Book Review: Somewhat Scandalous by Pearl Darling

Book Review: Somewhat Scandalous by Pearl Darling

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Miss Agatha is finally free of her grandfather which means she finally gets to let her scientific inhibitions free.  But when she is saved by Henry Anglethorpe who wants her as a companion for his sister he doesn’t want any scandal attached to his name.  He is a spy and a new menace threatens England.  The war office asks him to find a bride to make it easier to gather information and he finds he only has one lady in mind.  But as he chases his bride to be from one event to another he finds that she has other things on her mind and that she may not be who she claimed to be.  As secrets continue to reach the French Henry must find the one responsible while trying to obtain the woman he loves.

This book is definitely not a favorite of mine.  I enjoyed parts of it but sometimes I just wanted to throw the book across the room.  I have several reasons for this.  First and foremost I hated how the book had three instances where the book jumped ahead by at least a year or more.  The first time it happened was after the prologue which is understandable because it was a scene from the past that was important to the rest of the book.  The next two times felt unnecessary and overly long.  The two main characters were trying to distance themselves from one another despite the feelings they felt for each other.  So, what do they do?  They go off and live separate boring lives to the point where we have to skip three years into the future before anything interesting happens.  The chapters surrounding the jumps in time were boring and I would have preferred that they just get it over with.

Image result for annoying gifSecondly, Agatha, the main character, lost all of her drive and character after the first one-fourth of the book.  In the first part, she was smart, brave, and willing to be slightly scandalous.  She experimented scientifically and brought her friend, Victoria out of her melancholy.  Then after she leaves and the three years have past Agatha restricts her scientific pursuits.  I understand that this was supposed to increase and show character growth but it annoyed me to see her character in such mournful straits.  However, by the end of the tale, I could once again see the Agatha I had met at the beginning of the book.

I did like the mystery though.  I spent most of the book trying to figure out who Monsieur Herr was myself.  I did manage to figure it out a couple chapters before the characters did.  Well, I knew it was Lady Guthrie but I did not suspect that Monique was her cousin.  I knew Monique was involved I just didn’t know how.  I think the mystery was what really made the book interesting.  Without it, the book would have been blah because the romance part was only okay.

This book was not the best.  I would suggest reading other books before seeking this one out.

 

Book Review: The Countess by Lynsay Sands

Book Review: The Countess by Lynsay Sands

Image result for the countess by lynsay sandsChristiana did not get her happily ever after in marriage.  That is until her husband suddenly drops dead.  Christiana is tired of living under her husband’s thumb and she is glad to be free of him and does not want to mourn.  Besides her sisters have to find husbands and going into mourning would postpone that.  So, Christiana decides to put her husband on the ice and continue with her life.

That is until the real earl appears.  Richard Fairgrave wants to confront his lying traitorous twin brother who ordered him dead over a year ago.  However, he arrives to find that he is supposedly married and his brother is dead.  To avoid scandal he decides to simply step into his brother’s life.  But what he doesn’t expect is a maddening desire for his brother’s wife who could be a murderess.  Now Christiana must deal with an unwanted husband and what he means to her all before the ice melts.

The Countess was a wonderful action-packed romance full of mistaken identity, murder, and blackmail.  The romance was sweet and the characters were truly meant for each other.  The action was mysterious and thrilling.  Overall they complimented each other to form a wonderful tale with just enough romance and action to make it an excellent historical romance.  The characters were entertaining and real.  I truly adored this book and have decided that it is definitely one of the better romances that I have read.

The characters contributed vastly to my entertainment of the tale.  Their character growth was evident especially for the main character, Christiana.  Christiana was meek at the beginning with her first husband, George.  He controlled her and maligned her confidence. Image result for i live mushu gif After he died, though, we began to see her real fiery character that had been suppressed since her marriage to George.  She turned out to be brave, intelligent, and not at all proper.  She barely batted an eye at handling George’s dead body.  It was intriguing to watch her come out of the shell and misgivings that she had formed and become her old self once again.  The author really grew this character and we, the reader enjoyed watching Christiana grow and relearn how to live again.

Her second husband Richard was a wonderful counterpart character who I loved watching fall in love with Christiana.  Richard was sweet, kind, and polite.  He was the opposite of George.  He did not try to suppress Christiana’s true character and he worried over the scandal he could create for her and her sister’s.  He was hurt by his brother but he was willing to try to change what his brother had done.  There was less character growth shown by him except for falling in love.  Despite less investment in his character growth by the author I still adored his character and knew him to be perfect for Christiana for he would show her the proper respect and love that she deserved.

Image result for it has it all gifBesides the romance between the two main characters, there was plenty of action.  Some romance books lack this but The Countess was invested into murder, blackmail, and the hiding and carting around of bodies.  The confusion between brothers was also funny and added a twist to the tale.  I loved the action for it made the book more interesting and riveting.  It only added to the romance and my growing regard for this book.

The side characters were also stunning.  There was a side romance between Christiana’s sister and Richard’s friend which made the tale slightly more scandalous.  Both of Christian’s sisters added a great deal of support to the tale along with Richard’s friends, Daniel and Robert.  They enacted interesting conversations and funny moments.  The side characters wholly supported Richard and Christiana while adding their own voices to the story.  They just made the book all the more fascinating.

The Countess was a truly enchanting tale that I would highly recommend reading.

Book Review: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

Book Review: Shunned No More by Christina McKnight

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Lady Viola Oberbrook is hiding from the past. A past where two brothers lives were taken because of her selfishness.  She now lives in the country running a business with a few trusted friends.  She has no plans to return to London until the past confronts her head on.

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, just returned to England from war with plans to renovate his estate, find a wife and seek vengeance on the one woman who destroyed his family.  But his plans change when he falls for the woman who should never be apart of his life.

This book was stunning.  I loved the romance, the backstories, and the characters.  The two main characters Viola and Brock were a wonderful match for each other for they each had vibrant yet haunted characters.  Viola was brave yet constantly feeling guilty.  She strove to change and to never be the same girl as she was in her youth.  She ran a horse stable despite the fact that in the times most ladies did not run any sort of business.  Brock was haunted by his past and his family unwilling to let it rest.  He was ungracious at times but it was easy to understand why.  In the end, they both forgave each other and let the future take over instead of dallying on the past.

The romance between the two characters, however, was a little rough and underdeveloped.  The book spent most of the time focusing on the characters trying to get past their emotional pains but the relationship between the two main characters stuttered.  I think that the romance could have been less instantaneous for it seemed to just happen in the last two chapters of the book.  Related imageThere were hints throughout the book that Brock and Viola had feelings for each other and there was even a kiss but it was not generally acknowledged by the characters.  It wasn’t a bad romance and they were a good pair but their romance just seemed too quick.

The backstories were phenomenal.  The main characters and even the side characters each had their own pains and character development.  I loved the changes that the events in the book brought about in the characters, especially for Viola.  During the Prologue, I hated Viola because she was arrogant, selfish, stupid, and uncaring.  I almost stopped reading there because I couldn’t stand her character.  However, I was glad that I stuck that one chapter out for the Viola we met in the next chapters was much changed.  She continued to learn and grow from each mistake she made and Brock did the same which made the book all the better because the reader could easily witness the character development enacted.

Overall I adored this book and would recommend it as an excellent example of its genre.

Book Review: Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Book Review: Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

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Lucy Waltham is trying to get one man to the altar.  In need of practice in her seductive whiles and sweet kisses, she turns to her brother’s friend, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall who is as cold as ice.  As she sets up dozens of ways to seduce the man she loves to her side her kisses spark a deadly passion that could turn into a blazing fire at a mere spark.

Jeremy keeps a safe distance from emotions and Lucy who displays every emotion for the world to see.  But that changes with his need to save Lucy from certain heartbreak. Their sensual battle of wills is as forbidden as it is delicious and the closer Jeremy gets to taming his temptress… the nearer he comes to losing all control.

This book, simply put, was phenomenal.  The voice, the characters, the style, I loved all of it.  I was unable to put the book down and I continued to read it late into the night.  What I completely adored about the book and what really made up the entirety of the book was the characters.

Lucy was a wonderful character.  She preferred fishing and riding over sewing and she grew up traipsing through the woods with her brother and his friends.  She was an unrefined lady which made the book all the more entertaining.  What I truly liked about her was her passion.  Once she set her mind to something she saw it through.  I was slightly annoyed with her at the beginning of the book what with her constant planning to ensnare Toby.  It was made all the more galling by the fact that I knew he cared for her little beyond brotherly love.  Furthermore, Lucy refused to bend to her husband’s will and she accepted every dare placed before her.  Below her wild surface, she was sweet, brave, and unwilling to give up on others.  I adored her character because she was a bit of hoyden with unbending values and loyalty.

Her counterpart in this tale, Jeremy was a man hiding behind a cold facade and burying his emotions to forget the pain of his childhood.  His reluctance to reveal that part of himself to anyone added such sweet appeal to his character because it was a truly fantastic moment when we the reader were told about his past.  He was coarse at times but he was denying the fact that he loved Lucy and needed her while telling himself that Lucy could never feel the same.  I loved reading about Jeremy’s return to feeling again and I adored digging underneath the cold as ice countenance he had held onto for so long.

Image result for ahh sigh gifThe romance was truly stupendous.  Their attraction to each other at first was hard to conceive of, at least for Lily because she was determined that she was in love with another man.  It seemed for a while that Jeremy was the one truly falling while Lily attempted to be unfazed by their kisses.  After their marriage, however, Lily seemed to realize that she was falling for her handsome husband.  I noticed that Jeremy’s feelings kept growing for Lily but he denied it to himself and her for most of the book. In the end, the romance was powerful and sweet despite the obstacles in their path.

Since the book was built around the romance their is little else to say about the plot of the book besides the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lily’s antics in her desperate bid to capture the love of Toby.  The side characters were entertaining and I loved Sophia who simply wanted love.

In whole, The Goddess Hunt was a prodigious tale that I would highly recommend.

 

Book Review: The Robber Bride by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Book Review: The Robber Bride by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Image result for The Robber Bride by  Jerrica Knight-CataniaVictoria knew she needed to enact change in the world when she saw a poor girl on the streets.  So, she robbed the rich and gave all of the money to those who needed it more than the haughty aristocrats.  Her friend Phineas Dartwell, Earl of Leyburn suspects that Victoria is hiding something.  He wishes that Victoria would confide him but she refuses and he severs their friendship because of a wounded pride and an injured heart.  But when Victoria’s activities are brought to life, Phineas will do anything to see that his friend and perhaps future wife be acquitted of the charges.

The Robber Bride was a wonderful tale that I truly enjoyed.  I adored the main character who cared about those more unfortunate than her.  Indeed, she stole from the rich and gave to the poor much like Robin Hood but she did it all alone and almost no one knew of her illegal activities.  She cared about everyone even though she was a part of the peerage.  I loved how she was not afraid to back down even if her impetuousness sometimes got her into trouble.  Her friend, Fin was quite a wonderful gentleman who loved painting and cared dearly about Victoria and her brother.  It was hard not to like his character.  I was further endeared to Fin when he adopted Sally even though she was from the streets.

Image result for it was perfect gifBesides the fascinating characters, I liked how the book did not completely focus on the romance.  In fact, the romance seemed to be a major side note.   The two main characters were in fact friends for the entirety of the book.  There were a couple kisses thrown in but it wasn’t until the very end of the book that the romance blossoming between Victoria and Fin finally came to a head with a proposal of marriage and a declaration of love.  This contributed to my enjoyment of the book for some books can become tedious and dramatic when they focus completely on the romance and add little action to spice the book up.

I would recommend this book especially to those who enjoy a romance with a lot of action.  In the case of this book a little action of a lady highwayman who steals from her peers to give to those who have less than she.

 

Book Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

Book Review: The Season by Sarah MacLean

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Lady Alexandra hates balls, gowns, and the idea of romance which doesn’t help her fit into the world of Regency London.  She is more interested in adventure than finding a suitable husband.

Between gown fittings, balls, dinner parties, and country weekends Alex and her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manage to become entangled in a dangerous scrape.  When the Earl of Blackmoor is killed in an accident that suggests willful and evil intentions, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth regarding his father.  She is wrapped up in murder, espionage, and suspicion but as she grows closer to Gavin her heart is dangerously threatened.  Romance and danger circle the high society of London as the year’s season begins.

The Season was a wonderfully light and easy read full of mystery and the pressures that women of the time faced.  The book portrayed the expectations of society that young women find a suitable match and quickly in their coming of age debut during the season.  The romance was slightly predictable but aren’t most romances?

The author kept it lively with the constant arguments and political conversations enjoyed throughout the book by the main character and the people around her.   The main character, Alex was the epitome of a rebellious strong-willed woman who is not afraid to state her opinion and conform to society’s norms and rules.

However, the first half of the book focused entirely on building Alex’s and Gavin’s relationship and we learned and heard little about the mystery regarding the death of the Earl of Blackmoor.  All we heard was that he was killed and it might not have been an accident.  In fact, we are shown what the season is like and the many love interests of Alex.  We get to know her character and the characters around her but the action does not happen until the middle of the book where the mystery is finally fully revealed and the relationship between Alex and Gavin hits its climax.

It was not boring exactly but the author could have reached the mystery quicker without building so much backstory.  If the author had not included humor, wit, intriguing characters, and the constant need to know if Alex and Gavin were a thing, the book would have been hard to get through.  Despite that I enjoyed it and would recommend it to people in need of a quick historical romance.