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Never Too Late is an appropriate title for this May December romance of an older working woman and a younger lord It is the debut novel for Amara Royce and shows great promise Her writing style is clever and brings depth to the characters.Widowed Honoria Nora Duchamp is suspicious, but intrigued by the attentions of Lord Devin He is an attractive young viscount and she is an older bookstore owner and crusader for the mistreated It makes no sense when he keeps appearing just at the time she most needs help, but his attraction for her seems sincere What she doesn t know is that Devin has been bribed to investigate her political and social activities He is faced with a dilemma when he is seriously draw to the subject of his investigation because he finds her to be an intelligent, compassionate and sensual woman Nora has secrets of her own that prevent her from responding to Devin.I found this book quite compelling The large age difference between Nora and Devin, especially with her being fourteen years older, was bothersome through a great deal of the book But I have to give much credit to Royce s writing I was completely convinced of the viability of the relationship long before the end of the story There were some small stumbles in the writing this is Royce s first published book, after all, but she really drew me into the story and made me care about Nora and Devin I genuinely enjoyed the book. 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. 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 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 is then 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 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 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 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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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