Book Review: The Untamed Earl by Valerie Bowman

51l0ttFuCmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Reviewer: Andrea

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The Summary:

AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

The Summary:

Lady Alexandra Hobbs, the daughter of the Duke of Huntley, has intended to marry Lord Owen Monroe since she first glimpsed him from the window of her bedchamber, back when she was just a girl. But the duke has already chosen Alex’s infamously spoiled elder sister, Lavinia, for Owen. And now there’s no turning back.

Owen has spent most of his bachelor years drinking, gambling, and skirt-chasing. He won’t see another pound from his parents, however, until he’s engaged to Lavinia. Desperate, he accepts an offer from her innocent and spirited—and absolutely beautiful—sister Alex: She will turn him into a perfectly tamed suitor, and show him how to woo the shrew. But when Alex’s true motives come to light, will their bargain lead to recriminations—or to a romance that defies everyone’s expectations?

Award-winning author Valerie Bowman once again delivers romance and wit in The Untamed Earl!

The Review:

Alex’s story is like the worst case of middle-child syndrome ever! Stuck between the heir apparent and the spoiled, hateful sister, poor Alex is a tinder-hearted do-gooder. She is everything you expect from a heroine—the diamond in the rough, sugary, with a tiny streak of daring. I loved seeing her as an adolescent in the novels opening chapter. It was refreshing and interesting to see the beginnings of her love for our hero, Owen, the typical ne’er-do-well rake.

I wish Owen had more depth, however. He felt a bit flat for me with the incessant drinking and “I’m a worthless lout” attitude. Their story also fell together pretty easily. I would have liked more of a struggle. I like my lovers more star-crossed with more angst. The plot lacked a strong development, but the novel was sweet and without too much smut. It was an easy, fast read and just the fix romance seekers would want.

4 Stars

Book Review: The Viscount Needs a Wife by Jo Beverley

Release Date: April 2016jo beverley

Reviewer: Andrea

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The Summary:

The New York Times bestselling author of Too Dangerous for a Lady returns with another roguishly delicious Regency romance…

Since being widowed two years ago, Kitty Cateril has been trapped in her late husband’s home, where she is expected to mourn forever. Desperate to escape, Kitty will consider any option—even a hasty marriage to a stranger with no intention of abandoning his bachelor ways.

London life suits Beau Braydon, especially his work keeping Britain safe. So when he inherits the title of Viscount Dauntry, he has no intention of resettling on a rural estate. He can’t resist the opportunity to marry a sensible widow who can manage Beauchamp Abbey for him—until he realizes Kitty is more than he bargained for…

Before Kitty and Dauntry can adjust to each other, a threat to the royal family takes them to London. Soon someone is determined to prevent Dauntry from exposing the villain, and secrets in Kitty’s past threaten their growing love…

The Review:

I often complain when romances are too heavy on adult content and too light on plot. Many women (myself included) love a good, juicy romance—the sidelong glances, the unexpected kisses, the final moment when the couple reveals their feelings. However, a lot of those novels fall short on plot. It seems we must trade love for a story that sparks those synapses and raises our interest. This novel is exactly the opposite. In fact, classifying it as historical romance is an injustice because it diminishes the complex storyline with an often cheesy genre title. Jo Beverley has constructed a tight plot with real history, those details that make any historical novel feel like actual history. It’s a meal of history with a side of romance, and I truly enjoyed it.

Though a bit slow at times, the novel felt like a Jane Austen novel. The characters have that subtle dialogue that requires reading beneath the surface and a quick wit. There is a great deal of “philosophizing” about the dynamics between mothers and sons that definitely translates to theme. The politics gives a great view into the intricacies of nineteenth-century government in Great Britain.

4.5 Stars

 

Book Review: To Lure a Proper Lady by Ashlyn Macnamara

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.cover82875-medium

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

In this steamy novel from Ashlyn Macnamara—“a born storyteller” (Jennifer McQuiston) who “brings all the elegance and romance of the Regency to life” (Tessa Dare)—a dutiful young lady tries to resist the charms of a rogue from the legendary Bow Street Runners.

When Lady Elizabeth Wilde and her sisters are summoned once again to their chronically anxious father’s deathbed, she’s shocked to find that his worries are at last justified. He’s terribly ill, and Lizzie suspects poison. But when she seeks help from the Bow Street Runners, her request is answered by a rough-hewn rogue known only as Dysart. Though his irreverent charm by turns shocks and captivates her, a man of Dysart’s background is an altogether inappropriate choice for a duke’s daughter—isn’t he?

Although Dysart has his reasons to disdain polite society, the promise of supplemental income from a noble’s coffers is too tempting to deny. But if Dysart means to apprehend the culprit who poisoned the duke, he’ll need to avoid any and all distractions—like the delicious swish of Lady Elizabeth’s hips. Yet as the investigation begins to unearth secrets he’d rather remain hidden, Dysart must decide at a moment’s notice whether to hold Elizabeth at arm’s length . . . or pull her dangerously close.

The Review:

I cannot praise this book highly enough! If you love historical romances, you must read this novel.  The love story is wound tightly and expertly throughout the perplexity of the duke’s mysterious illness. There are just enough tantalizing scenes to break up the maze of this Victorian Clue. Everyone’s a suspect in this whodunit.

Lizzie is a smart, strong female protagonist with a clear voice. Dysart is the typical kind-hearted bad boy those fans of the genre will book crush on.  After hiring the devilish Dysart, Lizzie finds another riddle in the life story of her dashing hero, which adds another layer to this well-written thriller.  Lizzie’s sisters are boldly painted, and I wonder if they will be characters in future novels of the series. If so, sign me up!

The novel’s pacing is brisk enough to keep the reader wondering without that typical “slag” in many historical romances, and while some might say the novel is light on history, I found that another enticement. It keeps the reader from being bogged down my extraneous info while maintaining the historical setting in a way that show “real life” for women of the ton.

I seriously doubt you’ll be disappointed.

5 Stars