It’s that time again – TBR Challenge is on! Wendy the Superlibrarian is hosting again, and Lynn and Caz are joining the group to challenge one another (and you!) to go through your stack of books and shop your bookcase at least once each month. This month we’re looking for something short – a category romance, a novella or short story, something in that vein. One pick was a little more successful than the other, but hey, we each knocked down something from the TBR mountains.
Smoke and Ashes by Danica Winters
On Friday, I reviewed début author Minerva Spencer’s Dangerous, book one in her series, The Outcasts. I remember being a bit sceptical when the book first appeared on my radar; I’ve become increasingly wary of historical romances touting danger and adventure over the past couple of years, as so many of them have been disappointing – too full of plot, not enough focus on the characters and their relationship. Plus, a heroine kidnapped by pirates and sold to a sultan? Had we somehow gone Back to the Future and the 1980s bodice ripper when I wasn’t looking? For whatever reason, I decided to read the book and, as I said in my review, after the first few pages realised my preconceptions had been entirely misplaced, and, once I’d finished, that I wanted to know a bit more […]
In 2011, I read the first of Elizabeth Essex’s Dartmouth Brides books, The Pursuit of Pleasure. This is Ms. Essex’s debut novel and, especially for a first book, quite good. In my B review I wrote:
I liked James and Lizzie but had a hard time understanding why they made the choices they did. James, in the name of his work, allows Lizzie to suffer tremendously while claiming to love her. Lizzie, bedazzled by sex with James and still hell-bent on being independent, behaves in ways that are at times unsympathetic and flat-out self-destructive. And for all the thinking they do about each other — and Ms. Essex spends a good deal of time relating her characters’ thoughts — neither really sees the other very clearly until, perhaps, the end of the novel. This lack of unambiguous relationship development combined with too […]
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 […]
KJ Charles’s three Society of Gentlemen Regency romances were all rated Desert Isle Keepers by All About Romance. A Seditious Affair, which was awarded a coveted A+, was voted tied first for Best LGBTQ+ Romance in the All About Romance annual poll, and received Honourable Mentions for Best Romance and Best Historical Romance set in the UK.
Today, author Alexis Hall interviews KJ about the Society of Gentlemen trilogy.
AJH: What drew you to the Regency period as a setting?
KJC: When I wrote the initial story, The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh, it was pure homage to the classic Regency romances. I wanted sexy queer Heyer, so I did my best to […]
Still tied to his desk in the Intelligence Office, Colonel Eden Maxwell has become increasingly disenchanted with both Oliver Cromwell and his own daily existence; and with the advent of new Royalist conspiracies, he despairs of ever getting away.
Then a brick hurled through the window of a small workshop sets in motion a new and unexpected chain of events. After all, who would want to hurt Lydia Neville – a young widow, giving work and self-respect to maimed war veterans considered unemployable elsewhere? But when the assaults in Duck Lane escalate, threatening the life and remaining limbs of some of Eden’s former troopers, finding the culprit becomes personal.
At their first meeting, Lydia finds Colonel Maxwell annoying; by their second, having discovered that he had arrested and questioned her brother in connection with the Ship Tavern Plot, she mistrusts his motives. On the other hand, it […]
I’ve been desperate to read The Earl Takes All since I finished Falling into Bed With a Duke, the first book in Lorraine Heath’s Hellions of Havisham Hall series. Even though at that point no synopsis had been published, I had an inkling of where this story might be going – which says a lot for Ms Heath’s ability to bury hints and subtext in whichever story she happens to be telling at the time – and I have been really, REALLY curious as to how she was going to pull off such a difficult premise. […]
Dabney: I’m determined to keep this interview spoiler free. So, no mentioning who it is who writes the 50 Ways to Sin stories! But can I ask, did you know who the author was from the beginning of the series?
Caroline: Thank you for that! At the very beginning of Love and Other Scandals, the first book, I had not decided for sure, but by the end of the book I knew.
My other consideration for Lady Constance, by the way, was a totally new character who would have emerged during the series, not one of the existing characters. […]
‘Tis been quite a year for us here in our small town of Sandy Balls. And to think, a year ago, I despaired of my daughters Arabella and Lavinia finding husbands and worried my darling Didimus would never take a bride. As for me, well, I was sure I’d live out the rest of my years here at Cinnabon, dedicated to the memory of my dear departed Humphrey. Though I’d vow it never happens, it must be acknowledged, in these assumptions, I was mistaken.
I must state my fear that Arabella would remain a spinster was understandable. The girl is such a, dare I say, bluestocking. If she’s read a single volume from our library while draping herself artfully over the yellow floral silk covered chaise lounge, she’s read them all. A man finds nothing less attractive than an overly educated female. My dear departed Humphrey often told me he loved nothing in me so much as the sweet simplicity of my thoughts. It must be […]
Reading an historical romance for a reading challenge is rather like a Busman’s Holiday for yours truly; the only difficulty being which one to pick from the YOOOGE number I have sitting on my TBR pile. In the end, I closed my eyes, metaphorically stuck a pin in the Paperback Pile of Doom that sits by the side of the bed, and ended up with A Brilliant Mismatch by Elizabeth Mansfield, which was originally published in 1991.
Lady Moira Pattinger is, at twenty-six, the eldest of four sisters and the only one of them to remain unmarried. That is not by design, however. She has in fact been betrothed twice… and jilted twice, each time in favour of one of her sisters thanks to the interference of her father, who offered each suitor a substantial sum of money to give up Moira and marry one […]