Category Archives: historical romance review

Tessa Dare delights readers again

Author Tessa DareWhen a Scot Ties the Knot is the third in Tessa Dare‘s delightful Castles Ever After series. Each romance features characters so real that they feel like childhood friends by the time I finish the book. I wish I could invite them over for dinner – or, even better, step into the pages of her books and join them for dinner!

Each of Tessa Dare’s characters have their own individual quirks and passions, fears and challenges that they have to overcome. In When a Scot Ties the Knot, the heroine Maddie (Miss Madeline Gracechurch) is a talented artist with a love of nature who is shy to the point of social phobia. To escape her terror of a season in London, she invents a fiance, a war hero who conveniently dies in battle, allowing her to retire to the country and mourn his ‘death’ in peace.

The hero Captain Logan MacKenzie is a mentally bruised and battered survivor of the wars in France who is determined to create a safe place for what remains of his army unit to rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, for Maddie, his name is the same as the one she chose for her fictional fiance – and the ever-efficient British Postal Service made sure each and everyone of her letters reached him. Being killed off triggers one of his emotional hot buttons, and when the war ends, a furious Logan he sets off to Maddie’s rural haven in Scotland, determined to make this careless society Miss pay for her perceived disregard for his name and person – and honour the engagement she created.

As always, Ms Dare has written a romance this is rich, witty, sexy and unforgettable. This story is truly a delight. Read and enjoy.

5 hearts all

 

 

When a Scot Ties the Knot is a sexy Regency romance.

 

The Seduction of Lord Stone: A delightful romantic interlude

SPOILER ALERT: FANGIRL POST AHEAD

An Anna Campbell novellaI discovered my first Anna Campbell novel just a couple of years ago as I was browsing the shelves of a small bookshop. What a serendipitous moment that proved to be, leading me through multiple titles in rapid succession until I arrived here, at the publication of The Seduction of Lord Stone, the first book in her Dashing Widows series.

I’m always on the lookout for a good novella. There are lots of points in its favour. I can read a whole book if I have a couple of hours spare one evening, or over the weekend, getting a satisfying full-story fix uninterrupted by work or dinner or housework. I’m also fond of brevity. Cut the waffle, I say. The intensity level is also higher, especially in the hands of an expert like Anna.

Of course, not all authors excel at this short form. Some truncate the story, resulting in a simplistic plot or under-developed characters. However, every one of Anna’s novels that I have read is a full, rich and rounded story regardless of whether it is  a full-length romance or a short and sexy novella. Yes, I’m a fan, and I make no apologies for that. Let me take the stand and declare: I LOVE Anna Campbell’s books! They are emotionally intense, dark and funny and sexy – smoking’ hot actually. I adore her heroines and love her heroes. What more could I ask for as a reader?

The Seduction of Lord Stone is the story of Caroline, Lady Beaumont and Silas Nash, Viscount Stone. Caroline has had a dreary year in mourning that she survived only because of her new friendships with Helena, the Countess of Crewe and Fenella, Lady Deerham. The three decide to become dashing widows once their year of mourning is complete since not one of them, for different reasons, wishes to remarry. Caroline in particular is determined to have some fun and sets about targeting the right man to make her lover. For this task she enlists the help of Helena’s brother, Lord Stone.

Poor Silas! What a lowering position for a reformed rake to find himself in. He has devoted the year of Caroline’s mourning to winning her trust only to discover that he has been designated the status of ‘a dear friend’. Worse, Caroline has her eye fixed on his best friend, a man he now regards as not fit for London society let alone Caroline’s. Can he change her mind? Persuade her that it is possible to be lovers and friends? You’ll have to read it to find out. To whet your appetite and find out what indignities the man suffers, read an extract from The Seduction of Lord Stone here.

Books two and three in the Dashing Widows series of novellas will be available in early 2016. Look out for Tempting Mr Townsend and Winning Lord West.

Also recommended: The Sons of Sin series

  • Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed
  • A Rake’s Midnight Kiss
  • What a Duke Dares
  • A Scoundrel by Moonlight
  • Three proposals and a Scandal (novella)

5 hearts all

 

 

The Seduction of Lord Stone is a sexy Regency romance.

The Ministry of Marriage

How could one not read a series called The Ministry of Marriage? For me it conjures up an image of a Hogwarts-style benevolent rule that immediately demands a certain rebellion. So it proves. The guardians and parents who make up the Ministry of Marriage aim to ensure the dynastic future of Regency England’s best families whilst also securing marriages based on respect for their children. Naturally the children rebel and insist on falling in love.

Ministry of Marriage

Like all the best series, Christina Brooke‘s Ministry of Marriage can be read in order – or flagrantly out of order, as I have done. I started with The Wickedest Lord Alive about Xavier, the Marquis of Steyn and Lizzy Albright. Then, having developed a taste for Christina’s fine command of the best and worst of human nature, especially as contained within family units, I read his sister Rosamund and Griffin, the Earl of Tregarth’s story in Mad About the Earl. Love is at the heart of both of these sexy Regency Romances, threatened by family intrigue, warring factions and internal doubts.

The heroes of both the above books are deeply scarred by their childhoods, Xavier emotionally and Griffin both physically and emotionally. Fortunately for them, neither Lizzie nor Rosamund is as sweet and gentle as she looks. Both are prepared to fight for what they want and neither will be deterred by either fearsome scowls or insane and dangerous relatives.

I was also delighted to find out that three of the books – The Wickedest Lord Alive, London’s Last True Scoundral, and The Greatest Lover Ever (they are nothing if not confident, the Westruther men) are now available as audiobooks in the US. Hopefully worldwide distribution will follow soon.

I am not the only one who adores Christine’s books. As regards Mad About the Earl, Suzanne Enoch said ‘Clever, lush and lovely’ whilst Romance Junkies called it ‘a true historical gem‘. Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews described The Wickedest Lord Alive as ‘Smart, funny and a joy to read’. I think I will tackle Heiress in Love next. Anna Campbell said of the Constantine Black, ‘One of the most compelling heroes I’ve read in years’. Given how much I like Anna Campbell’s heroes (watch this space), that lure is irresistible.

There are many more members of the Westruther, Black and de Veres families to be married off, so I hope that Christina will not stop at book 6 but continue to write and delight fans like me. In particular, I wait with bated breath for the Grand Daddy of the Westruthers, family protector and arch manipulator the Duke of Montford, to fall in love. He deserves it – and so do his charges!

5 hearts all

 

 

The Ministry of Marriage books are sexy Regency romances.

A Dangerous Madness by Michelle Diener

Welcome to my first post on Love Lines, a blog I dedicate to all the wonderful romance writers who bring their readers so much pleasure and entertainment. Like many of you, I have an enormous store of books, overflowing from book shelves and even busting out of my Kindle, if such a thing is possible. I have decided to review and share them as it is such a pity to keep good news to oneself.

My first review is Michelle Diener’s delightful sweet Regency romance, A Dangerous Sweet Regency RomanceMadness. It’s beautifully written and combines romance with adventure in a story in which Michelle skilfully blends fact and fiction when Miss Phoebe Hillier and James, Duke of Whittaker get caught up in the conspiracy surrounding the assassination of British prime minister Spencer Percival in May 1812.

I love learning about history through my fiction, and Michelle has obviously done a great deal of research around the only successful assassination of a British prime minister. Spencer Percival was a man with many political enemies and investigating each group against a tight deadline provided fascinating insight into England’s domestic politics during the Regency.

However, the history never interferes with but rather compliments Phoebe and James’ growing romance. James has a reputation as a dissolute Duke, one he has cultivated at great pains to allow him to penetrate circles no respectable person would be seen in – or trusted in. Phoebe is 25, in the care of her aunt, and engaged to a man she does not like. However, when Lord Sheldrake jilts and makes a run for the continent, he not only threatens to ruin her personal standing in the ton but also puts her life in danger as his connection to the plot to assassinate the prime minister is revealed. Although he is initially not sure if he can trust her, it is up to James to save her life.

Aside from the history, there were a couple of things I particularly liked about A Dangerous Madness. The dialogue between the two protagonists is witty and the romance underlined by growing admiration and desire. The heroine has courage and the hero … well, I do love a grown up, emotionally mature and chivalrous hero. A little part of me will always be in love with the Duke of Whittaker. Further, the book came in the most beautiful paperback edition which I will treasure. It is also available as an ebook.

Michelle has two other Regency romances, Emperor’s Conspiracy and A Banquet of Lies as well as a host of other books. She writes in two genres, historical romance and science fiction/fantasy, and I look forwarded to reading more of her work.

5 hearts

A Dangerous Madness is a sweet Regency Romance