opposites attract

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

Beach Vacation
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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

Beach Vacation
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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…)

“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…)

“The Heroine Complex”, Take 2

27209443Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
DAW: July 5, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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At the beginning of June Stacey reviewed and raved about Heroine Complex, having loved the main character, Evie’s personal growth. My reaction to the book was quite different.

The concept of this alternative San Fransisco where humans have gained strange abilities is an intriguing one, as is the fact that a select few in this world have developed powers, and some are even able to channel those abilities into a sensational career as a superhero. Evie’s best friend since childhood, Annie, was able to successfully transform herself into Aveda Jupiter, San Fransisco’s beloved heroine because of her telekinetic powers she developed after an earthquake. Of course, every heroine worth her salt needs a back up team, and that’s where Evie comes in. Evie, with powers of her own, prefers to stay out of the limelight, managing the more mundane aspects of Aveda’s life and basically ignoring the fact that she even has powers. However, when Aveda is injured Evie is forced to take centre stage and start to reconcile her own feelings towards her volatile abilities. (more…)

Funny, Charming, Uplifting: “Because of Miss Bridgerton”

25657772Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Avon: March 29, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Julia Quinn returns to her beloved Bridgerton family with a new series. Set in 1779, this new series focuses on the well known Bridgerton’s predecessors (I suspect we’re going to see the Bridgerton’s parents featured at some point. Fingers crossed.).

Miss Billie Bridgerton is always getting into scrapes and she’s just fine with that. However, when her latest scrape strands her on the top of a building she is dismayed to be assisted to safety by George Rokesby. George is the heir to the Rokesby family, and the one Rokesby that she doesn’t get along with. That feeling of animosity is mutual; George really doesn’t understand why Billie must take the risks she does, but he’s honor bound to help her out. And so begins a surprising courtship.  (more…)

The Unexpectedly Serious “Study of Seduction”

25814323The Study of Seduction by Sabrina Jeffries
Pocket Books: March 22, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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The Study of Seduction is a surprisingly heartfelt historical romance. Normally, when I pick up a Sabrina Jeffries book I expect something light and romantic. While The Study of Seduction is romantic, the themes explored were unexpectedly serious and dark. That’s not to say that Study of Seduction isn’t a signature Jeffries’ book, it is, but it also explores some pretty serious stuff as it relates to the couples romance.

Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough has been charged to look after his friend’s cousin (and sister’s best friend), Lady Clarissa Lindsey. Clarissa has had some trouble with a persistent suitor who seems unable to comprehend the fact that Clarissa is not going to marry the man. Clarissa’s cousin Warren is required to travel to the Continent; however, he wants to ensure that Clarissa is protected from the determined Frenchman. Edwin reluctantly steps in to escort Clarissa and her mother to social events, and before he knows it, the pair of them are engaged. (more…)

The Quirky “Magenta Mine”

24819880Magenta Mine by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Createspace: December 31, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Review Source: Personal purchase.

I’d go there again!
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I discovered this little gem a series on Goodreads and promptly went out and purchased a number of the books in the series. This is what happens when you do online shopping. I regret nothing.

I decided that I’d start with Magenta Mine rather than one of the first two books in the Invertary series since it was a novella and I was pressed for time. This was such a great introduction to a hilarious cast of characters in a small town in Scotland. (more…)

Romance Outside the Upper Class: “Listen to the Moon”

26795751Listen to the Moon by Rose Lerner
Samhain Publishing: January 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Source: Free from publisher.

I’d go there again!
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Listen the Moon is one of the most unusual and most interesting historical romances that I’ve read it a long while. For the most part, the historical romance genre is saturated in romance featuring heroes and heroines of the upper echelons of society, or at least one member of the romantic duo is of the upper class. I will admit to being totally fine with this – who doesn’t love a duke, or a marquis in disguise, or a pirate who’s really an earl? But, Rose Lerner takes readers right out of the world of privilege and focuses her romance between two servants (who are not secretly of the nobility, to be clear), which makes Listen to the Moon a refreshing read.

John Toogood is a valet down on his luck and is looking for a new position after his master has had a reversal in fortune. A plum position has come up as the butler for a vicarage; however, John’s prospective employer requires that the successful applicant be a married man. Needless to say, John is not married, but he has been involved in a harmless, mutual flirtation with the much younger halfhearted maid-of-all-work, Sukey Grimes. While their work ethics are vastly different, John wants the butler position and having just lost a position of her own Sukey is reluctantly willing to marry John so that they can work at the vicarage. (more…)

“In Search of Scandal” – and a Husband.

25383003In Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord
Sourcebooks Casablanca: December 1, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Source: Free from publisher.

I’d go there again!
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In Search of Scandal is a delightful, charming, and sweet historical romance from debut author, Susanne Lord.

Will Repton is a plant collector and sole survivor of a massacre in Tibet. He returns to Victorian London viewed as a hero, but all he wants is to raise enough funds to make a return trip to investigate whether or not a baby girl survived the massacre that he barely escaped. Soliciting the help of his friend, Ben, Will runs into Ben’s sister-in-law, Charlotte Baker – quite possibly the most beautiful woman (and the chattiest) he’s ever met. For Charlotte, her meeting with Will is love at first sight. If only this dashing hero could see her as something other than a frivolous female, and if only he was planning on sticking around for longer than a few months. Happily, events conspire against them both. (more…)

Compromised! “Love in the Time of Scandal”

22590311Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden
Avon: May 26, 2015 (Historical Romance)*

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Love in the Time of Scandal is Linden’s third in her Scandalous series, each book tied together by it’s heroine’s interest in the notorious book 50 Ways to Sin (a very intentional allusion to Fifty Shades of Grey, Regency style).

This one follows Penelope Weston who finds herself compromised after going to the aid of a close friend. Rescued by Benedict Lennox, Penelope has no choice but to marry the very man that once wanted to marry her sister.

Benedict, like Penelope, is initially reluctant to marry Penelope; however, while she’s not exactly what he was looking for in a wife, she is an heiress, which is exactly what he needs if he ever wishes to be free of his father’s control. But it just might turn out that Penelope was what he was looking for all along. (more…)