Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quiz: Which Type of Historical Romance Heroine Are You? (And Contest)

Quiz: Which Type of Historical Romance Heroine Are You?

#1 What word best describes you?

a) effervescent
b) nonconfrontational (mostly) 
c) stealthy

#2 My favorite hobby is ...

a) comparative study of the male form
b) looking after my darling baron   
c) target practice

#3 What is the perfect late night snack?

a) bread, cheese, meats, lemon tarts … whatever can be liberated from the kitchen
b) the baron's kisses
c) ratafia, shaken not stirred

#4 My ideal man must have ...

a) a sublime derriere
b) an aptitude for growing hardy, contrary flowers 
c) brains

#5 What accessory do you never leave home without?

a) my corset (large bosoms are such a trial)
b) my composure 
c) my pistol


If you choose mostly As ... then you are as sparkling and resourceful as Her Serene Royal Highness Dagmar from The Truth About Leo by Katie MacAlister. Dagmar may have been raised in a strictly formal manner, but she’s never let that stop her from pursuing anything that catches her interest. She’s a bit quirky, marches to her own drummer, and has a fine, fine appreciation of the manly form.

If you choose mostly Bs … then you are clearly the stuff a baroness is made of, much like Millicent, from The Traitor. Milly is sweet, fierce, determined, and brave but slow to trust. Sebastian, Baron St. Clair, is ALSO sweet, fierce, determined and brave, and relentless when it comes to protecting those he cares for. Alas for both Sebastian and Milly, an enemy stalks them who is not sweet. By the time Milly is done with Sebastian's enemies, they are not very brave either. So if you chose mostly B's, the bad guys better steer mighty clear of you!

If you choose mostly Cs … then you are equipped to be a master spy like Jane Bonde from Love and Let Spy by Shana Galen. Jane is smart, cunning, and loyal, but she has her weaknesses too. Her latest weakness goes by the name Dominic Griffyn. Planning a wedding and defeating a villain intent upon the destruction of England is tricky, but if you're the sort who multitasks easily, then you too have Jane's unique skills and panache.
Enter to win 5 Historical Romance Novel Bundles Featuring Katie MacAlister, Grace Burrowes, and Shana Galen at the link below.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Game And the Governess by Kate Noble

Edward "Ned" Granville, the Earl of Ashby is known as "Lucky Ned" and he lives up to his name.  After the war, he hires his friend, John Turner, as his secretary.  John is attempting to rebuild his family's mill.  Their friend is Dr. Rhys Gray.

They make a wager that a woman will fall in love with Granville even if he doesn't have a title, so Ned and John switch places.  Poor Phoebe Baker is a governess in a home they are visiting

I just could not get involved in this book.  I didn't like the first chapter and I attempted to read past the fifth, but I found the main characters very flat.  Ned was an ass and Phoebe needed a backbone.  I even did my normal trick of reading the ending, but I HATED the ending.  So, I put this book down and called it a "Do not finish".

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

Letters At Christmas by Amber Lin

"Letters At Christmas" is a novella that was originally published in an anthology and is now being released on its own.

Three years ago, Hale Martin left three years ago to make his fortune so he could marry Sidony Harbeck.  He had promised to be gone one Season and to write her daily.  After three years, she is furious that he never wrote and now he has finally returned to claim her.  Hale makes a wager that she will agree to marry him before Christmas.

While the writing is good, the story was just too short to make Sidony into a likeable female lead.    Also, Hale was Sidony's brother Geoffrey's best friend.  Geoffrey didn't notice that Hale and Sidony were getting quite close and "anticipated their marriage vows"?  There was something that happened to/with Geoffrey over the death of their parents.  At one point, Hale even asks him about it and it was brushed off.  I wish that there was another novella about Geoffrey.

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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Heir by Grace Burrowes

I had received "The Captive" by Grace Burrows as an ARC.  When I realized who the author was, I was groaning.  I had attempted to read several of her "Lonely Lords" series but for some reason, I couldn't get past the first chapter.  I think I had left my brain somewhere else.  By the first chapter of "The Captive", I was hooked.  I went to Ms. Burrows website to find the first book she had written and found "The Heir".  So, I went to my library's website and reserved "The Heir".  There were four other people on hold prior to me for one electronic copy.  By the time I got "The Heir", I had been sent the ARC for "The Traitor".  I ended up reading "The Heir" and "The Traitor" simultaneously.

The Hero, Gale Windham, Earl of Westhaven is the second son and now heir to the Duke of Moreland.  The Duke is not the typical English father.  He is loves meddling in his children's business.  Windham is attempting to pull himself out of grief for his older brother Bartholomew.

Windham is brained by a fireplace poker by his housekeeper, Anna Seaton, because she thinks he was groping the chambermaid.  Windham extracts his revenge on Mrs. Seaton by being a terrible patient.  As his wounds heal, Windham realizes that he has fallen in love with Mrs. Seaton.

Anna Seaton is the granddaughter of an Earl.  Her parents had died and Anna and her siblings were raised by her grandparents.  Her older brother has gotten himself in debt and arranged a marriage with a man that Anna found unsavory.  Anna and her sister, Morgan, are fleeing their brother.  As the relationship with Windham slowly progresses, he begins to realize that his Anna has a secret.

I was simply enthralled with "The Heir".  I find that Grace Burrows gives readers characters that are well drawn out.  Windham has his faults but is thoroughly likeable.  Anna is a strong woman that knows what she wants.  I loved the bond of family between Windham and St. Just and Valentine.

This book was borrowed from my local library.  I am grateful they have the extensive collection of novels by Grace Burrowes.

The Traitor by Grace Burrowes

Again, I am blown away by Grace Burrowes novels.  I was so thrilled to receive an ARC for "The Traitor".

Sebastian St. Clair is the son of an English father and a French mother.  When the Treaty of Amines is struck, his mother and father travel to France to visit her father and relations.  While they were in France, war broke out and his father had to leave.  Sebastian and his mother were left in France and his mother died.

In adulthood, he was forced to join the French army to survive.  English officers who were captured out of uniform were brought to him to torture.  Now that the war is over, Sebastian is back in England and is the Baron St. Clair.  The men that think he tortured them are challenging him to duels.

Millicent Danforth is the newly hired companion of Lady Frederica, Baroness St. Clair, Sebastian's Aunt.  When Milly needs to return to her aunt's house, Aunt Freddy has Sebastian drive her.  This starts the romance and verbal sparring between Milly and Sebastian.  Sebastian figures out that Milly can't read or write and patiently teaches her.

This book is beautifully written from beginning to end.  The all of the characters are well drawn out from main characters to secondary characters.  The conclusion of the novel was well plotted and gave a great resolution to the suspense that was woven throughout the novel.  

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

Rogue With A Brogue by Suzanne Enoch

"Rogue With a Brogue" is a delightful twist on a Highlander romance because the novel is set in London.  Arran MacLawry is in London with his older brother (and laird) and sister prior to his brother's marriage.  The MacLawry's are attempting to negotiate truce with other clans against the Campbells.  Arran is in a Mayfair ballroom attending a masked ball as a fox when he meets Mary Campbell who is also masked as a fox.

Mary Campbell is a strong, independent woman that know what she wants even if it is her family's enemy.  When Mary's father finds out that she has been seeing Arran on the sly, he pushes an arranged marriage with a slightly unbalanced cousin.

I loved the chase of the romance and the tension that was created by one being a MacLawry and one a Campbell.  It was Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending.  Well written characters with a compelling plot made this a could-not-put-down book.

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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why Lords Lose Their Hearts (Wicked Widows #3) by Manda Collins

This is the third book in a series.  DO NOT READ THIS BOOK UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THE OTHER TWO.  It is definitely not a stand alone.  I spend the first several chapters attempting to figure out what was going on.

The novel opens a prologue explaining why Perdita is the widowed Duchess of Ormonde.  Her husband, Gervase, was abusive.  He is holding a knife to Perdita's throat while her friend, Georgina, and sister Isabella are attempting to keep him from killing her.  He ends up dead.

Now that her mourning is over, Perdita is in London.  Her sister, Isabella, has married Gervase's heir and is the new Duke of Ormonde.  Isabella and Georgina were getting threats, but they were resolved in their books.  Now Perdita is getting the notes and other threats.  Lord Archer Lisle was the previous Duke's secretary and is the current Duke's secretary.  He has loved Perdita since Gervase married her.  He has appointed himself as her protector and wants to marry her.

While I liked the characters of Perdita and Archer, I really disliked the feeling that I was missing something the entire novel.  The love story of Archer and Perdita seems secondary to figuring out who is threatening her to the point it almost seemed an after thought and the author had really wanted to write a murder mystery.

The conclusion of the book was disturbing.  Rather than having Perdita's persistent suitor, Lord Dunthrop, be the villain and wrap it up neatly, there is a totally unexpected villain.  The villain has a bizarre and truly not needed back story that I found put a damper on what I did like about the book.

Just an odd thing that I found annoying is when Archer married Perdita, he referred to her as Mrs. Lisle.  Archer is the youngest son of a Duke, thus he has a courtesy title.  As his wife, Perdida would be referred to as Lady Archer.

There was enough of this book that I did like to give it 3.5 stars.  I am going to have to read the first two so I can enjoy this one.

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Married to Rogue by Donna Lee Simpson

Lady Emily Sedgley was banished to the wilds of Yorkshire when her marriage fell apart.  Lady Emily and her estranged husband, Baxter, the Marquess of Sedgley even have a legal seperation.

Emily has gotten bored in her banishment and is returning to London for the Season.  Her husband arrives in London after years on the Continent with his mistress, an actress, in tow.  Baxter is stunned when he sees Emily across a crowded theater and realizes that he still desires her.  However, Emily has attracted the attention of a young French suitor and Baxter has mysterious accidents.  Baxter's mother pops up several times demanding that Emily loose weight so she can attract Baxter (like that was needed!) and they can secure the line.

My only issue with this book is the minor story line revolving around Grishelda May van Hoffen.  She is introduced as Grishelda and referred to Grishelda then the character announces the prefers May.  That story line is continued in the next book.

Both the characters of Emily and Baxter were well developed.  As a reader, I felt empathy toward Emily for being stuck in the country and only having food to keep herself happy.  Baxter was finally realizing that he let his mother ruin their relationship and what a mistake that was.

This book was originally published in 2000 under the title Lady Delafont's Dilemma.  I am not going to quibble over the issue that normally the title does not match the last name in English Aristocracy.  I am just glad that the book was republished and I got to read it!

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Trouble With Harry by Katie Macalister

I am extremely grateful that Sourcebooks, Inc has re-released Katie Macalister's books.  There are some that show their age.  Katie Macalister infuses humor with well developed characters that make the books timeless.

Harry, the Marquis of Rosse is in desperate need of a wife for his five "wild things".  He posts an ad in the local paper for a wife.

Lady Frederica Pelham, better known as Plum is almost broke and needs a husband to support her and her niece, Thom.  Plum was married when she was younger, but the man was already married.  He was banished to the continent and his family supported him as long as he stayed there.  Plum could not make a good marriage after that disaster so she used her several weeks of marital bliss to write "Guide to Connubial Calisthenics" under the pen name of Vyvian LaBlue.  After almost being mauled by the local blacksmith, Plum makes up her mind to respond to Harry's ad.

After six hours, Harry has run out of applicants when Plum arrives as they are leaving.  There is an instant attraction between Harry and Plum.

Between the antics of Harry's children, the "Guide", the over romantic butler and Plum's plotting, this book was one of the funniest, well written books I have read.  The characters were well well developed and likeable.  I am waiting for a romance between Plum's niece, Thom, and Nicholas Britton, Harry's godson.

Again, a wonderful book from Katie Macalister.

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

Friday, July 4, 2014

Once Upon a Duke by Eva Devon

This novel was not the typical romance novel.  The heroine is a widow who was abandoned to the country while her husband enjoys the seedier side of London.  

Ryder Blake, Duke of Darkwell has been in a personal hell since his wife died of small pox.  He is earning the nom de plume of the Duke of Darkness, Duke of Debauchery and whatever the ton can come up with.  Katheryn Darrell wants to experience passion and seeks out Darkwell.  She falls madly in love with Darkwell, but it takes a calculated pursuit and the absolute ruin of her reputation to claim him.

I can't wait for the next in the series.

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

Meet the Earl at Midnight by Gina Conkle

Miss Lydia Montgomery has been sold into marriage by her step-father when the step-father stole money from his employer, Lord Sanford, Earl of Greenwich, to cover the money her step-brother.  Lydia is an accomplished self-taught artist.

Lydia and Edward have an almost instant attraction.  She doesn't care that Edward is scared.  The blossoming of the relationship made this an awesome read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by Gina Conkle.

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

The Seduction of Sarah Marks by Kathleen Bitttner Roth

Sarah Marks wakes up in a bed in an inn with a stranger.  Not only doesn't she know who he is, she doesn't know who she is!  Sarah quickly finds out that the man is Augustus Malvern, Lord Eastleigh.  Sarah is suffering from amnesia due to a blow to her head during a coach robbery.  Eastleigh takes Sarah to his estate where he lives with his grandmother who believes she is the Queen Mother and her daughter (Eastleigh's mother) is the Queen.  Throw in the hilarious siblings and the family doctor to add humor to the book.  While there are some hilarious chapters, there is a huge plot twist that was totally unexpected.

Eastleigh is a tortured hero that find his salvation in Sarah.  Sarah is a strong character that I was routing for. Eastleigh's cousin Sir Robert Garreck, aka Sir Crocodile is another tortured hero waiting for a book.

Awesome read - four out of four stars.

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