historical romance

How to Impress a Marquess by Susanna Ives

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How to Impress a Marquess by Susanna Ives
Sourcebooks Casablanca: November 1, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

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How to Impress a Marquess is a humourous, yet not particularly historically accurate historical romance. If you like your historicals with a heavy dose of realism back away now. If you’re like me, and accuracy doesn’t bother you that much, continue reading.

Susanna Ives is an author that first came on my radar with Wicked, My Love, a funny on-the-road-romance between two very different people. I loved Wicked, My Love so I was quite anxious to dive into Ives’ latest historical, which again features two characters who do not like one another due to their preconceived notions of one another. Naturally, these two discover that appearances can be deceiving. (more…)

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Someone to Love by Mary Balogh

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Someone to Love by Mary Balogh
Signet: November 8, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

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I’m a huge fan of Mary Balogh and have loved her Survivors’ Club series. Naturally, once that series ended a new one had to begin. Someone to Love is the first in Balogh’s Wescott series featuring a family that finds itself neck deep in scandal when the head of the family dies and it is discovered that he had a secret wife and child, which makes his second marriage invalid and those children illegitimate. Miss Anna Snow is that illegitimate child, and discovering that she’s an heiress is almost like a dream came true. However, for Anna, what the bigger draw is the discovery that she has family: half-siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a grandmother. Of course, becoming part of that family is no simple task, especially when that family is shocked at her existence.

Aiding Anna is Avery Archer the debonair Duke of Netherby, who normally wouldn’t trouble himself to get involved. Avery is not really even part of the Westcott family as its his stepmother that is truly related. However, Avery finds himself part of Anna’s transformation process and surprisingly drawn to the plain, composed woman. Their romance is a surprising one, yet Balogh excels at demonstrating how these two characters compliment one another. (more…)

Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham

707252Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham
Dell Publishing Company: 1997
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Purchased secondhand

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This has been on my to-read list for at least a year, and I finally got around to purchasing it secondhand recently. Unfortunately, it’s old enough that it’s difficult to find at the library.

I expected this to be a historical romance along the lines of Julie Garwood, but was pleasantly surprised to find it more substantial than that.

It still has all the classic romance tropes, so if that’s your thing then you’re sure to like this book. (more…)

English Miss Meets “The Highlander”

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The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne
St. Martin’s Paperbacks: August 2, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

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Kerrigan Byrne has become immensely popular due to her Victorian Rebels series; The Highwayman was a huge hit when it came out and I was seeing it everywhere I read about new books. While I had mixed feelings about the first book, I thought The Hunter was brilliant. If you’re a fan of romances that focus on folks with a darker past, there’s no question that you are reader that will enjoy all of the books in Byrne’s series and this latest is no different.

Colonel Liam MacKenzie is in need of a governess for his two children. After years away from home, Liam has returned home and is determined to do right by his family, something that he finds difficult considering the demons of his past. As a start, Liam hires a governess, Philomena, to get his daughter and son back on track. What Liam doesn’t count on is his mysterious governess and his desire to unravel her secrets. For her part, Mena is essentially in hiding. After being rescued from the “hospital” her husband put her in, Mena has been instructed to hide her true identity, which becomes difficult as she finds herself growing closer to Liam. (more…)

Non-Traditional Romances in “Gambled Away”

29726166Gambled Away by Joanna Bourne, Isabel Cooper, Rose Lerner, Jeannie Lin, & Molly O’Keefe
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Author

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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Gambled Away is a novella collection that I find difficult to review. Objectively, this collection is well written and I enjoyed how all of the authors played with the historical romance genre, offering readers something different in a genre that is often slammed for its sameness. While intellectually I appreciate how unique all of the novellas were, I confess to feeling that none were to my personal taste. Perhaps it was the constraints of the novella format, perhaps it was just me, but I will admit to feeling that none of the novellas were particularly romantic. Now, I’m not saying that everything must be hearts and flowers, but I did personally feel that there was a lack of emotional depth to the majority of the novellas in this collection, at least for this reader. (more…)

The Spinster Dons a Pair of Pants in “The Duke of Daring”

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The Duke of Daring by Darcy Burke
Darcy Burk: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

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The Duke of Daring is Darcy Burke’s most recent historical romance and it features a cross-dressing heroine who is prowling gambling dens in search of a fortune so that she and her grandmother can retire to Bath. What this heroine doesn’t count on is having her disguise discovered. Let the romance games begin!

Our cross-dressing heroine is Miss Lucinda Parnell, a spinster who has failed at the Marriage Mart. With finances now strained for her and her grandmother Lucinda decides that she needs cash and she needs it now. Having learned games of chance from her father Lucinda’s hit on one method to get rich quick; however, she doesn’t count on Andrew Wentworth, the Earl of Dartford discovering that she is a woman or her own attraction to the man. Andrew, being the gentleman that he is, decides that Lucinda can’t be entering disreputable gambling dens on her own and makes a deal with the lady to accompany her on her adventures. Naturally, this close contact leads to an attraction, and just as naturally, it leads both the hero and heroine forced to reconcile their desire for each other with their reluctance to enter into marriage. (more…)

Summer Bride

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The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie
Berkley: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

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The Summer Bride is the final book in Anne Gracie’s Chance Sisters series. With this book readers are treated to the romance between aspiring dressmaker Daisy Chance and Irishman Patrick Flynn. Neither one is looking for romance with the other – Daisy is determined to be independent and Flynn is looking for a higher born bride – but, you can’t always get what you want. (more…)

“A Gift For Guile” is a Must When Romancing a Detective

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A Gift for Guile by Alissa Johnson
Sourcebooks Casablanca: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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A Gift for Guile is the second in Johnson’s Thief Takers series. As much as I enjoyed the first one, I think I have to admit that I liked A Gift for Guile just a tad bit more. Intrigued by the character of Esther Walker Bales in A Talent for Trickery, I was curious to see how the author would pull off a romance between a cunning woman and a private investigator. Let me tell you, it really, really worked.

Esther Walker has come to London to make amends. However, London is the last place she should be because of her and her family’s disreputable past. Esther’s father was a con artist and unbelievably as it sounds, Esther was his muscle. Despite her small stature, Esther is a wizard with knives and that was all it took for her father to put her to work as an accomplice. Now that her father is dead, Esther can move forward and away from her past, which means that she wants to meet her  biological father. The problem is that Esther is all too recognizable in London and if she’s discovered she could be in big trouble especially with her father’s enemies. (more…)

“Accidentally Compromising the Duke”: The Quick & Easy Way to Avoid an Unwanted Marriage

28644556Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid
Entangled: May 30, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

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Adeline Hays is on the verge of marriage to an odious man; this marriage is not something that she wants but something her father has arranged. To escape this unwanted marriage, Adel decides a compromising is in order, only she compromises herself with the wrong man! Instead of finding her way into the room of her preferred suitor, Adel finds herself in the arms of Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton. I do love a “compromised” theme in my historical romance and Accidentally Compromising the Duke delivers just that. (more…)

Marriage & Mystery in “A Pressing Engagement”

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A Pressing Engagement by Anna Lee Huber
InterMix: May 17, 2016
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

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I’ve been a fan of Anna Lee Huber since the first Lady Darby mystery. A Pressing Engagement is a short novella that whets readers appetites for the fifth book’s release this July.

A Pressing Engagement takes place just days before Kiera’s marriage to inquiry agent, Sebastian Gage. For those that have been following the series, you will recognize the fact that these days are fraught with anxieties for Kiera due to the ghosts of her horrible first marriage. Happily, Kiera has a mystery to distract herself from the impending special day and of course Gage tags along for the adventure.  (more…)