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review 2018-10-10 22:45
A Most Unsuitable Match (Sisters of Scandal, Book 1) by Julia Justiss
A Most Unsuitable Match (Sisters of Scandal Book 1) - Julia Justiss

A Most Unsuitable Match (Sisters of Scandal Book 1) - Julia Justiss 

 

Johnnie and Prudence's story was a delight. It had the right amount of funny moments mixed with the perfect drama. The perfect example of why I love to read historical romance. 
Prudence is a woman tainted not by her own doing but because of her mother’s reputation. Johnnie is considered the black sheep of his family and even though his reputation is not considered perfect, it’s still much better than Prudence’s because he is a man. 
Their relationship was sweet yet full of passion. He cared for her but knew that his friendship would further diminish her chances of marrying into a good family. Prudence was no innocent naiveté but always behaved with propriety, just as it was expected from her. There were lots of times when I thought society was being so unfair to her (and basically every other woman) and it sure made me glad that I didn’t get to live back then. I was happy when they managed to find a way to be together without having to give up on the things they wanted out of life. 
This book was not as “spicy” as the author’s previous series but it was definitely full of heart and tender moments, and of course accurate to its times which is one of the reasons I love this author. 

**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 2018-10-10 13:13
One Wild Winter's Eve by Anne Barton
One Wild Winter's Eve - Anne Barton

Lady Rose Sherbourne is quiet, proper and following the rules of the ton. No one would suspect there's anything remotely similar to passion under her placid exterior, but as she embarks on a quest to find out what happened to her mother, she discovers there's nothing more liberating than following one's heart...


I must confess, I much preferred the Honeycote portion of this series than the Sherbourne one. I simply felt there were things missing in the last two installments. Like spunk, spark, humor and passion.

Unlike her sister Rose was much more sedate and proper, but she was too placid, downright vapid at the beginning of the story. She captured my interest once she went rogue and sprung her boyfriend out of jail, but then almost immediately went back to huddling in on herself, fretting and feeling sorry for herself. She didn't appear to have much agency, most of her decisions were based on Charles, the hero.
Who was rather bland himself. I never got to really know him, beside in context of his puppy-like devotion to Rose and he also failed to have anything to do that would make him an individual instead of part of the couple with Rose.

The story only came alive once they were in the company either of Lady Boneville or Rose's family who at least brought some spark to the proceedings.

I liked the suspense sub-plot and would've appreciated it if it was developed a little further and more fully instead of only serving as catalyst to bring Charles and Rose together.

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review 2018-10-09 17:24
Scandalous Summer Nights by Anne Barton
Scandalous Summer Nights (A Honeycote Series Book 3) - Anne Barton

Lady Olivia Sherbourne has been in love with James Averill, her brother's solicitor and friend, for a decade, but the man is completely oblivious. She always thought she had time to make him notice her, make him fall in love, but that time is running out. James is on his way to Egypt. For two years. And Olivia finally takes off her gloves and decides to fight dirty.


This series certainly is hit-and-miss. I had in inkling I would particularly like this one, since I found Olivia to be too bratty and self-centered in the previous two books, but I thought that once she got her own book, her own story, she would grow on me.

Well, she didn't. She was a self-centered, spoiled brat for more than half her story, pushing and prodding, demanding to have it her own way, disregarding what others, namely the man she supposedly loved, might want and wish. And once she got it, she still wasn't satisfied. She truly reminded me of a spoiled child who, once she gets her toy, she doesn't want it anymore.
And, unlike the previous two novels, she didn't grow on me, because she didn't learn anything. She still got her way in the end without much suffering. She merely proved that all she needed was a fit and everything will be handed to her.
I would actually pity her hero, but I didn't much care for him either. He was bland a dull, without much character or agency, beyond catering to Olivia, her agenda, and her story. And I didn't buy his about face about her feelings either. It was too abrupt. It would've worked if he was infatuated from the start, but he actually noticed her only once she stopped flitting about him. Which makes him rather self-centered as well, come to think of it. He started pursuing her only once she stopped (at least outright) pursuing him.

In the end, I guess they pretty much deserved one another. And I didn't really buy the romance/love thing. They certainly worked better as friends with possible crushes on one another than lovers. But maybe that's just me and my general dislike of both of them.

I liked the supporting cast, though. Granted, they were relegated to the sidelines mostly, but it was still a pleasure seeing them and getting to know the new additions to the "family".

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review 2018-10-08 17:56
Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton
Once She Was Tempted - Anne Barton

Benjamin Elliot, Earl of Foxburn, will do anything to prevent his best friend's younger brother from falling into the clutches of a fortune huntress. Which is what Miss Daphne Honeycote seems to be. Because Ben knows she's not the ethereal, innocent beauty everybody sees. Nope, Ben knows very well, what she hides underneath her clothes, because proof of it hangs in his study.

When her mother was ill, Daphne made a choice. She chose to pose for two rather scandalous portraits in order to get the money for her mother's medicine. Now that choice has come back to bite her in the form of the Earl of Foxburn and his blackmailing scheme; leave his friend's brother be or he'd reveal the truth.

But soon Ben becomes her ally, since Daphne has no idea what has happened to the other portrait, and Ben realizes his altruism toward his friend's brother was rather bogus. He wants Daphne for himself.


Yet another wonderfully told story. A little bit darker than the first book, mostly thanks to the hero and his broody, ornery, stubborn self, yet still packing quite a punch, even without the star-crossed lovers theme.

I loved Daphne. She might look all fragile and carefree, but inside, where it counts the most, she hid her worries and her pain, not letting anyone see it, until Ben came along.
Ben became rather annoying toward the middle, with his whining and feeling sorry for himself. I'm all for wounded, brooding heroes, I even adored his brutal honesty, but I couldn't stand his self-pity and pushing people away. And he almost succeeded in pushing the most important person away for good, only to pull his head out of his ass at just the right moment for everything to work out just fine. I wouldn't have minded a little bit more grovelling on his part, though.

The baddie was your regular spiteful asshole with a grudge, the bitch from the first book returned with a vengeance and once again failed to do any lasting damage, the supporting cast was perfectly placed and "proportioned", I was glad for Belle and Owen, I loved the character of Lady Bonneville and I hope to see more of her in the next two books, although I'm dreading the next installment a little, since it features more of Olivia, Huntford's slightly too self-centered sister (I'm growing tired of her droning on an on about her James).

This was a lovely story about self-discovery, courage and changes one is capable of under the right motivation.

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review 2018-10-05 17:40
To All the Rakes I've Loved Before by Anne Barton
To All the Rakes I've Loved Before (Honeycote, #1.5) - Anne Barton

Miss Amelia Wimple is a recluse, refusing to leave the house she lives in with her mother and go out into the ton again after the humiliating incident that happened two years ago on the eve of her would-be engagement. The man who was supposed to propose eloped with another and she and her overbearing mother became laughingstocks. But there's one bright memory from that dreadful night; Lord Stephen Brookes and his kindness toward her.

Now, her mother is off to Bath and Amelia has the house all to herself, but her short life of bliss is rudely interrupted by the man who jilted her bringing the unconscious, severely beaten Lord Stephen Brookes to her doorstep seeking refuge. Amelia, God bless her, decides to hide Stephen until his wounds heal enough that he doesn't scare people...But she might get more in return that she's bargained for.


Another cute and slightly humorous story in this series. Pity it suffered from its lack of length.

I liked the two protagonists; they were both hiding their true selves and only the other could see it. I liked the camaraderie between them, the strange friendship and the blossoming romance. But the latter was so quick and rushed, it failed to be believable. I could see the potential, but it certainly needed a few more chapters to be developed properly...Or, it could've been presented as the blurb insinuated; that Stephen has always had a tendre for Amelia and used the golden opportunity of his stay with her to his advantage.
Alas, the way it was written, it felt like it happened in the blink of an eye, when they barely knew each other. Not a good foundation for lasting love that.

Still, it was an enjoyable read.

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