Category Archives: Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- Say Yes To The Scot by Cornwall, Harrington, McGoldrick and York

Say yes to the scot

Title: Say Yes to The Scot
Genre: Historical Romance/ Highlanders/ Anthology
Authors: Lecia Cornwall, May McGoldrick, Anna Harrington and Sabrina York
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Swerve, June 20, 2017
Pages: 410
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon/ Review From Deet:
HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her…or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?

This is a fairytale complete with the expectation of fairy help or interference. It is a true Highland story with clan hostilities, good Lairds and bad and bonnie lasses who are looking for romance. Side characters seem so much wiser than the protagonists. Deets rating: 4.5

A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
She was the laird’s daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?
Whatever Anna Harrington writes turns out to be page turning and beautifully written and this story is no exception. There are revenge, longing, lust and dark secrets. Deet’s rating: 5

A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.

Another luscious addition to this anthology. Be prepared to put on a sweater because the chill of these characters in the rain for two days will give you trembles. Deets rating: 4.5

THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross’s world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years–but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…

This one is so yummy! Sabrina York knows her Highlanders and she can make us fall in love with the tough, brawny, yet tenderhearted Duncan just as Catherine did all those years ago. Deet‘s rating: 5

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.

 

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Advance Review- The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

The pleasures of passion

Title: The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful suitors, book #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Pocketbooks, June 20, 2017, preorder available
Pages: 401
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.

Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with….But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?

***

There is a lot going on in the first 50 pages so you better pay attention. This is a lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers trope that works because Ms. Jeffries is really adept at this kind of plotting. She does quite a bit of info dumping in the guise of dialog, which does make it more palatable. There is a mystery going on as to whom is the counterfeiter with some red herrings thrown in the path of our solving. As with most misunderstandings in HR we do wish that the Hero and Heroine would just confess their secrets to each other and get on with it, although, there are good reasons to stay quiet. This gets a bit exciting when the villain is uncovered.

Sabrina Jeffries has once again crafted a lusciously sensuous and intriguing addition to a very entertaining series. This is a standalone book so no problems if you are new to the series. I have enjoyed all the books in this series and recommend them to all Historical Romance readers.

 

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Rereading Sarah MacLean- Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake

 

Nine Rules to Break

I originally posted this review  when this book was first published.  This week I reread it and liked it just as much as the first time.  I’m reposting in the hope that you will read this terrific book, the first by Sarah MacLean.

Title: Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: ?
Source: Purchase
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Description from the author’s website:
A lady does not smoke cheroot.
She does not ride astride.
She does not fence or attend duels.
She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing.
But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.
If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love
**
There is nothing I love more in a Historical Romance then fabulous writing and a yummy plot. Well…perhaps a good dose of humor, too. This book has all those and it made for a can’t-put-it-down read.
Callie is the all too respectable young woman who sees her chance for marriage and children fading into the land of lost dreams. She decides if she can’t have what she wants then she will have adventures like the men have. She makes her version of a Regency bucket-list and decides passionate kissing should top the list. Once she starts on the slippery slope of checking off her list, all manner of compromising situations ensue.
This delightful romance is laugh out loud in some scenes and also brought tears to my eyes in other scenes. The author weaves a spell that makes the reader care deeply about Callie and her happiness.
If you trust me, you cannot but delight in this book.
P.S. Lord Ralston, the hero, is the rake in question and don’t we love the bad boys?

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Advance Review- Duke With Benefits by Manda Collins

Title: Duke With Benefits (Studies In Scandal, book #2)

Duke with Benefits

Genre: Historical Romance/ Mystery
Author: Manda Collins
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, June 27, 2017 (preorder available)
Pages: 320
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon: Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.
Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

***
This is the second book in the Studies in Scandal series that was introduced in book #1, Ready Set Rogue. The series deals with four highly intelligent young women who together inherit a country estate from a benefactress who believes in their bluestocking leanings. To keep their inheritance the women must live at the estate for a year.
Daphne Forsyth has an inability to tell a white lie, she takes most everything spoken literally, which often causes others to have hurt feelings. This distresses Daphne since she is really a nice young woman who does not mean to hurt her friends. Dalton finds her entertaining and tries to help with her social faux pas. He is also falling in love with her and meets resistance from Daphne who has no desire to marry. She is content to be a bluestocking mathematician. There are evil villains who will stop at nothing to secure the treasure for themselves.
I thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the series. The romance is fun and certainly steamy, the mystery kept me guessing and the characters are well developed. I do think the reader will enjoy this book more if they read the first book in the series. That book gives a true foundation for the mysteries and the young women. However this book can be read as a standalone.
I can recommend this book to all Historical Romance readers. I certainly look forward to the next book in the series.
.

 

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Advance Review- Scandal of The Season by Liana Lefey

Scandal of the season

Title: Scandal of The Season

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Liana Lefey

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Entangled Select Historical, May 30, 2017

Pages: 300

Rating: 4.5

Sexy rating: 4

Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Five years ago, Lord Sorin Latham fled England’s shores to avoid heartbreak and scandal in the form of one Lady Eleanor Cramley. On returning home, he finds the young miss he used to scold for lack of decorum is now a stunning woman who fires his blood. But he must resist temptation or risk losing his honor as a gentleman and the friendship of those he holds dear, including Eleanor.

Lady Eleanor is determined to be the paragon of propriety Sorin urged her to become. But now that he’s back, the man she once thought of as an older brother makes her long to be anything but proper. She must make Sorin see her as worthy of his heart and his desire without losing his good opinion, or her Season will end in disgrace.

**

A new-to-me author, Liana Lefey, has come up with a very enjoyable friends-to- lovers story.  Sorin and Ellie are each afraid that the other sees them as nothing more than a brother or sister and each is endeavoring to show the other that there is more to their feelings.  However they keep getting it wrong until a villain forces their hand.

This is a most entertaining book from an author that I hope to hear more from.  It is well written, historically accurate and a fun read.  The side characters are well developed with a hint of more books to come.

 

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Advance Review- Charming Ophelia by Rachel Miles

Charming Ophelia

Title: Charming Ophelia (The Muses Salon Series)

Genre: Historical Romance (Novella, e-book)

Author: Rachel Miles

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zebra, May 30, 2017

Pages: N/A

Rating: 4

Sexy rating: 3

Violence rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

 

Ophelia Elliot has delayed marriage long enough. Now, for the sake of her future, she must choose between three impatient suitors. But she’s determined to use only the most rational of methods to make her decision. And when her dear friend, Sidney Mason, offers to help, how can the discerning debutante resist? Besides, spending time with him is no hardship—his dashing looks and irresistible laughter have delighted her for years. Not that Sidney is a suitable prospect. As a member of Parliament, he’s already married to the state. No matter how chivalrous his attentions, falling in love with him would be most unreasonable . . .

The fact is, Sidney finds Ophelia infuriatingly stubborn—and yet there is no other woman for him. Convincing her that she must marry for love—his love—will be a formidable challenge. So he concocts a clever strategy to expose her suitors’ true natures—and show the strong-willed beauty that when it comes to marriage, it is imperative that she follow her heart—straight into his strong and loving arms.

 

**

 

This is a delightful novella.  The book description gives a true synopsis of the story and the book is entertaining in the ways that Sydney tries to convince Ophelia that there is no other suitor for her hand than he. The “ways” are a bit outlandish but they seem to work. This is a quick and easy, sweet bon-bon of a book.  Sydney is the perfect Hero but I do wonder why Ophelia hasn’t seen his worth before now. I highly recommend this book to all romance readers.

 

 

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Advance Review- The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander

The Lady Travelers Guide

Title: The Lady Travelers Guide To Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Victoria Alexander

Source: free for review from the publisher

Publisher: HQN books, June 1, 2017(preorder available)

Pages: 544

Rating: 3.5

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Really, it’s too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders’s favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what’s a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he’s escorting the world’s most maddening woman to the world’s most romantic city to find her missing relative.

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she’s certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart.

***

We do eventually find the lost Aunt Heloise and that is what kept me finishing the book.  India had a most annoying personality and Derek kept me wondering why he was becoming enamored of this impossible woman.

This is a long book that I kept putting down and picking up again after reading something else. It seemed to just drag for me. Since I was not fond of either the H or the h, I just didn’t care all that much.  Can the author write a pretty phrase? Well of course she can! But that wasn’t enough to keep me interested in the story. This could have been a really good book if only it was shorter, and the protagonists were more likeable.

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Review-Devil’s Bargain by Jade Lee

Devil's Bargain

Title: Devil’s Bargain (The Regency Rags To Riches Series, #2)

Genre: Historical romance/Erotic

Author: Jade Lee

Publisher: ePublishing works, Oct. 2012

Source: purchase (Kindle, $.99)

Pages: 300

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

A penniless relation, thanks to the sudden death of her father, Lynette resigns to the inevitable: selling herself into marriage. But to whom?

Viscount Marlock—a carnal, unrepentant, dark-devil of a man—has offered to arrange a profitable match. But for a price. The Viscount commits to teach her all she must know about ensnaring a man—using touch and tongue—opening her to the pleasures of the flesh. In turn, she must obey without question, trusting his whispered promises.

But who will be caught, and who will be saved?

***

The fact that Jade Lee can make us eventually want Adrian and Lynette to have a happily-ever-after is due to her skill as an author.  This is a sordid story but we are made to see the humanity in each of the characters.  Both Lynette and Adrian had much to lose by not completing the agreed upon contract. Only by a serendipitous happening could this conundrum be solved.

I liked this book in spite of my dislike of Adrian, who was acting the pimp.  It is super sexy. Written with in-depth characterization. Side characters, although few, are well developed and add to the narrative. Although book #2 in the series it is definitely a standalone book.  At this writing it is e-book only, with a giveaway price of $.99 on Amazon. I highly recommend this book to all Jade Lee fans, and those who like very sexy stories, you won’t be sorry.

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Release Day review- Here Comes The Bride by Alexandra Ivy

Here Comes The Bride

Title: Here Comes The Bride

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Alexandra Ivy

Publisher: Lyrical Press, May 9, 2017 (re-issue)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 495

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

A BRIDE FOR LORD CHALLMOND Simon Townsled, Lord Challmond, is off to his Devonshire country estate, where he is sure to be safe from feminine wiles. But he doesn’t count on feisty do-gooder Miss Claire Blakewell—who is as determined to march down the aisle as he is to avoid it . . .

A BRIDE FOR LORD WICKTON Barth Juston, Earl of Wickton, assumes a woman would be grateful to accept an arranged marriage with him. What a shock that beautiful Isa Lawford is not! In fact, she insists she prefers someone else! Now this overconfident lord is about to enter the most perilous battle of all: a fight for a woman’s heart . . .

A BRIDE FOR LORD BRASLEIGH Philip Marrow, Lord Brasleigh, must marry off his troublesome ward, Miss Bella Howe. But determined to wed for love, Bella has run away, and Philip must track her down. Since he has never met her, he plans to play the rogue and scare her back to London. He never expects to ignite an overwhelming passion . . . or find a lady who fights fire with a clever scheme all her own . . .
From the Author: Dear Reader, Long before I wrote my sexy paranormal romances, I wrote traditional Regency romances as Debbie Raleigh. Now I’m delighted that three of my favorites are available once more. This trilogy features three dashing rakes returning home from war. But along the way, a gypsy predicts that love will trap them all. Their high-spirited response? A daring wager! By June the first, whomever Cupid catches must forfeit one thousand pounds and a red rose . . .
I’ve fallen head over heels for these timeless books all over again, and believe that you will too. Alexandra Ivy

***

Comprised of Three distinct books that are intertwined and preceded by prologues that capture the viewpoint of each aristocratic hero. All the heroes are quite similar.  They are returning soldiers, officers who fought against Napoleon, friends who spent some post-war time in Italy and now are back in England redy to assume their responsibilities toward their title and estates.  A Gypsy in Italy blessed them with a charm of true love within the next year.  So our heroes make a bet that whomever of them succumbs to true love will forfeit a thousand pounds and a red rose to the others. The remainder of the books are about our heroes Simon, Barth and Phillip trying their best to avoid falling in love and doing a terrible job of it.

Each book features a feisty heroine determined to not fall in love. Simon’s nemesis is Claire Blakewell a neighbor who seems to try Simon’s patience. Barth’s betrothed, Isa Lawford, is calling off the betrothal because she thinks she is in love with another man. Phillip’s ward, Bella Lowe, is fighting against marrying someone Phillip has chosen for her.

I enjoyed seeing how each arrogant lord was brought to true love by these strong-willed women and how each woman was struck by cupid’s arrow at the same time.  This is not a book with graphic sex scenes.  There is some sexual tension. The stories were well written and developed, with all three lords appearing in each book.  My only criticism is the author’s overuse of the word “absurd”, It appears so often as to be annoying.

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Release Day Review- Nothing Like A Duke by Jane Ashford

Nothing Like aDuke

Title: Nothing Like A Duke (The Duke’s Sons, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jane Ashford

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 2, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

How does a gentleman rescue a lady? Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful and independent Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about the beauty haunting his thoughts. When Flora shows up, Robert is nothing short of shocked.

When she insists on saving herself? While Flora hates the expectations of fashionable society, she finds the annoyingly charming Lord Robert hard to resist. But while their attraction flares, someone much more sinister arrives and threatens Flora. Every fiber of Robert’s being says to step in and save her…but some damsels in distress insist on saving themselves.

The Duke’s Sons Series:

Heir to the Duke (Book 1)

What the Duke Doesn’t Know (Book 2)

Lord Sebastian’s Secret (Book 3)

Nothing Like a Duke (Book 4)

***

Jane Ashford is a fantastic author. I really liked this book featuring Robert Gresham one of the Duke’s sons.  I read the first book in this series, Heir to the Duke, and liked that one also.  Somehow I’ve missed books #2 and #3, which would have been helpful while reading this one.  Situations in those books are mentioned in this one but it is sketchy to figure out, although not impossible.  It is rather obvious that Robert and Flora have met in a previous book and got to know each other.  Now they are at a house party together and falling in love.  There is a villain on hand to try and thwart the couple and he is definitely evil. There is also a young debutante who has her own eyes on Robert. This is a fun book with some compelling action scenes.  I do highly recommend it but please read the entire series.

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