RSS

Category Archives: Romance

The Taming of the Rake – Kasey Michaels

The Taming of the Rake
By Kasey Michaels
Blackhorn Brothers – Book 1
Available Now

Description:
Meet the Blackthorn brothers— Three unrepentant scoundrels infamous for being mad, bad and perilous to love

Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver “Beau” Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can’t forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills–Beckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.

Desperate to escape her family’s control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she’s only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he’ll choose love over vengeance?

This Blonde’s Review:
Even books about couples have a main character. The one that stands out and drives the book more than the others. In this book that would be Chelsea, even though the blurb and the prologue make it seem like Beau would take that role.

Chelsea is headstrong and opinionated. She doesn’t worry about what other people think. Her treatment of Beau in the prologue give us a glimpse of how different she is from other females Beau has known, but from the first chapter there is no doubt about it. Chelsea’s brother is determined to marry her to a man she refuses to have anything to do with. She quickly forms a plan that leads her to Beau’s door, knowing that there is no turning back from her choice. She’d be bringing ruin and possible harm down on Beau and herself, but she’s sure he’ll fall in line with her plan.

Beau is the bastard son of an Earl. When he was whipped for kissing a woman who was ‘above his station’ his beliefs about the world around him changed quickly. Except for a character who is supposedly changed and untrusting he falls into Chelsea’s plan very easily. Like I said, Chelsea runs the show throughout this book. She stumbles into most of the intrigue and danger on her own, then drags Beau into it. Even though she insists on calling him Oliver.

Despite some things falling together a little too easily in my mind, I really enjoyed this. Despite not thinking how it will affect others, Chelsea is very practical and doesn’t worry about the missish things. I love that she’s cheerful and doesn’t complain. She knows what she wants and is quick to see what’s going on around her. Beau/Oliver was a little harder for me to know. At times he was supposed to be hard and willing to take what he needed, yet he was also very caring and worried about those around him.

The story moved kind of quickly and had quite a few unrelated things going on, but the unrelated things also gave us the benefit of showing the characters in different situations. In some ways that made how quickly things moved with Chelsea and Beau a more reasonable idea since they had seen each other in a variety of situations to really know each other.

I liked this one, just like I’ve enjoyed the other books by Kasey Michaels I’ve read. There were several lines that had me smiling and wanting to sharing them, though they may have been less amusing out of context. We see quite a bit of Puck, one of Beau’s brothers, in this one. It makes it easier to look forward to reading the next book in the Blackhorn brothers series and seeing what happens with Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Sin.

If you enjoy romance novels with women who bulldoze over the men around them and men who learn to love it, you should give this one a try. Especially if you enjoy seeing characters try to figure out their feelings when they start as a relationship of convenience. The Taming of the Rogue is out now, with book two to follow at the end of November.

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley, Romance

 

A Tale of Two Lovers – Maya Rodale

A Tale of Two Lovers
By Maya Rodale
Writing Girl Book 2
Available Now

Description:
Lord Simon Roxbury is a godsend to gossip columnists everywhere. this notorious rake has recently been caught in an extremely compromising position by none other than The London Weekly’s Lady of Distinction. Rumor also has it that Lord R received an ultimatum: be wed or be penniless.

As A Lady of Distinction, Lady Julianna Somerset typically reports on other people’s scandals, but soon she finds herself embroiled in a very public battle with an irate Lord Roxbury–one that leaves her reputation in tatters and her position at The Weekly on the line.

With no other choice available, these two enemies unite in a marriage of convenience to rescue both their reputations and secure his fortune. With their rivals intent on revealing the charade, Lady Julianna and Lord Simon inevitably surrender to temptation. It may just be a love match after all…


This Blonde’s Review:
Julianna loves to write about scandal. She loves to write about scandals involving Simon Roxbury most of all. After her experience with her charming rake of a husband she suspects Simon is exactly like him. To Julianna this means she must expose everything he does so that no one else will find themselves in the same situation she was in.

Simon enjoys women and so they enjoy him. He doesn’t understand why Julianna dislikes him so much, but he isn’t about to let her win or take him down. Especially when he needs to find a bride or lose everything.

I really enjoyed this one. Julianna and Simon are both smart and strong minded characters. They won’t go down without a fight and they won’t give in to love without a fight either. Just as with other stories when we have our lady dressing a part, it can be hard to believe that the hero was the only one to see through her disguise, but I believe that Maya Rodale managed to make that work for her story. The author managed to put her characters in a situation where they had to spend enough time together to realize how wrong they were about each other. They were also given enough time to love each other.

I love characters who are willing to give as good as they get. I enjoyed Julianna and Simon and look forward to the next book in the Writing Girl series.

If you enjoy romance novels with ladies who aren’t willing to accept their role meekly, men who aren’t afraid to go after what they want, and a couple who will fight themselves until the accept what is right in front of them then you’ll love this one.

 
 

Unveiled – Courtney Milan

Unveiled
By Courtney Milan
Turner Series Book 1
Available Now

Description:
Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family—and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy—the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion….

This Blonde’s Review:
I love the cover for this book! Now, on to the review.

Ash has hated the Duke of Parford since he was a child. When Ash is able to have the duke’s children declared illegitimate he takes it, claiming he wants a better life for his brother.

Margaret is one of the duke’s now illegitimate children. Ash is unaware of who Margaret really is, since he believes she is nothing more than the nurse she is masquerading as.

One character pretending to be someone else is a classic storyline, as well as having a character that is damaged by something in their childhood. While we do have the common storyline, that doesn’t mean that this is a tired story that isn’t worth reading.

Ash and Margaret are great characters. They have to learn how to get past the actions of the Duke and decide what really matters in their future. They also have the additional issues of Margaret’s brothers to deal with and to consider if they want a shot at being together.

Courtney Milan does a fabulous job bringing these characters to life and making you care about both sides of their argument. If you enjoy strong characters fighting to make things right when right depends on where you stand, then you’ll love this one.

 
 

How To Wed A Baron – Kasey Michaels

How To Wed A Baron
By Kasey Michaels
Daughtry Family Book 5
Available Now

Description:

He is but a pawn in someone else’s game. With no choice but to do the prince regent’s bidding, Justin Wilde must marry—marry!—a woman not of his own choosing. And for the man notoriously referred to as the Bad Baron, marriage is the last thing he wishes to consider. Especially when the bride has the beauty of an angel but the devil’s own temper….

Stunned to find herself married to a stranger, Alina vows to uncover the reason behind their forced union. Yet the more time she spends with her roguish husband, the less the past seems to matter. But when the truth behind their wedding at last emerges, will it strengthen their fragile bond—or shatter their lives forever?

This Blonde’s Review:

This story was somewhat hard for me to get into at first. It may have been different if I had read the others in the series and was familiar with Justin already, but it was a slow start for me.

Justin is not all he seems. He acts like he’s this perfect dandy who doesn’t care what anyone thinks and needs to look perfect at all times. Someone who couldn’t be bothered to put himself out for anything. When he was actually an assassin for the crown during the war after he was exiled to the continent after killing a man in a duel. The Prince finally allowed Justin to go home to England for a price. The final payment of that debt was to marry a woman Justin has never seen.

Alina believes she is being sent to marry Justin to strengthen political ties. Really, she is being sent so Justin can protect her from the man she doesn’t know is trying to kill her. Really, it’s to get the whole conflict away from Austria and into England where it won’t complicate life for the Austrian King.

I liked Alina at first, since she had spirit and was more innocent than most romance leading ladies are. But then she became too enamored of Justin and was too easy to forgive him and go blindly along like she had no spirit. There were things I liked about her and things I didn’t. I liked that she was able to jump in and enjoy her time incognito.

Overall, I liked the story. But it wasn’t a great winner for me. I did love the cover and love the covers for the whole series, I had actually been wanting to read one of these titles for a while from the covers alone but it hadn’t worked out til now.

I believe I’ll go back and read the rest of the series before I cement my feelings for this book in my mind. I really loved the characters from prior books that made appearances and would love to know their stories.

This story is a historical romance with quite a bit of intrigue, some amusing side characters, and a hero who has a lot of guilt to work through. If that sounds like a story for you then you should pick this one up and let me know what you think.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley, Romance

 

The Heiress – Lynsay Sands

The Heiress
By Lynsay Sands
Madison Sisters Book 2
Available Now

Description:
Desperately seeking a husband . . .

Suzette is not like other heiresses; she wants a poor husband, a gentleman who will be so grateful for her dowry that he will allow her access to it so that she can pay off her father’s gambling debts. When this alluring beauty encounters Daniel Woodrow—handsome, titled, single . . . and even more impoverished than she could have hoped for—it seems Suzette’s wildest dreams have come true.

But Daniel has not been truthful. Tired of being accosted by an endless stream of vapid coquettes and their fortune-hunting mothers, Daniel has decided to plead poverty to stop them in their tracks. Yet here is a most refreshing and delectable lady, who claims to be thrilled by his penury. Now all Daniel has to do to find true happiness is to keep a little white lie alive . . . while avoiding a villain who’s determined to prevent this union by any means necessary.


This Blonde’s Review:
If you have read The Countess, book one in the Madison Sisters Trilogy, then you are already familiar with Suzette and Daniel. Since this story overlaps the first story in the series you will want to read The Countess first. We do get to see what happened in book one from Suzette and Daniel’s points of view, so it isn’t identical either.

Suzette is my kind of heiress. She’s headstrong, knows what she wants, and won’t let society matter to her. She decides she needs a poor man. Her goal is to have a grateful husband who will allow her to pay off her father’s gambling debts and allow her freedom after their marriage. She is very eager to avoid the type of marriage her sister, Christiana, was trapped into. Suzette gets lucky and finds Daniel at her first ball. He appears to be the perfect man for her. He’s poor and he’s attractive. Except he’s not really poor.

Daniel doesn’t know what to think of Suzette with her bold proposal. While helping his friend Richard dispose of a body Suzette finds Daniel in her room and assumes he has accepted her proposal. Since he certainly can’t  tell her why he’s really there, Daniel goes along with the idea. From there Suzette rolls right on with her plans and right over his uncertainty. The unusual circumstances with Christiana and Richard throw Suzette and Daniel together often, and they are regularly left alone.

As we can expect, Suzette and Daniel discover they are very sexually compatible during their times alone. Before long Daniel accepts what Suzette already knows and starts to look forward to marrying her.

Of course as the background to this we have Christiana and Richard’s problems with disposing of a dead body, trying to discover who killed the body, and find out who is after Richard. We discover that Daniel and Suzette have problems to solve as well. When Suzette believes Daniel has left her she finds herself with another man and realizes she has more problems than she knew.

Suzette is such a strong character, I can’t help but love her. She won’t take anything from anyone. Daniel is the man who is strong enough to handle her without trying to change her. They are a perfect fit and I love when that happens! Seeing what Lynsay Sands has done with Christiana and Suzette I can’t wait to read what she does with Lisa! Clearly she is going to end up with Robert, the sister’s childhood friend. Sadly they don’t have as much obvious attraction as we see from Daniel and Suzette in the first book, but you do see moments. We have another Year to wait for Lisa’s story, so maybe that’s a good thing since it’ll be hard enough to wait.

If you enjoyed the first book I’m sure you’re already eager to see what happens with Daniel and Suzette. If not this is a series you should get ahold of.

If historical romances with strong women who find men who are perfect for them and accept them as they are then you’ll love this. If the addition of a wonderful family who doesn’t hesitate to jump in to help with the craziness appeals to you as well then this could be a winning series for you. I know I loved it and I’m sure you will too.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley, Romance

 

The Countess – Lynsay Sands

The Countess
By Lynsay Sands
Madison Sisters Book 1
Available Now

Description:
The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily-ever-after . . .

 Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters’ debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing’s happened . . .

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who had robbed him of his name and title . . . only to discover that he had died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited “wife”— certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new “husband” . . . and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!

This Blonde’s Review:
Imagine marrying a man you think is a romantic, kind, and an Earl. Then finding out he’s actually cruel and unyielding. Then have him conveniently drop dead. Then when she goes to a ball with her sisters Suzette and Lisa to have him show up at a ball. Then have him undergo a complete change in personality Again. That is exactly what happened to Christiana. Except Christiana wasn’t really married to Richard Fairgrave. She was married to his younger twin brother George.

Richard’s younger brother George always resented his older brother. George attempted to have Richard killed and then passed the body he thought was Richard’s off as himself. He was not content to simply inherit the earldom, he wanted to replace Richard, though he called himself Dicky a nickname Richard had hated. Little did he know, Richard was not dead. He managed to escape and found himself stranded in America. When Richard gets back to London he goes immediately to a ball to discover that his brother had taken his place and married the beautiful Christiana. Richard decides to step back into his rightful place after comments that Christiana and her sisters made led him to realize that George had died hours before. Since the women did not share that information with anyone and instead rolled Dicky in a carpet to move the body upstairs and put on ice it was an easy enough idea. Except then Richard and his friend, Daniel, had to figure out what to do with the body in order to keep Christiana from realizing what happened.

The idea of bodies in carpets was hilarious and absolutely impossible to me, but the idea that not only did Christiana use that method to move Dicky, but Richard did too was great. It made the idea that both pairs were successful funny, like the author was sharing a joke with the reader about how likely it was that anyone could pull that off. Of course both pairs did run into the butler with Dicky in the carpet…

With Dicky safely back in his bed Richard finds himself succumbing to his desire for Christiana, and Christiana had enough to drink that night to accept what Richard made her feel without thinking too hard on Dicky, even though she thought they were the same man. Christiana soon finds out the truth when she finds herself with a dead Dicky on one side and a living Richard on the other.

As Richard and Christiana get to know each other better they realize they are perfect for each other. Together they try to solve the mystery of who killed George, who is responsible for the many “accidents” that occur around Richard and Daniel, and somehow get married again to make certain their marriage is legal without giving it all away. To top it off Suzette has decided she will marry Daniel and he seems to be going along with the idea, which tells you which sister will be in book two of the Madison Sisters series.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters. Christiana went through hell and while not quite herself at first, she was still stronger than many women would have been. Grace and Suzette each have such distinct personalities that you know their stories will also be distinct even though they will overlap some. Richard is kind and reading about him you just know he’s a handsome man. Yet somehow we know that Dicky is not as handsome as his brother even though they are twins. Their personalities were so different it is clear that looking in their eyes and seeing how they treat people would impact their attractiveness.

When Christiana finds herself in danger it was great seeing the way everyone rallied around to help her. The sisters did not wait patiently for the men to save they day, since they are just as strong as Christiana. Even the butler gets involved in the rescue, but with his appearances throughout the book that isn’t much of a surprise.

I do have to say that there is one matter that wasn’t resolved that I believed Richard let go a little too easily. That is really the only thing I can say that I didn’t like about this book.

If you enjoy a romance novel you can laugh to that also includes some whodunit, then you’ll love this story from Lynsay Sands, the first in her great new Madison Sisters series.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Book Review, NetGalley, Romance

 

Midnight’s Wild Passion – Anna Campbell

Midnight’s Wild Passion
By Anna Campbell
Available 1 May 2011

Description:
London’s most notorious seducer, Nicholas Challoner lives solely for revenge . . .

The dashing, licentious Marquess of Ranelaw can never forgive Godfrey Demarest for ruining his sister—now the time has come to repay the villain in the same coin. But one formidably intriguing impediment stands in the way of Nicholas’s vengeance: Miss Antonia Smith, companion to his foe’s unsuspecting daughter.

Having herself been deceived and disgraced by a rogue—banished by her privileged family as a result and forced to live a lie—Antonia vows to protect her charge from the same cruel fate. She recognizes Ranelaw for the shameless blackguard he is and will devote every ounce of her intelligence and resolve to thwarting him.

Yet Antonia has always had a fatal weakness for rakes . . .

 

This Blonde’s Review:
When Nicholas decides that the best revenge on the man who ruined is sister is ruining the man’s daughter, he is determined to carry it out. He never suspected that he would find himself blocked at every turn by the beautiful girl’s companion.

Antonia is in hiding after her disgrace and is working as her cousin’s companion in society. She disguises her beauty and is devoted to her cousins. She is determined to keep Cassie from experiencing anything except the perfect season.

I couldn’t help but love these characters. They were working towards different goals and they both knew it, yet the sparks between them were enough to catch a room on fire. Watching them battle it out while they also fought their growing attraction was amusing and had me caught up in the story so that I didn’t want to put it down. Cassie was wonderful, her apparent fascination with Nicholas makes Antonia’s job harder, and doesn’t make Nicholas’ job as easy as he thinks it will. Cassie has a plan of her own and is a stronger character than anyone gives her credit for. I love that about her and it makes Cassie the kind of character I would love to see again.

Nicholas is a stubborn man, making him incapable of listening to his sister or what she wants after what happened to her. Antonia has a weakness for the charming rake but the backbone to stand up and do whatever she can to prevent his plans for being successful. Putting these two characters against each other was perfect and I loved the way Anna Campbell had the whole thing play out.

I am a big fan of Anna Campbell’s work and I can’t wait to read the next book she releases. If you’re new to her books you should pick this one up as soon as it’s available. If you enjoy historical romance, characters who will fight what they could have in an attempt to stick to their own plans, and a love triangle as well then you’ll soon find yourself loving this book as much as I did.