I Got tagged

Tag I'm it

My friend and fellow blogger Carol Cork from across the pond, tagged me to answer these questions.  You can get fabulous HR recommendations from Carol’s blog

http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com

RULES: You must be honest. You must answer all the questions. You must tag at least 4 people.

  1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Where Passion Leads by Lisa Kleypas (1987) I have never read this book, don’t ask me why, I don’t know. It resides on my keeper shelf with all of Lisa’s books.

Where Passion Leads

  1. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Current: The Thing About Love by Julie James.

Last: My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

Next: I Dared The Duke by Anna Bennett

  1. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Hate is such a strong word.  But one that I thought totally silly and read like a contemporary novel but it was set in the Regency was… Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare ..most people thought this book was great.

Say Yes To the Marquess

  1. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

This is a tough one because my intentions are to read them all but I do have at least 4 or 5 Georgette Heyer books sitting on my Kindle and I have no idea when I will ever read them.

  1. What book are you saving for retirement?

This is retirement for me.  No more saving, now it’s do or die.

  1. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

I always read until the end.  Every book is a journey to be savored.

  1. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I read them and many are very interesting.

  1. Which book character would you switch places with?

I don’t want to switch places, I’d rather be a voyeur into the past while I still have running water, showers, flush toilets, refrigerators, memory foam and supermarkets. BUT a clandestine affair with Jack Devlin from Kleypas’ Suddenly You would be a lovely diversion.

Suddenly You

  1. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

I recall back in the 80’s my sister taking me to a used book store in Oregon and she insisted I get a Kathleen Woodiwiss novel (I can’t recall which one, maybe The wolf and The Dove) but that was the first time I read a romance novel.

The Wolf and the Dove

  1. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

The Jane Austen Handbook: Proper Life Skills from Regency England by Margaret C. Sullivan

I added this book to my Amazon wishlist and while hoping that a family member would see it there and gift it to me, I inadvertently put it in my checkout cart while purchasing something else.  Best mistake I ever made!! This is a terrific book and probably no family member would have thought to get it for me.

The Jane Austen Handbook

  1. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

No, but I do donate some to our community library.

  1. Which book has been with you most places?

My Kindle goes everywhere I go.  All books are special.

  1. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

I can’t think of any, I had teachers that had us reading very interesting books, Dickens, Thackeray, Poe, Twain, Lewis, etc.

  1. Used or brand new?

I’ve bought both used and new books.

  1. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes, most of them. I enjoyed the movies, too.

  1. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

No

  1. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Diane Mott Davidson’s mystery books with Goldy the caterer have some yummy recipes.  My favorite cookbook is Ten Dollar Dinners by Melissa d’Arabian, so-o-o good.

 

  1. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My fellow bloggers are pretty good at setting me on to good reads.

  1. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Harlen Coben’s  mystery books, I love them although I don’t consider any books outside my comfort zone except perhaps those that are too bloody or gory.

Tag Four People:  Okay here it gets too difficult.  Those I would tag are probably already tagged. But I would welcome any of my followers to play along and send me your answers. deetda2@yahoo.com

 

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Rereading The Bridgertons- To Sir Phillip With Love by Julia Quinn

To Sir Phillip With Love

Title: To Sir Phillip with Love (the Bridgertons, book #5)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Avon, 2003 (reprint with 2nd Epilogue 2017, cover as above)

Source: Purchase, on Keeper Shelf

Pages: 372

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except . . . she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her . . . and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking . . . and wondering . . . and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except . . . he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled . . . and when he kissed her . . . the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn’t help but wonder . . . could this imperfect man be perfect for her?

**

This offering in the series is not one of my favorites although it is still a very good read.  I think I was put off by Phillip’s rudeness toward Eloise, and also I had trouble understanding Eloise’s desperation in finding a husband.  Yes, she had turned down 6 offers of marriage but to run off willy-nilly to find a husband just didn’t jive with me. She comes from a very popular and wealthy family so she should have had another chance or two at marriage while at home. She didn’t seem to have too much in common with Phillip, and his children were more than a handful for a woman with no previous experience raising children.  We did get to see The Bridgerton brothers once more and they totally outshined Sir Phillip.

(My book did not have the second epilogue that is in the current edition of this book.)

The Bridgerton Series:

  1. The Duke and I (Daphne)
  2. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony)
  3. An Offer From a Gentleman (Benedict)
  4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin)
  5. To Sir Phillip, With Love (Eloise)
  6. When He Was Wicked (Francesca)
  7. It’s In His Kiss (Hyacinth)

8.On The Way To The Wedding (Gregory)

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Recent Release Review- The Duke of Desire by Darcy Burke

The Duke of Desire

Title: The Duke of Desire (The Untouchables, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Darcy Burke

Publisher: Darcy Burke, March 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 290

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ten years ago Ivy Breckenridge’s life was ruined. She had to reinvent herself, and now, after painstakingly making her own way in the world, she’s nearly forgotten the dreams of home and family she’d once nurtured. Until one man peers into her soul and awakens every one of her hidden desires. But no matter how good he makes her feel, she can’t trust him—alone by choice is better than alone by necessity. With a notorious reputation for training married women in the art of passion, Sebastian Westgate, Duke of Clare, is reviled by some and celebrated by others. He doesn’t allow anyone close enough to see past his charming exterior. When Ivy uncovers the man beneath, the seducer is suddenly the seduced. Enraptured by her mind and spirit, he wants more but revealing his darkest secrets is a price he won’t pay.

***

Here is a yummy romance not to be missed.  We have a Regency style sex-therapist in the guise of the Duke of Clare, and yes that sounds a bit strange but trust me it all works in the hands of this terrific author.  Then we have a ladies’ companion, Ivy, who has a scandalous past but is totally charmed by the Duke.

This is the first book I have read in this series and I was not lost.  Characters from the previous books make appearances but all is well explained.  However I do wish to read their stories in books 1-3.

I highly recommend this steamy, sexy, page turner to all romance aficionados.

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Some History of April Fools Day

april-fool-unidentified-artist-eighteenth-century-xx-portrait-of-a-man-at-a-gate-about-1790

This blog deals with  many novels set in the Georgian and Regency period I was delighted to find that the first documented April Fool’s prank was purported to have been staged by Henry, Duke of Grenfeld , England, 1794.  His French wife, who loved frog legs for dinner, was always disappointed because Henry refused to have them served.  On April Fool’s Day Henry had 25 frogs captured from his estate ponds and placed under dome covers on the banquet table.  He told his Duchess that especially for her, frog legs would be served.  The Duchess was delighted until the domed covers were lifted and the frogs catapulted over the table.  This never happened. There is no Lord Grenfeld. Happy April Fools Day.

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Rereading the Bridgertons – Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (book #4)by Julia Quinn

Romancing Mr Bridgerton

Title: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (the Bridgertons, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Avon, reissue 2015

Source: Purchase

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com

Everyone knows that Colin Bridgerton is the most charming man in London . . .

Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all.

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought of as nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same—especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply there is suddenly the girl haunting his dreams. When he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat— or his promise of a happy ending?

***

Yes, in this book you will learn the identity of Lady Whistledown.  That alone is reason to read #4 in the Bridgerton series.  Of course, the other reasons are that it is superbly plotted and full of romance and laughs and just all around happiness. I was a bit miffed at Colin’s stubbornness and jealousy. Penelope was a delight as she has been right along in this series. That they are both getting their HEA is just the cream on the sundae with a cherry on top.

Each offering in this series is not to be missed.  I hope by now that I have convinced you to read Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons, or perhaps I’m preaching to the choir and you have already read them. I’m on to the next, Eloise’s story in TO SIR WITH LOVE. The one thing I am discovering is that if I haven’t read a book in 4 or 5 years it is like a new book.  It must be my age.

( my keeper shelf copy did not contain the 2nd Epilogue that is available in newer additions.)

 

 

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Review- Someone To Love by Mary Balogh

Someone To Love

Title: Someone To Love (Westcotts Book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Mary Balogh

Publisher: Berkley, Nov. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 398

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…   Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…   Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.

***

Leave it to Mary Balogh to make the Regency era come alive with what feels like true characterization of people of the times.  The orphanage is not a horrid place ala Dickens, it is where our heroine grew up in poverty but surrounded by caring people.  The aristocracy is portrayed with an all-encompassing entitlement and blood lines be damned if you are found to be illegitimate. Our hero, or perhaps he is an anti-hero, is short, slender, “angelic” looking and yet he exudes an aura of danger and power.  The Westcott family is outraged by the turn of events and yet our heroine, Anna (Anastasia), maintains her dignity throughout.

The romance is subtle and more like friendship at first.  There is not any strong attraction only mild interest on both sides.  I was wondering why Anna wasn’t more attracted to Alexander the new Earl instead of The Duke.  There is a rather huge character dump in the beginning of this book and keeping everyone straight was difficult even with the family tree in the front of the book.  This is not one of my favorite books of Ms. Balogh but I did like it, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, SOMEONE TO HOLD, especially since I now think I have all the characters straight.

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Rereading The Bridgertons- An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn

An Offer from A Gentleman

Title: An Offfer From A Gentleman With 2nd Epilogue (The Bridgerton Series book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Avon, 2015

Source: Purchase for Kindle

Pages: 421

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.

Who was that extraordinary woman? Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps, this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers her his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?

***

This is most definitely a reworking of “Cinderella”.  The beginning is so much like the fairytale that I was tempted not to go on.  But I did, and I’m so happy that I did continue reading.  I should never have doubted that the skills of Julia Quinn would transform this fairytale and make it lots more fun.  Benedict is a perfect Prince Charming even if he has a singularly one tract mind when it comes to Sophie.  Sophie is the voice of reason throughout the relationship but she is also in love and when one loves a Bridgerton it is impossible to not follow.  We have here a truly wicked step-mother, some not very nice stepsisters (except for Posy), a very wise Violet Bridgerton, the Dowager Viscountess and Once again the gossip columnist Lady Whistledown who happily reports all ton gossip but especially about the Bridgertons.  We are left to guess who is behind the Lady W. persona but some strong hints come along in this book.

(I have titled this post “Rereading The Bridgertons” but I confess that this is my first reading of this one in the series. I purchased this book in 2015 but never got around to reading it, my loss.  But I’m happy to have finally read this delight of a story.  The second epilogue was a fun read, we finally find out what becomes of Posy Reiling.)

The Bridgerton Series:

  1. The Duke and I (Daphne)
  2. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony)
  3. An Offer From a Gentleman (Benedict)
  4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin)
  5. To Sir Phillip, With Love (Eloise)
  6. When He Was Wicked (Francesca)
  7. It’s In His Kiss (Hyacinth)
  8. On The Way To The Wedding (Gregory)

 

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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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Romantic Suspense Review-King’s Captive by Amber Bardan

kings-captive

Title: King’s Captive

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Author: Amber Bardan

Publisher: Carina Press, Feb. 2017

Source: Purchase, Kindle $3.99

Pages: 252

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

For three years, I’ve belonged to Julius King. Some people would think being stuck on a private island is heaven, but this is my hell.   Because I’m not here as a guest. Not even close. I’m a prisoner. I’m his. Julius King. Powerful. Wealthy. Dangerous. There are parts of me he wants that I can’t give him. When he looks at me, there are times I swear he sees someone else. And the scary part is that sometimes, when he touches me, I think he may be someone else, too. Though my body might be tempted, and he might control everything else, I can’t let him have any piece of my heart. I won’t. But every day, the fight gets harder, and Julius manages to slip past my defenses in the most unexpected ways.  I have to find out the truth about Julius King. Even if it destroys me.  

***

Wow! Hang on to your hat for a wild ride.  At the start this book seems to be a fairly adequate description of Stockholm Syndrome.  But that’s only the start.  We readers are privy to Sarah’s view of events and we learn along the way of Julius’ version which doesn’t always match. There are twists and surprises that I absolutely, positively guarantee will keep you from putting the book down. The sex is sizzling. Truly a very good read by an author who is new to me. I look forward to more adventures in her books.

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Review- My Fair Duchess by Julie Johnstone

my-fair-duchess

Title: My Fair Duchess (Once Upon A Rogue, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julie Johnstone

Publisher: Night Shift, 2014

Source: Purchase (free on Kindle) Audio available, Tim Campbell narrator

Pages: 265

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

After years of playing the rogue to hide a dark family secret, the Duke of Aversley feels tainted beyond redemption and cynical beyond repair. Never does he imagine hope will come in the form of a quirky, quick-witted lady determined to win the heart of another aristocrat. Thanks to a painfully awkward past, Lady Amelia De Vere long ago relinquished the notion she was a flower that had yet to blossom. But when her family faces financial ruin and the man she has always loved is on the verge of marrying another, she’ll try anything to transform herself to capture her childhood love and save her family―including agreeing to participate in a bet between her brother and the notorious, dangerously handsome Duke of Aversley. Bound by the bet, Amelia and Aversley discover unexpected understanding and passion beyond their wildest dreams, if only they can let go of their pride, put trust in each other and chance losing their hearts.

***

A really good read packed with drama and some violence.  I’m warning up front that there is an attempted rape scene.  The romance is slow to develop and feels very natural that Amelia and Colin should fall in love.  The bet seems a bit convoluted and I had to read about it several times to fully grasp what it was about but this could have just been me.  That Amelia’s brother Robert was so prideful was really disappointing and once again in a HR novel I’m wishing that these characters would just be upfront and honest with each other, especially Amelia’s mother.  Now the Duke of Scarsdale was certainly an interesting character and I see that he gets the girl in book #2 of this series. Although I did want to shake a few characters out of their misguided actions, I truly enjoyed this book.

( I also listened to the Audio Book of this title and Tim Campbell does an excellent job of giving each character their own voice.  He is such a terrific narrator that it upsets me when he is disparaged by other reviewers because he occasionally gets a word mispronounced in the British accent. (He is an American actor and as far as this American is concerned he rates an A+ and his accent is perfectly okay for me.)

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