Review: How to Marry a Highlander

how to marry a highlanderReviewed by Carrie

I should really learn to look up a book before agreeing to review simply to know what I’m getting in to. This is a novella set in a series, but fortunately for me, it held up all on its own.

Teresa Finch-Freeworth is on borrowed time. She’s nearly on the shelf and her parents are all but demanding she marry the boring town vicar. A visit with the town gossip delivers the news that the Earl that she was enraptured by last season was in town with his seven sisters. Teresa screws up her courage and goes on a Hail Mary trip to London with the goal of snaring the man or at the very least having an adventure before her dull future becomes reality. [Read more…]

Review: In the Arms of a Marquess

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been seven years since Octavia last saw the man stole her heart.  Back then, she and Ben both lived in India.  She hoped they would have a future together, but they were torn apart, each thinking the other betrayed them.  But now they’re both in England and it takes no time at all before they cross paths.

Octavia has a persistent suitor in Lord Crispin.  He wants to marry her, but she knows she’ll never love him –never burn for him, the way she does for Ben.  But by all appearances, Ben is in a serious relationship of his own.  When Octavia overhears someone blackmailing Crispin, though, she believes Ben can help get to the bottom of it.  His investigation throws them together, setting them on a path to rekindling their love.

I had a very hard time connecting with this book. More than 100 pages into it, I was still waiting for a spark.  But there was so much talk of India and trade and the politics of the time, I felt my eyes glazing over.  I just wanted to get to the romance!  And when we finally did begin to focus on Ben and Octavia, I got so frustrated.  It was one big misunderstanding after another… words left unsaid that could have saved everyone a mountain of heartache.  Just… ugh.

The love scenes were steamy and when the hero and heroine could finally get past their issues long enough to connect, I was really quite engaged. Unfortunately, that happened far too little for my taste.  The big mystery about the blackmail scheme was convoluted and simply not exciting.  This is the third book in the Rogues of the Sea series and the other installment I read didn’t do much for me either.  I don’t think this author and I are a good fit.

A little less than 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

In the Arms of a Marquess
by Katharine Ashe
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Avon

Review: A Lady’s Wish

Reviewed by Jen

This short story is exactly what I’m looking for when I read a historical romance. It was heartwarming, sexy and didn’t detract from the romance with any contrived sidestory.

Patricia and Nikolas had one glorious day together, nine years ago. But circumstances separated them and they have thought of each other with longing ever since. Nik went on to become a successful sea captain, while Patricia suffered through a loveless marriage. But she’s a widow by the time they cross paths again. And while she is no longer an innocent, she has never felt the fire and passion she felt for Nik in her youth. At least not until she is with him again.  Both characters are cautious in their accidental reunion.  Each wants the other as much as that day years ago…
The only thing I didn’t like about this story is that there wasn’t MORE of it.  Both lead characters were likable and fleshed out.  Their relationship was both sweet and sexy.  Simply excellent.
This is part of the Rouges at Sea series, but is easy to read as a stand alone.  5 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Review: Captured by a Rogue Lord

Reviewed by Jen

At 25, Serena has given up hope of ever finding love or a husband. But she is a loyal sister and is determined to help her step-sister Charity make a match with the Earl of Savege. Of course, Serena has no idea that it’s the Earl she has come across in a dark parlour, just before Charity is to meet the man.  Sparks fly the second Serena and Alex meet. And the two share some passionate moments without ever exchanging names.  When they come face-to-face at Alex’s introduction to Charity, they are still drawn together like magnets.

Alex is not only an earl, but has a secret identity as a Robin-Hood type pirate.  He’s never had any inclination to settle down before, but is considering marriage in order to have an heir.  Neither he nor Charity want the betrothal the girl’s mother has engineered, but somehow they are both drawn into it.  The story follows Serena as she struggles between her role as a dutiful sister and woman desperately attracted to her sister’s fiance.

The non-romantic subplot features Serena’s determination to bring down a smuggling ring targeting the area. The men have been linked to thedeflowering and disappearance of local girls.  And that hits close to home for our heroine, since her young sister was snatched that way as a child.  Serena continuously appeals to Alex for help and even seeks out his alter-ego, in hopes the infamous Pirate Redstone would be the hero she needs.

The pirate subplot, I found myself skimming over in order to get back to the love story.  There’s a lot of talk about Alex and his brother’s history with their arch-enemy Poole, but I couldn’t bring myself to care much about it. Every time we went back to that part of the story or the smugglers, my eyes kind of glassed over.   As for the love story: It was obvious from the beginning that Serena and Alex needed to be together. And it annoyed me how her step-mother’s machinations to match Alex with Charity were successful for so long.  It was a pleasure watching Serena’s awakening; and just as much fun seeing Alex fall in love, despite his rakish intentions.  The love scenes we had were solid.  And I was satisfied with the ending.

This book is a companion to Swept Away by a Kiss. The hero from that story is part of this one. But in no way do you need to have read that book to understand what’s going on here. 3 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley