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review 2017-11-20 20:58
Good quick regency
Talk of the Ton - Eloisa James,Jacqueline Navin,Julia London,Rebecca Hagan Lee

I think Random Number generator thinks it is Friends' Recommendation month because it picked another one! Thanks to Nia for the enjoyable recommendation :)

This collection of short regency stories seemed to be connected by having a little bit steamier tone and jealous women. With no stories rated below 3 stars, I quite enjoyed this anthology. 


A Proper Gentleman by Eloisa James 
3.5 stars

It was good for a man to know straight off that there were times when he might---be obeyed, and there were others when he should understand his place. 

My favorite of the collection and the hottest (funny how that worked out, huh ;). A long standing betrothal, hero who gains a reputation for liking French women a bit too much (really spent a couple months in Paris drowning his sorrows because his brother died), fervent gossip, and a forgotten fiancée who decides to take charge. 

The heroine decides to go to a masque ball and pretend to be French and entice the hero. The reasoning involving a Shakespeare quote the hero supposedly said mixed with some gossip is all a bit forced but I'll let it go because the heroine taking the reins was fun. There's some hot flirting, sexual tension, and disrobing. The hero and heroine both give as good as they get and I was there for it. 

The Vicar's Widow by Julia London 
3 stars

"Nefarious?" She laughed. "Lord Montgomery, how you tease me! I'd wager you've not a wicked bone in you body!"
He gave her a look that suggested she knew better than that, leaned slightly toward her, and said low, "You'd be quite wrong, madam, were you to wager. I've more than one wicked bone in this body."
 


Probably my least favorite with us getting a decent amount of pov from the villain of the piece; a jealous girl who spreads reputation hurting gossip. Heroine and hero have a forbidden kiss but then heroine's vicar husband dies a year later and hero hasn't forgotten her. 

Hero was a bit drab with his overly calm ignoring, not caring about the gossip circulating about him having serious intentions about the jealous girl and how heroine's reputation was getting dragged through the mud as jealous girl started rumors. 

Hero and heroine were sweet together but too much town gossip focus for such a short story. 

Clearly a Couple (Free Fellows League #4.5) by Rebecca Hagan Lee
3 stars

"You belong to yourself now, Lady India, you're not obliged to service any man in order to survive." 

The most intriguing with our heroine being captured by pirates and forced to live in a harem for five years (we only get told, not shown this). Hints of steamy naughtiness because heroine knows every which way Sunday to pleasure a man and has a jewel in her belly button that hero can't look away from. Hero somewhat stumbles upon her and must escort her to London but the majority of story is their one night in cabin.

I was completely interested in this one but it was hurt by the short restrictions and our hero and heroine fall in love within a night and are married within a head spinning time. The hero seemed calm, cool, and sexy and our heroine would have given him a great run for his money (she sort of does anyway) if given a full length novel. 

Miss Jenny Alt's First Kiss by Jacqueline Navin
3.5 stars

"Why, I get the distinct impression that you do not approve of me." 

Back to the jealously, our heroine is the poor relation cousin who has spent her life making sure her cousin shines, making cousin turn out to be a spoiled little bi…umm, miss. Recluse earl cousin comes to stay in London to find a wife, jealous girl wants him but he is intrigued by shy cousin. 

Look, I eat shy miss, only guy to see the hidden gem trope up with a spoon. I liked hero and heroine back and forth with their challenging each other's comfort zones and their blossoming sexual tension. Hater girl hates but gets a little comeuppance in end and our bluestocking gets her happily ever after. 


Satisfying quick regency stories if in a time crunch or looking for a quick fix. 

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review 2017-11-13 14:12
Skip it.
My American Duchess - Eloisa James

Can't remember what drew me to the book but it seemed to have a vaguely reminiscent of the background to 'Downton Abbey' (woman from the Northeast US with money gets engaged to a member of English aristocracy) and it has pretty good rating but...I'm not sure why I picked up this book.

 

Merry is a young woman with money who has jilted two men. She accepts a third man...only to realize she has the hots for his twin brother. And the twins don't like each other. But she really wants to sleep with Trent, who feels the same way. And cue shenanigans, drama, fraternal tensions, a switch at the altar, convenient story opt outs and so forth.

 

Initially the book was intriguing with poor Merry trying to ease herself into English society and learning how her uncouth "American" ways make her a fish out of water. But overall the book is terrible. Her intended seems like an okay guy and then we see that is not quite so. Same with his brother, who appears to be a gentleman hero that we're all rooting for and all but then becomes a jerk after a particular event. This seemed to be less of character development (or even a reasonable portrayal of the filters coming off after the relationship has begun) but more plot driven than anything else.

 

There's also a rather convenient switch that helps eliminate an aspect of this love triangle and again, seemed to come out of nowhere only for a convenient (it seems) reconciliation at the end. More plot device (of which there wasn't much) than anything else. 

 

The book is also badly paced. There's a wedding that threw me off because it happened sooner than I thought it would and I wondered what else the author had in mind. Turns out this was just an excuse to write a bunch of super cringe-y sex scenes that makes what's left of the book into a PWP (porn without plot) "romance" that I hate.

 

So, as you can see, this completely didn't work for me. Don't bother!

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review 2017-11-07 03:11
Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Wilde in Love: The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Eloisa James

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was such a delight to read! I decided that I was going to have to read this book as soon as I got a really good look at it. The cover is great and the description is even better. When I noticed that this was the first book in a new series, I was even more excited. This book lived up to all of my expectations. I had such a good time reading it and honestly hated to put it down. 

The characters in this book were wonderful. Alaric is frustrated by all of the attention he is receiving. He is the kind of man that cares little of what other people think unless they are important to him. Willa knows what is expected of a proper lady and is not impressed by Alaric's fame in the least. These two fit together so well and the chemistry between them really helped to keep the pages turning. I liked these two characters on their own but they really seemed to come alive in the scenes that they shared with each other.

There were a lot of secondary characters that played important roles in this story. I had a moment early in the book that I had to really concentrate to keep everyone straight but each character was so well developed that wasn't an issue for long at all. I am a huge animal lover so I am usually a fan of animals being a part of the story especially when they are important characters in the story. Sweetpea and Hannibal were such nice additions to this story. Who doesn't want an adorable pet skunk?

This was a really well done romance. There is enough excitement to really keep things interesting especially as the book progressed. I found the story to have some more humorous moments and a few nail biting scenes. I loved how romantic the story really was with just enough steamy scenes to have a very nice balance.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This book has that happily ever after I was looking for and things wrap up nicely for Alaric and Willa. There is a bit of an open end for Alaric's brother, North, that has me really eager to get my hands on the next book in this series. I will definitely be reading more from Eloisa James in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
I had so much fun reading this book! Willa and Alaric were simply wonderful characters and had great chemistry with each other. The secondary characters were great as well and really added to the overall story. There was even an adorable skunk and a misunderstood cat to round out the ensemble. I can't wait to read more about the Wildes!

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review 2017-10-31 13:30
Review For: Wilde in Love by Eloisa James
Wilde in Love: The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Eloisa James

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James is the First book in the New Series called "The Wildes of Lindow Castle". This is the story of Lord Alaric Wilde and Miss Willa Ffynche. Alaric has been away for a long time leaving one adventure after another while writing down his adventures. Alaric adventures along with the books is wrote about them have made him very famous for his time. So much so that women flock to him at every turn. But Alaric doesn't want this type of fame nor the attention but that doesn't seem to stop anyone. Alaric didn't know of himself being famous until he returned home. Alaric thought the only real thing he would have to deal with is the thoughts of his older brother past death. Alaric family has 8 brother and sister along with as step sibling or two. So they are a big family.
Willa loves her books and the quietness of life although her friend Lavina is a big fan of Alaric, Willa has not been. But now her and Lavina are head to a house party at the Wilde estate not knowing that Alaric is in residence. Willa is quick to set judgement on Alaric but he slowly starts to show her another side of himself than what she thinks. Alaric finds Willa beautiful, smart and not all impressed with his fame as the other ladies are. I did enjoy Willa and Alaric story and look forward to more in this series!
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Source: www.amazon.com/Wilde-Love-Wildes-Lindow-Castle-ebook/dp/B01MYDK4ME/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1509306381&sr=1-1&keywords=Wilde+in+Love
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review 2017-10-27 23:56
Wilde In Love (The Wildes of Lindow Castle) by Eloisa James
Wilde in Love: The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Eloisa James

 

Readers who expect the unexpected, won't be disappointed.  Wilde In Love wears it's heart on it's sleeve.  The dashingly roguish adventurer enamored of the spirited spinster is an odd pairing.  However, Willa is one surprise after another.  She speaks her mind, she knows her heart and she has a tendency to be judgmental.  What's that saying?  Be careful of the quiet ones, because they're anything but.  That characterizes Willa.  Honestly, both Willa and Alaric take some getting used to.  They can annoy as easily as they can charm, but the hints of humor that break through the stuffy moments are just what the doctor ordered.

 

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