Joy to the Earl – Nicola Davidson (Review)


Jack Reynolds does not remember why he was in the carriage. All he knows is that he was pulled from its wreckage by the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen.

Rosalind – a widow with a scandalous reputation – is not expecting another Christmas guest, particularly not a mysterious, devastatingly handsome Yorkshire carpenter, but she has no intention of sending an injured man out into the snow.

Continue reading “Joy to the Earl – Nicola Davidson (Review)”

Her Husband’s Harlot – Grace Callaway (Review)

hhhDistraught over her husband’s coldness, Lady Helena disguises herself as a much less reputable woman and follows her husband to a brothel. This precipitate action sets in motion a string of events involving passion, trauma, and just so much subterfuge.

Lady Helena must find a way to gain her husband’s love without him discovering her secret. Her husband, Nicholas, must find a way to gain her love without her discovering his secret. There are endless disguises and concealments and misunderstandings.
Continue reading “Her Husband’s Harlot – Grace Callaway (Review)”

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart – Sarah MacLean (Review)

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's HeartEleven Scandals To Start to Win a Duke’s Heart is the third and final book in Sarah MacLean’s “Love by Numbers” series – I wrote about the first two here and here.

Like the first two, Eleven Scandals is the story of the family of the Marquess of Ralston, and their romantic struggles. This one focuses on Juliana Fiori, the Italian-born half sister of the series’ first two protagonists. Continue reading “Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart – Sarah MacLean (Review)”

Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord – Sarah MacLean (Review)

Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord

Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord is the sequel to Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake, and the second in the “Love by Numbers” series. I wrote about the first one here.

It isn’t necessary to read the first book to understand this one; it is a complete story on its own. However, there are links and details between the books, recurring characters and so on that will be missed or seem irrelevant if you pick up the second book first.

The first book concerns the romance between a respectable young woman and the Marquess of Ralston, who is not respectable at all. Those characters, and their supporting cast, do appear in Ten Ways to be Adored, but in a much more minor role. The only recurring character who gets a big part is Lord Nicholas St. John, because he’s now the protagonist. Continue reading “Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord – Sarah MacLean (Review)”

Shades of Milk and Honey – Mary Robinette Kowal (Review)

Shades of Milk and Honey Mary Robinette Kowal

I first heard of Shades of Milk and Honey in this post by Andrew Knighton. He described it as “the social whimsy of Jane Austen with magical fantasy”.

I wasn’t initially sold on the concept – two great things mixed together often goes poorly. I enjoy science fiction, and I enjoy fantasy, but any attempt to combine the two – to add crashed spaceships to my heroic quest, or a pre-industrial planet to my space opera – tends to leave me cold. So, while I enjoy regency romances, and I enjoy fantasy, I was a little wary.

I bought it, but then put it to one side, and only started reading it because I didn’t want to start working on a Sunday morning. I then found it very difficult to stop reading, and completed very little work. I regret nothing.  Continue reading “Shades of Milk and Honey – Mary Robinette Kowal (Review)”

Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake – Sarah MacLean (Review)

Sarah MacLean Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake

I’m very attached to romances, particularly ones set during the Regency. It’s a fascinating and easily embellished period of history – it has everything one could ever need for an exciting, bodice-ripping story: duels, balls, rakes and elopements. Engagements are made and broken, caddish men attempt to take liberties, remarkable eyes ensnare eligible and inveterate bachelors. It’s all very exciting, and they always end happily.

I find that such books always improve my mood – everything works out in the end, which is positive and gratifying, but the road to that end is fraught with danger, intrigue, and fits of the vapours. Georgette Heyer is, obviously, the foremost in the genre, having written a huge number of books that all contain a broadly similar narrative and yet manage to remain distinct and interesting. Her work (and Austen’s too, though I feel that people who are inspired by Pride and Prejudice to write romance novels have rather missed the point) have spawned a host of imitators ranging in quality from the absolutely appalling to the very readable.

Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake is such a romance, and one that tries to cram in as many of the above elements as it can get away with. The book features gambling hells and ballgowns, spurned mistresses and discreet manservants. It has everything that a Regency romance needs. Continue reading “Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake – Sarah MacLean (Review)”