Category Archives: Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- The Importance of Being Wanton by Christi Caldwell

itle: The Importance of Being Wanton (The Wantons of Waverton, book#2)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, June 29, 2021

Pages: 332

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Emma Gately and the Earl of Scarsdale were betrothed as children—less a vow of future happiness than an obligation. Seventeen years later, the independent miss severs the contract with the now notorious libertine in an unprecedented act of independence. And Emma cofounds the Mismatch Society, where like-minded ladies are free of the constraints and inevitable broken hearts that men bring. But Emma’s rejection sparks in her intended a new consideration of the spirited woman he took for granted—and a determination to win her back.

Despite his wicked reputation, misguided and suddenly lovestruck, Charles Hayden is on a mission to gain Emma’s respect, and he has just the idea—one that the daringly unconventional Emma is sure to appreciate. But as Charles takes bold steps and sets tongues wagging, he makes himself an accidental opponent of his former betrothed. Soon a rivalry is born that has the whole ton abuzz.

Emma never anticipated that with every fiery test of wills, passion would surge. Passion that’s impossible to ignore. In going toe-to-toe with Charles, she risks her heart and pride by falling in love with the one man she vowed to scorn.

**

We are introduced to Emma and Charles in book #1(SOMEONE WANTON HIS WAY COMES) of this series and although this is a standalone novel I liked knowing a bit more about these two by reading the first book (or rather listening to book#1 since I listened to the audiobook). Christi Caldwell has once again made me forget about sleeping by writing a good story that kept me turning pages.

Emma, at times, was annoying in her inability to acknowledge her lust for Charles. Instead she just melted every time she sought him out and then couldn’t understand why. Charles was trying to be honorable with Emma but she kept showing up at the most scandalous times and places.

This was certainly a fun, sexy read.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- How To Survive A Scandal by Samara Parish

Title: How to Survive A Scandal

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Samara Parish

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Forever, May 25, 2021

Pages: 353

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Lady Amelia was raised to be the perfect duchess, accomplished in embroidery, floral arrangement, and managing a massive household. But when an innocent mistake forces her and the uncouth, untitled Benedict Asterly into a marriage of convenience, all her training appears to be for naught. Even worse, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to this man no finishing school could have prepared her for.

Benedict Asterly never dreamed saving Amelia’s life would lead to him exchanging vows with the hoity society miss. Benedict was taught to distrust the aristocracy at a young age, so when news of his marriage endangers a business deal, Benedict is wary of Amelia’s offer to help. But his quick-witted, elegant bride defies all his expectations . . . and if he’s not careful, she’ll break down the walls around his guarded heart.

**

Amelia and Benedict couldn’t be more dissimilar. She was raised to be the epitome of aristocratic womanhood, he is a rough around the edges business tycoon. They are innocently compromised into marriage. Samara Parrish does an exceptional job of showing us the wide gap in the expectations of each. Amelia tries to, and succeeds often, be of a help to Benedict. Benedict struggles with his working-man roots and can’t accept Amelia’s aristocratic ways. Neither is right or wrong. That the author can show us this gap in understanding and accomplishment is the true meat of this book.

I really could not put this book down. There is plenty of action, romance, misunderstanding and yes, romance. I fell in love with both the Hero and the Heroine, both having the “right-of-it”. An HEA is never taken for granted as I read. I look forward to Edward and Fiona’s story.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- Improper by Darcy Burke

Title: Improper (The Phoenix Club, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Darcy Burke

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zealous Quill Press, May 25, 2021

Pages: 326

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Society’s most exclusive invitation…

Welcome to the Phoenix Club, where London’s most audacious, disreputable, and intriguing ladies and gentlemen find scandal, redemption, and second chances.


Dissolute rogue Tobias Powell, Earl of Overton, has just inherited a sheltered, proper young ward for whom he must find a husband. And that is only the start of his problems. His father’s will demands Tobias marry within the next six weeks, or he’ll lose his mother’s house, a treasure so dear that Tobias can’t consider defeat. Surely he can rehabilitate his scandalous reputation, secure a match for his ward, and find the sophisticated woman of his dreams before it’s too late. Except his ward is a hellion who cannot behave. She can, however, make him laugh.

Provincial Miss Fiona Wingate is eager to swap her boring small town for an exciting London Season. Until she realizes her new guardian, a dashing earl, plans for her to wed with the utmost haste. Fiona has no interest in marriage—she’s only just been liberated from her lifelong isolation! But when she causes a near scandal and Tobias comes to the rescue, an unexpected attraction sparks between them. Except romance between a guardian and his ward would be most improper…

**

This is a very good read. It has humor, romance, a plucky heroine and a handsome hero. I’ve enjoyed Darcy Burke’s books in the past but I think this one is my favorite so far. It is billed as the second book in the series but it is actually the first. The short FREE prequel (Invitation) sets up some of the characters and the Club, but you really don’t need all the pre-info to enjoy this “2nd” book. However it is free so why not give it a read. I look forward to more books in the series especially about Cassandra who is Fiona’s dear friend and Lucian, Cassandra’s older brother as well as Prudence the companion, Con the oldest brother to Lucian and Cassandra and more of Mrs Renshaw, hm-m-m. If you are in the mood for a fun HR then don’t hesitate, this one is delightful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- The Widow’s Christmas Surprise by Jenna Jaxon

Title: The Widow’s Christmas Surprise (The Widow’s Club, book #5)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Jenna Jaxon

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zebra, Sept. 29, 2020

Pages: 258

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy feeling: 4

Description from Amazon:

The death of her husband has thrown Lady Maria Kersey’s future into doubt—and her heart into the arms of a man she cannot have. But Christmas with the Widows’ Club will bring choices—and surprises–that may change all her holidays to come . . .
 
Maria just gave birth to her first child, a beautiful daughter—but the event is shrouded in sorrow.  A month earlier, Maria’s husband, Lord Kersey, was killed in a duel under compromising circumstances. Worse, Maria’s failure to provide a male heir has stripped her of any hope of an inheritance. Scorned by the ton, one of her few allies is her late husband’s steward, Hugh Granger. Hugh is everything her husband was not—warm, charming—and penniless. . . . 
 
Hugh has fallen desperately in love with Maria, but has little to offer but comfort. As their attraction becomes impossible to resist, Maria flees to London to spend Christmas with her dearest friends, a group of widows who lost their own husbands in the Battle of Waterloo. Little does she know the holidays will reveal a twist of fate she never expected—proving that the greatest Christmas gift is the magic of true love .

**

What that book blurb doesn’t tell you, and I’m happy to fill the void, is that there are devastating barriers to the happiness of Maria and Hugh. This book kept me turning pages into the wee hours because I couldn’t put it down. I just had to find out how an HEA would be resolved. Jenna Jaxon’s Widow’s Club series has been a bit hit or miss for me but this one is definitely a terrific read. I think Ms Jackson has become a better author with each successive book in the series.

This is a standalone book with characters from the other books in the series who make appearances. But you will not be lost; each character is introduced if only casually.

There is that Christmasy feeling and I don’t think it is too early in the season to read a book with some Christmas. In fact it just might put you in the Holiday mood. That’s something we all need during this pandemic.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- Her Night With The Duke by Diana Quincy

Title: Her Night With The Duke

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Diana Quincy

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, Sept. 29, 2020

Pages: 382

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Desire knows no reason…

When Lady Delilah Chambers finds herself stranded at a country inn on a rain-swept evening, she’s forced to fend off a group of ruffians with the help of a handsome gentleman. Irresistibly drawn to each other, Leela and the stranger spend one reckless night in each others’ arms—and then go their separate ways. But the very next day Leela receives the shock of her life when she meets the duke who is set on wedding her beloved stepdaughter.

When it finds two destined hearts…

One night isn’t enough with a woman as fierce, fiery, and brilliant as Leela. Elliot Townsend, Duke of Huntington, cannot believe his good fortune when their chance encounter leads to an unforgettable evening of passion. Yet Hunt’s luck runs out when he is introduced to his prospective mother-in-law. Dowagers aren’t supposed to look like this… 

Leela and Hunt are determined to keep each other at arm’s length, which should be easy enough for two intelligent adults with reputations to uphold. The problem is all logic is lost when it comes to a passion that refuses to be ignored.

**

An enjoyable page turner. This hot, sexy novel will have you fanning yourself. Leela is not your typical Dowager Countess. She is a published author, a woman ahead of her time. She falls in love with Hunt and he with her but there are many, many obstacles to any Happily Ever After. It seems impossible. But perhaps fate will find a way. The author does a very good job of dealing with the racism of the era. We have a strong determined heroine in Leela and an equally determined Hero in Hunt. This is a unique Historical Romance which touches on several deep emotions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- Always The Wallflower by Emily EK Murdoch

Always The Wallflower

Title: Always the Wallflower (Never The Bride book#5)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Emily EK Murdoch

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Dragonblade, Aug 6, 2020

Pages: 164

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Always the wallflower and never the bride – imprisoned by fear to watch life at the sidelines…

Lady Letitia Cavendish is a Cavendish, but only a cousin of the current Duke so even her name isn’t enough for potential suitors to court her. She’s a wallflower, terrified of putting herself forward, and so life continues on without her.
But at two and twenty, things are getting desperate.

The most confident rake in town, Edward Wynn, is a handsome devil – and being the Viscount of Stulsemere doesn’t hurt. When, despite his best efforts, he’s partnered with the most boring lady at Almack’s, he resigns himself to twenty minutes of silence.

And is astonished. Lady Letitia is nothing like what he expected, and after she storms off and leaves him standing, Edward has to know more.

He’s determined to understand her. She’s torn between remaining invisible and finally making a good match. Personalities collide and compromise seems out of reach as the unexpected happens.

What will society say as the biggest rake courts the wallflower of the season? Can Letitia ever take a step towards a happily ever after?

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order. Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

**

This is a novella, only 164 pages so it is easily read in an evening and if you are a Regency Romance fan than that makes for a satisfying evening. Letitia is so painfully shy when meeting new people that there seems little hope of her ever making a match. But in spite of their first meeting Edward observes her vibrant interaction with those she is familiar with. This intrigues him to know her better.

I truly enjoyed this book and though the novella format often makes it too difficult to develop the characters Ms. Murdoch did an exceptional job in helping us to see Letitia and Edward for who they really are. I recommend this book to all romance fans.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- Fair As A Star by Mimi Matthews

Fair As A Star

Title: Fair As A Star

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Mimi Matthews

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, July 14, 2020

Pages: 194

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon:

Secret Burden…
After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy–or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.
A Longstanding Love…
As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.
During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings–or betraying his brother?

**

This is a stunning novella. At only 194 pages, I zipped through reading this and my only regret was that the story did not continue. I wanted more. Henry was definitely self-absorbed, Beryl loves Mark, Mark loves Beryl. The reader knows that if Beryl marries Henry it will be a disaster. Also Beryl’s secret plays a role in all relationships. I must not leave out mention of the wisest character, Earnest.

I truly liked this novella and the light it shown on Beryl’s secret. Mimi Matthews never disappoints in her beautiful writing, superbly nuanced characters and absorbing plots. I highly recommend this book to all romance fans.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- A Good Duke Is Hard To Find by Christina Britton

A Good duke is Hard to find

Title: A Good duke Is Hard To Find (Isle of Synne, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Christina Britton

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Forever, June 30, 2020

Pages: 385

Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)

Sexy Rating:

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon:
After her third fiancé leaves her at the altar, Lenora Hartley is beginning to think she’s cursed. One thing’s for certain: she needs to escape London and her father’s tyrannical attempts to find her yet another suitor. The Isle of Synne, an isolated and idyllic retreat off Britain’s northern coast, is blessedly far from society’s gossip, but it also carries haunting reminders of her first fiancé. Letting go of the past to find happiness seems impossible — until Lenora is thrown in the path of a gruff, mysterious blue-eyed man who makes her pulse race.

Next in line for a dukedom he doesn’t want to inherit, Peter Ashford is only on the isle to exact revenge on the man who is responsible for his mother’s death. Once he’s completed the task, he’ll return to America where his life can finally be his own. Yet when he meets the beautiful and kind Miss Hartley, he can’t help but be drawn to her. Can Peter put aside his plans for vengeance for the woman who has come to mean everything to him?

**
I tried to like this book. But the characters just did not engage me. The writing was good but I found myself putting the book aside and not caring if I went back to it. The premise of the young curmudgeon who doesn’t want a title is often a good one for me but not this time. Perhaps it was just me but I gave up at 32%.

That cover is gorgeous.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- The Devil of Downtown by Joanna Shupe

The Devil of Downtown

Title: The Devil of Downtown (Uptown Girls, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance /Victorian /American

Author: Joanna Shupe

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, June 30, 2020

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Manhattan kingpin.
Brilliant mastermind.
Gentleman gangster.

He’s built a wall around his heart…

Orphaned and abandoned on the Bowery’s mean streets, Jack Mulligan survived on strength, cunning, and ambition. Now he rules his territory better than any politician or copper ever could. He didn’t get here by being soft. But in uptown do-gooder Justine Greene―the very definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove―Jack may have met his match.

She wears hers on her sleeve…

Justine is devoted to tracking down deadbeat husbands and fighting for fair working conditions. When her mission brings her face-to-face with Jack, she’s shocked to find the man behind the criminal empire is considerably more charming and honorable than many “gentlemen” she knows.

Forming an unlikely alliance, they discover an unexpected desire. And when Justine’s past catches up with them, Jack may be her only hope of survival. Is she ready to make a deal with the devil…?

**
It is hard to figure out who saves who more often, Justine or Jack. Justine is headstrong and fearless but Jack knows the dangers she faces even if she disregards them. Justine is drawn to Jack even if she knows there can be no future with him. As a reader I also know this so I keep turning pages to find out how there can be a HEA.

This is the first book in this series that I have read, and although there are frequent references to characters and situations in previous books, this is still a standalone novel.

I liked the fearlessness of Justine which did not mean she was careless about safety she was just overly confident in her own abilities. My only complaint about the story, Jack for all his King-Pin persona never quite made me feel he was all that powerful. This was a very good read and a welcome addition to my library. I can’t wait to read the previous two books in the series.

Love that book cover!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- About A Rogue by Caroline Linden

About A Rogue

Title: About A Rogue: Desperately Seeking Duke, book #1

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Caroline Linden

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, June 30, 2020

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

It’s no love match…
Bianca Tate is horrified when her sister Cathy is obliged to accept an offer of marriage from Maximilian St. James, notorious rake. Defiantly she helps Cathy elope with her true love, and takes her sister’s place at the altar.
It’s not even the match that was made…
Perched on the lowest branch of his family tree, Max has relied on charm and cunning to survive. But an unexpected stroke of luck gives him an outside chance at a dukedom—and which Tate sister he weds hardly seems to matter.

But could it be the perfect match?

Married or not, Bianca is determined to protect her family’s prosperous ceramics business, even when Max shows an affinity for it—not to mention a dangerous ability to intrigue and tempt Bianca herself. And when Max realizes how beautiful and intelligent and desirable Bianca is, he’ll have to prove he’s no rogue, but the passionately devoted husband she craves…

**
This book is very much like The Taming of The Shrew. We have a very shrewish heroine and a a hero who seems willing to put up with her for the reward of being able to continue developing her father’s ceramics business. He also has to prove to his distant cousin, the dowager duchess, that he can be responsible and respectable since he is the second-in-line heir to the dukedom.

This was a most enjoyable premise. I do like a different plot that is thrown into the Regency Romance mix and this book does just that. I liked that Max was trying to make something of himself. I found Bianca to be a bit annoying with all her ranting. Max has a secret that could bring everything tumbling down around his ears so I kept turning pages to find out what it was. You will also keep the pages turning in this very delightful first book in Ms. Linden’s new series.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance