Tag: Historical

Joint Review: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath

Posted September 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly & Rowena
When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2) by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #2
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire (Sins for All Seasons, #1), When a Duke Loves a Woman
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
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Gillie Trewlove knows what a stranger's kindness can mean, having been abandoned on a doorstep as a baby and raised by the woman who found her there. So, when suddenly faced with a soul in need at her door—or the alleyway by her tavern—Gillie doesn't hesitate. But he's no infant. He's a grievously injured, distractingly handsome gentleman who doesn't belong in Whitechapel, much less recuperating in Gillie's bed.

Being left at the altar is humiliating; being rescued from thugs by a woman—albeit a brave and beautiful one—is the pièce de résistance to the Duke of Thornley's extraordinarily bad day. After nursing him back from the brink, Gillie agrees to help him comb London's darker corners for his wayward bride. But every moment together is edged with desire and has Thorne rethinking his choice of wife. Yet Gillie knows the aristocracy would never accept a duchess born in sin. Thorne, however, is determined to prove to her that no obstacle is insurmountable when a duke loves a woman.

We were first introduced to the Trewlove family in Beyond Scandal and Desire, book 1 of the Sins for All Seasons series. The six siblings are all bastards who were taken in by a kind woman and raised as siblings. Gillie Trewlove was a total tomboy growing up who eventually opened her own tavern. One night she interrupts a mugging in the alley behind her tavern and saves a man’s life.

Thorne, Duke of Thornley, is in Whitechapel chasing after the woman who left him at the alter when he’s jumped by four thugs. Had he not been in his cups, he may have been able to fight them off. As it is, Gillie runs them off and, thanks to her quick thinking, surely saved him from death. As she nurses him back to health, and later helps him with his search for his errant bride, they become friends. Both would like more, but Gillie is a commoner and he’s a Duke. They realize marriage is not an option for them.

Holly: This is only the second Lorraine Heath book I’ve read (Beyond Scandal and Desire was the first). I really like her writing. She had me wrapped up in the story from page one. Sadly, I had limited reading time so it took me a week to get through it, but it wasn’t because the story was lacking.

What did you think?

Rowena: I adored the book. Lorraine Heath really writes my kind of historical romance and I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the first book in this series, Beyond Scandal and Desire. Thorne and Gillie were fabulous characters and their romance worked for me. I adored seeing Thorne set roots in Gillie’s life, I enjoyed seeing him get to know her through the people in her life and I enjoyed seeing him get to know Robin as well. Everything just worked for me.

What about you? What did you think?

Holly: I really liked both Thorne and Gillie. Together and on their own. Every single time Thorne pitched in to help Gillie my heart melted a little. I loved how accepting and supportive of her he was. He told her multiple times she didn’t need to change for him, and he proved he meant it. I loved that. I also loved how capable Gillie was. It was a nice switch that Thorne needed her help, and not the other way around.

Rowena: I also really loved how patient Thorne was with Gillie. He wanted her, but he waited until she was ready to take their relationship to the next level. All of the times that they relaxed together and made out like teenagers after they closed the tavern together was so cute to me.

Holly: I loved how patient Thorne was with her. Patient isn’t even the right word. It’s not like he expected she’d let him into her bed and was being patient. He just enjoyed being with her and taking it slow. You know what I mean?

Rowena: The romance was sweet and I was on board from the moment Gillie took Thorne into her apartment to nurse him back to health. I laughed out loud when she turned the nurse away and was mad at herself for doing it. There were so many moments in this book that just melted me a little and I just liked the entire book. I loved seeing Gillie’s family though I wish we got a little more Fancy and Ettie. There wasn’t enough of them to suit me but still, I really loved when Gillie’s brothers tried to step up for her. Her brothers are such winners. 🙂

Holly: Their romance was great. It was just so fabulous how accepting he was of her. I smiled when he gave her his jacket at the ball, and stood up for her to others.

Rowena: Yes, I loved that he wanted to take care of her. I loved that she didn’t have to change one bit for him to fall in love with her. He fell in love with Gillie as she was and that made me happy. So as you can see, this book is going to get a good grade from me because it wasn’t just Thorne that accepted and loved Gillie as she was. Her entire family loved and supported her and that was great. Her talk with Mick and him making sure she understood that there was nothing she could do that would make him turn his back on her just melted me.

Holly: I loved that Gillie was capable of taking care of herself, yet she made herself vulnerable to him.

Rowena: Did you want to know who Gillie’s real parents were?

Holly: I kind of did, but honestly, I was hoping we wouldn’t find out. I was afraid it would be a case of Gillie learning she was some aristocrat’s by-blow and that making her “acceptable” for marriage to a Duke. I was really happy when that didn’t end up being the case.

Rowena: Yes! That’s exactly how I felt. The more accepting Thorne was with Gillie and who she was, I didn’t want to know that Gillie was actually a Princess and finally an acceptable Duchess for Thorne. I loved that she was acceptable to him no matter what. I think that’s why I am loving this series. The characters know their duty and yet, they follow their hearts anyway.
Holly: I loved it when Thorne called Gillie Princess and, at first, she got all angry, thinking he was mocking her. Then she realized he meant it. Sniffle.

Rowena: I can’t wait for Finn’s book. I can’t wait to find out where Livinia’s been this whole time. I can’t wait for Finn to see her again after all of these years and I’m so here for all of the angst that their romance is going to bring.

Holly: I won’t lie, the Dowager Duchess kind of made the book for me. I was loving it anyway, but toward the end? She totally upped my enjoyment.

Rowena: Thorne and Olivia’s book was a wonderfully romantic historical that I couldn’t get enough of. Their love for each other was sweet and I loved that no matter how much it hurt her, Gillie helped Thorne any way that she could to find Livinia. I also loved that she never gave up on finding the timepiece that was so important to Thorne. I loved that Thorne showed up every night to be there for Gillie, no matter what his duties were. They were a great team and their story warmed my heart. I have fallen in love with all of the characters that Lorraine Heath has introduced us to in this world and I’m super anxious for more. I give this one a 4.5 out of 5.

Holly: This was a really great romance. I sighed, I laughed, my heart got all melty…it had it all. I really loved how Thorne fit himself into Gillie’s life. I loved how independent Gillie was, without being ridiculously stubborn about it. I loved how Thorne accepted her for who she was, without hoping she’d change a bit.

I did struggle a bit to get into the book. I’m not sure if it was the book itself, or just that I kept coming at it in bits, and therefore wasn’t able to focus. I also got somewhat impatient to see how it would end. So I’m giving a 4.25 out of 5. I really loved the romance, but some bits pulled it down for me.

Holly’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons


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Review: For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell

Posted September 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
For the Duke's Eyes Only (School for Dukes, #2) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #2
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1), What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
four-stars

If adventure has a name...it must be Lady India Rochester. The intrepid archaeologist possesses a sharp blade and an even sharper knack for uncovering history's forgotten women. Unfortunately, she has one annoying weakness: the dangerously handsome Duke of Ravenwood. Former best friend. Current enemy. And the man who dared to break her heart.

Daniel Bonds, the Duke of Ravenwood, is a thrill-seeking antiquities hunter who only plays by one rule: Never fall in love. He's in it for the fortune and glory. At least that's what he wants the world to think. He's sworn to hide his tangled web of secrets, especially from the one woman he cares about and will protect at any cost.

But when a priceless relic is stolen from the British Museum, the rivals must align forces. Racing to recover the stolen antiquity and avert an international disaster? All in a day's work. Avoiding their buried feelings? More and more impossible. For love is about to become the greatest treasure of all.

The grand adventure begins...now!

Lenora Bell strikes again! I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. From beginning to end, I was wrapped up tight in this book and I am super anxious for more from these characters that are inserting themselves into my heart.

For the Duke’s Eyes Only is the second book in the School for Dukes series by Lenora Bell and its another story that wrapped me up in feels. Lenora Bell keeps writing fabulous historical romances with smart characters and strong heroines that I can seriously get behind.

Daniel Bonds and India Rochester were childhood best friends who were engaged to be married but grew apart after Daniel’s father died and he became the Duke of Ravenswood. Their friendship didn’t last the test of time because Daniel stopped writing India when he went away to school and he also kissed someone else and India caught him so she wanted nothing to do with him. As the years pass, they become enemies of a sort and the bickering never stops. There’s guilt and hurt feelings and a whole lot of grief and I was here for it all.

I loved seeing them have their adventures as kids and then their great big adventure as adults. I also really loved seeing the coins make a reappearance in their lives all those many years later and though there were times when I wanted to smack them both upside the head for being so dumb with each other, I still really loved them.

Ravenswood hasn’t gotten over the death of his father and the need to clear his father’s name is still going really strong all of these years later but when a mission goes south in Greece, and Raven almost dies, he starts to re-evaluate his life choices and thinks about what could have been and who he could have spent his life with had things worked out differently. When artifacts start going missing, he’s tasked with locating and bringing those artifacts back. He thought he would rush to Paris, retrieve the mission pieces and bring it back to England and his life would go back to normal but when India is brought into things, Raven’s life gets all kinds of crazy.

India is preparing for a trip to Egypt for an archeological job but needs to check some things out before she can leave. When she comes across some fishy shit, she’s roped into finding the stolen artifacts and returning them where they belong. It’s her civic duty…and if that duty brings her into close contact with the only man to ever own and break her heart, she’ll deal with it. With him. Maybe.

The sparks flew nonstop between these two and I just adored every single scene they shared. Even when they annoyed me because I wanted them to get along and fix things already, the way that they came together brought me much joy. Lenora Bell really knows how to work her magic with these books and as long as she writes them, I’ll be reading them. Daniel and India are a fantastic couple with enough sexual chemistry to steam up your books and this was a great addition to a fabulous series. I can’t wait for Mina’s book and I’m curious if we’ll get a book for West. Hmm.

I definitely recommend this book, it’s good stuff. I promise!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

School for Dukes

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Lady’s Guide to Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch.

Posted September 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Lady’s Guide to Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch.Reviewer: Rowena
The Care and Taming of a Rogue (Adventurers’ Club, #1) by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Adventurers' Club #1
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 27, 2009
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 371
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch kicks off a new Regency romance series, in which adventure and heart-stopping romance go hand in hand, in The Care and Taming of a Rogue. Rugged adventurer Bennett Wolfe, once presumed dead, has returned to London. He only has eyes for the exceedingly proper Philippa . . . and so she must teach him some manners before temptation sweeps her away . . .

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on May 11, 2010.

Suzanne Enoch is fast becoming one of my go to authors for witty historical novels. To date, I’ve read 4 of her books and have enjoyed each book immensely. This book was no different. It’s weird how I’ll read three books in a row that have the same kind of storyline going on and once again, this time it was no different.

I just finished reading Rachel Gibson’s Nothing But Trouble where the hero was in a horrible car accident and he was unable to walk without the aid of a cane. In this story, the hero, Bartholomew “Tolly” James is recovering from being injured while fighting for his country. He’s not the same Tolly that his family remembers from before the war and to be honest, he’s not. He went through some stuff that nobody should have gone through and he survived it and the events that led him to where he was changed him irrevocably. All he wants now is to stay at his club and to be left alone but because his family is searching for him, its bringing unwanted attention to his club so he has to go home and make nice with them so that they know that he’s alive and as close to well as humanly possible.

He goes home to dinner and tries to be the most obnoxious toad he can be so that they’ll be scandalized and he’ll be able to disappear and suffer in peace but it doesn’t work because his sister in law’s cousin, Theresa Weller puts him in his place and piques his interest and he can’t help but be drawn to her. So he finds himself going to this ball that he knows she’s going to be at so that he can find out what about her intrigues him so much aside from her obvious beauty and it’s while they’re trying to find out why they’re so drawn to each other that I absolutely fell in love with both Tess and Tolly.

I thought they were perfect for each other and Enoch did a fantastic job of keeping me excited for more. I mean, you could tell that these two didn’t even like each other to begin with but the more they were around each other, the more curious they became of the other and the more they couldn’t stay away from each other. I loved the way Tolly didn’t trust anyone but for some unexplainable reason, he trusted Tess and then I loved the way Tess slowly came to life with every moment she spent with Tolly. They brought out the best in each other and I loved that about them.

Tolly was a surly bastard but with ample reason. He’s been through Hell and now he’s back and trying to get accustomed to being back. He spends his days and his nights in pain, he can’t walk right and he just wants to be left alone but when Theresa Weller comes into his life, it’s like she breathed life back into him because it’s through her that he realizes he’ll get a second chance at living. It’s through her that he realizes he actually wants a second chance at living.

I thought this book was sweet and too cute for words. I adored both Tolly and Tess and I can’t wait to read more from this series. I wonder who’s going to get their book next. I’m actually pretty stoked about it too. I want more! I’m hoping the Duke that helps Tolly out gets his own book, he sounds like he’d be dangerous and smexy. So yeah, being the greedy bitch that I am, I want more! This book was great and it had all of the makings of an entertaining read. You won’t want to miss it!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Adventurers’ Club

four-half-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Untamed by Pamela Clare

Posted September 12, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Untamed by Pamela ClareReviewer: Rowena
Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2) by Pamela Clare
Series: MacKinnon's Rangers #2
Also in this series: Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 369
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four-stars

In the breathtaking tradition of The Last of the Mohicans...

MacKinnon's Rangers

They were a band of brothers, their loyalty to one another forged by hardship and battle, the bond between these Highland warriors, rugged colonials, and fierce Native Americans stronger even than blood ties.

Though forced to fight for the hated British, Morgan MacKinnon would no more betray the men he leads than slit his own throat—not even when he was captured by the French and threatened with an agonizing death by fire at the hands of their Abenaki allies. Only the look of innocent longing in the eyes of a convent-bred French lass could make him question his vow to escape and return to the Rangers. And soon the sweet passion he awoke in Amalie had him cursing the war that forced him to choose between upholding his honor and pledging himself to the woman he loves.

Untamed is the first book that I tackled from Casee’s picks for my Summer Reading Challenge, it’s also the second book in the MacKinnons Rangers series by Pamela Clare and it’s got the whole Last of the Mohican feels to it, which I’ll admit, I wasn’t all that interested in reading before I picked it up. I’m so glad that I forced myself to get over myself and get this book read because it was good stuff. Thanks for the recommendation, Casee! 🙂

So this book follows the MacKinnon Rangers Leader, Morgan MacKinnon, as he is injured in war, taken captive by the enemy and then falls in love with the woman that nurses him back to health (while in enemy hands). Morgan has stepped up to be the leader of the Rangers when his older brother stepped down from military service and is now living the farmer’s life with his wife and young son. On a scouting mission, Morgan is shot trying to save one of his Rangers and because he knows that he’s dying, he sends the Rangers to safety knowing that his younger brother Connor will lead their men against the enemy. The Rangers were forced to fight with the British Army because the leader of the British Army is a lying piece of shit but to ensure that Iain and his family is safe, the Rangers fight. So for now, the French are the enemy.

When the French take Morgan captive, they nurse him back to health in hopes that he’ll give them the answers they need to defeat the British Army and end the war. Amelie Chauvenet is tasked with nursing Mogan back to health and she is not at all happy to know that once Morgan is healthy, the French Army plans to send him to his death. Each day that she nurses him back to health, she gets to know the Rangers Leader and the closer she gets to him. She doesn’t want to like him because she holds him and his Rangers responsible for the death of her father but she can’t stop her heart from feeling what it feels for Morgan MacKinnon and before she knows what is what, they’re married and loads of drama is still waiting for them.

There’s a lot going on this book with Morgan’s injuries, his developing relationship with the forbidden Miss Chauvenet and once they’re together, they’re still not out of the woods because Morgan has to get Amelie to the safety of his home with Iain and Iain’s wife Anne but he’s also got to prove he’s innocent of treason. Things happen quickly once they’re married but I will say that the beginning was a little slow for me. It took me a while to get into the story but once I got a sense of who was who and what was going on, the story picked up and my enjoyment went right up with it.

Morgan was a fantastic hero who led with heart and genuine care for his men. They were all brothers to him and there wasn’t a thing he wouldn’t do for any of the Rangers. I liked that. I liked seeing how loyal his men were to him and I really enjoyed seeing the love he had for his brothers and to see that love and loyalty returned right back to him from them. He did what he had to and I loved seeing how much he loved Amelie.

Amelie was a great heroine but there were times when I wished she thought more of what she wanted from Morgan than she did. She wanted him to join the French army so that it would be okay for her to love him, not even thinking what becoming a traitor would be for him. She didn’t think at all about how him joining her cause would pit him against his brothers because they had already given their word to fight for the other side. But aside from that, I thought she was a great heroine. She was strong, brave and she loved fiercely. I was super happy that she finally got the family and the home that she wished for because she did deserve it.

Overall, this was a fabulous romance that I came to adore. I’m mighty interested in going back and reading Iain’s book and then finishing up the series with Connor’s book. I enjoyed getting to know both brothers very much in this book and so they’re on my TBR list at the very top. Let’s hope that I get to them soon. This book was great and I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

MacKinnon’s Rangers

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks

Posted September 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya BanksReviewer: Rowena
In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1) by Maya Banks
Series: McCabe Trilogy #1
Also in this series: In Bed with a Highlander, In Bed with a Highlander, Never Love a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 351
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Goodreads
four-stars

Maya Banks' beguiling new trilogy features three unforgettable brothers risking everything to save their clan and their legacy—and to surrender their hearts to love.

Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan's clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin's strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

In Bed with a Highlander is the first book in the McCabe’s Trilogy and it’s also one of Holly’s picks for my Summer Reading Challenge. I’m happy to report that Maya Banks has hooked me with this first book and I cannot wait to read Alaric and Caelen’s books.

Mairin Stuart is a wanted woman but not by the law or anything like that. No. She’s wanted by land and money hungry men who want to claim her and all of the riches she brings to a marriage. When she’s found at the abbey where she was hiding at and then captured, she comes across a young boy who needs her help and protection so she uses her wiles to protect that little boy. After a severe beating, Mairin and her young charge flee for their lives. The young boy, Crispin vows that his father will protect her and all they need to do is get home.

When they’re rescued by Crispin’s uncle and taken home, Mairin realizes that she may not have to marry Laird Cameron but she does have to marry Crispin’s father, Ewan McCabe, in order for him to properly protect her. She has no wish to marry someone she doesn’t know and a little part of her has always wanted someone to want to marry her for her and not what she can bring to their marriage. While living with the McCabe tribe, Mairin tries to make the best of her situation and make a place for herself within the McCabe clan and just when she thinks maybe she’s found her place in the world, she’s summoned before the King to validate her marriage to Ewan.

Ewan has the weight of the clan’s problems on his shoulders and even though he’s made progress on building his clan back up, he’s still struggling to make ends meet, make sure everyone is fed and clothed and the responsibility never ends for him. When his young son goes missing and returns with a woman who protected him from those that meant to harm him, on one hand, he’s grateful but on the other hand, he’s wary because he has no idea who this woman is and what she’s doing with him. She becomes the answers to all of his dreams and nobody is more surprised than he is that he develops feelings for her and he would go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe.

Maya Banks is new to me but she’s won me over because I have already downloaded the rest of this series to my kindle and as soon as I can, I’ll be getting to know Alaric and Caelen a lot better. I can’t wait. Ewan and Mairin were a great couple that reminded me of my favorite couples from old school Julie Garwood books and that’s a plus for me. Who doesn’t love old school Julie Garwood? This was a fun book from beginning to end and the romance was lovely. So good. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

McCabe Trilogy

four-stars


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