Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review- Notorious by Nicola Cornick

Notorious is a regency novel by British author Nicola Cornick.

The story follows the romance between a hired matchbreaker, Susanna Burney and fortune hunting rake James Devlin. Susanna is hired by influential people who want to break matches. James Devlin is a fortune hunter after his defence career is over. He is not from a very influential family therefore, settles in an engagement with an heiress. Susanna and Devlin share a bond- they used to be married until she left abruptly and never came back for nine years. The fire is rekindled when they meet again in the beginning of the story.

The pairing was okay. Susanna has a strong character but Devlin is much like all romance heros. Susanna's occupation seemed interesting in the beginning. Delvin falls short of the perfect hero in terms of financial status but this might have been purposely chosen for uniqueness. It is hard to believe that such hard circumstances bred an arrogant person like him. The characters are comparatively realistic.

The writer's style is fluid and to the point. The dialogues are crisp. However, the story feels like a modern story that has been adapted to regency era.

The story starts well. Susanna's secrets come out steadily, keeping in pace with the story. The chemistry was good but the attraction was more physical than emotional- not enough to convince that it could last for a lifetime.
Emma's sidestory was interesting especially the first time she meets Tom Bradshaw. He seemed like a perfect hero until the end when this facade fell apart. The book cover was rich and regency looking with a nice texture. The synopsis is addictive.

Overall, I would say the book reads much like any other Harlequin or Mills and Boon in the market (probably keeping with the demands of the publishing industry), although it is a HQN single title book. The book could've been longer and the romance could have been more emotional. An average read- a good way to pass time.


Story (plot)
Side story/ side characters


Too 'modern' to be a historical novel

Note- Review copy was provided by the author.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to review Notorious. There is one point I would like to raise for clarification. This is not a Harlequin Historical or Mills & Boon book but a single title from HQN Books in the US. As such it is longer than Mills & Boon historicals and the same length as most single title historicals from other US publishers, between 90 to 100 thousand words. Thank you.

  2. Interesting review!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens sometimes and I can't fix it. :)