Category Archives: Books Historical Romance

Advance Review-Last Night With The Earl by Kelly Bowen

Last Night With An Earl

Title: Last Night With The Earl (The Devils pf Dover, book#2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kelly Bowen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Forever, Sept 25, 2018
Pages: 462
Rating: 2.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiancé betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

**

I was disappointed in this book. It was too much like the first book in the series, A Duke In The Night, I had some issues with how modern the attitudes were in that book and they seemed to have carried over into this book. I’m certain that Ms. Bowen can write well but this story seemed to me to be just a rehash of the first book.

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Recent Release-Bakra Bride by N.J. Walters

Bakra Bride

Title: Bakra Bride ( Tapestries book #2)
Genre: Erotic Time Travel Romance
Author: N.J. Walters
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Beyond The Page, August 2018
Pages: 172
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5+
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

After witnessing a gruesome murder, Jane Smith has watched her life crumble around her. Her only solace is the stunning and mysterious tapestry she discovered at a thrift store. When the image stitched into the tapestry magically comes to life one night, Jane finds herself transported to a mystical Medieval world, where two massive warriors declare their intentions to cater to her every sensual desire.

Zaren and Bador are stunned to realize that the prophecy of the tapestry has come true and brought Jane to them. The brothers willingly accept their duty to indulge her in every possible form of passion. But Jane’s arrival has also attracted the attention of rival warriors, who will go to any lengths to steal her from the Bakra brothers and claim her as their own.

As Jane adjusts to this frightening but enthralling world, Zaren and Bador risk all to protect her—even as they use all their sexual skill, separately and together, to take her to unimagined sensual heights. Because the time for Jane to choose is drawing near, and the Bakra brothers must convince her to abandon her former life—and take one of them as her loving husband for all time . . .

**
Looking for a sexy, erotic romance without BDSM, this is your book. However if you want a good time-travel book then this one falls short. This is typical erotica in that there is a lot of sex in many variations, but it is cloaked in a bit of sappy romance. Zaren is over-the-top in his “love” for Jane. At least Bador seems to have a level head. Jane is having the time of her sexual life so it really leaves little doubt about her staying with the brothers or about which one she will choose for a husband. Little does it matter since she will still get to have sex with her brother-in-law also. This is a good erotic novel if you are tired of women being blindfolded and tied up, none of that here. Jane is a very active participant in all the bedroom romps. The writing is good, I just wish the time-travel part was explored further. The TT premise was a good one but it fell flat.

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Book and Movie Review- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Source: purchase
Publisher: The Dial Press, 2008
Pages: 322
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 3
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
**
THE BOOK: I have been meaning to read this book for years. It has been sleeping on my TBR pile always being moved lower in favor of some newer romance. Well Netflix made a movie of it and I decided that before I watched the movie I would read the book. And what a truly wonderful experience, yes, it is an experience to read this book. It is heartwarming, romantic, chilling, sorrowful, joyful and I guarantee you will place this book on your shelf to take down and reread over and over again.

It is written in the form of letters between all the characters and Juliet. Each letter moves the story along and gives more insight into the lives of people on the island of Guernsey during the Nazi occupation. It is a story of hardship, resilience, cooperation and love but it is also the story of Juliet and the members of the Society after the war.

If you read no other book this year please take some time and read this one.  Don’t let it languish for years on your To-Be-Read pile.

THE MOVIE (currently on Netflix): Not the same as the book, only the characters are recognizable and well cast.  I can’t really compare it to the book since so many features and scenes were changed. However, if I hadn’t read the book I am sure I would thoroughly enjoy the movie. Lily James (Downton Abbey’s Rose and Disney’s Cinderella)was perfect in the role of Juliet. The photography was beautiful and the whole movie felt like the 1940’s should have felt. Perhaps you should watch the movie first, then read the book. I think I would have enjoyed the movie more if I had done that.

P.S.- I was not a subscriber to Netflix until I heard that this movie and The Great British Baking Show was to be on this month. Now they have me with a free month but I suspect my subscription will continue….sigh…

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Release Day Review- The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews

The Matrimonial Advertisement

Title: The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Author: Mimi Matthews
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Sept 4, 2018
Pages: 317
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?

**
Well written with wonderful prose. Helena is desperate for someone to protect her from her greedy uncle. Justin is taken with Helena when they first meet and will “go to the ends of the earth” for her. But they are worlds apart in social standing, she an Earl’s daughter and he is an orphan bastard. There are many obstacles to overcome and scandal will follow.

I truly enjoyed reading this very original story. I do look forward to future books in this series. (Some of the orphans were introduced; Finchely and Nevelle.) I also hope the future books will explain why Mr. Oswald was so reviled. I was disappointed in this feature not being concluded satisfactorily. There is interesting information about the horrors of the Private Mental Asylums in the Victorian era.

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Recent Release Review-The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo by Kerigan Byrne

The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

Title: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 28, 2018
Pages: 384
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…
A LEGENDARY LOVE
Lorelai will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist.

**

Once again in this fabulous series we are treated to a deadly, dark protagonist and the woman who is willing to go to the ends of the earth to save him. It must be true love because he has abandoned her for 20 years and has become a pirate who is feared. But she knows the boy she rescued is not this demon that has come for her.

Kerrigan Byrne can make us sympathize with even the most evil of heroes as she has shown in other books in this series and here again we have a hero who is hard to like. But Lorelai remembers him when he was recovering and how she fell in love with him. There is fine characterization here and a some heart stopping moments as well as redemption of a very bad man. The chemistry is well off the charts.

 

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Recent Release Review-The Vixen by Christi Caldwell

The Vixen

Title: The Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Christi Caldwell
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Montlake, Aug. 7, 2018
Pages: 366
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5

**

This is another page turner from Ms. Caldwell dealing with the underbelly of Regency London. Ophelia Killoran is a sister to a gaming hell proprietor who wants her to marry into the aristocracy to further his own agenda. Ophelia comes from an abused childhood and feels her mission is to save  many orphans from the streets. Connor Steele saved Ophelia once when he was younger before he was adopted by an aristocrat. Now years later they are thrown together when Connor investigates a missing heir and Ophelia might have the clues to finding him.

I enjoyed this book and like how the author keeps the same feeling of time and place throughout this series and the previous series. This is a standalone but you will enjoy it even more if you read the first book in the series, The Hellion.  The romance is slow simmering but so satisfying. I eagerly await the next book in this series.

 

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Recent Release Review- More or Less A countess by Anna Bradley

More or less a Countess

Title: More or Less a Countess (The Somerset Sisters)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Anna Bradley
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Lyrical, August 7, 2018
Pages: 252
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 3
Description from Amazon:

Finding a worthy husband should be simple for three beautiful debutantes in Regency London. But the Somerset sisters have a way of making it delightfully complicated . . .

Violet Somerset has always preferred a library to a ballroom, but to please her grandmother she agreed to one London season. With nothing to show for it but heartbreak, she’s reconciled to spinsterhood. Until a notorious rogue known as the Devil of Dare requests an introduction to her timid, gentle youngest sister, Hyacinth. Violet will do anything to stop the match—even if it means posing as Hyacinth herself . . .

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare, is enjoying the life of a rake far too much to take a wife. But he must keep his promise to his grandmother. He’ll simply choose the meekest bride he can find, install her at his estate, then carry on as before. Hyacinth sounds perfect—until he discovers that her sweet demeanor hides the tongue of a viper and the mind of a bluestocking . . .

As Violet’s ruse threatens to unravel, however, she may find the tables turned. Soon she may have no choice but to tolerate her handsome fiancée—or fall in love with him . . .

**
Violet is a bluestocking and Nick is a rake, the combination is ripe for angst and witty repartee, which Ms. Bradley delivers. There are scenes that lead the reader to laugh out loud. Even though I did enjoy much of this book I could not help but think that every scene with Nick and Violet was a bit over-the-top. This is a stand alone book and #2 in the series. Not a badly written book just not my cuppa tea.

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Recent Release Review- An Affair With A Spare by Shana Galen

An Affair With A Spare

Title: An Affair With A Spare (The Survivors, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Shana Galen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 3, 2018
Pages: 416
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

He’s turned seduction into an art form…
Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he’s putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She’s entirely immune to Rafe’s flattery.
Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father’s life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined…
The Survivors Series:
Third Son’s a Charm (Book 1)
No Earls Allowed (Book 2)
An Affair With a Spare (Book 3)

**
I am completely enjoying this series. The Survivors Club is a group of men who fought together during the Napoleonic Wars in a platoon(?) that was basically a suicide squad. Only 12 members survived and bonded like brothers on their return home to Regency England. Each member was especially skilled at a task. Rafe Beaumont was skilled at seduction and was a spy for the group.

When Rafe’s former commanding officer requests his help in ferreting out a French spy for the Foreign Office, Rafe accepts and is tasked with meeting and seducing Collette Fortier the daughter of a known French assassin. Collette is in England to seek out secret codes that will free her father from prison.

Shana Galen has added another swoon worthy hero to this wonderful series. Each book is a standalone but I encourage you to read this delightful, intelligent, humorous series. I would have liked more from the Survivor Club members in this book and I hope Ms. Galen will give us more as the series progresses. The Survivors are all so full of personality that I really missed more interaction.

 

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Release Day Review- The Singular Mr. Sinclair by Mia Marlowe

The Singular Mr. Sinclair

 

Title: The Singular Mr. Sinclair ( The House of Lovell)

 

Genre: Historical Romance

 

Author: Mia Marlowe

 

Source: Free for review from the publisher

 

Publisher: Lyrical Press, July 17, 2018

 

Pages: 222

 

Rating: 4

 

Sexy rating: 5

 

Violence rating: 4

 

Description from Amazon:

Lord and Lady Chatham were blessed with five sons and only one daughter. But when it comes to Caroline, one is more than enough . . .

Caroline is about to embark on her third Season and her parents fear she’ll be permanently on the shelf if she fails to make a match this time. Unfortunately for them, that is precisely what Caroline wants! Curious and adventuresome, Caroline longs for a life of travel, excitement, and perhaps even a touch of danger . . .
If only she can remain unmarried until she turns twenty-one, Caroline will inherit her grandmother’s bequest and gain her freedom. It’s not a staggering amount, but it’s enough to fund her dreams without a husband’s permission. She has her future all planned out—until Lawrence Sinclair appears on the scene . . .

Intense, intriguing, and handsome, the man reminds Caroline of a caged lion. In fact, the more she knows of him, the more questions she has. And when she learns how dangerous he really is, he may just become her new fascination—the one she can’t resist . . .

**

No man interests Caroline until her brother brings  home a friend from his year abroad. That friend, Lawrence, feels like a fish-out-of-water as he tries to fit into the Season. He grew up being ignored by  his uncle Lord Ware so he knows little of ton-ish manners and he can’t dance. Caroline takes him in hand to help him navigate but in spite of her vow to never marry, finds she is falling for Lawrence. Lawrence has been in love at first sight. There are several obstacles in the way of true love and fulfilled dreams.

 

This is my first book by this author and I was quite pleased.  The characters were well presented and the plot held enough angst to make it interesting. The wrap-up at the end was a bit too much of a fortunate surprise. But all in all a good read.

 

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Advance Review- Mary B. by Katherine J. Chen

Mary B

Title: Mary B.: A Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Katherine J. Chen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Random House, July 24, 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 336
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 0
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

The overlooked middle sister in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice casts off her prim exterior and takes center stage in this fresh retelling of the classic novel.

I will tell you the story of how I knew myself to be plain and therefore devoid of the one virtue which it behooves every woman to have.

What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited wit of second-born Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.

But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary’s plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination—and a voice that demands to be heard.

**
So well written. Ms. Chen develops Mary’s character so that we totally understand how the hurts and slights that are heaped upon her damage her own view of herself. But Mary is not to be put in the trap of other’s opinions she struggles to be her own person.

This is a wonderful addition to the Pride And Prejudice bookshelf. Follow Mary’s mistakes and triumphs. Brought beautifully to life in this special book.

 

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