Review: Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

All hail Lisa Kleypas. Two books back, I had absolutely no interest in this couple whatsoever. It seemed like it was going to be a tired rehash of reformed rake in an enemies to lovers situation with an uptight governess. But somehow, Kleypas made it so much more. She made me root for Leo and Miss Marks to make it work. Not only that, but she piqued my interest by giving me a little nuggets and breadcrumbs to follow in their backstory.

When the last book ended, we knew there was some kind of secret between Lord Ramsey and his sisters’ governess. As this story begins, we learn that they shared a kiss in the aftermath of Leo’s discovery that Catherine was related to Harry, Leo’s brother-in-law. It doesn’t take too long to work that out, but what does develop over the course of the book is the story of why she has hidden herself away as a domestic servant when her brother has more money than King Midas. I won’t spoil the particulars, but I will say it’s pretty gnarly. [Read more…]

Review: His Wicked Charm by Candace Camp

Reviewed by Sara

Do you like the opposites attract trope? How about Historical Romance? What about mysteries with paranormal elements?

If you said yes to any of these you’ll probably really enjoy Candace Camp’s latest release, His Wicked Charm.

Lilah Holcutt is everything a proper lady should be. She is well-mannered, logical, even-tempered and never breaks the rules. When her best friend gets married, she’s introduced to the Moreland family, better known as the Mad Morelands. The Morelands don’t care about convention; they believe in following one’s passion and are *gasps* suffragists. Con, Lilah’s best friend’s husband’s twin brother, is the worst of these. He’s a joker, a flirt and, for some reason, has turned his attention on her. [Read more…]

Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Shelly

I came away from this without that Ravenel-happiness that I had after reading the first 3 books in Lisa Kleypas’s ‘Ravenel’ series. Book 1, Marrying Winterborne, is still my favorite and Rhys is my favorite hero of the series.

This is Garrett Gibson and Ethan Ransom’s story. I was really looking forward to this because Garrett’s a female physician and I thought her story – being female and a physician in a time when it was virtually unheard of – would be interesting. Since she made her appearance in Marrying Winterborne and her subsequent service as Rhys employee, I saw a great romance for this rare situation.

I can’t decide if this was too long or too short. If I wanted less medical terminology or more. I can’t decide if it’s my expectations or could it possibly have been Garrett’s character didn’t live up to what I saw being developed in the first few books. And I definitely couldn’t decide if I liked Ethan as a hero. [Read more…]

Review: Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

As much as I loved the book before this in the Hathaways series, I have to admit that I wasn’t super excited to keep reading for this installment. Honestly, I thought we were going to get Leo’s book and I was not all that jazzed about the set up with the governess. Then I discovered this is actually Poppy’s book. I still wasn’t terribly excited, because she has probably been the least developed character among the Hathaway siblings. I didn’t feel like I knew her, and I did not particularly care to. But people love Lisa Kleypas for a reason. The lady knows what she is doing. I ended up really enjoying this book, and even more, I am actually now looking forward to Leo’s book when I wasn’t before.

The reason Poppy always faded into the background is because she is the Hathaway sibling who longs for normalcy. All she wants is a nice quiet life in the country. But what we want and what we need aren’t always the same thing. Hotel owner Harry is exactly what Poppy needs. Unfortunately, she is in love with another man. Michael is the son of a peer and the feelings between him and Poppy are real. His father would never approve of the match, though. So when Harry meets Poppy and is taken by her, he makes quick work of his nemesis by exposing the clandestine relationship to dear old dad. The result? Michael drops Poppy like a hot potato. [Read more…]

Review: Midsummer Delights: A Short Story Collection by Eloisa James

Reviewed by Jen

This short anthology consists of just three stories, all by Eloisa James, followed by a teaser, so there’s only about 65 e-pages of content here. As a result, none of the offerings is really developed.

The first short is A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace. Here, Cecilia has suffered through two failed seasons and has decided to risk her reputation by wearing a shocking red dress to a musical performance at a duchess’ house party. Cecilia’s been ignored by the gentlemen because her brother had been dropped on his head as a baby and is now mentally disabled. The men fear the disability will run in the family. Anyway, Cecilia is taken with the pianists and deems to ruin herself with him. Only, there is more to the musician than meets the eye.

This is five chapters long and suffers from a ferocious case of insta-love. The hero and heroine haven’t seen each other since childhood and they end up engaged after a dance and a handful of words exchanged in a matter of hours. [Read more…]

Review: Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

I loved this book. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it! Lisa Kleypas did a phenomenal job setting up this love story between Kev and Win in Mine Till Midnight… so much so that just the little glimpses of these two excited me more then the main romance in that book. And as revved up as I was to get to their romance, it would’ve been very easy to be disappointed. I am so happy to tell you that it lived up to its promise.

Kev is a gypsy who came to live with the Hathaway family when he was just a child. He was a wild thing, thanks to the brutality of his upbringing. But from the very beginning, he was captivated by Win. He thought he would only be able to love her from afar, especially after her health grew imperiled by scarlet fever. But now, she is determined to grow strong again and claim the unspoken love that they share. [Read more…]

Review: Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

I should probably start by saying how much this book was universally loved. It has tons of five star reviews out there… hundreds maybe. I have read and loved Lisa Kleypas books as well; it’s why I read her back list when my TBR get slow. But while I liked this book, there were a few things about it that kept me from truly adoring in the way so many other readers did.

Amelia is the responsible oldest sister in the Hathaway family. Her brother has recently and unexpectedly inherited a title, which would be a boon if he would actually behave as an adult. He lost his love to scarlet fever, though, so he is currently drinking and wasting his life away, regardless of the effect it has on the rest of his family. [Read more…]

Review: Any Groom Will Do by Charis Michaels

Reviewed by Jen

I’m going to admit, I had some grave reservations about this book after reading the prologue. It sets up the heroine as barren from an illness she had when she was eight years old, with what seemed like very little evidence to support it. Then, it made it sound like she grew up without ever getting her period. Does this happen from illness? Can it? I felt like this was all an elaborate set-up for a miracle baby after the woman lives to the ripe age of 27 as a spinster. I couldn’t be more happy to report that I was wrong and I could have let myself enjoy this book (even more than I did, which was quite a but) without my suspicions hanging over my head.

So the heroine is Willow, the (really) barren daughter of an earl and all she wants out of life is to go live with her aunt and uncle in London and be an apprentice in their design business. Unfortunately, her aunt is a bit of a pariah in the family and as an unmarried woman, Willow doesn’t get to make any choices about her own life. Add to that, two of her friends are just as desperate for their freedom, and she is sufficiently motivated to come up with a scheme to save them all. [Read more…]

Review: My Once and Future Duke by Caroline Linden

Reviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed this first installment in Caroline Linden’s new Wagers of Sin series, that features a stuffy duke and the independent pretend-widow that captures his interest. I’m always a sucker for a romance that features a hero and heroine of different social classes and the “forbidden” element that brings. Not only does this book have that, it also has a wonderfully stuffy hero who the heroine manages to unravel completely.

The story starts strong with a peek inside Sophie’s history. She is the granddaughter of nobility, but when her parents die, her beastly grandfather ships her off to school and cuts her off when she reaches 18… all because he never approved of her parents’ marriage. Thanks to her first 12 unconventional years, Sophie has a gift with cards and with gambling, and once she is on her own, she visits gaming hells to amass the money she needs to set herself up for marriage. She even invents a phony dead husband give her the kind of access a spinster would never enjoy. [Read more…]

Review: Lady Be Reckless by Megan Frampton

Reviewed by Jen

One of my favorite romance tropes involves a woman of higher station falling for a man beneath her social standing. So when I read the blurb about this lady trying to help an illegitimate businessman get accepted by society in order to find a wife, I thought I had found my jam.

Not exactly.

Lady Olivia is “in love” with Bennett, the lord her sister ditched in the first book and Edward (the bastard)’s best friend. I can live with that, but I knew right off the bat that Olivia was not to be a heroine I would enjoy. As the book begins, she proposes to Bennett, which hey, shows moxie, but quickly becomes evidence of her naivete and self-centeredness. Olivia has concocted a complete fantasy of a relationship between them–with feelings Bennett does not reciprocate at all–and she decides to help Edward only as a means to man she truly wants. [Read more…]