Review: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

It seems like people have been telling me forever that I need to try a Lisa Kleypas historical. Better late than never, I finally got around to taking their advice, and I have to say –they were right. This book was great.

Annabelle is a beautiful young lady whose family is on the brink of financial ruin. Since her father’s death, she, her mother and brother have been in a slow decline from the aristocratic lifestyle they knew. Now, their bills are past due, there is nothing left to sell and this is Annabelle’s last season. She would definitely be a good wife to any peer, but she has no dowry, and because of that, her prospects are dim. The only man who seems to really want her is Simon, a wealthy commoner who will never be accepted among the ton. [Read more…]

Review: My Highland Rebel by Amanda Forester

Reviewed by Jen

A sympathetic hero can make all the difference in a book. For instance, my absolute least favorite trope in romance is The Big Secret. And that is the underlying thread in this book. However, I found I enjoyed the story anyway because it had a hero I could not help but to root for. So kudos to Amanda Forester for that.

Cormac is the son of the most fierce and vicious warlord in the Highlands. He wasn’t raised by his father. He was actually brought up by monks. He loves to read. He wants to be a scribe. But his father has other ideas. Red Rex wants to toughen him up, to remake him in his image. And it doesn’t matter that Cormac dreams of something different. It is conform or die. [Read more…]

Review: Lord Sebastian’s Secret by Jane Ashford

Reviewed by Jen

I did not enjoy this book. At all. I had such a difficult time connecting to it. Essentially, I found it boring. I found Lord Sebastian’s secret to be weak. And for something that is supposed to be the crux of the book, that’s not good.

Sebastian thinks he’s stupid. His big secret is that he can’t read. This is no big spoiler; it’s in the blurb. There is absolutely no tension or excitement to be found here. None. Sebastian and lady Georgina met before the book began, so there was no seeing them fall in love. This was already true on the first page. The entire book is about him winning over her peculiar family while hiding the fact that he thinks he’s stupid. That’s it. [Read more…]

Review: Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Shelly

I recently finished Marrying Winterborne – Book 2 in Kleypas’s The Ravenels series and I loved it enough to go back and read book 1. So here am I with a gleam in my eye and a bit gobsmacked about the writing.

Devon Ravenel has just inherited a lot of land, property and responsibility. Yes, it’s all under the guise of an earldom, but considering Devon’s never worked a day in his life, his new responsibilities might prove be burdensome. Kathleen is recently widowed.

There’s a lot here for me to like. Kathleen is a very strong heroine. She’s taken on quite a bit in looking out for the well-being of the Ravenel’s daughters. The ladies have been basically left without a dowry. All they truly have is their title and limited choices, but that’s another story for another day. [Read more…]

Review: Chasing Lady Amelia by Maya Rodale

chasing-lady-ameliaReview by Janell

Did you see the movie Roman Holiday, with Audrey Hepburn? This book is totally Roman Holiday, only set in Regency England, and wackier, and with sex and a happy ending. Other reviews have pointed out how much of the dialogue and activities aren’t exactly period-appropriate, and I agree. This is not the book to read to learn about proper drawing room etiquette, because the drawing room scenes made even my easygoing head spin. [Read more…]

Review: Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

someone-to-loveReviewed by Jen

I generally enjoy Mary Balogh books, so much so that she is an auto read author for me. And while this book was a hit for many other readers, for me, it just did not measure up to some of her other work.

The premise sounded pretty good. Anna grew up in an orphanage, having no idea her father was an Earl. It wasn’t until he died and she was left a massive fortune that the truth came out. The story follows her as she learns the ways of the ton and decides how much of herself she wants to transform in order to fit in. The Hero, Avery, falls for her as he helps her navigate the new waters. [Read more…]

Review: Eternal Hunger by Ainsley Evans

eternal-hungerReviewed by Ronelle

Malcolm MacRoyce has lived a long, long time. Longer than any man should. And he’s passed the centuries as a bitter, lonely creature of the night bent on vengeance. The year is now 1860 and Malcolm finds himself in London on the night of the Masked Ball, feeding on the sick and hunting a killer.

Emily Adams is a dead woman walking. In spite of that, she’s determined to accomplish two things before she dies, to visit her mother’s grave in Florence and to be kissed by a man. The night of the Masked Ball seems the perfect opportunity to accomplish the latter while pretending she is someone she can never be. [Read more…]

Review: The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath

viscount-and-vixenReviewed by Jen

I enjoyed this third installment in the Hellions of Havisham series where we finally go inside the home of the Mad Marquess of Marsden. This is his son, Locke’s story, but Marsden plays a pivotal part. The old Marquess arranged a marriage for himself with a total stranger. The only way his son can get him out of it is to take his place.

Portia is a woman with a secret. We know that from the very beginning, but the particulars take time to unfold. She answered the Marquess’s ad because it was the only way to protect herself from her past. She didn’t reveal everything about herself, but she tried to be honest when she could, and she really did plan to be a good wife to the old man. At least he wouldn’t beat her like her father did, or repeat the experience she had with the last man in her life. He couldn’t break her heart if she never fell in love with him. [Read more…]

Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

when beauty tamed the beastReviewed by Jen

Beauty and the Beast stories are some of my very favorites –and this historical was a total win for me. I felt connected to both the hero and heroine and their chemistry was absolutely fantastic. They have great witty banter, hot sexual tension, and –best of all– can see past each other’s facades to the hidden truths beneath.

Linnet is the beauty of this tale and she was a coveted catch, until an unflattering dress and some food poisoning had the combined effect of convincing the ton she was expecting a baby. They are wrong, of course, but she is ruined nonetheless, leaving her with very few choices for her future. Just one choice, really: she must use her so-called pregnancy to her advantage. Her father ships her off to an Earl in Wales with a beastly reputation and a known injury that leaves him unable to produce an heir. Linnet should be the answer to his prayers. [Read more…]

Review: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kelypas

marrying-winterborneReviewed by Shelly

My first Kleypas. What I was waiting for, I have no idea. This is the 2nd book in the The Ravenels series and I’m not sure how much these two had a presence in the previous story. What I do know is that this works well as a stand alone. The characters follow the storyline as it’s a family oriented saga, but their personalities are suitably represented in this installment.

Rhys Winterborne is a hero I can behind. He grew up rough, in North Wales, as the son of a working man. There’s no nobility or a gentleman’s background for him. Instead he’s a working man who made his own fortune. He owns a department store in a time when people had people to who did things for them – clothes were individually made. Mass production was not the in thing of this time. Rhys employed different people to satisfy either the needs of his customers or the needs of his employees. He’s a demanding employer, but he knew what he wanted both in business and in people. He wanted Helen. He’s always wanted Helen. [Read more…]