Category Archives: Historical Romance

Review: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS by Kimberly Bell

About the book:

A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…

None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.

The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…

But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.

My Thoughts:

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS is a funny, sweet and romantic story. I loved the characters. Amelia is walking the line between being a good daughter/sister and going after what she really wants. Nicholas knows exactly what he wants, but he has to get a backbone and go after her. The secondary characters really made the book fantastic. Amelia’s sister, Julia, and Jasper, best friend to Nicholas add so much to the book and without them I don’t believe that the book would have been as great of a read. I hope that the next book from Kimberly Bell features Julia. I really want her to get a happily ever after.

Rating:

the book girl gives THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SCANDALOUS a 4/5

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Review: The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

About the book:

While you were sleeping…

With her brother Thomas injured on the battlefront in the Colonies, orphaned Cecilia Harcourt has two unbearable choices: move in with a maiden aunt or marry a scheming cousin. Instead, she chooses option three and travels across the Atlantic, determined to nurse her brother back to health. But after a week of searching, she finds not her brother but his best friend, the handsome officer Edward Rokesby. He’s unconscious and in desperate need of her care, and Cecilia vows that she will save this soldier’s life, even if staying by his side means telling one little lie…

I told everyone I was your wife

When Edward comes to, he’s more than a little confused. The blow to his head knocked out three months of his memory, but surely he would recall getting married. He knows who Cecilia Harcourt is—even if he does not recall her face—and with everyone calling her his wife, he decides it must be true, even though he’d always assumed he’d marry his neighbor back in England.

If only it were true…

Cecilia risks her entire future by giving herself—completely—to the man she loves. But when the truth comes out, Edward may have a few surprises of his own for the new Mrs. Rokesby.

My Thoughts:

I am a huge Julia Quinn fan. I’ve read all her books (some several times) and they never disappoint. THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND is sexy and utterly romantic. Cecilia is a woman on a mission and Edward is the only one able to help her – after he regains consciousness. I loved that Cecilia and Edward had communicated before her trip to America by using post-scripts on her brother’s letters. Their romance is unconventional. They were in love before they ever met. There isn’t anything really major happening in this book – action wise – it is purely relationship driven.

Rating:

the book girl gives THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND a 5/5

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Review: When to Engage an Earl by Sally MacKenzie

About the book:

Miss Jane Wilkinson couldn’t be more delighted when her two best friends marry, creating a much-desired vacancy at the Spinster House. For the first time in her twenty-eight years, Jane can be free of her annoying older brother and enjoy complete solitude—with the exception of the Spinster House cat, Poppy. If only Jane’s unruly thoughts didn’t keep drifting to handsome Alex, Earl of Evans, in the most
un-spinster like ways…

Though jilted once, Alex has always intended to marry and raise a family. Now that his two closest friends have tied the knot, he is more determined than ever to find a wife. If only it wasn’t the intriguing Miss Jane Wilkinson that his heart—as well as the rest of him—desired. Not only does she appear uninterested in marriage, it’s clear she’s the managing sort. And yet, despite Alex’s fiercely independent spirit, the idea of being managed by her is quite appealing. Now if he can only convince her to give up her beloved Spinster House in favor of a far more pleasurable home—in his arms…

My Thoughts:

Alex, Earl of Evans, is such a great hero. He is funny, sweet and sexy. I really liked his relationship with his family (even though he avoids them several times). You can tell that even though they drive him completely crazy, he loves them more than anything.

It took a bit for Jane to grow on me. Her fierce independence is almost overdone. Yes, she has finally become the “Spinster House spinster”, but it is more than obvious that she also wants love. However, when that love is standing right in front of her, she tries to ignore it.

Alex and Jane together are great. They bring out the best in each other. WHEN TO ENGAGE AN EARL is sweet and romantic.

Rating:

the book girl gives WHEN TO ENGAGE AN EARL a 4/5

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Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

About the book:

All Charlotte wanted was to avoid scandal. Instead, she was caught in the arms of a mysterious, handsome lord…and he’s not letting go.

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.

Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville–the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

My Thoughts:

DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL is a delightful, sweet and sexy romance.  Charlotte and Piers are so perfect together. Charlotte is trying to avoid scandal and the trap she is sure her mother is going to set for an eligible bachelor. Instead of avoiding scandal she finds herself right in the middle of one. Piers has an ulterior motive for being at the Parkhurst ball and the scandal is only going to get in the way. However, Piers can’t help but be drawn to Charlotte.

The ending of this book is perfect. I won’t give anything away, but Piers does the perfect thing to romance Charlotte and ensure their happily ever after.

Rating:

the book girl gives DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL a 5/5

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Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

About the book:

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can’t see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax’s nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he’s unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford’s never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn’t part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her . . .

It’s an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton’s most adored heiress and London’s most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

My Thoughts: 

I’m not sure if I could love the hero of this story more. He’s nerdy, awkward, and brilliant. The way he sees the things around him is unique. His weakness for Clara is adorable.

Clara is pretty fantastic too. I loved that she wasn’t content to just be a “pretty girl” and went out to find her own adventure. She doesn’t take no for an answer and has the unique ability to completely confound Radford.

These two shouldn’t work together, but they do. Their chemistry is unmistakable and the love they share evident way before they realize it themselves.

DUKES PREFER BLONDES is a romantic, funny and delightful historical romance that shouldn’t be missed.

Rating:

the book girl gives DUKES PREFER BLONDES a 5/5

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Review: ‘Twas the Night Before Mischief by Nina Rowan

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About the book:

Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting-it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days-and nights-in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide . . .

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF is a delightful holiday read with wonderful characters and a romantic happily ever after. Penelope doesn’t want to be invisible. She wants more than the life she thinks that she will end up living. Darius is the one man who really sees her, but she doesn’t think that he sees her as anything other than his friend’s daughter. I loved their connection and how their feelings for each other change and evolve as they really get to know each other. Their romance is sweet and sexy. This is a great novella to read on a cold winter night.

the book girl gives ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF a 5/5

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Review: Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

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About the book:

Christmas in town has never been so steamy . . .

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady’s wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl’s kisses. And not only her dreams—her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden’s not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?

I loved this story. Shy Princess Jacqueline and her diary of fantasy was the perfect match for Cam, the rake who takes care of those in need. Jackie is in need – in need of someone who sees the real her and Cam does after finding her diary. I love how they circle around each other as Jackie learns to flirt and becomes more confident and Cam realizes what he really wants. They both have external forces telling them what they should want, who they should be with and it isn’t who or what will make them happy. There romance is slow and takes awhile to come to fruition, but when it does it is magical. I loved them together and the fact that although they don’t seem to be the most logical fit and no one else thinks they should be together they both follow their heart and find each other.

the book girl gives KISSES, SHE WROTE a 5/5

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Review: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

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About the book:

A freshly wrapped Regency Christmas romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes.

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Lady Jenny is lonely in a family full of people. She is the “maiden-aunt” and shuttled around from sibling to sibling to dote and love on all of her various nieces and nephews. Everyone assumes that she is happy and doesn’t pay much attention to her true love – art. I really liked Jenny. She puts on a brave face and really does love her family, but inside she is dying a little each day. Then she makes a decision, thanks to Elijah, that changes the course of her life. Elijah Harrison is the perfect partner for Jenny. He sees right into her heart and wants everyone to know how important her art is to her and just how good at it she really is. I love how he sticks up for her to her family and how he tells her that she must make them see how important it is to her. Their relationship is a wonderful partnership and they have great chemistry. This is the last book in the Windham family series and I love how we were able to see little glimpses into each of the siblings lives and how they are still as happily in love as they were at the end of their books.

the book girl gives LADY JENNY’S CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT a 4/5

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Review: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

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About the book:

A rogue ruined . . .

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.

A lady returned . . .

Mara planned never to return to the world from which she’d run, but when her brother falls deep into debt at Temple’s exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade that ends in her returning to society and proving to the world what only she knows…that he is no killer.

A scandal revealed . . .

It’s a fine trade, until Temple realizes that the lady—and her past—are more than they seem. It will take every bit of his strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything for honor . . . and to keep from putting himself on the line for love.

Oh, Temple, Temple, Temple… I simply loved this mysterious character in the first two Rule of Scoundrels books and couldn’t wait to hear his story. It didn’t disappoint at all. Temple is so much more than the man he lets the world see and when Mara, who he has believed for years that he may have killed, comes back into his life he is finally able to become the man he was always meant to be. I loved Mara and Temple together. They have an instant spark that is a combination of anger, fear and lust. They are both drawn to each other and want nothing to do with each other at the same time. Mara isn’t afraid to push Temple. She won’t allow him to take control over her unless she is getting what she wants too. Temple doesn’t know what to do with Mara and it is amusing to see him at a loss as to how to deal with her at times. As the story unfolds so does the attraction between the couple and soon they find themselves unable to hold on to the anger. I love how their relationship changes and grows throughout the story and how they learn to forgive and accept forgiveness. NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED is a very romantic tale.

 

the book girl gives NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED a 5/5

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Review: Have You Any Rogues? by Elizabeth Boyle

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About the book:

The Seldons and Dales have been mortal enemies for centuries …

But that hasn’t stopped the roguish Crispin, Viscount Dale, and the impetuous Lady Henrietta Seldon from waging their own battle … of the heart. Every stray glance, every chance encounter threatens to reveal the secret passion that keeps drawing them together.

But finally, after years of flirting with disaster …

Crispin and Henrietta find themselves locked in a wine cellar, and now there is no denying the love and loyalties that have lured them in and torn them apart time and time again. Will this one last chance—this tempting night of desire—ignite a fire that will never be extinguished, no matter the price?

 HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? is a tale of second (and third…and fourth) chances at true love. Henrietta and Crispin met when they were both young and full of dreams. Instantly smitten they knew they were meant to be together, but their families are enemies and pull them apart. I love how each time the couple is reunited their connection is just as strong as it was the last time they saw each other – no matter how many times Henrietta has been married or how many women Crispin has supposedly seduced. Their love is the ultimate true love. HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? is a sweet, romantic story with some very steamy scenes between Crispin and Henrietta. I loved every moment of the story!

the book girl gives HAVE YOU ANY ROGUES? a 5/5

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