Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

how to catch a wild viscountPreviously titled The Legend of the Werestag. Not a paranormal.

Hero: Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, is beastly in appearance and temperament. War stripped him of his civility and hardened his heart. He feels like he has nothing to offer the girl who looks at him with stars in her eyes. He wants her to get over him as he knows she will and move on so he can too.

Heroine: Cecily Hale has loved Luke for a while and treasures the kiss they shared before he left for war. When he came home from war and didn’t seek her out she was hurt. She hopes the house party they are both at will be just the setting to win his heart. A local legend of a werestag catches her attention and she convinces the party to go in search of it… but her real hunt is not a wild deer but a wild viscount!

Review: An exceptional novella. I loved the hero and heroine so much I could have read an expanded version of this story. Luke is a deliciously aloof stubborn cad. He rejects her after she pledges her love to him which humiliates and wounds Cecily. Our heroine doesn’t take this too kindly and focuses her attention on the stag hunt instead of the man. At one point she needs rescuing because of a wild boar attack and the mysterious stranger who protects her and things start to develop and get steamy from there on out. Very enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: How to Catch a Wild Viscount

Review: Must Love Breeches (Must Love, Book 1) by Angela Quarles

22664678Heroine: Isabelle Rochon thought this reenactment ball would be spectacular. She did the research, came dressed in a period-correct gown, and finds the evening less than enchanting. The women are dressed slutty, the dancing is a boor, the lights too bright, and her coworker crush turns out to be an ass. Where’s the magic? Clearly her expectation for the evening were to high, but wouldn’t this ball have been just the thing in the past? Sigh.

Hero: Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount, espies the lovely Isabelle Rochon in her exquisitely French and modish attire and is intrigued. He’s in luck that she’s talking to his cousin so he can finagle an introduction. She’s a delightful distraction and he rues his growing reputation because he feels it precludes him from pursuing her… but then he strikes on just the thing… she can be part of his scheme for revenge on the men involved in his sister’s ruination.

Review: Lord Montagu is the kind of perfectly charming and sincere man Isabelle has been looking for – but when she finally realizes what happened and that she’s back in time she’s heartbroken because she can’t have him. She takes his cousin in her confidence and shows off her phone (and calculator app) to prove her story… but alas the battery dies before she can show him (when she’s ready to trust him… after all Bedlam is not a nice place she hears).

Pro: A focus on the progress of the times – it wasn’t all balls and parades in the park, there was also science and differential engines, and flying mechanical horses (that didn’t work).

Con: The heroine was too hesitant to snap the hero up… Lord Montagu would have been whisked off his feet before he had a chance to rise up from his bow. ;)

One of the best time travel romances I’ve read. Definitely recommend.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Must Love Breeches: A Time Travel Romance (Must Love Series Book 1)

Review: Cynders and Ashe by Elizabeth Boyle

cynders and asheHeroine: Ella Cynders is a companion for a young lady in love with a gentleman, whom her family doesn’t approve. Ella agrees to switch places with her charge during a masked ball to allow the young couple to elope. That night she dances in the arms of her fairytale prince… the Viscount Ashe. It’s true love… but midnight comes too soon and all fake princesses turn back into pumpkins.

Hero: Lord Julian Ashe is supposed to meet his true love at the family gala – it happens to the lot of them. When he loses the girl with whom he spent an enchanting evening, Julian is uncertain what to do. He tried and couldn’t track her down and she hasn’t appeared at four other balls… this is his last chance to find her again and make her his forever.

Review: This is a perfect story to read on a rainy day or while soaking in a tub covered in bubbles. It’s short, but decadent and contains all you could want in a Regency fairytale. It’s lighthearted, quick, and scrumptious! And don’t you just love the cover? :)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Cynders & Ashe (A Short Story)

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: The Lady in Question (Effingtons, Book 7) by Victoria Alexander

lady in questionHeroine: Lady Philadelphia (Delia) Wilmont is the identical twin sister of Cassandra Effington. Delia is considered the sensible sister while Cassie is the reckless sister. So it comes as a complete shock to everyone when it is Delia who invokes a scandal by running off and marrying a rake. Before society can get over the scandal, her husband dies and makes her an infamous widow. When she finally returns to society, it is not as herself, but as her sister. For one glorious evening she is in the arms of the handsome Viscount St. Stephens. He seems wonderfully familiar, but she’s not sure why.

Hero: Viscount Anthony St. Stephens is an agent for the crown and has for the past little while been serving as Lady Wilmont’s butler… in disguise, of course. Delia could be in danger because of the actions of her late husband (who also happens to have been a good friend). Anthony is also in her house in order to discover clues as to why Lord Wilmont behaved as he did. Why did Wilmont marry Delia when the job only called for flirtation? All too soon the viscount understands and wants to marry the lovely widow himself…

Review: Loved the trumped up angst. Delia is afraid to reveal she’s the scandalous sister to Anthony, but Anthony knows because he’s the butler of her household. He’s at first in a position where he can’t tell her who he is without compromising the mission and then later can’t tell her without ruining their relationship.

I liked Anthony’s time as Gordon, the elderly butler. He and Delia were able to become friends through his actions. He gained her trust (for a little while) and at times was avuncular in his role trying to assist her in her daily decisions. They have very few walls between them as Gordon and Delia. This worked for me because we, as the reader’s knew Anthony was far from avuncular in his true regard for Delia and Delia was blissfully unaware of the whole quagmire until it is revealed.

The one glaring error I felt came when Anthony so easily trusted Delia’s uncle, the duke. As a spy there must have been some way to confirm the man’s position and loyalties. This whole “trust me because I say I am who I am” didn’t work for me. It especially didn’t work because Delia’s uncle was the whole reason behind Wilmont’s mission to woo Delia in the first place. Get close to the Effingtons and discover if they are loyal or not to the crown.

It’s a sweet romance with a lot of great moments.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Lady in Question (Effington Family)

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Review: Sweet Deception (Veiled Seduction, Book 2) by Heather Snow

Sweet Deception heather snowReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Location: Derbyshire, June 1817

Derick Aveline is the Viscount Scarsdale. He’s come back to his family’s estate, White Peak. He’s steps into Aveline Castle and is greeted to some strange goings-on. Emma Wallingford has a past history with Derick. He has an endearing nickname for her that you will just have to read the story to find out what it is – it’s not a nickname that you would expect.

Heather creates a scene where there’s a lot of water. You can see the whole thing unfold and you can almost hear it too. And now the mystery begins. What does Heather have in-store for her readers in book two of the Veiled Seduction series?

Emma’s brother is the magistrate, George Wallingford. We find out he’s not all that well which just adds to the mystery. If you like a little intrigue with your regency romance, you can’t go wrong in adding this to your library. If this is a title that you want to read over and over, I would suggest buying the paperback edition. Electronics can fail where actual paper doesn’t (as long as you take good care of it).

I admire Heather for making Emma a strong woman at a time where I’m sure most women did as they were told. She lives in an era where women don’t do a man’s job. But Emma, at times, seems to be just a little smarter than them. But they also listen to what she has to say.

One scene reminded me of “Dirty Dancing” – experienced older man and a young woman coming into her own. I certainly could picture Patrick Swayze playing the part of Derick. The minute you get to the scene in the book, you will understand.

Please make sure to read the “Author’s Note” at the end of this story. I found the information very interesting. In the past, I used to skip this part of the book. But now I find that I was missing out on a lot of information when I did that.

Heather also teases us by giving us a peek at her next book Sweet Madness that is coming out next year. If you haven’t read her first book Sweet Enemy, after you read this book I would go back and read the book that started it all. Or since you have the time, read the series in order. Heather has me looking forward to next year but also disappointed that it is so far away.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Sweet Deception: A Veiled Seduction Novel

384 pages (paperback)/613KB (e-book)

More Than Meets the Eye

Guest Blog by Stefanie Sloane, author of The Saint Who Stole My Heart

The first appearance of the phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” can be found in “Murder In The East Room,” a mystery published in 1946. I’m guessing that the authors, Edward Rolfe and Lester Fuller, had no idea one line from the thousands contained within their novel would be uttered by literally millions of people over the course of some seven decades–and counting.

Nor that I would steal their delightfully true and ingeniously simple yet complex proverb.

It’s true. Rolfe and Fuller’s words inspired my latest tale, The Saint Who Stole My Heart. From my hero, Dashiell Matthews, Viscount Carrington, to the bluestocking Miss Elena Barnes and right down to the leather-bound volumes stacked ceiling high throughout, the writing duo’s urging to look beneath before judging is the current that carries the passionate adventure to its swelling conclusion—and beyond.

Take my heroine, Elena. She is, without a doubt, a bluestocking to the bone. One disastrous season in London, where her intelligence and subtle wit was not only under-appreciated but the source of ridicule, sends Elena quickly returning to the safety of Dorset. Until a bevy of valuable books calls her back to the capitol city, where the viscount awaits. Underneath years of quiet contemplation and the comfort of routine and duty, Elena discovers her heart is meant for thrilling adventure and love.

This is where the viscount comes in. Dash is smart—ridiculously so. With a photographic memory and a natural interest in puzzles, conundrums, and the like, he is the ideal Young Corinthian spy, serving country and king in an effort to one day apprehend the killer who’d long ago murdered someone very close to him. The problem? No one within the ton takes him seriously. He is, in Elena’s words, “a vacuous Adonis.”

What’s a man with hero good looks and a heart afraid of hurt to do? Pretend. Pretend to be simple when he is in fact smart. Pretend his heart is content beating a hollow rhythm when in truth it aches for meaning and sustenance.

Pretend to not be in love with Elena. And by God, he gives it his best. But when the woman reveals the real Dash hiding behind his mask, he’s done for—in more ways than one. And all of them good. Eventually. After all, what is a voyage without a few storms, sea monsters, and near-misses along the way?

Stefanie Sloane

GIVEAWAY: How about you? Tell me about a roadblock in your own road to happily ever after and be entered to win all four of my books, including the April 24th release, The Saint Who Stole My Heart!

Buy: The Saint Who Stole My Heart

Review: Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

bookreview

This story by Kleypas is an exciting adventure from start to finish. It all starts with a manhunt… or should I say a woman-hunt? Nick Gentry is looking for the wily Charlotte Howard. He has a small portrait of her in his pocket and his brother-in-law’s backing to get him into the Earl of Westcliff’s home where he’s tracked Charlotte. The Earl notices something fishy about the Viscount John Sydney and sets about unveiling the man’s secrets.

Meanwhile, John Sydney aka Nick Gentry, is prowling the premises for Charlotte and comes upon a young lady on top of a stone wall starring out across the grounds. Her foot is caught in her dress and Nick springs into action to save her… only to find the appealing woman in his arms is the very woman he’s been paid to track down.

Against all better judgment, Nick decides he can afford to stay and watch the lovely and lively Lottie. He comes to the startling conclusion that he wants her for himself and Lord Radnor can go hang before he’d ever bring to the obsessed creep a treasure such as her. Just as passion is sparking between Nick and Lottie, Westcliff pounces with the truth of Nick’s identity.

Frightened but determined, Lottie vows she will never go back to Lord Radnor. Westcliff offers to marry her to keep her away from Nick and provide protection, but Lottie turns him down. Instead she offers herself up to be Nick’s mistress which he refuses because he’d also rather have her as his wife…

I’m classifying this novel under virgin hero, not because Nick was a virgin in his relations to Lottie but because we see him lose his virginity to the Prostitute Gemma, well I suppose she was the Madam of the brothel.

This book would be rated higher, but I was a little disturbed by Radnor’s obsession with trying to break Charlotte as if she were a horse. I also didn’t like learning that her parents were okay with her being locked in a room alone with Radnor while he forced her to sit on his lap and answer to him while he touched her inappropriately… and while there was no full blown rape in the story, this qualifies to me as rape and is marked as such.

Luckily for readers Nick is a dominating force and dispels upsetting Radnor’s presence pretty easily. Oh and this is the first time I’ve seen a shower scene in a historical but Kleypas explains in her author notes why she included it based on her research. It’s solid so don’t let the idea of inaccuracy turn you away from reading this book.

Interesting term found within the prologue: buttock-and-file whore which is an old term for a street prostitute who was in connection with a pickpocket or also pickpocketed her customers. So you would pay, pay again involuntary, and perhaps gain a new venereal disease. Cool.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Worth Any Price (Bow Street, Book 3)

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