Category Archives: 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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Recent Release Review-My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

My One True Highlander

Title: My One True Highlander: A No Ordinary Hero Novel, Book #2

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlands

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, April 4, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 319

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

DARE TO FALL IN LOVE Scotland, 1812—Rugged Highlander Graeme’s loyalty to his clan means that their enemies are his own—even when that includes his neighbor, the Duke of Lattimer. It’s a fight he doesn’t relish, but when Graeme’s reckless younger brothers foolishly kidnap Lattimer’s younger sister, all bets are off…

Lady Marjorie Forrester may be aligned with the enemy, but capturing her puts Graeme squarely in the middle of a war. If he turns Marjorie over to his clan chief, she could be killed. If he lets her go, his brothers could face prison. In addition, the woman can’t stop trying to civilize the lot of them! What’s a Highlander to do, then, but keep the stubborn lass close…and explore the unexpected passion that develops between them? But how can Graeme protect Marjorie and his brothers when both Lattimer and his own clan are on the warpath—and will do whatever it takes to tear these two star-crossed lovers apart, in My One True Highlander, the next No Ordinary Hero Scottish romance from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch.

***

The premise was a good one but I kept losing interest in this book.  Perhaps because so much of it was confined to the one setting of Graeme’s house.  That’s only speculation.  I would read a few pages and set the book aside.  This is not how I used to read a Suzanne Enoch book.  I’m a fan of this author but I found myself bored with this one. Not even the side characters of Graeme’s brothers or Marjorie’s companion could rouse me to be interested.  I take total responsibility for this attitude because I do think that those who love stories set in the Scottish Highlands will like this book, especially those who want to follow up on book one of this series. The writing is good and the characters are well developed. We met Marjorie in Book #1 and it was good to see her star in this story.

 

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RWA Rita Award Finalists in HR

Today the Romance Writers of America announced the finalists for their coveted RITA awards.  Since This blog deals primarily with Historical Romance I’ve chosen to list those finalists here but you can go to the RWA site to see the finalists in all categories. Those reviewed on this blog will be indicated by a red asteriskUse the search box in the left column to find the book or author and read Deet’s review.

Historical Romance: Long

*How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Michele Bidelspach, editor

No Mistress of Mine by Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon Books
Erika Tsang, editor

*Susana and the Scot by Sabrina York
St. Martin’s Press
Monique Patterson, editor

 


Historical Romance: Short

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Avon Books
Tessa Woodward, editor

*Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central Publishing
Amy Pierpont, editor

*A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Mary Altman, editor

*The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
Pocket Books
Micki Nuding, editor

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Elizabeth Poteet, editor

Romance Writers of America website:

 https://www.rwa.org/p/bl/et/blogid=20&blogaid=1808

 

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Historical Romance Novels; a little history and some info

Historical Romance Novels; a little history and some Info originally posted back in March, 2013.  But still interesting information. (comments are 2 from the original posting.)

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The modern day romance novel can be attributed to Georgette Heyer who wrote Austen-like novels in the 1930’s.  The Grand Sophie being one of her most famous. From that time until the  early 1970’s there were novels with romantic elements like Forever Amber and  Gone With The Wind to name just a few.  All of these were published in hardcover editions, paperback books being somewhat confined to pulp fiction offerings.

In 1972 all that was about to change when Avon published Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and The Flower in paperback. It sold over 2 million copies and Woodiwiss followed up in 1974 with The Wolf and The Dove.   Also in 1974 Rosemary Rodgers came on the scene with Sweet Savage Love.  These early  paperback original novels usually had Alpha Males and helpless females with sex often of a violent (rape) nature.  Since the covers often pictured scantily clad women with dominating men leaning over them they were often referred to as “bodice rippers”. This term is not appreciated by current Historical Romance fans and writers.

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Through the 1980’s and 1990’s the genre continued to evolve featuring heroines of a more independent nature and although the heros were still Alpha types they often redeemed themselves and the sex became consensual.  Humor was often added as well as suspense and mystery.  Considered a required feature is a happy-ever-after for the protagonists. The New York Times reports that romance novels,  are the fastest growing segment in ebooks, out-pacing general fiction, mystery and science fiction.

Romance Categories:

Ancient: Egypt; Greece; Rome; etc. – the ancient world.
Dark Ages: from the fall of Rome (410 AD) to 1065.
Medieval: from 1066, up to and including the 17th century.
Georgian: from 1702 to 1811 (the age of reason and freedom).
Regency: from 1811 to 1830 (includes the regency and the kingship).
Western: the wild, wild West! Contemporary or historical.
Colonial: early settlements, exploration, and Southern romances (including Americana).
Victorian: from 1830 to 1901 (including William IV’s reign).
Civil War: America – from 1861 to 1865 (the civil war era).
Vintage: from 1901 to 1945 (Edward VII, World War I, World War II, etc.)
 Celtic: historicals / paranormals / fantasies that take place primarily in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Brittany, etc.
Time Travel: modern-day heroes and heroines thrown back in time to meet their true loves.
Fantasy: dragons, fairies, wizards, and witches – oh my!
Paranormal: vampires, ghosts, werewolves, shape-shifters, goth, etc. Contemporary or historical.
Anthology: must contain at least one genre from above.

(this blog post was referenced from Wikipedia and Historical Romance Club.com)

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Advance Review-Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

wild-wicked-scot

Title: Wild Wicked Scot (Highland Grooms, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlanders

Author: Julia London

Publisher: Harlequin Digital, Dec. 27, 2016 (pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Wicked intrigue unfolds as an unlikely marriage leads to a path of risky desire in the lush, green Scottish Highlands 

Born into riches and groomed in English luxury, Margot Armstrong didn’t belong in a Scottish chieftain’s devil-may-care world. Three years ago she fled their marriage of convenience and hasn’t looked back—except to relive the moments spent in wild, rugged Arran McKenzie’s passionate embrace. But as their respective countries’ fragile unity threatens to unravel, Margot must return to her husband to uncover his role in the treachery before her family can be accused of it.

Red-haired, green-eyed Margot was Arran’s beautiful bride. Her loss has haunted him, but her return threatens everything he has gained. As the Highland mists carry whispers of an English plot to seize McKenzie territory, he must outmaneuver her in games of espionage…and seduction. But even as their secrets tangle together, there’s nothing to prevent love from capturing them both and leading them straight into danger.

***

Margot was a spoiled daughter of an Earl, she was naïve but beautiful.  When her father saw a chance to make a profitable alliance with a “barbaric” Scot he didn’t even consider Margot’s wishes. Married, this teenager was thrust into a culture she couldn’t comprehend, a society that disapproved of her being English and a husband who wasn’t prepared to cater to her insecurities or whims.  After four months and yet another row with Arran, her husband, she left for her father’s home where she stayed for 4 years. That is until her father insisted she return to her husband and find evidence of his treason.

This is the first book in Julia London’s “Highland Grooms” series.  A terrific start! The characterizations of all the characters is spot on and well developed.  The story is filled with sizzling chemistry between Arran and Margot.  There is a well-developed arc of Margot going from naïve teenager to a take charge strong woman. This book is elegantly written and very entertaining.  It is a long book and it does slow down a bit in the middle but otherwise it is action packed and a hang on for the ride book.  The sexual tension is what holds these two protagonists together until they learn to fall in love.

                                                                         

 

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Deet’s Favorite Reads of 2016

Once again I cannot stop at the magic “Ten”.  I always have more favorites than ten.  In fact there are even more favoites than what I have listed here.  But if you are stuck for an absolutely fabulous read then look no further.  If you want to read my review of any of these gems, just go to the search box and plug in either the title or the author and it will direct you to that review (and possibly others by that author). Many are part of a series but most are also standalone novels. In the case of a series you will find the others in that series just as good.

Favorite Reads of 2016

Paper and E-Books:

1.       How I Married A Marquess by Anna Harrington (The Secret Life of Scoundrels #3)

2.       The Redemption of Julian Price by Victoria Vane

3.       Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane Series #10)

4.       Mad About The Marquess by Elizabeth Essex

5.       Once Upon A Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt

6.       The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

7.       The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

8.       Lucifer (Vampires In America #12) by D.B. Reynolds

9.       The Dare and The Doctor by Kate Noble

10.   Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon Cullen

11.   Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11) by Elizabeth Hoyt

12.   Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon (Two Novellas)

13.   A Match Made in Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

14.   The Cyn and Raphael Novellas (Vampires In America) by D.B. Reynolds(this series is a must read)

15.       The Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt (I might have read this last year, but I’m crazy for all of Hoyt’s books.)

16. The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne (Terrific new author, dark historical romance)

 

Audiobooks:

1.       The Parfit Knight (Rockliffe #1) by Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

2.       The Mesalliance (Rockliffe #2) by Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

3.       The Player By Stella Riley, audiobook, Alex Wyndham narrator

4.       The Rogue’s Wager(Sinful Brides #1) by Christi Caldwell, Tim Campbell narrator

5.       Flowers From The storm by Laura Kinsale, Nicholas Boulton

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Recent Release Review- The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

the-legendary-lord

Title: The Legendary Lord (The Playful Brides Series, book #6)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Valerie bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Nov. 1, 2016)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 318

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

When Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride…

 

As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the luckless lord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?

The Legendary Lord is the sixth installment of Valerie Bowman’s Regency-set Playful Brides series.

**

Christian Forester arrives at his hunting lodge in rough clothes and sporting a beard.  Sarah Highgate has sought shelter from the winter prior to his arrival in the lodge.  After some tense first moments they become sociable and she agrees to tutor him in the ways to become the most sought after bachelor in the London Season.  He agrees to get her back to London, her fiancé and strict parents without a breath of scandal.  They both succeed and then the trouble starts.

Ms. Bowman has given us characters with personality, some flaws and much likability.  There is some angst about their outcome and I turned pages quickly to find out how these two people would be brought together. There are some very sexy scenes and I always question if a sweet sheltered Regency Miss would have been such a willing participant. But since those scenes are expected in Romance novels today, I encourage readers, who do object, to just skip the parts that offend you instead of missing out on superb storytelling.

I have loved every one of the books in the Playful Brides Series.  I confess I did miss book #2 but I still intend to right that wrong.  This is a standalone book but Characters from past books in the series do make appearances and they do make for interesting reading here as well as in their own previous books.  Also side characters here, Meg and Hart, definitely need their story told in a future volume. I usually hope that a series ends about this number of books but in the case of Playful Brides, I never want it to end.  Too much fun is anticipated with each new book.

I encourage you to read Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides series:

  1. The Unexpected Duchess, Lucy and Derek’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  2. The Accidental Countess, Cass and Julian’s story
  3. The Unlikely Lady, Jane and Garrett’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  4. The Irresistible Rogue, Daphne and Rafe’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  5. The Untamed Earl, Alex and Owen’s story (Deet’s rating 5-stars)

Here are excerpts from my reviews of the books in the series:

What a delight to find an author who is so accomplished at bringing forth stunning characterization and a plot filled with good writing and humorous moments. (The Unexpected Duchess, book#1)

Jane and Garrett are two of the most likeable protagonists in romance. She is a deep intellectual who discovers her passionate side and he is the thoughtful pseudo-rake who suddenly is captivated by a woman he thought he didn’t like. (The Unlikely Lady, book#3)

There is some fast and loose playing with actual Regency Era language and actions of a virgin young lady.  Sometimes this bothers me, but in this book I was laughing too hard to care. (The Irresistible Rogue, book#4)

Are you looking for a feel good book.  This is the one.  Valerie Bowman has given us a wonderfully witty love story of a young woman who knows what she wants and an older man who has to be taught what he wants. (The Untamed Earl, book #5)

 

 

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Release Day Review- A Very Wicked Christmas Anthology by Heather Boyd, et al

a-very-wicked-christmas-anthology

Title: A Very Wicked Christmas Anthology

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Heather Boyd, Barbara Monajem, Nicola Davidson, Wendy Vella, Donna Cummings and Beverly Oakley

Publisher: LLD, October 18, 2016 (Kindle and Paperback)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 682

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 1

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

In Heather Boyd‘s The Christmas Affair, a lonely shopkeeper offers shelter to a beautiful, not so innocent miss to overcome the bitter memories of Christmases past, but could such a wicked connection ever lead to a happily-ever-after? A dashing spy with marriage on his mind seeks to rekindle the spark by any means possible with the woman who claimed his heart in Love at First Dance by Barbara Monajem. A scandalous widow rescues the man of her dreams – but his secrets could destroy their love in Nicola Davidson‘s Joy to the Earl. A masquerade ball was no place to be reckless with your innocence, and yet one scorching look at the masked highwayman urges Miss Partridge to do just that in Mistletoe and the Marquess by Wendy Vella. In Lord Misrule by Donna Cummings, a young widow chooses a handsome rogue to be her first lover, but his regrets from a past Christmas may end their affair before it even commences. A blue-stocking becomes a courtesan to escape a murderer in The Glittering Prize, an intrigue-filled romance by Beverley Oakley about finding love where it’s least expected. This is an all-new collection of stand-alone complete works.

**

Are you looking for some sizzling hot novellas to curl up with and warm your toes this Fall and Winter?  Well have I got an anthology for you!  These stories are way beyond warming by the fire.  They are well written by accomplished authors who manage to imbue their characters with deep heartfelt characterization and sympathy for the poor sexy dears. Each story revolves around the Christmas season and as usual with these anthologies some stories have more Christmasy feeling than others but all include happily ever afters and that is enough for me. This is a bargain right now on Amazon Kindle so I encourage you to make haste.  Then schedule some time over the holidays to read each scintillating story.

 

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Deet’s Glorious Adventure (the Finale)

No events were planned until 1pm so I got to sleep-in. Yeah, right. I was on east coast time the entire week so on this final day I awoke at 5am just like the other days. I was being really lazy in the morning, uploading photos to my computer, reading a bit on my Kindle. At 1pm I made my way to the Grand Pennington Ballroom where the Book Fair and signing was held. Here we have the two Sabrinas, York and Jeffries. At the last table is Karen Hawkens and Lorraine Heath. The bottom photo is fuzzy but I wanted you to see the entire signing room.

booksigning

There was about 3hours between the book signing and the Grand Ball.  I was invited to go to dinner with the fab Victoria Vane and Julie Johnstone and Collette Cameron.

We were so caught up in conversation and laughter that time got away from us and we hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the Grand Ball. The food was Hor D’Oeuvres and Dessert.

But the gowns were the big attraction as well as the beautiful women wearing them. Yes there were a few men attending and dancing. It was a fairytale setting. first u[ our hostess Delilah Marvelle, then our other hostess Renee Bernard, next a view of the back of the gowns. Next (can I ever take a decent photo? Guess not, but wanted to show you.) Victoria Vane and the ladies wearing the gowns she sewed for them. Victoria also made her gown. Then comes Erin Knightly just beautiful! Next we have Elizabeth Essex, Tessa Dare and Victoria Vane (this one taken at an earlier event). Next is terrific blogger Ki Pha. Last and certainly not least Lovely Wendy Loverage,book reviewer, all the way from England.

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The next morning there was a continental breakfast gathering before we all bid our farewells.  Oh, and here is the Dowager Duchess of La Deetda Reads:

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Deet’s Glorious Adventure (Part 2)

The second day of the Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane, Washington was a morning to late night affair. (For some photos of day one scroll down the blog to Monday’s post.) Day two started with Author Chats/Presentations I sat in on a panel consisting of Julia London, Katherine Bone, Valerie Bowman, Tessa Dare, Rose Lerner, Darcy Burke, Wendy LaCapra, Karen Hawkins and Jenn LeBlanc. I also played a game of Regency Charades with Karen Hawkins and Victoria Alexander. But the high light of the afternoon was  the High Tea held in the Marie Antoinette Ballroom. As you can see below the tea tables were exquisite and I can relate, delicious. The little favor boxes contained a gift from Delilah Marvelle which I’ll show you later. In the photo of me I’m wearing my take on a 1930’s outfit.

After the Tea there was free time until the 8 pm Historical Gaming Night where we played various gambling games from history.  Carol and I played Bone-Off (yes, I know that name would conjure lascivious thoughts but it was quite tame) and I did win eight or ten raffle prize entries.  Alas, I didn’t win a prize.

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The evening wound down (or revved up depending on your take) with the Absinthe and Abigail  Party, where we imbibed the drink and then along with the green fairies found our rooms for the night. Here is a photo of the gifts from Delilah Marvelle, a beautiful brooch that was in that cute favor box at Tea, and from Renee Bernard a lovely mirror compact in the shape of a rose.  The charm bracelet was in my registration goodie bag. Stay with me for the Grand Ball will blow you away in a future post.

hrr-gifts-from-d-n-r

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