Category Archives: 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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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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Happy 244th Birthday, Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Have you often thought about the life Jane Austen led? What was her family like? What did she do for entertainment? How was she educated? These and more in wonderful detail. Everything you have been wondering about Jane Austen answered here at PBS.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/specialfeatures/jane-austen-answers-to-the-most-frequently-asked-questions/

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Free on Amazon- Christmas Anthology

Once Upon a Christmas Wedding

From Deet: this anthology has 4.5 stars on Amazon and it is Free

Description from Amazon:

Tis the season… for wedding bells! But, the path of true love never did run smooth… as our brides and grooms soon discover.
Twenty-seven authors bring you scandalous adventure, sizzling passion, and heartwarming holiday romance.

From the snowbound Scottish Highlands to candlelit ballrooms, follow our fearless heroines as they scorn etiquette and defy danger in pursuit of their heart’s desire.

Fall in love with Regency rakes, kilted Highlander heroes, and Victorian viscounts, earls and dukes.

This boxed set of all-new historical Yuletide novellas will only be available for sale until January, so don’t miss out.

 

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News for Historical Romance Fans

As has been stated on here before today, Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series is coming to Netflix in 2020. If you want to know more, IndieWire has an insightful look at the cast.

https://www.indiewire.com/gallery/bridgerton-shonda-rhimes-netflix/quarteto-smythe-smith-df/

The Duke and I

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Release Day Review- How To Love A Duke In Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

How to love a duke in ten days

Title: How to Love A Duke In Ten Days

Genre: Historical romance/Victorian

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 27, 2019

Pages: 448

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…
Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.
LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.
**
Yay, a new Kerrigan Byrne series! We have a feisty archeologist, Lady Alexandra who along with her two best friends is hiding a secret from their school days. But someone has discovered the secret and is blackmailing her. Her family is destitute and she can no longer pay the blackmailer. That is when the idea of marrying the Terror of Torcliff becomes a good one. Evil follows Alex and Piers.
This is a great start to a new series. The meeting of Alex and Piers is a perfect start to this original plot. Ms Byrne once again kept me glued to the book, only getting up to refresh my coffee. I wanted Piers to be a bit more terrifying. He was just too easy to love. I loved the independent, accomplished Alexandra. The action and adventure was pitch perfect. Highly recommended.

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Advance Review- The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews

The work of Art

itle: The Work of Art

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mimi Matthews

Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, July 23, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 358

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland–a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her–and her heart–in more danger than ever?

**
You will not be able to put this book down. It is totally engrossing, romantic, beautifully written and full of intrigue. Arthur and Philly hardly know each other when they are thrust into a marriage of convenience. They have angered a powerful Duke with a wicked reputation. I turned pages to see how our H & h would stay safe and fall in love. There are thriller aspects to this plot that make for rapid page turning. I highly recommend this one to all HR readers. It will go on my Best Reads of 2019 list.

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Coming to Netflix- Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Series

Bridgerton Series

Our friends over at Willow and Thatch have all the latest ondit on the Bridgerton series coming to Netflix.  Now we don’t know just when, but if Julie Andrews is going to be Lady Whistledown and the narrator…well, I just can’t wait! How about you? There are other cast announcements too.  Sign up for the Willow and Thatch newsletter and I’m sure they will keep us up to date on all Bridgerton happenings.

https://www.willowandthatch.com/cast-announcement-bridgertons-netflix/

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Do You Reread Favorite Books?

Do you reread books? I mean, do you keep a book on your shelf and take it down every few months/years to read again? These are usually books that grab us in some indefinable way. They stir our emotions, define our sense of good creative writing or even teach us something new or remind of us what we already know.

I’m not big on rereading the classics. The only literary classic I can recall rereading is Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, although there may have been others. My mind is currently all wrapped around what I’ve been book-devouring for the past few years, which are vampires, romance & mystery.
I’m not too involved with rereading non-fiction. Only one book on my shelf is worn from use and that is Sister Wendy Beckett’s THE STORY OF PAINTING. This one gets hauled out when I’m having museum withdrawal.

I have so many books in my To-Be-Read pile that rereads do take a back seat, but some oldies are just too good to not take a breather with now and then.

Here are a few of my favorite rereads, grouped in genres;
Vampires:
Lynsay Sands’ SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE– after being introduced to the modern take on vampires by reading the TWILIGHT series; I was thrilled to find Sand’s Argeneau vampire series. They were funny, and sexy. This book was the first I read and led me to the entire series where I simply fell in love with this fun loving vampire family. This one is still my favorite of the series.

Single White Vampire
D.B. Reynolds’ RAPHAEL– I have read this book three, maybe 4, times. It is a wonderful combination of THE GODFATHER (or GOODFELLAS) and very sexy, romantic vampires. The entire Vampire’s In America Series is rereadable for me for I love scary vampires who wreak pheromones. Not to discount the fabulous wordsmithing of Reynolds.

Raphael

Lara Adrian’s MIDNIGHT BREED SERIES– Okay, I have not reread all of these yet but I will because this is the penultimate vampire brotherhood ( sorry J.R. Ward fans). In this series there is lots of action and lots of suspense and LOTS of romance. I just need some free read time to start on these again.

Midnight breed series

Romance:
Linda Howard’s KILL AND TELL-(Romantic Suspense) What can I say, this has one of the longest seductions in any book I’ve read. The over the top Alpha male (like most of Howard’s heroes) is so good that the heroine doesn’t realize she’s been seduced until it is wa-a-ay too late. Add to that delight, the steamy description of the wet New Orleans setting and I am transported. And it has a very suspenseful A+ plot.

 

Historical Romance:
Mary Balogh’s A MATTER OF CLASS– talk about delightful!!! This is one of my favorite Historical Romances and probably the shortest book I’ve read. I can’t say more because I would not want to spoil it for you.

Lisa Kleypas’ Suddenly You- Wow! a perfect book boyfriend in Jack. But let me not forget the stunning Wallflower Series, four books of sheer delight. The Hathaway Series is also totally absorbing.

 

Julia Quin’s Bridgerton Series- A fabulous family with each sibling getting a HEA.

The Duke and I

Mysteries:

I have trouble rereading mysteries because on the second read I already know “whodunit”. But I have read some again because I like the author and I am impatient for their next book. Those would be Harlan Cobin, Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series, Kathrine Hall’s The Body in The… series.
**
Perhaps if you pick up one of the books I have mentioned you will get hooked on a few rereads too. Or am I preaching to the choir? Do you have favorite rereads? Tell me about them. Have you reread a book that didn’t hold-up to your expectations?

(Parts of this post is reposted from an earlier post.)

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Release Day Review- A Duke In Need Of A Wife by Annie Burrows

a duke in need of a wife

Title: A Duke In Need Of A Wife

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Annie Burrows

Publisher: Harlequin Historical, Feb. 1, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 288

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

A search for a duchess…despite his scandalous secret!

Oliver, Duke of Theakstone, needs a duchess, but who will accept his secret illegitimate child? He invites several eligible ladies to his estate to assess their suitability, including infuriating beauty Miss Sofia Underwood. Oliver is a master of cool practicality, so he’s hopeful when he sees the connection between Sofia and his daughter. What scares him is there’s nothing cool or practical about his attraction to Sofia!

**
Some historical Dukes can be so clueless. Oliver is fighting his attraction to clumsy, wild child Sofia and Sofia does not see herself as Duchess material. She is only at this house party because her Aunt Agnes wanted to hob-nob with the hoy-paloy. But Oliver has a secret child that Sofia accidentally meets.

There is nothing unique in this book, we have read it all before but somehow the magic happens with this author. What was ordinary becomes a fun, engrossing read. I can recommend this book to historical romance fans who like a good story with only kisses, no sex.

( Although this cover references the book content, I really don’t like it at all.)

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