Sunday, June 29, 2014

Knight of Love by Catherine LaRoche

I had this little thing called "life" interrupt my reading for a while.  During that time, Knight of Love was on my NetGalley shelf and I hadn't downloaded it before it got archived.  So, I went to B&N and bought the book. I was extremely glad that I didn't blow the book off.

The book is set in the midst of a German revolution.  As it opens, Prince Kurt von Rotenburg-Gruelsadt is having his stable master flog his fiancee, Lady Lenora Trevelayn in front of the village.  When he calls a halt to the flogging, he has the blacksmith carry Lenora to her room in an attempt to further humiliate her.  Lenora shows her strength by walking to her room.  Since her parents left prior to the wedding, Prince Kurt has shown his true colors as a sadistic monster who physically abuses her at every opportunity.  Weeks later, Lenora finds a way to escape and ends up with her true Knight, Wolfram von Wolfsbach und Ravensworth. Wolfram is half English and German like Lenora and is the Earl of Ravensworth.

Over all, I would give the book 3.75 stars.  I can't go higher because as much as I liked the book, there were way too many things that irritated me. In 1848, Lenora's parents just left her at her fiancees castle before the marriage.   There wasn't a reason given for them having settled the marriage contract and returning to England only to return for the wedding.  I don't imagine that travel across Europe was that easy in 1848.

Wolfram could have been dialed back a bit.  There were some sections that he was just over the top.  I pictured him as this huge muscle bound guy, kind of out of place for the time period.  One minute, he wanted to be a Knight of the Round Table, the next he was attempting to get in touch with his feminine side by being a romantic.

I just didn't find a purpose for the anal sex scene at the end of the novel.  Was this supposed to be an erotic historical novel?  Was it to show that Lenora fully trusted Wolfram?  It felt like the author was up against a deadline and couldn't figure out another way to end the novel.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Captive by Grace Burrowes

I loved "The Captive".  It wasn't the standard cookie-cutter romance and shows the darke edge of life.  The characters aren't perfect; they are attempting to escape their own demons.   The book was very well written and makes me want to read other novels by Ms. Burrowes.

Hero:  Christian Severn, eight Duke of Mercia..  He was captured by the French and tortured.
Heroine:  Gillian, Countess of Greendale.  She was married to an older man that couldn't get it up unless he beat her.  She was held in this abusive relationship until his death and even then, he set his will so he could control her from beyond the grave.

While Mercia was being held captive in France, his wife and heir died leaving his daughter, Lucy.  Something happened to Lucy and she no longer talks.  Gillian and Mercia's wife Helene were cousins.  When Greendale was alive, he kept Gillian away from Lucy.  Now that he is dead, Gillian is going to help the lost little girl.  When Gillian appears at Mercia's house demanding he return to his estate to care for Lucy.

There are minor characters that deserve their own novel.  I want to know more about Mercia's captor, Girard who aide Mercia in the end.

When this novel is released, I will be purchasing it.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trapped at the Altar by Jane Feather

I keep forgetting that I don't like this time period.  For me this was a don't move beyond the prologue.  I gave the book an honest try. It isn't anything against the author.  I have found that Jane Feather's books are well written, I just don't like this time period.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mischief by Moonlight by Emily Greenwood

This book has a very simple, timeless plot:  boy meets girl, boy finally realizes he wants girl only to loose her to his best friend.

Colin Pearce, Earl of Ivorwood has lost the girl that he loved to his friend without even telling the girl he loves her.  Then, the friend, who is a soldier, has to return to Spain and asks Colin to watch after Josie!  Colin becomes a permanent fixture in Josie Cardworthy's house after a year and when Josie is planning her wedding, she attempts to hook Colin up with her spinster sister, Edwina.

This was a good book that I enjoyed reading through the ups and downs it took to get Colin and Josie to their HEA.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Noble Destiny by Katie MacAlister

Noble Destiny is the second in the Noble series.  It was originally published in 2003 but is being re-released along with Noble 1 and 3.  Before I progress, I must say that one of my BIGGEST pet peeves is books that are over 10 years old and are re-published.  They just seem so dated when you read them.  However, the two books in the Noble series are the exception.  They are as fresh and as full of humor as when they were first published.

The heroine is Gillian's cousin Lady Charlotte Collins.  During Charlotte's third season, she elopes with an Italian count because she didn't care for that year's suitors and was bored!  The marriage was a disaster - the count was unable to perform after the consummation - five years later, he dies, his family disowns her and takes every last penny she had left.  She returns to England a social outcast.  Her own brother won't talk to her.

The novel opens with Charlotte locking her cousin Gillian in the library so Gillian couldn't leave for a trip to the West Indies with her husband and children.  Charlotte has the nerve to call Gillian selfish and forbid her from leaving.

At first, I didn't like Charlotte.  After all, she locked the door to the library so Gillian couldn't leave when Gillian's three year old had to widdle.  What a spoiled, self centered brat!!!  As the story progresses, Charlotte's character matures. Before she leaves for the West Indies, Gillian suggests that Charlotte gets married.  So, Charlotte traps Alisdair "Dare" McGregor, into marriage.  Dare refuses to give Charlotte what was lacking in her first marriage, a sex life, because they don't love each other.  Charlotte has to figure out how to make Dare love her and starts putting his wants and needs before hers.

Again, Katie MacAlister has thrown in some unusual servants.  You won't find Carson the butler in this book!

So, what started out as a book I didn't like ended up as a book that I need to purchase for my shelf.  This is a must re-read.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.

The Truth About Leo by Katie MacAlister

Leopold Ernst George Mortimer, the Earl of March is in Copenhagen by the way of Russia.  He is a spy in the service of the Crown.  He has just rescued a cat from a tree when his horse bolts and he finds himself on the wrong end of a sword, left for dead.  Dagmar Marie Sophie is a Serene Royal Highness of Denmark and her cousin is evicting her from her house.  She can't turn to her father's family because they disowned him when he married the daughter of an English Duke.  Her grandfather's title is vacant and the only relative left is a minister with way too many kids to support.  She can't get passage on a ship to England because she isn't English enough.  When she finds Leo unconscious in her garden, she persuades her cousin to let her marry Leo so she can get passage to England.  While on the ship, Dagmar nurses Leo back to health.

This begins a witty romp where two people thrown together find love and learn how to have a relationship. When they reach England, Leo runs into characters from the first three books in the Noble Series.

This was another great historical romance by Katie MacAlister.  I love that she doesn't take the genre too serious and injects humor into the books.  The characters are well developed and very likable.  (Nothing is as bad as having a hero or heroine that you hate by chapter 2!)

The Truth About Leo is a new publication.  The book is so well written that it blends seamlessly into the first two (Noble Intentions and Noble Destiny) that were published in 2002 and 2003.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Noble Intentions by Katie MacAlister

What a fun, hilarious book!  It is a romantic comedy in book form and I was hooked from the first chapter.  This book has some hilarious characters in the pirate butler, triplet servants and Gillian's gassy dogs.

Gillian Leigh is a walking disaster.  She has just set curtains on fire when her cousin Charlotte tells her that the Black Earl is attending the ball.  Noble Britton is returning to London society after the death of his wife so he can clear his name of her murder.  He is with several of his friends when he spots Gillian across the ballroom.  Nobles friends are shocked that he is interested in her.  Sir Hugh calls her the "Amazon".  After their marriage, Noble is the victim of some mysterious accidents.

Combine romance with comedy and a mystery gives this book a timeless quality.  I was surprise to find out that it was originally published in 2002.   It was a wonderful read.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What a Lady Craves by Ashlyn Macnamara

The novel opens with Alexander Sanford's ship wrecking in a storm on the English coast.  After eight years, he is returning to England after salvaging his family fortunes in India.  He had left his fiancee Henrietta Upperton behind.  Later, Henrietta started hearing rumors that Alexander has married and is devastated. She is almost shunned by society.  She is now working as the companion to his great-aunt, the Dowager Countess of Epperly.   Alexander is brought to the Dowager's house by his manservant, Satya, after he washes ashore.

Henrietta is a strong character.  She survived Alexander's betrayal and emulates Mary Wollstonecraft.  I found the character of Alexander to be a bit annoying.  He says that he is "honor bound", but that didn't stop him from jilting Henrietta and marrying another woman so he could preserve the other woman's honor.  What about Henrietta's honor?

I loved the passion that still flowed between Henrietta and Alexander even though Henrietta wants to fight it.  He realizes that he made a mistake eight years ago and still loves Henrietta. 

One of the other things that annoy me is how young children are written in romance novels.  The characters of Alexander's daughters aren't any different.  They come across as spoiled, pouting brats.

There is a mystery in this novel that the author keeps the reader hanging by giving out only little clues at a time.  In the end, there is the dramatic resolution and pledging of undying love.  

This was a great opener to a new series. 

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.