I'm a total sucker for historical romances, and I read a lot of them. No Other Duke But You is the 11th in a series that I've read sporadically, and I think you can manage it as a stand-alone. There are a ton of previous characters mentioned, so you do get a leg up if you recognize some of them, however.
I struggled with this book, practically from start to finish. The female MC reads very young and immature, and I wasn't feeling her over-the-top spastic-ness. It was grating, and I found her to be painfully imperceptive. Also, both main characters felt very underdeveloped, and I felt like I was missing something (maybe something from a previous story).
The lack of communication was insane. I hate stories that rely on communication mishaps, and that is practically this entire story. I wanted these two to just act like adults with one another, and instead they acted like young teenagers. Everything would have been solved with just one conversation. Maddening.
Not the story for me, I'm afraid, which is too bad because I was looking forward to this one.
I was really excited when I saw that Erica Ridley was starting a new series, and One Night for Seduction kicked it off right. Sure, if you are a stickler for historical accuracy, this one might be a smidge off the mark (or a lot...), but it was an entertaining read and it made me smile.
I loved how smart and independent Diana was, and I loved how she used her wits to put others in their places. She was a great character, and I rooted hard for her love story. Cole wasn't quite as strong, and the whole betting premise was a bit weak sauce.
One Night for Seduction a quick story that moves along briskly, and it's perfect for those times when you want something light and fun between more serious reads. Another Erica Ridley sure-thing.
Mel Bossa can write her ass off, and The Witchin' Canoe was another example of her fine work. Though i wish some things were different, it*3.5 stars*
Mel Bossa can write her ass off, and The Witchin' Canoe was another example of her fine work. Though i wish some things were different, it was a lovely, atmospheric story that you'll remember for a long time.
I really, really wish this story was a regular historical romance with a Gothic flair instead of a supernatural romance. The beginning of the story was incredibly lovely, and the romance really sang. I love an opposites attract story, and the tension between the two MCs was palpable. I think there was enough there to make a complete story without the twists and turns at the end.
I loved most of the story so much, and I really enjoyed Mel Bossa's skillful and powerful writing. I got a great sense of the whole setting of the story, and I felt transported to that gloomy and somewhat hopeless time.
However, I didn't love the ending. There were too many POV (we didn't need the butler's), and the Witchin' Canoe lore felt convoluted. I never really understood it, and I thought it detracted from the romance, something I don't often say because I love sci-fi and paranormal romances. There was also so much drama at the end that it felt like the story lost some momentum.
Still, my take away is that of a lovely story about two special characters, and I think all Mel Bossa fans should try this one.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath as this was my first Lorraine Heath, and, as usual, I barely read the blurb before buying it. But I really, really liked it, and I could barely put it down in the last 100 pages.
Whenever I go to a book convention, I try to read as many of the attending authors as possible. Book Lovers Con is fast approaching, and Lorraine Heath was my first author to check off my to-read list. I am truly thrilled that I bought The Viscount and the Vixen in paperback because it was a delight to read.
I'm happy I read this book without reading any spoilers because each moment of the book was new and surprising for me. I loved the chemistry, the sexual tension, and the way the romance went from an enemies-to-lovers-ish vibe to something intensely romantic. It was a beautiful progression, and I felt like it happened naturally.
I also liked all of the secondary characters, especially Locke's father, who's love for his deceased wife brought me to tears at times.
The story drew me in more and more the further I got in the story, and I didn't want to put it down by the end. Now I have to read all the other books in the series (already purchased, also in paperback). Very excited to discover Lorraine Heath's backlist now.
I'm reading new authors that I haven't read before in anticipation of Book Lovers Con, and I was pretty surprised at how much I enjoyed Romancing Lady Stone. For a novella-length book, it felt complete and absurdly romantic, which is about all I could ask for.
I wanted to love this book for the simple fact that the female MC was forty years old, practically unheard of in the romance book world. And I am so happy that the story worked for me. I haven't read a historical romance with a Russian MC before (that I can recall), and so the whole story was newish territory.
The book can 100% work as a stand-alone, for those who are afraid to try it because it's the 6th in a series. I'm adding all of the other ones to me to-read list because I'm dying to see what else this author has in store for me.
I enjoyed the character, writing style, and the romance, but the plot... yeah, it wasn't my bag.
When a Duchess Says I Do was my first read from Grace Burrowes, but I would read her again any time, any place. Her writing was competent and professional, and I'm sure she has already written some stories that could be favorites of mine. However, When a Duchess Says I Do was a bit too stressful and far-fetched for me.
When I read a story with a big mystery element, where a lot of details are left out until the end to keep us readers in the dark, I get a feeling of impatience or stress. That's what happened when I read this story. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something horrible to happen. I don't like that anticipation, but I recognize that that is something that is 100% just my tastes. I found myself rushing through certain sections and dreading to pick the story up again in others, which is why it took me over a week to finish a fairly regular length book.
Aside from that, and the fact that the actual plot was a bit confusing and unlikely-sounding, I really enjoyed these characters and the romance. I like a woman who is *not* a virgin in historical romance, and I liked Matilda's practicality and confidence. She was a strong, self-reliant woman, and I enjoyed her as a character very much. I also liked the reserved and moral Duncan, who resonated with me quite a bit.
The story was entertaining, and it made me want to read more in this series, but I still didn't mesh well with the mystery that ran throughout the book. However, fans of reads that are a bit more suspenseful (and who don't mind many, many POVs) will enjoy this one.
From that title, I was expecting something fun and funny and full of romance, and that's exactly what I got.
I loved how both MCs were instantly likable. Of course I adore an outspoken female MC, but we also get a hulking, masculine male MC who loves strong women (hallelujah) and isn't afraid to be himself. In fact, both MCs were truly their own people, and it made the story a joy to read.
I enjoyed the family dynamics, I enjoyed the trajectory of the relationship, and I liked how the author didn't rely on silly misunderstandings or other plot devices to give tension to the story. Though the story edged on too long and drawn-out (it's over 350 pages), the pacing kept me glued to the story and I finished the book in under 24 hours. That's a big deal!
Though the characters and the romance really sang, what really won me over was the subtle wit and humor. The author kept the story light and fun, and I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading. It was just so, so delightful.
If you are looking for a well done, light romance between a highlander who isn't supposed to fall in love with an English woman who is his brother's betrothed (but does), look no further than It's Getting Scot in Here.
I pretty much know what I'm getting from an Erica Ridley book: low steam, uniqueNever Say Duke is one of my absolute favorite books from Erica Ridley.
I pretty much know what I'm getting from an Erica Ridley book: low steam, unique female MCs, and, usually, a very sweet, easy story. Never Say Duke took me by surprise because I really, really liked it, and I had a hard time putting it down.
I adored the female MC. Though it isn't explicitly stated, Virginia Underwood seemed neuro-atypical to me, which was an unexpected pleasure. I love a unique MC, and Virginia's gentle, blunt nature and her quirks made her memorable and special to me. She had great chemistry with Theo, and also great chemistry with Duke, her feisty cat, who made the story even more fun.
I also love an interesting hero, and Theo's injuries, limp, and myriad of facial and bodily scars only increased his appeal for me. I felt very invested in his recovery, and I loved his gruff and grumpy demeanor and seeing how he softened to Virginia over time.
The story had a lot of weight to it, but it was kept light by Duke's (the cat) antics and the delightful banter between the MCs.
There was a little unnecessary drama in the last part of the story, which irritated me, but the author pulled it out in the end. It was a grand romance-y romance ending that all historical romance readers will swoon over.
Though the blurb doesn't mention it, The Wayward Bride is about not one but TWO separate romances, and gay romance lovers rejoice, because we got oursThough the blurb doesn't mention it, The Wayward Bride is about not one but TWO separate romances, and gay romance lovers rejoice, because we got ourselves a lovely (and unexpected!) love story.
Anna Bradley is one of my favorite historical romance authors, and this book showed me again why I love her. Though this book is billed as the first in a new series, it's absolutely tied to The Somerset Sisters series, and I'd recommend readers read that series first. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I think the other books give more context.
I'm an avowed queer romance lover, but as Anna Bradley has never written a gay romance and the book blurb doesn't mention anything of the sort, I was 100% percent not expecting to find a second romance in this story that involved two men. And I was living for it. In fact, the romance between Sydney and Lucas far outshown the romance between Isla and Hugh.
I loved, loved, loved the M/M romance, and I think Anna Bradley should venture into the genre fully. It was low steam in contrast to the M/F sections of the book, but the emotions were so powerful. I adored the taciturn Lucas, and I really enjoyed the dynamic between the two.
I also enjoyed Isla and Hugh together, though Isla did a few things that were TSTL that annoyed me. I think they got in their own way too much, but I felt the romance and their chemistry in the end, even if it took them awhile to get their acts together.
A very enjoyable romance that I read in less than a day, Anna Bradley shows her range and skill in The Wayward Bride.
What is everyone else seeing in this book that I'm not?
I'm all alone on dissatisfaction island, and it sucks.
Tamara Allen wrote one of my most belovWhat is everyone else seeing in this book that I'm not?
I'm all alone on dissatisfaction island, and it sucks.
Tamara Allen wrote one of my most beloved (and one of my first) M/M romances, Downtime, and I eagerly awaited reading Invitation to the Dance. I was convinced that I would love it, and I was excited for slow-burn goodness.
But this slow-burn felt like a never burn.
I was exasperated by the time ANYTHING happened between the two MCs (not until around 65% in), and even then, I wasn't feeling it. There wasn't that sense of tension, of inevitability, that I usually feel in slow-burns. It was just like two work colleagues who had a mildly entertaining love/hate relationship and who both were a little bit attracted to one another (though that was barely, and I mean barely, even hinted at). I just didn't get that feeling of romance, and when the romance came in the end, it felt rushed and half-hearted.
I guess the story itself is entertaining if you like to read about society-workings in early 1900s New York, but I didn't find it to be nearly engaging enough to hold my attention.
Maybe my tastes have changed, or maybe I wasn't in the right mind-set to read this one, but I had a hard time finishing Invitation to the Dance. Pretty sad about that, actually.
Novellas are SO hard to write, and I'm not a big mystery fan, so I was surprised at how much I liked this one.
The story had a very atmospheric vibe, and I got a great sense of the time-period, the worn-down theater setting, and the seasoned vaudeville performers.
Like all of the books in the Christmas Angel series, there is the loose tie-in of the angel figurine and the holiday setting. The angel really worked with the story, and though the Christmas element was very light, I still got a sense of holiday spirit.
The chemistry between the two MCs was well developed, and though they don't spend a whole lot of time together, I got a sense that they formed very meaningful bonds with each other. It was not a sugary-sweet romance, but just the hint of something strong in the making that worked for me.
I enjoyed the mix of mystery, romance, and Christmastime, and everything came together very well, if a bit abruptly. Just what I would expect from a seasoned author like Jordan L. Hawk.
I thought the writing in the story was lovely. Kim has such a way with words, and I found the story to be atmospheric and perfect for the era in which it was set.
I think my major complaint is that the main couple didn't have much of a connection, IMO. They seemed to be over-invested from the start, and I guess I didn't quite understand why. There wasn't enough page-time with them together (novellas are hard), even though the ending was beautiful.
A cozy, sweet Christmas story with a few minor flaws. Still very successful.
I really like Lily Maxton, who takes real chances and thinks out side the box with her historical romance. I admire that in her, and I was SUPER excited to read her F/F offering.
I'll admit that F/F is the QUILTBAG genre that I struggle with the most. I have a really hard time finding non-contemporary romances in the lesfic arena (I'm not a contemp fan), so my history with lesfic is checkered at best.
However, Lily Maxton delivered with a sweet, erotic F/F short that needed to be 100 pages longer to be truly great.
I loved, loved, loved the heat that this author brought to the story. I could have used even more sexual tension and build-up, but the love scenes were spot on.
Still, I felt like the two went from vague animocity after all those years to saying "I love you" too quickly. I needed about 50-100 more pages to build the complexity and background to the story. Even with some minor flaws, I was very pleased with this one.
The book didn't feel well-plotted to me. I read a ton of historical romance, and The Girl with the Sweetest Secret was all over the place. We get a head-hopping, ever-changing POV (I really dislike that), and a plot that throws way too much in the pot. There is just too much going on for there to be any real focus, and I often lost sight of the developing romance due to the side stories and confusing POV changes.
I don't know why the book came across as boring as it did, but I was bored the entire time I was reading. I didn't dislike the story, per se, but it didn't hold my attention. I had to force myself to read in chunks, and even then I was thinking about what else I could be reading. I think there was something about the style or the multiple tangents that made it hard for me to focus.
I can't resist a holiday historical romance, and though I haven't read any of the previous books in the Playful Brides series, I decided to just jumpI can't resist a holiday historical romance, and though I haven't read any of the previous books in the Playful Brides series, I decided to just jump in. Unfortunately, while Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman was nice, it didn't rise above that.
My favorite thing about this book was how sex-positive the female MC was. She was going to get her man and her good time, goddamnit, and I liked that about her. I also liked the male MC, who had his own reasons to resist our female MC, and his own past to contend with.
What bothered me was the plot. It seemed to ramble on, and I lost my interest at times. The end was very melodramatic, and I didn't even get that holiday spirit that I was so looking forward to.
While the story was pleasant, I need to keep searching for my 2018 historical Christmas nirvana story.
Enjoyable and entertaining, Lord of Vice was another good book by Erica Ridley.
I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning believing th*3.5 stars*
Enjoyable and entertaining, Lord of Vice was another good book by Erica Ridley.
I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning believing the whole set up. I couldn't picture Bryony having the level of freedom that she did, sneaking around London with ease and without anyone from her house knowing she was missing. I also didn't buy that Max would be cool with her breaking into and chilling in his study. No, not him. I just couldn't see it.
I also thought that the romance was too fast. They were feeling these deep feelings way too quickly. I like a really slow burn where emotions and romance take a long time to develop, so the speed of their romance took me by surprise.
However, once I got past my initial obstacles and made it into the second half of the book, I couldn't put it down. I still don't think this story was very historically feasible, but I was too swept up in the romance to care. The second half of the story was very lovely and totally enjoyable, and I stayed up WAY too late to finish.
Though Lord of Vice started off a little shaky, it ended beautifully. A very nice read in the Rogues to Riches series.
Kelly Bowen is an extremely gifted author of historical romance, but Last Night with the Earl felt off.
I was excited about this story because I love a hero who is broody and who has a disability/disfigurement. I love interesting male and female MCs, and I had high hopes for both Eli and Rose. However, Eli goes from a hermit who stayed away from civilization for years to out in society way too easily. It felt... fake, and forced.
I also really didn't like how Rose was so forceful with Eli and made him socialize when he was truly scared to be exposed, but was such a hypocrite herself. She really bothered me, and I didn't warm up to her.
Aside from that, I didn't get that much of a sense of Eli and Rose's shared history. We are told that they were extremely close friends, but we don't get much of a sense of that relationship. I wanted more details, more build-up, more information that really could give me that feeling of intimacy.
I also was confused by the pacing of the story. I kept thinking that the ending was around the corner, due to something dramatic and concluding-feeling happening in the story, but then I would notice that I had 40% left to read. It was strange, and threw me off.
The whole book felt off-kilter. I love Kelly Bowen's writing, but even that felt strained. I didn't hate the story, but it just didn't gel for me. I will, however, be 100% reading Harland's book. I just hope that the magic from A Duke in the Night returns.
Barbarous started off VERY strong, and I was sure I was going to love it. As the book went on, my enjoyment waned, but it still remained a very enjoyable book overall.
Barbarous had that piratey, interesting feel from the first in the series, and the unlikely hero/heroines (I LOVED that), but it suffered from some unexpected pacing issues. The middle and end dragged on and on, and I think Minerva Spencer has some work to do with her editing team in her future books.
I really enjoyed Hugh and the revenge subplot, and I liked his chemistry with Daphne. I am a total sucker for a scarred/injured MC, and I liked the fact that Hugh wasn't physically perfect. A huge (I mean super tall, but huge in every way as well) man is also never a bad thing.
I'm curious and excited to see where this series takes me, especially if the pacing issues that plague the middle parts of this author's stories are resolved. I know Minerva Spencer has winners up her sleeve.
Wow, THIS is how you write a debut book. Minerva Spencer just made her way to my auto-buy list.
Dangerous was refreshing. In a sea of romances featurinWow, THIS is how you write a debut book. Minerva Spencer just made her way to my auto-buy list.
Dangerous was refreshing. In a sea of romances featuring virginal women, I loved Dangerous's sensual, sexy female MC. Mia was smart, powerful, and in her thirties. Oh happy day!
I loved Mia's relationship with the wealthy and secretive Adam de Courtney. In fact, Adam stole the show for me. He was exactly the type of hero I end up loving, and I wanted to know more about him. It was his intrigue and the chemistry between the two MCs that kept me wanting to read just one more page.
I wish the ending of the book was as strong as the start. I hated how Mia went from smart to TSTL (I mean, please), and how outlandish the plot became near the end, but the book was so satisfying as a whole that I had to give it 4-stars. Minerva Spencer is an author to watch.
*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Anna Bradley's writing is always solid, but I didn't like Hyacinth Somerset from the start, which is sort of a problem... it's kinda a good thing if you enjoy your heroine.
Hyacinth was tiresome and underdeveloped, and while she was made to be meek and coddled by her overprotective family, I didn't like how she just... let them. She got better as the story progressed, but at times she didn't even seem like the same character- her personality changes didn't ring true. And I couldn't see the person from the start of the book getting involved and reacting as she did to the (unnecessary) drama that happened at the end of the story.
The male MC was okay, and I liked him more, but I think his character could have been taken even farther. I was really intrigued about him at the start, but the strange fighting scene seemed to peter out and not amount to much of anything by the end. I mean, the author made it seem like it was a regular thing and then... not really.
I thought the plot moved along smoothly, and I enjoyed the story, but I just found this one to be less than the others in the series.
I liked The Artist by Bonnie Dee, so I went back and forth on my rating, wondering if I was being too hard on the story by giving it only 3-stars. HowI liked The Artist by Bonnie Dee, so I went back and forth on my rating, wondering if I was being too hard on the story by giving it only 3-stars. However, there was something about the style of the story that made me feel more removed from the characters and kept my rating from creeping upwards.
I really enjoyed having a main character who was physically very different from the typical male MC in romance. I read my fair share of romances with amputees or people missing limbs, but to have an MC with a facial abnormality is pretty rare. I loved that Bonnie Dee wasn't afraid to go there, and I got a good sense of Phin's isolation and his complicated relationship with his family. I really liked Phin and I think he carried the story.
I also liked Teddy, though I understood him a bit less. I wasn't as sure why he was so drawn to Phin as I felt that the relationship moved a little fast for me, but I enjoyed Teddy's openness and bohemian nature.
Bonnie Dee is very talented and a versatile storyteller, but she tends to feel a little "show-y" and I sometimes get a feeling like the emotions are being dictated to me. That happened in this story quite a bit. Something about it felt a little inorganic, which kept me from truly loving the book.
All in all, still a very nice effort from Ms. Dee, who always delivers thoughtful, interesting stories.
I have a thing for disabled characters in romance, and I liked caring, sweet Lorelei who suffered and survived for years under the hands of her abusive brother. I loved that Ash saw past a girl with a crippled ankle and saw her complete inner and outer beauty.
Though Ash was a cold and remote character, he completely stole the show for me. I enjoyed Lorelei, but I loved Ash, and my heart ached for him. I liked his obsessive, dark nature (yeah, I know, it was a little much but I still loved it), and his willingness to fight and kill to be with the only person he's ever loved.
The plot was brilliantly conceived, and I could hardly put the book down. I kept wanting to know what would happen next, and I loved the dark, piratey, action-packed vibe.
All-in-all, this was a very satisfying second-chance romance, and as this was my first Kerrigan Byrne, it made me want to go back and read every other story in the series.
A few years ago, Courtney Milan was my favorite historical romance author. I bought up everything she has ever written, and I absolutely devoured her backlist. But since then, I've had issues.
I hated her contemporary romance series, and her more recent works have felt uninspired and forced. I didn't get that sense of ease and humor that I had from her earlier books, and that made me feel disinclined to keep reading her.
The last few CM books I've read have all been ARCs (advanced review copies), and so I vowed to stop requesting her ARCs because I don't exactly enjoy giving negative reviews. However, once I spotted the cover for The Pursuit Of... and read a few positive reviews from my friends, I knew I had to get it. I one-clicked it that day and started it a couple days later. And, holy F, I was blown away.
I like that Courtney Milan puts her money where her mouth is and actually writes diverse books, especially in the historical romance category where diversity is hard to find. I loved that we had a POC MC in The Pursuit Of..., and that his circumstances and hardships weren't brushed aside.
But what made The Pursuit of... really special wasn't the fact that we had a diverse romance, but that the book was funny and easy and, most importantly, felt natural. The storyline just flowed, and I loved the plot and characters, which is really, really hard in a novella format.
The humor is what really sold me. The story is the farthest thing from slapstick-funny, but the cheese... oh god... the cheese. I had tears, I was laughing so hard. I f-ing loved that horrible/delicious cheese.
I also loved the characters, who both had personality and made a huge impression on me, which, again, is very difficult to do in less than 200 pages.
This book showed the spunk and talent that made me fall in love with Courtney Milan. I'll buy 100 more of her books if she keeps this up.
Something that always draws me to a book is a female MC that has personality and the macabre-loving Violet worked for me. I loved how she forced Nick on all of these crazy, dark adventures and how he tried to act reasonable about them the whole time. Violet was fun to read, and I liked the book it's best when it felt lighthearted and odd (in the best way).
Nick is the kind of self-loathing male MC that I'm a total sucker for. He is a rake and has deep pain (of course), and I loved seeing him fall in love with the vivacious Violet. I think they made an interesting pairing, and they worked for me as a couple.
I almost knocked this book down to 3.5 stars because of the (insert eye-roll) big misunderstanding, but I enjoyed the whole feel of the story so much that I decided to keep it as 4-stars. Even if you aren't familiar with the Somerset Sister series, you should have no problem jumping into this delightful story.
I'm very into the Townsends series by the talented Lily Maxton, and though Claiming The Highlander's Heart isn't my favorite in the series, it was a strong book that really veers from the expected norms of historical romance, and actually romance in general.
To start, I wish I didn't have to completely suspend belief for the beginning part of the story... but I did. To accept that a band of thieves would take a random woman and trust her with their stories of thievery (yeah, I know they tested her, but that is AFTER they admitted to being thieves!) pushed my boundaries of what I could accept. I found it extremely hard to believe that a woman related to royalty, even if she grew up more modestly, could adapt and thrive in a rough living environment so easily. I also didn't quite see the intensity of emotions between the two MCs, and wasn't feeling the love that early on in the story. However, once the second half of the book started, my enjoyment level really started to pick up.
I'm not going to spoil details of Georgina's medical condition, but it was actually central to my enjoyment of the book. I have to discuss it all in spoilers, but be warned that I have A LOT to say about it!
(view spoiler)[I loved, loved, loved that Georgina was unable to have penetrative sex due to a medical condition and the male MC, Mal, ACCEPTED THAT and didn't make a big stink over that. That is just revolutionary in romance, where so much of the culmination of all the sexual tension depends on penetrative sex, whether it be in straight or queer romance. For women (and men) who are unable, for whatever reason, to have penetrative sex to know that they still can have that romance-y, romance happily ever after with no "penalization" is really awesome. I love that Lily Maxton wrote her female MC like that. I also love that Georgina's inability to have children wasn't also magically fixed.
On the topic of Georgina's medical condition, I was immediately interested. The medical professional in me right away went to diagnosing her. With her lack of any period or mensuration and her underdeveloped vaginal width and depth, my mind immediately went to Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complet...). I mean, there are other conditions that it could be of course (like Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser), but the fact that we possibly got an intersex female MC was awe-inspiring for me.
I wish I knew even more about Georgina's condition, but the fact that she even had something that made her unable to have penetrative sex and made her infertile was so cool for me as a romance reader. (hide spoiler)]
The ending of the book wrapped up really strongly, and that, coupled with the details in my spoiler, bumped this book up to 3.5 stars, edging near 4 stars. Recommended for fans of Lily Maxton and for those who want a strong female MC and an atypical historical romance.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more
Lord of Secrets was a very nice story in the dependable Rogues to Riches series by Erica Ridley. Though it didn't blow me away, I enjoyed t*3.5 stars*
Lord of Secrets was a very nice story in the dependable Rogues to Riches series by Erica Ridley. Though it didn't blow me away, I enjoyed the story a good deal.
In historical romance, I'm a total sucker for the "royalty vs average person" pairings. There is just something dreamy about a titled man or woman finding love in an unexpected place and making things work between them, don't you think? Though, I had trouble buying that the somewhat morally and societally rigid Heath Grenville would end up with someone below his station (so to speak, though that term always makes me cringe).
I liked the talented and interesting Miss Eleanora Winfield, who always seems to see beyond a person's exterior. She was non-judgmental, and I liked how she viewed upper-crust society fairly objectively. She was a lovely female MC, and I liked being inside her head a great deal.
I found Heath Grenville to be much more one-note. I struggled with him a bit, and I was really, really anxious about how he would take the big reveal that Eleanora was hiding (it made me so nervous that I was flying through the last 20% to see what would happen). I found the tension to be resolved too anti-climacticly for my tastes, and the love to be a bit on the dull side, but I still enjoyed the writing and romance overall.
While not my favorite in the Rogues to Riches series, I always like visiting with the Grenville clan and having another strong female MC to cheer for. Erica Ridley is always a solid choice.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more
I'll admit, I didn't really like With Love in Sight at first. I read a LOT of historical romance, and there was something about the writing that feltI'll admit, I didn't really like With Love in Sight at first. I read a LOT of historical romance, and there was something about the writing that felt clunky to me. With about 1500 romance books under my belt, I've become extremely discerning, and I was afraid With Love in Sight wouldn't make the cut. However, the book really did grow on me the more I read.
The book is a pretty classic wallflower tale with the reformed rake as a counterpoint. Truly, Caleb didn't seem like much of a rake at all, and I could have used more tension between the two MCs, but I do love a spinster story. I liked Imogen, though I wanted her to have even more spunk, more personality. I enjoyed her relationship with her sisters, and I actually liked the harpy mom as a realistic balance to the good in the rest of the family.
I found Imogen's stubbornness towards the end to be a tiny bit frustrating, but I found the book to be a pleasurable read, overall. I don't think it will be making my favorites list or that I'll remember the details in a few weeks, but I would certainly recommend this book to historical romance lovers.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more
I wasn't expecting that much from this one, to be honest. I mean, though I love, love Joanna Chambers, novellas are really difficult to write and write well. However, I was really surprised by this one.
In under 60 pages, we get an enemies-to-lovers, a lot of build-up and sexual tension, and some pretty glorious sex scenes. The only thing I didn't like about the story is that it ended so soon.
I want more, more, MORE. I need more of this story in my life.