Tag Archives: Regency Romance

8 Fridays ‘Til Christmas Review- Holiday House Parties by Elizabeth Mansfield

holiday-house-parties

Title: Holiday House Parties

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/Novellas

Author: Elizabeth Mansfield

Publisher: Open Road Media, Oct. 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 117

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon.com:

Unlikely lovers find passion under the Christmas mistletoe in this duet of Regency tales from an award-winning romance author.

In “The Girl with Airs,” Lord Dunvegan—Laird Geordie to his friends—attempts to persuade bluestocking Caroline Woolcott to give his besotted, tongue-tied friend Sir Archibald Halford a chance to win her hand in marriage. A Scotsman banished to England to cultivate a more genteel manner, Geordie has yet to meet a female who tempts him to settle down. It certainly isn’t the headstrong lass who wants nothing to do with Archie—or Geordie. But then Geordie’s father decides the standoffish Caroline would make an ideal bride for his wayward son, and a sizzling kiss in the doorway of a grand Lancashire estate turns two warring hearts to love . . .

** Deet’s Thoughts: This is a very cute story in spite of Caroline’s grumpy demeanor. She frequently berates him for his use of Scottish expressions.  Archie finds another lady more interesting so there is no impediment to Geordie’s pursuit, if he was so inclined. We do wonder if these two will manage to get together. Christmasy feeling: 4

In “A Sneeze on Tuesday,” Elinor Selby succumbs to the worst cold she’s ever known five days before Christmas, and her entire future takes a catastrophic turn. After an absence of five years, Elinor’s betrothed, Julian Henshaw, Lord Lovebourne, is due home any day. Were it not for her quick-thinking, curmudgeonly neighbor, Miles Endicott, on whom she’s relied since childhood, she might not be able to cope with the momentous reunion. But then an unexpected series of events forces Elinor and Miles to take part in a scandalous deception that will ignite a firestorm of longing and love.

** Deet’s Thoughts: Julian makes his biggest homecoming mistake in thinking Elinor’s cousin is Elinor and gives her a hug.  It’s been five years and Elinor has changed but she didn’t think that much of a change.  Elinor thinks herself indispensable around the house and because of her over active demeanor she ends up sick in bed for the holiday.  Miles is the one person she has been able to count on and they do realize that they are destined to fall in love.  A nother cute story with plenty of Christmassy spirit. Christmassy Feeling: 5

These two stories are perfect reads for your hectic holiday season. They are short, filled with Christmassy feeling and give you happily ever afters.

Sexy Santa compliments of Deet

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[DS1]

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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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One Thursday ‘Til Christmas Review- ‘Twas The Night After Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries

Title: ‘Twas The Night After Christmas (the Hellions of Halstead Hall, book #6)

Twas the night after Christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Pocketbooks, 2012

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has never forgiven his parents for inexplicably abandoning him to distant relatives as a child. Nevertheless, when he receives word that the stranger he calls “Mother” is gravely ill, the unabashed rogue makes a rare return to Montcliff, his country estate. There he finds that the woman is perfectly healthy—and that he has fallen for a cunning ruse crafted by her lady’s companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart. The lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce, is determined to reconcile the Earl and Lady Devonmont. None of them can predict the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers, each haunted by their pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember—and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.

**

Here we have a good book with a serious plot that Ms. Jeffries relieves with spots of humor, a story of true love between two damaged souls who heal each other and loved ones around them.

There is a strong feeling of winter and Christmas spirit. I found it hard to put this book down because I kept turning pages to find out what the scandalous family secret was all about. It was not as predictable as I thought while reading, although it explained the reluctance of the characters to reveal their secrets. All was tied up in a neat Christmas package at the end although I felt it could have been a bit shorter than its 392 pages.

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Recent Release Review- When The Rogue Returns by Sabrina Jeffries

Title:  When The Rogue Returns (Book #2, The Duke’s Men Series)

When the Rogue Returns

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Simaon and Schuster, January 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

They are the Duke’s Men: an investigative agency born from family pride and irresistible passion, risking their lives—and sometimes their hearts—as they unravel shocking deceptions and scandalous transgressions!

Victor Cale never imagined that his sweet, shy bride, Isabella, would use her talent for creating exquisite imitation jewels in a criminal way. But there’s no denying that Isa’s handiwork was used in the brazen heist of the Dutch royal family’s diamonds—after she disappeared into the night.

Ten years later, still reeling from her betrayal and enraged that her duplicitous side was so undetectable, Victor is sent to Edinburgh to investigate a wealthy baron’s mysterious bride-to- be. Simple enough—until the “fiancée” proves to be Isa, masquerading as an alluring young widow.

No longer the meek and mild girl he once knew, the bold woman vehemently asserts that it was Victor who abandoned her after he helped steal the royal diamonds! Piecing together the truth of the past reawakens their volatile passion, which burns hotter than ever. But with a decade of secrets between them, Victor and Isa must trust each other in order to bring the real thieves to justice—without getting burned themselves.

**

No simpering misses here, no ballrooms and, more or less, a the-ton-be-d*&%ed attitude.  Yes! Not your usual historical romance.  I will not repeat the fine description given.  This is a book rife with misunderstandings and the resolution of a decade of deception.  There is lots of action and our hero and heroine are somewhat reluctant to trust each other, with good reason.  But, their happily ever after cannot come about until some old wounds are not only healed but expunged.  Ms Jeffries gives us a unique look at the Regency era and a welcome addition to her “The Duke’s Men Series”.  Well developed characters, in a standalone book with plenty of reference to the protagonists past.  I recommend this book to all Sabrina Jeffries fans and those who like an infusion of originality in their Historical Romances.

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5 Fridays Til Christmas Review- All I Want For Christmas Is A Duke by Marvelle & Clairemont

Title:  All I Want For Christmas Is A Duke

All I want for Christmas is a Duke

Genre: Holiday Historical Romance(Anthology)

Author:  Delilah Marvelle and Maire Claremont

Publisher:  Entangled, Scandelous, Dec. 2012

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Description from amazon.com:

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle (a Novella)

Lady Jane left her father, the Earl of Chadwick, and the ton behind to experience life on the stage. After a disastrous marriage, the widow is living on the edge of poverty, determined to guard her heart, when a secret admirer from her past demands a second chance.

Shy and retiring Martin Nicholas Pierce, the Sixth Duke of Somerset, has carried a torch for Lady Jane since her youth, but he is five years her junior. When she married another man, he left for Europe, determined to put her out of his mind. After returning to find Lady Jane free, he vows to replace the memories of her cursed Twelfth Night with a new beginning.

Deet’s review: This was my first introduction to the writing of Delilah Marvelle and I am very impressed and I can’t wait to read her long form novels.  This is a lovely story of lost and found love.  It has a hero we can admire and a heroine who’s past is deserving to be made right.  It is also a younger man/older woman story which is refreshing.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Christmasy Feeling: 4  stars

The Twelve Days of Seduction By Máire Claremont(a novella)

Alexander Hunt, Eighth Duke of Berresford, is aware his ward’s governess isn’t quite what she seems. Although Miss Flint is beautiful and intelligent, she misrepresented herself to gain employment, and he threatens to give her the sack mere days before Christmas.

Desperate to convince the sexy duke not to tear her from the little girl she’s grown to adore, Adriana challenges him to seduce her before the Twelve Days of Christmas have come to an end, although she fears it may cost her heart. Alexander accepts the challenge, unconcerned that he has as much to lose, if not more, than the delectable Miss Flint

Deet’s review: Contrary to the description blurb the “seduction” that Alexander is embarks upon is to seduce Miss Flint into remaining with him as his mistress not just to get her into his bed as a one-time event.  Of course they do start an affair and the interesting bit is how they both fall in love.  Well written and nice character development.

Deet’s Rating:4 stars

Christmasy Feeling: 5 stars

**

This is a wonderful intro to these two authors.  I highly recommend this book for a warm hearted holiday read. Quick reads to cuddle up with during the holidays.

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Coming next Friday:

Starry Night

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Review- The sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

Title: The Sum Of All Kisses

The Sum of All Kisses

 Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Avon, 2013

Source: Purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Sarah Pleinsworth can’t forgive Hugh Prentice for the duel he fought three years ago that nearly destroyed her family, sent her cousin fleeing, and left Hugh himself with a badly injured leg. That’s fine with Hugh, who can’t tolerate Sarah’s dramatic ways. But when the two are forced to spend a week together, they find that unexpected kisses, and mutual passion, may have the power to change both of their minds.

**

I thought this the third in the Smythe-Smith Series was the best yet.  I had missed the bantering family feel that was so delightful in the Bridgerton Series and seemed in short supply in the first books of this series, but this book captured all of that once more with the Pleinsworth girls and the Smythe-Smith daughters.  Here we not only have a hero bogged down in guilt but we have a heroine who initially has every intention of making him pay for past deeds.  There is a villain whom we revile and whom our heroine takes to task.  The romance is slow to build, the dialog wickedly witty and the book splendidly entertaining.

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6 Fridays til Christmas Review- Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

Title: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait

Genre:  Holiday Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebook/Casablanca, Sept 24, 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Description from amazon.com:

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

**

Lady Jenny is a daughter of her time, the early 19th century, where women are not expected to have value above being objects for breeding children and running households.  That is why her family sees her painting ability as “hobby” rather than the professional brilliance that it is.  They expect her to marry well or spend her life as a spinster, devoted and doting as aunt to her brother’s and sister’s children.  Lady Jenny has other plans; she is going to go to Paris where women artists are accepted….at least that is her plan for after the holidays.

Elijah, Earl of Bernward, has spent his life developing his art and his recognition as a portraitist.  When he meets Lady Jenny at her brother’s house he is impressed with her artistic ability and appalled at her family’s inability to recognize it. Jenny asks to assist him in his painting of her nephews’ portrait.  Mutual interest in painting and art develops into a romance that appears doomed by the ambition of both artists.

“ He brought fistfuls of gold forward over her shoulders and buried his face in the abundance of it.  “if I live to be a hundred, the scent of Jasmine will bring me back to this moment.”…..

“When I’m in Paris, I will miss you, Elijah.  If I live to be a hundred, I will miss you.” “

This lusciously romantic novel will leave you enthralled with these characters for days if not for always.  Burrowes brings us a well researched look at artists and their dedication to their art set in the Regency Era. This is book #8 in Ms. Burrowes’ Windham Series and an utter delight as well as a standalone novel.

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Next Friday’s Review:

All I want for Christmas is a Duke

 

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New Release Review- A Man Above Reproach by Evelyn Pryce

Title: A Man Above Reproach

A Man above Reproach

Genre:  Historical Romance, late Regency

Author: Evelyn Pryce

Publisher: Montlake Romance, Oct. 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

In 1830s London, scandalous whispers surround the pub known as the Sleeping Dove, a hidden bordello catering to nobles eager to shed the trappings of their stations. Josephine Grant knows the rumors are true—she plays piano at the Dove and is known only as the “Bawdy Bluestocking” to the pub’s faithful.

The reluctant Duke of Lennox is called “The Uncatchable” by society ladies, not that he cares for them or their nicknames. Elias Addison’s estate was thrust upon him when his father died, and it has been little else but a burden.

When a friend brings him to the Sleeping Dove in an attempt to lighten his mood, the Duke of Lennox finds himself at the Bawdy Bluestocking’s piano, and together they begin to play a dangerous melody. Though Elias cannot resist courting her, she has a past to protect, a shaky future, and no time for frivolous nobility with soft hands. When the Duke uncovers the truth, will he wish he had never heard the tune?

**

Yes, this is predictable and has been done before but the writing here is very good and the character development is excellent.  If we must stretch our disbelief about a Duke courting a supposed commoner than that is what we have done before and it is worth doing it again for the sheer pleasure of this book.  I liked it, a lot.  I enjoyed hours of escape from the daily mundane.  It is a true romance lover’s delight. This new author has wonderful promise and I will look for her books in the future.

2013 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Romance

I like this cover.  I know… he has all his clothes on…. but he is a Duke and a rather serious one at that.

 

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Recent Release Review- To All The Rakes I’ve Loved Before by Anne Barton (novella)

Title:  To All The Rakes I’ve Loved Before

To All The Rakes I've Loved Before

Genre:  Historical Romance Novella

Author: Anne Barton

Publisher: Grand Central, Forever, Sept 3, 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

After being jilted by her former beau, Miss Amelia Wimple retreated to her Mayfair town house and her ever-growing collection of gossips rags. Now, almost two years later, not even her beloved cousins, Rose and Olivia Sherbourne, can persuade her to give love another chance. But an unexpected midnight caller may open her heart once more.

Lord Stephen Brookes is the prince of pleasure, the duke of decadence-and it seems his exploits have finally caught up with him. When Stephen comes to Amelia seeking refuge, she can’t deny him . . . or the intense desire he sparks. As he attempts to heal her broken heart, they indulge in a private passion unlike anything either has experienced. Stephen knows sweet, sensual Amelia is meant to be his one and only. Now, he will do whatever it takes to convince her that a rake really can change his ways.
(25,000 words)

**

This is a well written regency historical romance novella.  When Stephen, Lord Brookes lands on Amelia’s doorstep beaten to a pulp she agrees to take him in and call a doctor.  Amelia’s mother is away and although she knows it is improper she agrees to keep Stephen at her home for a few days while he recovers from his wounds.  I think we can say that the rest of the story is quite predictable but Barton does have a way with deft characterization .

This is a lovely story for a quick read to satisfy your urge for some hot regency ro

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Review- In The Arms of A Marquess by Katharine Ashe

Title:  In The Arms of A Marquess (Book #3, Rogues of the Sea Series)

In The Arms of a Marquess

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Katharine Ashe

Publisher: Avon, 2011

Source: Kindle purchase, $.99

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

She had never forgotten him…

Miss Octavia Pierce is witty, well off, and shockingly unwed. Still, she is far too successful in society to remain on the shelf forever, and her family has hopes that Octavia will finally make the perfect match. What they do not know is that years earlier Octavia was scandalously tempted by the one man capable of sweeping her off her feet—the man now known as the Marquess of Doreé.

A third son, never meant to inherit, Lord Ben Doreé has abandoned his past and grown accustomed to his illustrious new position of wealth and power. But he has never forgotten Octavia, and now she desperately needs his help in a most dangerous, clandestine matter. Although she claims she has put the memories of the passion they shared behind her, Ben is determined to once again have her in his arms—and in his bed.

**

As is my usual, I have never read this author and picked up for my first encounter book #3 in one of her series.  This book is a standalone story but I can’t help but think I might not have been as puzzled if I had read about some of the other characters first.  Don’t get me wrong, this was not a big problem and should not keep anyone from reading this very good book starting with this very affordable one currently at $.99 for the Kindle edition (as of 8/2/2013).

Ms Ashe has done her homework which has brought to life Colonial India and the English who occupied the country.  She pulls us out of India to take us back to London where Octavia and Ben meet again after seven years apart.  These two had a passionate encounter in India and when they meet again the air sizzles once more.  But there are complications and Ms Ashe treats us to mystery and action and evil along with super sizzling sex scenes. I look forward to reading more from this author.

 

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