September TBR Challenge – Historicals Galore!

My Lady Thief by Emily Larkin

The Historicals prompt in the TBR Challenge is my Busman’s Holiday, but it can nonetheless be quite difficult to choose a book from the many still sitting unread on my Kindle.  In the end, I decided to go for something I was pretty certain would be a winner and picked up Emily Larkin’s My Lady Thief, a standalone title that was first published as The Unmasking of a Lady in 2010, under her Emily May pen-name.  Every book I’ve read by this author has proved to be extremely enjoyable and well-written; she creates attractive, well-rounded characters and puts them in interesting situations and her romances are always well-developed and laced with sexual tension.  My Lady Thief most ably continues that impressive track record.

Miss Arabella Knightley is beautiful, poised, intelligent, self-assured and the granddaughter of an earl – a most eligible parti were it not […]

By | 2017-09-20T10:12:28+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Historicals, Lynn AAR, Reading, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: |9 Comments

June TBR Challenge – Pick Your Favorite Trope

A Rumored Engagement by Lily George

I’m a sucker for second-chance-at-love stories. I have autobuy authors I love and certain settings catch my eye, but when I’m taking a chance on a new author, favorite plotlines will often call my name. And second chance stories are definitely near the top of my list, with friends-to-lovers being a close second. For favorite tropes month on the TBR Challenge, I read A Rumored Engagement, a 2014 historical from Lily George. Though published as part of the Love Inspired Historical line, I suspect fans of Regency trads might like this one as well.

As the story opens, Susannah Siddons and her sisters prepare to open a millinery shop in the village of Tansley. Upon arrival, they run into a mishap with their door and when a man from the past comes to their rescue, we quickly learn about Susannah’s long-forgotten engagement to Daniel Hale of […]

Comfort Reads – TBR Challenge 2017

My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway

March’s prompt for the TBR challenge is “comfort read”, which is defined as a book that uses a favourite trope or setting, or is by a favourite author.  I’ve chosen something from my TBR that everyone seems to have read except me – Connie Brockway’s My Dearest Enemy, which combines two of my favourite things, an enemies-to-lovers romance and a story in which letters play an important part (I do love an epistolary novel!).  It’s a gloriously romantic, character-driven story set at the end of the 19th century, in which our hero – a famous explorer – and heroine – an advocate of women’s suffrage – butt heads over the home they both love, sniping and pushing each other’s buttons as the attraction between them deepens.

Avery Thorne finds himself all but disinherited upon the death of his uncle Horatio, who, believing Avery to be a […]

TBR Challenge 2017: New-to-Me Authors

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The combination of cheap and “sounds intriguing” has lured me into buying many a book. And since I’m fairly dangerous in used bookstores, I have a massive TBR pile. So, when prompted to pick out a book by a new-to-me author, my dilemma was something along the lines of which new-to-me author to liberate from the stack. I’ve heard good things about Jennifer Donnelly’s books over the years.  I wasn’t quite in the mood to tackle a giant doorstopper of a book this month, so I skipped over The Tea Rose and picked up her 2003 young adult novel, A Northern Light, instead.

From the cover blurb, I was uncertain whether to expect YA romance or historical fiction. I think this haunting coming-of-age novel is more properly classified as historical fiction and while I did find it hard reading at times, I loved the story. Set […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:00+00:00 February 15th, 2017|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, Romance reading, TBR Challenge|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Nov TBR Challenge

countessshshameless When I started reading romance, I stuck almost entirely to historicals and romantic suspense. When I saw this month’s TBR Challenge prompt, I knew I had no shortage of historical reading in my closet o’TBR. I decided to go with a new-to-me author and picked up Liana LeFey’s 2012 debut, Countess So Shameless. This Georgian historical, set in France and England during the reign of George II, has enough intelligence and unique characterization to keep me reading but also enough eyeroll-inducing plot twists to make it difficult for me to recommend.

The novel opens at Versailles where the teenaged Melisande Compton has come to court with her French mother and English father. We learn very quickly that this isn’t entirely a pleasure visit and while in France, Melisande learns a dangerous and devastating family secret. Overcome with emotion, she runs headlong into Lord Alessandro Orsini, a rakish diplomat for the Papal States. Though warned early and often by her mother of […]

TBR Challenge – Wild Card!

tuliptreeThis month’s TBR Challenge is a wild card.  When told to go whereever my mood takes me, I find myself overwhelmed with choice since I have quite a sizable TBR pile these days. For this month’s read, I decided to dive into a box of old Coventry romances from the 1970s that I picked up at a library book sale. These books are trads, mostly of the Regency variety, but the line did publish a few from other time periods as well.  My pick, a 1979 release called The Tulip Tree by Mary Ann Gibbs, was one of these and is a Victorian romance set during the 1840s.

As with many of the older romances I’ve read, the heroine in this one is rather young. Allegra Lakesby is 18, and upon her father’s death, she learns that not only do she and her mother need to vacate Lakesby in order to allow her cousin to claim it as his inheritance, but […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:06+00:00 September 21st, 2016|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, TBR Challenge|Tags: , , |2 Comments

TBR Challenge 2016 – Kickin’ It Old School

tangled August’s TBR Challenge prompt is “Kickin’ it old-school” and it’s a prompt I always enjoy as it gives me the opportunity to pick something from the TBR Pile of Doom, which still looms large next to the bed. I went for Tangled by Mary Balogh, a standalone title originally published in 1991 which features a somewhat unusual premise; one I haven’t read before although I’m sure this isn’t the only book to have made use of it. I see that the book has engendered very mixed reactions over the years, and although I can understand why, I enjoyed it, principally because Mary Balogh is so skilled at portraying the emotional lives of her characters in a way that makes them feel very real to the reader.

The book opens as Lady Rebecca Cardwell is saying a fond farewell to her husband, Julian, before he departs with his regiment for Malta, and then the Crimea. He is accompanied by his foster brother, David, […]

July TBR Challenge post – RITA season

burningskyThe 2016 RITA awards were announced last week, and now it’s time to get a little nostalgic for this month’s TBR Challenge. In years past, I’ve gone all the way back to the first awards handed out in 1982 to read my pick. However, this time around, I went with something much more recent – The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, nominee for a 2014 RITA in the paranormal romance category. Though it didn’t win that year, this book is a wonderful read.

Most readers probably recognize Thomas as an author of superb historicals.  This novel, set in an alternate world that intersects somewhat with 1880s England, marks her first foray into YA. I enjoyed the characters and the world created for them, and this book would definitely go on my DIK shelf.

Our heroine, Iolanthe Seabourne, is of a type that anyone who reads a lot of paranormal (YA or adult) will recognize.  She is that special snowflake deemed the […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:08+00:00 July 20th, 2016|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, TBR Challenge|Tags: , , |7 Comments

TBR Challenge 2016 – Pick a Trope, Any Trope

ladyslesson There are few tropes I actively dislike, but I’m a sucker for a good marriage of convenience story. I love the idea of two people who don’t or who hardly know each other being put into a situation of enforced proximity and intimacy and watching them as they come to know and understand each other and to fall in love. It’s a trope that works especially well in historicals, and my enduring love for it is no doubt partly attributable to the fact that the first historical romance I remember reading is Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me which makes excellent use of the compromised-into-marriage plotline. […]

TBR Challenge – Expect the Unexpected

leviswill I’m a fairly eclectic reader (just check my Goodreads account for proof of that), so when confronted with a theme calling on me to pick out something completely different, I found myself at a bit of a loss. I decided to go with the “outside my comfort zone” side of things, and I picked up Levi’s Will by W. Dale Cramer. I read plenty of inspirationals, but I have often been candid about Amish books just not being my thing. I only had this 2005 novel in the TBR because a couple bloggers I respect had praised it to the skies. Having read it, I now see why.

The book opens on an Amish farm in the 1940s as 19 year old Will Mullett flees his father’s home together with his younger brother Tobe. The two eventually find their way south from Ohio, where they end up taking on various manual labor jobs to support themselves. Early on, we […]

By | 2017-06-23T08:30:10+00:00 May 18th, 2016|Categories: Caz AAR, Lynn AAR, Reading|Tags: , , , |7 Comments