Category Archives: 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.

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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!!

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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.

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Sending a smile from Deet

This showed up on my Facebook page.  So funny!!!!!

funny display

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Recent Release Review- A Dark And Stormy Knight by Kerrigan Byrne

A Dark and Stormy Knight

Title: A Dark And Stormy Knight (Victorian Rebels, book #7)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gnarly Wool Publishing, June 2020

Pages: 268

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:
Sir Carlton Morley is famously possessed of extraordinary will, singular focus, and a merciless sense of justice. As a man, he secured his fortune and his preeminence as Scotland Yard’s ruthless Chief Inspector. As a decorated soldier, he was legend for his unflinching trigger finger, his precision in battle, and his imperturbable strength. But as a boy, he was someone else. A twin, a thief, and a murderer, until tragedy reshaped him.
Now he stalks the night, in search of redemption and retribution, vowing to never give into temptation, as it’s just another form of weakness.
Until temptation lands—quite literally—in his lap, taking the form of Prudence Goode.
Prim and proper Pru is expected to live a life of drudgery, but before she succumbs to her fate, she craves just one night of desire. On the night she searches for it, she stumbles upon a man made of shadows, muscle and wrath… And decides he is the one.
When their firestorm of passion burns out of control, Morley discovers, too late, that he was right. The tempting woman has become his weakness.
A weakness his enemies can use against him.
**
Kerrigan Byrne is one of Historical Romance’s preeminent romantic suspense writers. She brings action, suspense, mystery and sensual romance to each novel. This novel is, once again, a page turning, breath catching delight.

We have met Carlton Morley in previous books but here we get to see the total man. Characters from previous books are here to help Morley in his quest for justice for Pru. This is a well crafted mystery also. There are some early-on surprises that lead us to wonder who actually is the perpetrator.
I can highly recommend this book to all Historical Romance fans and also to anyone who truly enjoys exceptional writing and story telling. This is a standalone novel but I encourage you to read the entire Victorian Rebels Series.
Victorian Rebels
1. The Highwayman
2. The Hunter
3. The Highlander
4. The Duke
5. The Scot Beds His Wife
6. The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo
7. A Dark and Stormy Knight

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Advance Review-To Catch An Earl by Kate Bateman

To Catch an Earl

Title: To Catch an Earl (Bow Street Bachelors, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kate Bateman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback, June 30, 2020

Pages: 336

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Working undercover for London’s first official police force, the Bow Street Bachelors have an obligation to serve the city’s best interests—even while they’re falling for the city’s most alluring women…
SHE KNOWS HOW TO STEAL A KISS.

Alex Harland, Earl of Melton and dedicated rake, never pictured himself as an agent of inquiry. But the thrill of investigation is a challenge he now embraces. When he’s asked to pursue the Nightjar, a notorious thief who is reclaiming France’s crown jewels, the case throws him into the path of the beautiful and equally elusive Emmy Danvers, reminding him of the only puzzle he’s never solved: the identity of the mysterious woman who once stole a kiss from him—and left him wanting so much more…

WILL HE SURRENDER HIS HEART?

The daughter of a thief, Emmy learned long ago how to keep her secrets safeguarded—and, as the notorious Nightjar, her love for Alex Harland is one of them. With the determined earl hot on her trail—and making her hot under the collar—Emmy has no choice but to keep her distance. But when a moment’s danger threatens Emmy’s life as well as her name, will Alex finally discover that he’s followed every clue…to true love?
**
This is another goodie from the talented Kate Bateman. Emmy is devoted to her father’s memory and his ideal of returning the French Royal Jewels to France. Her Grandmother and brother also support this effort and encourage Emmy to continue although Emmy often has reservations about each theft.
Alex Harland fell in love at first kiss with Emmy at a masquerade ball and has been searching for four years for the elusive woman. Now that he has found her will he find out about her theivery?

I liked Alex, he was especially good at his Bow Street investigations. Emmy and her family were very likeable also. The blackmailing villain was ruthless but didn’t make sense to me. It just seemed that he could have been dispatched easily enough. All together this was a riveting read. Try it you’ll like the unique plot.

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Advance Review- In The Dark With The Duke by Christi Caldwell

In the Dark with the Duke

Title: In The Dark with The duke (Lost Lords of London, book #2)

Genre: Historical romance Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, June 9, 2020

Pages: 365

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Eight years ago, Lady Lila March retreated to the safe shadows of her family’s estate after a devastating tragedy. Weary of being a whisper of her former self, she is determined to brave the dangers of the outside world again. No man is better equipped to train her in the art of defense than the Savage Gentleman, East London’s undefeated street fighter.
Hugh Savage reigns as king—of the underworld. Physically invulnerable, emotionally battered, he has his reasons for bare-knuckle brawling. Though Hugh longs to break free of the ring and leave behind the brutal world of violence, he’s intrigued by the challenge Lady Lila poses. A mysterious lady of the peerage willfully descending into the dangerous rookeries? That bespeaks a woman with secrets of her own.
As their unconventional pact progresses, Hugh comes to admire the resolve in Lila’s heart. And beneath his hard surface, she sees a tenderness that touches her to the quick. They’ll soon discover how much they need each other—to face their pasts together, and to fight for a future they deserve.

**
Oh I do love the way Christi Caldwell brings characters to such vibrant life that they jump off the page right into your heart. Lila has suffered a devastating trauma and Hugh’s life is no different. She needs to feel she can help to protect her loved ones from the savages she knows exist in the world. Hugh thinks of himself as one of those savages. We long for each of them to be healed and to learn to live free and love. Somehow Ms. Caldwell makes this magic happen and we once again have a beautifully wrought Regency Romance.

My only negative is that I thought making Hugh the Lost Lord was done quickly and not enough paid attention to his transition. This in no way made the book less readable.

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Recent Release- The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham

The Rakess

Title: The Rakess: Society of Sirens Book #1

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Scarlett Peckham

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, April 2020

Pages: 400

Rating: 3 (just okay)

Sexy Rating: 5+ (very sexy, erotic)

Violence Rating: 4 (some violence, no deaths)

Description from Amazon:

She’s a Rakess on a quest for women’s rights…
Seraphina Arden’s passions include equality, amorous affairs, and wild, wine-soaked nights. To raise funds for her cause, she’s set to publish explosive memoirs exposing the powerful man who ruined her. Her ideals are her purpose, her friends are her family, and her paramours are forbidden to linger in the morning.
He’s not looking for a summer lover…
Adam Anderson is a wholesome, handsome, widowed Scottish architect, with two young children, a business to protect, and an aversion to scandal. He could never, ever afford to fall for Seraphina. But her indecent proposal—one month, no strings, no future—proves too tempting for a man who strains to keep his passions buried with the losses of his past.
But one night changes everything…
What began as a fling soon forces them to confront painful secrets—and yearnings they thought they’d never have again. But when Seraphina discovers Adam’s future depends on the man she’s about to destroy, she must decide what to protect… her desire for justice, or her heart.

**
I know that there have been women throughout the ages who flaunt society standards to make a point but this woman, Serafina, played out like a modern 21st century woman, not an enlightened Regency woman. She seemed more interested in her raunchy matings then her suffrage movement. She seduced Adam until the intelligent man could do nothing but succumb to her . All that being said, Scarlett Peckham can create characters that also seduce the reader into their problems and love-life. I found the writing superbly constructed. The side characters, many who will be featured in the series, were well drawn. This is a good start to the series and I hope future books will feel more Regency and less Contemporary.

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Release Day Review- The Virgin And The Rogue by Sophie Jordan

The Vigin and the rogue

Title:The Virgin and The Rogue (Rogues File book #6)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sophie Jordan

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, April 28, 2020

Pages: 368

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

love potion…
Charlotte Langley has always been the prudent middle sister, so her family is not surprised when she makes the safe choice and agrees to wed her childhood sweetheart. But when she finds herself under the weather and drinks a “healing” tonic, the potion provokes the most maddening desire…for someone other than her betrothed.
With the power…
Kingston’s rakehell ways are going to destroy him and he’s vowed to change. His stepbrother’s remote estate is just the place for a reformed rogue to hide. The last thing he wants is to be surrounded by society, but when he gets stuck alone with a wallflower who is already betrothed… and she astonishes him with a fiery kiss, he forgets all about hiding.
To alter two destinies.
Although Charlotte appears meek, Kingston soon discovers there’s a vixen inside, yearning to break free. Unable to forget their illicit moment of passion, Kingston vows to relive the encounter, but Charlotte has sworn it will never happen again—no matter how earth-shattering it was. But will a devilish rogue tempt her to risk everything for a chance at true love?

**
Up front, if you don’t like detailed sex scenes then skip this one. There is opening talk of menstrual problems and a heroine who does ridiculous sexual advances to a stranger. All in the name of a aphrodisiac potion. Well perhaps, or perhaps she is just sexually excited. Whatever Charlotte is not a proper Regency young woman and it takes her awhile to figure out her place. Kingston has made a supreme effort to change his profligate ways so we are on his side for the entire book. No one besides Charlotte got to taste the potion so we are never to find out if it really is an aphrodisiac. (Now that would have been fun.) So many missed chances with this enticing premise.

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Advance Review- A Duke By Any Other Name by Grace Burrowes

A Duke by any other name

Title: A Duke By Any Other Name (Rogues to Riches, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Forever, April 28, 2020

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Nathaniel, Duke of Rothhaven, lives in seclusion, leaving his property only to gallop his demon-black steed across the moors by moonlight. Exasperated mamas invoke his name to frighten small children, though Nathaniel is truly a decent man — maybe too decent for his own good. That’s precisely why he must turn away the beguiling woman demanding his help.

Lady Althea Wentworth has little patience for dukes, reclusive or otherwise, but she needs Rothhaven’s backing to gain entrance into Polite Society. She’s asked him nicely, she’s called on him politely, all to no avail — until her prize hogs just happen to plunder the ducal orchard. He longs for privacy. She’s vowed to never endure another ball as a wallflower. Yet as the two grow closer, it soon becomes clear they might both be pretending to be something they’re not.

**
As those who know me, know that I’m a fan of Grace Burrowes’ Historical Romances. Each one is a perfect bit of escapist, curl up with wine and a fluffy throw, romance book. (I also have a dish of chocolate truffles handy. TMI?) This book is another well written, character driven, lovely read.

Nathaniel’s brother Robbie should be the duke but he is afflicted with the “falling down” sickness (epilepsy), so the old duke concocted a plan to have second son, Nathaniel, assume that role even though Robbie was still living. This made for a multitude of secrets which unravel as the book goes on. Althea is the first to discover Robbie and her wise advice is to eventually bring her and Nathaniel together. I liked how Burrowes brings to light the horrendous treatment of those afflicted with disease in the Regency period. It is not all bad, for Nathaniel and Althea have an HEA and there is hope for Robbie in the folds of a loving family. I encourage you to read this book.

(This is a standalone novel in the series.)

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