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review 2016-03-12 06:36
Absolutely Lovely Historical Romance
The Devil Takes a Bride - Julia London

“Your love, your acceptance, has changed me. When I look at you, the fears I carry inside me begin to subside. I can see the possibilities–I can’t grasp them all, not yet, but I can see them–and I need you, Grace. I need you desperately.”

He had stunned her. Grace could only stare at him as those words wrapped around her heart.

What do you get when you pair a virginal debutant with an earl that has rather lustful proclivities in the bedroom? The Devil Takes a Bride. And what a wildly charming adventure our hero and heroine embark upon in this novel!
 
Forced marriage romances, especially in the historical romance genre, can be hit or miss for me. This story, however, had just about everything I look for in a well written book. Author Julia London did a fantastic job of putting a rather kinky spin on a Regency romance while still being historically accurate outside of the bedroom. I liked that there was a fairly natural progression for Grace and Jeffrey getting to know each other after they were thrown into their marriage. I thought with her ability to charm and help people, it seemed believable that she would try to draw him out of his shell. And the chaos that occurred with Grace in Jeffrey’s ordered world was what I also would have expected. It was fun to watch, but I could understand the frustration on both their parts.

 

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text 2015-10-28 15:48
Bluestockings in Romance Novels
Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase
My Darling Caroline - Adele Ashworth
Cloudy With A Chance Of Marriage - Kieran Kramer
Suddenly You - Lisa Kleypas
Romancing Mister Bridgerton - Julia Quinn
How to Dance with a Duke - Manda Collins
Rendezvous - Amanda Quick
Devil Takes a Bride - Gaelen Foley
A Scandalous Plan (Classic Regency Romances) - Donna Lea Simpson
A Bluestocking Christmas - Monica Burns

I like my heroines to have intellectual curosity so the Bluestocking Heroine is a favorite of mine.

 

Nose in a book, messy hair, glasses, endless questions, thinking thoughts that aren't allowed? Wonderful!

 

Here is a little Wikipedia on the term

 

bluestocking is an educated, intellectual woman, more specifically a member of the 18th-century Blue Stockings Society led by the hostess and critic Elizabeth Montagu (1720–1800), the "Queen of the Blues", and including Elizabeth Vesey(1715–91), Hester Chapone (1727–1801), and the classicist Elizabeth Carter (1717–1806). In the following generation came Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741–1821), Hannah More (1745–1833), and Frances Burney (1752–1840).[1]

 

Until the late 18th century, the term had referred to learned people of both sexes.[2] It subsequently was applied primarily to intellectual women, and the French equivalent bas bleu had a similar connotation.[3] The term later developed negative implications, and in some instances such women were stereotyped as being "frumpy".[citation needed]The reference to blue stockings may arise from the time when woollen worstedstockings were informal dress, in contrast to formal, fashionable black silk stockings.[citation needed] Curiously, the most frequent such reference is to a man, Benjamin Stillingfleet, who reportedly lacked the formal black stockings, yet still participated in the Blue Stockings Society.[4][5]

 

 

So, we are talking historical Romance.

 

Here are some great Bluestocking Heroines. 

 

My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!

 

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

 

Tough minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Diain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And When Daine's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction... Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him...and then for forcing him to salvage reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place -- and in some amorous position. And if this means marriage, so be it -- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof...and steal his heart to the sensuous, head strong lady's considerable charms.

 

2. My Darling Caroline by Adele Ashworth

 

No man's darling . . . 

 

One by one, Lady Caroline Grayson watched her four sisters celebrate their betrothals, truly sure that marriage was not in her future—and perfectly pleased with that fact. Or so she thought.

 

Brent Ravenscroft, Earl of Weymerth, nearly gave his life for the Crown. He returned to England a hero with no intention of taking a bride, certain his brusque demeanor would intimidate any young ladies drawn to his good looks—or so he thought.

 

Bound by a business transaction, Caroline and Brent begin life as husband and wife. Utterly determined not to fall for each other, they stubbornly ignore the sparks flying between them and keep secrets at every turn. They would resist the lure of love—and the pleasures of the marriage bed—forever . . . or so they thought.

 

3. Cloudy With A Chance Of Marriage by Kieran Kramer

 

Every woman dreams of saying "I do." Jilly Jones did—and years of a deeply imperfect marriage followed. Now living in London and working in a charming bookshop, the free-spirited Jilly is perfectly content with her newfound independence…until she meets a dashing naval officer who sparks her longing for a real happily ever after.


Captain Stephen Arrow is just home after years of service, and he's in no hurry to give up his hard-won freedom. The meddlesome bluestocking Jilly Jones is exactly the kind of woman he doesn't need…But there's something about her that keeps drawing Stephen back to the bookshop. With her sparkling wit and understated beauty, she seems like a surprisingly real match for Stephen. But will a scandalous chapter in Jilly's past stand in the way of their heated attraction? For this bachelor, nothing is impossible…

 

4. Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas

 

She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn′t about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible...but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.

Jack Delvin′s determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently-bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London′s most notorious businessman, refused to live by society′s rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected...but both soon craved.

 

5.  Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

 

Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend's brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn't know him at all.

 

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of everyone's preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can't seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip aboard he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same—especially Penelope Featherington! The girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat—or his promise of a happy ending?

 

6. How to Dance With a Duke by Manda Collins

 

Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father's exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father's name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.

 

Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He's a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season's most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston's expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer's bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….

 

7. Rendezvous by Amanda Quick

 

Augusta Ballinger was quite sure that it was all a dreadful mistake. The chillingly pompous and dangerous Earl of Graystone could not possibly wish to marry her. Why, it was rumored that his chosen bride must be a veritable model of virtue. And everyone knew that Augusta, as the last of the wild, reckless Northumberland Ballingers, was a woman who could not be bothered by society’s rules.

That was why the spirited beauty had planned a midnight encounter to warn the earl off, to convince him that she would make him a very poor wife indeed. But when she crawled in through his darkened study window, Augusta only succeeded in strengthening Harry’s resolve: to kiss the laughter from those honeyed lips and teach this maddening miss to behave! How could he possibly know that it was he who was in for a lesson . . . as his brazen fiancée set out to win his heart—and an old and clever enemy stepped in to threaten their love, their honor, and their very lives?

 

 

8. Devil Takes A Bride by Gaelen Foley

 

n the quiet English countryside, far from the intrigues of London, Lizzie Carlisle slowly mends her broken heart, devoting herself to her new position as lady’s companion to the Dowager Viscountess Strathmore— until her peaceful life is turned upside down by a visit from “Devil” Strathmore, the old woman’s untamed nephew—a dangerously handsome man whose wicked reputation hides a tortured soul.

Devlin Kimball, Lord Strathmore, has spent years adventuring on the high seas, struggling to make his peace with the tragedy that claimed the lives of his family. But now he has uncovered the dark truth behind the so-called accident and swears retribution. He has no intention of taking a bride—until his eccentric aunt’s will forces he and Lizzie together, and Devlin finds his path to vengeance blocked by the stubborn but oh-so-tempting Miss Carlisle. Her passionate nature rivals his own. But disillusioned once by love, Lizzie will accept nothing less than his true devotion. .

 

9. A Scandalous Plan by Donna Lea Simpson


Strong-willed and intelligent, Lady Theresa is tired of spending her days listening to the gossipy village spinsters talk about the mysterious gentleman who just moved into the village. Known to be headstrong, and happily unattached, she takes it upon herself to call on the new resident and find out if the awful rumors about his family are true. 

The Honourable Mr. Martindale welcomes life as a recluse. A widower, he’s made his fortune and now hopes to dedicate his time to working the land and raising his two young children—free of interference from the locals. When Lady Theresa comes marching up to his door, it’s the last thing Martindale wants, a husband hunter who thinks she can tell him how to raise his children and, worse, how he should comport himself. 

Yet before long Lady Theresa has worked her way into Martindale’s quiet life and hatched an outrageous plan to win the village’s approval for both the man and his unusual children. But what she fails to see is how badly the plan could backfire, or how it could jeopardize her own place in a family she has come to cherish—and in the heart of the man she has come to love. 

 

10. A Bluestocking Christmas by Monica Burns

 

Simon, Viscount Wycombe isn't accustomed to women rejecting him outright, and when Ivy Beecham does just that, he realizes a new method of seduction is in order. The best hope he has is to appeal to Ivy's intellect. Using words from the best literary minds, Simon carries out his strategy to seduce Ivy in the most sensually erotic way possible. 

Ivy Beecham knows first-hand that handsome aristocrats like Simon can’t be trusted. But the intellectual scoundrel is hellbent on making her his mistress, using every means at his seductive disposal. Unable to resist, Ivy succumbs to his playful words and sinfully erotic touch until her past returns to haunt her. When she refuses to give Simon her heart on Christmas Eve, a ghostly specter shows her in one night why her surrender can be the greatest gift of all. 

 

Did I miss your favorite? Let me know!

 

Vote on my Goodreads list: Bluestockings in Romance Novels 

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review 2015-08-03 00:00
Devil's Bride: Number 1 in series (Bar Cynster)
Devil's Bride: Number 1 in series (Bar Cynster) - Stephanie Laurens I like both characters and how they interact, she's strong enough to stand up to him and it was entertaining.
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text 2015-05-27 05:20
Book Review-Devil Takes A Bride
The Devil Takes a Bride - Julia London

Summary 

Grace Cabot and her sisters are put in a horrible position, and she knows that she will need to marry before all of England learns that their mother is mad. Their mother suffered an accident a couple of years previous, and her mind has deteriorated, and it is growing steadily worse. Now she has decided that she needs to take matters in her own hands. So she plans on seducing a scoundrel, that would make an amiable husband. But her plan goes awry, when she seduces his older brother, the Earl of Merryton. Now they are forced to wed, and Grace realizes how wrong she was, and she starts to realize the consequences of the scandal, married to a man who is proper and firm in his orderly life. At first she doesn’t know what to make of her husband, who is aloof and withdrawn, and is obsessed with the number eight, and everything in their estate, has to run with perfect order. And there is nothing to do, Grace is used to do the frivolities of London and the entertainments, not being left alone and missing her family more than ever. But Grace is determined to find the truth behind Geoffrey, but will she stand by him when she learns his secrets…

The Hero 

Geoffrey, the Earl of Merryton, grew up with hard childhood. He was painfully shy and reserved, and his father was cruel and harsh on his expectations. Then when he evolved into a young man, he started to suffer from images that aren’t normal, images that haunt him, and only counting with his numbers helps maintain his control. He travels to Bath often, hoping that he can find something to help heal what is wrong with him. But when he finds himself married to Grace, his control is slipping more than ever, and he wonders if he can keep the ‘beast’ contained, for his lovely wife who deserves an honorable husband and got Geoffrey instead. What I loved about Geoffrey, was how human he came off to appear…not perfectly fake. He had real challenges, he has many faults, but we see him change and you see how love changes him slowly…into a man who is strong and determined to be better.

The Heroine 

Grace, is used to a busy life, and a chaotic one at that. She finds herself facing consequences of a scandal. Grace is the second in her family, and always felt she was never good enough for her family…it was always Honor who was great at everything, and the only thing Grace can do is make conversation and small talk. Grace finds herself living in a cold household with a cold husband and she is determined to know him and see what is beneath that aloof exterior. Grace is bold and is willing to take matters in her own hands…which creates problems and stress for her husband and their staff who are used to order and NOT chaos. Grace bothered me at times, she seemed not to care about consequences of her actions very non chalantly, and that bugged me, but I liked her character other than that. She is lively and energetic, and is protective of animals and takes in strays all the time. I love her caring and gentle nature….its needed to aid in her husbands problems.

Plot and Story Line 

The Devil Takes A Bride is a riveting tale of how healing love can be. I was not sure how I would handle this story or how much I would enjoy it…but I liked it way more than The Trouble With Honor…maybe because Grace seemed more engaging than Honor. I liked Grace way more than Honor. She takes crazy risks that results in horrid scandal, but unlike Honor, she feels the repercussions more, and admits that she was wrong. This story was much more emotional as well and really tugged at my heartstrings at times. I don’t want to reveal too much about the problems that Geoffrey is suffering from, but its something that would be quite scandalous back in the day. So you see how real his trauma is, and how it’s affecting him emotionally and mentally. Its straining him, and soon you see how close he is to breaking…and that just about broke my heart…seeing how much he needed to be accepted and loved for who he is. He has never known love or a gentle hand since he was a boy with his governess. What was even better…was seeing how Grace fully accepts him, knowing everything and how willing she is to be open to him and love him unconditionally. This is a story that is one of the best of Julia London….provacative, riveting in emotion, and strong in plot and building of characters.

The Cover 

I have to say I love poses like the one we have here…I adore red covers,,,a very bold and sensual color, and it works great with this one.

Overall View 

The Devil Takes A Bride is a truly sensational tale of the power of love….how it can heal and give one strength and provoke sensation. A Sensual tale that will sweep you away. A SPLENDID TALE!!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-03-24 03:59
Devil's Bride (Cynster, #1) by Stephanie Laurens
Devil's Bride - Stephanie Laurens

19/3 - I've been reading about the Cynsters for years, now I've finally gotten a hold of a copy of the original book from the library. Can't wait to see where it all started, the book that spawned 22 further books, so far (I wouldn't be surprised to see more Cynster stories featuring the younger set's children in the future, series like that can be never-ending). To be continued...

 

SPOILERS FROM NOW ON!!!!!!

20/3 - Tolly's (what on earth is that short for?) half brother, Charles, is looking a little suspicious to me at the moment. If he does turn out to be the killer I'll be both disappointed and triumphant. Disappointed because that was way too easy to work out, and triumphant because "Yay! I worked it out!". Lots of chuckles as I'm reading, especially at Vane and Charles, and the Claypole's reactions to the news that Honoria was now Devil's duchess to be. To be continued...

 

24/3 - Yep, it was Charles - that was way too easy to work out - I didn't know why but it was obvious from the beginning who. This book was a great return to the Stephanie Laurens of old (return for me as I have been reading a lot of the more recent entries in the series, which have often been disappointing). This was full of hot sex scenes (although they were a bit bunched into the last third of the book, making that last third seem like one long sex scene, especially as I read it all in one sitting), great banter between the hero and heroine, an alpha male who thinks women (especially his women) shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about anything more taxing than embroidery and menu planning, a mostly intelligent female who won't just be a pretty face and is ready to stand up to the intimidating fury of her husband, and interesting side characters (most of whom are family, of course with such a large family you're related to practically everyone in the area) who aren't just faceless names there to fill out the character list. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.

 

PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge: A Book from an Author you Love that you haven't Read Yet

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