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Search tags: historical-romance
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review 2019-02-20 00:48
Secrets Abound
Ladies of Intrigue - Michelle Griep

As soon as I heard about Michelle Griep’s “Ladies of Intrigue”, I was drawn in, and I jumped at the chance to review it. Three stories from the nineteenth century, tinged with mystery? Sign me up! Despite the brevity of the stories, each one had a twisting denouement and a swift but satisfying conclusion. They could all have easily been novel-length, but as it was, the rapid pace assured that there was no lagging to the plot. “The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady”, set on the Cornish coast in 1815, reminded me of Abigail Wilson’s “In the Shadow of Croft Towers”, so readers of this short story may enjoy that novel and vice versa. From there Griep takes us to 1862 Minnesota in “The Doctor’s Lady”, which was the least mysterious of the three but full of other conflict, including that between the Indians and the United States during the Sioux Uprising and the dangers of being a single woman during that time. My favorite, however, was “A House of Secrets”, which differed from the previous two stories in both title format and writing style. This last tale was written more poetically and featured characters from the upper class in Minnesota in 1890, and it held the most secrets. Each narrative focused on the characters’ need to trust and rely on God and His provision. It was interesting to trace how women’s roles and societal expectations changed over the decades through the timeline arc of this collection. Historical fiction and romance fans will enjoy these stories, which combine love, the conventions of the past, and the necessity of faith—both then and now.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-02-19 15:54
ARC REVIEW The Scandalous Diary of Lily Layton by Stacy Reid


The Scandalous Diary of Lily LaytonThe Sweetest Taboo, all stand alone books only connected by the taboo trope. So it's been a while since I've read erotica like this. I enjoyed it, the story was nice the characters were pleasant and it was really hot. Now I know if I need good erotica I can count on Stacy Reid. My only issue is I didn't like the ending, it was way to easy, I personally would have been happier without the epilogue. Third person POV that switches focus between Oliver and Lily. I loved the voyeurism and meeting in complete anonymity and being oblivious to that fact that they already know each other.     

Oliver Carlyle, Marquess of Ambrose, is ready to find himself a wife but he has certain requirements that aren't usual things to look for in a wife. For one he has no plans ever to take a mistress so his wife must be able to handle the dark erotic things he likes. He knows it's going to difficult but not impossible. During a house party, thrown by his mother in hopes he finds his future wife there, he finds a diary, in this diary are the most scandalous and erotic thoughts of a young widow. Determined to find out the owner of the diary and hopefully make her his wife especially since in the diary she mentions her attraction to him.

Lily Layton is a widow twice over and just at the age of 25, she went to work as a companion to the Marquess Ambrose's mother. She never expected to be noticed never expected her sexual fantasies to come true she only wished that one day her dreams of designing dresses would come true. But her life took a different turn when her diary went missing. Dealing with social standings and expectations and blowing those out of the water by following your heart. This book is emotional at times when it comes to a secret Lily is hiding from Oliver that just may end the romance.

Overall, it was an enjoyable erotic romance. I almost wish it was a tad bit more lighthearted, the beginning and the middle were really erotic; nice and hot really good but toward the end it got serious and just kind of killed the mood. The whole epilogue it was so typical with as serious as the topic of infertility got I wish she stayed true to that path. 
   

 

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review 2019-02-06 04:28
The Duke I Once Knew (Unlikely Duchesses #1) by Olivia Drake
The Duke I Once Knew - Olivia Drake

The Duke I Once Knew - Olivia Drake 

 

Lovely second chance story. Abigail and Maxwell were such a joy to read as a couple and as independent characters. They were sweethearts when young but circumstances beyond their control made them part ways. Years later, Abigail is what could be considered long in the tooth. She didn’t even get to enjoy a season because of her love for her aging parents and now that they are dead she’s forced to face her reality of being a spinster with no life of her own. With that in mind, she concocts a plan that would allow her to take the reins of her life and live life on her own terms. Unfortunately for her, Max shows up and ruins all of her plans. I loved that they didn’t act as if the years hadn’t changed them or made them perfect strangers (that’s actually one of my pet peeves when it comes to this trope) but instead, their relationships builds over time. I mean, it was still kind of fast because it all happened in the span of a week, but I still found it feasible.


The story includes a pugilistic match and I always find that kind of scenes fascinating. I think it keeps the story interesting. I also loved the fact that even though there were more than just a few characters, the story didn’t feel convoluted, on the contrary, each one of them helped the story move forward and feel more real. There might have been a few clichés and the story might not be the most refreshing take on the trope but it was still enjoyable and entertaining.


*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 2019-02-06 04:12
The Devilish Lord Will (Mackenzies & McBrides #10) by Jennifer Ashley
The Devilish Lord Will - Jennifer Ashley

The Devilish Lord Will - Jennifer Ashley 

 

Last book in this trilogy but book 10 in The Mackenzies & McBrides series, it tells the story of how Lord William Mackenzie helped his family return to their homeland after the Jacobite risings.


This is one of my favorite series ever and so is the author but I’m afraid this book was only ok and not as exciting nor romantic as the rest of the series. I was several chapters in and still didn’t know where the story was going and I felt lost somehow. It took me a long while to really get into it and although it did get better, I still didn’t feel any sparks between Josette and Will, not even with their shared past. I don’t know, perhaps because of everything that was going around them, what with the treasure hunting, Josette’s blackmailer, and Will on the run, it felt as if the story didn’t leave much room for romance.

 

*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 2019-01-31 14:22
ARC REVIEW The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay sands


The Wrong Highlander (Highland Brides, #7)Highland Brides #7, Lynsay Sands is a great author in whatever she writes and her books are fun to read; at one point the Buchanan brothers were standing around joking that the same stuff keeps happening to them that it's always money or madness that goes after them. Her women are strong willed and in this case with Evina MacLean, who has lead the family and the clan ever since her mother died and her father distanced himself from everything and even trains the younger soldiers, she's more than just emotionally strong. She's not afraid to take charge and get what needs to be done done. So when her father falls ill and nothing is working she seeks out the healer Rory Buchanan.

Conran Buchanan is the middle child and he has always been there for his brothers and sister when they need him, he is a jack of all trade but master of none. After a long day of collecting herbs for Rory one day he takes the time to wash away the day in a nearby waterfall when he's attacked and knocked unconscious. When he wakes up he's still naked and on MacLean land they are also calling him Rory, to save his brother from the same fate he plays along good thing he knows just enough to help the Laird MacLean.

Maclean as soon as he's better manipulates a situation in which Conran is caught compromising Evi. Sadly, Evi is shot with an arrow and his plan doesn't go as smoothly as he wanted. Conran's brother show up and the truth comes out and while everyone around is pushing for their marriage Conran is willing to go through the wedding because he genuinely like Evi he'll only go through it if that's what she wants too. So he has a couple of weeks before all his brothers arrive to woo Evi. Unfortunately the arrow to Evi's chest isn't the only attempt on her life and the Buchanans go on high alert to protect Evi and try and capture the culprit.

Overall, this was a fun and exciting read from a master at her trade. Her historicals and her paranormals always exceed my expectations. The characters are all loveable and easy to sympathize with. She creates situations that are humorous and intense with a great narrative and a picturesque setting.         

 

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