Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Reviewed by Jen

There were things I really enjoyed about this book, but I had some issued that kept it from being a total hit for me. This is a runaway bride story and I don’t have any problem with that on principle, but I struggled a bit because her intended really wanted to marry her and his best friend ended up taking his place.

Olympia isn’t a great beauty. She loves books and wears glasses and she’s been voted Most Boring lady for the past several years running. But Ashmont, a disreputable duke, recognized something special in her, and decided to ask for her hand. She said yes to take care of her family, but got drunk and bolted before the ceremony. [Read more…]

Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Reviewed by Jen

I adore Julia Quinn and I was totally psyched to jump into one of her backlist books that I somehow missed along the way. And at first, I thought I was going to love it. It had all of the light charm and wit I have come to love from this author. On top of that, the heroine is smart and likable, and I thought I could really get behind the romance. After all, the hero saw something special in her that no one else ever has. Sure he has a secret, but how bad could it be, right?

See, the thing is, I figured out the Big Secret pretty early on, and it didn’t bother me all that much at the time, but as the story played out, that changed, along with my opinion of Richard. Simply put, I ended up thinking he was a douchebag of the first order. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed the last Maiden Lane novel, but noticeably absent was any sense of closure for the many characters and storylines the series covered over 12 installments. This novella does that a little. We get to catch up a little with the Makepeace families, the Caires, and the other couples who are now getting their Happy Ever Afters, but they’re all crammed in around the romance of Mary Whitsun.

You’ll remember Mary as one of the orphans Temperance took a shine to at the Foundling Home she ran with her brother Winter Makepeace. This goes all the way back to the first book, Wicked Intentions, so it’s a big fat shout out to the series’ beginnings. Mary now serves as the nanny to Temperance (now Lady Caire’s) two children. She is a servant, but also in a way, part of the family. [Read more…]

Review: The Silent Duke by Jess Michaels

Reviewed by Jen

I one clicked on this bad boy the minute I finished reading the blurb, and it gave me everything I wanted. Namely a mute and abused hero fighting himself over a chance at happiness with the woman he has loved his entire life. Yes, yes, 100 times yes.

Ewan (I even love his name) spent 10 years in the home of the father who hated him. It wasn’t until the man threatened to put him in an asylum over his inability to speak that his aunt and uncle took him away and decided to raise him as their own. Charlotte was only seven, but she felt a special connection to her brother’s friend, so much so that she developed a special sign language that allowed the two of them to talk. [Read more…]

Review: Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve enjoy almost every book I’ve read by Mary Balogh, and this was no exception. One of the reason I like her is how well she does characters with a tortured past. Most often, it’s the hero, but occasionally, she gives us a heroine who must overcome something horrible. In this case, it’s a burden that’s changed the woman’s entire life.

Wren has a purple birthmark that covers one side of her face. In many historical romances, that would be her obstacle to overcome. And it is here too, but only tangentially. The real problem is the psychological damage she has to overcome from a lifetime spent in isolation. [Read more…]

Review: A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Reviewed by Jen

I read a lot of historical romance, but it was fun to step out of the ballrooms of regency England for a change in order to enjoy this love story set against the New York City of the late 1800s. I really liked the change of pace.

Lady Honora is in America because her father shipped her off there after she was caught in a compromising position with an unsuitable man. All she wants to do is get back to her beau. So she concocts a plan to tie herself to a man even more unacceptable then her Robert. Surely, if she becomes betrothed to a wild gossip magnet like her neighbor Julian, her father will force her to come home. [Read more…]

Review: Hamilton’s Battalion by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, Alyssa Cole

Reviewed by Jen

This anthology cashes in on the popularity of Hamilton with a trio of love stories against the backdrop of characters marginalized by race, religion, and sexuality. I haven’t seen the musical that has captured the hearts of so many, but you really don’t need to be familiar with it to understand what’s going on here. Eliza Hamilton is collecting stories from her husband’s soldiers after his death about their history with him. Hamilton, the Yorktown, and the Revolutionary are the threads that hold the novellas together. [Read more…]

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…]