Three Chapter Test: How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days by Harmony Williams

The Three Chapter Test was created due to the mountain of books I have in my Kindle, and because in contrast to that, there’s so little time. So, in order to get to the books that I want to read, or that intrigue me and capture my imagination and attention, I decided to do a Three Chapter Test on the books. Meaning, I must read at least the first 3 chapters or 17% of the book, whichever comes first, in order to make a more or less informed judgement on whether to continue or to abandon.

So, here goes:

Title: How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days
Author: Harmony Williams
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance

Plus Points:

  1. The author’s prose is refreshing with new ways of saying things.
  2. The story is in written from the 1st person POV, which is not my preferred style, but the heroine’s voice was engaging and delightful. See point #1.
  3. Julian, the hero, is mysterious and sounds dashing.
  4. It’s a friends-to-lovers story, my favorite trope!

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Review: The Highwayman’s Proposal by Vanessa Liebe

Why does Lady Godwin find it so hard
to obey her highwayman?
REVIEW

The Highwayman’s Proposal is a fun, short story that is both heartwarming and sexy and erotic. The chemistry between Gabe and Caroline shoots sparks off the pages, and their romance is both believable and spine-tingling. Caroline is a relatable and sympathetic heroine; I can’t imagine what she must have gone through with her father bedbound and the debts he incurred resting heavily on her shoulders. I’m happy to be living in these present times, where women have more agency and power. Still, Caroline made do with what she has (and good she found a friend in Gabe), and her courage is something to aspire to.
It was certainly fun to see Caroline in the role of a highwaywoman, and though it was a set up for the eventual spanking, her motivations for her actions, no matter how rash, were believable and realistic. Though there’s some spanking involved between consenting adults, it’s light and something you might see in general romance novels.  The mystery of Gabe’s identity is easily solved toward the end, and I wish there could be a bit more scene between him and his brother and Caroline. But maybe there’ll be like a big Blakeney family reunion in the last book. It’s certainly something to look forward to. Though The Highwayman’s Proposal is the 3rd book in the series, you don’t have to read the previous 2 books to enjoy this.
Rating: 4 stars

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Review: Silk & Scholar by Cassandra Dean

The much anticipated next installment of
the Silk series is finally here!
Will a firebrand and her antagonist
discover passion of a different kind?

REVIEW

SILK & SCHOLAR is an enjoyable historical romance, of “enemies” becoming lovers. While it is a short novella and the steamiest is a kiss between the main characters, Cassandra Dean’s characters are charming and develops the sweetest romance. Perhaps the “exchange” of correspondences at the beginning of the story sets the tone of their relationship, and you can see that these two characters, while they love to needle the other into a passionate frenzy, they also find their exchanges exhilarating, something that heats up their blood and slowly, they find that perhaps underneath, they are feeling something else for the other all along.

 

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoy this latest offering by Cassandra Dean in the Silk Series. The grand gesture by Christopher was moving, and I love that while Etta was finding a hard time opening up/articulating her feelings, he didn’t let her flounder, but instead he took up the conversational ball to further convince her of his feelings for her, absolutely leaving her in no doubt as to what they are.

 

If you have loved the previous book, Silk & Scars, as I did, you’ll be tickled to see cameo appearances by Gwen and Edward. I’m looking forward to the next (and last?) book in the series.

Rating: 4 stars

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Review: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare

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Tessa Dare is back with another fun, funny, romantic novella in the Spindle Cove series.

Elinora Browning is on her way to Spindle Cove to give a talk (she’s an authoress) when the coach left without her. Forced to share a ride with Lord Dashwood, her friend who’d left her so precipitously years before and who “unknowingly” inspired “Lord Ashwood Missed Out”, the pamphlet she wrote that made her famous, she hoped just to get to her destination unscathed. Alas, Dash was determined that she prove to him what he missed out on…

I’m not sure what it is about the Spindle Cove series, but it seems to inspire Ms. Dare to write the kind of stories I love–light, funny, with artful turn of phrases and tongue-in-cheek humor that made me breeze through this novella in one sitting and wishing for more. (And yes, there’ll be more with a Spindle Cove book #5 in 2016! Yay!) Continue reading

Review: Lords of Love and Legends by Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder

From USA Today Bestselling and
National Award-winning Authors
Allie Mackay, Brenda Jernigan and Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Four magical tales of timeless desire

MY REVIEW

What a marvelous collection of historical romances! Though each story is different, the characters just come alive and transport me into their story. I found myself rooting for each couple, that they would get their HEA. The difficulties they experienced spurred on their growth, rounding out their character, and their romantic developments are realistic and very enjoyable to read.

It was a new thing for me to read Scottish dialogue, all those “didnae” and “ye” etc, but once I got used to it, I thought it brought an authenticity to the story that immersed me fully in that time and place. Love also the hint of magic and supernatural/mystery in the stories–like how the heroine in Winter Fire by Sue-Ellen Welfonder thought the hero is a god, but is he really? As well as the presence of the Cailleach (witch) Devorgilla, and the ghost in Some Like it Kilted by Allie Mackay, and just who is Jewel in The Duke’s Lady by Brenda Jernigan.

There are 4 stories in all in this collection, so there’s something for everyone in this book. Happily for me, I truly enjoyed each and every one of these stories, and I’m looking forward to more.

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Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

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A STUDY IN SCARLET WOMEN is a breath of fresh air in the market of historical romances, where one story tends to blend into another. A phenomenal read, and by the time I reached the end, I wanted more! I can’t wait for the next book, which comes out in 2017!

Anyway, my review: I became interested in all things Sherlock due to the BBC show Sherlock. That’s why I was intrigued when I read the blurb. I wanted to know if Sherry Thomas, whose historical romances I loved, could pull it off. And she did!

I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but I thought the mystery here was well done and logical. There are enough red herrings to keep you guessing, and there are also lots of surprising twists and turns in the story–both in Charlotte’s life and in the mystery–that would keep you involved until the very end.

For me, one of the factors of this novel’s success is the heroine–Charlotte Holmes. She’s a very unusual heroine, strong, very smart, her mind runs on a different plane than ours, and I guess it’s reasonable to assume that she’s modeled after Sherlock Holmes. However, the way the author presented her, Charlotte is not a sociopath. She’s just…different, and her powers of observation are top-notch. She’s also empathetic, enough that I was rooting for her until the end. Continue reading

Review: Do You Want to Start A Scandal by Tessa Dare

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And she’s back! DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL is vintage Tessa Dare–with heartwarming romance and cheeky laugh-out-loud banter.

I haven’t read the 3rd book in the Castles Ever After series, but for the first two books, I thought the theme of having the heroines inherit a castle and for the story to revolve there sounded a bit forced. And well, rather limiting. And well, some rather ridiculous stuff happened in the books. I’m glad to see the author had abandoned it in this book and decided to have the heroine get the castle in the usual way–by marrying the man who already owned it.

Though this book is the 4th book in the Castles Ever After series, the heroine is Charlotte Highwood, sister of Diana and Minerva Highwood from the Spindle Cove series. Continue reading