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review 2018-09-12 02:23
Beastly Duke & The Winsome Bride, Charity McColl
Beastly Duke & the Winsome Bride: Regenc... Beastly Duke & the Winsome Bride: Regency Romance (Regency Fairytale Romance Book 1) - Charity McColl,Pure Read

I enjoyed this romance and I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 4.5* rating. This is also book 13 of the Pure Read Clean Read Vol 2 bundle of 41 books. This book touches on responding to more than looks and more on the inner man. I loved the ending of this.

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review 2018-07-28 23:18
Craven House Collection: Regency Romance Series by Christina McKnight
Craven House Collection: Regency Romance Series - Christina McKnight

 

 

The Thief Steals Her Earl by Christina McKnight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Boundaries. Such a black and white word. The limit that is not to be crossed no matter what. Although on paper it's a reasonable word when emotion becomes involved there is a different meaning entirely. In the name of love lines get blurred and that invisible wall becomes an obstacle that needs to be demolished. Jude and Cart are not all that different. Cart's a planner, Jude's a plotter. His logical mind has been both a gift and a curse. Her active imagination and out of the box thinking are about to land her in a sticky situation. One thing's for sure these two will stop at nothing to protect the people they love. With her street savvy and his book smarts they may each succeed. As I read more and more of Ms. McKnight's romances it easy to see why so many enjoy her stories. She does not stick with the traditional love stories but like her characters creates a world center around the best of their talents and works from there. The Thief Steals Her Earl has personality and I respect any author who can make a story her own.




The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis by Christina McKnight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Born into scandal, Elijah has a lot to live down to. However, this Marquis is determined to live a life beyond repute. His rep is on the upswing but can his heart withstand the turbulence headed his way? Ms. McKnight is known for her unconventional heroines and she stays true to form with Samantha. Samantha is a lost soul looking for a bit of affection and instead lands in the middle of scandal. A pistol through and through, she never backs down from a challenge, despite the heartache she endures along the way. The Mistress Enchants Her Marquis is an explosion of color, scandal, sensuality and emotion that comes alive with every new character and each flip of the page. Falling in love with these exquisite characters isn't a possibility, but a fact.




The Madame Catches Her Duke by Christina McKnight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Marce made a deal with the devil and lost her heart along the way. The only thing she can hope for is to win it back some day. Rowan has closed his heart to the treachery of love. The scandal that tore apart his family is all he can ever think of. When an act of love for his mother leads him into a scandalous deception, his long dormant heart may just get the wake up call it needs. What is the price of love? Is it sacrificing one's own happiness? Rowan and Marce both know the pain of a broken heart, but can they teach each other what it means to love? Why do fools fall in love? To get to the happily ever after. The Madame Catches Her Duke is a sensual dance of heartache, pleasure and faith. The characters are not always likable, but the emotion is stunning.




The Gambler Wagers Her Baron by Christina McKnight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Payton is tired of being tied down by scandal. Deciding to break free could be the best decision she's ever made or the worst mistake of her life. Damon comes into her life at a time when her world is falling apart. He lost his heart a long time ago. Death has a way of taking the light out of a person. When Payton comes into his world, she starts to melt the ice around his heart. She becomes the glue that holds his family together and the spirit that reawakens his soul. McKnight enthralls with her tales of courageous heroines and brooding heroes. Hidden within that tried and true formula is a tale of love, built on hope, rescued by faith. The Gambler Wagers Her Baron is a sure bet.

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review 2018-05-16 22:32
GEEK GIRLS DON'T DATE DUKES by Gina Lamm
Geek Girls Don't Date Dukes - Gina Lamm

Leah goes back to Regency times to find her Duke but she finds Avery, the Duke's valet, instead.  Instantly attracted, they miscommunicate or don't communicate at all.    When tragedy falls, they are able to work through it.

 

This is a fun, light romp.  Leah is definitely a girl of modern times.  She's outspoken and goes fully into everything that comes her way.  Avery is hard put to stop her at times so he is rescuing her often.  I enjoyed the two of them and am glad they got everything straightened out in the end.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-30 18:20
Earl of Scandal - shallow fluff
Earl of Scandal - Mary Gillgannon

Disclosure - I acquired the Kindle edition of this book on 17 January 2013, when it was offered free on Amazon.  I do not know the author nor have I ever communicated with her about this book or any other matter.  I am an author of historical romances and other genre novels.

 

This book was originally published by Zebra/Kensington in 2000 as A Rogue's Kiss under the pseudonym of Molly Marcourt.

 

I'm reading this for research.

 

SPOILERS ARE NOT HIDDEN.

 

The book is billed as your basic Regency romance, but it really doesn't hit the Regency tropes.  A few are thrown in -- the language, the fashions, the emphasis on nobility, etc. -- without actually making them an integral part of the story or even the atmosphere.

 

Most readers won't pay any attention to the holes I found in this story.  Most readers will swim blithely through it, enjoying the romance and the dangers and the misunderstandings and the happily ever after ending.  I'm not so generous.

 

At the halfway point, I seriously considered giving up on this.  I didn't like either of the main characters -- Christian Faraday, Earl of Bedlington, and Merissa Casswell, country parson's daughter.  Neither of them was believable.

 

Christian is a wealthy rogue who spends his days gambling and what-not, and his nights apparently wenching.  He makes no apology for this lifestyle; he entertains himself and that's all he needs to do.

 

How he acquires the funds to live like this isn't touched on.  One presumes he has a substantial estate to go with his title, but he doesn't seem to have much interest in it.  Toward the end of the book Christian makes an offer to solve a financial problem for Merissa to the tune of 20,000 pounds.  Based on this estimate of that value in current terms, that would be the equivalent of $1.6 million.  And he doesn't bat an eyelash.  So he is not just wealthy; he is very wealthy, and the source of that wealth is never explained.

 

Merissa is the younger daughter of the rector of a country church.  But the family lives on a farm.  But they do no farming.  And they aren't acquainted with the gentry of the neighborhood, said gentry including the Earl and Countess of Northrup. 

 

The ecclesiastical structure of the Church of England, at least as I understand it, would indeed allow for the rector of a financially independent parish, i.e. not supported by the noble who owns the "living" of that church, to live on a farm, but would it necessarily be his own/his family's farm, or one belonging to that specific church? This sort of historical research would be important to me . . . . and it seems it would have been important to the plot of this story.

 

Anyway, Christian discovers himself in bed with a friend's wife and escapes to the country to avoid scandal.  There's something going on behind the scenes with this, but the whole issue is pretty much dropped for the rest of the book until the tail end.  On his way to Darton Park, where his friend Devon, the Earl of Northrup, resides, Christian almost literally runs into Merissa.  She's a shrew, he's a rogue, what more could you want?

 

Well, I'd want believable characters.  Merissa seems to have reason to be a bit of a shrew, but wouldn't she have been brought up to at least have decent manners?

 

And Christian, true to his station, falls in insta-lust.  He forces kisses on Merissa even though he knows they aren't welcome.  Of course, he arouses her insta-lust, so I guess it's okay?  Um, no.

 

So then there's a ball, to which Merissa and her sister Elizabeth are invited.  Um, no.  They make over a couple of their (deceased?) mother's old gowns, but all I could think of was good ol' Carol Burnett and the green velvet curtains.  Of course their gowns are out of fashion, which is crucial to anything Regency.  And of course they're ridiculed.

 

But Merissa gets trapped in a bedroom with Christian, whose baser desires have been inflamed by a veritable caricature of an Other Woman, Lady Diana Fortescue.  The image of this Other Woman "jiggling her breasts" to entice him was so ludicrous I nearly laughed aloud but it would have scared the dogs.  Though he escapes Diana's clutches, Christian can't control himself when he encounters Merissa a few moments later -- and neither can Merissa, the parson's daughter -- so he performs oral sex on her.  Then whisks her home without achieving any kind of sexual satisfaction for himself.

 

Um, no.

 

The next day, Merissa and her sister Elizabeth learn that their beloved brother Charles, who has disappeared into the evil world of London, is desperate to stay out of debtor's prison.  He has somehow managed to get himself 20,000 pounds in debt, and needs twenty pounds to cover the interest "for a few months." 

 

Um, no.

 

Merissa decides to sell her virginity to Christian for the 20,000, but he turns her down.  So she takes the fifty or so pounds Elizabeth has found and hies off to London alone to see if she can't get dear brother Charles out of the mess he's gotten himself into.  She fails at that, but nothing happens to her in London even though she's in the worst part of town and blithely goes hunting for the evil wizards who are threatening dear Charles. 

 

Never mind, though, because Christian comes to her rescue and gets the evil wizard to cancel Charles's debt, but gets himself challenged to a duel, until Merissa overhears that it's all a plot to murder him so his wicked uncle can inherit.  Duel is cancelled, apparently, and wicked uncle's plans are thwarted by Merissa seducing Christian so they can start producing an heir.  And then they get married and live happily ever after.

 

Nothing about this book is believable.  From Christian racing his priceless horses in the dark then leaving them unattended in the woods after an accident, I kept rolling my eyes at what an idiot he was.  Merissa's shifts from prim and proper hater of all things noble to writhing wanton were just silly.  But Christian's ignoring her rejection of him and -- and -- his dismissal of his own actions made me just dislike him.  ("I ate her out against her will but it's okay because she's still technically a virgin.")

 

I very nearly gave up on this at the halfway point and only kept going because it was for research.  Whether this Kindle edition is a transcription of the original Zebra version, I don't know.  The digital copy has a lot of minor typos that may have come from an OCR scan, though even that wouldn't account for the frequent missing words, especially "I" and "to."

 

There's no excuse for that kind of sloppiness, but I was more concerned with the actual quality of the text, which I found lacking. 

 

One of the big issues is this business of Merissa's believing she's been ruined as a result of her sexual encounter with Christian.  While it's quite possible she doesn't know a lot about other forms of sexual activity, she lives on a farm, for crying out loud.  She would know the basics of copulation, and should know she's not therefore been deflowered.  And if she then decides to sell herself for a single night to Christian in return for twenty thousand pounds, she knows full well she's still a virgin.  Can't have it both ways, kiddo.

 

She would also know that the price she's putting on herself is extraordinarily, outrageously, obscenely high. 

 

She also ruminates on her options.  She expects her older sister Elizabeth to eventually marry, leaving Merissa to care for their father.  Merissa has no plans to marry, in part because she doesn't like "the idea of being at a man's beck and call."  Um, no.  That is exactly what she'd have if she stayed behind to care for her father, and she'd also have the prospect of being too old for virtually any kind of marriage after his death. 

 

That's why the whole issue of the farm is important.  Is that an estate that will be left to her, or to Elizabeth, or to dear brother Charles?  What kind of income does it generate?  How is it tied to the church?

 

But when Merissa turns down Christian's offer to simply pay off Charles's enormous debt -- an offer he makes to save her reputation even though he really wants to take her to bed -- she flounces off because she thinks he's not attracted to her.  So we get a Big Misunderstanding . . . over nothing.

 

There are other absurdities, such as Caroline, Countess of Northrup, feeding her own toddler son and getting baby food all over everything.  Um, no.  She'd have a nurse to take care of feeding small children.  Such as driving back and forth between the farm and Darton Park, a distance of ten or twelve miles, as though it were a quick jaunt to the corner convenience store in 2018.  Um, no.

 

There's no meat to this story, so if you're looking for just something with which to while away your time, this may work, but there are better Regencies out there.

 

 

 

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review 2018-02-08 19:48
Fantastic Historical Romance
The Earl of Sunderland: Wicked Regency R... The Earl of Sunderland: Wicked Regency Romance (The Wicked Earls' Club) - Aubrey Wynne,Wicked Earls' Club

The Earl Of Sunderland by Aubrey Wynne is a fairly short historical romance, a perfect choice for those with limited reading time.  Ms. Wynne has given us a well-written book full of outstanding characters.  Grace wants only to care for her father and brother after her mother's death.  Kit is a military man, forced into being the earl when his brother dies.  Their story has many ups and downs, twists and turns.  There is plenty of drama, humor and spice to keep readers glued to this awesome book.  I loved every page of The Earl Of Sunderland and look forward to my next read by Aubrey Wynne.  The Earl Of Sunderland is book 4 of The Wicked Earl's Club Series but can easily be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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