Review: Last Night With the Earl by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

The more I read from Kelly Bowen, the more I am convinced that her work is right in my lane. This second installment in Devils of Dover series features familiar characters from A Duke in the Night (which I loved!) but this holds up fine as a standalone. Honestly, I expected this installment to be the pinnacle for me. After all, it features a scarred hero, which is usually my catnip. And I did like it. There were just a couple of issues that kept if from being my all-time favorite from this author.

Eli Dawes, the Earl of Rivers, has been missing and assumed dead for years. Badly injured at Waterloo, he was ready to leave his old life behind and hide the disfigurement he endured from an artillery blast. But when solicitors tracked him down at a farm in Belgium after his father’s death, his regret and sense of duty finally drove him home to accept his title. Imagine his surprise to arrive to his family’s country estate to find it rented out to the Haywood family and their school for young ladies. [Read more…]

Review: Will’s True Wish by Grace Burrowes

wills true wishReviewed by Jen

I think it’s fair to say that this series is not for me. I was seriously underwhelmed with the last installment, and I walked away from this one feeling much the same way. I liked the idea of the story so much more than the execution. I struggled to keep myself from skimming through parts. I struggled, and honestly, sometimes failed. Because I was bored. Because I kept waiting for things to pick up… to heat up… but they just never did. [Read more…]

Review: Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes

daniels true desireReviewed by Jen

I had high hopes for this romance. The hero is vicar who is challenged to suppress his desires in order to honor his calling. Daniel has a horrible wife from whom he is estranged. He would like nothing more than to cut her completely from his life, but a divorce –or even an annulment– would rob him of the vocation he holds most dear. He is trying to make a new life for himself without her, yet he will always be tied to her by the bonds of matrimony. [Read more…]

Janell’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014I spent a lot of time this year reading older books, so I hope you don’t mind some oldies at the top of my list.

heirThe Heir by Grace Burrowes (2010)

This book is a few years old, but it was new to me this year, and it has one of my favorite tropes: woman goes undercover as housekeeper. In a nice twist, the Earl of Westhaven doesn’t immediately lust after his new employee. Instead, he appreciates her competency and her baked goods. Anna performs her role well, and she only slowly develops a familiarity with her employer. Let me emphasize “slowly.” This is a long book with a slow burn, which I really enjoyed. [Read more…]

Review: The Heir by Grace Burrowes

heirReviewed by Janell

This book was published in 2010, but thanks to my stack of borrowed books, I just read it. And it’s one of my favorite books of the year, which is so awesome for me because it looks like this is the first in a series of seven (so far), so I’ve just piled on to my TBR list.

Gayle Windham, aka the Earl of Westhaven, will inherit a dukedom when his father dies. Westhaven was the “spare,” the second son, but his older brother died in the war. Another brother recently died of consumption, and so the not-so-old Duke is anxious to see Westhaven get married to protect the lineage and title. Westhaven is tired of his father’s manipulations and has no interest in marrying a simpering debutante, so he decides to spend the summer hiding out in his London townhouse where Society is absent because of the heat. [Read more…]

Review: The Captive by Grace Burrowes

captiveReviewed by Jen

I enjoyed this book. It has an angsty, tortured hero, a strong and supportive heroine, an interesting storyline and a satisfying conclusion.  But when it was over, I was left wondering why I didn’t love it… but merely liked it.  Here is what I have come up with: the romance was too easy.  Oh, the journey each character had to endure was horrible, yes.  But the road to love was a cakewalk. Let’s back up. [Read more…]

Review: David by Grace Burrowes

davidReviewed by Shelly

The conclusion to Grace Burrowes’s ‘Lord of Honor’ series is my first by this author. I’ve not read any of the other stories in the series so I can’t say how this one relates, nor can I begin to guess how David’s character was represented in any of the previous installments in the series. The first half to three-quarters of this story read slowly for me. I don’t know if it was because I felt like I need a dictionary with me at all times or just the storyline needed something more – maybe it’s that I should have read the first 8 books in the series. There’s no advisory that warned me that this couldn’t be read a standalone. [Read more…]

Review: The Bridegroom Wore Plaid

Reviewed by Jen

I have mixed feelings on this book.  There were things I really liked about it. The primary romance was well done. I liked the hero and the heroine.  And though the progression of their love story was predictable, I really enjoyed watching them fall in love.  However, there are too many subplots that are not fleshed out –side stories with great potential– that left me feeling like I missed things and confused at times.

At the center of the story is Ian, the presumptive heir to a Scottish title.  He is a wonderful laird who faces financial straights.  As so many others did before him, he decides he must marry a woman with a large dowry to secure the future of his people.  It appears that woman will be Genie Daniels, a well-dowered English woman who comes to his land with her family to make a titled match.  No one has any illusions about what the marriage would be: Ian gets the money he needs and Genie gets the title her family wants.  Only, it’s not quite so simple.

Genie has no desire to marry Ian. Her horrible father is forcing her.  But her cousin Augusta sees in Ian all the wonderful things Genie can’t.  He is handsome, smart, and loyal.  Augusta and Ian strike up a friendship that quickly makes way to something more, despite the fact that they both realize they can have no future together.  It’s bittersweet as they fall deeply in love, seeing no chance at long lasting happiness.

In the meantime, Genie is setting her sights on Ian’s brother Gil. Her brother is falling for Ian’s sister.  And even the chaperone, Julia, is getting action with brother number three, Connor. Generally, I love some good secondary romances, and all of these could have held up their own stories, but it wasn’t done that way.  We would jump in and out of these pairings without witnessing key events in their development.  We hear about things that had happened off page, and I often found myself flipping back in the book to make sure I hadn’t missed entire scenes that were being referenced. This happened several times and left me feeling off balance and annoyed.  (Especially since some the events sound like they would have been very entertaining to read.)

While all of this matchmaking is going on, there is also danger afoot.  Augusta’s horrible uncle is trying to kill her. It’s not explicitly stated why from the beginning, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.  He was really more of a caricature of a villain than one you could really sink your teeth into.

But despite my complaints,  I really did enjoy Augusta and Ian’s romance.  I felt like I knew and understood them both.  They were easy to root for and they stirred my emotions.  The sexual tension was hot. The sex was good.  And the ending satisfied.

Rating: C+

*ARC Provided by Sourcebooks via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid
by Grace Burrowes
Release Date: December 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca