Tag: Historical

Review: Marry in Scarlet by Anne Gracie

Posted November 9, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Marry in Scarlet by Anne GracieReviewer: Holly
Marry in Scarlet by Anne Gracie
Series: Marriage of Convenience #4
Also in this series: Marry in Scandal
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 344
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Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A marriage born of passion and scandal turns into something more from the bestselling author of Marry in Secret.

When a duke denied...

The proud and arrogant Duke of Everingham is determined to secure a marriage of convenience with heiress Lady Georgiana Rutherford. He's the biggest prize on the London marriage mart, pursued by young unmarried ladies and their match-making mamas, as well as married women with a wandering eye. He can have any woman he wants. Or so he thinks...
...Hunts an independent lady...
Lady Georgiana Rutherford—irreverent and unconventional—has no plans to marry. Having grown up poor, Lady George has no intention of giving up her fortune to become dependent on the dubious and unreliable goodwill of a man. Especially a man as insufferable as the Duke of Everingham, whose kisses stirs unwelcome and unsettling emotions...

...Sparks are sure to fly

The more she defies him, the more the duke wants her, until an argument at a ball spirals into a passionate embrace. Caught in a compromising position, the duke announces their betrothal. George is furious, and when gossip claims she deliberately entrapped the duke—when she was the one who was trapped—she marches down the aisle in a scarlet wedding dress. But the unlikely bride and groom may have found love in the most improbable of places—a marriage of convenience.

Marry in Scarlet is the fourth book in the Marriage of Convenience series by Anne Gracie, but the first book by the author I’ve read. Ames recommended it. This was a cute historical romance.

The Duke of Everingham, Hart to his friends, was left at the alter. Lady Agatha, aunt to the girl who jilted him, suggests he marry her other niece instead. Lady Georgiana has no desire to marry, and Hart is frankly offended that Lady Agatha thinks he’d be willing to marry another girl from this family when one already stood him up. After spending some time with Lady George, Hart realizes she’s nothing like her cousin, and he becomes determined to marry her…no matter what she says.

Lady George has no desire to marry. She wants to retire to the country and raise horses. When she’s caught in a compromising position with the Duke, she still refuses…much to his chagrin. Eventually his mother manipulates her into saying yes, but she has no desire to become a dutiful duchess.

I enjoyed George, the heroine, quite a bit. The first half really frustrated me. George got railroaded left and right, and Aunt Agatha really angered me. The second half was much better. I liked seeing George and Hart settle into each other. The kids at the end kind of came out of nowhere, but they were cute and I liked the story overall.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Marriage of Convenience

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes

Posted November 9, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Tracy
The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes
Series: Rogues to Riches #5
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A new duke and a woman with a secret in her past get a second chance at love in this delightful and charming Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the Windham series.

Robert Rothmere is hiding a past no duke should have endured, but he's not hiding it well enough. Sooner or later, his enemies will learn that he spent years locked away at a private asylum. To get their hands on his wealth, they'll try to send him right back to his worst nightmares. If Robert is to foil their schemes, he needs to marry a perfectly proper, blessedly boring, deadly dull duchess, immediately—and he knows exactly which quietly delightful lady he'd love to entrust with that role.

Lady Constance Wentworth has cultivated a reputation for utter forgettability. She never speaks out of turn (in public), never has a daring thought (that she admits aloud), and never comes close to courting scandal... as far as anybody knows. Her path crossed Robert's years ago, though, and she's never forgotten the extraordinary lengths he traveled to keep her safe when she hadn't a friend in the world. She longs to be his demure duchess...but little does he know that to marry her would be utter madness.

Constance is shocked when she sees Robert Rothmere at a ball.  She tries to avoid him, but he waylays her, and they walk in the garden.  What Constance thought would be incredibly awkward was, in fact, quite nice.  Constance had known Robert when he was a patient in an asylum.  He isn’t insane, he is epileptic. The “asylum” was actually a place that Robert’s father had stowed him away and a horrible doctor had been experimenting on him.

Constance’s sister and Robert’s brother are in love and engaged to be married.  This brings Constance and Robert together more and more and they find themselves falling in love.  The road to happiness, however, will be a rough road.  Constance has a secret she doesn’t want to share with Robert but must in order to be completely honest with him.  Robert could possibly be seen as unfit to run a dukedom and put under a guardianship.  They will both try as hard as they can to avoid this happening.  With Robert’s brother and Constance’s family and friends they will try to overcome all the obstacles in their way to a bright future.

This was definitely a romance, but I felt that most of the book was taken up with Constance’s secret and Robert and his epilepsy.  That was actually fine, because it worked in this instance and was well done.  That said, the first part of the book was a bit…I want to say stodgy, but that’s not quite right.  It just didn’t flow the way that I’m used to Burrowes’ books flowing and it was disjointed for me.  The second part was definitely more cohesive, and the story really picked up.

I loved Constance and Robert together.  There wasn’t too much of the typical romance between the two, but the way that Burrowes portrayed their love throughout the book was definitely sigh-worthy.  She did a great job showing us how much in love these two characters were.

The secondary characters definitely need to be mentioned as they were an integral part of the story.  I loved how Burrowes took the “it takes a village” saying and ran with it – even though these were adults.  It showed the love and care that the two families had for their siblings and I loved that.

Overall a good read. I haven’t read the previous four books in this series but didn’t feel that not doing so detracted from this story in any way.

Rating:  3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid

Posted November 4, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy ReidReviewer: Holly
Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid
Series: Wedded by Scandal #1
Also in this series: Accidentally Compromising the Duke, When the Earl Met His Match
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date: May 30, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 256
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Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

England, 1817. Miss Adeline Hays is out of options. Determined to escape marriage to a repugnant earl, Adeline plans to deliberately allow herself to be caught in a compromising position at a house party with the much kinder man she’d hoped to marry. Instead, Adeline accidentally enters the wrong chamber and tumbles into the bed of the mad duke.

Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton, is seeking a wife to care for his two daughters. A young lady of sensibilities, accomplishment, and most importantly, one who he is not attracted to—a complete opposite of the bewitching beauty who traps him into marriage. But despite the lust he feels for his new duchess, Edmond is resolved to never allow them intimacy, refusing to ever again suffer the tormenting loss of a loved one.

When Adeline’s father says she must marry an old lecher who attacked her in a garden, instead of the man, Mr. Atwood, she’s formed an attachment to (because he’s untitled and therefore isn’t acceptable), she decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her friend Evie, she orchestrates it so she’s caught in a compromising position with Mr. Atwood. Only she ends up in the wrong room and accidentally compromises the Duke of Wolverton instead.

Edmond is in town to find a bride. His wife and lady love died 3 years prior. He vowed never to wed again, until he realized his young girls need a mother. He’s determined to marry a woman he could never care for. Only he ends up in a compromising situation with Adel instead, and knows he must do the honorable thing and marry her..even if she does set his blood on fire. Adel is determined to draw Edmond out of his dark despair, and Edmond is just as determined to keep himself separate from his family.

I liked this book, but not as much as My Darling Duke. Edmond was pretty much a jerk until close to the very end of the book, and I wanted better for Adel. I also didn’t love that the main conflict centered around them having children, as that’s one of my least favorite tropes. Even so, I liked Adel and Edmond separately, and I really loved his girls. I also enjoyed the romance. Not Edmond pushing her away, but those times he actually let her close. The way she drew him out and helped him enjoy life was wonderful.

I’m on the fence about continuing the series, however, since I didn’t love the secondary characters who are featured in the next two books. I’m going to take a break and come back to the series later.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Wedded by Scandal

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia Rice

Posted October 15, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia RiceReviewer: Rowena
Mystic Rider: A Mystic Isle Novel by Patricia Rice
Series: Mystic Isle #2
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ian Olympus, skilled fighter and visionary, has left the isle of Aelynn for the Outside World to retrieve a sacred chalice. He finds it in the hands of Chantal Deveau, who plans to buy her family out of prison.

But her outrage at his demand that she hand it over is nothing compared to her powerful, sensual response to his presence—and the startling conviction that their lives are irrevocably entwined. And Ian will soon have to choose between duty and desire.

This review was originally published October 13, 2008

Ian Olympus has been sent to Paris, France to collect a sacred chalice that belongs to his people. His people need it and his soulmate has it and so he has to go get because the people who were sent in before him to retrieve it have failed so he takes it upon himself to get it back. His soulmate is Chantal Deveau and she’s a French musician who’s father is passionate about his cause for the French Revolution. She’s very curious about the mysterious visitor who comes to retrieve a bell she’s had for a while, only she doesn’t have the bell anymore, she sent it with her servant to exchange so that she can bail her sister in law out of jail.

Being curious isn’t enough to stop Chantal from sleeping with this sexy man who comes into her house and sweeps her right off her feet and into his arms. She should be ashamed of the way that Ian makes her feel but she can’t because when she’s in his arms, everything feels as if they’ve been righted and she can’t seem to stay away from him.

Ian means to make her his wife but she has some reservations about that being that she doesn’t know anything about him other than he’s an exceptional lover and she can’t wait to find out more.

They’ve got a lot of things to conquer before their love can be given a shot but eventually they get there and when I was finally done with this book, I didn’t feel excited about the characters, I didn’t feel like jumping for joy because Ian and Chantal were able to get over themselves and find a true love that will last forever, I didn’t feel very much of anything. I thought the story was okay, I thought the dialogue dragged and overall the story was just okay for me.

Ian was a good hero, he was everything I love in a man. Strong, virile (hehe) and confident. He did what he had to do and oh well if you don’t agree with it. He had a good heart and he always put his duty before his wants and I really enjoyed that about him. And he was hot, can’t forget that he was flippin’ hot.

Chantal was an okay heroine, not so annoying that she bordered on TSTL but not very memorable either. She was just okay in my book. She was a musician and she sang great but I wasn’t exactly wowed by her character, she was just okay for me. Nothing too spectacular on her part.

The other characters were pretty average as well. I didn’t connect with anyone and I didn’t really feel excited about reading the other books in this series, this book was just okay. I found myself skimming parts of the book and wondering what book I was going to read next, that’s how excited I was about this story, I’m glad I finished it but I know that I won’t ever reread this book and I don’t have a need to read the first book (this is the second book) or continue on with this series. It was just a pretty average book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi Gage

Posted August 10, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi GageReviewer: Holly
Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi Gage
Narrator: Marian Hussey
Series: Highland Wishes #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 31, 2014
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Time Travel, Historical Romance
Pages: 344
Length: 10 hours and 35 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Single-and-pregnant museum worker Melanie voices an idle wish while examining a Scottish artifact, that a Highland warrior would sweep her off her feet and help her forget her cheating ex. The last thing she expects is for her wish to be granted. Magically transported to the middle of a clan skirmish in the sixteenth-century Highlands, she comes face to face with her kilted fantasy man.

Tall, handsome, and heir to his uncle’s lairdship, Darcy Keith should be the most eligible bachelor in Ackergill. Instead, thanks to a prank played on him in his teenage years, he is known for being too large under his kilt to ever make a proper husband. “Big Darcy” runs his deceased father’s windmills and lives alone at his family manor, believing he will never marry.

But a strangely-dressed woman he rescues from a clan skirmish makes him long for more. When the woman’s claims of coming to Ackergill by magic reach the laird’s ears, she is accused of witchcraft. Darcy determines to protect her any way he can, even if it means binding her to him forever.

Wishing for a Highlander is the first book in the Highland Wishes series by Jessi Gage. It was my first read from the author. I’ve had the second book in this series, The Wolf and the Highlander, on my wish list for ages. I was looking for a new audiobook, saw The Wolf and the Highlander and realized it was the second book in the series, so I downloaded this one instead. I got it from Kindle Unlimited and it included the audiobook as well. I liked the narrator, but the story wasn’t very good. It wasn’t awful, but I’m kind of sad I didn’t skip it and go right to the second book.

Melanie is a modern day girl who works in a museum. She got knocked up by her boyfriend of a year, only to find out he’d been cheating on her the whole time they were together and he wants nothing to do with the baby since he’s marrying the girl he’s been cheating with. On a whim, she makes a wish for a handsome Highlander of her very own on a new artifact the museum has acquired. To her surprise, her wish comes true and she’s transported to 1517, in the middle of a clan skirmish, where she’s forced to stab a man because he’s about to rape her. She’s rescued by a giant of a Highlander – Big Darcy – who claims responsibility for her. Within moments of arriving at his keep, they end up married to protect her. Still, Darcy vows to help her find a way home, and he plans to keep that vow.

Darcy is a giant of a man, and he’s never been with a woman because of it. One of the clan women refused him because of his size, and he’s been afraid of rejection (and hurting a woman) ever since. Marrying Melanie is the perfect way to get his laird off his back about taking a bride, and since she’s already pregnant he doesn’t have to worry about that, either. Until she makes him promise to get her back home. He’s a man of his word, so he’ll do it, even if he’s not happy about it.

I almost DNF’d this book early on, because the whole “He’s too big for any woman” thing is pretty ridiculous, plus Melanie’s dumb thoughts drove me up a wall. I ended up finishing it, however, and the second half wasn’t as bad as the first (as far as Melanie was concerned). I really liked Darcy. He was sweet and lovable, despite his insecurities. He was very supportive of Melanie and determined to do what he thought was right.

Melanie and all her wishy-washy thoughts drove me crazy. First she was mad because she thought Darcy broke his word, then she was mad because she wanted him to want her. It was ridiculous. That settled down in the second half of the book, however, and I really liked their romance and the way things progressed between them.

View Spoiler »

What really drove me crazy was the “villain”, however. Anya was a mean, petty woman who created havoc just to create it. The reason I’m mad I read this book first, however, is because Anya is the heroine of the second book. I’m not sure she can be redeemed, and even if she is, I’m not sure I care to read about her. I might try the book at a later date, but I need some space from this book before I try.

I did enjoy aspects of this book, and I’m low-key curious about the next book. I guess we’ll see if I decide to continue on.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Highland Wishes

two-half-stars


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