Category Archives: Books Historical Romance

Relese Day Review- To Have And To Hoax by Martha Waters

To Have and to Hoax

Title: To Have and To Hoax

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Author: Martha Waters

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Atria, April, 2020

Pages: 352

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon:

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

**
This was a lively romp through the ridiculous games engaged in by this couple. As ridiculous and childish as the game was, the reader longs for these two basically charming, sane, husband and wife to find their HEA. But they keep digging themselves in a deeper and deeper hole.

I truly enjoyed every melodrama that turned up on almost every page. This plot was well written and I would have given it more than 5-stars if not for wanting to shake the heroine out of her machinations. At about 60% I was tired of the games. The characters were well drawn. Violet and James were easy to like and to understand their ongoing feud. The side characters were ripe for future books of their own. I can highly recommend this first book by Martha Waters and I hope for more fun HR’s in the future..

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Advance Review- Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker

Lakeshire Park

Title: Lakeshire Park

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Megan Walker

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Shadow Mountain, April 7, 2020(paperback and audio)

Pages: 256

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:
Brighton, England 1820
Amelia Moore wants only one thing–to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own–without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter–and eventually playing by his rules–makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.

**

A delightful romance by a new author. I love the Country House Party trope and this one is lots of fun with Amelia doing her best to thwart Peter’s efforts on behalf of his sister. Amelia decides if she can just keep Peter occupied then Clara, her sister, and Georgiana, his sister, can each duel it out for Sir Ronald’s affections without interference. But little did Amelia suspect she might fall for the man who drove her crazy.

This is a charming, sweet romance that will bring a smile to your lips.

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Recent Release- In Bed With The Earl by Christi Caldwell

In bed with the Earl

Title: In Bed With The Earl (Lost Lords of London, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, March 2020

Pages: 383

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcolm North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?
Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.
The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

**
Christi Caldwell never gives us a “bad” book. This enemies to lovers trope doesn’t disappoint. Although Ms. Caldwell has done the seedy side of London in past books, this time we really find the deep dark and very dirty sewers of London and the criminals that inhabit them for profit and power.

Verity is not a typical woman of her time. She is desperately trying to become a news reporter and meeting all kinds of male imposed obstacles. But she needs the job to support her teen sister and her childhood nursemaid. Finding the Lost Heir would be her door to a job at the newspaper.

Malcolm has no memory of his early childhood when he was kidnapped. He has fought his way to become the king of the sewers attaining a fortune in the process. He has no desire to enter polite society as the Earl, but it is being forced upon him. He doesn’t want to be found by any reporter including Verity.

I enjoyed the way the author brings to life the grittier side of London in the Regency time period. As usual with Ms. Caldwell we get superbly nuanced characters that leap off the page. Although not one of my favorites of this author it certainly was a unique, entertaining read.

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Limited Time DEAL- Mimi Matthews’ The Matrimonial Advertisement

The Matrimonial Advertisement

ON AMAZON: This e-book is on sale for $.99 and if you purchase it you can add the wonderful audio book for $1.99.  So for a pay-out of $2.98 you will have a terrific audio and a terrific e-book.  Such a deal!!

THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT is the first book in the PARISH ORPHANS OF DEVON series by Mimi Matthews.  The audio book is narrated by the talented Justine Eyre.  When I read and reviewed this book I gave it  4.5-stars.  Mimi Matthews is an auto buy author for me.  Everything she writes is filled with Victorian sensibility true to the time period, is superbly constructed and is splendly entertaining.

If you would like to see all 4 of my Orphans of Devon reviews please go to the left column on my blog site and type in “Mimi Matthews” in the search box.

NOTE: If you have a Audible Escape account this audio is included for free.

 

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Recent Release- Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

Wild Wild Rake

Title: Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses, book #6)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Janna MacGregor

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Feb. 2020

Pages: 361

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Her first marriage was an epic fail.
Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry—that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.
Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?
Devan Farris—charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian—is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with a vicar with a wild reputation—even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside—a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?
**
This is definitely a 5-star read. There is history of abuse for Avalon which makes us feel deeply for her struggle and success. Devan has a wicked reputation for a Vicar but he is kindhearted and not at all as rakish as he is believed. Thane, Avalon’s son, is very astute and tries to force Avalon and Devan together. I could not put this book down, although life got in my way and I found myself rushing to get back to reading it. I highly recommend this book and the series.

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Recent Release Review- The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews

The Winter Companion

Title: The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon Series, book#4)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Mimi Matthews

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Feb. 11, 2020

Pages: 318

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon:

She Needed to be Seen…

As a lady’s companion, Clara Hartwright never receives much attention from anyone. And that’s precisely how she likes it. With a stormy past, and an unconventional plan for her future, it’s far safer to remain invisible. But when her new employer is invited to a month-long holiday at a remote coastal abbey, Clara discovers that she may not be as invisible as she’d hoped. At least, not as far as one gentleman is concerned.

He Wanted to be Heard…

Neville Cross has always been more comfortable with animals than people. An accident in his youth has left him with a brain injury that affects his speech. Forming the words to speak to his childhood friends is difficult enough. Finding the right things to say to a lovely young lady’s companion seems downright impossible. But Miss Hartwright is no ordinary companion. In fact, there may not be anything ordinary about her at all.

During a bleak Devon winter, two sensitive souls forge an unexpected friendship. But when Clara needs him most, will Neville find the courage to face his fears? Or is saying goodbye to her the most heroic thing he can do?

**
Oh, my! What a delicious, beautiful ending to a wonderful series. Mimi Matthews is a favorite author and I intend to read everything she ever writes. I imagine even her grocery list is lyrical. The mid Victorian era is brought to life with all its sanctions, mores and prejudices. The slow to develop love is told in believable and lovely prose. The dreary, cold Devon weather seeps into your bones as you read. You just know Clara is falling for Neville because she is constantly drenched in mud and rain and still goes out of her way to get to the stables where she can have time with Neville.
This is a 5 star book and it comes at the end of a 5+ star series. If you have not read this series then I urge you to start with THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT, book #1 in the series, although each book can standalone.

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Release Day Review- The Arrangement by S. Day, M. Spencer and K. Vayden

The Arrangement

Title: The Arrangement

Genre: Historical Romance/Anthology

Authors: Sylvia Day, Minerva Spencer, Kristin Vayden

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Kensington Books, Feb. 1, 2020

Pages: 336

Rating: 4-5-4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon:

Mischief and the Marquess by Sylvia Day
Justin, the Marquess of Fontaine, and Lady Sophie Milton-Riley are completely ill-suited to one another. But they will have to prove it in order to end their mothers’ insistence that they should marry. Yet the more they attempt to demonstrate how wrong their union would be, the more surprisingly, irresistibly right things feel . . .

Deet’s review: Sizzling, smoking, on fire, this is very explicit and if you don’t like that much sex than it is not for you. I don’t know if it is for me either. I have no objections to sex scenes but when they comprise most of the book then it becomes overload. Sylvia Day can write a good story and the side characters are certainly entertaining, so for that it gets 4-stars.

THE DUKE’S TREASURE by Minerva Spencer
Plain, prickly Josephine Loman has loved Beaumont Halliwell, the Fifth Duke of Wroxton, since the first time she saw him. But the most beautiful man she’s ever met had eyes only for Jo’s erstwhile friend, who betrayed Beau’s trust by marrying his brother. Beau hasn’t been home in years, but when his brother dies in an accident, he must marry to save the impoverished dukedom. And Jo is the overlooked heiress who will turn his world upside down . . .
Deet’s review: Minerva Spencer blew me away last year with her THE OUTCASTS series, so I was expecting a good read here. She never disappoints! This is a marriage of convenience story. Beau needs Jo’s money and Jo has been infatuated with Beau for years yet he has no recollection of her. The reader longs for Beau to fall for Josephine, but we wonder if Beau’s former love Victoria will get in the way. This one gets 5-stars.

THE INCONVENIENT COUNTESS by Kristin Vayden
As the eldest in a poverty-stricken family of daughters, Miss Diana Katherine Lambson’s only option is a marriage of convenience. Her only prospect is a rogue with a miserable reputation. Her only true desire: freedom. And that is exactly what Charles Brook, Earl of Barrington, is willing to offer, in return for the respectability their union will give him. He will even provide Diana with a contract. But does she dare entrust her future to a scoundrel? Does she dare not to?
Deet’s review: This was a unique take on the marriage of convenience trope. Charles and Diana are together for their mutual benefit. Diana to see that her mother and sisters are taken care of and Charles to devise the appearance of respectability so that he can complete a business deal. They quickly discover that they have a love match and of course there are problems. This story was well developed and written well. I give it 4-stars.

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Advance Review- Scot Under The Covers by Suzanne Enoch

scot under the covers

Title: Scot Under The Covers (The Wild Wicked Highlanders, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s, Jan. 28, 2020

Pages: 352

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

In Scot Under the Covers, a resourceful English lady and a hot-blooded Highlander join forces to trick a scoundrel, and every rule will be broken!
Miranda Harris is known for her charm, wit, and ability to solve any problem she encounters. But when her brother lands neck-deep in gambling debt to a crafty villain and Miranda is subsequently blackmailed into marrying him, she must enlist the help of the devil himself to save the family honor—and herself.
Devilishly handsome Highlander Aden MacTaggert knows next to nothing about the ways of the ton, but he most certainly knows his way around gaming halls and womens’ hearts. Still, Aden is not sure how he’ll manage to find a Sassenach bride in time to save his family’s inheritance. When his almost sister-in-law Miranda comes to him for assistance, he proposes a partnership: She will help him navigate London society and he’ll teach her everything about wagering…and winning back her freedom. The beautiful, clever lass intrigues Aden—but is she playing her own game, or are the sparks between them real? He is accustomed to risking his pocket. But betting on Miranda’s love is a game he can’t afford to lose. . .

**
This was a very entertaining book with a to-die-for hero, a savvy and resourceful heroine, the heroine’s stupid brother and a dastardly villain. The plot has probably been done before but I’ve never seen it done this well. Aden and Miranda are meant for each other. Along with the terrible problem of Miranda being a pawn in the gambling debt of her brother, the book manages witty banter and humorous scenes. This is a standalone book in the series but the first book in the series, ITS GETTING SCOT IN HERE, is just as entertaining.

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Release Day Review- Much Ado About A Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Much Ado About A Widow

Title: Much Ado About A Widow (The Widow’s Club, Book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jenna Jaxon

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zebra, Jan. 1, 2020

Pages: 320

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick defied her family, jilted her fiancé, and married the man she loved. But when her husband died at Waterloo, she was delivered right back into her father’s power . . .

Victory is sweet—but England’s triumph was Georgie’s rout. Now that she’s widowed, the loathsome marriage her father first arranged has simply been renegotiated. With neither money nor rights, and nowhere to flee, all she can do is cherish her last weeks of freedom. . . . Until a band of ruffians overtake her carriage and kidnap her. When she escapes in seaside Brighton and encounters her brother’s rather wild friend, Lord St. Just—whom she suspects aspires to be a pirate—she’s prepared to entertain more of his adventurous suggestions than usual . . .

St. Just knows his mind and his duty, and he loves a challenge. Helping a fair lady make her farewells to hoodlums suits his talents well. Within the hour he has Georgie, her lady’s maid—and her little dog too—sailing for his castle in Cornwall. Meanwhile, the lady’s entire family, her kidnappers, and her scheming intended are in pursuit. But as he and the indomitable Georgie grow closer, he begins to suspect that together they will prove a match for them all . . .

**
This is a fun read with lots of action, adventure and sexual tension. Georgie has resigned herself to this arranged marriage thinking that she will never love again. But the longer she is with Rob the more her heart begins to beat again. Now it is up to Rob and Georgie to find a way to be together. No small fete, since Lord Travers, her betrothed, and Georgie’s father are closing in.

I enjoyed this romp on land and sea. It was a fun read and kept me turning pages into the night. I liked the twists and turns of the story. There are references to other characters in the series but I can recommend this standalone in the series to all historical romance fans. The other books in the series are also worth a look.

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Terrific Amazon/Audible Deal on 5-star HR

The work of Art

Yesterday I included this book in my “Best” of for 2019.  I just discovered that it is on sale on Amazon for Kindle for $.99. But that’s not the best part, it is available from Audible for $1.99 if you also purchase the Kindle book.   So for a total of $2.98 you get not only a terrific book, you get the narration by Alex Wyndham, who (IMHO) is the best narrator in the business.  I don’t do promos often because I’m doing this blog for the reader not the business but when something is truly a bargain I’ll be sure to let you know.

This is truly a Bargain!!!!! You’re gonna thank me.

(I receive no $ for promos.)

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