The Sport of Baronets
(Romance of the Turf, #0.5)
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on November 3rd, 2015
(Read on November 2nd-3rd, 2015, from the review copy received from the publisher on NetGalley, in exchange of an honest review.)
An original novella introducing Romance of the Turf, Theresa Romain's exciting new Regency romance series...The lives of Sir Bartlett Crosby and Hannah Chandler have been marked by fierce competition between their elite families...the perfect breeding ground for a mutual attraction neither can deny.Bart hopes to conquer "the turf" through victory in a much-touted match. Should his heavily-favored colt win, the Crosby reputation and fortunes would be revived. Bart's plan seems poised for success until the lovely Hannah Chandler, daughter of a noted rival trainer, turns up claiming ownership of the colt. When Hannah insists on claiming her purchase, the prize colt disappears from Bart's stable. Theft or treachery? As Hannah and Bart rush to solve the mystery before race time, they uncover a scandalous truth about their families' pasts-a truth that has the potential to either destroy both their futures, or to guide them to a love they never imagined.
My Thoughts on the Novella:
The Sport of Baronets is a great introduction to this new series, with likable characters and interesting enough that will leave you eager for more.For me, when I read a historical romance series or contemporary romance series, it's all about the characters & their lives, their families & their friends. I love seeing & reading everybody's happily ever after, and this prequel novella is just the kind of story that will hook me on a new series.In The Sport of Baronets, we meet Sir Bartlett Crosby & Hannah Chandler, members of families that have been in a feud for years. They don't even know how exactly it started, but it has always been like that: Crosbys vs Chandlers. They don't like each other, they don't socialize & of course, they're competitors in the sport.From the beginning, I found the story to be fun & interesting. I liked learning about their families, and the secret about how it all started, as well as the mystery they find themselves in the middle of. Despite being all quite predictable, the journey was quite entertaining. I loved the interactions between Hannah & Bart, they getting to know each other & all that. It was absolutely charming & so sweet, and honest. That's how it felt to me, realistic & honest for the time period. I might be wrong, I'm not an expert, but the author imagined these two quirky, funny & kinda shy, yet strong minded characters, that actually want the same things for themselves & their futures, and it was wrapped up in this delightful package that I enjoyed quite a lot, and that I'd like to think that it almost could've happened. Not the mystery/feud part, and not all of it, but the meeting of a lady & a gentleman, and their flirting & conversing, and just falling for each other, without any pretenses & playing games. I just found it refreshing. Also, the guy wasn't a rake or a scoundrel or something like that, so I really liked that & loved his shyness.That being said, I loved both Bart & Hannah as characters. They are engaging, interesting & sweet, and really likable, and their romance is so sweet & charming, that I will probably read their story again. Also, I can't wait for some glimpses of them & their life together in the following books (about which I can only hope so).So, yes, I highly recommend this prequel novella to every fan of historical romances, and I'm definitely going to continue reading the series. Once again, Theresa Romain has done a great job, and I'll continue reading her works!
My rating: 4 of 5