Category Archives: Novella

Recent Release Review- Betrothed By Christmas by Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex

Betrothed by Christmas

Title: Betrothed By Christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/Anthology

Author: Elizabeth Essex and Jess Michaels

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: The Passionate Pen, Oct. 15, 2019

Pages: 355

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:4

Description from Amazon:

A madcap plan to avoid marriages they do not desire, leads two women to romance and passion they don’t expect in a duet of novellas by bestselling authors Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex.

A Lady’s Gift for Seduction by Jess Michaels
Lady Evangeline is a Diamond of the First Water, but she fears her father will match her to his own advantage, not hers. She decides marrying a biddable groom is the only way to salvage her future and chooses her old friend, astronomer Henry Killam. But she soon realizes Henry isn’t quite as manageable as she first believed and her feelings for him are stronger than she ever imagined.

A Lady’s Gift for Scandal by Elizabeth Essex
Miss Tamsin Lesley desires above all else to be a bluestocking and lead an intellectual life. The only thing standing in her way is her father’s heir, who wants her along with her father’s estate. To foil him, Tamsin enlists the services of masculine wallflower Simon Cathcart to ruin her. But the road to ruination leads to far more pleasurable places than Tamsin could ever imagine, and her charming wallflower proves to have secrets of his own.

**
A breath of fresh winter air, two delightful novellas that are truly worth reading and totally enjoyable. They are stories that are related to each other, with heroines who are friends. Tamsin wants Evangeline to help her find a man to ruin her so she won’t have to get married. But she only wants to be “a little ruined” . Simon is the man Evangeline picks out for her and that’s when the delight of Jess Michael’s novella starts. While Evangeline is picking out Tamsin’s object of ruination she is steering her away from Henry Killam because Evangeline has her own feelings for him. Elizabeth Essex brings these characters to life in her novella. I can highly recommend this book. Two 5 star gems.

Leave a comment

Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books Historical Romance, Holiday, Novella

Audiobook Review- Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan (Novella)

her every wish

Title: Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga 1.5)

Genre: Historical Romance, Novella

Author: Courtney Milan

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor

Publisher: Courtney Milan, May 2016

Source: Purchase

Length: 4 hours, 11 minutes

Rating: Story=5, Narration=5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Audible.com:

Crash has never let the circumstances of his birth, or his lack of a last name, bother him. His associations may be unsavory, but money, friends, and infamy open far more interesting doors than respect ever could. His sole regret? Once lovely, sweet Daisy Whitlaw learned the truth about how he made his fortune, she cut him off.
Daisy’s father is dead, her mother is in ill health, and her available funds have dwindled to a memory. When the local parish announces a charity bequest to help young people start a trade, it’s her last chance. So what if the grants are intended for men? If she’s good enough, she might bluff her way into a future.
When Crash offers to show her how to swagger with confidence, she knows he is up to no good. But with her life in the balance, she’s desperate enough to risk the one thing she hasn’t yet lost: her heart.
**
There is never a problem when Courtney Milan writes a novella. Characterization and plot development is spot on. This is a lovely story of one woman’s struggle with the male dominated society of Victorian England and her struggle for confidence in the face of overwhelming odds. The romance is subtle, with Crash wooing her and Daisy being reluctant. Can they both overcome their misunderstandings? Rosalyn Landor does a wonderful job with both male and female voices. She is not my most favorite of narrators but I must admit that here she shines.

Leave a comment

Filed under Audio books, Book review, Historical Romance, Novella

Release Day Review- A Holiday By Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight A Victorian Christmas Novella

Title: A Holiday By Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian/Holiday
Author: Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Nov. 13, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 147
Rating: 5+
Sexy Rating: 3
Violence Rating: 0
Christmasy Feeling: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.
**
I don’t usually jump up and down getting all excited about a book but there is a time for everything,  so you can picture me jumping up and down. This novella is delightful!, wonderful!, and perfect for a spirited lift in the Holiday season.
Sophie is not going to marry a man she doesn’t like and for the 2 months Ned Sharpe has been courting her, he has been uncommunicative and cold. So it is best to end it with Ned because he seems not to even like her. Ned does like her but he is from “trade” and Sophie is an aristocrat. He is out of his element. He bought a book that tells him “the rules” of courtship and he’s trying not to make a mistake, until he messes up everything. But Sophie’s parents need her to marry for money and play on her sense of duty to try and rectify the breach with Ned.
So often I complain about how characters are not well developed in novellas but Mimi Matthews has shown here that it can be done and done well. Not only the main characters but also the side characters. The Romance is slow developing and the essence of Victorian mores is ever present. This gives the book a true feeling of the era. There is a Christmasy feeling with the festivities at the house party. There are touches of the times in discussion of Prince Albert’s death and modern innovations. All in all a 5+ star book, I highly recommend this book for your relaxing holiday pleasure.

3 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Holiday, Novella

Best Books of 2017 in Romance Novels Compilied by Deet

I could not choose just ten “Best Books of 2017” so this is a very long list of fabulous reads of 2017. Most are Historical Romance/Regency but there are some other genres which I indicate. If you would like my reviews just plug in the title or author’s name in the search box to the left. (The book covers are at the bottom of the post, scroll down.)

Jan:
Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

On Second Thought by Kristin Higgins (Contemporary Romance)

Feb:
If The Duke demands by Anna Harrington

Mar:
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Let me get this out of the way; I am in love with the Bridgerton Series. There, now you know so that is why I am totally biased about each of the books. Every time I read one I think “Oh, this is the best one.” And then I read another and think the same thing again. Start with the first and read through, even a re-read is so satisfying.

A Ladies Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

May:
Shacking Up by Helena Hunting (Contemporary Romance)

Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane (Romantic Suspense)

June:
Say Yes to the Scot (Anthology) by Cornwall, Harrington, York, McGoldrick
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.

Kato by d.B. Reynolds (Paranormal Romance)

A Fallen Lady by Elizabeth Kingston

July:
The Red by Tiffany Reisz (Fantasy Erotic Romance)

The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

Aug:
Traitor In Her Arms by Shana Galen

Dec:
Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

His Mistletoe Wager by Virgina Heath

The Christmas Stranger (Novella) by Anna Campbell

Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant (Kindle and Audio)

 

2 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Favorites, Novella, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense

Novella Review- A Breach of Promise by Victoria Vane

A Breach of Promise

Title: A Breach of Promise (The Rules of Engagement, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance Novella/ Georgian

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Vane Publishing LLC, 2nd edition, June 2016

Source: purchase for Kindle

Pages: 137

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

When charm and persuasion fail… Only seduction remains…

On the night of her betrothal, Lydia Trent receives just a taste of what awaits her in marriage with her fiancé…and then he leaves her wanting. Now, after waiting six years for her exceedingly reluctant bridegroom to honor his troth, Lydia is resolved to break it off. When Marcus, Lord Russell, receives Lydia’s letter demanding a release from their marriage contract, he is at first stunned, but certain that he’ll have her eating out of his hand with his usual wit and charm. Although confident that he’ll repair the damage, he has no clue how determined the headstrong Lydia is to thwart his every effort to win her back. Yet, Marcus discovers, in spite of her conviction to end the engagement, Lydia is more responsive to his touch than he ever imagined. He just needs to get her alone to unleash the promised passion he sees within his virgin fiancée. Armed with this knowledge, he will use any tool in his arsenal to exploit her weakness. In short, he’ll just have to ruin her!

***

I am a fan of Victoria Vane.  Her Historical Romances are my favorites and this short novella is no exception.  In signature steamy prose the author has given us a look at a sweet heroine who has reached her limit of understanding and a rather self-absorbed hero who his getting his comeuppance. That the author can bring to life these well-constructed characters in such a short book is to her credit. She also introduces us to Mariah and Nick, the protagonists in the next book in the series, A PLEDGE OF PASSION. I recommend this book to all romance readers.

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Novella

Last Friday ‘Til Christmas Review- I Will by Lisa Kleypas

i-will

Title: I Will

Genre: Historical romance/Holiday/Novella

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon Impulse, Dec. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 96

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:         

Andrew, Lord Drake, has been cut out of his father’s will because of his dissolute manner of living. To be reinstated, Andrew decides to pretend that he has changed his wicked ways.

As part of his plan, he wants to convince his father that he is courting a respectable woman with the intention of marrying her. The problem is, he doesn’t know any decent women, except for his friend’s spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. He blackmails the reluctant Caroline into helping him, and so the charade begins . . .

***

This is a novella previously published in a 2001 anthology, Wishlist.wishlist

It has been reissued in this current e-book.

I did not read this in the anthology so I was looking forward to this novella.  It certainly did not disappoint me.  It is classic romance from classic Kleypas. Nobody does it better!

Andrew is rude, sarcastic and in general quite obnoxious. Caroline is trying to protect her brother from this dissolute rogue.  However Andrew makes her a proposition that she cannot refuse. She agrees to help him in return for him leaving her brother alone and covering her brother’s debts. All should be good for both parties except they never factored in their growing attraction for each other.

There is a predictable story here but there are also some very clever twists that keep us turning pages to discover the results. This was a terrific holiday read and I highly recommend it.

It looks like the real Santa has finally paid us a visit.

santa-claus-old-guy

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Holiday, Kindle, Novella

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

7 Comments

Filed under Audio books, Authors, Books, Favorites, Historical Romance, Novella, Paranormal Romance

Holiday Novella Review- A Match Made In Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

a-match-made-in-mistletoe

Title: A Match Made In Mistletoe

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Anna Campbell

Publisher: Amazon Digital, Nov. 2016

Source: purchase for Kindle

Pages: 153

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

A mistletoe wish… All her life, Serena Talbot has been in love with the handsome boy next door, Sir Paul Garside. She always eagerly looks forward to Paul’s visit to her family over the Festive Season, even if he usually brings along his dark, sardonic friend Lord Hallam. This year, Serena is determined that Paul’s kiss under the mistletoe will lead to a proposal. Even if she has to enlist every ounce of Christmas magic she can get her hands on to make that happen. But the mistletoe gets it wrong! When Serena slips a sprig of mistletoe from the village kissing bough under her pillow, it’s not Paul who turns up in her dreams as the man she’s going to marry, but brooding, intense, annoying Giles Farraday, Marquess of Hallam. Still more annoying, once everyone arrives for the annual Christmas house party, she can’t stop watching Giles, and thinking about Giles. And kissing Giles, whether there’s mistletoe about or not. Now Paul wants to marry her, and Giles wants to seduce her–and Serena has a bone to pick with the old wives who came up with all this superstitious nonsense in the first place. A Christmas of confusion lies ahead! Will mistletoe magic lead the way to a happy ending?

***

You should not miss this absolutely delightful Christmas romance.  Serena is confused, Paul is ready to propose and Giles is no longer holding back his feelings for Serena. She can’t stay away from Giles and she is trying to avoid Paul. It is very obvious to us, the readers, that she should be with Giles but will she see it that way.  Anna Campbell has given us another well written, deeply romantic Christmas novella filled with sexual tension.

This one is perfect for reading by the fire, with your hot toddy (or cocoa) and just enjoying the holiday spirit.

Oh No! I think this is Bad Santa invading my blog.

santa-dangerous

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Holiday, Novella

Recent Release Review- Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

twas-the-night-before-scandal

 

Title: Twas The Night Before Scandal (Two Novellas)

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/E-Reader

Author: Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

Publisher: Christi Caldwell Inc., Nov. 2016

Source: won in a contest

Pages: 168/E-Reader

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:       

“Only For Their Love” by Christi Caldwell Miss Carol Cresswall bore witness to her parents’ loveless union and is determined to avoid that same miserable fate. Her mother has altogether different plans—plans that include a match between Carol and Lord Gregory Renshaw. Despite his wealth and power, Carol has no interest in marrying a pompous man who goes out of his way to ignore her. Now, with their families coming together for the Christmastide season it’s her mother’s last-ditch effort to get them together. And Carol plans to avoid Gregory at all costs. Lord Gregory Renshaw has no intentions of falling prey to his mother’s schemes to marry him off to a proper debutante she’s picked out. Over the years, he has carefully sidestepped all endeavors to be matched with any of the grasping ladies. But a sudden Christmastide Scandal has the potential show Carol and Gregory that they’ve spent years running from the one thing they’ve always needed.

***

The more I read from Christi Caldwell the more I like.  This novella is just packed with romance, Christmas feeling and even a surly Dowager Duchess and unrelenting matchmaking mother.  It is an enemies to sweethearts trope that is well developed considering the brevity of the format of the novella. Carol and Gregory are not exactly enemies they just have avoided each other for the past four years because of their mother’s matchmaking. Having never actually been thrown together where they could develop a relationship they are quite overcome with liking each other when they do get to know each other. But, of course,  there is a serious problem that arises.

Deet’s Rating: 5-stars    Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

“A Kiss From a Rogue” by Eva Devon Bah and a hum bug: Sebatian Rutherford, the new Earl of Gray, has no desire to settle down. Ever. The only thing he dislikes more than the idea of taking over his recently inherited earldom, and all it’s responsibilities, is Christmas. So, when he agrees to an arranged marriage to the former earl’s daughter, he plans on a quick wedding and a quicker return to his adventures abroad. Surely, even a hint of Christmas cheer won’t need to be shared? But when his clever new wife, Lady Marabelle begins to thaw his heart, he finds that not only is family a joy, but Christmas may be the best season to lose one’s heart. Deck the Halls: Lady Marabelle loves Christmas. She loves everything about it. So, when she faces her first Christmas since the death of her beloved father, married to a man she’s never met, she decides to make sure that the Christmas hating new Earl must be taught the spirit of the season. But with each day toward Christmas that comes her way, she begins to find that perhaps a marriage of convenience can be a marriage of the heart and a veritable Christmas miracle.

**

Oh this is truly a yummy romance.  A handsome, adventurous, troubled man is about to marry a very astute, lovely woman whom he has never met.  They speak only a few words before they become man and wife.  Through the magic of her sweet personality she transforms this “Grinch” into a most enjoyable, loving person. All it takes is love.

Deet’s rating: 5-stars   Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

Uh huh, another shirtless elf snuck in here.

santa-elf-2

5 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, E-Book, Holiday, Kindle, Novella

4 Fridays ‘Til Christmas Review- The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries

the-heiress-and-the-hothead

( I give this beautiful cover 5 stars)

Title: The Heiress And The Hothead (A Sinful Suitors Holiday Novella)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Pocket Star, November 28, 2016 for Kindle

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: ? novella length

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries’s charming yuletide story,

**

Some of the characters we have met in Ms. Jeffries previous book, The Art of Sinning. The heroine of the story, Amanda Keene, is the heiress to a cotton mill in America.  Lord Stephen Corry is the second son of an earl and a journalist.  He is a reformer and she wants to prove to him she doesn’t need to reform her mills.  The action takes place in an English mill town at an aristocratic house party at Christmas time.  This story was predictable even though it had quite a bit of information about cotton mills in the 19th century.  The intimate scene was so totally ridiculous in the setting that it took me out of the story.  I expect more from this author and usually she delivers but not in this story.

(This novella originally appeared in the anthology WHAT HAPPENS UNDER THE MISTLETOE, 2015)

Now the elves are invading my blog.

santa-elf

 

4 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Holiday, Novella