Penny Gothic: A Romance of Fictitious Proportions by Shelley White

Penny Gothic: A Romance of Fictitious Proportions by Shelley White
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Contemporary, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Gypsy magic gone awry. A dubious family legacy.

When Penelope Darling’s grandmother dies, Penny inherits much more than a used bookstore. With only clues from a stack of letters left by her great grandmothers, Penny must find her destined true love… in a book.

Penny needs to convince her hero he’s not an actual book character, while avoiding the book’s determined villain. But convincing her knight in shining armor might not be enough to make a happily ever after.

She also must decide if she’s ready to fall in line with the family legacy, or go with the equally tempting (and totally non fictional) guy next door, and forget the man fated to be hers.

Love operates on its own timetable.

Penny’s snarky personality was a hoot. Her aversion to romance, at least in this specific chapter of her life while she still had so many other goals to accomplish, made it amusing to see how she reacted to the idea that her one true love had already been selected for her without her input. The snide comments she occasionally made about what was expected of her were softened out nicely by her devotion to her grandmother and her best friend. I adored the fact that she had already created a happy, successful life for herself before any hint of romance was so much as whispered in her vicinity. She was the sort of character I’d love to go out to dinner with.

I certainly wouldn’t expect every conflict to be resolved in the first book of a new series, but I would have preferred to see a few more loose ends tied up in the final scene. It ended so quickly that I found myself scrolling through to the final page to ensure there wasn’t another chapter hidden somewhere. The way that last scene was written didn’t feel quite complete to me, although I’m still curious to see what happens next.

One of my favorite things about this story was how respectful it was of its characters. They didn’t always obey the common tropes or plot twists of the romance genre, but they were trusted to wander off into storylines that one doesn’t see in romances too often. This writing style kept my interest levels high from the first scene to the last one. I was never quite sure what the characters might do next or how they’d reinterpret their roles to better suit their personalities.

Penny Gothic: A Romance of Fictitious Proportions is one of those rare books that I’d be equally happy to recommend to diehard fans of this genre, folks who read it occasionally, and even people who may generally not be interested in romantic fiction at all. It worked on so many different levels, and it kept a smile on my face the whole time.

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