Jenny Holiday is a new-to-me historical romance author and one that I can see myself returning to. With The Likelihood of Lucy Holiday brings readers a romance that’s firmly set outside the aristocracy. Lucy Greenleaf and Trevor Bailey both grew up together in Seven Dials. When, at eleven, Lucy’s mother attempts to auction off her virginity, Trevor finds a way to get Lucy out. Growing up in a charity school, Lucy finds employment as a governess, only her adherent to the tenets of her heroine, Mary Wollstonecraft, gets her let go from her position. After returning to the streets for a week, Lucy soon has no choice but to turn to the friend who always protected her as a girl. (more…)
Mary Balogh’s historical romances pretty much speak for themselves. Rather than cashing in on the overt and explicit relationship that readers tend to encounter in the romance genre, Balogh leverages the emotional impact in her historical romances. In Only a Promise Balogh brings her signature emotional exploration to a marriage of convenience and it was wonderful.
Ralph Stockwood has returned from the war alone; his friends having died fighting. Ralph blames himself for encouraging his friends to go with him and would rather have not survived at all. Rather than paying lip service to this emotional turmoil and survivor’s guilt, it is quite clear that Ralph has been damaged. While recovering from his wounds, Ralph tried to kill himself on a couple of occasions, something that is not generally explored in the romance genre. With Ralph, Balogh brings home the more realistic impact on war, and it’s done very well. (more…)
My rating: Outstanding Adventure (5/5)
Only Enchanting is the fourth installment in Mary Balogh’s amazing Survivor’s Club series. Each time I finish one of Balogh’s historical, I close the book thinking damn this woman can write. Balogh stands out in the historical romance genre in that she creates such fully realized characters that are often imperfect, and deeply emotional. What I like about Balogh’s romances is that I find them wholly realistic. The hero and heroine are capable of petty thoughts towards each other, and can be spiteful in their anger, but each time I read these scenes they never come off as a token nod to resistance to romance; rather, I can imagine anyone in a relationship thinking these things. Balogh’s romances tend to be subdued, but it’s the relationships that she creates that continually stand out in her novels. Only Enchanting is no exception.
Mrs. Agnes Keeting is a widow at twenty-six. She wasn’t in love with her husband, who died three years ago, but she misses that contentment. Since coming to live with her older sister, she has found happiness, but she is rocked back on her heels when she meets Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, when he visits his friend Viscount Darleigh. She has no idea what to do with these new found feelings that she’s never experienced before; she does not want to feel this out of control. But, Agnes is tempted to take a risk and is convinced by Flavian to marry him. (more…)
The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane by Elizabeth Boyle
Avon, October 28, 2014 (Historical Romance)*
My rating: Beach vacation (3/5)
I haven’t read many historical romances by Elizabeth Boyle, but this one certainly makes me want to read many more. The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane is the fourth book in the Rhymes with Love series. This one was funny and lighthearted and exactly what I was looking for when I picked up the book.
Louisa Tempest and her twin sister, Lavinia, have both come to town at the behest of their late godmother. Louisa could have done without a season in the ton as she has no illusions that she will be anything other than a spinster. Louisa finds herself along for the ride because of her determined sister, but Louisa is equally determined not to tell Lavinia why it is unlikely that either one of them will find someone suitable to marry. Fortunately for Louisa, she soon finds a project for herself that will fill her time since she has very little interest in shopping or the other virtues of the ton lifestyle. It’s too bad that her project, Viscount Wakefield, is an unwilling participant. (more…)
My rating: Beach vacation (3/5)
In keeping with my recent mystery affliction, I’ve moved to a more cozy setting in Death Comes to the Village. Major Robert Kurland has returned home to Kurland St. Mary bedridden from the battle of Waterloo. When he witnesses a furtive man moving a heavy load in the dead of night, his suspicions are raised. Unfortunately, the nature of his wounds prevent him from investigating the matter. When his former nurse, Lucy Harrington, a woman he’s known since childhood, reveals that two young girls from the village have also gone missing, the pair decide to pull their resources together and discover what exactly is going on in their home.
While the Major is secluded because of his injuries, Miss Harrington is imprisoned by her duties to her siblings and her widowed father. When she’s asked by the Major to make some inquiries she’s happy to do so as it changes up her strictly structured days. However, the more she questions those in her village the more her own safety is threatened. And with no one watching her back, Lucy just might find herself in serious harm. (more…)
My rating: I’d go there again (4/5)
I have to admit that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Grace Burrowes historicals. There have been a couple that I liked, but for the most part, I have left many books behind wondering what exactly I read. That’s not to say there’s anything bad about Burrowes’ writing, it has more to do with the fact that she has a very specific and emotional style that doesn’t always appeal to me. However, every so often I find one of Burrowes’ books that just works for me, and The Traitor is one such book.
Millicent Danforth is companion to the Traitor Baron’s aunt, an eccentric older woman that refuses to let her nephew’s past tarnish his future. Milly is happy to find a position as a companion and freedom from her overbearing family that uses her as a glorified servant. And it’s always a nice bonus when your employer’s nephew happens to be an attractive lord.
Sebastian St. Claire is the Traitor Baron, reviled by the ton for the part he played during the war. Abandoned in France, Sebastian was drafted into the French Army and put to work as a torturer of the English. On his return to England, Sebastian is constantly called out; however, it seems that someone is pulling the strings, making sure that no one forgets what Sebastian did during the war. Fortunately, Milly sees beyond Sebastian’s traitorous past to the kindhearted man that would do anything for his elderly aunt, and who also accepts Milly for all her faults. (more…)