Caroline Linden finally delivers answers to the questions she left us with at the end of Love in the Time of Scandal. This is Olivia’s story. She was the widow with a big secret and the super creepy stalker, Lord Clary. She is also the woman who should have married Penelope’s brother, Jamie. This story is both a mystery and a reunited lovers story. And it finally unmasks the elusive Lady Constance, whose stories have titillated characters in every book of the series. [Read more…]
Caroline Linden books almost always work for me. So it was cool to look back on one of her earlier stories with this reissue from 10 years ago. While I’ll admit, the premise is a little far-fetched, I still enjoyed the book. In fact, I plan to pick up the other two parts of the trilogy.
Marcus, the Duke of Exeter, has been cleaning up his twin brother’s messes for as long as he can remember. But this takes the cake. After his latest scrape, his brother David proposed marriage to a vicar’s widow, then signed Marcus’s name to the marriage certificate. To make matters worse, he put an ad in the paper and wrote to their family about the Duke’s so called romance. [Read more…]
Lord Atherton wasn’t a character painted with the kindest brush in Caroline Linden’s last book. When we met Benedict in It Takes a Scandal, we knew him as Sebastian’s former best friend; the man who turned his back on Sebastian and then tried to court Abigail, the woman his friend loved. Ben is handsome, charming, and heir to an earldom, but Abigail’s sister Penelope refuses to ignore all the wrongs he has done. Why didn’t he defend Sebastian all those years ago? Why did he pursue her sister, when he clearly never loved her? [Read more…]
In every installment of Caroline Linden’s Scandalous series, the naughty 50 Ways to Sin stories have captured the attention and imagination of the more daring ladies of the ton. Everyone is talking about them and no one knows the identity of the woman behind the bold serial. Now a wager has Douglas Bennet tasked with unmasking her. His target: the aloof widow, Madeline Wilde.
Douglas didn’t even know Madeline existed until a friend threw down the gauntlet, daring him to turn her head. But despite his title and charm, she remains unmoved. That, of course, only serves to intrigue him more. And once he learns she could be the author of those salacious stories, he’s only drawn in deeper. [Read more…]
This book reminded me how much I enjoy reading Caroline Linden books. It hit all my happy buttons, with minimal internal conflicts, a somewhat tortured hero, and a romance that kept me invested from beginning to end.
Sebastian is a pariah in his small country town. He came back from war with a broken body, only to find that his father had lost his mind. If that weren’t bad enough, his dad sold off almost all of their land for a small fraction of its worth, so they are now destitute. [Read more…]
Joan isn’t very good at being fashionable. She’s too tall, too curvy, yet she tries to wear the clothes, the hats, and the hairstyles popular for her more dainty peers. As a result, she isn’t very popular with gentlemen. Her frankness and independent spirit don’t help either. She yearns for some freedom and a chance at romance, but neither looks especially forthcoming.
Tristan is her brother’s best friend. He is also a notorious rake and hellraiser who has no intention of being shackled by marriage. [Read more…]
One of my favorite books of recent years is a post-apocalypse trans-Siberian trucker story, DRIVEN. It came out a few years ago under the name Eve Kenin, but the author recently republished it under her real name, Eve Silver.
I read this book when it first came out and even though I would never have thought to write a romance that a) is set in an Arctic wasteland; b) involves gene manipulation; and c) involves big rig trucking….well, I am still consumed with jealousy that I didn’t write this book. It’s got everything: a truly kick-ass heroine who fends for herself and saves both herself (and others) more than once, a hero who is tough, sexy, and so endearingly charming it makes me laugh out loud, and a plot filled with taut intrigue and adventure.
When I read it again (in reissued form) recently, it was even better than the first time, and it still made me cry. There’s a sequel, HIDDEN, which will hopefully be made available soon because it’s just as good as DRIVEN. And then you can all join my campaign to lobby the author for another sequel…
I think you should be able to find it at most ebook retailers.
Thank you to Caroline Linden for sharing her recommendation with me! I asked Caroline to be a part of this feature because I really enjoy her Historical Romance books. She skips so many of the standard and ridiculous tropes of the genre and she leaves me satisfied every time I read one of her books. Her novella, I love the Earl, won the RITA this year for Best Romance Novella!
Here is your chance to try out Caroline’s recommendation. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win an ebook of Driven. You can also enter to win one of three copies of I Love the Earl. Both giveaways are international.
*”Favorites from…” photo: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Caroline Linden has never let me down. She has great love stories that never make me angry. I never hate her heroes. I’m never tempted to toss the nook against the wall. Somehow she manages to create couples whose obstacles are not self-imposed. The characters are all generally likable and the romance, easy to root for. And this third book in the Truth About the Duke series may be my favorite of the bunch.
When we first met the hero, Charlie, back in One Night in London, he was difficult to like. He was a playboy of the highest order, leaving the family responsibilities to his brothers. But as we get to know him here, we learn there are reasons for the way he is. He made a break with his father after the man sabotaged his betrothal. He lost the woman he loved and he never forgave his father for it.
The overall arc of the series has been focused on the three de Lacey brothers as they try to prove their legitimacy and unmask the man who was blackmailing their father in the days before his death. Now that his younger brothers are wrapped up with their new wives, the duty falls to Charlie. All he has to go on is an old ledger kept by the man who married his father to his first wife… and a possible name for the blackmailer: Hiram Scott. When Charlie hears Scott’s name linked to an impertinent widow staying at his hotel, he grabs on to the lead with both hands.
Tessa is woman completely uninterested in gossip or climbing social station. She is utterly oblivious to the so-called Durham Dilemma surrounding Charlie’s family. She is in Bath to guide her brother in an investment opportunity with Mr Scott –an unusual task for a woman, but she is no ordinary woman. She is plain-spoken and independent. And a failed engagement has left her with no desire to find a husband. But once Charlie begins to cozy up to her and her companion, it’s hard to remember why she has cut herself off from the opposite sex.
It was interesting to see how the whole blackmailing storyline finally came together. It was unpredictable and satisfying. But where the story really shined was in the romance. It was sweet, but still managed to pull off the sexy times. Charlie is a rake, but a good man. I think one of the reasons I ended up liking him so much was because he could see what a treasure Tessa really was. He treated her well. He was honest with her. And she was never coy. She didn’t scheme. She said what was on her mind. They were each exactly what the other needed.
You don’t have to read the earlier installments to enjoy this book, but I think it’s even better after the events of the first two books. It’s not overly angsty or tumultuous, but it’s a pleasant read and a solid romance.
*ARC Provided by Avon
The Way to a Duke’s Heartby Caroline LindenRelease Date: August 28, 2012Publisher: Avon
Caroline Linden hasn’t let me down yet and this latest book is no exception. It picks up as a companion story to One Night in London, though I think it would still make sense as a standalone. The premise to the series: after the Duke of Durham’s death, his three sons find out that his marriage to their mother may have been invalid. A blackmailer claims to have proof that the Duke was married to another woman first and never divorced. With their legitimacy and estate at risk, the sons now must find out who the blackmailer is –and stop him before he ruins their future.
This story follows the efforts of the youngest son, Gerard. He plans to track down the blackmailer and silence him by whatever means necessary. But as a third son, he knows that even if he is successful, he’ll need a wealthy bride to keep up his standard of living. Enter Katherine. She’s heard about the scandal surrounding the Durham family and she presents herself to Gerard for marriage. She is a very wealthy widow, albeit a plain one, who has nursed a secret affection for him for years. Of course, he doesn’t remember the one time they met years ago, but her offer and her sizable funds prove to be irresistible.
After a quick wedding, the two of them head out for Bath, so Gerard can continue his quest. Katherine, or Kate as he calls her, is quiet and kind of awkward. But Gerard quickly indoctrinates her into the ways of passion. They connect quickly in the bedroom, but Kate finds herself longing for a deeper connection with her husband. It’s a pretty straightforward love story, as Gerard slowly realizes what a hidden gem his wife really is. In the meantime, Kate must learn to stop hiding behind the careful façade that she built to deal with her unkind mother and uncaring first husband. She must also learn to trust in Gerard and believe in her own worth.
I know I have said it before, but one of the reasons I like Caroline Linden books is because she doesn’t rely on standard tropes to advance her stories. I never find myself rolling my eyes or annoyed by unnecessary misunderstandings. We’re just watching two people grow and learn what it means to love. Oh yeah, and the sex is hot too.
We don’t get much further in the blackmailing arc, but the story sets up Charlie’s book nicely, where we’re sure to see a resolution. I’m also happy to say that we got an appearance from Margaret, the heroine from “I Love the Earl.” We get her perspective on the scandal surrounding her brother (the Duke) and we see how her HEA played out. I enjoyed this one. 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Blame It on Bathby Caroline LindenRelease Date: February 28, 2012Publisher: Avon
Edward de Lacey is the second son of the Duke of Durham. And as his father dies, Edward learns that the old man had been keeping a very big secret. It seems the Duke was married before he met Edward’s mother –and never divorced. If that comes to light, not only will Edward and his brothers lose the estate, but their legitimacy as well. So Edward rushes off to the finest lawyer in town, hoping to secure his family’s future.
He has no idea Francesca has hopes of using the very same attorney to help her gain custody of her niece. The girl’s stepmother is refusing her access to the child, even though Francesca’s brother-in-law promised her custody before he died. This attorney is her last hope… and he accepts her case. But then Edward swoops in with his problems and the lawyer drops her instantly.
Devastated and furious, Francesca confronts Edward, demanding his help, to repay her for stealing the lawyer out from under her. Of course, he blows her off at first. But later, when she helps him in a way that no one else can, he agrees help her in return. Once they start working together, it’s just a matter of time before they give in to the attraction between them.
There are alot of things I liked about this book. I liked that Francesca was a widow and not the trembling virgin that is the female lead for most historical romances. I liked that their feelings for each other were not instant, but grew over the course of the book. I liked their explosion of passion when they finally came together. And maybe most importantly, I liked that neither of them were ever dishonorable toward the other. They treated each other well at all times and never lost their loyalty or honesty. (There is one little blip at the end, but it’s a small matter and is resolved quickly.)
I really enjoyed the prequel I Love the Earl for many of the same reasons. And while they never mention Edward’s father by name, I believe he is Francis, brother to the heroine in that novella. It appears there are more stories to come, featuring Edward’s brothers –and I look forward to reading what’s next for Charlie and Gerard. Almost 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
One Night in Londonby Caroline LindenRelease Date: August 30, 2011Publisher: Avon