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Currently Browsing: historical romance
Jan
27

Review: Seducing Liberty

Review: Seducing Liberty Seducing Liberty Author: D.L. Jackson  Release Date: Nov. 7, 2011 Publisher: Decadent Publishing One Night Stand Series ISBN: #978-1613331521 Genre: Erotic Romance, time travel, historical/contemporary Format(s): e-book (12k wds.) Book Source: Publisher About the book: Out of the mists of time, rides a story of espionage, love, and a 1Night Stand. When Ryann Summers, an actress playing the role of Lady Liberty, an Agent in Washington’s Culper spy ring, asks Madame Eve of 1Night Stand for a date, a night she’ll never forget—where her identity is kept secret—she gets more than she bargained for. Now she’s caught in the middle of the American Revolution and between two of the sexiest men she’s ever set eyes on. If she can survive the musketballs and the invading British forces, she just might find everything she’s been searching for—sex hot enough to set the sea on fire. What B is talking about: Seducing Liberty begins with a history lesson, and Jackson has clearly done her homework. One of the most well kept secrets of the Revolutionary War was the Culper Spy Ring, which operated in New York for General George Washington. Underneath the big clashes and key players in the war, these men and women fought another, equally perilous, battle for information that could be used against the British.  Madelyn Summers, recently betrothed and the daughter of a staunch British loyalist, refuses to accept her fate as a “brood mare,” and instead decides to help the rebels by passing them any military secrets she overhears. With tempting curves and a figure described as “lush,” Madelyn would be a dream come true for any man of the day. If only she weren’t so willful, of course. But a series of mishaps soon reveals that she’s not the only spy under her father’s roof.  The story then shifts to New Hampshire in the year 2011. Ryann Summers is a well-known movie actress portraying a Revolutionary spy. Unfortunately, being a star with curves in an age when chivalry seems dead isn’t pleasant, especially when working with two hot, but unavailable costars has given her a hunger for a ménage a trois.  From here on, Jackson tosses the rules out the window. Ryann thinks what she wants is impossible, given her status as an A-list actress. Luckily for her, with Madame Eve and her 1 Night Stand dating service, anything is possible. Ryann takes the reader through two more time shifts and a lot of sexy...
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Jan
18

Review: Bride By Mistake

Review: Bride By Mistake Bride By Mistake Author: Anne Gracie  Release Date: Jan. 3, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Sensation The Devil Riders #5 ISBN: #978-0425245798  Genre: Regency, Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Eight years ago, Lieutenant Luke Ripton made a hasty wartime marriage-in-name-only to protect a young girl from a forced union and left her protected in a remote mountain convent.  Now, Luke is Lord Ripton, but he has been unable to obtain an annulment.  Which leaves him no choice but to collect a wife he doesn’t want. For nearly a decade, Isabella has waited like a princess locked in a tower, dreaming of her handsome, dark-eyed prince.  Her dreams are shattered when Luke reveals himself not as a prince, but an autocratic soldier, expecting her unquestioning obedience, which is something Isabella’s fiercely independent nature will not tolerate. And while Luke and Isabella’s fiery personalities clash at every turn, they remain bound to their vows, ever expecting that the passionate fury they share could become passion of a different kind… What Nima’s talking about: When I saw the title of Anne Gracie’s Bride By Mistake, I have to admit that my first thought was of Deeanne Gist’s 2005 novel, A Bride Most Begrudging.  Gist’s book is very loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”  Bride By Mistake does deal with issues of respect, obedience, and submissiveness, but bears no other resemblance to the earlier novel.   The Devil Riders series follows four of five best friends, Gabe, Harry, Rafe, Michael, and Luke, labeled in school as, “Wellington’s Angels or his Devil Riders, depending on who you talk to.”  Bride by Mistake is the fifth installment and follows the last hold-out, the most haunted by his experience during England’s war with France.  This is Luke’s story of recovery, redemption, and true love.  The action in Luke’s story takes place almost exclusively in Spain with virtually no interaction between him and his friends back in England so it stands alone very nicely if you haven’t read the previous books.   Gracie’s novel splits the narration, vocal and internal, between Lieutenant, newly titled Lord, Luke Ripton and Spanish heiress Isabella Mercedes Sanchez y Vaillant Ripton.  Luke begins the book as a haunted bad boy, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, with the secret heart of a gentleman–always duty-bound to do the right thing and protect the innocent.  You just want to spank him, send him to bed…and then...
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Dec
21

Review: Her Christmas Pleasure

Review: Her Christmas Pleasure Her Christmas Pleasure Author: Karen Erickson  Release Date: Nov. 28, 2011 Publisher: Carina Press The Merry Widows series #2 Genre: Historical Romance, novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book: Damien Morton is madly in love. Unfortunately, it’s with his best friend’s widow, Lady Danver. Damien is not worthy of Celia. Or so he thinks. Desperate to escape his feelings for her, he plans to leave the country at the first of the year. Celia treats him as a family friend and nothing more—until they share a heated kiss beneath the mistletoe… Celia is shocked by the passions that surge within her at her dear friend’s kiss. One touch and one taste aren’t enough to satisfy her cravings, and she is startled into action. Damien has stirred something inside her that she never expected to experience again, and she must have more. Full of shameless desire and emotions newly discovered, she decides to pursue Damien and won’t be deterred. Will she be able to convince him to stay—both in her heart and life—forever? What VampBard’s talking about: What a lovely little read for a Sunday morning! You know, some people read the paper over coffee? I read a novella. Ms. Erickson definitely had a winning combination with Damian and Celia’s chemistry in Her Christmas Pleasure.  Even though Damian is the bestie of Celia’s departed husband, it doesn’t stop his heart from loving her. He doesn’t feel he’s worthy of her love, doesn’t feel that she even cares about him, and is wrestling with his upcoming move out of the country, where he won’t even be able to see Celia for an indefinite period of time.  Celia, on the other hand, seems to be empowered to make things happen in her life. All it took was a teeny-tiny kiss under the mistletoe to set-in-motion a series of rather fortunate events, bringing Celia and Damian together *finally*. Strange thing? Celia’s in-laws (yes, the parents of her dead husband) condoned the relationship. I actually thought it was pretty cool.  Even though historical fiction isn’t really my cup-o-tea, Her Christmas Pleasure was a great read for Sunday morning coffee. Author & editors did a great job – the Grammar Police didn’t have to prevent my latte from spewing on my Kindle this morning 🙂 Strong characters, and detailed situations (and HOT ‘coupling’ – keeping it in the time period!) provided an excellent base for a novella that was a nice, quick read....
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Sep
23

Review: To Seduce An Angel

Review: To Seduce An Angel To Seduce An Angel Author: Kate Moore  Release Date: September 6, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Son of Sins #3 ISBN: #978-0425243695 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: In book three Kit has become Daventry, a warrior angel trapped in a gilded cage who wants to free his family with a decisive defeat of the old duke. In a daring move that breaks all the rules of his safe life, he hires Emma Portland. Everything about Emma is a lie except her love. Alone, pursued by spies, falsely accused of a murder she didn’t commit, Emma must spy for the Duke of Wenlocke against Daventry. If she doesn’t play by Wenlocke’s rules, she dies. Emma passes herself off as a tutor to Daventry’s lost boys as she plans her next escape. What she doesn’t plan on is falling in love. To Seduce an Angel is the story of two lovers caught between the deadly pull of their past lives and the demands of the future. What VampBard’s talking about: What’s not to love about the title ‘To Seduce an Angel‘?  I’m thinking to myself, “ok, maybe I’ll find me a lil’ paranormal in here among what seems to be historical romance…”  Nope.  BUT… this was a GREAT story!  Murder, espionage, and just plain bad guys doing bad things surround the beautifully crafted story about Emma finding her way, through a web of deceit, to Dav.  As a group of boys learn to trust their trial teacher, it gives their guardian time to figure out his true feelings for her.   I seriously loved Emma, our heroine.  She was strong and willing to do what was necessary for the happiness of those she loved.  Yeah, martyr.  But it’s cool.  What I think drew me the most to her was the fact that she was teaching the boys, and yet she was still so drawn to Dav in the most caring, yet sexual way.   The boys in the story created a bit of comic relief and additional action, as well as assisting with plot movement.  I don’t think that the plot would have worked as effectively without them. As for Dav… I picture him as a bulkier John Stamos (back when he was doing Full House).  Jus’ sayin’.  While Dav is doing battle to prove he ‘deserves’ his title as Daventry, he really doesn’t feel worthy of the job.  Some of his life experiences when...
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Sep
19

Review: Romancing the Countess

Review: Romancing the Countess Please welcome my guest, Angela, who brings you today’s review of… Romancing the Countess Author: Ashley March  Release Date: September 6, 2011 Publisher: Signet Romancing #1 ISBN: #978-0451234513 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, thought he’d married the perfect woman-until a fatal accident revealed her betrayal with his best friend. After their deaths, Sebastian is determined to avoid a scandal for the sake of his son. But his best friend’s widow is just as determined to cast her mourning veil aside by hosting a party that will surely destroy both their reputations and expose all of his carefully kept secrets… Leah George has carried the painful knowledge of her husband’s affair for almost a year. All she wants now is to enjoy her independence and make a new life for herself-even if that means being ostracized by the Society whose rules she was raised to obey. Now that the rumors are flying, there’s only one thing left for Sebastian to do: silence the scandal by enticing the improper widow into becoming a proper wife. But when it comes to matters of the heart, neither Sebastian nor Leah is prepared for the passion they discover in each other’s arms…. What Ang is talking about: I love a good romance one in which there is foreplay, intelligent conversations, witty banter and an opportunity to get to know the characters. Ashley March did a fabulous job of giving me all these elements in her book Romancing the Countess. Leah and Sebastian are strong willed, determined people who dealing with the rules of Victorian England and their spouse’s deaths and affair in very different ways.  Ways that could cost them both everything unless something drastic happens. It is on this path to the drastic that we watch them fall in love. March captures the pain of self realization and of learning to give oneself wholly to another beautifully and she does it with wit and banter reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice. The people surrounding our characters are the perfect accent, the scenery is wonderful and sets the perfect backdrop for our characters and their story, the verbal foreplay is delicious and the lovemaking well worth the wait. My only complaints are that I wish we would have gotten to know more of Sebastian and his inner workings as we did Leah. In addition, I felt that the language at the...
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Sep
7

Review: Kissing Comfort

Review: Kissing Comfort Kissing Comfort Author: Jo Goodman Release Date: September 6, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Sensation ISBN: #978-0425243909 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (400 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Bode DeLong knows that his playboy brother Bram isn’t really in love with Miss Comfort Kennedy, even though it’s clear that she’s enamored with him. With Bram’s motives for the engagement suspect, Bode figures the safest place for Comfort to be is in his arms. Now, Bode just needs to convince Comfort that the childhood fancy she has for his brother is no match for the incredible desire that sparks between them every time they touch. What VampBard’s talking about: I must say that Kissing Comfort started out as a book I thought I’d probably not finish.  I’m not really a fan of historical romance, but when Twimom gave me a chance to read one (it’s been awhile) I thought, ‘hey, why not!’.  Let’s just say, I need to be in the right frame of mind to read historical romance – otherwise dialect and grammar issues get in the way for me. Brief synopsis:  Two Texas Rangers find a small child orphaned at the sight of a slaughter on the road to California in the early days of the West.  She was raised by them, and they ended up making a good life for the threesome.  The child was raised as the niece to the two TX Rangers, and no one was the wiser.  As time marched on, the girl, Comfort, grew into an intelligent woman.  From the time of her coming-out party, she seemed to be chums with Bram.  Bram surprised Comfort early on in the book with the announcement of their engagement at a birthday party for his brother, who was detained for some yet-to-be-revealed (until the end of the book) reason.  Comfort learns a lot about herself, her origins, and the way she wants a man to treat her over the course of the book, which can’t be more than several weeks.  Goodman really did a great job with her research and bringing the west during the time of the gold rush to life.  I felt as though I were wearing petticoats and the fancy-schmantzy hats.  The one thing that did annoy me throughout the book was her choice of character names.  The two brothers, both competing for Comfort Kennedy’s affections, were named Bode and Bram.  While that might not be close for some people, it was...
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Aug
22

Review: The Dragon’s Bride

Review: The Dragon’s Bride Please welcome new, part-time reviewer, Nissan Mama, aka “Nima.” She brings you today’s review. For more info about Nima, click HERE.  The Dragon’s Bride Author: Jo Beverley  Release Date: August 2, 2011 (re-release) Publisher: NAL The Company of Rogues #7 ISBN: #978-0451233400 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Con Somerford, Viscount Amleigh, is not pleased to have inherited the Earldom of Wyvern and the monstrous house that goes with it. He’s even less pleased when the first person he encounters there is Susan Kerslake with a pistol in her hands. Susan and he have a past, a bitter one. The years in between, however, have been years of war. That must, surely, have armed him so he can resist her, and deal with the smuggling with which she is clearly involved. What Nima is talking about: “The Company of Rogues” is a band of twelve friends who met at Harrow School in their youth and bestowed this title upon themselves.  They came from different backgrounds and prided themselves as anti-bullies, “opposing oppression from all quarters.”  As I understand it, each book in this series is the romance of one of the Rogues, except two who died while on active military duty.  Other books in this series have been written as spin-offs utilizing the same Regency time period and background of established characters. I preface my thoughts with the disclaimer that I have not read the previous six books in the series and this was the first work of Jo Beverley that I have ever read.  My first impression was that The Dragon’s Bride wasn’t bad.  It also wasn’t great.  It’s been my experience that as an author gets to know her characters and the rules of the world she creates well, either her writing improves with each book because she can build what she’s already written OR the writing slacks off, taking the reader for granted.  The Dragon’s Bride felt to me like the latter.   In fact, this particular book read like a “B” movie of Hollywood’s Golden-Age.  I never mentally pictured a rich, layered countryside with a dark and brooding castle…I pictured Bing Crosby and Rhonda Flemming dressed up in modern fabrics and hairstyles, designed to look not historically accurate, but the way a modern audience would expect them to look, bowing to every stereotype.   How do you have multi-generational smugglers and rogues, but still make everyone friendly...
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Aug
16

Review: Redeeming the Rogue

Review: Redeeming the Rogue Please welcome my friend, Maggi who is writing a guest review of: Redeeming the Rogue Author: Donna MacMeans  Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Sensation ISBN: #978-0425242674 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: As an agent for the Crown, Michael Rafferty is on the trail of a violent Irish separatist in Washington, D.C. But to complete his disguise as a diplomat, he needs Lady Arianne Chambers to portray his wife. As she teaches the rough Rafferty about high society, he teaches her to unleash the passions she has denied for so long… What Mags is talking about: I do not typically read historical romance; I am a paranormal romance girl through and through! That being said, this book took me by surprise!  If you are like me and are unsure of the genre, DO NOT write this book off just because it is a HR.  I would pack this book in my beach bag any day. I liked the way the relationship between Lady Arianne and Rafferty developed slowly. Where slow could have been boring, it wasn’t. Instead it was carefully crafted sexual tension that left me fanning myself quite a few times. I connected well with the characters and enjoyed their witty bantering; I even hit the emotional trifecta: laughing, crying and nail biting. I could easily visualize both London and Washington D.C. in 1881 from the clothes to the cityscape. My favorite part of the writing was how the historically accurate story of President Garfield’s assassination intertwined with the fictional murder of Lord Weston. It gave the story an angle that was unique to other books in this genre. There were a couple of parts during the voyage across the ocean that was dragging a bit.  I will say that I was very happy when our couple made it to the American coastline. In addition, the storyline of Lady Arianne’s escort, Mrs. Summers, was not very interesting, and her character got on my nerves.  Overall, I enjoyed Redeeming the Rogue. I would recommend it to historical romance fans and also to fans of easy Sunday afternoon reads. I most certainly would read this author again. Mags’ Rating: Loved it – enthusiastically...
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Aug
11

Review: Catriona

Review: Catriona Catriona Author: Jeanette Baker  Release Date: August 1, 2011 Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca ISBN: #978-1402255861 Genre: Paranormal/Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (385 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Catriona… Kate Sutherland always felt out of place in brash and modern Southern California. But when she comes to her ancestral home in the Shetland Islands to seek a mystical guide who may shed light on her true heritage, she is caught between the present day and visions of a life from five centuries past…. A fiery young woman of royal English blood, Catriona Wells is determined to save her family from the deadly political clashes of 15th-century Britain. But Cat’s cunning is no match for Scottish border lord Patrick MacKendrick. When this powerful warrior betroths her against her will, Cat must decide whether she dares to love him–and to trust him with lives that are more precious to her than her own. What G & U are talking about: Catriona is a standalone novel that claims to mix paranormal with historical romance.  Based on the description, Una and Gikany feel let down.  As we have previously stated, we are not contemporary romance people.  We also are very picky when it comes to historical romance (Gikany more so than Una).  Gikany and Una prefer the element of the paranormal in our romance stories.  With Catriona we thought we would be getting a good mix.  We didn’t. The most glaring issue we found is the main character, Kate, suffers from and gives the reader, whiplash.  She is on or off, hot or cold.  She takes a stance and then without much pressure, she’ll just switch.  This flashing back and forth was very unrealistic.   The interactions between Kate and her modern day love interest extenuate this.  We really wish Niall had just walked away, he deserved better and she would deserve the heartache from losing him.  It is very difficult to walk in the main character’s shoes when you wish she would just disappear. Another major issue is the transitions between the historic portion and the contemporary.  They are not smooth for the most part and depending on the reader’s perspective can be just summed up as a huge dream.  This “twice-lived” paranormal element is just a bunch of woo-woo; she dreamed it all in an effort to explain her “emo-ness.” In fact, Una found herself wanting to skip over the modern day portions so she could get back to the historical...
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Jul
13

Review: Heartbreak Creek

Review: Heartbreak Creek Heartbreak Creek Author: Kaki Warner  Release Date: July 5, 2011 Publisher: Berkley Trade Runaway Brides trilogy #1 ISBN: #978-0425241226 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Honest, hard-working widower, age thirty-three, seeks sturdy English-speaking woman to help with mountain ranch and four children. Drinkers, whores, and gamblers need not apply.       Not very romantic, but after one disastrous marriage, widowed Edwina Ladoux isn’t looking for romance.  What she wants is safety for herself and her half-sister, and a way out of the war-torn South, even if she has to offer herself up as a mail order bride to a stranger a thousand miles away in the Colorado Rockies.  But she hadn’t reckoned on Declan Brodie.      Declan’s first wife ran off with a gambler and was later killed by Indians.  He has no desire to saddle himself with another—and her mulatto “traveling companion”.  But his children need a mother, and he needs help to keep his mountain ranch running, and the proxy papers are already signed.  But there’s something odd about those two. A connection he doesn’t quite understand.  But at least the companion can cook. What Angela is talking about:      Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner is the story of a young woman who leaves her home in the war-torn south to become a mail order bride in the wild frontier of Colorado to a widow with four children.      I this book to be a great beach bag read and a fun escape for an afternoon. It was a light easy read with fairly interesting characters and beautiful scenery that was so well described that I could picture everything from the overgrown gardens in war-torn Louisiana to the rugged beauty of the unsettle Colorado territory. It made me laugh out loud in a few places and had me holding my breath in others.      That being said I felt like parts of the book were lacking. The relationship between Edwina and Pru is something I expected to be more fully developed and instead I felt got shelved for other characters like Thomas and Sally. This might have worked had the author not also been trying to explore several other characters at the same time. Leaving a variety of unanswered questions which made it hard for me to continue moving forward, for example Lucinda’s past is touched on but we never really get the back story...
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