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Search tags: Historical-Romance
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review 2017-10-19 21:41
At the Christmas Wedding by Caroline Linden, Maya Rodale, and Katharine Ashe
At the Christmas Wedding - Caroline Linden,Maya Rodale,Katharine Ashe

Review for Snowy Night with a Duke by Katharine Ashe. ~ I will review for the other two as I finish them ~ 
Such a sweet tale! Horace and Charlotte haven’t seen each other in over two years. She knew her love for him wasn’t a good thing so she decided to run away to America. Now that’s she’s returned and is snowbound in a country inn with the man she’s tried to avoid for as long as she can remember, sparks start flying and romance is no longer denied. 
I loved the dialogue between the two. At times they argued like children but at the same time they sounded like a couple of old friends reacquainting themselves with each other. 
When the story started I couldn’t understand the reason Horace acted the way he did but as the story progressed and everything was explained I was able to sympathize with his predicaments. I also loved that Charlotte was sort of different in a way that I’ve never read before and in a way that was cleverly adapted to the romance aspect of the story. The ending had me having all the feels and I think it was the most endearing part of the book. If you’re looking for a charming, sweet, yet passionate and steamy story with a Christmas theme then this is the book for you. 

** This is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

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review 2017-10-18 05:55
Review: Wed to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies #1) by Sharon Cullen
Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel - Sharon Cullen

Simon and Aimee are pretty much set to spy on each other and before they knew it, they are married. I am a super fan of the marriage of convenience and forced marriage genre so I was happy that I had the chance to read this story. Sadly it was not what I expected, not in the romance sense anyway. 

The romance between Aimee and Simon was too forced. I get that they had to marry because it was an order by the queen but their relationship was only beginning to simmer when the story was over. Clearly, there was a mutual attraction at the start of their marriage and what supposedly was a fondness for each other but where was that fondness even coming from as they were strangers? Simon sounded like a real character with personal commitments and frustrations. Aimee in comparison sounded like a lost puppy looking for a new owner. 

There are lost of intrigue since the story takes place at court so there is suspense and drama. If anything that intrigue was the most engrossing aspect of the story. When one of the characters at court is murdered, Simon and Aimee had to learn to trust each other in order to survive the rebellion that takes place at the castle. All of this happens in a relative short period of time and while interesting it still lacked that WOW effect that I would have loved to find in a novel about spies. It wasn’t a terrible read but it definitely needed more, specially in the romantic department.

** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***
 

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review 2017-10-18 04:58
Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
With This Christmas Ring - Manda Collins

Sweet yet emotional and passionate story. Tie-in for both of the author’s Studies in Scandal and Lords of Anarchy however it can definitely be read as a stand alone. 

The last person Merry wanted to see was her former fiancé however she was willing to do everything within her power to give her dead friend’s child the family she deserved. Alex never understood the reason Merry jilted him and when she appeared at his door seeking his cousin, he knew that was the perfect opportunity to find answers and perhaps ask for a second chance at love. 

I very much liked that the story started with Merry as a take-charge, brave, and intelligent woman however as the story progressed her attitude sort of changed and she started to sound meek, or perhaps insecure, and that gave me a"what-happened-to-her?" kind of sense. It wasn’t too bad but it still took away from the overall enjoyment of the story. 
Her chemistry with Alex was nonetheless well-balanced. He was sweet, honorable, and passionate. He was a man of his word who respected family and friends immensely, particularly his grandmother given that she was the one who had taken care of him since he was a child. He never pushed Merry to do anything she didn’t want and allowed her time to think and answer all of his questions. I think both their characters were well rounded in the sense that we get to understand what got them to be where they are and how much they deserved their HEA. 
I’m not so sure what to think about the villains, though. One of the arcs sounded inconclusive and even implausible and the other one, well, I’m still wondering about that one. Still, the main romantic arc was what made this story worth my time and I do recommend it to anyone looking for a Christmas romantic story. 

** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-10-08 01:14
An Unsuitable Heir by KJ Charles - My Thoughts
An Unsuitable Heir - K.J. Charles

This book was amazing. I loved the first 2 books of the trilogy and this final one lives up to every expectation. 

KJ Charles is a masterful writer.  Her books always leave me searching for a way to do these review things with some sort of coherence and intelligence, but I'm constantly blown away by the characters, the storytelling, the depth, the authenticity and the atmosphere. 

The main characters... Mark and Pen.  Another wonderful couple who take a hold of your heart and refuse to let go.  Straightforward Mark, the enquiry agent (P.I.) who one of his friends terms a "plain penny" is the very picture of stalwart dependability.  He has the challenge of having only one arm, and I'll be honest, I forgot all about it until the few times it was focused on by Pen.  There is one scene, early on in the book, where Pen explores the arm that was so touching and honest to God, so sexy that again, I tip my hat to KJ.  I liked Mark a whole lot.  I liked his sensibility, I liked his fumbling to get the right words out when he didn't want to hurt anyone, I liked his sense of humour and I loved the way he treated Pen. 

Pen.  Pen is gender fluid and this is not the first time I've come across gender fluid characters, but it's one of the best times.  All Pen wants, really, is for people to see him as Pen - and I say him, because he says him - he's not a man, he's not a woman, he's Pen.  And I liked him SO much.  He's funny, he's sensitive, he's smart, he's not let the shit of his early years make him sad and bitter.  And he gave me an insight into understanding gender fluid a little better and that's without KJ having to turn her book into a lecture.  And Mark is perfect for him.  :)  I've seen some say that they felt they needed more about how Pen felt about Mark, but honestly?  For me, it was all laid out right there on the page, obvious by their actions and reactions.  I didn't need any deep pages long introspection or long drawn-out speeches.

The secondary characters are wonderful as well.  Phyllis at the Jack and Knave pub, the servants at the estate, the members of the Taillefer family and of course our old friends, Nathanial, Justin and Clem.  (Rowley was very busy with his work, I guess.)  And Clem.  Damn, I love Clem, he's just so calm and soothing, I was glad to see him again.

And then there's the mystery that has been woven through the trilogy finally coming to a conclusion.  And it WORKED!  It worked well!  I had no idea who the real culprit was until near the end.  That's some masterful plotting!  And all the while, the Victorian atmosphere of the setting is accurately and interestingly portrayed. 

While there wasn't as much of the sexytimes in this book, I felt there was more than enough romance.  There was a wealth of feeling and desire in the simplest of touches so I didn't feel short-changed at all.  It worked for these characters and it worked for me.

Read the trilogy, it's really fabulous!

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review 2017-10-04 04:14
THE UNMENTIONABLES by Megan McFerren and Val Prozorova
The Unmentionables - Megan McFerren,Val Prozorova

Wow!  What an emotional roller coaster.  Set in the 1950's during the era of McCarthyism, James and Henry, fall in love.  Both are married but live for the times they can be together.  Henry is under suspicion by the government because he is an immigrant.  James works for the FBI but when they decide they must interview all their employees, the stress becomes too much for James and he has a breakdown and ends up in a psych hospital.  When Henry finds out, he does what he must to get James out before permanent damage is done.  As James heals, things come to a head with their wives and the men are left with only each other. 

 

This was one fantastic story.  Tightly written, the tension of that time comes through as you did not know who to trust.  I was on the edge of my seat caught up in the story.  I loved Henry and James.  They are opposites of each other but devoted to one another.  Their futures were different than what they ever anticipated but they were pioneers at that time.  Courageous, strong, devoted men.  I wanted everything to turn out well.  I would also like to see more into their futures to see how their story ends.  Well done!

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