Review: The Earl I Ruined by Scarlett Peckham

Reviewed by Caitlin

Lady Constance Stonewell has all of Society eating out of the palm of her hand, and she makes it look effortless.

She’s a scandal, her clothes are intricately made and enormous (it is the 18th century after all), and her dowry is immense. She’s bright and lively and witty. And she’s the sister of a duke.

It’s no wonder Julian Haywood, the Earl of Apthorp, is in love with her. The problem? She confuses his propriety with a boring personality. When she learns something about his sexual tastes, she jumps to the wrong conclusions and accidentally gets his proclivities published in the scandal sheets.

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Review: Lady Bridget’s Diary by Maya Rodale

Reviewed by Olive

Lady Bridget’s Diary is the first book of the ‘Keeping Up With the Cavendishes’ series by Maya Rodale (click here for a review of Book 2: Chasing Lady Amelia). I have to admit – I was more than a little skeptical at the idea of a Regency romance based on Bridget Jones’s Diary (BJD), a modern romantic comedy based on Pride and Prejudice (PnP), a Regency romance. It was either going to be amazingly meta … or amazingly mediocre. I’m happy to say this landed firmly in the former camp 😉

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Review: Any Old Diamonds by KJ Charles

Reviewed by Olive

Any Old Diamonds is the newest release from KJ Charles and tells the story of Alec, the estranged – and angsty about it – son of the Duke of Ilvar, and Jerry, one of the jewel thieves he hires to further his revenge plot against his father. Alec dangles the lure of an entrée into the famously remote and challenging Castle Speight (aka Castle Spite), as well as the Duke’s newly commissioned diamond parure, in the hopes of enticing Jerry and his partner to accept the caper. The blurb promises “betrayals, secrets, new loves, and old evils come to light” and it definitely delivers!

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Review: Dare to Love a Duke by Eva Leigh

Reviewed by Caitlin

Eva Leigh is an auto buy for me, even if her most recent book — Counting on a Countess — wasn’t my favorite (I didn’t quite believe the romance). However, this pairing has been hinted at for quite some time, and I was very, very excited for it. I am pleased to say that I adored this novel, and it got me through a rough couple of days while I dealt with a loved one in the hospital.

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Review: The Duke I Once Knew by Olivia Drake

Reviewed by Jen

I enjoyed this first book in Olivia Drake’s Unlikely Duchesses series. This is a second chance at love story between a duke and the girl who grew up as his next-door neighbor. Max and Abby fell in love when they were teenagers, but tragedy tore them apart. When Max‘s mother died, his father took him away to London and they never heard from each other again.

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Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by Jen

I am such a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt. Her Maiden Lane books are among my favorite historical romances. This new series has a bit of a different feel, though I did enjoy it. The story mixes tropes with the older brother’s best friend and enemies to lovers, set against an extortion scheme, a mystery, and a secret society. There’s a lot going on here.

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DNF Review: Earl To The Rescue by Jane Ashford

Reviewed by Sara

Earl To The Rescue is the story of Gwendeline Gregory, daughter of the Baron Gregory of Brooklands and his wife Annabelle. While she was young, Baron and Baroness Brooklands spent only a week out of the year with Gwendeline and were as uninvolved in her upbringing as possible. So, when they die in an ill-defined accident, Gwendeline, is less upset about her parents being dead as she is about the fact that they spent all of their savings and have left her penniless and soon to be homeless, since their debts require their estate to be sold off.

However, Gwendeline, is rescued by a the incredibly popular Lore Merryn, who, while surprised that Gwendeline is 19 years old and not an infant, is committed, along with a group of like minded gentlemen, to caring for her and helping her be introduced favorably into the ton. Gwendeline is whisked away to London where she is put up with Lord Merryn’s mother, a novelist, and begins making the round of parties. Here, she learns that her parents were general reprobates and begins to meet various characters. [Read more…]

Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Duke by Janna MacGregor

Reviewed by Jen

This is the fourth book in Janna MacGregor’s Cavensham Heiresses series, and though I did read book three, apparently the threads in this story harken back to the first two installments that I didn’t read. Unlike The Luck of the Bride, which held up very well as a standalone, there is a ton of backstory that’s relevant here. Could I follow along? Yes. But it was obvious I was joining these characters with a story that was already in progress.

Honestly, that part didn’t bother me all that much. I wanted to read this because the blurb promised a redemption story for the male lead, who was a villain in stories past. I love this trope, so I jumped right in. Paul grew up as the best friend of Daphne’s older brother. The prologue sets up their dynamic well, when a teenage Paul saves a baby bird and earns young Daphne’s unending affection. Unfortunately, as the years go on, Paul becomes a rake and a bit of a scoundrel, so she must keep her tender feelings to herself. [Read more…]

Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

This book was not my favorite from Mary Balogh. It got off to a very slow start for me, though it did improve once it finally got around to the romance. This is book five in the Westcott series, and I have read the previous four books. Even with the backstory I know, however, there are just too many characters for anyone to keep straight. For the first 10 chapters, I found myself tempted to keep flipping back to the birth chart at the beginning, and that’s no way to really lose yourself in a story.

Probably the first third of the book was spent reminding us who everyone was, how they were related, and why they were all together for Christmas. There was a great deal of narration and very little feeling from either main character. Basically, the only thing established was that Elizabeth and Colin thought well of each other but were nine years apart in age. Yes, this is an older woman younger man story. And it completely dominated the dynamic of their relationship. [Read more…]

Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Reviewed by Jen

Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books consistently deliver for me. This one was fun and engaging, with a hero and heroine easy to love –both as individuals and as a couple.

Andrew Roskesby traffics information for the crown under the guise of a pirate captain. To protect his family and his identity, he does it under the name Captain Andrew James. He is about to embark on a trip to deliver information to Portugal when two of his men drag Poppy Bridgerton aboard his ship. The woman had stumbled across the cave where his men stored their booty and kidnapped her to prevent her from telling anyone their secrets. Andrew wants her nowhere near his mission, but the job can’t wait, so he takes her along with the promise to return her to her family once the voyage is complete. [Read more…]