Category Archives: Historical Romance

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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Review: The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

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About the book:

’Tis the season for a new holiday novella from acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex! The Scandal Before Christmas is romance so good it’s scandalous…

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea—all within a matter of days.  

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for—laughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

Ian needs a wife, but he doesn’t want one. Anne doesn’t want a husband, but marrying a man who will be at sea for a good part of the year – leaving her alone – seems about as good as it can get for a plain girl with nothing to recommend her. I loved how these two meet and think one thing about each other and then quickly change their opinion. Ian didn’t expect to be attracted to the plain Anne, but he quickly sees her as beautiful. Anne overcomes her shyness and learns to assert her true self. I loved these two as a couple. Their romance is both sexy and sweet.

the book girl gives THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS a 4/5

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Review: Sins of a Wicked Princess by Anna Randoll

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About the book:

In the scorching finale of Anna Randol’s wickedly tempting Trio series, the Wraith takes on a mission— and a princess— he’ll never forget . . .

Ian Maddox, aka the Wraith, is happy to leave his life as a spy— as soon as he discovers who’s been trying to kill his friends. All clues lead him to the bedroom of an exiled princess. Yet Princess Juliana isn’t the simpering royal he expects, and this irresistible beauty agrees to give him the information he seeks . . . for a price.

Princess Juliana has never cowered—not even as she fled her burning castle in the midst of a rebellion—so she won’t tremble before the darkly charismatic man who appears in her bedchamber and holds a knife to her throat. Instead, she bargains with the infamous spy to help her retrieve sensitive documents and restore her kingdom. But Juliana quickly finds that Ian is no humble servant, and she never imagines that lessons in thievery will lead to schooling in seduction.

I’ve loved this series from the beginning and have especially loved Ian. The way he protected Madeline and Colin in the previous books and made sure that they were never exposed to the very worst of what the Trio had to do made him a real hero in my eyes. I wanted him to get his happily ever after, but the heroine of his story would have to be really special. Luckily he found Princess Juliana. I loved her almost instantly. She’s been kicked out of her country, after her parents were murdered, and now has to find a way to gain back her place as ruler while dealing with both the French and Spanish. She’s strong enough to take on Ian and his moody behavior. I love them together – they make each other better. Ian gives Juliana the confidence she needs to step-up and do what needs to be done for her country and Juliana makes Ian realize that he’s more than what he’s done in the past. SINS OF A WICKED PRINCESS is the perfect ending to the Trio series.

the book girl gives SINS OF A WICKED PRINCESS a 5/5

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Review: The Wicked Wallflower by Maya Rodale

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About the book:

Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement—to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it’s discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she’ll no longer be a wallflower; she’ll be a laughingstock. And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade.

A temporary betrothal to the irreproachable Lady Avery could be just the thing to repair Ashbrooke’s tattered reputation. Seducing her is simply a bonus. And then Emma does what he never expected: she refuses his advances. It’s unprecedented. Inconceivable. Quite damnably alluring.

London’s Least Likely to Misbehave has aroused the curiosity—among other things—of London’s most notorious rogue. Now nothing will suffice but to uncover Emma’s wanton side and prove there’s nothing so satisfying as two perfect strangers . . . being perfectly scandalous together.

I loved this book! Emma and Ashbrook are wonderful together. I loved how their accidental betrothal comes about and they each plan to use it to their advantage. Emma is such a fun character. She doesn’t simper or fall to “the Ashbrooke effect” (even though she kind of wants too) and Ashbrooke can’t help but be drawn to the one woman who doesn’t seem to want him. I loved their bantering and all the motions they go through for their faux engagement. There is a wonderful ease to their relationship…until they realize that the feelings they have been pretending to have just may be true. I really liked that the hero is the one who is turned upside down the most and has the more emotional story line. Emma falls just as hard, but Blake seems to be on more of a roller-coaster. I can’t wait to read the contemporary series that mirrors this historical (THE BAD BOY BILLIONAIRE’S WICKED ARRANGEMENT) and the next historical in this series (WALLFLOWER GONE WILD).

the book girl gives THE WICKED WALLFLOWER a 5/5

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Review: Once A Rake by Eileen Dreyer

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About the book:

All he wants is her help . . .

Colonel Ian Ferguson may be a rake, but he’s no traitor. Accused of trying to kill the Duke of Wellington, the disgraced Scotsman is now a fugitive-from the law, the army, and the cunning assassin who hunts him. Wounded and miles from his allies, Ian finds himself at the mercy of an impoverished country wife. The spirited woman is achingly beautiful . . . and hiding some dangerous secrets of her own.

All she needs is his heart . . .

She was a child nobody wanted. Now for Lady Sarah Clarke, holding on to her vanished husband’s crumbling estate is her final chance to earn respectability. She knows that hiding the devastatingly handsome Ferguson will jeopardize her home. Common sense demands that she turn him in. But a single, delirious kiss shatters her resolve . . . and awakens a passion that neither of them can escape.

Ian Ferguson is a fantastic hero, but what made this book so wonderful was Sarah. She has had a less than wonderful life (born on the wrong side of the blanket, married to a man she didn’t love), but she still pushes forward and tries to find contentment. When faced with Ian she isn’t sure what to do with him, but she does know that she can’t turn him in to the authorities. I loved how strong she is and how willing she is to do what’s needed to get Ian to the right people. Ian is just as strong. He knows that he has to get away from Sarah’s home so that she can be safe, but as his feelings for her start to change he struggles between leaving Sarah’s to save the Duke of Wellington or staying with her to protect her from her cousin-in-law. I love the connection between Sarah and Ian. There are some serious sparks despite his injury and the threat of discovery. I really enjoyed the tension between Ian and Sarah, but also the tension in the plot. Ian has to clear his name, but there are many different forces trying to stop him. The story moves quickly and there isn’t a boring moment. There are appearances by characters from past books and a great set-up for the upcoming book. I cannot wait for the next book in the series – I have to find out what happens to Ian’s sisters.

the book girl gives ONCE A RAKE a 4/5

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Review: Once She Was Tempted by Anne Burton

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About the book:

A PORTRAIT OF A LADY

. . . or is it? The risqué painting owned by Benjamin Elliot, the earl of Foxburn, features a stunning beauty with sapphire eyes, golden hair, and creamy skin. Ben recognizes this particular English rose the instant he meets her-though she’s wearing considerably more clothing. In person, the demure debutante is even more irresistible . . .

In desperate need of money for her sick mother, Daphne Honeycote had posed for two scandalous portraits. Now she must hide her secret to save the Honeycote family name. Ben’s possession of one painting makes him an insufferable thorn in her side-and yet he may be her best chance at finding the canvas’s companion. As she becomes drawn to the dark-tempered earl, can Daphne risk laying bare the secrets of her heart?

I’ve been on a historical romance reading binge lately and it seems that a lot of them have featured injured heroes. ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED has an injured hero and he is delicious. Ben, the earl of Foxburn, was shot in the leg during the war and suffered a great injury in his leg. The pain makes him grumpy, but Daphne Honeycote brings out something in him that he didn’t thing he would ever feel again…hope. Daphne has lived in a small apartment in St. Giles and now she resides in a beautiful home thanks to her sisters advantageous marriage. She wouldn’t do anything to put her family’s reputation in danger, now, but once upon a time she had been winning to do anything to keep their heads above water. Daphne is drawn to Ben and asks him to help her find the other painting. Ben can’t say no to Daphne and knows that helping her will also give him more time alone with her. I really love this couple. They don’t seem like they should work at first glance. Daphne is kind, sweet, and a little naive. Ben is grumpy and cynical. I think that they really balance each other out. I love how Daphne takes care of Ben and works to make him feel better. She finds ways to ease the pain of his injury and makes sure that he is taking care of himself even when he doesn’t want her help. Ben also takes care of Daphne, although he struggles at times with not being able to physically protect her the way he thinks he should. Their romance is slow to build – they become friends first. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in the story and can’t wait for Rose and Olivia’s happily ever after.

the book girl gives ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED a 4/5

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