chief interest appears to be in herCoerced to investigate Nora s controversial pamphlets, Devin expected to find a bookish matron Instead, he is taken with Nora s womanly beauty, sharp intellect, and quick wit Soon, what begins as an unwelcome task becomes a pleasure, and Devin s job becomes dangerous for them both For Nora has no idea of the vicious element she s crossed Now Devin will risk his reputation to protect her and much to win her love


10 thoughts on “Never Too Late

  1. Caz Caz says:

    Never Too Late was one of those books where what could have been a decent premise was ruined by poor execution I was initially intrigued by the fact that theusual gender age roles were reversed, with the heroine being forty and the hero twenty six Even now, a couple in which the woman is considerably older than the man still raises eyebrows I thought there was potential in the idea of setting an older woman younger man romance in 1851, to explore the obstacles and prejudices such a coup Never Too Late was one of those books where what could have been a decent premise was ruined by poor execution I was initially intrigued by the fact that theusual gender age roles were reversed, with the heroine being forty and the hero twenty six Even now, a couple in which the woman is considerably older than the man still raises eyebrows I thought there was potential in the idea of setting an older woman younger man romance in 1851, to explore the obstacles and prejudices such a couple would have had to overcome.Running alongside the romance is the secondary plot about the heroine, widowed bookseller Mrs Honoria Duchamp, stumbling across a child prostitution and pornography racket, and her efforts to expose it and stopchildren being abducted and abused.But there are powerful people involved in these horrible activities, people who want to protect their identities and who will go to extreme lengths to do so When the men in charge realize that Honoria has discovered the house in which the children are kept, one Mr Withersby instructs Alex, Lord Devin, to spy on her and do whatever is needed to disrupt her business Devin is told that Honoria is printing seditious pamphlets as a sideline to her business as a bookseller, and as Withersby is blackmailing him he has incriminating photographs of Devin s brother with another man Alex has little choice but to make Honoria s acquaintance and start snooping around.Alex is immediately intrigued by Honoria, as is she by him, but he s too young and too handsome for her and she is suspicious when he begins to pay her compliments and even s o when he kisses her mere hours after meeting her.So far, so good in terms of the plot, at least The author has seized upon two less common issues encountered in historical romantic fiction, so as I ve said, the premise was promising.But the book falls down badly in terms of the writing and tone The author frequently uses anachronistic language Get over yourself , incorrect terminology Bach didn t write any Cello concerti and poor word choices.For example, Honoria tells Alex Of course, then we may maintain our acquaintance You may visit me at the shop as you choose But I have provisions And then later she says My grandfather held a baronet There is a conversation between Honoria and her three friends who comprise the Needlework for the Needy society, in which one of them says that her gut feels unsettled about something I really can t imagine a proper Victorian lady using such a term.There are also situations which stretch plausibility so much that, if it were a piece of elastic, it would never regain its original shape Alex s mother, the Dowager Viscountess, is presented as rather a free thinker, although she is still accepted in society and invitations to her dinners and parties are highly sought after I imagine the author is trying to account for the fact that Lady Devin invites a woman about whom she knows absolutely nothing to a dinner party which will be attended by among others Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning ,and Edward Bulwer Lytton, and seems to have no concern whatsoever about Alex s relationship with a woman fourteen years his senior Not only does she invite this unknown tradeswoman to a prestigious event at her home, but within minutes of making her acquaintance, she offers to lend Honoria a dress suitable for dinner She doesn t make an outright offer, instead coming up with a ridiculous story of how she and her now deceased sister used to like playing dress up, so she would deem it a kindness if Honoria were to borrow one of her sister s dresses True, she doesn t say, That dress you have on is horrible, for God s sake go and find something else, but Honoria falls for it anyway.Then, while Honoria is dressing, her ladyship tells her all about her late husband, how much she loved him, how he met his death etc All this to a woman she had never met until a few minutes before.There are so many other implausibilities or things that stretched my credulity past breaking point that it would take too long to list them Withersby s incriminating photographs of Alex s brother are worthless because Andrew is not gay and can provide the names of various courtesans who have obliged him in order to prove it Alex is desperate to get into Honoria s knickers but when she eventually asks him to, he turns her down because he doesn t want to take advantage When he finally does get that far, he s astonished to discover that she s a virgin turns out she was never actually married and then doesn t finish what they ve started.The sex scenes are fairly tame, but I admit I had to suppress laughter on several occasions There s a difficult line to walk between hot and funny when it comes to writing sex, and sadly too often in this book we re on the funny side of it.There were also a lot of issues introduced that were never fully explored Alex is bitter about the fact that his late father seemed to prefer his life as an explorer to being at home with his family he s afraid of horses he s an accomplished cellist but hasn t played in years and despite that is still able to perform some of Bach s Cello Suites perfectly I felt I was being bombarded with Alex s issues as a way of making him ainteresting character, but I m afraid it didn t work.And that brings me to the biggest of my many problems with the book I had absolutely no idea what Alex and Honoria saw in each other, or, indeed, who they were as people Alex insists that he loves Honoria for who she is but neither of them ever felt real to me, and because of that, I was never drawn into the story or brought to care about what actually happened to them.For me, that s the greatest deficit I could find in any story I read romance for the emotional connection between the protagonists and between the characters and the reader, and if that doesn t happen, then I am unlikely to enjoy the book But in addition to that, there were numerous failings in terms of the structure and writing typographical and grammatical errors, as well as many instances of what I can only describe as poor writing By that I mean that the sentence construction is either tortuous or too simplistic most often the latter , word choice is awkward, and it just generally feels unpolished.While it s the author s name on the cover, I m not putting the entirety of the blame for that at her feet, however, because errors in spelling and grammar should be picked up by a good proofreader, and errors in terminology, word choice, and sentence structure should, surely, be highlighted by the editor and options discussed with the writer However, none of this was addressed in the editing process, and the result is that a promising plot turned into a dismal read.As an aside, I remain stunned about the fact that the author teaches English and has a PhD in 19th century English Literature because if a teacher of English is unable to make correct word choices then I don t hold out much hope for the rest of us.I also included a couplequotes in the review I submitted but because I tend to go on a bit, sometimes, they need editing down which I included in order to illustrate how difficult it is to write successful love scenes Here are two crossed the line from hawt to hilarious momentsDamn it, man I said kiss meOrI need you now, he exclaimed against her lips Take me, damn it Take me into you nowsnigger ETA Before anyone reads this and accuses me of being a bitter, failed author, I am going to state categorically that I am no such thing I proof read and edit, and have no authorial ambitions


  2. Erika Williams Erika Williams says:

    This is one of those books where I m not quite sure to begin with addressing my feelings towards it The book starts out with an interesting enough premise, with the heroine being the older one in the relationship as opposed to the usual age gap with the older man pursuing the younger woman But so much of this book was a disappointment to me that I just couldn t bring myself to enjoy it There were times when I would read whole pages and my mind would blank so badly that I had no idea what I ha This is one of those books where I m not quite sure to begin with addressing my feelings towards it The book starts out with an interesting enough premise, with the heroine being the older one in the relationship as opposed to the usual age gap with the older man pursuing the younger woman But so much of this book was a disappointment to me that I just couldn t bring myself to enjoy it There were times when I would read whole pages and my mind would blank so badly that I had no idea what I had just read I rarely missed important plot points during this bit, but it was frustrating to have to go back and read it again This book is yet another that includes attempted rape as an excuse to save the heroine I m sick of seeing this in almost every novel I read any It automatically makes the heroine indebted to the hero in a sexual manner and it just ruins the entire relationship for me because we no longer have a relationship of equals If we must continue with this trend, why can t a good friend rescue the heroine, or someone who has absolutely no sexual interest in the heroine and never will Beyond that complaint, the sex scenes were as forgettable as the rest of the book, and the big secret that Honoria is carrying around is ridiculous Because of societal standards, she fakes a marriage and subsequently fakes being a widow, all so she can survive under the terms of her benefactor s will For some reason, this makes her believe that she is a terrible excuse for a human being who does not deserve something as simple as love Say it with me ladies doing what is necessary to survive does not make you a terrible person and is not cause for massive angst that ensued from a forty year old woman whose age I forgot most of the time because her maturity level fluctuated as plot dictated The book had the potential to get deep with the child prostitution ring Honoria was investigating and the fact that Lord Devin s brother may have participated in homosexual practices His brother s strong assurances that he was perfectly straight almost made the book seem to scream No homo while ignoring the fact that even the rumor of homosexuality at the time, whether or not it was practiced, would have amounted to a good deal of trouble for all involved Not to mention the only other time homosexuality is mentioned in the book, it s in conjunction with pedophiles and child prostitution As for the child prostitution scandal, well, it s quite nicely tied up at the end within five pages and without much conflict It s almost as if something as damaging and serious as child prostitution was simply a plot device for the hero and heroine to meet.The book does have it s merits It does seriously explore the notion of a marriage between a lord and a woman who is older and likely can t bear him any heirs But then she s pregnant by the end anyway, so any objections to the relationship on account of her age are moot by the end of the book I can really only recommend it for someone looking for a quick romp in 1851 romances


  3. Farrah Farrah says:

    My Rating 3.5 5A nice historical romance Not my favorite, but definitely enjoyable.I haven t read many historical romances where the heroine is significantly older than the hero, so this was a different experience It actually got me wondering why most people, even today, don t even blink at an older man and younger woman, but get fussy over an older woman and a younger man A strange double standard It was realistic in its portrayal of how people might react Nora was a good heroine My one My Rating 3.5 5A nice historical romance Not my favorite, but definitely enjoyable.I haven t read many historical romances where the heroine is significantly older than the hero, so this was a different experience It actually got me wondering why most people, even today, don t even blink at an older man and younger woman, but get fussy over an older woman and a younger man A strange double standard It was realistic in its portrayal of how people might react Nora was a good heroine My one issue with her is that she was much to self deprecating She was 40, which I would consider middle aged, but certainly no senior citizen She acted as if she was an old crone But, to everyone else, she was an older woman who had aged very well And I didn t like how, when she found out that Devin had me asked to ruin her, she had a freak out She knew that he only did it to save his brother, which seems to be a perfectly reasonable and justifiable explanation to me, but she threw a hissy fit about it However, one I got past those two things, I did like her She was a very strong woman who does whatever she needs to do to survive And she was clever when times called on her to be She turned out to be a lovely character.Devin was much better for me He knew early on that Nora was the one for him and he wasn t about to let something as trivial as age or gossip get in the way of them It was so sweet how he was so determined to win Nora s heart I have no complaints about him He was spectacular Nora and Devin had a complicated relationship, since there were so many obstacles between them But, they were sweet together and the sparks flying between them were very hot.The plot was okay, though it dragged in a few places But, for the most part, I was kept interested and the thrills in store had me hooked The ending was utterly perfect, so sweet and happy.Never Too Late was a lovely historical romance I didn t love it, but I really enjoyed it Romance lovers, you ll want to give this book a try Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for a copy


  4. Beth Beth says:

    Mrs Honoria Duchamp is a widowed owner of a book shop in London So why would Lord Devin have any interest in her Lord Devin has been assigned the task of ruining the widow Duchamp, he is being blackmailed with a scandal that will threaten his family He has to stop Mrs Duchamp from printing pamphlets about social disgraces she has uncovered Apparently, one of Mrs Duchamp s pamphlets has hit close to home for some very powerful people making her a target with some very dangerous enemies.As Mrs Honoria Duchamp is a widowed owner of a book shop in London So why would Lord Devin have any interest in her Lord Devin has been assigned the task of ruining the widow Duchamp, he is being blackmailed with a scandal that will threaten his family He has to stop Mrs Duchamp from printing pamphlets about social disgraces she has uncovered Apparently, one of Mrs Duchamp s pamphlets has hit close to home for some very powerful people making her a target with some very dangerous enemies.As soon as Lord Devin meets Mrs Duchamp, he is immediately drawn to her, like no other woman before her He quickly realizes that he must find a way to clear Mrs Duchamp of this scandal and still save his family s reputation.This book grew on me quickly I found myself emotionally vested in Honoria s quest as well as her heartache Surprising revelations, unseen betrayals and character growth made this a fascinating and intriguing read Amara Royce did a brilliant job, pulling us into this wonderful historical romance.This ARC copy of Never Too Late was given to me by Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review This book is set for publications on May 2, 2013.


  5. Carrie Carrie says:

    I would like to thank Kensington Books for providing me with an arc of Never Too Late, via NetGalley Lord Devin has been given the job of investigating Honoria Duchamp and the controversial pamphlets she s been printing Honoria is a widow and the owner of Evans Books, she has also has gotten the attention of those who would like to see these printings come to and end Upon being given the assignment, Honoria Duchamp was not at all what Lord Devin expected She is not at all the bookish matr I would like to thank Kensington Books for providing me with an arc of Never Too Late, via NetGalley Lord Devin has been given the job of investigating Honoria Duchamp and the controversial pamphlets she s been printing Honoria is a widow and the owner of Evans Books, she has also has gotten the attention of those who would like to see these printings come to and end Upon being given the assignment, Honoria Duchamp was not at all what Lord Devin expected She is not at all the bookish matron he envisioned, but a smart and beautiful woman Now there isthen just her pamphlets he would like to investigate.I found myself rather taken with both Honoria and Lord Devin Honoria is a smart older heroine, independent and a lover of books Lord Devin, slightly cocky used to getting what he wants I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Never Too Late although I do however have some issues Things get mentioned but nothing comes of it, there is one scene that comes to mind, view spoiler when Lord Devin goes to write a letter to Marissa to get her to help him Nothing comes of it, jumps to the next scene without any word hide spoiler But over all a great book, and I am looking forward to readingthings from Amara Royce Never Too Late is expected to be published May 2, 2013


  6. AG Reads AG Reads says:

    Boring and poorly written While the plot could have been interesting, the writing did not flow well and the dialogue was stilted and often inane The h s characterization was all over the place such that I could never get a grasp on her and didn t like her It was a struggle to get through this book and not worth the time.


  7. Kathie (katmom) Kathie (katmom) says:

    Expect the unexpected, especially in a room filled with books Honoria Duchamp is well aware that men often consider widows easy prey for the role of mistress What else could explain the attentions of handsome Lord Devin, and his visits to her bookshop The much younger Viscount has even shown interest in the printing press with which she creates pamphlets on London s basest injustices Yet his chief interest appears to be in her Coerced to investigate Nora s controversial pamphlets, Devin exp Expect the unexpected, especially in a room filled with books Honoria Duchamp is well aware that men often consider widows easy prey for the role of mistress What else could explain the attentions of handsome Lord Devin, and his visits to her bookshop The much younger Viscount has even shown interest in the printing press with which she creates pamphlets on London s basest injustices Yet his chief interest appears to be in her Coerced to investigate Nora s controversial pamphlets, Devin expected to find a bookish matron Instead, he is taken with Nora s womanly beauty, sharp intellect, and quick wit Soon, what begins as an unwelcome task becomes a pleasure, and Devin s job becomesdangerous for them both For Nora has no idea of the vicious element she s crossed Now Devin will risk his reputation to protect her and muchto win her love This lovely book had a twist that I don t think I ve seen in an historical romance before Honoria, Nora, is about 40 and Devin, the Viscount, is 25 Even though she is attracted to him, she can see the pitfalls of such an association She s a shopkeeper and he s a Viscount When she calls him dear boy it made me laughand him cringe While this was a romance, there is a thread of darkness throughout The injustices that Nora and her interesting group of knitting friends, are trying to bring light to through the various pamphlets that they create is pornography and abuse of women and children There were some scary moments that may be a trigger for some Definitely a layer of nitty gritty in this romance.There were a couple of things that seemed off to me The fact that everyone was out to get her And the epiphany that maybe she did have friends seemed a bit like trying too hard to tie things up in a tidy bow Also, we don t ever hear what happened to some of the characters Minnie Erich That pulled this down from a five to a four for me.Even so, it was enjoyable Nora was OLDER Interesting for sure And she owned a book store, ah, heaven I m giving this a FOUR BOOKMARK.A Romance with substance and an older heroine.Yes, I d read this one again Thank you, NetGalley and Kensington, for the opportunity to read this book.This review may also be found at Beyond the Squee Book Reviewswww.beyondthesquee.com


  8. Shona Shona says:

    A mature heroine who must work in trade shock horror to survive, gives this romance some interesting twists that many regencies lack There is a serious and worthwhile sub plot, but, of course, there is also romance and, better yet, a series of fascinating characters, some fictional and some real life Loved the way that Royce wove famous literary and cultural figures of the time into her work.


  9. Aerin Aerin says:

    Amara Royce has written a book that does exactly what I love books to do turned everything about a genre upside down, with political commentary, steamy romance, bluestockings galore, strong female characters, strong female friendships, and, of course, a dashing and handsome young man who is every bit as noble as he is amazing in bed If you know your Scheherazade from your Shakespeare, or have dreamed about making love in the rain, you should read this book.


  10. Blue Falcon Blue Falcon says:

    This review is of Never Too Late by Amara Royce.The setting is London, 1851, Evans Books It is here that Honoria hereafter known as Nora Evans Duchamp, the heroine of the book and owner of the bookstore she inherited it from her late father, Sir Samuel Evans is serving customers One of them is Lord Alexander Devin, the hero of the book They become immediately attracted to each other What Nora doesn t know is that buying books wasn t Alexander s only reason for coming to her store Soon aft This review is of Never Too Late by Amara Royce.The setting is London, 1851, Evans Books It is here that Honoria hereafter known as Nora Evans Duchamp, the heroine of the book and owner of the bookstore she inherited it from her late father, Sir Samuel Evans is serving customers One of them is Lord Alexander Devin, the hero of the book They become immediately attracted to each other What Nora doesn t know is that buying books wasn t Alexander s only reason for coming to her store Soon after their acquaintance is made, Nora s bookstore is vandalized Alexander invites Nora to stay with him and his mother, Rose It is in Alex s home that he and Nora become lovers and he learns a shocking secret Afterwards, they share stories of each other s lives.Later, Alexander reveals the real reason he came to Nora s bookstore It is also revealed that the vandalism was partially an inside job Powerful people wanted Nora silenced due to her printing services exposing various illicit and illegal activities Some, though not all, of the perpetrators are brought to justice Afterward, Alexander proposes to Nora She initially refuses, due to differences in their ages she s 40, he s 26 and their social standings However, she relents and Nora and Alexander marry, are expecting their first child and have their Happily Ever After Upside Nora and Alexander are both strong, engaging characters They show strength when they need to, and both show vulnerability when they need to It is rare to see someone come from a nuclear family as Alexander does and be willing to acknowledge that all was not perfect with his family Downside Even though it is a romance novel, I felt that Ms Royce could have gone further with Nora s work helping those that needed it Sex The love scenes are very good, not erotica, but with a lot of emotion that makes them good.Violence Nora is threatened with violence and attempted rape Her bookstore is vandalized The violence is not graphic.Bottom Line A very good first book