Tag: Julie Anne Long

Review: Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long

Posted April 30, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne LongReviewer: Holly
Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: The Palace of Rogues #1
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 373
Length: 9 hours and 13 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A mistress. A mountain of debt. A mysterious wreck of a building.

Delilah Swanpoole, Countess of Derring, learns the hard way that her husband, “Dear Dull Derring,” is a lot more interesting—and perfidious—dead than alive. It’s a devil of an inheritance, but in the grand ruins of the one building Derring left her, are the seeds of her liberation. And she vows never again to place herself at the mercy of a man.

But battle-hardened Captain Tristan Hardy is nothing if not merciless. When the charismatic naval hero tracks a notorious smuggler to a London boarding house known as the Rogue’s Palace, seducing the beautiful, blue-blooded proprietress to get his man seems like a small sacrifice.

They both believe love is a myth. But a desire beyond reason threatens to destroy the armor around their hearts. Now a shattering decision looms: Will Tristan betray his own code of honor…or choose a love that might be the truest thing he’s ever known?

Lady Derring Takes a Lover is the first book in Julie Anne Long’s Palace of Rogues series. I’ve been waiting years for JAL to return to historicals and y’all, I am not disappointed. This book was everything I needed it to be.

When Delilah Swanpool, the Countess of Derring’s husband unexpectedly dies, she’s left completely destitute. Even the gloves she’s wearing were bought on credit and not paid for. The only thing she’s left with is a building on the docks. With help from a most unlikely source, she decides to turn it into a boarding house. A respectable place where guests feel like family.

Captain Tristan Hardy is hunting for a smuggling ring at the King’s request. He’s ready to retire as the King’s man and he’s having a ship built, but he has to finish this job first. When signs point to Lady Derring’s late husband as a player in the smuggling ring, he decides to investigate. He’s sure The Palace of Rogues – newly renamed The Grand Palace on the Thames – is somehow involved, but he isn’t sure if the lovely new proprietors are smugglers or not. He takes a room to investigate and finds himself oddly smitten with Lady Derring herself.

I absolutely adored the unlikely friendship between Delilah and Angelique. I cannot say enough about the two of them forming a partnership and how empowering that was. I loved the romance, but these ladies 100% made the book for me. Delilah’s personal growth and the way her friendship grows with Angelique was also lovely to read about.

Tristan and Delilah had boatloads of chemistry, and I loved their wit and banter. Their connection came through as strong and special.

I’ll be honest, as much as I loved the romance, the book could have focused solely on Delilah and Angelique and I’d have been happy.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Palace of Rogues

five-stars


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Booksgiving with Book Binge: Day 18

Posted November 26, 2018 by Rowena in Giveaways | 10 Comments

November is a month of giving and a month of sharing so we had a thought. We’ve been at this book blogging thing for over eleven years now and to show our appreciation for all of you lovely readers taking this journey with us, we’ve got books to give away! We’re making this a month of Booksgiving and we hope you’ll join us.

Today’s giveaway includes the following:

The Truth about Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke
Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap by Julie Anne Long
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

To enter, please use the Gleam widget below. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post, answering the question included in the widget and you are good to go.

Booksgiving with Book Binge, Day 18

What was the last book that made you cry?

Good luck!


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Booksgiving with Book Binge: Day 17

Posted November 23, 2018 by Rowena in Giveaways | 9 Comments

November is a month of giving and a month of sharing so we had a thought. We’ve been at this book blogging thing for over eleven years now and to show our appreciation for all of you lovely readers taking this journey with us, we’ve got books to give away! We’re making this a month of Booksgiving and we hope you’ll join us.

Today’s giveaway includes the following:

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long
Ruled by Elle Kennedy
Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands

To enter, please use the Gleam widget below. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post, answering the question included in the widget and you are good to go.

Booksgiving with Book Binge, Day 17

What was the last book that you loved?

Good luck!


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Guest Review: Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long

Posted June 9, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne LongReviewer: Tracy
Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long
Series: Hellcat Canyon #1
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

A broken truck, a broken career, and a breakup heard around the world land superstar John Tennessee McCord in Hellcat Canyon. Legend has it that hearts come in two colors there: gold or black. And that you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s love . . . or trouble. JT may have found both in waitress Britt Langley.

His looks might cause whiplash and weak knees, but Britt sees past JT’s rough edge and sexy drawl to a person a lot like her: in need of the kind of comfort best given hot and quick, with clothes off and the lights out.

Her wit is sharp but her eyes and heart—not to mention the rest of her—are soft, and JT is falling hard. But Britt has a secret as dark as the hills, and JT’s past is poised to invade their present. It’s up to the people of Hellcat Canyon to help make sure their future includes a happily ever after.

J.T. McCord is an actor who is in Hellcat Canyon to kind of check things out as he’ll be filming in the area and wants to see the area and get a feel for the people.  He meets Britt when he eats in a local diner and they have an instant connection.  They start to see each other regularly but tell each other that it’s just a fling and not anything real, even though they’re both feeling the “real” of it.   When it comes time for J.T. to head out for a friends’ wedding will J.T. leave for good or realize that he can never leave Britt behind.

I have to admit that I started it and then put it down and went back to it a later date as I just wasn’t feeling it and that was a bit shocking as I’ve never done that with a Julie Anne Long book.  When I picked it back up I got a bit more into it but honestly never really felt a great connection with the characters.  At some points I thought that the conversations between J.T. and Britt would have been better in one of JAL’s historical romances but didn’t quite work in the contemporary setting.

Britt was a woman who had been hurt in the past and was telling herself she was just living her life but she hadn’t actually lived since moving to Hellcat Canyon.  Meeting J.T. changed all that but she still wasn’t able to admit to herself that what she was feeling was real. I understood her hesitancy as J.T. was a famous guy and she was just your average woman – not a celebrity.  I was happy that J.T. finally was able to get through Britt’s head that she was the one he wanted.

Overall the story was cute but I’m sorry to say not as good as I expected it to be.  It wasn’t, imho, on par with JAL’s historical novels.

Rating: 3/3.5 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long

Posted December 31, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne LongReviewer: Holly
The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long
Series: Pennyroyal Green #11
Also in this series: Like No Other Lover, I Kissed an Earl, What I Did For a Duke with Bonus Material, How the Marquess Was Won, It Happened One Midnight

Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Bound by centuries of bad blood, England's two most powerful families maintain a veneer of civility . . . until the heir to the staggering Redmond fortune disappears, reviving rumors of an ancient curse: a Redmond and an Eversea are destined to fall disastrously in love once per generation.

An Enduring Legend

Rumor has it she broke Lyon Redmond's heart. But while many a man has since wooed the dazzling Olivia Eversea, none has ever won her—which is why jaws drop when she suddenly accepts a viscount's proposal. Now London waits with bated breath for the wedding of a decade . . . and wagers on the return of an heir.

An Eternal Love

It was instant and irresistible, forbidden . . . and unforgettable. And Lyon—now a driven, dangerous, infinitely devastating man—decides it's time for a reckoning. As the day of her wedding races toward them, Lyon and Olivia will decide whether their love is a curse destined to tear their families apart . . . or the stuff of which legends are made.

The Redmonds and Everseas have been rivals as far back as anyone can remember (it’s rumored one killed the other in 1605 over a stolen pig..or something…and that started the feud). When Lyon Redmond sees Olivia Eversea at a ball, he’s immediately draw to her, despite knowing his family’s history with hers. They can’t stay away from each other. ..until the night she betrayed him and forced him to leave.

For five years, Lyon hasn’t been seen nor heard from and Olivia decides it’s time to move on with her life, so she accepts the proposal of Viscount Lansdowne. She doesn’t love him…yet. But they have a strong affection for each other and she knows he’ll be easy. If she still isn’t quite over Lyon Redmond, well…no one has to know.

Lyon knows he and Olivia have unfinished business, so he engineers it so they have a week together. But this time he’s not going to bend to her. It’s time Olivia fought for him…for them.

I was worried this book wouldn’t live up to all the hype. Especially since their story was drug out over the course of the entire series. I’m happy to report I really enjoyed the book.

Lyon and Olivia’s story is told in alternating past and present chapters, so their story – both past and current – is revealed slowly. Their situation has never been black or white, but rather several shades of gray, some lovely and light, others dark and barren. Their love for one another came across easily, but both felt betrayed by the other, and letting go of those feelings was the true struggle.

Throughout the series, I’ve had the hardest time with Olivia. She seemed haughty and put on an air of being too good for others. That may not have been the case, but that’s what I took away from her actions in previous books. When we saw a bit of the situation from Lyon’s point of view in I Kissed An Earl, my negative feelings for Olivia solidified into outright dislike. Yet Olivia won me over and I was really pulling for her and Lyon. She ended up being a complex character who had many layers.

In the years since Lyon left, Olivia has lived in a suspended state, alternately praying for his return and cursing him for leaving. She finally realizes he isn’t coming back and decides to move forward with her life.

Which is, of course, when Lyon decides to kidnap her and take her aboard his ship. He’s spent his time away from Olivia alternately hating her and trying to become the man she expected him to be. But he can’t move on until they resolve what’s between them, and he doesn’t believe she can either. She nearly broke him when she sent him away from her the first time, but he realizes she’s worth fighting for..as long as she’s willing to fight as well.

At the heart of this story is Lyon’s determination to force Olivia to face her fears about them and the future.

“I believed you saw something fatal and irredeemable in me, and I quite simply couldn’t bear it, Olivia. Now I know that you were just a coward. It really wasn’t more complicated than that.”

 

Olivia could have been too much, but her quick acceptance of her part of the blame for their separation redeemed her.

All the rumors and legends were right.
She had broken his heart.
And in so doing, she had willfully, perhaps permanently, broken her own.
And everyone else’s who loved him.
All because she’d been too afraid to fight for him.

That’s not to say Lyon was completely blameless. When Olivia calls him out for leaving and not coming back, my heart nearly broke. For all her outward dismissal of his absence, her sense of abandonment and feelings of betrayal were almost palpable.

For all that, I believe their breakup and subsequent separation allowed them both to grow into the people they needed to be for their relationship to truly work. Both needed to grow up a bit, and accept their faults as well as develop their potential. Lyon especially needed to be out from under his father’s thumb.

I did become frustrated with Olivia at the end. I’m not sure why it took her so long – or, more to the point, why she let it go as far as it did – before she ceded to the inevitable. I was literally cursing her at the end. Yet I can’t deny the final resolution worked for me in a big way.

The epilogue was strange and I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. Is it the start of something new, or just a way for the author to end the series? I’ll be interested to see what happens with that.

This was a lovely tale, both heart-wrenching and exciting. Long excels at writing complex, beautiful stories and The Legend of Lyon Redmond was no exception. Despite their trials and tribulations, their story could have ended in no other way.

At the quiet heart of the storm of sparks around them was a strange, peaceful certainty. This person was meant for me.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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