Review: How to Marry a Marquis (Agents of the Crown, Book 2) by Julia Quinn

how to marry a marquisHero: James Sidwell, the Marquis of Riverdale, and agent to the crown, is good at uncovering secrets and finding bad guys. When his aunt informs him of a blackmailer, he is quick to ride to her rescue for she is like a mother to him. At her behest he arrives in disguise as the new estate manager and immediately has suspicions about his aunt’s companion, Elizabeth Hotchkiss.

Heroine: Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of four, is trying with few successes to raise her siblings. The lack of money is a constant worry for her as she’s trying to figure out how to keep the family together and pay for her brother to go to school. In Lady Danbury’s library she finds a silly book about how to marry a marquis. Reading it, she and her sister decide she must practice on a live subject… and the new estate manager would be perfect!

Review: I love when characters become the butt of their own schemes. When James offers to help Elizabeth find herself a husband, little does he know he will want her for his very own. Lady Agatha Danbury is a crafty old woman who shouldn’t be underestimated. She will make you laugh. A couple of characters are introduced, who are probably from the first book in the series, and didn’t add much for me. Overall, an easy read with a fluffy center.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: How to Marry a Marquis (Avon Romantic Treasure)

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Review: Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn

Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda CheeverHeroine: Miranda Cheever has loved Nigel Bevelstoke since she was 10 years old when he kissed her hand. As a young girl, his words of wisdom (that she would be a beautiful as she was smart when she was older) sang in her young heart. She was used to being bullied by her peers for her looks and Nigel’s kind act was like rain in a drought.

Hero: Nigel is Viscount Turner, and goes by his title. He is the older brother of Miranda’s best friend Olivia. As a young man he was kind as he was handsome to his sister’s friend. While Turner is still handsome, life has turned him bitter… (his faithless wife died on her way to meet her lover). When Olivia plays matchmaker to bring their younger brother, Winston, into Miranda’s sphere… Turner doesn’t like it and does something about it.

Review: Prologue-Nigel is the kind of white knight every girl needs. He plays knight again and accompanies Olivia and Miranda on their first London Season. Being around Miranda in a more adult setting opens his eyes to her charms… even if his heart isn’t ready. When passion leads to an unexpected confession, a confused Nigel runs… but finds he can’t run forever and doesn’t want to… but will he be too late to claim Miranda for himself?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever

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Review: An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

offer from a gentlemanHeroine: Sophie Beckett might be the daughter of an earl, but she’s not legitimate. She’s lived as an unpaid maid to her stepmother and stepsisters since her father passed away. One evening, she dared to sneak into Lady Bridgerton′s masquerade ball and found “Prince Charming.” As charming as he may be, Sophie know not even a second son would never marry her… or would he?

Hero: Benedict Bridgerton’s society nickname ‘Second’ relegated him to a nonentity from a young age. It’s a state of being he’s determined to break even if society would rather keep him there. At a family ball he spies a gorgeous creature dressed in silver, but before the evening’s end she vanished. Years later, his mother gets a new housemaid who stirs him. But he’s still determined to find his silver beauty and wed her… even if his heart might be leaning elsewhere.

Review: Fancy a sweet Cinderella romance? Then you’ll want to pick this book up! We start at the ball almost immediately and boy is it an adorable sequence with a splash of sexy. Their story is part magic and part harsh reality. In the magic of the ball all seems possible. In the light of day, he’s a nobleman and she’s a maid. How could it ever work? In reality, it couldn’t, but lucky for Benedict he’s falling for the same woman twice. Sensual, charming, and full of life.

Fav Quote: “I can live with you hating me,” he said to the closed door. “I just can’t live without you” — Benedict to Sophie

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons)

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Review: The Lady Most Likely (Lady Most, Book 1) by Julia Quinn

ladymostlikelyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly is in need of a wife and his sister is only too happy to give him a list of all the women she thinks could make him a wonderful wife and invites them plus some gentlemen to her country house for the best event of the year. Hugh has the chance to snatch a lady that is before any of the other gentlemen get to her first.

Guest List:

  • Horse mad and handsome Earl of Briarly
  • Outspoken Miss Katherine Peyton
  • Dashing war hero Captain Neill Oakes
  • Beautiful & shy Miss Gwendolyn Passmore
  • Awfully eligible new Earl of Charters
  • Widowed Lady Georgina Sorrell who doesn’t ever want to marry – ever!

Funny bits:

  • Hugh wants an older woman – not one who is sixteen!
  • Hugh never worrying about anything that’s not equine.

Review: The Lady Most Likely is written by three of the most prominent authors from Avon Historical Romance; Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway. They got together to provide us with a tale of three parts. Julia Quinn is famous for writing Ten Things I Love About You, Eloisa James has When Beauty Tamed the Beast, and Connie Brockway has The Golden Season.

Hugh has finally shown up and wants to wed a woman after his own heart – everyone else is too concerned about the time when his Arab horse kicked him in the head, leaving him in a coma for a week, but Hugh insists he is alright. Hugh has no idea how to talk to women but he is great with horses. In fact, they are all he cares about until he thinks someone else might snatch Gwen, and with all those men around her, she has the pick and choose of the noblemen, but who will she choose?

Gwendolyn Passmore broke her leg before her first season, and was in bed for weeks. Her mother feels distraught that she missed it, and has sent her in for her second season hoping she will find an eligible man, but Gwen doesn’t like the idea of putting herself out there, and isn’t too keen on marriage either.

Summary: The Lady Most Likely is a delightfully comical look at Regency England with all the niceties and decorum parodied to perfection.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Lady Most Likely…: A Novel in Three Parts

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Audio Review: A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2) by Julia Quinn

night like this julia quinnHero: Daniel Smythe-Smith, the Earl of Winstead, has finally returned to England after several years spent abroad, living in fear of his life. He’s gotten good at looking over his shoulder, but he must admit it’s really nice to not need to do that. When he meets his cousin’s governess, Daniel knows she hiding something and he is intrigued and lays a hot pursuit to win her affections. But even with the assurances of his friend, a man he shot and nearly killed over a card game, a powerful and ruthless enemy is after him still. But who? He doesn’t like that whoever it is, is willing to put Anne in danger.

Heroine: Anne Wynter is not who she appears to be, a governess to three young ladies. Her past hides a secret she must run from constantly and use every precaution to keep. A change of name, sending letters by different post offices, moving to London, it is all to avoid a single man who broke her heart at 16. Anne knows she was born and bred a lady, but as tempting as Daniel is, she doesn’t know if she can risk her heart once more.

Review: Daniel is a beta hero, perhaps not by choice, but because of circumstances. A young noble man on the run is unlikely to develop alpha tendencies, but that said, he’s clever in his pursuit of Anne and arranges meetings all the time when she least expects him. In real life, I’m not sure such an approach would work, because Anne gave a lot of “no” signals which Daniel ignored. Anne gives as good as she gets however, and punishes Daniel for his sneakiness by making him participate in playacting his cousin’s original play (which is terrifyingly horrendous and involves unicorns). The best aspect to both characters is that they never let the horrible set of circumstances they found themselves in to bitter them. Both Daniel and Anne stayed true to their original natures, perhaps a little more cautious and wiser, but ultimately fundamentally the same. I loved their meet-cute at the musical and kisses…. and Hugh definitely intrigues me as a reader. I am ready to read his romance!

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators. She makes any book a pleasure to hear.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: A Night Like This

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Review: The Lady Most Willing (Lady Most, Book 2) by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway

lady most willingWhat happened:  Laird Taran Ferguson and some of his clansmen kidnap four ladies, one by mistake, and carry them back to Finovair castle. Along the way the men accidentally kidnap a duke and everybody gets snowed-in. Will there be hell to pay or marriages at the end of this debacle? Whatever the case this is guaranteed to be the most talked about scandal all season!

Why was it done? Taran wanted to provide wealthy matches for his reluctant nephews to wed.

The players:

  • John Shevington, Duke of Bretton – He wasn’t meant to be in the carriage, but since it was his, it shouldn’t have surprised the laird and his men to find him in it.
  • Byron Wotton, Earl of Oakley – A proper gentlemen who’s horrified by his uncle’s actions.
  • Robert (Robin) Parles, Comte de Rocheforte – A rake of the first order whose reputation may or may not be deserved.
  • Lady Cecily Tarleton – She knows who she wants and she refuses to let him get away.
  • Catriona Burns – The lady kidnapped by mistake all because she wore blue. Cat is not an heiress and is therefore out of the running according to Taran for his nephews. Good thing the Duke doesn’t care what Taran thinks.
  • Fiona Chisholm – Bespectacled and respectable heiress usually overlooked when her lively, younger, and prettier sister is around…. But somebody notices her!
  • Marilla Chisholm – A gorgeous female who knows it. This is one hellcat whose claws you don’t want to sink into you!

Favorite match: The Duke and Cat.

Most surprising match: Marilla’s.

Review: I loved the house part games and kind of wish we had house parties like it now! A must read if you love humor, Regency house parties, and love at first sight!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Lady Most Willing

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Audio Review: The Lady Most Likely (Lady Most, Book 1) by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway

ladymostlikelyQuick Synopsis: Horse fanatic, Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, had a recent scare with a horse and decided he needs a wife and heir. To get both, he drafts his sister, Caroline, into throwing a house party and lets her pick the guest list.

Choice 1: Gwendolyn Passmore is the top girl of the season, but she could care less that all the men and their mamas are trying to snag her. She just wants out of London and back to her quiet country life. She is uncomfortable around crowds and people she doesn’t know. Small talk is the worst!

Choice 2: Katherine Peyton has already given her heart to another, but the cad ran off and hasn’t been seen since. Perhaps this outspoken lady is just the ticket to get Hugh out of the stables…

Choice 3: Georgiana Sorrell is a widow. She loved her husband, but he had his flaws. She is not looking to get married again. Georgie is friends with Hugh’s sister and is at the party for moral support… though Caroline might have a match in store for her yet.

Review: Three ladies, three gentlemen, three part story. It’s quick and easy, and different from most anthologies because the three stories are more intricately entwined. It’s important to read in order as events happen and are linked from story to story. My favorite pairing is Gwendolyn and her love match. I like shy heroines and it’s fun to see how that shyness coupled with her popularity in the ton has made one person think her a snob. I also enjoyed the party games, especially the “do you love your neighbor.”

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators. It’s pretty much a guarantee that if she’s read a romance novel, I’m picking it up.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Lady Most Likely

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Review: Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

Heroine: Annabel Winslow, eldest sister of 8 siblings, is soon to be engaged to an overweight, short-tempered nobleman as old as her grandmother. She must agree or risk her family’s future happiness. If she does, she loses her own. But she still has time before the Earl of Newbury asks, perhaps there is another way?

Hero: Sebastian Grey firsts hears of Annabel as a woman ‘…so fertile that birds sing when she draws near.’ He knows his uncle, the Earl of Newbury, wants an heir so that he does not inherit the estate. His uncle hates him and the feeling is mutual. He does not care if he inherits or not, he just wished he knew one way or the other.

Meet Cute: A chance meeting outside in the moors at an annual house party when Annabel literally trips over Sebastian. He was just waiting for his female partner to slip back into the house party before he went in again. She was escaping his cruel, odious, groping uncle. (That lecher!  Shudder.) They flirt and then kiss. (Seb and Annabel.) Hawt.

Review: Rosalyn Landor is a wonderful narrator. She brought the characters fully to life and if you combine her talent with the author’s you have an amazing story. I loved it. Capitalize that—I LOVED IT! I was utterly charmed, just like Sebastian was with Annabel. The story is sweet, the sexual tension sizzling, the romance was just perfect. Sebastian is making it to my favorite hero list (which shouldn’t surprise him, he loves lists… and so does the heroine). (Now I have more than one Seb to love, bwuahahaha!)

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Ten Things I Love About You

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