Member Reviews

Sabrina Jeffries is basically a legend in the historical romance game. I've devoured so many of her books, but I gotta say, this one left me feeling a bit meh. It's like her characters are cut from the same cloth, you know? And after reading so many of her stories, I just found myself craving something a little different.

Now, I will give props for having a more mature heroine than usual. It's refreshing to see someone older taking the spotlight in a genre that often focuses on younger characters. But man, did she come off as judgmental at times. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

And let's talk about the romance. It felt a bit...surface-level, you know? Like, where was the depth? I wanted to be swept off my feet, but instead, I was left feeling kind of meh about the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong, if you're a die-hard historical romance fan, you'll probably still enjoy this book. But for me, I think I've just reached my limit with the same old stories.
I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review

Was this review helpful?

I found this book very satisfying.. There was an undeniable chemistry between the two main character with one small problem--a young widow who's half in love with him. Through the books secrets are kept because of old promises and honor. It takes awhile to figure it out, but it's worth it in the end.

Was this review helpful?

I like Sabrina Jeffries's writing style and felt myself really connecting with the characters. Because of this book, I now want to read the other books in this series

Was this review helpful?

Elegant Occasions, the brain child of Mrs. Eliza Pierce, is an endeavor she and her two sisters created to provide them with necessary living funds.Their father refused to give them their dowries unless they answered to him and Eliza's soldier husband essentially left her penniless when he died. They figured, why not make a living out of something they are doing anyway and are good at - hosting elegant balls and dinner parties, launching debutantes into society and maybe a little matchmaking here and there. Seeking their services is Nathaniel Stanton, the Earl of Foxstead. He was Eliza's late husband's best friend and has been half way in love with her for a long time. That is only one of the secrets he holds. Just who is Mrs. Jocelin March? Is she only the widowed daughter of the Major General Nathaniel served under, making a death bed promise to see her well married. Jocelin is very young, has a toddler son and has the needs of Elegant Occasions services. There are so many secrets for Eliza and Nathaniel to unravel before they can find their HEA. Nathaniel sure has alot of them. The author reveals them one at a time, though the reader is able to take an educated guess at most before they are uncovered. She saves the biggest one for last. Good reading!

Was this review helpful?

I consider Sabrina Jeffries a very good HR author. That's why I read her books. Unfortunately, I didn't like this book and I found it hard to finish. I couldn't connect with the characters and I couldn't see why these two should be together. I loved Foxstead’s way of apologizing to Eliza and I loved that she stood her ground, but overall, I wasn't a big fan of the two of them. What annoyed me and probably made me have a bad opinion of the book was something in Foxstead’s point of view early in the book. I won't give anything away but it was basically that there was a big secret but we couldn't find out about it, even though Foxstead was thinking about it. When the revelation came, I cannot say that I was surprised. Another thing that really bothered me,is that Eliza had a picture of Foxstead’ in her mind painted by what her dead husband had told her about him. That might have been somewhat fine if Eliza wasn't shown time and again that her deceased husband was constantly lying. She thought that Foxstead was the bad guy and I wish that it all had been clarified because I am not convinced that Eliza doesn't still see him as a villain. I wouldn't recommend the book.

Was this review helpful?

DNF'd at 58%. Well written with interesting characters and potential plot twists. Unfortunately didn't work out for me very well. Maybe will revisit at the future.

Was this review helpful?

I’ve tried to power through this multiple times but couldn’t get into it. DNF @30%

Didn’t feel the connection between the characters

Was this review helpful?

This book was ok. The story kept me turning the pages but I don't think there is anything that I will remember about it. I will give the next book in the series a chance.

Was this review helpful?

Sabria Jeffries pens a great romance brewing between Foxstead and Eliza. All the angst of a new relationship and questions needing answers makes for a great read!

Was this review helpful?

What Happens in the Ballroom by Sabrina Jeffries is the second book in the Designing Debutantes Series, following A Duke for Diana. With Sabrina Jeffries' signature style, this book delivers a blend of steamy encounters, a touch of mystery, and characters who fit the classic Regency mold.

Our heroine, Eliza Pierce, is a young military widow who has achieved financial success and independence as part of Elegant Occasions, a party planning business. Her life takes an unexpected turn when Nathaniel Stanton, the Earl of Foxstead and her late husband's best friend—our hero—hires Elegant Occasions to assist another young widow in entering high society. As Eliza becomes entangled in Foxstead's family secrets, their undeniable attraction creates a complicated situation.

While What Happens in the Ballroom adheres to many traditional Regency romance tropes, it offers moments of understated humor and genuine sweetness. The groveling scene stands out as a highlight, and the portrayal of sisterly relationships in the story adds depth to the narrative. Although it may not break new ground in the Regency romance genre, it remains an enjoyable read for those in search of a lighthearted and steamy romance featuring well-defined characters.

Was this review helpful?

This was not really my favorite. I didn't feel like the main characters had much in the way of chemistry and I guessed the secret pretty early on and was frustrated that he didn't bite the bullet and have the necessary conversation. Overall, very much an OK read, nothing more nothing less.

Was this review helpful?

This book has romance and mystery! I liked the main characters Eliza and Nathaniel and enjoyed their dialogue. Overall a good read!

Was this review helpful?

Secrets are the bane of relationships and that is unfortunately what our hero is laden with. The second book in the series about 3 sisters who have overcome their parents notorious behavior by creating a successful business, Elegant Occasions. This book is about the middle sister, Eliza, a widow. She hates lies, deception and secrets, and has come to realize that her husband was not the man that she thought he was and has come out of mourning, stronger than ever. Nathaniel Stanton, the Earl of Foisted, was her husband's best friend, but also knew what kind of man he was and was unfortunately the one who had to tell her about his death in combat. He is very attracted to her, but he has so many secrets that he is juggling. that he keeps messing things up between them. He comes to Elegant Occasions to help his ward Jocelin enter society. She was the daughter of this general and he made a death bed promise to help her. He introduces her as a widow with a young son. But this only the first lie that he has to tell. Soon he is buried in them. Is there any hope that he can trust Jocelin to tell her all his secrets? She will not tolerate anything but the full truth.

Delightful characters, especially little Jimmy, lively banter, rich descriptions and a story that keeps you questing. The Phantom Fellow makes a few appearances and this time Verity isn't the only one to see him. But who is he and what does he want with Verity? Guess we will find out in the next book.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.com. This is may unbiased and voluntary review.

Was this review helpful?

I usually love Sabrina Jeffries, but this one just didn't quite hit for me. Still a good read, and Eliza was a sympathetic heroine, but the first half of the book felt slow and I did not feel as much of a sense of connection with the eventual hero.

Was this review helpful?

Classic historical romance with a slice of mystery. It did take me awhile to warm up to our hero, he just didn’t come off as warm and in love like the description had me believe. He did grow on me and seeing their romance bloom was wonderful. I was guessing about the mystery and soon realized which always makes for fun reading for me. Great characters and great romance. Some parts did start to feel a little dragged out but once over that it picked up and I was hooked until the end.

Was this review helpful?

My first book of this author and I was hooked from the very beginning! I’m in awe of her writing, so emotional, so vivid. Her characters are real, living, breathing men and women and their banter is wonderful, witty and genuine at the same time. I loved how she mixed humor and angst in equal parts and I especially loved the heroine, Eliza, who’s smart, compassionate and willing to listen and forgive, but who has also learned not to be undervalued or put upon by any man. I also loved how the three sisters supported each other throughout the book and I’m determined to read all three book of the series (I know, I’m already reading it out of order, but my next will be the first, A Duke for Diana. Anyway, they make for good standalones!)
A mention of honor to the narrator of the audiobook: she is astounding!!!

Was this review helpful?

This book was lovely and I loved the set up, and the first book in the series was good but this was better and I can't wait for the next one

Was this review helpful?

I love Sabrina Jeffries and this one was a lot of fun! I enjoyed the first one so I pretty much knew this one would be a good one. I liked the two main characters and how each had an issue to get through to move forward. I can't wait to see how the next book goes with the other sister and the mystery ballroom man!

Was this review helpful?

This is the second book of the Designing Debutantes series, and my first book by this author. The book can be read as a standalone and was absolutely a delight to read and I will definitely be going back to read the first one. Eliza is part of Elegant Occasions, started by a trio of lovely, enterprising ladies who have taken up party planning in lieu of working as governesses. Eliza is a young military widow and is enjoying being part of Elegant Occasions. Her deceased husband's best friend, Nathaniel, is guardian to a young war widow and comes to Elegant Occasions for help with introducing her into society in hopes of finding her a husband. Eliza and Nathaniel are strongly attracted to each other, but Eliza senses there are some secrets being kept. Nathaniel has completely fallen for Eliza, but he is burdened by his family secret's. Despite the chemistry and attraction between them, their journey to love is a bumpy one, with many challenges to overcome.
The story was entertaining and well-written and I enjoyed the build up between the characters. The dialogue was fun and witty with some humor mixed in. Overall, an enjoyable read!
I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.

Was this review helpful?

I liked this one, it was short and sweet and had all the elements I look for in a romance.
It was an unusual storyline, one I hadn't really seen before. It did get a little convoluted and confusing in the middle, which I think made it not read as smoothly as it could have.

But it was good, and I look forward to the last installment!

Was this review helpful?