Kathleen Strong is down on her luck and in need of a new job after false rumors ruin her career as a governess. The newly established Heavenly Host, a debauched mens club, offers to pay her well and send her home to England in exchange for her virginity. Handsome rake Alistiar Rohan, founder of the club, has a slightly different proposition for her, one that she can't refuse.
I read this in preperation for the ARC copy of Shameless I recieved from Netgalley. I haven't read the previous books in the series and wanted to get a feel for the world I would be stepping into. What better way than to read a short erotic prequel to the series?
This was very short, but well planned out unlike many other short stoires. There isn't much time to set up the characters and the situation, however Anne Stuart does a remarkable job pulling you in and not letting go until the end. I loved Alistair and Kathleen's characters and hope we see more of them in the full length stories. All in all, this was a fun, quick, sultry read that I would definitely reccommend. (less)
This was a Barnes & Noble ebook freebie. I enjoy these short little stories that I can read when I'm in the mood for one and Hysteria is a bit bet...moreThis was a Barnes & Noble ebook freebie. I enjoy these short little stories that I can read when I'm in the mood for one and Hysteria is a bit better than the average. Hysteria creates an erotic story around the 19th century method for treating madness or "hysteria" in women. Pretty creepy when you think about it, but this short story manages to make something erotic out of it.
At first you think the main charcter is an insane person recieving weekly "treatments" however, you later ocme to find her life is completely devoid of love and affection. A handsome docor eventually takes over her therapy and romance ensues. Good for a short smut. (less)
Don't let the cover fool you! This book has a lot more to it than your average sexy romance novel.
"The first time I met Death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz, and I feared him, feared the things he made me feel, made me want. That night I ran from him, but Death was right behind me, chasing me and I wanted him to catch me."
Isabella has a scandalous past and a family reputation she is determined to prove wrong. Her mother's past mistakes and their consequences have made Isabella hide her passionate self. Lord Black, the dark and mysterious neighbor, is also determined...determined to seduce her! This tale is full of scandal, seduction, ancient templar secrets, and sexy Freemasons!
Seduction & Scandal is the first installment of the Brethren Guardian series and is not to be missed. I read through this very quickly and had a hard time convincing myself it was time to put it down and get soem sleep. Lord Black is one of the hottest alpha males in the Harlequin lineup!
Underneath the sexy surface, Charlotte Featherstone has woven in touches of Masonic lore and has carefully entwined her characters' fates. The next installment is set up very nicely and will be on my shelf as soon as it releases. Isabella's cousin Lucy's story, Pride and Passion, comes out in November.(less)
I have been eagerly anticipating Pride & Passion ever since I finished its predicessor Seduction & Scandal this summer. The characters are endearing and the plot promises to always offer Masonic excitment. Charlotte Featherstone has quickly become one of my top authors to watch! Her smooth and scintilating way with words is sure to captivate and please readers of romance.
The Duke of Delicousness does not dissapoint! Adrian is absolutely wonderful and his back story connection with Lucy was so sweet and heart wrenching. This book focuses more on the romance between our hero and heroine more than the developing series plotline. I actually felt it was a bit lacking in that part. I got the sense that this was really a book written to bridge the series plot over to the next book. Not much happens here in the way of Masonic doings, but the romance between Sussex and Lucy makes up for it. I was actually pretty greatful to just sink into the romance and take a break from all the running around and investigating.
Pride & Passion leaves us with a cliffhanger that will leave fans of the series dying to get their hand son the next book. Temptation & Twilight which will be Elizabeth and Iian's story! I love me some highland rake and will finally get the chance to indulge when the next book comes out in July 2012!(less)
While perusing the aisles of my favorite local used book store, I came across this one and picked it up because of the pretty cover, but bought it because the words "highland" and "rogue" appeared on it. Lately I've found I can't resist anything promising me a roguish alpha male with a Scottish accent and Highland Rogue, London Miss delivers a fairly decent portrayal.
The basic concept of this novel is finding out what happens when you take an opinionated, virtuously headstrong women, and a freewheeling handsome rogue and place them in a situation where they must pretend they are married. As you can imagine, it's a tough situation as it is, but then place them in 1800s England and Scotland and it becomes scandalously interesting.
The plot behind the romance is a bit weak and seems to be forced in order to set up steamy situations for our hero and heroine. Besides this flaw, it really is just a quick read with fun characters and decent love scenes built up with sexual tension fueled by what is or isn't proper. Don't get me wrong, that can be a great formula when it comes to 1800s romance, but it is only so-so in this particular case. (less)
Sir Mark Turner is the very picture of respectability. He's the most eligible bachelor in London and a celebrity for writing his practical guide to chastity. Behind all the fame and fortune, Sir Mark longs to be seen as the man that he is, imperfect just like everyone else. When he meets fiery Jessica Farleigh, he gets just that; Jessica despises him for his fame and Mark is determined to make her like him. Behind her beautiful facade, Jessica has a secret, she is actually a courtesan tasked with seducing the virginal Sir Mark and ruining his reputation, but will she find love instead?
Unclaimed is an absolutely delightful twist on the tale of seduction in the 1800s. This time, the man is the virginal, innocent one and the woman is set on bedding him. This was very well written with a unique take on regency style historical romance. You will get your silk and scandal style romance fix with a few surprises. First off, there is so much depth behind both Mark and Jessica's tales. They have each suffered society's demands in their own ways and have survived their dark pasts.
All Jessica knows how to do is survive, but Mark shows her something completely different and it frightens her. I have to say I liked Jessica a lot. Have you ever noticed that the majority of characters named Jessica in literature and film are all either stupid, bitchy, slutty, or a combination of the three? I was so happy when I picked this book up and found a Jessica who is intelligent, courageous, and loyal. Yay! I finally have a literary Jessica I can look up to!
In summation, the passion between Mark and Jessica made chills run down my spine throughout most of the book and that's saying a lot as they don't actually do anything but kiss for 3/4 of the book! Their chemistry is smoldering and their shared painful pasts will make your heartache. A wonderful tale for any romance lover. (less)
I was graciously provided with a copy for review by Netgalley for Harlequin. Having never read this series before with the exception of a short story, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book could easily be read on its own. I absolutely loved the setting, characters, and sultry situations the couple gets themselves into.
Bennedick Rohan is in the market for a new wife after the loss of his previous two to childbirth. He is also in the market for a mistress. Rohan knows what he wants, a subservient wife to provide him with an heir, and an adventurous mistress to please him in bed. When he meets Melsande Carstaris, widow and good Samaritan, he finds neither, and both.
I love the contrast of these two characters. Melisande is sweet and naively virginal to the pleasure of the flesh as her first marriage was to an elderly man. She spends her days helping former prostitutes find a better life for themselves by teaching them a trade and giving them a place to stay while they get on their feet... and off their backs. Sorry couldn't help it! Benedick has set out to dedicate himself to experiencing all the pleasure and depravity he can until he meets Melisande and finds himself annoyingly infatuated with her. These two are so different from each other that they are absolutely perfect together rattling off dry quips and finding themselves in compromising situations.
This was a great read. It really had it all, humor, romance, and a few thrills towards the end. I will most definitely be starting the series from the beginning so I can find out more about the Heavenly Host, a secret deviant society. I also am interested to read the stories of some of the couples briefly mentioned in this story. So I guess while I wait for the next installment to come out, (I hope it's about Brandon and Emma!), I will be catching up on what I missed out on! (less)
Beldon Stratten is the epitome of the perfect English gentleman and he just so happens to be in the market for a bride. He knows exactly what he wants, a perfectly proper English rose, that is, until Lilya Stefanov waltzes into his life and takes him for a wild ride. Liliya is the bearer of a rare diamond that many dangerous men would kill to get their hands on. Now Lilya must choose between protecting her family's legacy or embracing a happily-ever-after with the man she loves.
I don't feel like the title does this book justice. It suggests that Lilya is scandalous and improper. Her character is actually quite the opposite. She is sweet, intelligent, and courageous as she secretly protects her family's legacy from those who would use it to gain power. Of all the Harlequin titles I have read, Secret Life's heroine has to be my favorite. She was such a strong willed, unselfish model that I couldn't help but like her. Beldon's character came across like a weak cup of tea for most of the book, until near the end when he faces losing Lilya. He really steps up at this point in the story and takes charge of things. Beldon isn't the alpha male I usually enjoy, however he does have his sweet English charm.
The story is really what sets this book apart from others within the Harlequin-Historical lineup. The romance feels like it was built to fit around the story, instead of the story facilitating the romance, which was really nice. Many other books like this have left me feeling like the author created the situations in this story just to give the couple an excuse to get steamy. Scott manages to make every encounter between Lilya and Beldon feel spontaneous and realistic; loving and sultry as their relationship grows through the dangers hey encounter.
Overall, this was an engaging quick read with a memorable couple and a very sweet romance. You can pick up a copy for your reading pleasure September 6th. (less)
Puck is quite literally a sexy bastard. Women want to bed him and men want to be him. However, after returning to London after a long stay in Paris, Puck finds the English are a bit more concerned with his bastard status than his Parisian fanbase.
Regina is the daughter of a status seeking merchant who intends to profit off of marrying her to a title. Only seen as a commodity by her father and left to fend for herself by her alcoholic mother, Regina just wants to have a little fun before she is sold off to the highest bidder.
This was a very quick and entertaining read. Puck was charming and completely lovable living up to his namesake nicely. His interactions with Regina were fun, but I felt she gave into him a bit easily. I was also irritated that she seemed to obey whatever he said without much of a fight. I like my heroines to be a bit spunky and not so easily attained, but I guess if my dad were about to sell me off like a horse I would run off with Puck in an instant too!
The two meet at a masquerade ball which was a bit cliche and common in these types of stories, however there was an interesting plot twist. Regina's cousin Miranda is kidnapped at the ball and she must find her with the help of Puck before Miranda is sold off into the sex slave trade. Pretty different for a historical romance, but still very predictable. If you don't catch on to who is behind it all almost immediately I will be surprised.
Recommended to romance and historical romance lovers. Fairly typical, but with a delightfully fun hero. Let's just say Puck will make you love life!
A sexy gladiator and his master getting sweaty? Yes please! The cover is gorgeous and so are the men, so you'd think this book would have blown my mind. Unfortunately not so much.
This book was just ok for me. Usually my next phrase would be, "and here's why..." However, in this case I have to say I couldn't quite put my finger on why this wasn't a great read for me. The premise was fairly new to me and the characters were likable enough. The story is truly heartfelt and the love between Cealius and Gaidres is both fiery and sweet. There is just something here that is missing for me, some essential spark that isn't tangible, the story either has it or it doesn't. I found myself becomign easily distracted and taking frequent breaks to read something else. I have to give the authors props for writing such hot and steamy sex scenes, but even these fell flat for me at times.
Lot's of people who have reviewed this book seem to love it, so I feel kind of weird saying it was just ok, but there you have it!(less)
This was just ok for me. Nothing really special honestly. It just seems to be another drop in the historical romance bucket that has been dumped over...moreThis was just ok for me. Nothing really special honestly. It just seems to be another drop in the historical romance bucket that has been dumped over my head this year. I enjoy historical romance very much, but so many of these books are the same. The plotlines, concepts, and scandals seem to meld together in one big gooey historical romance fondue pot, giving me the constant feeling I'm pretty sure I've dipped my bread in this cheese before. (less)
Sir Ivor Mackintosh, known as Hawk, is summoned by His Grace the King of Scotts to secretly escort his son Jamie to safety from the greedy Duke of Albany. Little does he know that Jamie's nursemaid is actually the young prince's cousin Marsi, a ward of the crown fleeing from the prospect of a forced marriage.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I have been looking for a long time for a series that gave me a similar feeling to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and Highland Hero fit the bill. Now I'm not saying this is anywhere near as epic as Outlander however, it was very fun and had a similar adventurous feel to it. The author really did her homework when she put this book together. The settings and cultural feel authentic; readers who appreciate history will be sucked right in. It does drag on a bit towards the middle while they are making their way to Saint Andrews, but picks up again right in time for the closing chapters. The only real complaint I have is that the constant use of Scottish Colloquialism is very distracting and slows down the pace at times giving the speech an unnatural feel for American readers. I can't imagine what it must have been like to write "I ken fine!" and "In troth!" a few hundred times while putting this book together.
I would recommend this for Highlander Romance fans, history lovers, and anyone who wants a romantic adventure. The characters are very lovable especially young Jamie and scrappy Marsi. Ivor kind of fell flat for me as a hero, but then again I also like my love scenes a bit juicier than the ones provided in this book. (less)
This book was a lot better than I expected. With a cover to match it's title, Ripe for Scandal offers the reader a range of emotions not typical to th...moreThis book was a lot better than I expected. With a cover to match it's title, Ripe for Scandal offers the reader a range of emotions not typical to the usual smutty historical romance fare as the main characters take on hardship after hardship in their already shaky marriage. I gave it three stars for diverting a bit from the formula of historical romance we are so used to. However, fans of this genre will still feel comfortable and familiar with the style and locales. (less)
Caroline Broadhurst is a loyal wife and has been since the day she married her MUCH older husband at 14. Now that she is 28 and he is nearing his end, Mr. Broadhurst desperately wants and heir. After years of being unable to conceive not only with Caroline, but also with his two previous wives, he has a proposal for his dutiful wife. Become impregnated by a well standing gentleman or lose everything that should be rightfully hers once he dies.
This isn't a new concept to period romances, however Katy Madison writes her interpretation with great style and emotion. I enjoyed the characters and the overall read of the book, but I just couldn't get past all the unconsensual fooling around Caroline is forced to do. I understand that it is part of the plot and that she has to endure a certain amount of it to be convincing to her husband, but Caroline spends more time being fondled by these disgusting brutes than she does romancing with our hero Jack Applegate. Honestly, the romance doesn't even really get going until the last third of the book! For this reason, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
There is a lot to like about All About Seduction. It was a fast paced read, with great detail of the time period and well thought out characters. Caroline is not your average wealthy lady, she actually cares about the people who work the cotton mill that makes her and her husband rich. She advocates for the workers and even does her best to keep young children from participating in the difficult and dangerous labor. I really enjoyed this about her character.
I believe most readers will enjoy this book, but may be caught off guard by the indecency that Caroline is forced to endure. There really wasn't enough romantic development between the Jack and Caroline for my taste, but there you have it. This book is an enjoyable read with a sweet ending, but leaves something to be desired in the way of romance.(less)
When Alyson accompanies her new husband Niall Clyne during his voyage she discovers one of the young passengers is the heir to the Scottish throne. Along the coast of England they are quickly overtaken by pirates, the heir is kidnapped, and Alyson is left for dead on the sinking ship by her negligent husband. Enter Jake Maxwell, Scottish knight of the realm and captain of the Sea Wolf. Will rescuing Alyson lead to an epic romance or epic trouble?
After being thoroughly impressed with the previous book in this trilogy Highland Hero, I was looking forward to continuing the story Scott set before her readers and get to know our Highland Wolf, Jake Maxwell better. All I can say is that what I got in comparison to what I had previously read was a bit of a disappointment. For a book titled Highland Lover there was very little loving going on. The majority of the book is bogged down with details concerning Jamie's kidnapping, the journey to St. Andrews, and the legal ramifications of Alyson's marriage making the overall feel of the book come off dry and drudging. We gets hints throughout the book that Alyson and Jake have a thing for each other, but not much happens until the last quarter of the book. This final installment in the trilogy is still well written, but lacks the captivating spark of the previous book. I kept putting this one down and moving on to a different book. I read chapters in between large sections of other novels in hopes I would finally get into it, but it never really happened.
For some reason, in the previous book, the Scottish colloquialisms were charming, but in this book they became cumbersome, slowing down the read substantially. Especially when the group sets foot in the English tavern and decides they need to imitate the speech of the locals. Dear lord! I was struggling to get through the dialogue portions at this point and was grateful when a large portion of narration came along. Don't get me wrong, I love me a sexy Scottish accent, but it was just not happening here.
Besides the dryness of the story and lack of any actual "lovers" until near the end, the main plot revolving around the Scottish throne is never resolved. When the story comes to a close, Jamie is still in English hands and Albany appears to be on his way to claiming Scotland for his own. It was almost like Jake and Alyson got their happy ending so *shrugs* oh well! I'm hoping that Scott did this because she is planning on continuing the development of Jamie's plight in another set of novels, and this may very well be, but it still felt unpleasantly abrupt. Needless to say this is my least favorite installment in the series, but Scott has not lost me yet. I look forward to future Highland romance novels from her matching up to the potential I observed in Highland Hero. (less)
Tess and Jack haven't seen each other for 10 years, but when her father's disappearance brings them back together again, they must overcome their turbulent past and join their roguish skills once again for the greater good. Will Black Jack be able to deny the fire that still lingers between them? Will Tess find the strength within herself to love him once more?
Much Ado About Rogues is the final installment in the Blackthorn Brother's series as Michaels has run out of brothers to write about! I have to admit, this series will not be added to my favorites list, however it still holds its own unique charm. I enjoyed reading about each of the bastard brothers and felt Michales wrapped up the series quite nicely, leaving no loose ends and offering a satisfying solution. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these books, all are well written, witty, and charming; I merely feel they were an "ok" experience for me.
In this last book, we meet some new faces and get reunited with some old favorites. I couldn't force the silly grin off my face when Puck made his grand entrance. His infectious personality had me adoring him since the second book in the series and I felt he made a perfect fit within the plot of this book as well.
Our heroine Tess is a woman to be admired as she is no damsel in distress. We first meet her wearing buckskins and a linen shirt , looking very much like the lady rogue she is portrayed as. I enjoyed reading about her childhood and her subsequent training by her father and Jack. These were by far the most interesting portions of the book as I just couldn't get into the rest of the story for some odd reason. In all honesty this should have been the ideal story for me as the heroine is kick-ass, the hero is dark and broody, and it takes a sharp turn away from the traditional historical romance formula. All of these are usually elements for a sure fire winner in my book, but it just wasn't working for me this time and here's why.
Jack and Tess have been together before. They have already experienced those first heady moments of discovery with each other off the page and the excitement of the chase and the sparking of the flame just wasn't there for me. Sure they still have chemistry and they have definitely both matured since the last time they were together, but I honestly just didn't feel the heat between the two of them. The sex scenes felt very mechanical and been-there-done-that to me. I didn't get that great build up between the characters like I'm used to. Sure there was emotional tension between the two. They've been keeping secrets from each other for over 10 years, however the physical tension was just not there. I think I almost have to have this in a romance novel or else it just doesn't do it for me.
While this formula may not have worked for me, I think many historical romance lovers will find it does work for them. Jack and Tess are a well-matched pair and the adventurous nature of the plot sets readers up for an exciting ride. The part of the book that touched me the most though was the Blackthorn family's reunion and ultimate resolution of the tension between the brothers and their father. Michaels does a superb job emotionally involving her reader at this point and giving them the ending they didn't even realize was possible.
Overall an enjoyable read for historical romance lovers, but just ok for me. (less)
This book was well written, well played out, and I believe will be well loved by romance fans of all kinds. I'm sure there are many amnesia themed romances out there, but this was my first one and I really enjoyed it. I felt like this book really stood out from the masses of historical romance out there in that the characters were wonderfully developed and the circumstances keeping our heroine and hero apart were more realistically observed. There was no magic solution. Society doesn't just look the other way like they do in most historical romances. Georgia actually has to work and make sacrifices in order to be with the man she loves.
I loved the incorporation of classic literature. It completely endeared the hero to me that he woke up from his accident thinking he was Robinson Crusoe. I respected the hero. Once he got his memories back, he didn't have a miraculous change of character. He was the same basic person who happened to learn some lessons about life and love. He didn't delude himself that he could make the ton accept lower class Georgia. He didn't say "Oh, what the hell!" in the name of love. He unselfishly considers the ramifications it would have on Georgia's happiness and well being. This wonderful fact gave Georgia the opportunity to be one of the strongest heroines I have ever read. I was so proud of her by the end. She never swooned and got her way. Everything she got, she had to bust her butt for.
Aside from the main characters, the supporting characters were also well written and well loved. From the hilariously creepy neighbor suffering from a bought of unrequited love, to Georiga's rough and tumble son-in-law, I found myself loving every character in this book.
My only complaint is that the ending was rushed. The majority of the book was fleshed out perfectly, engaging readers in the lives and circumstances of the characters. Georgia's plan to inflitrate the ton was such a fun idea. I really thought it could have been its own book, but wouldn't have minded Marvale making her book a bit longer to incorporate more of how Georgia and Roderick deceive the ton together. I felt cheated out of that part of the book.
Recommendation: Get cozy, make your favorite beverage, and get ready for a romance read that will take you across the emotional spectrum and leave you cheering for a strong heroine. No wilting violets here!(less)
Dominic Paget awakens in the home of Julianne Greystone where he has been taken to receive care after being ghosted out of France by Julianne's smuggler brother, Jack. Dominic was shot in the back by an assassin, because, you see, Dom is an English spy working to help end the threat of the French Revolution. Unaware of his location, and the sympathies of the household, Dom pretends to be an officer in the French military, appealing to Julianne's Jacobin leanings. Will the love that forms between them survive his lie? Can two people on opposite sides of a war make their love work?
I didn't like this one as much as i thought I was going to. The prologue was very exciting and the concept intriguing, but the first half of the book really ruined it for me. The development of Julianne and Dominic's love while he is masquerading as Charles comes across as silly, fake, and over the top. Julianne's character is so naive. I get that she is innocent and doesn't really understand the world around her, but her thought processes come across very childish. Unfortunately, she makes for a very wimpy heroine and when paired with the very alpha Dominic, she just looks pathetic.
The second half of the book made this book more enjoyable for me because once Dom was no longer pretending to be Charles, I like him a lot more. I loved his uber alpha male attitude, for some reason, that cold exterior really did it for me. Plus, he doesn't baby Julianne at this point. I ended up enjoying the book just for him and the intrigue.
Speaking of intrigue, there wasn't much to begin with and I almost gave up and put this in the silly romance pile. However, the second half of the book makes up for this and brings to the table all sorts of plots, betrayals, and blackmail.
Even though I didn't like the heroine, I did enjoy the book as a whole. It was a very quick, and fun read once Dominic was unmasked. You could also see the author pulling the strings of characters who will star in books to come. Although this wasn't a great read for me, I will still be looking out for the next book. Sometimes, the first book in a series is just ok, but the rest ends up being amazing. I can see that being the case here. Plus, I want to read a romance staring the Greystone brothers! They sound dreamy! Lucas' blonde hair and grey eyes, Jack's roguishly charming demeanor! Oh and, Dom's ex-fiance, Nadine, just so happens to be lonely and in need! There is definitely lots of potential for future great reads there. (less)
After being saved by, and feeling up, a shadowy man in the alleyway behind her home, Miranda dreams steamy dreams of him every night. Three years later, the destitute status of her father forces her to marry The Dread Lord Archer, a darkly eccentric nobleman whose face is perpetually covered with a mask in public. He makes ladies faint in fright at the thought of what deformity he is hiding, but really he cares only for the affections of one lady in particular. The young lady he saved in that alleyway three years ago. The beauty marries the beast in an attempt to pay back her father for ruining him forever as a merchant with her dangerous gift. Can this beauty ever truly learn to love a beast?
I will begin by saying I absolutely adored this book! As a fan of historical romance and urban fantasy, I about died when I read the description for Firelight. A sassy heroine with supernatural skills forced to marry a mysterious masked man with a frightening reputation in Victorian London? Yes please! Usually, I bounce back and forth between a saucy historical romance and a gritty urban fantasy, however in this case, both of my cravings were equally and undeniable satisfied. Callihan's ability to place the reader directly in her world without getting too into the often tedious societal explanations is astonishing. I literally felt like I had jumped straight into Victorian London from page one. The world building is done flawlessly throughout the span of the novel as Miranda and Archer attempt to keep their secrets from each other. The third person perspective jumps from Archer to Miranda nicely offering readers intimate insights on each of the characters and their back stories. I ended up soaring right through this book and was left desperate for more. Not to say Miranda and Archer's story isn't wrapped up, it is, and very nicely so. Now to discuss my new favorite couple...
The chemistry between Miranda and Archer is incendiary! I can honestly say I have never been that hot and bothered over a near-kiss scene before. I mean, they don't even really kiss and I was fanning myself due to my furiously flushed face. The tone set between the two of them left my skin tingling in anticipation of the next heady moment.
“With the suddenness of a cat leaping upon its prey, he leaned forward and caught up her wrist. "Tread lightly, Miranda Fair." His thumb moved lightly over her fluttering pulse, as she stared with her mouth assuredly hanging open in shock, her heart beating furiously within her breast."You know, it's never wise to tempt the devil." His gaze lowered to her hand, still locked in his grip, her fingers glistening with pear juice. "Had I not this mask, I should be of a mind to suck that juice right off of your fingers.”
After ridiculously sexy scenes like this I was dying to get to the good stuff. The frustration Archer and Miranda felt at being so close to each other, but still kept at arms length due to their secrets was so palpable, I ended up writing this short poem to express my own longing.
Oh sweet frustration!
Oh agonizing fascination!
Oh desperately desiring delight!
Oh despair for I am doomed to die without Dread Lord Archer's dark dalliance!
And oh what dreams may come!
Archer's secret was definitely not what I was expecting, and a tad bit disappointing, however I think it is fair to say given such a wonderfully intriguing tool as a masked man, it is easy for what we imagine to be much wilder than reality. All in all, I am thoroughly impressed and delighted! Calihan has been added to my list of must have authors. I don't have too many series or authors that I will go right out and buy without seeing if the library has it first, however anything Callihan releases from now on will be sure to appear on my bookshelf!
To Be Continued? Absolutely! I will be impatiently, agonizing until book two, Moonglow, comes out in August! (less)
This companion novella to Firelight fills in that three year time lapse at the beginning nicely. Readers who enjoyed the first book in the Darkest London series, and couldn't get enough of Miranda and Archer will find this informative. There were many things left unexplained about Miranda and Archer's time apart in Firelight like (view spoiler)[Miranda's failed engagement and her deflowered status (hide spoiler)]. I definitely wondered about these things and was glad to have gotten a decent explanation thanks to Ember.
I think my favorite part about this though was getting to experience the beginning of Miranda and Billy Finger's friendship. The development their was very sweet and often times chuckle worthy.
I'm only giving this 3 stars as it really is only a bite of the original and doesn't necessarily offer us a new story. Enjoyable, but read Firelight first. I observed that it would have been confusing for me otherwise as they leap over key plot points in expectation of the reader already being aware.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Amelia, a spinster at 27 is secretly a published author. In order to pursue her dreams, she vowed never to marry. However when Amelia agreed to accompany her dear friend, Prudence to meet her potential fiance, she never expected to become the object of Lord Carnach's desire. In an unfortunate turn of events, Amelia finds herself in a tenuous situation. Marry Lord Carnach or be ruined in the eyes of the ton. Either way she has earned the ire of Prudence who is one of the three people who know Amelia's scandalous literary secret.
Malcolm is a Scottish laird who desperately wants to save his clan and their home in the Highlands by joining the House of Lords. He seeks an obedient and simple wife in Prudence to help him reach his political aspirations without scandal. However when he lays eyes on Amelia, he can't deny the magnetic attraction he feels towards her. Will he be able to tame her into the wife he needs or will their passion consume them both?
While I ate the majority of this book up there were a few things about it that irked me. After tearing through the first half like a mad woman, I started to notice a continuing pattern that at first presents an interesting twist to Malcolm and Amelia's romance, but becomes frustrating after the fourth or so repetition. The whole basis of this book's plot is that Amelia never wanted to be married, but now that she is, she is altogether the wrong kind of wife for Malcolm's political career. I very much enjoy the premise of an unlikely pair finding love and understand that this requires quite a bit of back and forth, "I love him, I hate him." However, instead of feelings and complications evolving over time, the two characters are stuck with the same issues throughout the entire book. Plus, they spend very little time actually considering their situation and substituting actual relationship building for loads and loads of sex. It sort of goes like this...
Malcolm: Are you going to behave woman? Amelia: Are you going to force me into subservience so that I will have no time to write my...letters? Malcolm: (Gets distracted by her breasts) Um... letters? What could you possibly be writing to people about!? Amelia: You know... stuff, the Highlands, London stuff... Malcolm: (Still distracted by her breasts) There's something she's not telling me... Oh well! Bend over darling!
Obviously that's only my abbreviated version of events, but you get the idea. This sort of thing happens over and over again. After half of the book I felt like the romance just wasn't developing and they were trading sex for avoidance of the real issues. Finally at 2/3 of the way through, it has to actually be stated point blank, "I think I'm in love with him/her" by each of them internally in order for you to get the gist that all this bumping and grinding hasn't been for nothing. I feel if the emotional side of the romance was better developed earlier on in the story, this would have been an excellent read for me.
As it stands, this was still a good read, much better than many of the historical romance I've been indulging in lately. I enjoyed the premise of Amelia, who was determined for spinsterhood, lands herself in a marry or be ruined situation. The irony that she is stuck in a situation she would have written for one of her heroines was attractive and I loved reading about how the Highlands and Malcolm were inspiring her to be a better writer. Even though I didn't enjoy the constant back and forth I did appreciate the fact that there were no easy answers here. Everything doesn't magically fall into place and work out in the end. The characters have to work for their goals.
Overall, I felt Scotsmen Prefer Blondes is an enjoyable read read for lovers of the genre and will likely charm less picky readers. (less)