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Currently Browsing: historical romance
Jul
15

Review: Tempting a Devil by Samantha Kane

Review: Tempting a Devil by Samantha Kane Tempting a Devil Author: Samantha Kane Release Date: July 8, 2013 Publisher: Loveswept The Saint’s Devils #2 ISBN: #9780345537928 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       As wealthy and beautiful as she is desperate, Harriet Mercer can have any man she wants—which makes picking the worst of the lot quite easy. By convincing the ton she is a ruined woman, Harry hopes to outwit the greedy, conniving cad blackmailing her into a loveless marriage. Roger Templeton is a rogue with a scandalous reputation, no expectations, and no shame. He is perfect for Harry’s fall from grace. Her brazen attempts at a very public seduction are delightful fodder for gossip . . . and pure torment for Roger.       With his pockets as empty as his heart, Roger is in no mood for games and decides to show Harry how foolish it is to tempt a devil. But behind her mesmerizing golden eyes, he sees something unexpected: a woman in trouble. Her scandalous behavior would be amusing if he wasn’t captivated by her lush, curvaceous beauty. Worse, every libertine bone in his body has turned traitorously noble. Only a rake would seduce her. But only a gentleman in love can save her. What I’m talking about:       Roger Templeton, a rake known as one of the Saint’s Devils, is leaving a party when he overhears a woman attempting to remove herself from a man’s unwanted advances. He rescues her, only to find himself being seduced by this beautiful temptress. However, he soon realizes she is his childhood friend, Harriet (Harry) Stanley. He quickly back-pedals and attempts to help his long ago friend before she becomes the focus of ugly gossip.       On the other hand, Harry is determined to be ruined. Enjoying the freedom that comes to a widow, she does not want to marry anyone, let alone the unpleasant Mr. Faircloth, and she feels that sullying her reputation will end his obstinate pursuit. Unfortunately for Roger, she is determined he will be the one to do it.       Nothing is quite as it seems in Ms. Kane’s wonderful Tempting a Devil. Right from the start of the book, the reader understands that there is more going on to the entire situation than meets the eye. Ms. Kane does a wonderful job revealing information a little at a time, leaving the reader hanging on...
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Jun
14

Review: The Magic of "I Do" by Tammy Falkner

Review: The Magic of "I Do" by Tammy Falkner The Magic of I Do Author: Tammy Falkner  Release Date: June 4, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Faerie #2 ISBN: #978-1402268151 Genre: Historical/ Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Claire Thorne is a faerie on a mission. When the governing body of her world puts a prohibition on magic, she escapes to the human world and straight into the arms of Lord Phineas Tremble. When he insists on being her crime-solving partner, she does everything she can to get rid of him—until she realizes his gift for smooth talking might come in handy when tracking down a killer. Before long, Finn has his hands full keeping Claire out of trouble, because the two of them together create more sparks than her faerie dust ever could… What Una is talking about:      I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this Historical Paranormal Romance series, A Lady and her Magic.  The second novel, The Magic of I Do, is just as fun and fluffy and was more even more engaging.  I continue to enjoy this fresh Faerie series.      As we reenter this fascinating world of Faerie, we are better introduced to Sophia’s sister, Claire.  While Sophia is stubborn, Claire in contrast will make Sophia look as if she lacks a backbone.  Claire is delightfully hardheaded, sarcastically witty and carries a bit of a chip on her shoulder.  She is having a very difficult time adjusting to the impact that Sophia’s romance and marriage to Ashley, the Duke of Robinsworth, had on the fae.  Most notably the inclusion of her estranged/banished mother, father and her siblings (most who are not considered fae).      Finn, the Duke of Robinsworth’s brother, is a rake.  He is the younger son, so he is a gentleman with no profession.  Except, he enjoys solving mysteries, interestingly enough, and it seems it is something other members of the ton know.  Finn seems to have a somewhat successful time of solving crimes, discretely which causes someone to seek his assistance in The Magic of I Do.  However, as the novel begins Finn’s life was devastated when his long time mistress leaves him for a wealthier gentleman.      At the conclusion of A Lady and her Magic, Claire is entrusted into Finn’s care.  As The Magic of I Do begins it seems that Claire and Finn are stoutly opposed to each other.  However a bit of whiskey and relaxation...
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Jun
10

Review: How to Tame Your Duke by Juliana Gray

Review: How to Tame Your Duke by Juliana Gray How to Tame Your Duke Author: here Juliana Gray Release Date: June 4, 2013 Publisher: Berkley A Princess In Hiding #1 ISBN: #978-0425265666 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), ebook Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe…       England, 1888. Quiet and scholarly Princess Emilie has always avoided adventure, until she’s forced to disguise herself as a tutor in the household of the imposing Duke of Ashland, a former soldier disfigured in battle and abandoned by his wife. When chance draws her into a secret liaison with the duke, Emilie can’t resist the opportunity to learn what lies behind his forbidding mask, and find out what adventure really means…       The duke never imagines that his son’s tutor and his mysterious golden-haired beauty are one and the same. But when the true identity of his lover is laid bare, Ashland must face the demons in his past in order to safeguard both his lady—and his heart. What Ang’s talking about:       I want you all to know that I really wanted to like How to Tame Your Duke. I have enjoyed everything else Juliana Gray has written up to this point and frankly, I don’t want to make her mad.  I want her to keep writing.  Not that my one little review is going to keep that from happening, but if the next novel is as tepid as this one is, I probably won’t continue to read this series.  Seriously, these characters were so unremarkable I can’t even remember their names sitting here writing this review.  I know there was princess. She was smart and snarky.  There was a wounded duke, his son who was hilarious, and a maid who was so clueless that she offered a lot of comic relief from the boredom.       There was a lot of potential here.  There was a princess, spies, abductions, hidden identities—sounds good, right?  The seduction  was really beautifully written.  I felt the emotion and struggle of it. The side characters offered a wonderful distraction from the main plot.      However, the rest of the story was like a roller coaster ride where you wait five hours in line, finally get to the top of the giant incline, and—nothing.  It’s just a straight shot to the...
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May
11

Review: Wuthering Nights by IJ Miller

Review: Wuthering Nights by IJ Miller Wuthering Nights:  An Erotic Retelling of Wuthering Heights Author: Emily Bronte & I.J. Miller   Release Date: April 23, 2013 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing ISBN: 978-1455573028 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Romantics everywhere have been enthralled by Emily Bronte’s classic novel of the tragic love between beautiful, spirited Catherine Earnshaw and dark, brooding Heathcliff. The restrained desire between these two star-crossed lovers has always smoldered on the page. And now it ignites into an uncontrollable blaze. In WUTHERING NIGHTS, writer I.J. Miller reimagines this timeless story to reveal the passion between Catherine and Heathcliff–in all its forbidden glory. Set against the stark, raw beauty of the English moors, Heathcliff, an abandoned orphan, recognizes his soulmate in wild, impulsive Catherine, the only woman who can tame his self-destructive nature. And Catherine cannot deny the all-consuming desire she feels for him, despite his low birth. Together they engage in a fiery affair–one that will possess them, enslave them, and change their destinies forever… What VampBard’s talking about: So.  I read Wuthering Nights.  It took me a while to get in to the story, even though I’ve read Wuthering Heights multiple times.  Either it wasn’t the right time for a revisit to Heathcliff and Catherine, or I **really** missed some of Ms. Bronte’s descriptions.  Maybe what I missed was the fact that my imagination has probably conjured up some fervent fantasy about Heathcliff.   However, this title was seriously hot! However, the sex was used as an instrument for revenge & manipulation which was NOT ok with me, and is the primary reason for the lower rating.  I did, however, like the introduction and conclusion of the story, but I felt that the author could have done much more with it.   Catherine and Heathcliff are the consummate romantic couple; star-crossed lovers on-par with Romeo & Juliette.  If you’ve read the original and you’re ready for the male-dominated play in this version, keep this read for home with no one else around.  Blush alert! Kind-of difficult to write an extended review of a spin-off from a piece of classic literature.  I feel as though I’m critiquing the work of Ms. Bronte.  However, I must say that I liked the vein in which the plot ran.  I suggest to those who have not read Ms. Bronte’s classic, read the SparkNotes online for Wuthering Heights before reading this title.  I think it makes it more meaningful...
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Apr
25

Review: This Magic Moment by Patricia Rice

Review: This Magic Moment by Patricia Rice This Magic Moment Author: Patricia Rice  Release Date: April 2, 2013 (reprint) Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca Magic Book #4 ISBN: #978-1402251962 Genre: Historical Romance, paranormal elements Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: Duke Harry of Sommersville indulged in a carefree, comfortable life— until a sudden inheritance leaves him plagued with a crumbling family manor and hungry debtors. What’s a desperate duke to do but marry the well-heeled woman betrothed to him for years? Christina Malcolm Childe soon discovers the heavy demands of her new title and the dilapidated and haunted mansion that is her new home. To make matters worse, her magical gift of reading auras reveals that her laughing Harry has become a dark and bitter man. But this mischievous Malcolm has a plan of retaliation: to refuse to consummate their marriage until Harry learns to love her truly. If only she can resist his raw masculinity long enough to determine the cause of his unhappiness and the mansion’s neglect. She must find her answers quickly, before the worm-eaten floors fall from beneath her very feet. That is, if Harry doesn’t sweep her off them first… What I’m talking about: Harry is a frugal man living modestly in London when his father, the Duke of Sommerset, and and the heir, his brother Edward passed away in an accident on the family estate. Suddenly Harry finds himself the new Duke with an impossibly high debt and no way to pay it off. In order to gain some leverage, he hopes to marry his betrothed and collect her dowry. As a Malcolm, Christina has inherited a special magical talent: she can see and communicate with ghosts. Harry is the only man who doesn’t chastise her for her antics. And she cannot forget their stolen kiss in the gardens one night, long ago. However, she is utterly shocked that Harry not only wants to uphold the betrothal he made five years ago, but he wants to wed her immediately. Christina and Harry have been friends for years and she cannot understand why he has changed so much and has a blackened aura these days. Fearful she’s lost the “real” Harry – the only man she knows she can ever love, she agrees to marry him but gives him two weeks to court her and learn to love her (again) after the fact. In the early parts of This Magic Moment, we watch two characters who live...
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Apr
16

Review: A Most Improper Rumor by Emma Wildes

Review: A Most Improper Rumor by Emma Wildes A Most Improper Rumor Author: Emma Wildes  Release Date: March 5, 2013 Publisher: Signet  Whispers of Scandal #2 ISBN: # 978-0451239587 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (314 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: What is society to do when the diamonds of the first water are caught in compromising situations, one after the other? Can the young ladies survive the season with their reputations intact…or will the scandalous whispers surrounding them bring about the ultimate ruination? Once the toast of the ton, Lady Angelina DeBrooke is no longer known just for her exquisite beauty, but more for her notorious marriages. Dubbed the Dark Angel, she has fallen in love for the first time and wishes to marry, but fears finding herself a widow for the third time. With two poisoned husbands and a cloud of suspicion hanging over her head, she turns to the only man in England who might help her…  Benjamin Wallace, Lord Heathton, isn’t interested in playing detective again, but when Lady DeBrooke approaches him in a quest to clear her name, he finds the challenge irresistible. Her second husband was an old friend, and when he takes a closer look, he catches the scent of a foe he has hunted before—and knows this is his chance to finally trap the elusive prey… What Una is talking about: To me is nothing better than combing a good mystery with your historical romance.  Ms. Wildes does another excellent job in her second novel in the Whispers of Scandal series, A Most Improper Rumor.  The plot thickens between Lord Heathton and his most nefarious and sly opponent. In A Most Improper Rumor we are introduced to Angelina, Lady DeBrooke – shunned by the haut ton for allegedly murdering her previous two husbands, she lives a quiet life in exile.  That is until she meets Baron Lowe.  Christopher never believed in love at first site, neither did Angelina, but when they first meet, they just knew.  However, as much as Christopher wishes to make Angelina his wife, she fears that whoever murdered her husbands, will kill Christopher.  Sadly, they live apart, living for those moments when they are able to secure their secret trysts.   Love can not only heal, but give hope, which can lead a lady to finding her inner strength and courage.  Angelina, against her better judgment, approaches Ben, Lord Heathton in order to secure his assistance in discovering any information that might lead...
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Apr
9

Review: Let it Be Me by Kate Noble

Review: Let it Be Me by Kate Noble Let it Be Me Author: Kate Noble  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley The Blue Raven #5 ISBN: #978-0425251201 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: Bridget longs to meet a gentleman who doesn’t mention her beautiful sister upon shaking her hand. But since being branded a shrew after a disastrous social season, Bridget knows she’s lucky to even have a man come near her. It’s enough to make a lady flee the country… So Bridget heads to Venice for music lessons with the renowned Italian composer Vincenzo Carpenini, with whom she’s been corresponding. But not only is Carpenini not expecting her, he doesn’t even remember her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, does, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away. Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester’s help—or that there’ll be far more at stake in this gamble than money… What Ang is talking about: If I had to describe this book in one word it would be Lyrical. Written like a lovely sonata, I found it to be moving and emotional, much like the music it centers around. I could feel and almost hear the musicality of the story in the descriptions, dialogue and flow of the story.  I live in a house full of music with a son who’s life’s blood is music, so I immediately understood Bridget’s pull to the piano–her need to play and the escape the music offered her. My one fear is that those who don’t know or love music the way I do might find the terms distracting or feel like the terminology weighs the story down. I also occasionally felt as if the side story involving Carpenini occasionally took over the main storyline–distracting from Bridget and Oliver.  But despite its failing or maybe because of them, I throughly enjoyed my visit to Venice. I felt the themes and the emotions, both main and underlying, blended beautifully; waxing and waning in all the right places, allowing the humor and hurt to come together to form a beautiful whole. Ang’s Rating: Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A) Purchase Info: Let it be Me (Book 5) Reviews in the Series: If I Fall (Book...
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Apr
5

Review: Sweet Madness by Heather Snow

Review: Sweet Madness by Heather Snow Sweet Madness Author: Heather Snow  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Signet A Veiled Seduction #3 ISBN: #978-0451239679 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: An Untamed Mind Ever since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has committed herself to studying the maladies of the mind, particularly treating traumatized soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars. It is this expertise that brings the Marquess of Bromwich’s family to her door. Gabriel Devereaux’s unexpected and unpredictable episodes are unlike any Penelope has studied. The once proud soldier has been left shaken and withdrawn, but she manages to build a fragile trust between them. Strangely, Gabriel seems completely lucid when not in the grips of his mania, and in the calm between bouts, she is surprised by how much she is drawn to him. Despite his own growing feelings, Gabriel knows that he is fit for no one, and is determined to keep Penelope away from his descent into madness. But even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, Penelope cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost. What Una is talking about: Sweet Madness is the third book in the Veiled Seductions series and stands out from the previous two.  Our heroine, Penelope is very different from the previous two, Liliana and Emma.  Penelope is not an intellectual genius.  That being said, she is just as determined and the other two and just as entertaining. What caught my eye in the Veiled Seduction series is that the heroines are strong willed and brilliant women living in a time where those qualities are not respected or desired.  I loved watching them meet their match in the heroes of the previous novels.  Maybe it is also a strange pleasure, but I enjoyed the reactions of those around them as they pursued their “odd” exploits.  However, Sweet Madness is very different from the first two novels.  Penelope is not an intellectual.  She was raised to be a society lady and did quite well in marrying a man with title and money.  However, that path did not work out well for her.  She finds herself after a couple years of marriage, widowed.  But through the experience she strives to help others, soldiers who are suffering battle fatigue (what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder).   Gabriel was a soldier who met and loved Penelope from the first time...
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Mar
19

Review: Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks

Review: Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks Highlander Most Wanted Author: Maya Banks   Release Date: March 19, 2013 Publisher: Ballantine Montgomerys and Armstrongs #2 ISBN: 978-0345533241 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): paperback (352 pages), e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book: In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.    Genevieve McInnes is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting. What VampBard’s talking about: I love me a good brogue in a story.  Dialectical writing.  A strong hero saving a strong heroine from a really cruddy situation. It’s easy to find those elements in Maya Banks’ Highlander Most Wanted, book 2 in her Montgomerys and Armstrongs series.      Even though I haven’t read book 1 in the series, Ms. Banks informs her readers of important evens from the previous book in a thorough, yet not-annoying manner.  This title could be read as a stand-alone, but I’m pretty sure that more books in this series are in my future.   Storming the Keep.  Mmmmhm.  That’s where our story starts.  The Montgomery & Armstrong boys are looking to avenge the mistreatment of one of their own.  Secrets that threaten to destroy our heroine, Genevieve, are rampant.  How she manages to keep her sanity, after all she’s endured, is completely beyond me.  She and Bowen make a good couple.  They seem to truly complete one another.  HEAT INDEX:  3. This is really a typical story of “dude saves chick from oppression.”  Even though Genevieve McInnis has been severely abused during her year-long imprisonment by Ian McHugh, she is strong.  Her self-esteem has been crushed; however, with the death of Ian and Patrick McHugh’s hasty retreat from the Keep she is emboldened.  Although, she repeatedly makes statements that let the citizens of the McHugh Keep off the hook for watching and...
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Mar
6

Review: The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

Review: The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie The Autumn Bride Author: Anne Gracie  Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Chance Sisters #1 ISBN: #978-0425259252 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:      Governess Abigail Chantry will do anything to save her sister and two dearest friends from destitution, even if it means breaking into an empty mansion in the hope of finding something to sell. Instead of treasures, though, she finds the owner, Lady Beatrice Davenham, bedridden and neglected. Appalled, Abby rousts Lady Beatrice’s predatory servants and—with Lady Beatrice’s eager cooperation—the four young ladies become her “nieces,” neatly eliminating the threat of disaster for all concerned!      It’s the perfect situation, until Lady Beatrice’s dashing and arrogant nephew, Max, Lord Davenham, returns from the Orient—and discovers an impostor running his household…      A romantic entanglement was never the plan for these stubborn, passionate opponents—but falling in love may be as inevitable as the falling of autumn leaves… What Ang is talking about:      What I love about an Anne Gracie novel is her understanding that strong, well written characters and complex plot lines are just as enjoyable in a romance novel as they are in other fiction. She delivers both in The Autumn Bride. All too often I feel like authors of romance novels dumb down the storyline and rely too much on the sex to sell the book. Gracie understands that a well placed, well written kiss or a heated look can do as much, if not more than all the heaving bosoms on the planet to get your attention, build the romance of the story and strengthen the relationship between the characters. And she does a wonderful job of illustrating this in The Autumn Bride. The tension between Abby and Max is felt from the moment they meet and continues through the entire storyline adding beautifully to the sweet ending.      Another thing I throughly enjoyed about this book were the characters. All of them, main and secondary were colorful,  fun, engaging and wonderfully written. Aunt Bea is so well written she almost steals the story in a few places, and the sisters add an element of sweetness and loyalty to the novel that strengthens the themes woven throughout. While Featherby, William and Freddy add unexpected flavor and color. I loved them all and am excited to read the upcoming stories of the other sisters.      I had only...
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