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

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

Beach Vacation

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…)


“Luck is No Lady”: Love in a Gambling Den

25827686Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas
Sourcebooks Casablanca: April 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach vacation

Luck is No Lady is a historical romance that I was looking forward to because, hey, gambling den!

Emma Chadwick is a woman in dire straights. She’s threatened by a moneylender that her father was in debt to when he died. Due to this financially stressed circumstances (it cost a lot to launch your sisters in society) Emma needs to find employment. Fast. 

A gently bred woman finding respectable employment is no easy thing in the Regency era. Hence, Emma’s eventual employment as a bookkeeper at a scandalous gambling hell. The owner of the club is Roderick Bentley, bastard son of an Earl, who hires Emma in order to discover how his previous bookkeeper was fleecing him out of his money. Emma is up to the mathematical challenge, but is less prepared for her attraction to the handsome owner of the club. (more…)

A Novel in Three Parts? “The Bride Behind the Curtain”

25783121The Bride Behind the Curtain by Darcie Wilde
InterMix: March 15, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad

The Bride Behind the Curtain is the first in what appears to be a three-part series. After reading the first part, I believe that each part is novella length and features a different romantic couple. Considering the open ending to Bride Behind the Curtain, I think it’s safe to assume that all three novellas are going to be strongly tied to one another.

Bride Behind the Curtain started out really strong. Awkward wallflower meets devilishly handsome Frenchman and an unexpected romance ensues. Adele Edmundson is that wallflower and James Beauclaire the French expatriate. After a happenstance meeting, the pair can’t stop thinking about each other. For Adele’s part, she doesn’t believe that such a dashing and handsome man could be attracted to her. And for James’ part, he should be on the lookout for a malleable heiress to support his impoverished family. Of course, neither gets what they bargained for. (more…)

The Gang’s All Here: “Lord Dashwood Missed Out”

26115826Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare
Avon: December 8, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Source: Free from publisher.

I’d go there again!

So, I’m a big fan of Tessa Dare and her delightfully funny historical romances. Thus, it was an early Christmas present to read Lord Dashwood Missed Out and return to Dare’s Spindle Cove series. As per usual with Dare, Lord Dashwood was a charming little novella made even more fun for Dare’s fans with multiple cameo appearances by her hero and heroines of the previous books in the series.

Miss Elinora Browning is traveling to Spindle Cove to give a talk about her pamphlet, Lord Ashwood Missed Out (written in a fit of rage after over-indulging in some sherry). Nora’s paper was fueled by her anger at being overlooked by George Travers, Lord Dashwood several years ago. As childhood friends Nora always felt a little more than friendly towards the young man who treated her like a sister and was crushed when he left the country after rather disastrously escorting her to the theatre in her first season. Now, Nora delights in being able to offer some comfort to other women who feel overlooked. But, Nora just might not get the chance to share her story with the ladies of Spindle Cove when she’s stranded with another traveler who, of course, turns out to be none other than Lord Dashwood himself. Unsurprisingly, Dash is not thrilled that Nora has written a scathing pamphlet about him and being stranded with her is the perfect chance for him to get his revenge (or so it seems).

“When a Scot Ties the Knot” with a Bookish Spinster, Humour Ensues

23587120When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Avon: August 25, 2015 (Historical Romance)*

Outstanding Adventure

It’s no secret, I’m a huge Tessa Dare fan, and I’m fairly certain that When a Scot Ties the Knot is my favourite book by this author since A Week to be Wicked. This latest historical romance, was everything that I’ve come to expect from Dare: funny, silly, and romantic.

At the age of sixteen Miss Madeline Gracechurch was on the cusp of making her debut into society, the only thing holding her back was her paralyzing fear of crowds. Naturally, as a young woman of sixteen, Madeline makes a rather impetuous choice and invents herself a suitor in one Captain Logan MacKenzie, effectively taking away the necessity of a Season. After killing off her devoted beau years later, Maddie settles into spinsterhood in a castle that she inherited from her godfather. Maddie develops a budding career as a naturalist illustrator, until a Scottish highlander comes to call: (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…)

The Matchmaker Becomes “The Spinster Bride”

23278376The Spinster Bride by Jane Goodger
Kensington: February 2, 2015 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: Beach vacation vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

The Spinster Bride was a cute historical romance featuring a young woman who would rather not marry (even though she must) and a man determined to find himself leg shackled as soon as he can be sure that the woman will make it to the alter. Throw these two together and romance was bound to happen.

Lady Marjorie Penwhistle is almost on the shelf and her mother is determined to find her a titled husband. What’s so sad about this situation is how Marjorie’s mother is essentially living vicariously through Marjorie. Marjorie is everything her mother is not: beautiful, popular. She wants Marjorie to be a success because she never was. Unfortunately, all this attention on Marjorie is at the expense of her brother who is a little bit different and those around him take advantage of him. To protect her brother from being disinherited, Marjorie agrees to finally put some effort into the marriage mart, unfortunately the only man that she is attracted to is not a peer. (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…)

After the War is Over

21936660After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson
William Morrow: January 6, 2015 (Historical Fiction)*

My rating: Outstanding Adventure! vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

After the War is Over is Robson’s follow-up to the excellent Somewhere in France. To be clear, it isn’t essential that you read Somewhere in France before this one; however, I do think readers who have read the previous book will get a better appreciation of After the War is Over.

After the War is Over is set in England after the first world war (obviously). During the war, Charlotte Brown served as a nurse, something that she was able to do as a university educated young woman. Now that the war is over Charlotte is more than content returning to her old job in Liverpool, helping those that have suffered from the war.

As Charlotte gains satisfaction in her new life, she’s pulled back into the past by her best friend Lily (subject of Somewhere in France), who’s brother has come back from the war a changed man.

Edward Neville-Ashford, Earl of Cumberland, has returned home wounded both in body and spirit. He’s lost a leg and it’s clear that he’s not the same, care-free young man he once was. Each time Charlotte encounters him she tries to talk to him, help him, but to no avail. Needing to move on from her girlhood infatuation, Charlotte distances herself from the Neville-Ashford family. (more…)

Bit of a long haul in ‘The Kraken King’

15788727The Kraken King by Meljean Brook (The Iron Seas #4)
Berkley: November 4, 2014 (Steampunk; Romance)

My rating: Beach Vacation vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

The Kraken King is the latest installment in Brook’s Iron Seas series; a series that I’ve enjoyed immensely so far. Unfortunately, I have to admit that The Kraken King is my least favourite book in the series to date. Originally published as a serial (a method I am not fond of), this book was long, and in all honesty, I struggled to get through it. The pacing in this book was slow and I personally felt that events were dragged out and felt repetitive. As soon as you thought something was resolved, it quickly became a problem once again in the next part. Ultimately, the book was an okay read, I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I don’t think it will win any new fans to the series, but I think fans of The Iron Seas will be committed to reading it (as I was).

Zenobia Fox, sister of adventurer Archimedes Fox, is tired of simply writing about her brother’s adventures; she wants an adventure of her own. When she decides to accompany her friend on a voyage, she doesn’t expect anything terribly adventurous to happen, her friend is entirely proper; however, that doesn’t stop adventure from finding her. When their airship is attacked, Zenobia finds herself stranded in Krakentown and intrigued by the handsome governor, Ariq, a man that knew her brother when he was also a smuggler. Zenobia must protect her true identity AT ALL COSTS!

Ariq, better known as the the Kraken King, is a former smuggler and thief. He has fought for his people’s freedom and works hard to ensure that his small community gets to keep their independence. When he first meets Zenobia he is intrigued by her and feels that she is the one, if only he didn’t have a sneaky suspicion that she was a spy, and a bad one at that. He must find out all her secrets AT ALL COSTS! Misunderstandings ensue and adventure then abounds, it just wasn’t as exciting as I hoped that it would be. (more…)