Review: The Mad Countess by Erica Monroe

Reviewed by Ronelle

Theodore Lockwood, Earl of Ashbrooke, has been in love with his best friend, Lady Claire Deering, for as long as he can remember… though he’s never had the courage to tell her. Claire, too, harbors feelings of desire for him–but a witch’s curse upon her family has her too terrified to act on them. But things come to a head when a will reading at a mysterious castle in Cornwall brings them both together on All Hallows Eve.

They say love conquers all, but is it strong enough to break a curse cast by an enraged witch? [Read more…]

Review: The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran

Reviewed by Jen

This is book six in Meredith Duran’s Rules for the Reckless series, but if you haven’t read the earlier installments, don’t worry. I didn’t read them either and not only does this book stand-up fine all on its own, I didn’t want to put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Tortured heroes are my jam and Lockwood fits the bill in spades. The man was kidnapped right after his wedding and sent to a penal colony under a false name. For years, he was subjected to one misery after another. Only his survival instinct kept him alive and helped him topple his cruel captors. Now that he is back in England, he is on a mission for vengeance against the greedy cousin who arranged for his captivity. Sadly, he wasn’t thinking much about the wife he left behind. [Read more…]

Review: A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

Kelly Bowen is becoming one of my go-to authors for historical romance. I think this one is my favorite from her to date! It’s got an independent heroine and a hero who has pulled himself up from the streets to financial success. August is shrewd, but he has so much to learn. And thankfully, not only is Clara there to teach him, he’s not too stubborn to grow.

These two have a history. Many years ago, he asked her to dance on a dare, but was shocked by how captivating her found her. Now, he finds himself back in her orbit because she has something he wants. And sentimentality won’t stop him from doing what needs to be done.

Clara runs a school for young ladies. She doesn’t know it, but August has purchased the building she uses to teach her classes. Not only that, he has his sights set on buying her family’s shipping company too. Lucky for him, his younger sister enrolled in her summer session in the country, giving him an excuse to ingratiate himself into Clara’s life. [Read more…]

Review: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Reviewed by Jen

I had fun with this first installment in Eloisa James’ new Wildes of Lindlow Castle series. It is light and funny with a wide cast of characters and a premise that could’ve gone either way for me.

Lord Alaric Wilde has spent the past several years adventuring. Not only has he traveled far and wide to exotic lands, he has chronicled his journeys in a series of books which have taken society by storm. And if that weren’t enough, his stories coupled with his dashing good looks and noble birth inspired a play about him which sells out every night.

Unbeknownst to him, he has become a celebrity of sorts. Women keep the drawings of him on their walls. They lined up outside of the boat when he returned home. They make a pilgrimages to his childhood home. He was completely unaware that any of it was happening. But now that he is finally home, to celebrate the engagement of his brother Roland, he’s getting a rude awakening. [Read more…]

Review: Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Reviewed by Jen

One of my favorite tropes in romance is with a lower class hero/higher class heroine… especially when the lady in question isn’t a snob. That was one of the reasons I was so excited to pick up this first installment in Lorraine Heath’s new Sins for All Seasons series.

Mick Trewlowe is a successful businessman who built his own fortune from the ground up. He’s also a bastard. His father, a duke, gave him to a poor widow at birth, and though Mick knows who the man is, the duke refuses to acknowledge him. So Mick comes up with a plan to ruin Kip, his father’s heir. He’ll force his father to claim him, lest his other son fall into ruin.

The heroine, Aslyn, is a ward of the duke. More importantly, she is supposed to marry Kip. Seducing her is just another facet of Mick’s plan. The only thing he didn’t expect was falling for her himself. [Read more…]

Review: Surrender To The Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Reviewed by Sara

Lynsay Sands was one of the first Historical Romance authors I ever read and she is the first author to introduce me to the delight of Highlander Romances. So, you can be sure that when one of her books is up for grabs, I’m taking it.

Surrender to the Highlander is book 5 of Sands’ Scottish Highlander series. In it, the Buchanan brothers pay a visit to their very pregnant sister, Saidh, only to find out she needs their help. Saidh hasn’t been able to reach her friend Edith in several weeks and she’s worried. The brothers take on the task of looking in on Edith, but when they arrive at Drummond castle they find the castle closed up due to an illness that has overtaken the Laird and several of the brothers and has left Lady Edith on death’s door. The brothers make their way into the castle only to discover it’s no illness that has plagued the castle, but rather poison. This leads to the brothers protecting Lady Edith and bringing her back to health. [Read more…]

Review: Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

Reviewed by Jen

I struggled to get into this book. It wasn’t bad, but it was very slow and it took a really long time before I was even remotely interested in either main character, much less a romance between them.

I picked this up because the hero was a vicar and the blurb promised that he and the heroine would “confront their fiery mutual passion.” I mistakenly thought this would be perhaps a forbidden romance, or at a minimum a gentle reserved hero who would be tempted by a passionate woman. Not so much.

This is the third book in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series and I did not read the first two books. Sometimes with historical romance series, that doesn’t matter. Often, they stand alone very well and you barely notice that there may have been stories that came before. Not here. I wasn’t lost, necessarily, but there were plenty of references to the earlier books and with the struggles I already had to care about the main couple, this only made my problem worse. [Read more…]

Review: The Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes

Reviewed by Jen

This second story in Sophie Barnes’ Diamonds in the Rough series marries the fish out of water trope with an older brother’s best friend romance. Amelia is just a few months into her reintroduction to society after spending most of her life in the slums of St Giles. Her older brother, Raphe, is happily married now and wants to take his wife on a wedding trip, so he asks his friend, the Duke of Coventry, to keep an eye on his sisters while he’s away. Of course, he has no idea that Amelia is nursing a giant crush on the man.

Not only does Coventry agree to watch out for the girls, he promises to draft his mother to help Amelia find a husband. That means lessons in dancing and comportment and a little bit of matchmaking to boot. He’s only doing a favor for Raphe until two things happen which make it into something more. First, he discovers Amelia’s plan to launch a school for unfortunate children. Though she doesn’t show enough regard for her own safety, he can’t help but be impressed by her determination and smarts in creating a business-plan. His appreciation for her grows… so that when the second thing happens–and he sees her in a low cut ball gown–it gets harder to see her as just his best friend’s younger sister. [Read more…]

Review: The Lady in Red by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve enjoyed every installment in this series so far and though this novella veered a little from thread of the main books, it was still a hit for me. This story had nothing to do with the Chegarre & Associates firm who does such a great job fixing problems for the ton. But it’s linked to the other installments by the enigmatic and thoroughly fascinating King character. This is a man who can make anything happen. Here, he is helping Lady Charlotte find a post as an artist.

Charlotte is very gifted at her craft, but no one would ever take a Lady seriously as an artist. So King sets her up with a phony male identity to work on a major project. Her unwitting partner is Flynn Rutledge, a talented artist from the wrong side of the tracks with a chip on his shoulder and a distaste for aristocratic women. Thank Goodness, he only knows Charlotte as “Charlie,” at least for a time. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by Jen

Elizabeth Hoyt gives us one more Maiden Lane story to love in this short holiday read. The heroine is Sarah St. John (younger sister to Godric for those of your familiar with the series.) At 27, she is a bit old to be an unmarried miss, but a house party courtesy of her mother might find her the perfect husband. Then Adam, Viscount d’Arque, shows up at the front door. His carriage has had an accident with his grandmother inside and they need a place to stay. Of course, the St. John family can’t say no even if Godric would love nothing better than to send the man packing… after all, he flirted shamelessly with Godric’s wife back in the day and the memory is still irksome. [Read more…]