Author: Julia London

Guest Review: The Perfect Bargain by Julia London writing as Jessa McAdams

Posted July 6, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Perfect Bargain by Julia London writing as Jessa McAdamsReviewer: Tracy
The Perfect Bargain by Julia London
Series: How to Marry a Highlander #1
Publisher: Entangled, Lovestruck
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

American lass seeks brawny Scot...

As if being newly single isn't brutal enough, Sloane Chatfield's friends are getting obnoxious about setting her up. When Sloane insists she's waiting for a certain sexy fictional Highlander to come along, her friends surprise her with a trip to Scotland to find her a new boyfriend. She'd rather have a root canal. But if she can find a Highland hunk to "break her heart" before her friends arrive...

In a remote Highland village, Galen Buchanan is struggling to keep the family pub afloat. Everything is falling apart, he's running out of money, and now there's an opinionated American lass parked at his best table, driving him mad. But then Sloane asks Galen to be her pretend Highland boyfriend...and offers him enough money to save the pub. It's only for a few days, he figures. What's the worst that could happen?

Tracy’s review of The Perfect Bargain (How to Marry a Highlander #1) by Julia London writing as Jessa McAdams

Sloan Chatfield wants her friends off her back. They mean well but since her break up with her fiancé, they’ve been setting her up with every Tom, Dick and Harry and she was done with all of it. One night while they were all watching Outlander on TV she came up with a brilliant idea. She said that she was waiting for her very own Jamie Fraser – a highlander who is a real man – one who is brawny and protective of his family, etc. When the friends jump on that and say that they’ll find her a Scot in Chicago she says she can’t because she’s heading to Scotland. And the lies just keep coming…she had no intention of meeting a Scot or even going to Scotland but when her friends jump on it and decide that they’ll meet her in Scotland she has to go.

Sloane ends up in Gairloch – a little village in the highlands. She heads to the Black Thistle pub every day as it’s the only place with cell reception and free wi-fi. She plans on calling her friends, telling them that she’s met “the” guy and then by the time they show up she’d have dumped the fictitious man. Unfortunately her friends move up their arrival time and Sloane finds herself in a bind. Even though she’d become a thorn in the side of the pub owner, Galen Buchanan, she heads to him for his assistance. He’s may be a bit of an ass but she thinks he’s hot and knows her friends would like him. She propositions him to be her fake boyfriend and after much haggling he accepts.

The two spend time together as Sloane insists that they get to know each other as a boyfriend and girlfriend would. Galen is at first frustrated with Sloane but that doesn’t stop himself from liking her more each day – and he’s very much attracted to her. They end up in bed together and as time goes on Sloane realizes that there’s more to their relationship than friendship and sex. Too bad Galen wants nothing to do with a relationship and besides – what will happen when she heads back to Chicago? He’s not willing to get his heart broken when she leaves.

There were quite a few things to like about The Perfect Bargain. The humor that Galen showed toward the whole situation was wonderful. I loved that he could look at it and take it all with a grain of salt. Sloane was no easy woman to love so had to give him points for dealing with her.

Sloane wasn’t a bad person at all. She was very driven in her career and had been hurt terribly by her former fiancé (who showed up in the book which I felt was completely unnecessary) and took what he said to heart. She put on a good show but deep down she was lacking in confidence. Being with Galen certainly brought her out of her shell. I wish she could have been a bit less of a ball buster when it came to getting Galen to admit his feelings for her. She didn’t constantly prod him but she gave it the old college try.

I loved the descriptions of the village in Scotland where she stayed and frankly loved that it was a highlander story set in modern times. It was a pretty lighthearted story overall and I found it enjoyable.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This title is available from Entangled Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars


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Review: A Courtesan’s Scandal by Julia London

Posted November 2, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: A Courtesan’s Scandal by Julia LondonReviewer: Holly
A Courtesan's Scandal by Julia London
Series: The Scandalous Series #3

Publication Date: October 20th 2009
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Kate Bergeron is the beautiful and mysterious former mistress of a cloth merchant...and the latest beauty to capture the interest of the Prince of Wales.

Mired in a disastrous divorce, the Prince attempts to distract attention from his next amorous pursuit by ordering Grayson Christopher, the eligible Duke of Darlington, to pretend to London society that he is having an affair with Kate. When Grayson reluctantly agrees to his Prince's demand, he finds the lady no more willing than he is. Kate will grudgingly act the part in public, but her favors are not for sale to any man.

As Grayson and Kate mimic ardor for the world to see, they find what started as a deception becoming all too real. And when passion flames into love, their predicament becomes extreme. For while marriage between a duke and a courtesan could never happen, Kate knows in her heart that she is willing to accept nothing less....

 

A Courtesan’s Scandal is the first book I’ve read by Julia London. I’ve been hearing about her for years, but put off reading her because I burned out on historicals. I can’t quite decide how I feel about this book. My initial instinct after finishing it is to say I enjoyed it. It was a sweet, light romance. But if I look at it too closely I find many things that bothered me.

The heroine was portrayed in an almost child-like way, which worked to an extent, but became tedious after awhile. Because she’s had little education, Kate struggles with the meaning of words and finds joy in some of the simplest things. At first I found this endearing, but as the novel progressed I found myself becoming annoyed with her. She was an adult, not a 5-year-old. I wish she had been portrayed as older and wiser, instead of young and innocent. At first I thought she’d be one of those courtesan’s that wasn’t really a courtesan, but that wasn’t the case. Considering the extend of her ‘knowledge”, I expected her to be more worldly and mature.

And yet for my annoyances, I still liked her. Her outlook on life was optimistic and refreshing, and matched against Grayson’s more serious personality, she brought much needed levity to the story.

Grayson is a snob, plain and simple. That’s one of the key conflicts in this story. I understood that. I even understood why he was a snob – he was a Duke, and one of the most upstanding of them all at that. But he was also a hypocrite. He stepped outside the bounds of propriety all the time, only he found convenient lies and excuses to explain the behavior away. I could have excused that, but the issue was never really addressed. That of his snobbery was, but his being a hypocrite seemed to completely escape everyone, the author included.

And yet I liked him. He was kind and considerate, and his confusion over his feelings for Kate was adorable. As the story progressed and he lightened up, I really started rooting for him. His obvious struggle between his feelings for Kate and doing what propriety demanded really drew me in.

Mostly I think I was bothered by the overall storyline and the way the class distinctions were portrayed. Especially since the ending left a lot open. It bothered me that Kate felt she deserved marriage from Grayson, especially since she often claimed to know and accept her place in life. I think the way a duke marrying a courtesan was written is more believable than many others I’ve read, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with it. Shouldn’t a duke be able to say, “Screw convention, I do what I want”?

And yet the storyline is one of the things that worked. London stayed true to the times, writing something that isn’t generally accepted in the world of historical romances. I have to give her credit for that, even if it left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

As you can see, I really struggled with this book. On the surface I quite enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it in one sitting. It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized so many things bothered me.

3.5 out of 5 (or maybe 3.75 out of 5? I can’t decide)

This book is available from Pocket. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Totally unrelated to the review: I really dislike her website. It loads very slow and I couldn’t find any information about connecting books. Based on some things referenced in this one I assume there are books prior to it, but I can’t say for sure since her website is unclear.

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Snowy Night with a Stranger by Jane Feather, Sabrina Jeffries & Julia London

Posted December 12, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Snowy Night with a Stranger by Jane Feather, Sabrina Jeffries & Julia LondonReviewer: Tracy
Snowy Night with a Stranger by Jane Feather, Julia London, Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
Genres: Historical Romance
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four-stars
I’m a huge fan of anthologies and was very excited to see a Christmas anthology on the shelf when I hit my local bookstore.

Jane Feather leads an unwitting Yuletide traveler down a twisting path….

Edward Vasey, Viscount Allenton, is journeying precariously through a snowstorm when his coach is overtaken by high-waymen! Robbed of his money, Ned takes refuge at Selby Hall, where a spirited beauty with a shocking secret may steal something more — his heart.

Sabrina Jeffries unlocks the heart of an embittered lord….

When a coach accident strands heiress Elinor Bancroft at the home of the notorious Black Baron, she discovers the Christmas Day heartache that darkened his soul years ago — and her generous heart brings a festive air to his home and reawakens his spirit to love.

Julia London sends a debutante into the wintry Scottish wilds….

Searching for her rakehell brother, an earl lying low in the wake of a scandalous affair, Fiona Haines is led by a rugged Highlander who obscures his scarred face. As they journey on, Fiona draws closer to her brave, enigmatic protector — but will fury or passion ignite when he reveals his identity?

A Holiday Gamble by Jane Feather

This story takes us in to Northumberland where the snowy weather has turned into a blizzard and Viscount Allenton is stuck in the middle of it. He takes refuge at the nearest house which is owned by Lord Selby. There Lord Allenton finds himself enamored with Lady Georgiana Carey – the home owner’s 20 year old ward. As the blizzard gets worse Lord Allenton realizes that things are not as they seem with Georgiana. It seems that Lord Selby has some villainous ideas about what to do with Georgiana’s inheritance which include marrying her off to his cohort, Godfrey Belton. This was a cute little story of finding love in the strangest of circumstances.Rating: 3 out of 5

 


When Sparks Fly by Sabrina Jeffries
Elinor is on her way to her father’s house with her cousins and aunt for Christmas when a carriage accident forces the family to seek help from a man known as the Black Baron. Martin, Lord Thorncliff aka the Black Baron, was accused of killing his own brother during a mine explosion and has cut himself off from just about everyone. He only keeps male servants because he doesn’t trust women to not get hurt. After meeting Ellie he starts to think that maybe having a woman around wouldn’t be such a bad idea, but he still can’t forgive himself for his brother’s death.I loved this story. I thought it was a great story of love and acceptance and truly enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 


Snowy Night With A Highlander by Julia London

Lady Fiona Haines has to travel to Scotland to find her rake of a brother to try to keep him out of serious trouble. She enlists the help of a Laird that she’s known in the past to help her get to his castle in the Highlands. Unfortunately the Laird in question, an arrogant man according to Fiona, made some disparaging remarks about Fiona at one time and she does not like him at all.Very early into the journey Fiona’s lady’s maid abandons her and Fiona is forced to travel with the Laird’s man who she starts having feelings for. Little does she know that the man is the Laird himself, Duncan Buchanan. Caught in a blizzard the two are left to survive the nights in the storm as well survive the growing feelings they have for each other.This was my favorite of the three stories. The story of Fiona and Duncan coming together was quick, romantic and definitely worth the read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Pocket Star. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

four-stars


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