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Search tags: British-Historical-Setting
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review 2015-03-26 16:19
What Happened at Midnight - Courtney Milan


When John Mason discovers that his fiancée's father has embezzled thousands of pounds from their mutual business, he's furious. When his betrothed, Miss Mary Chartley, flees, taking the money and all the evidence with her, he's outraged. He plans to bring the woman he once loved to account--and he’ll shed no tears when he does.

But when he finds Mary, she's not living a life of luxury. Instead, she's serving as a companion in exchange for a pittance. The more he attempts to untangle the truth, the more he remembers why he first loved Mary...and how much he wishes he could do so again.

What Happened at Midnight was previously published in the anthology Midnight Scandals. It is a novella of about 35,000 words.



This novella (about 250 pages) felt like a fully fleshed out story and I could not put it down. It took me about four hours to knock this one out. The h/H, Marry and John were so wonderful both as individuals and as a couple. And the plot was engrossing without being overly complicated. (virtual) Keeper shelf material. My only issue is that nothing "happened at midnight" - the clandestine meetings between Marry and John happened at 10pm and lasted about 30-45 minutes. 5 stars.

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review 2015-03-26 02:28
A year after I started this book, I am finally finished.
Possessed by the Devil: The Real History of the Islandmagee Witches & Ireland's Only Mass Witchcraft Trial - Andrew Sneddon

This is not a review, but I am giving it 4 solid stars. My review of the book and the topic will be posted on my history blog sometime this summer. It is quite an easy read, but I was never in the mood to pick it up after we moved. Finally chose today to just knock out the last 40 pages and get it off my currently reading shelf.

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review 2014-12-27 22:36
A Grosvenor Square Christmas - Anna Campbell,Shana Galen,Vanessa Kelly,Kate Noble

Summary (in italics) and review: (These stories were really short - 4 stories within 135 pages, so my reviews will be short because there is not a lot to tell.)


Down through the years, enchantment touches a tall gray house in Grosvenor Square. The legend of Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball promises true love and happiness to one lucky couple. Who will feel the magic this winter?


The Seduction of a Duchess by Shana Galen

1803- Rowena Harcourt, the Duchess of Valère, never forgot the handsome footman who helped her escape the French Revolution. For fourteen years, Gabriel Lamarque has loved Rowena—now at Lady Winterson’s Christmas ball, has fate finally delivered a chance to win her hand?


I liked that the two MCs were older and shared a history that included the French Revolution. It is not a strict HEA, but the ending was a definite promising HFN. This story really helped to set up Lady Winterson's annual Christmas Ball (the thread that links the stories). 3.5 stars.


One Kiss for Christmas by Vanessa Kelly

1818- Nigel Dash is London’s most reliable gentleman, a reputation he never minded until he fell in love with beautiful Amelia Easton. Unfortunately, Amelia sees Nigel as a dependable friend, not a dashing suitor. At Lady Winterson’s famous Christmas ball, Nigel vows to change Amelia’s mind—by sweeping her off her feet.


I liked this book, but it took some getting used to the female MC until the author showed us her POV, then the story really clicked for me.  3.5 stars



His Christmas Cinderella by Anna Campbell

1825- At the season’s most glittering ball, a girl who has never dared to dream of forever after discovers a Christmas miracle.


I didn't like this story at all. The female MC was very inconsistent - she was more than willingly to accept being the Lord's mistress, but when he proposed, she made him go through hoops to show/prove his love. Also, I am not a fan of Cinderella-types unless it is in a fantasy genre; in romance, the rich MC usually comes across as a savior, making the relationship seem off-balance. 0 stars.


The Last First Kiss by Kate Noble

1830- Susannah Westforth has always loved Sebastian Beckett – but he’s only ever seen her as a friend. When Sebastian takes his Grand Tour, Susannah transforms herself into a woman he’ll notice. Now Sebastian is back, just in time for Lady Winterson's Christmas ball – but the last thing he expects to see is his little Susie, all grown up...


This was an unexpected, but happily taken, surprise. I have heard interviews with Ms. Noble and really enjoyed her talking about writing (both literature and for the screen). This story was a nice ending to the anthology; I enjoyed Philbert and Lady Winterson's relationship development more than the two MCs. 3.5 stars.



You’re invited to join the whirling dance at Lady Winterson’s sparkling Christmas ball, where miracles happen and true love shines forever. How can you resist?


Overall: 3 stars. Enjoyable while reading, but nothing that stays with you after you close the book.

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review 2014-12-14 16:36
Decent II
All He Wants for Christmas - Jerrica Knight-Catania


After attending the funeral of an old school friend, six Regency gentlemen make a pact never to marry, convinced it will save them from meeting the same fate...


Rowan Findley can't imagine a fate worse than what his friend suffered at the hands of his mad wife, so he's made the decision to remain a bachelor for all eternity. That is, until Olivia walks into his cousin's drawing room for a Christmas party. Her fiery red hair and sweet demeanor remind him of a night so many years ago that he would never forget.


Olivia Edwards can't quite believe her eyes when Rowan Findley waltzes back into her life, as handsome and charming as ever. It's been almost seven years since she's seen him, and the secret she's been harboring all that time has her on edge whenever he's about. Yet she can't deny that she's still drawn to him, nor can she deny the desire she's kept hidden in her heart these many years.



Different kind of story from the usual secret baby/child trope. I liked the book and the author's execution was better than the last book I read from her. The male MC knew right away that was his child, but he looked for confirmation and the full story from the female MC. No blow ups or threats of taking the child away from his mother - both of them acted like adults.  I am really glad that I gave the author another chance. I hope to read more from her in 2015. 4 stars.

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review 2014-12-14 16:31
A Bit of Mistletoe - Ava Stone


Everett Casemore, the very serious Marquess of Berkswell, returns home for Christmas, slightly shaken by the death of an old friend. Determined not suffer the same fate at the hands of a woman, Berks resolves himself to eternal bachelorhood. Unfortunately, both his resolve and his peace of mind are threated by the arrival of a very pretty, but most unsuitable lady.


Miss Theresa Birkin knows better than most than an error in judgment can lead one down an unfortunate path. If only she'd been wiser when she was younger. If only she hadn't followed her heart. If only she'd met Lord Berkswell long before now.



Decent historical short story. Female MC has a past that sets her a part from most Regency heroines. There are couples from the author's previous works in this story, but you can still read it as a stand alone.


This was my first time trying this author and I will be back for more in 2015. 3.5 stars.

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