Tag Archives: Regency Historical romance

Review- My American Duchess by Eloisa James

my-american-duchess

Title: My American Duchess

Genre: Historical romance/Regency

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, Jan. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 436

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

***

Merry Pelford is engaged to Cedric but meets his twin brother, the Duke of Trent, and strikes up a conversation with neither knowing who the other actually is. But Trent decides right then that this is the woman he wants for his duchess.  Then they are formally introduced and it is clear to Trent that Merry would really be good for his brother if only he, Trent could set aside his feelings.

This is a really delightful story of an American trying to fit into a role that she feels unequipped to handle and two men who have always competed with each other.  There are humorous moments and also times when everything seems to go wrong. I’m giving this book 4.5 stars because I vacillated between 4 or 5.  It is certainly a page turner that brings a smile.  The main characters are well drawn and the side characters add a bit of sparkle.  The book is too long. That is my opinion.  It could have packed the same punch with a good 40 pages taken out. But I still highly recommend it as a terrific read.

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Recent Release Review- The Rogue’s Wager by Christi Caldwell

the-rogues-wager

Title: The Rogue’s Wager (Sinful Brides book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Publisher: Montlake Romance and Brilliance Audio, Oct. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 338

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

London, 1821

Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he’s in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.

Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman’s gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She’s never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.

When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?

**

Helena and Robert fall in love while pretending, for the sake of Helena’s return to her bookkeeping, to be courting.  This is the predictable part of the novel.  What is especially refreshing is that during some of the action scenes the characters are actually acting like they have intelligence.  They are not doing foolish acts and even if there are some consequences they remain with their wits about them. This book has some very lush romantic scenes and equally nail-biting scary scenes.  There is a villain or two to ratchet up the angst.

I truly enjoyed this book. It is the first in the “Sinful Brides Series” and I look forward to the rest of the series featuring  Helena’s brothers in the gaming hell. It is a highly emotional read/listen.  I did listen to the audio version (it is also available on e-reader) and once again enjoyed Tim Campbell’s narration.  His ability to evoke both male and female character voices is top notch. He can pull you into a story to make you feel part of the environment.

 

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$0.99 on Kindle-The complete Works of Jane Austen

The Complete Works of Jane Austen

The Complete Works of Jane Austen includes all six novels, and Austen’s shorter works; Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition, and her complete Juvenilia. Jane Austen is famous for her six novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion. Her works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism, biting irony and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.

 

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Review- Brooke: Wagers Gone Awry by Collette Cameron

Brooke Wagers Gone awry

Title: Brooke: Wagers Gone Awry (Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper Book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Collette Cameron

Publisher: Blue Rose Romance,2015

Source: Purchase

Pages: 284

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Brooke Culpepper resigned herself to spinsterhood when she turned down the only marriage proposal she’d likely ever receive to care for her family. After her father dies, a distant cousin inherits the estate and becomes their guardian but permits Brooke to act in his stead. Heath, Earl of Ravensdale is none-too-pleased to discover five young women call the dairy farm he won and intends to sell, their home. Desperate, pauper poor, and with nowhere to go, Brooke proposes a wager. His stakes? The farm. Hers? Her virtue. The land holds no interest for Heath, but Brooke does and he accepts her challenge. Brooke loses, and her devastation is compounded when the cousin arrives, intending to haul the Culpepper misses off to London. Heath astounds himself and proposes in order to apply for guardianship of the other girls. Does Brooke dare marry the handsome stranger who’d been bent on compromising her? Will Heath regret his impulsive gesture, or will unexpected love flourish?

**

This being my first read of a novel by Colette Cameron I was pleasantly surprised to find another author to enjoy with a strong back list.  The story is outlined above so I won’t go into a repeat. Heath is a true hero with a caring heart and Brooke is a feisty woman who will do whatever it takes to protect and care for her family. I enjoyed both of these characters and the side characters of Brooke’s sister and cousins are well realized, as well as Heath’s friends Tristan and Hawke. I look forward to reading more in this series with book #2, Blythe now available.

(This delightful book is also  in the box-set “Proper Scoundrels” available on Kindle for $.99)

Proper Scoundrels

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Playing With Fire-Deet’s Keeper Shelves

These are some of my favorite books that will always be on my Keeper Shelves.  There are books and series by Kleypas, Quinn, Long, McLean, Reynolds, Adrian, Harris, Balogh, Wildes, Duran ,  Sands, etc. Every year I discover fabulous new to me authors. Now many are on my Kindle and they are not up on a shelf.  Do you have favorites that you won’t part with?(I took these photos playing with my Kindle Fire)

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Release Day Review- A Taste of Seduction by Bronwen Evans

 

Title: A Taste of Seduction (The Disgraced Lords, book #5)

A taste of seduction

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Bronwen Evans

Publisher: Loveswept, Aug 16, 2016 for Kindle

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 249

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Lady Evangeline Stuart chose to wed a tyrant with a title, or so society believes. That was five years ago—five long years she could have spent with her first and only love: Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore. Now Evangeline is a widow, and her soul cries out for Hadley. But when they see each other at last, everything has changed. The passion in his eyes has been corrupted by betrayal. Somehow Evangeline must regain Hadley’s trust—without revealing the secret that would spoil the seduction.

Hadley is determined not to be distracted by Evangeline. He and the other Libertine Scholars are in pursuit of an enemy who has been striking at them from the shadows, and Evangeline’s mere presence could be dangerous. But with one smile, one touch, one taste of Evangeline’s lips, Hadley’s resolve is overpowered by much more pleasant memories. As the two enter into a discreet affair, Hadley vows to give her his body, never his heart. That she will have to earn.

**

I have read a few of the books in this series about The Libertine Scholars. Their fathers were all rogues who debauched and reveled to a total disregard of proper comportment. Someone who was set upon by their fathers is looking to destroy the sons by murder or by ruination since the fathers are all dead now. For 5 books there has been the mystery of who is the person out for revenge. In this book we discover the culprit. The running mystery has been a very interesting side to the very steamy romances of the Libertine Scholars.

In this book Hadley Fullerton is a second son who has really taken over the reins of his brother, the Duke’s responsibilities of running the estate. But then Hadley has always protected and cared for his brother. Hadley was in love with Evangeline but just as they were to elope she married a Viscount. Hadley was broken hearted and seethed with anger at her betrayal.

Evangeline was forced into her marriage with the Viscount and lived in a brutal marriage for 5 years until his death. Following his demise she and her son come to London seeking out Hadley. But Hadley is angry and not forgiving.

As much as I have liked the other two books that I have read in this series, this book was just not as interesting for me. There was plenty of action, intrigue and sexy scenes but perhaps that was just what didn’t ring true. Having Evangeline go off and decide to “shack-up” with Hadley when he , up-front, says he may marry someone else just seemed too much to believe. Or perhaps, it just made me not like Evangeline for agreeing to this scenario.

I did like that we finally get to know who the person is behind the revenge attacks.

The Distinguished Lords Series:

  1. A Kiss of Lies
  2. A Promise of More (Deet’s rating 3.5 stars)
  3. A Touch of Passion
  4. A Whisper of Desire ( Deet’s rating 4 stars)
  5. A Taste of Seduction (Deet’s rating 3 stars)
  6. A Night of Forever ( pre-order available)

 

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Regency Era Transportation

(Once again I’m giving you a glimpse of an older post. but haven’t you wondered what all those carriages looked like?)

Regency Era Transportation

I read quite a few Regency Era romance novels.  There is always a mention of a horse drawn coach or carriage in every book, since these were the typical mode of transportation for the gentry and aristocracy.  The poor folks had to rely on walking.  Instead of wondering about what these vehicles looked like, I did a little research and thought perhaps you would like to see what they looked like also.  I got these pictures from Google Images and Bing Images, any errors I’m dumping at their feet.:-)

Phaeton– This one was very popular with the rakish fellas because it was so high, a ladder was often needed to get onto the seat,  and it got them noticed.  It also was dangerous, it could easily tip over, that made it attractive to the daredevils.  There was no side protection so mud splatters were to be expected. carriage phaeton

Curricle– Another fashionable carriage for the gentleman.  It was light weight and speedy.carriage curricle

Barouche– A popular summer carriage for the wealthy. It had a hood over one of the seats.carriage barouche

Landau– This one came in at the end of the Regency Era.  It was expensive and very showy, perfect for being seen in the park. (although to my mind not as elegant as the Barouche)Carriage CLassicLandau1

 

Town Coach– Similar to a Landau but with a hard roof.  It was also called a ‘Closed Carriage”.  The nobility often put their coat of arms on the door.carriage Town coach

Mail Coach– this needs little explanation.  It traveled the roads delivering the mail across England and those who wished to travel  from one place to another could purchase a seat.carriage mail coach

 Dog Cart– It was not a cart pulled by dogs.  It was a carriage used on estates that could hold the hunting dogs being transported to a hunt.carriage dog cart

 

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Flashback review- When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

(I posted this review back in 2011 but it deserves a reminder. Totally emo read.)

Title: When He was Wicked (#6 The Bridgerton Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: AVON 2004

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from the back of the book:

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same.

For Michael Stirling, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught and then turning the tables until he was the victor, of caressing and kissing and making love to them but never actually allowing his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and so hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing.

Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton a mere thirty-six hours longer; the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

**

This has to be the most emotionally engrossing novel in the Bridgerton Series.  The torment of Michael’s secret love, the torment of Francesca’s grief , their guilt and passion.  Well it is just the absolute best for a sentimental fool such as Moi.  Quinn knows how to write and brings to life the personalities of these two people so that we totally understand them and their feelings.  The romance is long in coming to fruition and perhaps people long denied would become so passionately free.   Quinn gives us a study in the consequence of guilt and how it can impact a relationship.  This is no light and fluffy read.  Have tissues handy and enjoy a good cry.

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Advance Review- Miss Frazer’s Adventure by Alexandra Ivy

Title: Miss Frazer’s Adventure

Miss Frazer's Adventure

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Alexandra Ivy (Debbie Raleigh)

Publisher: Lyrical Press, August 2, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 224

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Dear Reader,   Long before I wrote my sexy paranormal romances, I wrote traditional Regency romances as Debbie Raleigh. Now I’m thrilled to have them made available once more, as fresh and adventurous as ever…   To avoid the taint of her mother’s scandalous reputation, Miss Kate Frazer stifles her naturally high spirits to become a model of propriety. But when she is rewarded with a suitor who cares only for her dowry—and leaves her waiting at the altar on her wedding day—Kate determines that she will live as she chooses. Her first adventure will be a trip to London under an assumed name to enjoy the city’s delights. And woe to anyone who stands in her way—particularly her fiancé…   Lucius Calfield wasn’t looking forward to wedlock with the tediously suitable Kate Frazer. Still, he is chagrined when a violent storm makes him late for the ceremony. But embarrassment turns to astonishment when he finds that his fiancée has vanished entirely! And that is the least of the surprises his unaccountably changed—and unexpectedly irresistible bride—has in store…

**

This is not your current day Historical Romance.  There are no dastardly villains and not very much angst.  Oh sure, Kate’s decision to jilt Luce causes him angst, but it really doesn’t translate to the reader. I didn’t dislike this story but I did find it slow and a bit tedious. We are never quite sure of Lord Thorne’s intentions toward Kate so we don’t know if we should dislike him or champion him.  Perhaps he is a better match for our heroine.  Luce does need Kate’s dowry so there is no denying that aspect and perhaps she is correct in thinking he only wants her for her money.  That she agrees to go off with him to Brighton is a bit implausible since she has been adamant about having him leave her alone.  The falling-in-love is a bit too slick.

The dialog was believable and seemed to fit the period which is always a plus for me. I got a true feeling of regency London and the entertainments it afforded a young woman. So, yes, this read was just a little better than “okay”.

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Review- The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie

Title: The Spring Bride (The Chance Sisters, book #3)

Gracie spring bride

Genre: Historical Regency romance

Author: Anne Gracie

Publisher: Berkley, June 2015

Source: Public Library

Pages: 308

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog. Zachary Black is all kinds of unsuitable—a former spy, now in disguise, he’s wanted for murder. His instructions: to lie low until his name is cleared. But Zach has never followed the rules, and he wants Jane Chance for his own. If that means blazing his way into London society, in whatever guise suits him, that’s what he’ll do. Jane knows she shouldn’t fall in love with this unreliable, if devastatingly attractive, rogue. But Zach is determined—and he‘s a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

**

Another yummy story of those delightful Chance sisters.  This time it is Jane, who wants a marriage of convenience to a wealthy titled gentleman so that she will never again be cold or hungry and feel unsafe and she wants the same for her children to come. She believes that she will grow to love whomever she marries, even her betrothed, chubby, balding, Lord Cambury.  That is until a dark, dangerous, gypsy looking man saves her from a gang of youthful thugs and keeps contriving ways to see her. Zach Black is not a gypsy but an Earl recently returned from the continent to claim his title but he discovers he is wanted for a murder he did not commit.  Meeting Jane was not on his list of priorities but she quickly becomes his number one priority.

Anne Gracie has a marvelous way of making a story come to life with strong personalities and unique plots.  Here we have a strong heroine who is bent on saving the man she has fallen in love with.  There is some deceit, some misunderstanding, some strong sexual tension, some action and adventure all adding up to a page turning delight.

Please read this series from the beginning but this is a standalone novel if you must.

(Now I have just the latest book to read.  I will be disappointed that this series will come to an end.)

The Chance Sisters Series:

 

  1. The Autumn Bride (Abby and Max)
  2. The Winter Bride (Demaris and Freddy)
  3. The Spring Bride (Jane and Zach)
  4. The Summer Bride (Daisy and Flynn)

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