Sunday, October 26, 2014

He's No Prince Charming - Elle Daniels

"He's No Prince Charming" is an exceptional romance by debut author Elle Daniels.

The novel opens with Marcus Bradley, Marquis of Fleetwood witnessing Danielle Strafford assist his fiancee Anne Newport to elope with the clerk from his solicitor's office.  Marcus needs a wife with a large dowry so he can secure the finances to break the marriage contract between his sister Caroline and the Duke of Harwood.  

Danni owns a book store under the ailias of Danielle Green that serves as the cover for her true mission - helping couples elope to Gretna Green.  Marcus goes to the store and blackmails her into helping him find another wife. 

I was hooked from the opening.  At that point, I think I fell in love with Marcus.  He is a truly tortured hero that isn't the big scary guy the Ton makes him out to be.  All he wants to do is to save his sister from a marriage that he thinks will be abusive.  Danni is someone that you would want to be a friend.  She is loyal and sees the good side of Marcus.  The book was well paced and had some inteeresting chapters like when Danni burst into Marcus's room as he was leaving the bath or when Marcus buys a dress at a local dress shop for Danni and unknowingly encounters his mother.  I can't wait to see what happens with Marcus's mother in the next novel.  One of the best things was knowing this was the first in a series.   

"He's No Prince Charming" reminded me of how I felt when I read Eloisa James's first novel.  This is an amazing debut novel.  If I had a real book shelf, I would put Elle Daniels next to Eloisa James and Grace Burrowes.  I can not wait until the next novel about Marcus's sister Caroline and the Duke is out!  

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tempting the Governess by Vivienne Westlake

 Christine Aubrey was the governess to the Blake children.  Theodore "Teddy" Blake was in love with her then.  His sister and her husband died in a carriage accident and he is raising her children.  The former pupal has rehired his governess to help with his niece and nephew.  Teddy now has the temptation of his former governess as an adult.

I thought this novella was brilliant.  It isn't the average plot for a historical romance.  The heroine is eleven years older than the hero.  But, it works brilliantly.  The adult characters are well drawn and the children don't come off as brats (sorry, I have read some books that the child characters absolutely spoil the book by being a brat or too adult-perfect).  There is a tension between Teddy and Christine that is palpable.  The only complaint I have is that I felt that I was just dropped into the novella when it is already underway.  I felt that it could have opened as Christine was returning to the Blake's house.  But, this isn't the typical plot, so it works.  I just wanted a longer book!

I received this novella as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Scandalous Summer Nights by Anne Barton

Lady Olivia Sherbourne has always been headstrong and in love with her brother's best friend.  For ten years, she has waited for him to realize she is more than his best friends sister until at a ball, she is told that James is going to Egypt.  She finally tells James how she feels and kisses him.  James goes on an exploratory trip and Olivia follows.

I will have to admit that I read the book a while before I wrote the review because I always try to post after it within a month of publishing.  The book was a pleasant read, but not memorable.  The characters were pleasant in a milk toast sort of way.  Perhaps I would have felt different if I had read the others in the series.

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

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Madeleine's Christmas Wish by Ella Quinn

This novella was only 64 pages on my e-reader and I have to admit that I only could get through the first seven before I checked to see how many pages I had left.

Madeleine, Comtesse du Beaune, is the object of an evil officials desire to marry her.  When she turns him down again, he sends his men to grab her thirteen year old sister to go to a brothel in England to collect information.  Madeleine agrees to go in her sister's place.  Georges, Marquis Curzy-le-Châtel is a French spy that has lived in England for many years.  Madeleine was supposed to have been his wife, but the marriage contract was not finalized before his father died.  He rescues Madeleine when she arrives in England and together they return to France.

I am not a big fan of novellas.  And 64 pages of actual writing is way too short.  There have been novellas that I have read that I have loved and wished they were longer.  I am very disappointed by this novella after having liked her first novel so much.  There was no time for character development and I just didn't like the story background or the characters.

I received this novella as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What a Lady Needs for Christmas by Grace Burrowes

Lady Joan Flynn is attempting to escape Edinburgh (believing she is in disgrace and fleeing a scandal) when she  discovers that the last train out until Monday morning is full.  Behind her in line is Dante Hartwell (who has earned the nickname "Hard-Hearted).  When Dante's daughter hears the stationmaster tell Joan that there are no more seats until Monday, she insists that Joan travel with him.  On the train, Joan tells Dante that she needs to marry and as Dante needs a society wife to help his sisters and children make better matches, he agrees to marry her.   During their stay at the house of Dante's friend, Ian MacGregor.

I normally do not read the seasonal novels.  However, I read this one because of how much I like Grace Burrowes novels.  Again, I was not disappointed.  If you have not read the prior novels in this series, do not worry.  This flows brilliantly and reads well as a stand alone.  I liked how strong of a character Joan was, independent and not afraid to admit that she designs clothing and makes her own.  Dante is a hard working man that only wants the best for his family and will even marry a second time to gain a better station in their society.  He is a strong defender of Joan when she believes that she has been compromised. In the end, he finally learned that his property wasn't the source of happiness and took a risk with Joan and her family.

I again am glad I had the provilage to read a Grace Burrowes novel before publication for review.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, in exchange for an honest review.