John Whelan

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John Whelan's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by John Whelan

  • The Quest for Helen on Jan. 11, 2012

    This appears to be one of those books that having read the beginning, the middle and the end one still hasn't the faintest idea why it was written. Certainly not a Regency in the classic sense but it does have stereotypes and a hero? who travels round Europe in what appears to be in either a drunken or drugged haze.
  • Mistletoe Magic, A Christmas Regency Short Story on Jan. 11, 2012

    Fun.
  • A Husband for Miss Trent on Jan. 11, 2012

    Classic Regency and fun
  • To Win His Wayward Wife (Regency Historical Romance) on March 24, 2012

    An American romance set in England?
  • The Rowland Sisters Trilogy Book 2: The Lazy Bachelor on March 24, 2012

    I liked the characters and the descriptions. Mr. Peregrine Tyndall, perhaps one of the heroes, certainly has been brought to life as someone who likes to go through life with the minimum of effort.
  • The Lady's Fate (The Reluctant Grooms Series Volume III) on March 25, 2012

    I strongly doubt any chandelier cost 5,000 pounds in Regency times. Ball rooms on the second floor? Possibly but at the time in England there would be a ground floor, then above a first floor and then a second floor. Very unlikely. There are a few unique interpretations of historical characters as well but the story starts off reasonably well.
  • The Wetherby Brides Bundle (Regency Historical Romance) on March 25, 2012

    Difficult to read. The table of contents doesn't list the books. The line spacing appears to be set in such as way that it cannot be altered on the e-reader as is the font. The first story has points that don't quite ring true and get in the way of the tale.
  • His Robot Wife on April 14, 2012

    Dated?
  • A Place For Alfreda on April 14, 2012

    Fun, traditional Regency
  • Love Finds Lord Davingdale on April 14, 2012

    Fairly short but quite interesting. Not a lot of detail about the heroine.
  • A Proper Companion (A Regency Romance) on April 29, 2012

    Enjoyable traditional Regency
  • A Garden Folly (A Regency Romance) on April 29, 2012

    Very enjoyable
  • Her Imperfect Groom (Historical Regency Romance) on April 29, 2012

    An idiosyncratic hero.
  • The Maiden At Midnight on April 29, 2012

    An interesting heroine who manages to get the best out of practically any situation.
  • His Lordship's Vow (Regency Romance Short Novel) on April 29, 2012

    Perhaps it could have been a little longer? The first book I've read by this author.
  • To Wed the Earl - A Regency Novella on Aug. 13, 2012

    Interesting to read
  • This Wicked Man on Sep. 01, 2012

    Interesting and witty dialog
  • Miss Sillithorpe's Hobby on Sep. 21, 2012

    Some of the author's works show promise although I get the impression she could do with a good proof reader. For example Captain is a police rank in the US, it is not a police rank in the UK, there the nearest would probably be inspector and that sort of slip up gets in the way of the story.
  • The Mistletoe Mishap (A Regency Christmas Short Story) on Sep. 21, 2012

    A bit stereotyped and predictable story line.
  • The Duke's Dilemma on Oct. 22, 2012

    In Regency times a Duke would be very unlikely to be summoned to a lawyer's office,the lawyer would attend the Duke at the Duke's convenience. The book unfortunately seems to have a number of historical inaccuracies especially to do with social conventions at the time which irritate and get in the way of the tale.
  • Unsuitable Suitors on Nov. 17, 2012

    Interesting details, certainly a traditional regency with interesting characters as well and no glaring historical errors.
  • How To Build The Perfect Rake on Dec. 22, 2012

    I was always taught that good type setting was invisible. The message was the important thing. When you find yourself starting to look for typos as entertainment you start to wonder about the ability of the story to entertain.
  • The Marriage Mart on Dec. 25, 2012

    Interesting read, one just has to imagine that dukes were more common than perhaps they were.
  • The King's Doll on Dec. 25, 2012

    I prefer something a little more believable.
  • Plate Armor and Spacesuits Both Hold Farts on Dec. 26, 2012

    Classic SF and very good short stories.
  • Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice continued on Jan. 23, 2013

    One of the problems of self publishing is you get half a dozen authors whom a conventional publisher would have screened out for every author who is worth reading. Anna Elliott makes up for the ones you'd prefer had been screened out. It has its own style, with well observed and described characters and the story gradually twists its way to the end. Very enjoyable.
  • Pemberley to Waterloo: Georgiana Darcy's Diary, Volume 2 on Jan. 26, 2013

    Very well researched, the Battle of Waterloo isn't perhaps the most cheerful of subjects but the descriptions and characters are well drawn. The plot and subplots twist and intertwine nicely. Thank you for writing it.
  • Dancing with the Duke on Feb. 03, 2013

    More a modern romance with modern values than a traditional regency
  • Loving the Marquess on Feb. 03, 2013

    I had to read this first half dozen pages before I realised it was supposed to be set in the past. Probably too full of emotions and feelings for me with modern values.
  • Noble Satyr: A Georgian Historical Romance on Feb. 18, 2013

    Definitely not Georgette Heyer's standard of writing. Perhaps set in the same time period, disappointing.
  • Salt Bride: A Georgian Historical Romance on Feb. 18, 2013

    Melodramatic, sinister, with people seeking revenge and odd wills. The term "Penny Dreadful" comes to mind rather than traditional Georgian or Regency. The author seems to have little understanding of how businesses were run at that time and seems to have based the entire story on a false assumption.
  • A Similar Taste in Books on Feb. 18, 2013

    The heroine is Lady Haley's daughter, the hero the third son of landed gentry. A short story that I felt could be expanded with some interesting historical detail.
  • The Chaperone Bride on Feb. 21, 2013

    Well crafted and very enjoyable even if slightly pricier than comparable ebooks.
  • A Wife for Winsbarren on Feb. 21, 2013

    An amusing shortish story.
  • The Affairs of Harriet Walters, Spinster on Feb. 21, 2013

    Its written in an odd style that seems to take a negative view of many of the characters. Unfortunately I didn't manage to reach the magic half way point where the tale reputably improved.
  • 48. A Marriage Made In Heaven on March 23, 2013

    A little stereotyped for my tastes, light reading but well written and she has many many admirers.
  • A Difficult Disguise on April 02, 2013

    Definitely readable
  • Embracing Ashberry on April 04, 2013

    Fairly well written, but a little heavy on the social commentary for my personal taste hence the three stars.
  • A Fine Caprice on April 05, 2013

    Very enjoyable
  • The Irish Bride on April 09, 2013

    Expensive, predictable, skimmable
  • Sweet Sacrifice on April 21, 2013

    It's a pleasure to see Elizabeth Bailey's well written books in print once more. A Georgian romance rather than a strict Regency but the time period is only slightly earlier and the tale is well told.
  • The Conqueror's Dilemma on April 27, 2013

    Very enjoyable, traditional Regency written by an author who knows her trade.
  • Billy Wolfe's Riding Spirit on April 27, 2013

    A good ghost tale well told.
  • The Belligerent Miss Boynton on April 27, 2013

    An enjoyable traditional Regency by a solid author.
  • Mademoiselle at Arms on April 29, 2013

    A very enjoyable traditional Georgian / Regency romance by an experienced English author so the historical details are accurate. She has a number of books released in large print and as the publisher says if you're printing in large print then you only print the very best.
  • The Grand Tour on May 02, 2013

    A little short but enjoyable. Traditional Regency.
  • Kitty Bennet's Diary on May 07, 2013

    An interesting book but I wonder if some of the characters have drifted a little further away from Jane Austin's original tale. Still worth reading though.
  • Midnight Marriage: A Georgian Historical Romance on May 11, 2013

    Interesting plot.
  • Noblesse Oblige on May 16, 2013

    A little too much graphic detail padding the story out. Some interesting detail but I started skimming about half way through.
  • Friday Dreaming on May 22, 2013

    First published in 1994, Mills and Boon large print edition 1995 and still a very enjoyable read.
  • Hidden Flame on May 25, 2013

    First published 1993, there is a Mills and Boon large print edition. Traditional Regency that's as enjoyable now as it was then.
  • For Love of Charlotte on May 28, 2013

    Starts off not too badly but then becomes more gothic than regency
  • The Pianoforte on May 30, 2013

    Short fun and interesting. Traditional regency.
  • Uncovering Vanessa on June 01, 2013

    Middling
  • The Other Bennet Girls on June 01, 2013

    Stilted rather than flowing.
  • A Lady in Name on June 23, 2013

    Traditional style Regency but appears to be only published in ebook format. Still very well written.
  • Perfectly Plain on July 23, 2013

    A little short but worth reading.
  • A Gift Unsought on July 25, 2013

    Enjoyable, this time the servants are the main characters. Traditional Regency
  • Kitty on July 26, 2013

    Readable Traditional Regency short story. I especially liked the pert younger sister.
  • Taffeta & Hotspur on July 26, 2013

    The author's interpretation of the Luddites seems to be very different from many other historical opinions.
  • Rachel on July 28, 2013

    So so, characters seem to pop up then disappear fairly regularly and odd bits of the plot seem to be left drifting and unexplained but parts are fairly well written. A moral Traditional Regency if that makes sense.
  • A Smithfield Bargain on July 30, 2013

    A little short but a readable traditional Regency
  • An Angel's Touch on Aug. 21, 2013

    A reprint if you can call it that from 1992, when it was released in both hardback and paperback. A traditional Georgian / Regency romance with a background of Tunbridge Wells and the country. Lesser characters include a huge pig at the fair, and a band of gipsies camped out on the Marquess's land. Very enjoyable and well worth reading.
  • Texting Death on Aug. 27, 2013

    Depressing, I'd avoid it. The author has an odd idea of how computers and phones work.
  • Fated Folly on Oct. 24, 2013

    Traditional style Regency but appears to be only published in ebook format. Still very well written. This one has an interesting ending. One sentence from the book that I particularly enjoyed. "‘Clare!’ uttered her father bodingly, shoving his thumbs behind his lapels and drawing himself up straighter, and assuming an expression of severity in which Clare had no belief whatsoever."
  • An Ideal Match on Oct. 25, 2013

    Traditional Regency, first published by Zebra in 2004. Calibre converts the rft version to epub quite nicely since epub doesn't seem to be available but the author comes up as Vicky Hinshaw, and the title oddly enough as "Henry Marlowe, a widower".
  • Cordelia's Corinthian on Oct. 26, 2013

    Some Victoria Hinshaw's I like more than others. This is one I quite like. Traditional Regency, first published by Zebra in 2004? Calibre converts the rft version to epub quite nicely since epub doesn't seem to be available but the author comes up as Vicky Hinshaw, and the title oddly enough as "cordelias-corinthian".
  • A Summons Bundle on Oct. 26, 2013

    Although listed as being by Ava Stone on Smashwords the ebook is in fact a collection of short stories only one of which is by Ava Stone. All the authors appear to be American and it shows in this sort of historical book based in Britain. Personally I would not class it as a traditional Regency. In some of the stories if the just the heroes were replaced by American millionaires it would probably read as a contemporary romance no other changes would be necessary. The Ava Stone short story wasn't too bad, Samantha Grace's contribution was readable and those two meant it didn't get a single star, Aileen Fish, Julie Johnstone, Jerrice Knight Catania, and Lilia Birney's contributions I must confess I skimmed. All in all probably given the price not one of the best value for money reads on smashwords.
  • Garnets on Oct. 27, 2013

    A readable mixture of Regency and possibly science fiction? Some interesting character descriptions.
  • The Blackmailed Beauty on Nov. 02, 2013

    A little bit stereotyped with the hero a duke etc. skimable.
  • A Christmas Wish on Nov. 02, 2013

    Readable, emotional but well written sort story.
  • The Halo Wave on Nov. 14, 2013

    Traditional Sci Fi predictable in parts but readable
  • The Murder Within on Nov. 15, 2013

    Very oddly formatted in the epub version. Some sentences are bold and in larger type which makes the tale difficult to read.
  • An Unexpected Encounter ( Half Moon House, Novella 1) on Nov. 15, 2013

    Readable traditional Regency.
  • Maelstrom on Nov. 17, 2013

    An interesting Science Fantasy, sort of parallel universe sort of thing. One in which the butler would dispatch the dog cart to the station in 1818. Passenger railways arrived a little later than this 1818 especially in the south of England. There are other subtle differences in the parallel universe as well. In England at the time some prisoners were transferred to serve in the Royal Navy but they were transferred directly on board ship and wouldn't be allowed to drink in the ale house before hand nor would they be transferred to a commercial ship. The book deals with wife beating, gypsy fortune tellers, unmarried mothers, forced marriages, people being burnt alive deliberately, homosexuality and its problems in Regency times. Oh and one mustn't forget the hero with his dark problems and rage that can only be solved by the love of the heroine. I wouldn't say this was a traditional Regency but if you are into science fantasy it may appeal. If it was supposed to be a Regency then it needs proof reading by a good editor to take out the anomalies.
  • Regency Masquerade on Nov. 18, 2013

    Traditional Regency with dubious foreign gentlemen, dubious solicitors etc. Peter Francis was the character I enjoyed the most as well.
  • Love Birds of Regent's Park on Nov. 18, 2013

    Personal view one to skim, your view might be different.
  • Three Short Stories on Nov. 23, 2013

    Traditional short stories with gentle twists.
  • Christmas Windows on Nov. 23, 2013

    I found the ending a little sad but the tale is reasonably well written.
  • Costly Vengeance on Nov. 25, 2013

    A complex subject background that is handled by an author who has some background in the subject in a very black and white way. However it does give some insight as to why Americans are happy to live with the roughly $1,000 a year per person their legal system costs. If you like to think of lawyers as heroes then this book may well be for you. It wasn't for me.
  • Brizecombe Hall on Nov. 25, 2013

    Enjoyable and she gets the history correct.
  • Lady Elinor's Escape on Nov. 25, 2013

    An interesting tale full of misunderstandings.
  • The Shadow Boys on Nov. 25, 2013

    Language is a little stilted, the hero apparently works for the federal government but refers to others who work for the same organization as Civil Serpents.
  • Voyager and the Aliens: Science Fiction Short Story on Nov. 25, 2013

    A little simplistic, possibly might appeal to the religious right.
  • Fireflies on Nov. 25, 2013

    Quite well written but an odd ending even for a short story.
  • Reruns ad Infinitum on Nov. 25, 2013

    Personal view a little odd and yes I know short stories are supposed to be a little odd sometimes but the ending seemed a little abrupt.
  • Meeting of the Minds on Nov. 27, 2013

    Difficult to read.
  • The Pro Station on Nov. 27, 2013

    Probably just not to my taste. The characters seem a little stereotyped, especially the English ones.
  • Hot Yellow Planet on Nov. 27, 2013

    Perhaps I should have read Pretty Pink Planet first, varied characters but there didn't seem to be much logic in what they were doing.
  • The Uninvited Spook (Short Story) on Nov. 27, 2013

    Readable short story
  • Second Time Around on Nov. 27, 2013

    Confusing
  • Rekindle the Sun on Nov. 27, 2013

    Interesting to see someone written as single minded working to a solution.
  • The End of the Road on Nov. 27, 2013

    Probably not to my taste than anything else.
  • Test Pilot on Nov. 27, 2013

    Very short but readable
  • The Truth About Terra on Dec. 01, 2013

    Readable and enjoyable
  • The Tie That Binds on Dec. 02, 2013

    Personal view a little short, a little predictable but I didn't actually skim it. You may like it if you believe that doctors are wonderful and all knowing.
  • Introduction to Xarrok on Dec. 02, 2013

    Readable but I'm not certain if its an excerpt or supposed to be a standalone book.
  • A Life in Snow on Dec. 14, 2013

    Well written science fiction
  • The Cheer in Charming an Earl on Dec. 14, 2013

    Manipulative scheming heroine the hero deserves her.
  • Her Counterfeit Husband on Dec. 14, 2013

    Cliche driven not a traditional regency
  • Winning A Lady's Heart on Dec. 15, 2013

    Personal so, so so it has good descriptive parts and parts that are best skimmed.
  • To Have His Cake (and Eat It Too): Mr. Darcy's Tale on Dec. 15, 2013

    Stilted language, one of many people who have recycled Jane Austen's characters without capturing the essence of her work.
  • Lady Sarah's Redemption on Dec. 16, 2013

    The first half of the book is fine then it drifts as the characters no longer behave as Regency characters could be expected to. A little melodramatic towards the end.
  • Not Past Redemption on Jan. 02, 2014

    Readable Science Fiction
  • Shades Of Smoke on Jan. 24, 2014

    This type of Science Fiction is not my usual book fodder these days but the book is readable. First I had to strip off the fonts and the formatting in Calibre before my epub reader Moonplus reader pro would display it correctly. It starts fairly slowly, it took me to chapter three to get into it but once it starts to roll it improves. Keeping track of who is who I found a little difficult at times, many of the names are similar. I understand one of the authors has a science background and its noticeable that no major liberties are taken on the science side, the quality of writing is not to Terry Pratchett's standard with multiple references at different levels in the same sentence but it uses a number of the same techniques and of course has the mandatory guild of assassins. For a first self published book its not too bad.
  • Margaret Dashwood's Diary on Feb. 01, 2014

    Probably a little more expensive than many of the books on Smashwords but it is well written. Author's who recycle Jane Austin's characters tend to be two a penny and normally I avoid them but Anna Elliott does it very well and manages to write in a style that includes many small domestic details so well worth reading.
  • Nine Ladies Dancing on Feb. 07, 2014

    A very enjoyable short Regency story, worth every penny.
  • Brighton Road on Feb. 09, 2014

    Comedy can be difficult and different cultures find different things amusing, I think the author and I are from different cultures. Set in the Regency period but not a traditional Regency many of the characters wouldn't be out of place in a modern American setting.
  • Christmas Spirit on Feb. 09, 2014

    Traditional Regency / mystery but it works quite nicely.
  • Three Romances: Brizecombe Hall, Kitty & The Hangar Dance on Feb. 09, 2014

    Three good short stories, two historical and one more recent historical.
  • A Fair Prospect: Volume I, II & III on Feb. 09, 2014

    Disappointing, the character's names might be the same as Jane Austin's but the writing and style certainly aren't.
  • Scandal's Heiress on Feb. 25, 2014

    Readable enjoyable, a Regency what more could you ask for.
  • A Slight Miscalculation: A Half Moon House Short Story on Feb. 27, 2014

    Definitely a short story, one that doesn't have a very complex story line. The word sweet might even come to mind.
  • The Earl's Bargain (Historical Regency Romance) on Feb. 27, 2014

    Bland comes to mind, a little stereotyped perhaps but that's just my personal reaction. You may find it more readable.
  • Clytie's Caller on March 22, 2014

    An interesting book by an American author and worth reading. There are a few small oddities that stand out, would a successful merchant's daughter have been admitted to Almack's? The hero, a doctor, would have been much lower on the social scale than they are presently in the USA and finally why would the heroine and maid wait until after dinner before setting out in a coach to travel to London. Travel by night was normally restricted to full moon but for a journey of 100 miles even with excellent horses it would take two days at eight miles per hour and normally it would take three. It would be very unusual for a women to travel alone even with her maid. The subject is interesting as is the tale but a little more historical research would have added more credibility.
  • The Only Reason for the London Season on March 22, 2014

    The epub version seems to be set in Times Roman a serif typeface that is best suited to 300 dots per inch on a screen a sans serif typeface works better. Generally short sentence length, frothy, readable, the heroine could probably be slipped into a contemporary tale with little change in her dialogue.
  • Forgotten, and other Heartless tales on March 23, 2014

    Starts off well but the ending seemed a little abrupt. When you read the words "THE END" you realise its finished. The three stories do merge into each other nicely.
  • The Abandoned Countess - Abigail's Story on March 25, 2014

    Very enjoyable, what I'd call a traditional regency, the spies, murder etc. seem incidental, the dialog and character descriptions aregood.
  • Prudence and Practicality: A Back-story to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on March 29, 2014

    The character's names are the same but the writing isn't in the same class.
  • Rhiannon on March 30, 2014

    Noticeably short but what is there is reasonably written.
  • The King of Threadneedle Street on April 02, 2014

    Readable but set in 1870 so it is definitely not a Regency. Regencies are before railroads, steamships and telegraphs.
  • Tenacious Trents Box Set 1 on April 27, 2014

    A non-traditional Regency written by an American author who has a passion for history rather than knowledge. It would appear that all her heroines jump into bed with their heros without worrying about marriage vows etc. The first story is a little far fetched but just about believable. The second might appeal if you have a taste for young boys being flogged, the threat of fourteen year girls olds being sent to a brothel. The villain in the story appears to be a guardian grandfather but there is very little logic in his actions. The author would do much better not to mention amounts of money, the amounts she mentions in the story are quite unbelievable and totally unrealistic. Also she doesn't seem to understand commerce for example why mills were normally located where they were. I must confess I didn't attempt the third story. Disappointing.
  • My Lord Tremaine on May 25, 2014

    A very enjoyable traditional Regency by an experienced author.
  • The Marriage Gamble on May 27, 2014

    Traditional Regency with some interesting minor characters.
  • Lord Hugo's Bride on May 29, 2014

    Set in 1671 it's pre Regency, the roads are worse, but an enjoyable story.
  • Lord Clifford's Dilemma on June 08, 2014

    Traditional Regency
  • The Scandalous Ward on July 06, 2014

    Enjoyable Traditional Regency
  • The Five Kisses on July 10, 2014

    Personal view but the characters seemed a little stereo typed, the plot practically predictable. More emotional perhaps than anything else.
  • Caution's Heir on Aug. 26, 2014

    Fairly expensive, stodgy, and keep a notepad to hand to keep track of the character's names. I suspect the author was paid by the character. Certainly not in the same class as Georgette Heyer or Elizabeth Bailey for example.
  • A Lady's Point of View on Aug. 26, 2014

    Very enjoyable traditional Regency.
  • My Dear Charlotte on Aug. 28, 2014

    If you skip the formal academic introduction its simply a very enjoyable book. With a science background I always tend to think that books are to be enjoyed and not dissected but people studying the Arts side of things may feel differently and it is worthy of Academic study. Traditional Regency yes, but very well constructed based on letters of the time period. One of those very rare books that deserves six stars out of five. If Jane Austin appeals then this one will almost certainly appeal.
  • A Fop and His Fortune on Aug. 30, 2014

    I see the book is tagged as Fantasy, its far more that than a Regency. Perhaps a bit of basic historical research might have helped? It feels as if its an American author who has little knowledge of England or the period and it shows.
  • Under A Lucky Star on Aug. 30, 2014

    Diane Farr is an established writer who has written a number of interesting traditional regencies. The heroine in this one develops in character during the length of the book. Some of her other books are a little lighter.
  • Under The Wishing Star on Aug. 31, 2014

    Traditional Regency, one of her nicer ones.
  • Almost Denied on Sep. 01, 2014

    A non-traditional Regency?
  • Border Bride: A Regency Novella on Sep. 01, 2014

    Personal opinion but after the first few pages I found the rest to be totally predictable.
  • Playing to Win on Sep. 04, 2014

    Traditional Regency, Diana Farr what more can you say? Possibly not the most traditional hero and heroine though but still very enjoyable.
  • A Letter Unsent ~ Holmwood House Regency Series ~ Alethea and Pierce on Sep. 07, 2014

    At 14,000 words more a short story than a full length Regency but it works quite well as a short story.
  • Friendship and Folly: The Merriweather Chronicles Book 1 on Sep. 10, 2014

    A personal opinion but it basically rambles, the author attempts the style of Jane Austin but leaves much to be desired, however it is better than some "Regencies" found in Smashwords. Having said that nowhere near the quality of Georgette Heyer and other top Regency authors some of whom can be found on Smashwords .