Monthly Archives: December 2017

Best Books of 2017 in Romance Novels Compilied by Deet

I could not choose just ten “Best Books of 2017” so this is a very long list of fabulous reads of 2017. Most are Historical Romance/Regency but there are some other genres which I indicate. If you would like my reviews just plug in the title or author’s name in the search box to the left. (The book covers are at the bottom of the post, scroll down.)

Jan:
Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

On Second Thought by Kristin Higgins (Contemporary Romance)

Feb:
If The Duke demands by Anna Harrington

Mar:
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Let me get this out of the way; I am in love with the Bridgerton Series. There, now you know so that is why I am totally biased about each of the books. Every time I read one I think “Oh, this is the best one.” And then I read another and think the same thing again. Start with the first and read through, even a re-read is so satisfying.

A Ladies Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

May:
Shacking Up by Helena Hunting (Contemporary Romance)

Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane (Romantic Suspense)

June:
Say Yes to the Scot (Anthology) by Cornwall, Harrington, York, McGoldrick
This Anthology is really a cut above the usual in that every novella was a winner. I’m used to finding stories in anthologies that are good and not so good and in this one they are all better than good. They are excellent. There is beautiful romance, suspense and sexy times. This is one for the keeper shelf.

Kato by d.B. Reynolds (Paranormal Romance)

A Fallen Lady by Elizabeth Kingston

July:
The Red by Tiffany Reisz (Fantasy Erotic Romance)

The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

Aug:
Traitor In Her Arms by Shana Galen

Dec:
Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

His Mistletoe Wager by Virgina Heath

The Christmas Stranger (Novella) by Anna Campbell

Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant (Kindle and Audio)

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Favorites, Novella, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense

Review- Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

Temptations of a Wallflower

Title: Temptations of a Wallflower (Wicked Quills of London, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Eva Leigh
Source: purchase
Publisher: Avon, 2016
Pages: 387
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

 

Eva Leigh’s deliciously sexy Wicked Quills of London series continues as a Lady’s secret career writing erotic fiction is jeopardized by real-life romance . . .
In society circles she’s known as the Watching Wallflower—shy, quiet, and certainly never scandalous. Yet beneath Lady Sarah Frampton’s demure façade hides the mind of The Lady of Dubious Quality, author of the most titillating erotic fiction the ton has ever seen. Sarah knows discovery would lead to her ruin, but marriage—to a vicar, no less—could help protect her from slander. An especially tempting option when the clergyman in question is the handsome, intriguing Jeremy Cleland.
Tasked with unmasking London’s most scandalous author by his powerful family, Jeremy has no idea that his beautiful, innocent bride is the very woman he seeks to destroy. His mission must remain a secret, even from the new wife who stirs his deepest longings. Yet when the truth comes to light, Sarah and Jeremy’s newfound love will be tested. Will Sarah’s secret identity tear them apart or will the temptations of his wallflower wife prove too wicked to resist?

**

This is the third book in this series but I can attest to the fact that it is a standalone novel with cameo appearances of characters from the first two books.

What’s not to love about a straight laced Vicar and a woman whose writings are steamy romances. Romances so steamy that if she were to be discovered as the author she would cause irreparable damage to her reputation. And if discovered by the Vicar it could mean devastation.

This book is beautifully written, carefully plotted and has characters that have human foibles as well as definite personalities. I loved it and look forward to playing catch-up with the first two books in the series.

 

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Merry Christmas

Christmas tropical 2

 

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‘Twas The Night Before…

Christmaseve 3

 

sexy-santa elves

Santa’s Elves vacationing in my state of Florida. Reason enough to get away from the snow. 

Enjoy your night before Christmas with those you love gathered around your tree.

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Review- His Mistletoe Wager by Virginia Heath

The Mistletoe Wager

Title: His Mistletoe Wager
Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday
Author: Virginia Heath
Source: Purchase for Kindle
Publisher: Harlequin Historical, Oct. 2017
Pages: 288
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Christmasy Feeling: 4
Description from Amazon:

“Five berries equal the five separate kisses I challenge you to steal.”
Notorious rake Henry Stuart, Earl of Redbridge, is certain he’ll win his Christmas bet—until he learns he’ll be stealing Lady Elizabeth Wilding’s kisses. A woman who refuses to be charmed!
Once jilted, Lizzie must guard her heart, because the ton is unaware of her scandalous secret—her son! Despite their increasing attraction, she can’t risk the persistent Hal bringing down her defenses. But when her former fiancé returns, Lizzie realizes that perhaps Hal’s the one man she can trust—with her heart and her son…

**
Here is another gem of a story for the holidays. Her father who is determined to see her settled in a marriage is carting Lizzie to all the ton holiday events. But Lizzie has plans to go to a cottage in the north with her son ,Georgie, where they can live without fear of scandal. Hal has made a wager with his brother-in-law, Aaron, that he can steal 5 kisses from Lizzie before Twelthnight. All manner of attraction, lust, villainany and secrets abound.

Terrific characterizations, a strong heroine and a handsome hero plus some excellent prose and plotting. All add up to a 5 star romance.

 

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Novella Review- The Christmas Stranger by Anna Campbell

The Christmas Stranger

Title: The Christmas Stranger: A Regency Novella
Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday
Author: Anna Campbell
Source: Purchase ($.99-Kindle)
Publisher: Anna Campbell, Nov. 2017
Pages: 153
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Christmasy Feeling: 4
Description from Amazon:

At Christmastime, a stranger crossing the threshold means good fortune…

When Josiah Hale, society’s favorite aristocratic architect, stumbles upon an isolated manor house in the middle of a snowstorm, he feels like he’s entered a fairytale world. And Sleeping Beauty in this secret corner of Yorkshire is lovely, vulnerable Maggie Carr, surely a princess disguised as a humble housekeeper. Is Josiah her prince – or the man who will break her heart and leave her life in ruins?

But is the stranger’s arrival lucky for the girl Christmas forgot?

Maggie Carr has worked as a housekeeper at isolated Thorncroft Hall since her beloved mother died five years ago. No matter how often she tells herself she’s accustomed to being poor and alone, Christmas always stirs poignant memories of a time when she had a place in the world and a family to love. But this Christmas, a handsome stranger bursts into her solitary world and makes her feel like a desirable woman. Maggie has already lost so much to cruel fate. Now as the season advances and she finds herself in thrall to the man who challenges her loneliness and turns winter nights to sultry summer, what price will this irresistible passion demand of her?

Will the Yuletide enchantment vanish with the season’s decorations? Or have Maggie and her Christmas stranger discovered a magic to sustain them through a lifetime of happiness?

**

There are storytellers, and then there are master storytellers, Anna Campbell is the later. This novella was so refreshing after reading several highly touted authors who left me bored and sorry I spent money on their uninteresting novels. Novellas are notorious for lacking the length to develop characters but Anna Campbell seems to not have heard that remark, for Maggie and Joss are very well-rounded. We are treated to significant background on both as well as important side characters. There is enough snow and evergreen gathering to give us that Christmasy Feeling and who among us doesn’t like a snowed-in-at-Christmas tale. Maggie falls in love over a few days but Joss is smitten at first glance. Not an original trope but in the deft hands of Ms. Campbell it is altogether enthralling.

Since it is only 3 days ‘til Christmas, and you are tuckered out from all that baking, cooking, shopping and wrapping not to mention decorating, this book is $.99 on Kindle so treat yourself an take a well deserved reading break. Don’t forget the Hot Chocolate, after all this is a regency novella.

santa-sexy-2

So sorry, those Santa elves just pop up uninvited. Anyone for a trip to the North Pole?

 

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Review- Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant

Deadly Engagement

Title: Deadly Engagement
Genre: Historical Mystery/Romance
Author: Lucinda Brandt
Source: Purchase
Publisher: Sprigleaf 2011
Pages: 328
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Spring 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London to the shocking news his estranged brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but is engaged to the woman Alec hoped to marry. The dead man’s mother wants Alec to investigate, so he reluctantly attends a weekend house party celebrating the engagement. Houseguests get more than they bargained for when a lady’s maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead. Uncovering a connection between these sinister acts and his brother’s duel, Alec confronts a cruel twist of fate and why his brother will go to any lengths to ruin him in Polite Society.
Lucinda Brant’s mysteries explore the darker side of her richly authentic 18th century world. Along with her trademark wit and high drama there are deeper subplots and even quirkier characters that will have you shuddering and laughing in equal measure.

**
There are some unflattering reviews of this book online, don’t pay attention to those. This book is full of well developed characters, a well crafted plot, an intriguing mystery and to top it off a hero, Alec Halsey, to give any reader swooning palpitations. The book blurb gives you the gist of the plot so I don’t find it necessary to repeat. If, like me, you find delight in figuring out who-done-it and like handsome, intelligent, down to earth heroes and you like your historical settings well researched then by all means get this one. Oh yes, Alex Wyndham narrates this book in audio, he is absolutely the best.

Other books in this series:

Deadly Affair

Deadly Peril

 

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Recent release Review- The Lord Meets His Lady by Gina Conkle

The Lord Meets His Lady

Title: The Lord Meets His Lady (Midnight Meetings)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Gina Conkle
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Dec. 5, 2017
Pages: 450
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:
Lord Marcus Bowles has stained his family’s reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn’t one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.
One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner’s handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won’t hurt…
Midnight Meetings Series:
Meet the Earl at Midnight (Book 1)
The Lady Meets Her Match (Book 2)
The Lord Meets His Lady (Book 3)

**
This is a well written historical romance based on the Little Red Ridinghood fairytale. Genevieve even has the red cloak. Marcus is a worthy hero and it is obvious that these two will be together in spite of the bad guy (wolf?). It was an enjoyable read, but for me, too long. If you don’t mind the length than this will be for you. Ms. Conkle is a terrific author. This is a standalone novel.

 

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Release Day Review- Christmas At Thorncliff Manor by Sophie Barnes

 

Title: Christmas At Thorncliff Manor (Secrets At Thorncliff Manor, book #4)
Genre: Historical Romance/MysteryChristmas at Thorncliff Manor
Author: Sophie Barnes
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Sophie Barnes, Dec. 5, 2017 (Kindle)
Pages: 244
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 3
Christmasy feeling: 4
Description from Amazon:

More than love is in the air …
Join the Heartly family as they return to Thorncliff Manor for the holiday season where four sisters and four very handsome, very eligible bachelors, are about to enjoy a lively Christmastime filled with laughter and love. But aside from the covert matchmaking undertaken by the eccentric hostess, Lady Duncaster, the thrill of adventure is sweeping through the estate. Soon, all the guests will be entangled in a treasure hunt for a lost heirloom and secrets hidden for decades will rise to the surface as matters of the heart are finally revealed.
Will Fiona ever see the Earl of Chadwick as more than a friend? Will Emily find an unlikely love in the Marquess of Montsmouth? Can Laura recognize the man of her dreams in the Duke of Lamont? And is Viscount Belgrave able to open Rachel’s eyes to romance? The magic of Thorncliff is about to offer the last unmarried Heartly sisters a chance at their own happily-ever-afters. So sit back with a warm mug of cocoa and lose yourself in a Regency Christmas Romance…

**
Pause your holiday rush and read this bit of romance about 4 sisters about to get their happily-ever-afters. It is a bit short to fully develop all the couples but it was a most enjoyable romp through the manor, it’s tunnels, gallery, library and skating pond. There is a treasure to be found and everyone is looking and trying to solve the mystery. You need not have read the first three books to thoroughly enjoy this one.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

 

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