Tag Archives: Mary Jo Putney

Advance Review- The Last Chance Christmas Ball by Mary Jo Putney, et.al.

Title:  The Last Chance Christmas BallThe Last Chance Christmas Ball

Genre: Historical Romance Anthology/Regency

Author: Mary Jo Putney , Jo Beverley , Joanna Bourne , Patricia Rice , Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Grace, Susan King

Publisher: Kensington, Sept. 29, 2015 (preorder available)

Pages: 320

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3 some kisses

Description from Amazon.com:

Christmas 1815. Upstairs and downstairs, Holbourne Hall is abuzz with preparations for a grand ball to celebrate the year’s most festive—and romantic—holiday. For at the top of each guest’s wish list is a last chance to find true love before the New Year…   A chance meeting beneath the mistletoe, a stolen glance across the dance floor—amid the sumptuous delicacies, glittering decorations, and swell of the orchestra, every duchess and debutante, lord and lackey has a hopeful heart. There’s the headstrong heiress who must win back her beloved by midnight—or be wed to another….the spinster whose fateful choice to relinquish love may hold one more surprise for her…a widow yearning to glimpse her long-lost love for even one sweet, fleeting interlude …a charming rake who finds far more than he bargained for. And many other dazzling, romantic tales in this star-studded collection that will fill your heart and spice up your holidays…

**

We start off with Jo Beverly’s Prologue telling us that a Christmas house party is being planned by the Dowager Countess of Holbourne (known as Lady Holly) and her companion Clio Finch. We are privy to those who will be invited; Sarah Langsdale, Edward Stretton (Lady Holly’s son), Roxanne Heyward, Mary Gower and her father, Lord Gabriel Quinfroy, Allie Fenton, Clary Douglas.  We also know of some trouble in Lady Holly’s own family with Kim Stratton, Caro and her husband Camden. Ms. Beverly sets the scene.

  • My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne

 

Nick Lafford is a younger son of a younger son.  Enough in the ton to be invited to house parties.  But that is not why he is here.  He is here to see Claire who has infiltrated the party as an upstairs maid, she is really an accomplished jeweler.  She seems to be a thief looking for jewels.  She broke off an affair with Nick several months earlier and he does not know what she is up to but he will find out and perhaps help her or win her back or both.

There is romance, mystery and suspense in this short story by Ms. Bourne who is a master of those genres.  There is an evil villain and a sweet innocent in need of protection. The addition of this side story was a bit of distraction since I really wanted more of Nick and Claire in this short story.  I wished this story had been a full length book as so often happens to me when I read an accomplished author’s short story. Rating: 4.5-stars, Sexy rating: 4, Christmasy Feeling: 5

  • A Scottish Carol by Susan King

 

Henry Seton and Clarinda Hay have a history but they were torn apart by the Napoleonic War and now in a blinding Christmas Eve blizzard are stranded together at Henry’s estate.  Will they renew their once thwarted love affair?

I liked this short story of two souls who are destined to be together and who complement each other.  Rating: 4-stars, Sexy Rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 5

 

  • Christmas Larks by Patricia Rice

 

Ivo Whitney-Harris was wounded in the war. After 5 years, on his way home he is attacked by highwayman and suffers a serious head wound. Sarah Jane Langsdale, at 17 years old, watched her childhood friend, Ivo, become betrothed to another, breaking her heart. When she discovers him, ill and suffering, in a house destined to be an orphanage she attempts to nurse him back to health.

Another story of a reunion during the holiday season.  I liked the plot but thought it was slim on holiday feeling. A cold abandoned house does not give off a warm Christmas vibe.  Rating: 4, Sexy Rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 1

 

  • In The Bleak Midwinter by Mary Jo Putney

 

Kim Stratton has been sequestering himself in the tower attached to the family home since he arrived home from the war all scared and broken.  He has refused to see anyone except his loyal batman Jamie who has helped him recover.  Before the war he had an understanding and was in love with neighbor Roxie.  But now he has refused to see or speak with her for the past 6 months.  Roxie is running out of patience and will see what she can do to end this nightmare.

War leaves its mark not only on the soldier but also on those left behind.  This story is a tribute to those who serve and those who pick up the pieces.  It is a lovely story but with little holiday feeling.  It could have been any time of the year. Rating: 4.5, Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit, Christmasy feeling: 2

 

  • Old Flames Dance by Cara Elliot

 

In this story we are treated to two romances.  Brothers Kim and Edward and Lily and Roxie.  Now Roxie loves Kim but Kim has been wounded in the war and has not allowed any family or his betrothed, Roxie, to see him.  Edward asks Roxie if the two of them could announce their betrothal and have a marriage of convenience if Kim still refuses to see her.  Meanwhile Lily, who once loved Edward and since has married twice and been widowed twice, comes to the Christmas ball.  Yes you guessed it.  She loves Edward and wants to marry him.  How will this work out?  Rating:4 ,Sexy rating: 3, Christmasy Feeling: 1

  • A Season for Marriage by Nicola Cornick

 

Caroline Camden is married to Piers Camden for 6 months and they have been struggling.  She loves him but he is afraid to love her because he saw his parents totally neglect everyone and everything because of their obsessive love for each other.  Will the Christmas Ball bring them together?

Rating: 4, sexy rating: 4, Christmasy feeling: 1

 

  • Miss Finch and the Angel by Jo Beverley

 

Lord Gabriel comes at the summons from his Godmother, Lady Holly.  She wants him to dance with all the “Last Chance” single ladies at the ball so that other gentleman will want to do likewise. (Yeah, right, Lady Holly.  We’re not falling for that ploy.)  Gabriel falls for it but he seems intriqued by Clio Finch, so much so that there is a chance he will forget his mission from Lady Holly.

Gabriel is my favorite character in the entire book; Clio not so much. Clio’s character and background was not developed as well as Gabriel’s. However, this was a sweet story and proved that the Last chance Ball was working its magic. Rating: 4, Sexy rating: 2, Christmasy Feeling: 2

 

  • Mistletoe Kisses by Anne Gracie

 

In this story a spinster is forced to leave her home to become a teacher but she is looking forward to one last Christmas alone in her childhood home.  A raging snowstorm has caused an accident on the road and a gentleman and his sister are stranded at the only home until the storm passes. Will love bloom for John and Allie? This story has the most Christmasy feeling. Rating: 4.5, Sexy rating: 3, Christmasy feeling: 5+

Deet’s summary:  I enjoyed each of these sweet stories.  Only three had the feeling of the Christmas season but each story was full of romance and warmth.  Lady Holly was a fairy godmother and matchmaker extrodinere and I found her no nonsense demeanor to be delightful.  Each of the stories are related to the theme of the Christmas Ball as the last chance for spinsters to land a husband.   The stories are short and will be a delightful addition to your holiday reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance, Mary Jo Putney, Romance

Recent Rerelease Review- Not Always A Saint by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Not Always A Saint (The Lost Lords, book #7)

Not always a Saint

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher: Zebra, reprint, Aug. 25, 2015

Pages: 352

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

After the death of his sweetheart when he was at university, Daniel Herbert buried his grief in medical studies and his passion for healing. Viewed as a saint by those who know him, in his own mind he never quite manages to live up to his own high standards.

Most men would be thrilled to learn they’ve inherited a title and estate from a distant relative, but Daniel is appalled because the burden of wealth will interfere with his medical calling.  Warily he accepts that he must enter society and seek a wife—a sensible woman who can oversee his properties, leaving him free to continue his work. He does not expect to become intoxicated by a woman called the Black Widow, who is as mysterious as she is shockingly beautiful…

Jessie Kelham’s looks have always been a curse. Now alone with a young daughter and a perilous secret, she is in need of protection. But dangerously attractive Daniel Herbert is not the kind of husband she has in mind. If he recognizes her, the demons of her past will surely erupt. Yet they cannot keep apart—and soon they are drawn into a union that may bring joy—or shattering danger…

**

This was love at first sight for Daniel and since Jessie was looking for an older man to marry, Daniel did not fit the bill.  Daniel was persistent and Jessie succumbed to his charm. Jessie did have secrets in her past and eventually she disclosed them to Daniel.  He vowed to protect her and he would love her.  But Jessie’s past was soon to catch up with her.

There is certainly enough dialog between Jessie and Daniel to give us a clear understanding of each character but for me I just did not connect with either.  I could never really care about them and found myself frequently putting the book aside.  There was some danger and action toward the end that seemed too easily resolved and part of the past transgressions were not resolved. I only thought this book to be “okay”.  Not one of my favorites from Ms. Putney.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance, Mary Jo Putney

Kindle Deal- Never Less Than A Lady by Mary Jo Putney $1.99

OOPs, here is another Mary Jo Putney novel for $1.99.  I haven’t read this one but it has 72, 4 & 5 star reviews on Amazon out of 88 total.  That’s good enough for me and I’m going to pick it up.  If you get it let me know what you think.

Never Less Than A Lady

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Historical Romance, Kindle, Mary Jo Putney

Recent Release Review- Not Quite A Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Not Quite A Wife (The Lost Lords)

Not Quite A Wife

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher: Zebra books, reprint August 26, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent. . .except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.

Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl–until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.

Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love. . ..

**

Sometimes a beautiful book cover is just not enough.  So much of this plot just didn’t make any sense to me.  Yes, it might be just me, but hear me out.  We have a young woman who married in haste because both she and her husband found love at first sight. They were ecstatically happy for a year.  Then he kills an intruder in front of her and she decides that he’s a murderer and she leaves him for ten years.  He doesn’t pursue her because he is feeling guilty about the killing.  Here is where I don’t get their reactions: He is killing the guy in self defense so why is she all “he’s a murderer” and why is he feeling guilty?  Spoiler Alert:  Then they get back together under fantastical circumstances where coincidence abounds.  Okay not so much “spoiler” but if you want to read this book I don’t want to spoil it all for you.  There is a very predictable side plot about a former slave girl.  All in all I find Ms. Putney’s command of language to be first rate but this plot was so unbelieveable that I find it impossible to give it a glowing recommendation.

2 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance

Fab Romances one Free and one $.99 today (8/2/2013) on Kindle

Winning A Bride

FREE on Kindle 8/2/13

I have read and enjoyed this novella of The BRIDAL FAVORS series see my review by using the search box on the left.

WHAT THE BRIDE WORE is releasing next week and I will have a review of that full length addition to the series on

Wednesday 8/7/13

****************

Loving A Lost LordON Kindle for $.99  on 8/2/2013

I have not read this first in the LOST LORDS series but I just downloaded it so it won’t be long.

**************************

I did check out Nook prices and as of writing this they were not price matched.

2 Comments

Filed under Books, E-Book, e-reader, Historical Romance, Kindle, News, Romance

Holiday Romance- Anthology- A Regency Christmas III by Heath, Putney, Balogh,McRae & Layton

Title:  A Regency Christmas lll

Genre: Historical Holiday Romance Anthology

Author: Sandra Heath, Mary Jo Putney, Mary Balogh,

                Melinda McRae, Edith Layton

Publisher:  Penguin, 1991

Source: purchase, secondary market

Rating: Solid 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Story #1Mistletoe and Folly by Sandra Heath — Rating= 4

Sir Richard Curzon is engaged to young flibbertigibbet Isabella.  He thinks he loves her but Geoffrey Hawksworth is also enamoured of the fair Isabella.  When Geoffrey sees an accidental encounter between Sir Richard and Richard’s lost love, Diana, he sets in motion a plan to break up Richard and Isabella so that the young Isabella will fall into his waiting arms.

**One has to admire the conniving intelligence of Geoffrey although he has obstacles thrown in his path.  Can Richard and Diana renew what they thought was lost? Will Geoffrey win the heart of Isabella?  This is an entertaining story and well written. 

Story #2The Christmas Cuckoo by Mary Jo Putney–Rating = 4.5

His name is Major John Howard but they were expecting Captain John Howard, friend of their brother Jeremy, for Christmas.  The Major tries to set the record straight but is thwarted whenever he wishes to confess and truth be known he is enjoying the company of the Lambert family on his first Christmas back in England after the war.  He is especially enjoying the company of the oldest Lambert sister and head of the household, Meg.  Things get very interesting when Jeremy and the Captain show up.

**Mary Jo Putney does not disappoint me, at least not in those delightful books, and this story, that I have read to date.  The characters are brought to life and the romantic attraction is delightfully portrayed.   We are also treated to what a country gentry Christmas must have been like in a close knit family of siblings.

Story #3-The Best Christmas Ever by Mary Balogh—Rating=4.5

Anna, age 6, had only one wish this Christmas.  She wants a new Mama.  Her mother had died in front of her eyes 3 years before and she had not uttered a word since that fateful day that she screamed for hours. Her loving father, Lord Radbrook was seriously thinking of asking Miss Chadwick to be his wife, hoping her cheerful nature would bring some happiness to his daughter.  But at the crowded family Christmas gathering Anna has her heart set on Emma as her new mama.  But there is a past history between Lord Radbrook and Emma.  Can it be overcome?

**Here is another favorite HR author.  I am beginning to see a pattern in why I like some of these authors.  It is their ability to absolutely transport me back to the Regency period of England.  The settings and characters come to life and it is as if I am watching the action unfold as if in a movie.  This story is a bit on the sentimental side but Christmas is just the right time for sentimentality.

Story #4- Home For Christmas by Melinda McRae- Rating= 4

Ashley Sutton is the 2nd son who has been away sailing the seas for 16 years.  He decides to surprise his family and come home for Christmas but the surprise is on him.  His family has gone off to visit his uncle for the holiday.  At the estate is governess to his niece and nephew, Rose Harris, who welcomes him and shares a Christmas dinner with him before he departs for the uncle’s home.  But Rose has fallen in love with Ash and now must face a life without him.  Or will she?

**Again this is a sentimental story that tugs at your heart while creating a strong sexual tension and romantic feel.  Ms McRae is a new-to-me author but she possesses a wonderful grasp of storytelling and  a unique ability to make the characters come to life on the page.

Story #5-The Dark Man by Edyth Layton- Rating=3

Eve was engaged to an Earl and it was only her first season.  She loved him and she thought he might love her but she wasn’t sure.  Then she found out he had a mistress and she couldn’t deal with it.  She broke off the engagement  but would the Earl just fade away?

**This was my least favorite story.  The writing and character development was good but the story descended into a silly bit toward the end that ruined it for me.

Leave a comment

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

Review- The Rake by Mary Jo Putney

Title: The Rake

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher: Kensington Publishing,1989/2012

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

…Disinherited and disgraced, Reginald Davenport’s prospects cried for a dire end. But fate has given him one last chance at redemption – by taking his rightful place as the heir of Strickland, his lost ancestral estate. Davenport knows his way around women, yet nothing prepares him for his shocking encounter with Lady Alys Weston. Masquerading as a man in order to obtain a position as estate manager of Strickland, Alys fled a world filled with mistrust and betrayal. She was finished with men – until Strickland’s restored owner awakens a passion she thought she would never feel. A passion that will doom or save them both …if only they can overcome their pasts…

 

**

Both protagonists have scandalous pasts that they are trying to overcome.  This is one of the first books written by Mary Jo Putney and the book is so overwhelmingly realistic that I’m sure she was channeling a member of the aristocracy of that era.  Her scenes are vivid and the emotions of her hero and heroine are heartfelt.  The author skillfully draws us into their lives so that pages of this book turn swiftly for we must find out their fates.

This is a long book, 396 pages, and I do think it could have been a bit shorter but then I wouldn’t want to be the one to edit out one word of copy.  I enjoyed this book and recommend it.  It is a reprint of an earlier published work so you may want to look for the original.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romance

Review- Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney

Title:  Shattered Rainbows

Genre:  Historical Romance/Adventure

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher:  Signet, Penguin 1996/2000

Source: purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

captivating tale about a lady and an earl who are shocked when a harmless masquerade turns into a shattering vortex of danger and betrayal-and a fiercely passionate love.

**

The book description hardly gives you a clue so I will elaborate a bit.

Michael Kenyon, the younger son of the Duke of Ashburton, is an officer in the Peninsular War.  He is nursed back to health following battlefield injuries by Catherine Melbourne, wife of another officer at the battle.  They meet again in Belgium at the battle of Waterloo and again Catherine saves his life.  After the war Catherine seeks help from Michael but will their feelings for each other be thwarted by evil?

This novel is written in two parts, The Road to Hell Book 1 and The Road to Heaven Book 2.  The Road to Hell is a tour de force of gripping action, romance and adventure.  It tugs on the heartstrings and I was moved to tears in the first beginning pages. Ms Putney is so talented in her characterizations; I could visualize her characters as if they were in front of me, as if in a movie.  I could not wait until I found out how the plot would evolve in Book 2.

Book 2 was one level of disappointment after another.  There were so many fortunate coincidences and unbelievable developments I was questioning if the same author wrote this part.  It was totally over-the-top in drama.  The characters were acting in ways that seemed false to their nature.

In spite of the let down in the second part of this book this was still an interesting and enjoyable if frustrating read.  Mary Jo Putney is a talented author. I will definitely read more of her books.

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Romance

Review- The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney

Title: The wild Child (book #1 The Bride Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher: Ballantine Publishing Group, 2000

Source: Library

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Bribed by Kyle, his twin brother, Dominic Renbourne agrees to take his twin’s place for a few weeks at Warfield Manor, where he is to pay court to Lady Meriel Grahame, the orphaned heiress Kyle intends to marry. The last thing Dominic expects is to be entranced by a silent sprite whose ethereal beauty is as intoxicating as the flowers and trees that surround her.

For much of her life Meriel has lived outside normal society, finding joy and peace in her garden, safe from the nightmare that nearly destroyed her as a child. She is content with solitude until the handsome intruder begins to inspire dreams of life beyond her sanctuary. Despite his longing, Dominic’s sense of duty keeps him away from his brother’s future bride, but Meriel’s untamed spirit proves more powerful than Dominic can resist . . .

**

I do love a book with a strong character study and this book is all about character.  Yes, but the plot is well done too.  There is action, drama, suspense and of course a fabulous, slow developing romance.  Add a surprise and you have a can’t-put-down, utterly satisfying read.  I love a book that gives more than I expected; a book that is written intelligently and with craftsmanship.

This is my second Mary Jo Putney book, my first being SILK AND SHADOWS reviewed here.  When I reviewed that book I knew I wanted to read more by Mary Jo Putney and now after reading this book I’m convinced that I will read her entire back list.

9 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance

Review- Silk And Shadows: Book 1 of the Silk Trilogy

Title: Silk and Shadows: Book 1 of the Silk Trilogy

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Publisher:

Source: purchase, Kindle

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5, explicit

Description from Amazon.com:

He called himself Peregrine, the wanderer, and he came to London for revenge…

Like the falcon he named himself for, Peregrine is wild and free, an exotic prince who fascinates 1839 London with his wealth, mystery, and dangerous allure. He emerged from his mysterious Asiatic past to exact retribution for an appalling crime. Nothing and no one can stop him—except perhaps Lady Sara St. James, whose fragile beauty conceals a gentle heart, genuine goodness, and a soul of steel.

Unable to resist his seductive charm, Lady Sara turns away from her ordered life to embrace a man she loves, but cannot fully trust. In Sara, Peregrine sees a chance for a life beyond revenge. But can he keep her without revealing his devastating secrets? Or protect her from the enemy he has vowed to destroy?

The Silk Trilogy:
#1 Silk and Shadows
#2 Silk and Secrets
#3 Veils of Silk

**************

Oh Wow! I loved this novel!  It was originally written in 2000 and just rereleased on Kindle.  This is my first Mary Jo Putney novel and I will definitely read more.

The villain in this story is so evil.  I can’t remember a villain this evil in another Historical Romance.  But not to be outdone is the hero, Peregrine, who is out for revenge and becomes obsessed with his quarry.  His obsession leads him to all manner of dastardly (did I just write dastardly?) deeds in the name of vengeance.

The heroine, Sara, falls under the spell of Peregrine for he has a magnetic personality and soon she has a broken engagement and is marrying the exotic newcomer.

Putney has developed these vastly different personalities into characters that jump off the page.  The secondary characters are ripe for sequels and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them in later books in the trilogy.  This is a dark historical romance.  There are truly malevolent people and even the good guys have flaws; some definitely more wicked than others.

The romance is not tender and sweet, it is quick and passionate and we are left to wonder if it is just another of the hero’s ploys.

A really good read.  Now available from Amazon Kindle for $3.99.

15 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Review, Romance