Monday, December 11, 2017

Once Upon a Christmas Eve; A Maiden Lane Novella by Elizabeth Hoyt

Another great addition to The Maiden Lane Series with the added perk of another wonderful Fairy Tale at the beginning of each chapter.  This story is about  Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque who appears in three of The Maiden Lane Series.  He comes across as a cynical bored aristocrat that barely tolerates anyone or anything.  He especially hates Christmas and all its pretensions of cheer.  Every year his Grandmother goes to the country for Christmas and Adam loves her so he accompanies her. 

Unfortunately, the carriage breaks down and they must seek refuge at the home of Godric St. John, the hero of Lord of Darkness.  To top off what was turning out to be the Christmas from Hell, Sarah St. John the only woman he knew that disliked him on site and exercised her sarcastic wit on him the first and only time they met..  The true joke was that he wanted her from the first and was truly baffled by his attraction to her.

Sarah hated rakes and their games and double meanings in everything they said.  She had a bad experience with a scoundrel and wants nothing to do with his type, even if he is the epitome of handsomeness and physical fitness. 

Neither one of them expect to like each other, they both are in for a surprise. The more they snipe at each other with their thinly veiled insults and sly innuendos, the more they realize that they want each other with a lust that turns their lives upside down.   How can she be falling for a rake?  He cannot want an average looking spinster!

This is witty, laugh out loud story of two stubborn people and a plot has everything you want in a love story.  Elizabeth's Maiden Lane Series is one of the best in Historical Romance and she keeps adding more outstanding stories to the Series.  I loved seeing Adam get his comeuppance at the hands of Sarah.  This one is worth the price as is all of Elizabeth's books.

Review of The Lady in Red by Kelly Bowen

A lovely tale by Kelly of an aristocratic young lady, Charlotte Beaumont who has been ignored all her life by her family.  They have no idea that she is a talented painter and when she applies for an artistic commission she knows that if Society and her family find out there will be a scandal that she would never come back from.  She will be working and living with an artist that is remarkably talented and of low birth, someone she would never be allowed to even talk to him. She is so determined to get this commission that she even disguising herself as a young man to hide her true identity.

Flynn Rutledge is a talented painter who thinks that this commission will bring him the recognition he deserves from the Art community and he will finally leave behind his common background.  When he finds out that he is sharing the commission with a young nobody he is furious.  When he sees how talented the boy is he is impressed.  When he finally sees through her disguise he is shocked to his core that a she is a lady

Kelly writes a beautiful story that has loneliness, determination, redemption, and love.  Two people that are so different in every conceivable way find that they also want the same things in life.  Flynn wants  Charlotte but he will not force her into a life of hardship and deprivation.  Charlotte doesn't care how she and Flynn will live, she has had all the advantages of a privileged upbringing and she was lonely and miserable, she knows what she wants and will have to convince Flynn that they should be together.

I loved this Holiday novella by Kelly.  She is an amazing talent that really digs deep into her characters, her plots and the historical accuracy that makes her a phenomenal writer of Historical Romance.  She is one of my go-to authors and cannot wait for her next book.

Review of The Christmas Stranger: A Regency Novella by Anna Campbell

This is my favorite time of year, all my favorite authors write amazing Christmas stories, and I always look forward to Anna's Holiday Novellas.  This year The Christmas Stranger is a lovely tale of a lady who is spending Christmas alone and a Gentleman who will change her life forever.  Little do they both know that a Matchmaking plot is afoot.  

Josiah Hale is a ladies man who never has given his heart to any woman and is perfectly happy with his life the way it is.  He is also a talented architect. When he receives a letter with a request to travel to a remote manor house in Yorkshire to make improvements he jumps at the chance.  He loves his family, but he knows that his mother will invite young ladies for Christmas and be subjected to her attempts to find him a wife.  

He arrives in the middle of the night in a snowstorm.

Maggie Carr is working as a housekeeper at Thorncroft Hall for a distant cousin after she lost her mother.  She is alone for Christmas because the two other servants that help her went home to their families for the Holidays.  

Maggie doesn't even realize that she is lonely until Josiah Hale shows up and makes her see how alone she really is.  As the days pass their feelings deepen and Josiah doesn't want to leave her behind.  Maggie feels she is not good enough for Josiah, but he disagrees and will do anything to make her see that they are made for each other.

This is a perfect Holiday love story that will fill you with Holiday cheer.  Anna is a fabulously talented author who brings her characters to life, you will fall in love with her stories and wish that they never end. I love everything she writes and all her books are keepers to read over and over again.  As I have said about all her novellas, it will be the best 99 cents you spend this Christmas.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Review of A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

What kind of Romance do you get when you combine a tipsy runaway bride and one of the Dukes known as the Dis-Graces?  A wonderfully witty, laugh out loud, tear-jerking love story that is classic amazing Loretta Chase.  This is book one in a new series by Loretta that I did not want to put down and was sad when it ended.  

Hugh, Duke of Ripley is one of three Dukes that Society calls the Dis-graces.  They are unruly scandal causing Gentleman that cause trouble wherever they go.  Now one is getting married and it is Ripley's job to get him to the wedding on time and preferably sober.  Ironically the Duke is on time but the bride has bolted.  Now Ripley must track her down and get her back.  Sounds pretty simple, but in the span of four days, things get out of control and hysterical.

Lady Olympia is getting married, to a Duke no less.  For seven years she has been voted the most Boring Girl of the Season.  Pretty, not beautiful and shapely, she uses her brain and her passion is books.  Not what the Gentleman of the Ton wants in a wife.  Unfortunately for the Groom, Olympia gets a hold of a flask of brandy and decides that she doesn't want to marry this particular Duke.  In her Brandy induced state, she decides to run away and enlists the help of the groom's best friend.

Mayhem ensues when Hugh and Olympia go on a journey that will change their whole lives.  I loved Ripley and Olympia, they are strong, intelligent and compliment each other perfectly.  Loretta writes amazing stories that take you away to another world that you will never want to leave.  This is a keeper and I will be buying a paperback addition to add to my Loretta Chase collection so I may read it over and over again.

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review of The Duke Who Came To Town by Sophie Barnes

The third book in the Honorable Scoundrels Series is as wonderful as the previous two.  This novella features the oldest Potter sister Josephine.  She is a splendid heroine, an example of a woman who is determined to make a better life for herself and her sisters.  The men in her family have not been the best at providing for the future.  She is passionate, intelligent and fiercely independent. 

Devon, the Duke of Snowden is doing a favor for a friend. Checking on the Potter sisters to let them know their new guardian is going to support them and help ease their way back into Society. Being a Duke all his adult life he doesn't understand what he said that made her angry and rude.  He just wants to give her money and a new place to live.  

Josephine is livid, how dare he come into her home and demand she accept his money and sponsorship into Society.  She doesn't need any help, especially from an arrogant,  overbearing man, even if he is a Duke.  

Sophie has done it again.  The story of the last Potter sister is a perfect example of why I read Historical Romance.  Witty, Fiesty, Intelligent characters that you will love.  Sizzling romance with hot sexual tension and a love for a lifetime.  I really, really enjoyed this Series and highly recommend Sophie's books.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Review of Once upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once again we are transported back to Maiden Lane and into the lives of the characters that we have come to love.  This Novella tells the story of Mary Whitsun, an orphan who was left on the steps of the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in St. Giles.  Mary grew up there and is now a nanny for Lord and Lady Caire's two young children.

One day Mary is in her favorite bookstore when she is pestered by a Gentleman that seems to know her by a different name.  She wants nothing to do with him and leaves as quickly as she can.  Henry was sure that the young lady was his fiancee, she was the exact image of Lady Joanna.  It turns out that Lady Joanna was born a twin and both girls were kidnapped when they were babies, and only one of the little girls were ever found.

Mary cannot believe that she is the long-lost daughter of a lord.  She has lived her life as a servant and considers herself lucky to have a position with a family whom she loves.  She is thrown into the position of a Lady, and she engaged to be married to the man from the bookstore.  As she becomes more sure of herself and spends more time with Henry, she finds that she can be happy if Henry is by her side.

As Henry and Mary get to know each other and spend a lot of time together, they find themselves falling in love. Just as everything is coming together for their HAE someone is trying to kill Mary, she has been shot at twice, the second time her maid was hit in the arm.  Henry is determined to find the culprit who is trying to take Mary away from him. 

As always Elizabeth writes a wonderful story that will pull you into her world that is filled with stunning characters, a plot that is surprising as it is mysterious with a surprising ending.  This novella can be read as a stand-alone.  If you have never read the Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth I recommend that you start at the beginning.  You will love this Series.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review of The Earl Who Loved Her by Sophie Barnes

The second book in The Honorable Scoundrels Series is another must read by Sophie.  This story tells the tale of the youngest Potter sister.  Eve Potter has been invited to her friend's house for the Christmas Holiday.  She doesn't want to leave her sister home alone, but Josephine insists that she go.  The Potter girls are living on the income that Josephine brings in, also Louise, the heroine in the first book has left home for a Governess position.  Both sisters are determined to give Eve the Season to that she deserves and will do whatever has to be done it see Eve take her place in Society and find her a husband.

Arriving early and not seeing the carriage that is supposed to take her to Havisham , Eve decides to walk and arrives at the wrong house.  Bryce Harlow the Earl of Ravenworth has no choice but to let Eve spend the night and have her taken to her friends home in the morning.  Eve and Bryce are instantly attracted to each other.  Inclement weather strands Eve at Bryce's house.  Bryce is determined to resist Eve even though his feelings are growing stronger.  Bryce knows that as soon as she finds out about his reputation and why he has been ostracized from his family and society she will leave him alone and with a broken heart.  What he doesn't count on is Eve's belief in his honor and her love for him.

This is a beautiful love story that highlights the strength of the human heart and how fate can change your life.  Eve and Bryce are truly honest and noble characters that you will love.  This is more than just a Christmas Season Novella, it is redemption and life-changing for Eve and Bryce.  Sophie has written a superb novella and I cannot wait for Josephine's story.  I highly recommend this book.

Received a complimentary copy for an honest review.