Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

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Highland Spitfire by Mary Wine

July 25, 2017 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Highland Spitfire by Mary WineHighland Spitfire by Mary Wine
Series: Highland Weddings #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on February 2, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 315
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Passion flares between enemies
Two hotheaded Highlanders, the offspring of feuding lairds, are tricked by the King's Regent into a desperate choice: marry or die. Bhaic MacPherson is more disposed to lead his clan into battle than stay married to the daughter of his enemy. But perhaps the intensity of his feelings has more to do with desire than hostility.


And the Highlands ignite
Ailis Robertson wanted a husband, not a savage-but when her family was faced with a deadly ultimatum, she had no choice. The union of a MacPherson and a Robertson could end three generations of hostilities between the two families, but can bitter rivals truly become lovers?

Another fantastic highland romance from Mary Wine!  HIGHLAND SPITFIRE pits the MacPhersons against the Robertson clans and to stop the endless feuding, the Queens Regent has ordered a marriage alliance between the two warring clans.  Ailis Robertson is quick to agree in order to save her father from the hanging that will follow if she does not.  Bhaic MacPherson reluctantly agrees much for the same reason.

Despite fierce opposition to her presence in the MacPherson castle, Ailis holds her head high and does her absolute best to make this alliance work.  She works without complaint and refuses to show fear in the face of the “enemy.”  She’s definitely the “highland spitfire” as the title suggests.

Bhaic is a fearsome warrior with a patient, loving heart beneath his tough exterior.  He is patient with Ailis and understanding of the foreign situation she finds herself in.  Bhaic is incredibly protective of those he loves and a typical brawny, brutish highlander, but he wants a willing wife, not a miserable one so he is willing to put aside his ways to woo his wife.

Together and after several trials, Ailis and Bhaic feel intense passion for each other.  Ailis is a little scared of the large warrior and Bhaic is unexpectedly overwhelmed at the thought of losing her, but nothing can stop the love that develops between these two enemies-to-lovers.

The world-building in this novel is phenomenal and the heat is off the charts!  Mary Wine always does a fantastic job of drawing her readers into a deep, historical story that ensures a scintillating love story.

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Heir to the Duke by Jane Ashford

July 20, 2017 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Heir to the Duke by Jane AshfordHeir to the Duke by Jane Ashford
Series: The Duke's Sons #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 5, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
two-stars
Nathaniel Gresham, the handsome Viscount Hargove, lives a life devoted to familial duty. As his father's eldest son, Nathaniel's identity remains the "heir to the Duke of Langford." But this quiet, restrained life changes the minute he marries sweet Lady Violet Devere.

Oppressed by her family all her life, Violet is longing for her marriage vows to be spoken. Though her arranged marriage to Nathaniel was not a match made for love, they're both looking forward to the comparative freedom of married life. And Violet is determined to show Nathaniel how to enjoy it, both in and out of the bedroom.

Violet Devere and Nathaniel Gresham have been engaged for years and Violet cannot be more excited to get out from under the thumb of her over-bearing grandmother.  HEIR TO THE DUKE begins almost immediately with the arranged marriage between Violet and Nathaniel.  While the focus is still on this couple finding happiness and love together, it takes the rather unusual position of beginning with the marriage rather than ending with it.

Violet is quiet and demure, but eager to find herself outside the influence of her grandmother.  Once married, she spends a great deal of time dancing and strolling around town, reveling in her freedom.

Nathaniel the young and handsome heir to a dukedom of some sort whose brothers have always relied on his dependability to get them out of scrapes.

The problem – one of many – was that the couple barely spent any time together.  Additionally, the story spent more time revolving around the evil grandmother than the couple.  I found Violet to be very childish.  She was more interested in buying new dresses and gallivanting about town than spending time getting to know her new husband.  Nathaniel isn’t much better, though I’d imagine a brick having more personality.  Nathaniel’s sole job throughout this book appeared to be reading innocuous letters from his five younger brothers.

I’m not really sure how I actually finished this book.  It was very nearly a DNF.

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One Rogue at a Time by Jade Lee

July 11, 2017 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Rogue at a Time by Jade LeeOne Rogue at a Time by Jade Lee
Series: Rakes and Rogues #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 1, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
A brown-eyed bastard with nothing to lose

As the illegitimate son of a duke, Bramwell Wesley Hallowsby grew up tough, on the fringes of society, learning to hide his hurt and cynicism with charm and Town polish. He’s carved out a place for himself as a mercenary, serving as bodyguard and general strong arm for the peerage. Bram has nothing to lose… and he’s exactly what Maybelle “Bluebell” Ballenger needs.

Meets his match in a blue-eyed beauty with everything to hide

Maybelle needs a mentor to teach her to speak and act like a lady, so she can claim the place in society she was denied. As they team up to take on the ton, Bram knows she’s hiding something even from him. Despite the deception he sees behind those sparkling blue eyes, Bram wants to believe that Maybelle’s love is no lie. But it seems fate has served him up his just desserts in the likes of this determined damsel.

Maybelle Ballenger learns on her mother’s deathbed that she is in fact the granddaughter of an Earl and Maybelle is determined to go to London to demand recognition.  She’s a hard worker and has made a life for herself selling possets within her tiny village.  Yet she yearns for more and knows she’s destined for greater things than her small village life.  And she may have just found her ticket out of the village in the form of Bramwell Hallowsby.

Bramwell Hallowsby is a bastard with a white knight complex and can’t resist a damsel in distress.  But he’s also a little jaded from people taking advantage of him.

Maybelle tricks Bram into helping her learn to be a proper English lady and together they travel across the country before settling in London where Bram’s sister accepts Maybelle’s challenge to teach her the ways of the ton.  By this time, Maybelle and Bram are quickly on their way to falling in love, but are also faced with the reality that Bram is far below Maybelle’s station.

ONE ROGUE AT A TIME is a fun read with captivating adventures and a deep understanding of the time period as reflected in the writing.  But the romance didn’t really work for me.  Bramwell is a little problematic given his attitudes towards Maybelle and Maybelle is almost equally concerning in the way she brushes off certain important topics and secrets.  The romance seemed a little forced, but did get a sweet HEA ending.

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In Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord

July 6, 2017 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In Search of Scandal by Susanne LordIn Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord
Series: London Explorers #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 1, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 408
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
two-half-stars
A DARING EXPLORER

All of London is abuzz with the tale of Will Repton. The lone survivor of a massacre in Tibet has returned to England a hero, but the traumatized explorer has no time for glory. Another dangerous expedition awaits. Nothing will deter him from his quest, and no one will unearth his secret—until Will meets Charlotte Baker.

IS NO MATCH FOR AN ADVENTUROUS HEART

Vivacious Charlotte Baker also has a mission—to find a man whose bold spirit matches her own. When she meets Will Repton, she immediately recognizes him as her soul mate, and she’s naively willing to turn her back on the rules of propriety to ensnare him. Will is torn between his fascination with Charlotte and his vow to finish his quest. He knows what it is to risk life and limb—but what if his most perilous adventure doesn’t lie across an ocean, but within his own lost heart?

Charlotte Baker knows that it is her duty to marry well and return her family to the status they once enjoyed amonst the ton.  When she encounters William Repton, the famed botanist, she sees her chance.  William is something of a celebrity and marrying him will surely push her family back into the limelight.  Charlotte has built him up in her mind as the perfect man, but she is unprepared for what he truly is – a man broken and haunted by a horrendous expedition in Tibet and China and thoroughly repulsed by her obvious hero-worship.

A good effort for a debut novel, but a lot of the plot and characterization fell flat for me.  I especially didn’t like the heroine’s single-minded determination to snare the hero.  I had hoped we’d moved beyond the time when a woman’s sole life goal was to catch a husband.  And yes, I realize that was likely in Victorian England, but this is romance – we read to escape reality and there are certain expectations that come with the genre nowadays; specifically that the heroine have a motivating goal beyond finding a husband!  However, points regained for excellent writing craft and use of language.  Susanne Lord is clearly a talented author that just needs to re-evaluate her chosen plot devices.

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What a Lady Needs for Christmas by Grace Burrowes

June 29, 2017 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What a Lady Needs for Christmas by Grace BurrowesWhat a Lady Needs for Christmas by Grace Burrowes
Series: MacGregors #4
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 7, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 407
Format: eBook
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
To escape a scandal, Lady Joan Flynn flees to her family's estate in the Scottish Highlands. She needs a husband by Christmas, or the holidays will ring in nothing but ruin.

Practical, ambitious mill owner Dante Hartwell offers to marry Joan, because a wellborn wife is his best chance of gaining access to aristocratic investors.

As Christmas—and trouble—draw nearer, Dante and Joan's marriage of convenience blossoms into unexpected intimacy, for true love often hides beneath the most unassuming holiday wrapping...

WHAT A LADY NEEDS FOR CHRISTMAS is the fourth in the MacGregors series, featuring Lady Joan Flynn (from book #2) and Dante Hartwell.  I recommend reading the other books in the series before beginning this one as there are many characters featured in this book whose backstories are somewhat necessary to fully enjoy this book.

Joan is passionate about designing clothes and is searching for a way to make a living from her dreams, despite her aristocratic lineage and the demands that come with it.

Dante expects loyalty, but he’s not afraid to get down and dirty either.  He unapologetic about his industrialist ways and comes to Joan’s rescue hen she needs it most.

Joan believes someone took advantage of her while she was intoxicated (not my favorite plot line) and requires a husband quickly.  Dante obliges and their romance builds slowly.  One of the interesting twists is that even after Joan and Dante come together, Joan is unable to find her release until she comes clean about her secret.

The blackmail plot was a little convoluted and confusing at times, but the book as a whole was an enjoyable holiday read.

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How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina

January 5, 2016 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne FresinaHow to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina
Series: Book Club Belles Society #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 5, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE:

Reject his marriage proposal
Nathaniel Sherringham has returned to Hawcombe Prior a changed man. Gone is the reckless rake who went out on a limb to propose to Diana Makepiece three years ago. Now Nate's mysterious new wealth has the town's rumor mill spinning. To stir things up (and get Diana's attention), Nate boldly announces his plans to marry "any suitable girl" under the age of 25.

Run away
Diana, now 27 and still single, is acutely aware of Nate's return. When her mother suggests a trip to visit a cousin in Bath, Diana leaps at the chance to escape the heartbreak and regret she can't help but feel in Nate's presence...and avoid his irritating charade to find a bride.

But for Nate, Diana has always been the one. He might just have to follow her to Bath and once again lay his heart on the line to win her attention-and her heart.

HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE is a romantic story about broken hearts and second chances.  Closely mirroring many elements of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, the hero and heroine of HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE, Nathaniel Sherringham and Diana Makepiece were once friends with strong, but hidden, feelings for one another.  Until Nathaniel made a inebriated marriage proposal to Diana which Diana’s mother convinces her to refuse.  Though intoxicated, Nathaniel’s proposal was sincere and he leaves the village quite brokenhearted.  Fast forward three years.  Diana has become a shadow of herself, always cow towing to the wishes of her domineering mother instead of expressing her own desires of opinions.  Nathaniel is back, rich, and looking for a bride.  In a fit of wounded pique, he declares his bride must be no older than 25, even though Diana is now 27.  The plot which then follows loosely mirrors that of PERSUASION, so I would suggest readers be at least a little familiar with that wonderful novel as it would enhance a reader’s enjoyment of HOW TO RESCUE A RAKE.

Diana and Nathaniel are like peanut butter and jelly.  Diana is quiet and introverted.  Nathaniel is outgoing and boisterous.  Together, they are a wonderful match – Nathaniel is able to bring Diana out of her shell and Diana’s calm nature helps bring peace to Nathaniel’s race-about lifestyle.  Ms. Fresina does a marvelous job showing exactly why these two lovers are perfect for each other, despite their polar opposite personalities.  I loved that this was a story about second chances.  It was so painful at first to see Diana so wounded by Nathaniel’s callous comments about what he wanted in a bride.  Yet, I could understand that Nathaniel was just trying to protect himself too; of course, we also got to see that Nathaniel didn’t really mean his hurtful words.  He wanted Diana three years ago and he wants her still.

I think readers can definitely relate to many of the characters in this novel and the experiences they go through.  I highly recommend reading this novel, especially for fans of Jan Austen!

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How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English

December 1, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

How to Seduce a Scot by Christy EnglishHow to Seduce a Scot by Christy English
Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 1, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
He's the terror of the ton...

The plan is simple:
1. Descend from the Highlands to face the aggravation of a London Season;
2. Foist his wild sister off on some gullible English lord;
3. Retreat before the ladies of the scandalized
ton can get any ideas.

Determined to see his hellion of a sister wed, Highlander Alexander Waters is willing to face anything—even the English. He just didn't expect his own rough manners to cause such a riot...or for a blooming English rose to catch his eye.

Gently bred Catherine Middlebrook must find a respectable man to marry or her family will be ruined. She won't allow herself to be distracted by Highland barbarians...no matter how her body may thrill whenever Alex is near.

Catherine wasn't part of the plan, but as their battle of wills escalates, Alex comes to realize this "proper" English girl is as wild as the Highlands themselves...and nothing will stop him from having her.

After her family’s disastrous attempts at managing the family finances, Catherine Middlebrook and her sister are left practically penniless with just enough money to give Catherine a single Season.  A Season in which she must find and marry a rich gentleman.  As quickly as she can.  Yesterday, if at all possible.  Lucky for Catherine, the kind (if boring) Lord Farleigh is interested in her.  But the polite attentions of Lord Farleigh are nothing compared to a single glance from the enticing Scotsman, Alexander Waters.  From their first meeting, Catherine and Alexander are attracted to each other with frightening intensity.  Catherine is frustrated and confused; she must marry for money, not the love of a Scotsman, nor matter how appealing he is in his kilt.  Alexander is equally appalled.  He came to London to marry off his little sisters and hie himself back to the Highlands, away from the Sassenach and their ridiculous society rules.

This is a very sweet romance; not at all what I expected from a novel whose hero is a Scottish highlander, but enjoyable nonetheless.  Catherine is young, but is attempting to heroically save her family from scandal and ruination by marrying the richest man who will take her instead of someone who might value and love her.  Alexander is equally sweet; not at all what I expected.  When I think ‘Scottish highlander,’ I think of big, hulking alpha males who care little for the rules and strictures of regency society, ready to create mischief and scandal where ever they go.  Instead, Alexander is quite the gentleman.  Frankly, I think he probably could have been any one of the English lords about the ballroom.

There are a few things that didn’t work for me, but the biggest problem was this: Catherine needed to marry the richest man available, so I understood why she wanted to marry Lord Farleigh.  However, Alexander was an equally rich (or so I thought) Scotsman.  And with this background, I didn’t understand why Catherine believed that she couldn’t marry Alexander instead of Lord Farleigh.  Alexander has the money her family needs and they love each other to boot, so what’s the problem?

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Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie Bradley

November 6, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie BradleyViking Warrior Rising by Asa Marie Bradley
Series: Viking Warriors #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found...and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.

A strong start to what I’m sure will be a great series, VIKING WARRIOR RISING was a rollercoaster from start to finish.  Filled with fantasy and mythological elements such a Norse gods, Valkyries, and Berserkers, but also liberally peppered with science fiction too (Naya is a super-human thanks to genetic experimentation), this novel was difficult to categorize but a thoroughly entertaining read!  Moreover, there are still many questions to be answered in upcoming installments (I hope) in this series which will have readers coming back for more.

Naya Brisbane is a super-human.  She was captured and experimented on until her abilities outgrew those who held her captive.  It is these abilities that allow her to rescue Leif, King of the Beserkers and leader of the army sent by Odin to battle Loki’s minions on earth.  Once Leif recovers from the drug Loki’s minions used on him, instant attraction blooms between him and Naya.  But Leif and Naya have major (make that MAJOR) trust issues which make up most of the back-and-forth romance between the two lovers.

The romance isn’t really the focal point of this novel, however.  Sure, it plays an important role, but I felt as though much of the plot was devoted to the first stirrings of battle between Odin and Loki’s armies.  Regardless, I still very much enjoyed VIKING WARRIOR RISING and look forward to more novels in this series.  Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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Daniel’s True Desire by Grace Burrowes

November 3, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Daniel’s True Desire by Grace BurrowesDaniel's True Desire by Grace Burrowes
Series: True Gentlemen #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Daniel Banks is a man of the cloth whose vocation is the last comfort he has left–and even his churchman’s collar is beginning to feel like a noose. In an attempt to start his life over, Daniel accepts the post of vicar in Haddondale, a position supported by the Earl of Haddonfield. There Daniel meets Lady Kirsten Haddonfield, to whom life has also dealt multiple unkind blows. Daniel’s interest is piqued by Kirsten’s unsentimental attitude toward her misfortunes, and by the kind-heartedness the lady keeps well hidden. Kirsten is much taken with Mr. Banks and his genuine compassion for others, despite his own troubles. When Providence intervenes, and Daniel and Kirsten can become engaged, their happiness seems complete…. though every garden has at least one nasty, sly, determined serpent.

An engaging story about two people, beaten down by life, who upon meeting each other begin to feel just a little less lonely in this cruel world.  Kirsten is sharp-tongued and has resigned herself to spinsterhood because of it.  Daniel’s previous marriage wiped the vivacity and love of life right out of him.  It isn’t until Daniel’s sister inadvertently brings these two lost souls together that Daniel and Kirsten begin to find a spark of life left inside them.

Two broken betrothals has left Kirsten Haddonfield more than a little prickly towards others.  Her motto: brush them off first before they get too close to hurt you.  She is quick-witted and sharp-tongued, hardly the first pick for gentlemen at a ball.  Her situation is made worse by an impending visit to London for her sister’s come-out.  Meeting Daniel begins to soften Kirsten, but there is a dark secret Daniel keeps lying just below the surface that will put their love to the test.

When readers meet Daniel, he is beaten down and ready to give up on everything, even his profession as a clergyman – the one thing he once felt truly passionate about.  Yet it’s easy to sympathize with a hero who readers can easily see is still compassionate and kind.  A perfect match for the heroine!  Indeed, when Daniel and Kirsten meet, it’s like two halves of a whole coming together.  Each can see through the other’s mask of grouchiness and complacency to the true person hiding underneath.

Daniel’s secret (which I won’t give away here) brings a sense of urgency and bittersweetness to Daniel and Kirsten’s relationship and provides much of the physical and emotional tension.  An intense, but imminently satisfying read – I highly recommend checking out DANIEL’S TRUE DESIRE as well as any other book by the phenomenal Grace Burrowes!

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First Season/Bride to Be by Jane Ashford

October 9, 2015 Historical Romance, Reviews 0 ★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First Season/Bride to Be by Jane AshfordFirst Season/Bride to Be by Jane Ashford
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 6, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 512
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
two-half-stars
FIRST SEASON
Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She's dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She's drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.

BRIDE TO BE
Emily Crane is the toast of the ton-and she couldn't find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer...

FIRST SEASON

Lady Anabel Wyndham married straight out of the schoolroom in a match arranged by her parents.  She’s never been to London, never had a come out, but her husband died and she’s decided it’s time to take the children to the glittering streets of Town.  And, lucky for her, the family’s good friend Christopher Hanford is recently arrived too.

This is a variation on an insta-love romance – Anabel and Christopher have been friends for years, but while Christopher has always held deep affection for Anabel, she has only ever seen Christopher as a friend.  Until one moment (no spoilers) suddenly makes her realize she is actually in love with him.  For some people, the insta-love stories are sweet, but I do not care for them.  I don’t find insta-love realistic or compelling and frankly it didn’t make much sense within the narrative.  Moreover, Anabel was flat and almost spineless – she ignores her “beloved” children unless the moment suits her and allows herself to be kidnapped despite many opportunities for escape.  Christopher was a little better, though one must seriously question his sanity for pining after Anabel for so long without any hint his feelings were reciprocated.

I was far more interested in the story of Anabel’s cousin, Georgina, and would like to see more from this character instead.

BRIDE TO BE

Emily Crane has had a most unusual and unconventional upbringing.  The child of outcast, eccentric aristocrats, Emily is well-traveled, intelligent, and out-spoken.  And although she loves her artistic parents a great deal, she cannot help but wonder at the opportunities and stability found in London society.  But her life is not without excitement, such as the day she saved a young man from being drowned by some padfoots.  But she is beginning to wonder if this life is enough for her.

Emily is brought out in London by her socialite Aunt who wastes no time in schooling Emily in all the myriad rules, regulations, and expectations of the bon ton.  There, she meets many of the eccentric people she has encountered on her travels – a thief turned dancing master, a playmate turned physic charlatan, and the young man from the riverbank.  Or rather, Lord Richard Warrington as he is known in London, long-lost son and notorious rakehell.  Emily quickly puts together that someone is trying to kill Richard, but when she shares this news, he believes her mad as a hatter and annoying to boot.  Through a series of unlikely events, Emily and Richard find themselves forced into an arranged marriage.  It’s up to Emily to convince Richard someone is indeed out to kill him, or she won’t have a groom on her wedding day!

This novel was much more interesting than the other in this duplo-book, though still pretty far-fetched and predictable.  I probably would think less harshly of it if I had read this one first or on its own.

The overall rating of this book was significantly affected by FIRST SEASON.  Ultimately, if you enjoy insta-love novels, then borrow this book from your local library or a friend.  Otherwise, skip it.

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