Review: The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve been a fan of the Victorian Rebels series since the first installment, The Highwayman, rocked my socks off. Each book has filled in stories of the Mackenzie brothers, all deeply damaged by the father who tormented them in their youth. This book’s hero was the youngest legitimate son, Gavin, who is now the Earl of Thorne.

The legacy his father left behind is one Thorne completely rejects. He took his mother’s last name and wanted to divorce himself of everything to with being a Mackenzie… not just wanting distance from his long dead father, but his brothers too. If you read the previous books, you know the truth behind their history, but Thorne has only his own perspective and believes his brothers are as much monsters as their sire ever was. He’s still tied to Liam, not only because his brother is the Laird, but also because he works in the man’s distillery. His deepest desire is to forge is own path, free of everything Mackenzie. [Read more…]

Review: Pleasure Me by Monica Burns

Reviewed by Jen

Somehow I missed out on this book when it first released back in 2011. That was a pretty spectacular feat, looking back and seeing how much some of my book buddies really loved it. Pleasure Me is chock full of some of my favorite tropes and while it wasn’t 100% perfect for me, I really enjoyed the story.

Lady Ruth is a 41-year-old courtesan who has just lost her protector to a younger woman. She must face the reality that she is growing too old to be an ideal mistress. It makes her question her self-worth and convinces her she will never find another man. Instead, she decides to focus on the orphanage that she runs. [Read more…]

Review: War Flower by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Reviewed by Elle

In 1965, 18 year old Poppy meets a beautiful boy named Ben on a Sydney train. Poppy is instantly besotted with him, but disappointed when Ben begins dating Poppy’s arch nemesis Barbara. Barbara and her squad have always made Barbara and her twin sister Rosemary, feel like wallflowers, teasing them mercilessly throughout their high-school years. [Read more…]

Review: Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses by Lorraine Heath

Reviewed by Jen

Though I enjoyed the last book in this series–the one that introduced this couple–I was a little underwhelmed by this novella.

We first met Gina as the sweet, innocent younger sister of a scandalous woman. Her uncle had bribed a duke to show interest in her, but the man ended up falling for her sister. Gina was OK with that; she even encouraged it, and she developed an interest in the Duke’s brother, Andrew. [Read more…]

Review: Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London

Reviewed by Jen

Let me start by saying I have read other books by Julia London and have enjoyed them. I say that so you know it’s nothing I have against the author when I say how abysmal I found this book. This is the story of Rabby MacKenzie, a Scotsman being forced into marriage with a young English miss, then falling for her governess. I hated every minute of it.

Let me tell you about Rabbie. He is the most morose, maudlin, douchebag of a “hero” I’ve read in ages. To be fair, the love of his life was killed in the Jacobite rebellion. He’s got a reason to be sad and to hate the English, but this guy is miserable for the entire book. Not only that, he is thoroughly awful to everyone around him. He only agreed to marry Aveline because of some convoluted land issue that would allow his family to keep smuggling. OK. But good grief, he is constantly contemplating suicide. He is a boor, not only to his betrothed, but his entire family. And when he falls for the governess, Bernadette, he becomes no more likable. [Read more…]

Joint Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Reviewed by Joanna & Jen

Jen: Oh wow! How I loved this this book. It had two things going for it right off the bat. One, it was written by Tessa Dare who is one of my absolute faves in historical romance. And two, it is a Beauty and the Beast trope, which is also a favorite of mine. I am thrilled to say that not only did it come through on the promise of its premise, it was even better than I expected.

Joanna: I have something to admit. *looks embarrassed* I’ve never read any Tessa Dare.

Jen: Jo! I am so sorry for you.

Joanna: I know! I can’t tell you how it happened, but I have settled the score with this beauty. It’s sparkling, pacy and lighthearted, and I laughed out loud time and time again. [Read more…]

Review: A Rake’s Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden

Reviewed by Jen

Generally I am a fan of all things Caroline Linden, but this re-issue from nine years ago is not one of my favorites from her. It’s sort of a second chance at love story, except the hero and heroine never really made it to the “love” stage the first time around.

Linden introduces us to Celia and Anthony four years prior to the main events of the story. She is a debutante in her first season and he is the disreputable friend of her older brother. Everyone knows that Anthony is a rake of the first order, and a gambler too. The gossip sheets report on him constantly, but Celia remembers the boy he was as she was growing up and isn’t so quick to judge him on his reputation. He is taken by the way she sees him, but he is too late when he asks her brother to court her. She has already accepted another man’s proposal. [Read more…]

Review: Just Another Viscount in Love by Vivienne Lorret

Reviewed by Jen

I have read and enjoyed all three books in this series, but this installment was considerably weaker for me. Part of it might be because of the inherent problems which often come with novellas. The story is very very simple and the love is Insta. Honestly though, my biggest issue was that I was a little bit bored.

Poor Samuel definitely deserved a happy ever after, considering he was cast aside by the other heroines in the series through no fault of his own. He is handsome, kind, and really quite a catch. Gemma, on the other hand, is essentially a pariah. Her father was a villain in a previous tale and now she is unsuitable in the eyes of the time because of his evil deeds. [Read more…]

Review: Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London

Reviewed by Ronelle

On his deathbed, Daisy Bristol’s husband imparts his final edict; after his death, she must remarry within three years or forfeit their son’s inheritance. News of Lord Chatwick’s command sweeps through London like wildfire, leaving the newly widowed Lady Chatwick with more suitors than she can shake a stick at. It might not be so bad if any of them were truly courting her, rather than the purse they would gain by marriage.

She has all but given up hope when she receives a letter from her long-lost love, now a captain in the British Royal Navy. Hoping to give him time to reach her and pledge his suit, Daisy takes her cousin and young son to her Scottish Highland estate. She doesn’t expect said estate to come with a powerful, breath-taking laird as a neighbor. [Read more…]

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Reviewed by Jen

The first book I ever read from Julia Quinn was the second book in this series, and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since. I’m not sure why it took me so long to go back and pick this up, but I’m glad that I finally did.

The older brother’s best friend trope is one we’ve all read time and again. But this story is a little different in that Honoria hasn’t been nursing a secret crush on Marcus all these years. She cared about him. She considered him part of the family. But it wasn’t until he drifted away and came back into her life that their relationship started to change. And even then, it was anything but quick. [Read more…]