Category Archives: Regency

The Kiss by Emma C. Shortt

Title:  The Kiss*
Author: Emma C. Shortt
Series: N/A
Genre:  Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Format: digital e-book
Date/Year:  May 2011
Reviewed by: ElaineReads

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the author for review

Summary from the publisher:

When Eva Diakou is offered a job on the Winterwood estate, she expects nothing but four months of back breaking work. Jobless and lonely, she has little choice but to accept. But things on the Winterwood estate are nothing like Eva was led to believe. Why has she been given one of the plushest rooms? Why is there nothing to do? And why is she so captivated by the strange statues adorning the estate?Adam Winterwood is paying for a crime he never committed. Trapped for so many years, he is waiting for the one person who can keep him alive…or set him free. When Adam and Eva meet, sparks fly. Yet, neither realizes the sacrifice they will both have to make.

And it will all be decided by The Kiss.

My Musings:

I have a policy of not reading book blurbs because I have been burned with spoilers before.  This is, of course, only for books I know I am going to read regardless of the blurb.Anyway, I had no idea this book had a fantasy element to it.  The fact that it does makes it just that much better to me.  I was a little confused at first because the book switches from present day to the 1800s with no explanation.  Although I was able to figure out what was going on after a couple of chapters, I think that aspect could have been handled better.

At the beginning of the book, I really felt that Eva was going to be one of those TSTL (too stupid to live)  heroines.  She agrees to take a job on a distant estate where she will have no contact with the outside world for four months.  The interviewer questions her on whether there is any family or friends who will miss her or need to contact her while she is gone . . . and she tells her NO!  Fortunately, it does work out for the best.

Adam and Eva (I cannot believe that allusion) are in lust with each other from their first meeting.  The sex scenes are hot, but pretty vanilla.  Adam definitely has a romantic side as well.  If anything, Eva is the one being ruled by her hormones.

There is a witch’s curse and true love is the only way to break it.  Maybe I should have classified this book as a fairy tale more than fantasy.

Either way, I really enjoyed it.  The plot line was unique, the sex was hot, and the hero was built like a god.

What’s not to like?


Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level: 4

(crossposted from Seductive Musings)



Filed under Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Regency, Romance

The Heiress (Madison Sisters, #2) by Lynsay Sands

Desperately seeking a husband . . .

Suzette is not like other heiresses; she wants a poor husband, a gentleman who will be so grateful for her dowry that he will allow her access to it so that she can pay off her father’s gambling debts. When this alluring beauty encounters Daniel Woodrow—handsome, titled, single . . . and even more impoverished than she could have hoped for—it seems Suzette’s wildest dreams have come true.

But Daniel has not been truthful. Tired of being accosted by an endless stream of vapid coquettes and their fortune-hunting mothers, Daniel has decided to plead poverty to stop them in their tracks. Yet here is a most refreshing and delectable lady, who claims to be thrilled by his penury. Now all Daniel has to do to find true happiness is to keep a little white lie alive . . . while avoiding a villain who’s determined to prevent this union by any means necessary. (from Goodreads)

Like the previous book in this series (The Countess), The Heiress is a bit of a disappointment.  Lynsay Sands books are generally very funny.  Although this one has its moments, it is not up to her usual standards.

This book takes place for the most part at the same time as The Countess.  As a matter of fact, it is 200 pages before any truly new material is introduced.  The explanations given of the back story are clumsy and poorly written.  I realize each book is supposed to be able to be read as a standalone, but how realistic is that really?

I was also disappointed that there was no further development in the relationship between the third sister, Lisa, and her probably suitor Robert.  I have read somewhere that the third book is not scheduled for release until sometime in 2012.  I find that odd because the first two were only release a month apart.

I am afraid that only a true Lynsay Sands fan will enjoy these books.  I hope no one uses them as an introduction to her work.

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Filed under Historical, Humor, Regency, Romance

The Countess (Madison Sisters, #1) by Lynsay Sands

The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily-ever-after . . .

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters’ debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing’s happened . . .

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who had robbed him of his name and title . . . only to discover that he had died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited “wife”— certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new “husband” . . . and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts! (from Goodreads)

I love Lynsay Sands.  I started reading her vampire books originally and did not realize she wrote historicals until a year or so ago.  I think they are even better than the vampire ones.

Having said all that, this is not one of her best books.  There were way too many places where a complete suspension of belief was necessary.  Also, I felt that too much of the book was obviously a setup for the sequels.  There are three sisters, so the sequels are necessary, but the first book was fragmented unnecessarily.

Will this keep me from reading the next book?  Not a chance.  Even if this book is not one of her best, I can depend on Lynsay Sands to make me laugh out loud at some point.

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Filed under Historical, Humor, Regency, Romance

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James


Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions. (from Goodreads)

I purchased this book because of Eloisa James’ Facebook posts about it.  I like fairy tale stories and this one promised to be funny.  I believe it is the first book I have read by this author and although I enjoyed it, I doubt I will read many more.  There is a novella promised about the prince’s brother that I really want to read however.  I felt Wick was the most likable character in the book.

This book did not grab me enough to make me want to add this author to my read list.  I already follow more authors than I can keep up with, so I am going to let her go except for the promised novella I mentioned.

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Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, #3) by Julia Quinn

from publisher

I read the first book in this series, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, when it was originally released.  I think it may have been the first book by Julia Quinn that I ever read.  Recently, I won a copy of Ten Things I Love About You from Goodreads Giveaway and discovered that she had written not just one, but two sequels to Miranda Cheever.

The second book is What Happens in London which I have previously reviewed on this blog.  I purchased it when I received this book.  I also did a re-read of Miranda Cheever which was not a hardship at all.

Anyway, Ten Things begins a short while after the ending of What Happens in London.  In book two, we met Sebastian Grey who is a cousin of the hero Harry Valentine.  Sebastian is in the unfortunate position of being the possible heir to an earldom.  His widower uncle, Lord Newbery, does not have a living son and despises Sebastian.  Therefore, he plans to marry a young woman who can give him an heir.  Needless to say, he is thoroughly dislikable.

Enter Annabell Winslow – She is the eldest of eight children and her father has recently died.  The family is in dire straits financially.  She is also built like a “fertility goddess,” so of course, Lord Newbery is very interested.

As to be expected in any good romance, Annabell and Sebastian meet and fall in love.  But how can she marry him when she is responsible for the well being of her family?

Not to mention, who really is the author of those wonderful/horrible novels by Sarah Gorely?

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What Happens in London (Bevelstoke, #2) by Julia Quinn


Miranda Cheever’s (The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever) best friend and now sister-in-law definitely needed her own story. After all, Olivia Bevelstoke tried so hard to get Miranda to marry her brother.  Of course, she didn’t know that Miranda was in love with her other brother.  Anyway, she did try to help.

Olivia’s biggest problem is that she is gorgeous. And since she is gorgeous, most women and all the men think she doesn’t have a brain in her head.  They would never believe she doesn’t read novels, but prefers the newspaper.  And, she has definite opinions regarding the political situation in England.  Olivia knows how the game is played in London society and she does not plan to lose.

Then Harry Valentine moves in next door.  “They” say he murdered his wife or was she just his fiancee?  Who are “they” and did Harry even have a fiancee?  Olivia doesn’t believe the stories, but she is determined to find out the truth.

Conveniently, her bedroom window looks into Harry’s study where he spends an awful lot of time going over papers.  No one spends that much time on paperwork.

I liked this book better than The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever because the characters were more likable.  I also felt there was a lot more humor in this book.  Harry has a dry sense of humor and he loves to use it on Olivia.

I cannot wait to read the next book: Ten Things I Love About You .  I was delighted to see that it is about Harry’s cousin Sebastian.  He was one of my favorite characters in the book.

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The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke, #1) by Julia Quinn


I originally read this book when it was first released and really enjoyed it.  I did not know a sequel had been written, What Happens in London, until I received the third book, Ten Things I Love About You as a Goodreads’ Giveaway.

Of course, I immediately ordered book two and re-read book one.  I am pleased to say I enjoyed The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever just as much on the second reading.

However, for some reason I was less patient with Turner and his refusal to face up to how he felt about Miranda.  I thought it showed a lack of maturity on his part.

Book two is supposed to be delivered today and I will probably be up all night reading it.  I cannot wait!

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A Secret Affair (Huxtable Quintet, #5) by Mary Balogh

This has been a great series.  I received the first book, First Comes Marriage as a Goodreads Giveaway and I was hooked.  Books two through four I was able to get with ILL through the public library, but this book was too new.  There was no way I could wait to find out Con’s story, so I purchased it myself.

This final book was thoroughly satisfying.  It tied up several questions that were introduced in the first book and brought all of the major and  not so major characters back together.  I thought I knew who the real “bad guy” was going to turn out to be and found out I was completely wrong!

Con was always one of my favorite members of the family and he is well matched with the Duchess.  And, I finally figured out the time period of this series, which is a couple of decades past the Regency.

These were my first Mary Balogh books.  I seriously doubt they will be my last.

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Seducing an Angel (Huxtable Quintet, #4) by Mary Balogh

The fourth novel of the Huxtable Quintet is the first to focus on a male character in the family.  Stephen is the youngest child and only male of the four siblings.  Despite that, he is not a spoiled brat.

At the age of twenty-five, he is seduced (although he denies it was a seduction) by Cassandra, Lady Paget who is a widow three years his senior.  She is in need of a protector to keep her and her dependents from becoming destitute.

As in all good romances, they fall in love.  However, Stephen keeps telling himself that he is only worried about her.  Of course, some type of scandal ensues and he ends up having to marry her anyway.

I have mixed feelings about this book and I am not sure why.  I like Stephen.  I liked him in the earlier books and I was always afraid that the elevation of his status would make him run wild.  I am glad the author did not take that obvious route.

I do however think he is too good to be true in this book.  His relationship with Cassandra is not very realistic for a male member of the ton during this time period.

What I really did like was the inclusion of all my favorite characters from the earlier books.  Their personalities remained as I expected along with their love for each other.

I received the first book in this series as a Goodreads Giveaway.  Books two through four came from the library.  However, since book five, A Secret Affair, is brand new, I have had to order my own copy.  I cannot wait to finally read Con’s story.

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Filed under Historical, Regency, Romance

At Last Comes Love (Huxtable Quintet, #3) by Mary Balogh

I think this is my favorite Huxtable book so far.  I am not sure if it is because I feel like I know the characters better, or if it is just a better story.

Margaret/Meg/Maggie is the oldest sister and the oldest sibling in the family.  She has been more mother than sister to the others since their real mother died.  Due to that, she put her own life on hold.

Finally, her two sisters are married and her brother has reached his majority.  Margaret decides it is time to finally accept the offer of marriage from her most persistent suitor.  Her decision comes just in time because her first love Crispin is back in London and she does not want to have heart broken again.

However, Duncan Pennethorne has other ideas.  He is in desperate need of a wife or he will lose his inheritance.  When Margaret literally runs into him at a ball, he asks her to dance and marry him all within the same sentence.

All of these books seem to have a scandal of some type and this one is not an exception.  Duncan ran away with a married woman five years earlier and has only returned because of her death.

I think the reason I liked this book the best was because I like Duncan the best of all the male characters.  I think he is the most honest of them.

The final two books revolve around the men in the family, Stephen, the brother and Con, their cousin.  It will be interesting to see the different viewpoint.

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Filed under Historical, Regency, Romance