on the road romance

Campy Fun in “Sweet”

22718736Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Feiwel & Friends: June 2, 2015
Genre: Horror; Young Adult
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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Sweet is a weirdly awesome horror tale. It’s both funny and unrealistic, and the author owns that campy tone, making for an all around enjoyable read.

Over the course of six days a celebrity-filled cruise will embark on a televised experiment. Passengers on the cruise ship have been invited to try Solu, a new dietary supplement that results in dramatic weight loss. With Solu you can eat whatever you want and still lose those persistent pounds. Naturally, this drug is not quite what it claims to be, and soon the addicted passengers are ready to do anything for their next fix. (more…)

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On the Road Romance: “The Rogue Not Taken”

23617709The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Avon: December 29, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Source: Free from publisher.

Outstanding Adventure!
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I’ve been a big fan of Sarah MacLean’s historical romances ever since picking up Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake just when I was finishing school and getting back into the genre fiction game. Before reading her latest, I would have told you that Nine Rules is my favourite MacLean book, closely followed by A Rogue By Any Other Name. In my opinion, MacLean has out done herself with The Rogue Not Taken, it is, hands down, my new favourite. Not only is this book fun, but it also offers readers a deeply felt romance between two characters that initially have nothing good to say about each other (and let’s be honest, Sophie and King can be quite cutting to one another). Throw in a road trip, some cross dressing, and a gunshot wound, you have a recipe for a fantastically fast-paced and exciting romance. (more…)

The Pink Carnation Gets Her Happy Ending in “The Lure of the Moonflower”

23398702The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig
NAL: August 4, 2015 (Historical Fiction; Historical Romance)

Outstanding Adventure!
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With The Lure of the Moonflower, Willig’s Pink Carnation series comes to a close, and what a satisfactory ending it was.

Jane Wooliston is the Pink Carnation. The spy the spears dread in the French forces. On her latest mission Jane finds herself in Portugal tracking down the mad Queen Maria before the French  can use her to their adventure. Aiding Jane is the Moonflower, Jack Reid, a spy of dubious loyalty. But, since Jane doesn’t speak Portuguese and Jack happens to be the estranged son of a family friend, Jane grudgingly accepts that she has to work with Jack and has no expectation that she’s going to like it. Of course, when the mission proves to be none too simple these two are forced to work together and are pleasantly surprised by the results. (more…)

The Rather Adorable “Dearest Rogue”

21422007Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt
Forever: May 26, 2015 (Historical Romance)*

I’d go there again!
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Dearest Rogue is the latest installment in Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series; a series that I have not read. Being the eighth book in the series, I worried that I would come into this one and be completely lost, but the premise caught my attention and I decided to give it a try. While characters from the previous book make appearances, I never felt lost, and I ended up loving the book (I may even have to read the previous books in the series).

Lady Phoebe Batten is sister to a powerful duke, but because her eyesight has been slowly deteriorating since childhood, her brother would prefer to have her guarded at all times. And since kidnapping attempts ensue, that need for protection just might be warranted even if Phoebe would understandably like some freedom in her movements. (more…)

Awkward Spinster and Charismatic Politician in “Wicked, My Love”

22046490Wicked, My Love by Susanna Ives
Sourcebooks Casablanca: March 3, 2015 (Historical Romance)*

I’d go there again! vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

Wicked, My Love contains the zaniness that I often enjoy in historical romance, not because it’s historically accurate, but because it fits the bill of pure escapism. Wicked, My Love was a fun, entertaining and funny on-the-road romance between two childhood nemesis who consequently discover something to actually like about the other. While there are many madcap adventures in the course to happily-ever-after, the author does a good job of including a lovely emotional depth that balanced out the lighthearted tone of the book.

Lord Randall and Isabella St. Vincent have known each other since childhood, and it was not a sweet, childish friendship. Neither liked the other and they continue to be at odds with one another into adult hood. Now both Randall and Isabella have taken over the bank that their fathers’ established together. Isabella in particular is the financial wiz that and Randall is the charismatic face of the bank. However, when it seems that the bank has been swindled these two enemies are going to have to work together if they want to keep themselves out of the poor house. (more…)

Exotic Adventure in the Oddly Named, “The Book of True Desires”

818202The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn
Jove: August 29, 2006 (Historical Romance)

I’d go there again! vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

I discovered this little gem of a book while I was doing a little bit of weeding at my library. It’s always fun discovering a new author serendipitously and this one was a delightful surprise. The Book of True Desires was an absolute hoot. This was a tale of adventure and romance, and my absolute favourite part, how about a butler for the hero?

Cordelia O’Keefe is your average lady Indiana Jones (quite a feat in 1898) and is hoping to be off on a new adventure; however, this time she wants the support of her estranged grandfather. Cordelia’s grandfather isn’t exactly thrilled to see his granddaughter, he disowned his son when he married Cordelia’s mother. That said, the grandfather is a manipulative old coot and decides that if Cordelia wants his money she’s going to have to earn it. Only by locating the Mayan “Gift of the Jaguar” will Cordelia receive a penny, and she’ll have to take along her grandfather’s surly, proper, British butler to serve as financier.

Hartford Goodnight is not your average butler. He’s disrespectful, grumpy, and altogether too stuffy to be off on a jungle adventure. However, his employer dangles his freedom: find the cure for his gout and Hart will be released from his indenture. Now if only that woman weren’t leading the expedition. (more…)

“A Scandal to Remember” on the High Seas

18779663A Scandal to Remember by Elizabeth Essex
St. Martin’s: August 26, 2014 (Historical Romance)

My rating: Beach vacation (literally!) vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

A Scandal to Remember was an adorable little read featuring a very sweet romance between a smitten, yet gruff hero and a not-so prim spinster.

Jane Burke has long stood in the shadow of her father’s career. She’s an accomplished scientist on her own, but her father has always taken the credit for her work. At twenty-six, Jane has had enough; she wants to be known for her own accomplishments. To achieve these career aspirations, Jane finds herself aboard the Tenacious as the lady scientist for an expedition. The other members of the team, and those who staff the ship, are not thrilled to have a woman aboard, but Jane will be damned if she’ll let anything or anyone stand her in way.

Lieutenant Charles Dance is also a new arrival to the Tenacious and he’s gotten more work than he bargained for. It was supposed to be an easy appointment, and it’s turned into anything but. The captain is a reclusive drunk and the majority of the crew panders to the conniving bosun, Mr. Ransome. Dance doesn’t have a problem taking Jane aboard, but he doesn’t have time to deal with the distraction of this prim-and-proper spinster who has a fascination with shells. But it seems that Dance simply cannot help himself. (more…)

Unlaced by the Sorta-but-not-really Outlaw

22180772Unlaced by the Outlaw by Michelle Willingham
Montlake Romance: December 2, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: The view was nice, but the food was bad vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

Margaret Andrews is a confirmed spinster. After being jilted by her fiancé, she has placed herself firmly on the shelf, and clings fiercely to her notions of propriety. When her sister is forced into an elopement, Margaret is determined to rescue her. But she’s well aware that she cannot travel to Scotland on her own; she must trust an old family friend, Cain Sinclair, a man far below her station.

Cain Sinclair has always carried a torch for Margaret, even proposing to her when they were younger. Of course, Margaret rebuffed him in hopes of finding a better match. While Cain doesn’t exactly blame her for making that choice all those years ago, those feelings have not gone away, and spending time together traveling is a bittersweet torture for him. However, Cain can’t ignore her plea, so the pair set off in pursuit only to have their plan derailed almost from the start. (more…)

Scandalously Adorable Summer Nights

20706743Scandalous Summer Nights by Anne Barton (Honeycote #3)
Forever: October 28, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: Beach Vacation (3/5)

Scandalous Summer Nights is the third in Anne Barton’s Honeycote series. While I have not read the previous books, I did not find that this hampered my enjoyment of Summer Nights. This was an incredible sweet romance between an impulsive young woman and a man who is unwilling to give up his dreams for exploration (at least, not yet).

Lady Olivia Sherbourne has been infatuated with her older brother’s best friend, James Averill for a long time. Generally, she is an outspoken person; however, she has never voiced her attraction for James, until she learns that he’s set to travel to Egypt. Olivia is aware that she has to do something to keep him from leaving, unfortunately her efforts are rebuffed:

His blood was boiling – and not from desire. How dare Olivia spoil their friendship? Things would never be the same between them now. No more playful banter, no more gentle teasing. She’d ruined everything. Including his lifelong friendship with her brother. (p. 25)

While James is not unaware of Olivia’s charms, he would prefer that she not rock the boat. He’s heading off to Egypt and Olivia’s efforts are not going to change this. Until they do. (more…)

Arthurian Adventure in ‘The de Valery Code’

22908801The de Valery Code by Darcy Burke (Regency Treasure Hunters #1)
August 19, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My Rating: Beach Vacation (3/5)

The de Valery Code is Darcy Burke’s newest historical romance, and also a start of new series. I was quite a fan of Secrets & Scandals series, and I loved the adventurous premise of The de Valery Code.

Margery Derrington is an impoverished spinster living with her two aunts. Money is tight for this small family and they need to come up with some ready cash or Margery will be forced to marry to keep them afloat, a notion Margery does not want to contemplate until absolutely necessary.

Marrying for love didn’t interest her. Love didn’t interest her. Life was far easier to navigate if she kept that sort of emotion at bay. She’d buried her sentimentality deep after her parents had died. (p.6)

Luckily, Margery and her aunts stumble across a rare and possibly valuable medieval book by Edmund de Valery. While the family doesn’t want to part with such a treasure, the need for something to live on is dire, so Margery sets off to discuss the sale of the book with noted scholar, Rhys Bowen. Rhys immediately recognizes the priceless treasure that Margery carries, and hopes that the book will ultimately lead him to an Arthurian treasure trove, thus solidifying his name as a scholar of note. However, Rhys has no intention of sharing this information with Margery, and so a battle of the sexes ensues. (more…)