Tag: Historical Romance

Guest Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Posted September 13, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Someone to Trust by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott Series #5
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Care, Someone to Honor
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 27, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband's passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snow bank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love...

Colin and Elizabeth start off as friends in this book.  They are both looking for the same thing – marriage – but since Elizabeth is 9 years older than Colin they don’t really even think about marrying each other.  There is a spark and a sparkle there – and Colin constantly teases Elizabeth that he could marry him, but then plays it off as a joke.  She’s a little hurt by his teasing, but is Colin truly teasing her or is there a vein of seriousness in him?

While the story started off slowly it soon picked up and I was pretty invested in the romance.  I really liked both Colin and Elizabeth and wanted them together.  Yes, she was 9 years older than Colin and that age thing got a little old, I’m not gonna lie.  Colin was so adorable and kind, and I loved his character so much.  I’m glad that they finally worked things out, but it took a little too long to get there.  This actually could have been a novella and been perfect.

The overwhelming Wescott family irritated me in this book.  Not that any of them did anything wrong, truly they didn’t, but having to remember who is who was getting to me.  I love that they are so supportive of each other, but it got to a point where I just wanted them to all go away.

While I didn’t like this as much as I liked books 2, 3 & 4 in the series, it was still a lovely romance and worth reading.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Wescott

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted September 3, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Greycourt #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 468
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she's attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins—sins he'd much rather forget. But she's also fiery, bold, and sensuous—a temptation he can't resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he'll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya's trust-by whatever means necessary.

Features a bonus novella from New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes!

Freya de Moray is a member of the Wise Women. A lot of people think of these wise women as witches, but they’re not. Of course there is a group of witch hunters which are called Dunkelders and they chase down wise women. Of course.

Let me just stop right there and tell you that the whole wise women/dunkelder thing completely turned me off. This is an Elizabeth Hoyt book so I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, but this whole secret society and people who think they’re witches, it just doesn’t work.

So Freya is going to a house party to go after someone who she thinks is responsible for her brothers downfall and in the meantime looking into the disappearance of a woman from the house next-door. Of course this isn’t going to work out well for her because we have to have angst, right? 🤦‍♀️  Freya ends up getting herself in a bind, as was expected. Of course the “hero” of the story has to save her. I really would have liked it if Freya could have saved herself. If this is what a wise woman looks like, I don’t want to see a stupid one.

Then we have the hero who is being blackmailed by someone at the house party because his dead wife wrote some letters which he doesn’t want anyone to see.   Could we add just one more plot point to the story, please? Despite that wild point, I really liked the hero.  He truly fell so deeply in love with Freya and she was just like, “meh.”  I mean, she eventually comes around and falls in love with him, but I just wasn’t feeling it from her at all.

In this story Hoyt was so invested in Freya and the wise women as well as the dunkelders, kidnappers, and murderers, not to mention witches, that the romance was nearly nonexistent.  Romance is one of the things that Hoyt excels at, and that’s one of the reasons why I read her books.  Unfortunately I have no desire whatsoever to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: It’s Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch

Posted August 29, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: It’s Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Tracy
It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Wild Wicked Highlanders #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

HAPPILY-EVER-AFTERLondon socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal―and won’t try to tame her wild heart...

IN THE HIGHLANDSRough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HOTTER.Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out...

The Earl of Aldriss and his London wife head to his home in Scotland after they marry. She hates Scotland. He hates London. The wife has three sons and all is good, until she has child four, who is a girl. The wife declares that there’s no way she’s bringing up a daughter in the wilds of Scotland because it’s completely barbaric. She takes off for London with the girl, leaving her husband and three sons on their own. Oh, and she controls all the money. She agrees to keep sending money as long as hubs lets her leave.  Nice mom. Not. Her oldest is 12 years old and the other two just a few years behind that. What impressionable ages to just up and leave! This pissed me off.

Seventeen years have gone by and the absent mom decides that her sons have to come to London and get married or shall stop sending money. What kind of asinine plan is that? Not only that, but one of those wives need to be of her choosing.   Does she really think that if they marry women from London that they’ll stay? I don’t think so. Oh, and on top of that they have to get married before their younger sister or they lose everything. The sister is already engaged, so they are on a strict time limit.

Anyway, the woman the mom chooses for the oldest son isn’t his cup of tea. Niall, the second son, ends up escorting her places saying that Coll, the oldest, will be there anytime. Of course the more time Niall and Amelia-Rose spend together the closer they get.

I really liked both Niall and Amelia-Rose. I thought that individually they were great characters, but together they really were something special. The mom’s intentions were horrible, but it ended up working out for the both of them.

I really liked this book and I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

Posted August 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Casee
Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #1
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger, Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3), Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels #5), Devil's Daughter
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 11 hours and 3 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A twist of fate...

Devon Ravenel, London's most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities... and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl's three innocent sisters are still occupying the house... along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon's own.

A clash of wills...

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she's ever known?

This is one of the books that Holly chose for me for our Summer Reading Challenge. I have read three historical this year. Three. I have been meaning to read this series, but historicals just don’t appeal to me as much as they used to. I’m really glad Holly chose this book for me because it introduced me to the Ravenels.

Devon Ravenel never wanted the responsibility of the earldom that is in his family. When his cousin Theo is thrown from a horse and subsequently dies, the earldom and all it entails is passed to Devon. Devon is now Lord Trenear, something he never wanted.

Kathleen was Lady Trenear for three days before her husband died. She’s already planning her future and the future of her three sisters-in-law when Devon Ravenel shows up at the family home. Kathleen takes an instant dislike to Devon and his brother, West. They are everything she is not. Kathleen is very much a rule follower while everything about the Ravenel brothers is the polar opposite.

I did not like this book. Kathleen was unbearable. She was a raving shrew. Everything Devon did was wrong. She never asked him why he didn’t want to commit. She just assumed he had a wonderful upbringing because he is a Ravenel. When Devon sets up a match between his friend and Helen, one of her sisters-in-law, Kathleen is appalled. And she makes sure Devon knows it.

As for Devon, I really did enjoy his character. I just questioned his judgement. I have no earthly idea why he would want to be with Kathleen. She was that unbearable.

Overall, I am glad I read this book. Only because of the other characters and the stories I know are to come. I’m really looking forward to Winterborne and Helen’s book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Ravenels

three-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted August 20, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Huge Deal by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset, Hard Sell
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 19 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

This is the second book that Rowena chose for both Holly and I for our Summer Reading Challenge. While this book was Rowena’s favorite in the series, it comes in second for me.

Kate Henley is Kennedy Dawson’s executive assistant. She keeps his life running smoothly, both professionally and personally. It’s been years since Kate first came to work for the three best friends. Years since Kate fell in love with Kennedy Dawson. After years of not being noticed and then overhearing Kennedy say that she’s not appealing in the least, Kate works on getting over Kennedy. Which she does.

Kennedy Dawson is very old-fashioned. He likes his life well-ordered and boring. After years of being single, he’s dating a model which is out of the norm for Kennedy. Everything is going along exactly how Kennedy planned, which involves no messy emotions and certainly not love. Then he starts seeing Kate in a way that he’s never seen her before.

Kate doesn’t want Kennedy to notice her. She got over her crush on him years ago and she’s not looking to go back and pine for him. Kennedy ends up being more persistent than she ever expected and pursues her with a single-minded focus that she’s only ever seen in him.

I really did enjoy this book. I expected Kate to be love sick over Kennedy, but that was not the case at all. She was a very strong woman, which I always appreciate. Kennedy was very likable as well. I really enjoyed their story. I feel that this was a good conclusion to the 21 Wall Street series.

I listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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