Tag: Regency

Guest Review: A Marquis in Want of a Wife by Louise Allen

Posted December 2, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Marquis in Want of a Wife by Louise AllenReviewer: Tracy
A Marquis In Want Of A Wife by Louise Allen
Series: Liberated Ladies #3
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

A Marquis scarred by life, a lady in distress and a baby without a mother

Miss Prudence Scott has been most imprudent and now she’s facing ruin. Ross Vincent, privateer and reluctant Marquis of Cranford, is scarred by life in both body and soul. But there is one thing he knows he needs – a mother for his baby son.

It should have been a passionless marriage of mutual convenience but physical attraction flares and then, for Prue, a love she dare not admit for the hard, ruthless man she is married to.

When Ross, caught up in the battle of Waterloo, forgets his promise to keep out of danger for the sake of his family Prue has to make the hardest choice of her life between the child she has come to treasure as her own or the life of the husband who does not want her love.

Prudence believed herself in love with a man and slept with him.  He then informed her that she was just a bet between him and his friends.  Hurt and not knowing if she’s pregnant, Prue asks her friends for advice.  One of her friends knows of a man who is in want of a mother for his baby son.

Ross is a man who was raised in the east end of London and became a privateer.  Since inheriting the title he has given up privateering and now uses his ships for trade. Though he is a marquis, he is looked down upon for not only his upbringing, but the fact that he works – oh the horror!  He is also scarred and only six months a widower so women aren’t clamoring to be his bride.

Prue and Ross make an agreement that they will get married and it will be a marriage of convenience.  He has no desire to have a relationship and no desire for sex.  Of course, once they are married, they find that they desire each other.

This was a lovely little romance. I really liked both Ross and Prue and liked them together as a couple as well.  Ross tried everything he could to stay away from Prue because of course emotions make you stupid and reckless insert eye roll, but he never quite managed to stay completely unemotional with Prue. I loved that she could bring out emotion in him, whether it was desire, frustration or anger.

The baby, Jon, was absolutely a highlight in this book.  He was such a good-natured boy and I loved it when he was on-page.  There was a part of that has to do with Jon and his maternal grandparents that I thought was quite well and I appreciated that the author didn’t blow this up more than it was.

Overall a quick read and a satisfying historical romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

Posted April 21, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham #2
Also in this series: Falling into Bed with a Duke, The Earl Takes All, The Viscount and the Vixen, When the Marquess Falls
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 384
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Series Rating: four-stars

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

The Earl Takes All is the second book in the Hellions of Havisham series and it packed an emotional punch because everything that I was afraid was going to happen in the last book…happened and I was so scared to read this one because I didn’t know how to feel about what I knew was going to happen. If that doesn’t make any sense, sorry but that’s what I got for you.

Albert and Edward Alcott are twins that lost their parents when they were young boys. They were shipped off to live with the Marquess of Marsden at Havisham Hall, a friend of their fathers who was going to raise them along with the Duke of Ashebury and his own son, Locke. The Marquess of Marsden is known in the ton as the Mad Marquess because he’s gone mad ever since the love of his life died. He didn’t pay much attention to the boys when they were younger so they had free reign to run wild all over Havisham. They earned their reputations as the hellions of Havisham but they’re all grown up now. Ashe has married and taken his rightful place as the Duke of Ashebury. Albert has married and taken his rightful place as Earl of Greyling.

Edward and Locke are the lone bachelors in their group and the two of them have different reputations. Locke is the quiet one, the one everyone thinks is going to follow in his father’s footsteps and turn mad just like him. Before I get into the rest of my review, I am so looking forward to getting more Locke in his book. I’m so anxious to see where Heath takes his character because I love the hell out of him and we’ve gotten little information about him so far. Edward, on the other hand is the group weasel. He’s a dick to his sister in law, he lives his life with abandon not caring one whit about anything real or lasting. He lives for adventure and is known as the group scoundrel. The worst of the lot.

Edward invites Albert to go on one last safari with him before Albert’s baby is born and won’t have time for adventures anymore. It was to be Albert’s last hurrah before settling down for good into the family life. When tragedy strikes on the safari, Edward comes home with a promise to Albert to fulfill and a whole lot of regret.

Lorraine Heath hit me in the feels at every turn in this book. First there was Albert’s death and then Edward’s promise and then as the story unfolds and you see Edward and Julia getting closer and closer and your heart pounds because it’s such an impossible situation for Edward but what other course was there for him? What else could he have done to protect his brother’s child and wife?

Oh man, this book was good. Lorraine Heath really shines with these complex characters and stories. I tried to prepare myself for the angst that I knew was waiting for me within the pages of this book but like Edward, the romance that blossomed between him and Julia knocked me on my ass. I didn’t think I could love any of the hellions more than I loved Ashe but holy cow, Edward. I wasn’t prepared for the wealth of love I would develop for him. I think I loved him more than Julia did.

I thought Heath did a wonderful job of balancing the new romance between Edward and Julia without taking away from Julia’s love for Albert. There were little moments where I was unsure how things would work out for the both of them but I never once doubted the love between both Albert and Julia and then Edward and Julia. I really loved that she didn’t sacrifice one character to further another character’s story. This book was handled with a sensitivity that I think would be hard to write without making the reader hate one, if not all of the characters involved so I was impressed with Heath’s efforts. There wasn’t a thing that was taken lightly, nothing was brushed over and I liked that.

This was a good book and even with the complicated romance, I highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries

Posted April 1, 2016 by Whitley B in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Study of Seduction by Sabrina JeffriesReviewer: Whitley
The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #2
Also in this series: What Happens Under the Mistletoe

Publication Date: March 22nd 2016
Pages: 384
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Series Rating: four-stars

A marriage of convenience ignites into a passionate love affair in the hotly anticipated second novel in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries’s addictive Sinful Suitors series!

When Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, agrees to help his best friend’s impetuous ward, Lady Clarissa Lindsey, in her time of need, he knows he’s in for trouble. He’s been hunting for someone to wed, and she’ll just get in the way. Although captivated by the witty, free-spirited beauty, he fears she’d be all wrong as a wife...if she would even take such a gruff cynic for her husband. Yet he wants nothing more than to have her for his own.

Clarissa has no intention of marrying anyone—not Edwin, whom she’s sure would be an overbearing husband, and certainly not the powerful French diplomat stalking her. But when matters escalate with the diplomat, she chooses Edwin’s gallant offer of a marriage between friends in hopes that it will deter her stalker. She expects nothing more than an amiable union, but their increasingly tempestuous kisses prove more than she bargained for. When her stalker’s vow to expose the lovers’ deepest secrets threatens to destroy their blossoming attraction, will their tenuous bond withstand public ruin, or will Edwin lose all that’s important to him to protect his bride?

I have…things to say. Because this book tackles rape, and it does it very well, but this is a topic dear to me, so it makes me quite wordy.

But first, let’s talk about the whole rest of the book. 😛 I loved Clarissa and Edwin. They had some great chemistry together, their banter was snappy, and they just had this genuine affection for each other that I loved. The fact that they have history and start the book already comfortable with each other helps here, it lets the narrative really delve deeper into their relationship and establish it as something with many layers. (I mean, I like books where the couple meet in the pages, of course, but hot damn do I love me some “already crushing on each other” storylines.)

The story was good, and the stalker was super creepy in the best and worst ways, although I do feel like after the midpoint he…was rather forgotten about by the plot. Clarissa and Edwin just hared off to be shmoopy, which is always fun, but it did feel a bit like a detour into a different novel.

Okay, on to the rape. Like I said, it’s done pretty well. Like, maybe 90% well. The actual event happened in backstory, and the parts in the book focus on Clarissa still dealing with the effects. I loved her so much for presenting us with a strong, vivacious survivor. Not that other portrayals aren’t valid (there are so many ways to respond to that, after all), but Clarissa’s determination to live a full of happy life gave us such a nice alternative to the ‘broken’ survivor narrative. She was presented as someone who had managed to emotionally recover, but she refused to marry because she was not able to get over her fear of sex. (And, to be fair, that was presented partly as a lack of information; she had no idea that consensual sex worked/felt different.)

Edwin was a dear, very respectful and supportive and patient. Even when he had no idea why Clarissa was enjoying his kisses one minute and fighting him the next, he didn’t get aggressive, and when all the info came to light and he was great. The very best part? Zero victim blaming from anyone in the book. The second best part? HYMEN MYTHS! Oh thank heaven, a book finally points out that hymens don’t 100% always have to tear.

Some scenes were really hard to read, though. When Clarissa has a flashback (as happens multiple times in the book)? It’s very vivid. When her stalker is stalking it up? His attitude and his behavior and his speech just made my skin crawl. These sections, though, were supposed to be hard to read, so A+ for that.

But then…well, then we get to the other 10%. For all I loved a lot of the points here, a few things really bothered me. Like, Edwin was great to Clarissa…but only after she came clean about her past. I feel like, given what we find out about him, he should have been able to guess sooner. But more than that, I’m really uncomfortable with “you have to meet my standard, regardless of how hard that is for you, before I’ll support you.” He knew enough at that point to treat her right without forcing her to tell him the details of the most traumatic event of her life. And they had a great conversation afterwards, but the book could have reached that point a bit more…consensually.   Second, the veneration of man-on-top sex. I get the value in facing one’s fears (it’s a trigger for Clarissa) but the book attributed all kinds of other, “yay we’re a real couple now” meaning to her finally being comfortable with that position.

Third, I wanted the stalker to just be a stalker. He was so thoroughly “entitled dude just destroying lives because he feels like he’s owed.” There are jerks who just lash out because they feel slighted, logic be damned. The book felt like he needed a rational reason. Made for an exciting ending, but eh.

Again, most of the book was really great. I really don’t want to take away from that fact by drawing out its flaws. On the other hand, whenever a book comes so close to 100%, I feel like these sorts of discussions are even more important. Not to disparage the books (let’s face it, ‘right’ wouldn’t be right for everyone anyway), but because they are going to generate thoughts and discussions and it’s important not to let things slip under the rug.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: A Kiss for Lady Mary by Ella Quinn

Posted June 10, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Kiss for Lady Mary by Ella QuinnReviewer: Tracy
A Kiss for Lady Mary by Ella Quinn
Series: The Marriage Game #6
Also in this series: The Temptation of Lady Serena
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
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Series Rating: three-stars


Handsome, charming, and heir to a powerful Viscount, Christopher “Kit” Featherton is everything a woman could want—except interested in marriage. So when he hears that someone on his estate near the Scottish border is claiming to be his wife, Kit sets off to investigate.

Since her parents’ death, Lady Mary Tolliver has been hounded by her cousin, a fortune-hunting fool after her inheritance. Refusing to settle for anything less than love, Mary escapes to the isolated estate of rakish bachelor, Kit Featherton. Knowing he prefers Court to the country, she believes she will be safe. But when Kit unexpectedly returns, her pretend marriage begins to feel seductively real…

Lady Mary is a quiet, unassuming woman who is being stalked by her cousin, Gawain. Gawain is being prompted by his mother to marry Mary so that he can get her trust fund. Despite attempts by Mary and her brother to contact Gawain’s father, Mary’s uncle, they have been unsuccessful in getting him to explain why he is pushing Gawain on her.

After two years of moving from place to place Mary’s grandmother comes up with a scheme to place her at the home of someone that Gawain doesn’t know so that he can’t find her (why they didn’t place her in some out of the way place before that is beyond me). In order to do this, however, she needs to act like she is married to the man of the house – a Mr. Featherton. Mary knows of a Mr. Featherton but is assured that this particular Featherton is unknown to her. After almost a year by herself Mr. Featherton shows up and is righteously angry that someone would claim to be married to him. Turns out that Mary does know this Mr. Featherton and even had her eye on him during her one and only Season unfortunately he didn’t seem to notice her at all.

Kit Featherton is the epitome of the proper gentleman. He is angry when he finds out that someone is posing as his wife but when he finds out it’s Mary he calms down. He has been looking for her constantly for the past two seasons and has always been enamored with her. He now sees that as so many people believe them married there is nothing to do but marry Mary. Unfortunately Mary is determined to have a Season and to fall in love. She wants the romance, etc. Kit and Mary have misunderstanding after misunderstanding as neither knows how to act around the other. Fortunately fate steps in and the thin veil that had been hiding their feelings finally comes down.

This was a very pleasant book. Mary was kind and giving and Kit was all that was honorable and gentlemanly. Unfortunately that didn’t make for an overly exciting book. While the story was good and well written, it just didn’t make me want to turn page after page. I got frustrated with both the MC’s as they just were so prickly and honor bound with each other. I mean, Kit wouldn’t even think of kissing Mary until they were betrothed. Again, not overly exciting.

Gawain was really in the story peripherally. We read about him several times and his quest to find Mary once he had lost her but other than that he didn’t turn out to be too much of a villain.

There was a secondary love story within the book. It was about a man and a woman who had fallen in love when they were teens but her father had kept them apart. It was a bit complicated with them marrying and then being told it wasn’t legal when it actually was. He also had 2 children he had never seen as he’d left for America. While a sweet story it was a bit odd to be plunked down in the middle of this book. It almost felt like filler as Mary and Kit had already gotten together and got their HEA. Once they declared their love the book should have been over (imho) but we had this extra story to read.

Though the story wasn’t what I typically look for and like in a regency romance novel it was still a decent read.

Rating: 3 out of 5


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Guest Review: Asher’s Dilemma by Colleen Kwan

Posted December 28, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Tracy’s review of Asher’s Dilemma by Colleen Kwan

Ever since he awoke one day on the floor of his workshop with a brain-splitting headache, Asher Quigley has been haunted by fleeting visions of a beautiful woman everywhere he looks—a woman he’s sure he knows, but can’t recall. In spite of this he has finished his most wondrous invention yet, one that will literally make history: a time machine. But before he can complete his exacting calculations a bizarre accident causes the device to be activated, with him inside! He awakes to find himself in his lab, eight months in the past, and suddenly he remembers her…

Asher knows that something in the near future causes Minerva Lambkin, the woman who turned down his marriage proposal, to be erased from existence. And he’s sure it has something to do with his device. Alone in a familiar world where he doesn’t belong, he’ll have to find a way to destroy the time machine to save the woman he loves from extinction. Even if that means erasing his own future.

Asher Quigley thinks he’s going crazy. He’s having terrible headaches and he keeps seeing this woman everywhere but she’s not real. What the heck is going on? One night he picks up one of his inventions and it practically pulls him to his workshop where it more or less forces him into his own Millenium machine. It’s actually a time travel machine and once he goes back in time 8 months he figures out exactly who the woman is – she’s the woman he loves.

Asher quickly remembers exactly who Minerva is a figures out why he couldn’t remember her 8 months in the future. Something had happened to erase her from his life and he’s determined that it won’t happen again.

In the time he’s in now the current Asher makes an ass of himself when he proposes to Minerva and she turns him down. Not that she doesn’t love him but because she wants her independence – which she’s never had. The future Asher – who is referred to as Quigley – tries to make up for Asher’s assishness by writing Minerva love letters and letting her know all of his thoughts and emotions that he never said to her before disaster struck.

As it happens past Asher meets future Asher and together with Minerva they must figure out how to keep Minerva alive and thwart the villain at the same time.

After I read this novella I realized that there was a book 1 in this story called Asher’s Invention. I really didn’t feel like I missed anything by not reading it so I think this one would be a good standalone. The story is quite clever and the execution is good. All of the characters were involved in mathematics in some fashion so none of them were too surprised at the future Asher’s appearance.

The reason for Minerva’s future extinction was due to vanity on someone’s part and though it seems like a shallow reason I could totally see it happening. I was quite happy when the villain got her just desserts.

Toward the end of the story things got a bit complicated because of how many people were involved – current villain, future villain, current Asher, future Asher – but it all worked out. Though a bit sad at the end it had to happen that way and it was good.

Rating: 3 out of 5 

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

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

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