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review 2017-06-26 17:14
A Good Rake is Hard to Find - The book that made me love historical romance again!
A Good Rake is Hard to Find - Manda Collins

Review first appeared on A Weebish Book Blog.

 

I purchased this book at a time when I was in a historical romance slump because I knew it would be just the novel I would love the minute I found myself interesting in reading the genre again. I was not wrong in thinking this and thanks to Manda Collins I am now craving even more from this genre — and more from the Lords of Anarchy.

 

A DUKE IS HARD TO FIND by Manda Collins is a heart -touching historical romance about the once engaged Leonora Craven and Lord Frederick Lisle, forced to reunite to solve the suspicious death of Leonora’s twin and Freddy’s dear friend, Johnny. This historical romance is the first novel in the Lords of Anarchy series, a book that has sat on my TBR list for over a year.

 

Miss Leonora Craven is a poetess and a bluestocking past the “age of marriage” (boy do I hate that phrase) when she seeks out her old flame to demand his help. She is witty, strong-willed, and not afraid to speak out about controversial topics to change societal justice. Though she has flaws like the rest of us mere mortals, she is not afraid to admit she’s wrong. It is nice to see character growth in a strong female lead, especially since it doesn’t happen as often as it should in romance.

 

“Freddy” aka Lord Fredrick Isle was also a character I was very fond of. He is rather ashamed of his past as a rake, and it was a struggle for him to go undercover as a Lord of Anarchy when all he wanted was to prove he’s changed. However, he’d do anything for the man who was like a brother to him — even if it meant getting close to the woman who broke his heart.

 

The main characters were well rounded and tugged at my heart strings. They’ve been through so much and came out damaged, but resilient. I also liked the secondary characters – the two living close friends of Freddy AND Leonora’s two close friends. I cannot wait to read their stories next!

 

I recommend this novel to historical romance lovers and those who are knew to the genre. This is the perfect novel to for those who are curious to see if historical romance is right for them — just remember to keep the tissues handy!

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review 2017-06-21 06:55
Priate Seeks Bride by Christmas
A Pirate for Christmas - Anna Campbell
  Another book I am mega-late reviewing. I finished this the first of January of this year, although I started it in December. I am huge fan of Anna Campbell, and while I found this enjoyable, it's not nearly as memorable as my favorites by her. It's a good Christmas novella, and it has her distinctive and well developed chemistry between the characters. The hero is a ginger, which is definitely a plus for me as I love gingers. He's also a bit of a bad boy, but a good-hearted sort. He's spent most of his life at sea, so he's adapting to being back on solid ground and being an early. When he meets Bess, he knows she's the woman he's been waiting for, which was another thing I liked about him. He spends almost all of this story wooing her, which means going along with her holiday plans. This helps to get him rooted in the community since he never lived there, having grown up in Scotland. Rory definitely has the manly vibe going for him, and he's just a fundamentally good person. Sometimes you just got to be happy when you see that in a hero. I liked Bess. She was feisty and sweet. She was woman enough to handle Rory, and I liked how she responded to his flirting. She wasn't the type to just fall out of the hero, but gave him enough challenge to make the story interesting. The unfolding of the yearly Christmas Navitity play was fun, especially the spirited donkey who has a pivotal role.

In summary, this was an enjoyable short story to read for Christmas. I wish I had time to read it before Christmas. Hope I do better with that this year.

 

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review 2017-06-20 11:51
Review: The Captain's Kidnapped Beauty by Mary Nichols
The Captain's Kidnapped Beauty. Mary Nichols - Mary Nichols

The book started out on a great note, but about one third into the story it took a lot of turns into ridiculous land, leaving me thinking the hero should have deposited the heroine back to her father's house and then left her for someone else. All those plot twists hinged on the heroine's impulsive, TSTL actions and all revolved around kidnapping - So. Much. Kidnapping. Seriously, after the third time, shouldn't everyone in this damn story keep one eye out for possible stalkers? No? Okay then.

 

Alex is a captain in the Royal Navy when he inherits the marquis estate from his late uncle and cousin. He is a member of this group of gentlemen who bring criminals to justice using spy and detective methods. Charlotte helps her father run their carriage shop; her father has made a lot of money and connections, but wants a title in the family, so he is shopping Charlotte around the marriage mart. Alex would rather keep his captain persona rather than take on the public persona of a marquis. But there is fun banter and a nice chemistry between the two. Charlotte is the victim of an attempted kidnapping (here we go) one morning in Hyde Park; luckily, Alex is there to thwart the kidnapping and extracts a promise from Charlotte to be a crap ton more cautious. Which she then breaks (over and over again).

 

While her father is away in Oxford on business, Charlotte is kidnapped again and held for ransom. The ransom is just for show, because the kidnappers' boss wants Charlotte (read: her dowry, which her father has made quite public) to be his wife. The father calls in Alex, who with his valet/buddy/muscle Davy go undercover and succeeds numerous times to rescue Charlotte, just for her to do something else stupid. Charlotte is on a boat headed to Lisbon to pick up her "suitor" and then onward to India for a honeymoon, leaving enough time to pass for her to be forced to marry her captor to keep her reputation in society's good side. The more she falls in love with Alex, the stupider her actions become. Lisbon is full of easily-bribable people as it turns out. Finally, after Alex proposes to Charlotte a second time on their way back to England and she says yes does he announce his title. Also the father isn't exactly all that smart either; the impulsiveness of Charlotte can also be seen in her father. The British ambassador to Portugal wasn't much help, thankfully his wife was as well as the nuns....yeah, this book had a lot of crazy sauce to it.

 

Alex is a good guy, and pretty smart. Charlotte was a smart woman until she fell in love. I hate this in romance. I read this for RB Bingo "person in uniform on the cover."

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review 2017-06-17 07:23
A Simple Case of Seduction by Adele Clee
A Simple Case of Seduction - Adele Clee

Three years ago, Daniel Thorpe offered marriage to his friend's widow, only to be summarily rejected. His heart broken, he still kept an eye on her throughout the years, keeping her safe. But it looks like he hasn't done a good enough job, since a ghost from the past is haunting her, never to be seen and never taking anything. It looks like the ghost is looking for something, but Daphne has no idea what or why. Looks like this might be a job for her guardian angel.


In my review of the previous book in this quasi-series, I mentioned how Mr Daniel Thorpe and Mrs Daphne Chambers had more chemistry and more spark in their one little scene together than the two leads of the book in the entire story. Well, that chemistry was utterly absent in their own book.
I have no idea what drew him to her and vice versa, I didn't feel any sparks nor attraction...They appeared merely props, characters written for the sake of the story, pushed together because they happened to be main characters. Period.

She was a tad too naive for a woman of her age, especially a woman in her profession, her gullibility, her bubbly-ness, and her idiotic blindness to her own ineptitude (she's survived so far mostly because he was there to get her out of trouble, which she learned toward the end) got annoying really fast, and I actually wanted something bad to happen to her to make her see reason.
But she had her guardian angel to get hurt instead of her, the gruff, abrupt thundercloud by the name of Daniel Thorpe. The chip on his shoulder was rather disproportionate to what actually happened to him, and he definitely held the grudge for too long (or maybe we weren't given all the facts), and no matter how attractive, protective, and charming (when he wanted to be) both the author and the heroine made him appear, I wasn't convinced.
I was utterly indifferent about both of them, not caring one way or the other about what did, might, and would happen to them.

The suspense also left me quite cold. It was uninspiring, dull, slow-paced, and, let's face it, quite forced with the whole treason sub-plot. It just didn't click, feeling disconnected from the rest of the story, making it seem like I was writing two different books (neither of them particularly good).

A real disappointment given the great introduction to these two characters in the previous book and all the possibilities of suspense elements given their specific line of work.

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review 2017-06-14 20:06
Review: An Encounter at Hyde Park (Anthology) by Various Authors
An Encounter at Hyde Park - Ava Stone,Deb Marlowe,Claudia Dain,Karen Hawkins

 The first two stories needed a copy editor stat. Each story involved a meet cute or ending in Hyde Park during the Regency period but not in the same year. The second two stories involve titled members of London society from Scotland.

 

I started reading this book prior to the announcement of #rippedbodicebingo, but it fits a square (an anthology), so I am already making a little progress on the challenge!

 

 

1. Chasing Miss Montford by Claudia Dain - 0 star

UGH. So I remembered some of the characters from another book I read from the author last summer. Hated that book and hated this story, so staying consistent at least. The author thinks gossip is a weapon and the women in the story "outwits" the men due to their use of gossip. All the characters are so shallow, they are the kiddie pools of Regency romance. As for the romance, it's a blink and you miss it kind of insta-love. Finally there is a deep thread of racism against Native Americans in this series.

 

2. A Waltz in the Park by Deb Marlowe - 4 stars

Another great installment in the Half Moon House series. Vickers and Addie made a great team, both in taking down his father and as a couple. Rosamond had a good character arc as well. And it was fun being back in the world of Hestia Wright's Regency.

 

3. Promises Made by Ava Stone - 1 star

A real clunker of a story thanks to an unbearable heroine. Ellie was a spoiled, shallow brat and I saw no redeeming quality in her to make Griffin want to be with her. Griffin could do soooo much better. There was no resolution to the secondary romance between Healyfield and Throssell, so why even have it in the novella?

 

4. Charlotte's Bed by Karen Hawkins - 4 stars

A great story from a new to me author. This story is a reunion story between Angus (Viscount MacThune) and Charlotte twenty years after Angus left for India to make his money. It was rounded out with two side characters who played matchmakers. At times angsty, at times sexy, this was a satisfying end to a very uneven anthology.

 

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