Genre: Historical

BORNE TO BE WILDE by Eloisa James

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

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
BORNE TO BE WILDE by Eloisa JamesBorne to be Wilde by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3
Published by Avon Genres: Historical


 

 

All of society knows that Lavinia Gray is bright, beautiful, and wealthy.  Only the last is a lie, as Lavinia herself recently found out.  Convention dictates Lavinia needs to marry a rich man as quickly as possible, which is why she lets her cousin talk her into proposing to Parth Sterling.  Not only is Parth one of the richest men in England, he’s a man who knows how to get things done.  The only problem is, the man she loved to tease in better times turned her down flat, which is devastating in more ways than one.

 

Parth Sterling has the perfect bride in mind, and it is definitely not the luscious Lavinia Gray.  He can’t help but feel for her, which is why he offers to find her a wealthy husband.  Except that the longer Parth spends around Lavinia, the less he can bear the thought of anyone but himself being her husband.  Parth doesn’t know it yet, but the woman who is the opposite of everything he thinks he should want may just turn out to be everything he needs.

 

Born to be Wilde snaps and sparkles all the way through.  I adore a good frenemies-to-lovers romance, and Eloisa James has delivered a truly delightful one in Parth and Lavinia’s story.

 

Lavinia has been brought up to be the wife of a wealthy man and not much more.  Despite this, she’s quite bright and incredibly charming.  She’s also in dire straits at the beginning of this story.  I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that Lavinia is hit with a lot of responsibility all at once and she doesn’t let it break her even though the life she has lived hasn’t prepared her to shoulder the burden she takes on.  What I loved best about Lavinia was her eye for fashion.  It’s so much more than the frivolous fancy people assume it is and what she does with her knowledge, skills, and talents had me cheering for her all the way through the book.  The one person who has the ability to knock Lavinia off her stride is Parth.  Parth is intelligent, clever, and handsome, but man does he get it wrong with Lavinia.  He’s attracted to her, but he sees her as shallow and he couldn’t be more wrong.  I loved watching them bicker and struggle against their mutual attraction even as they managed to peel back the layers of each other’s characters.  It’s a rocky road to happily ever after for these two, but they have such undeniable chemistry and their romance is so engaging that I was happy to go along for the ride.

 

Born to be Wilde is the third book in Ms. James’s Wildes of Lindow Castle series and though it can be read as a standalone, if you start here be prepared for major spoilers from Wilde in Love and Too Wilde to Wed.  The Wildes adopted Parth at five years old and they happily bring Lavinia into their fold, so it’s no surprise that most members of the Wilde family play supporting roles in this book.  The Wildes as a whole are warm, welcoming, funny, supportive, and endearing and they’ve made every book in the series shine.  I can’t count the number of times Born to be Wilde made me grin.  It’s a truly delightful story and I highly recommend it to any historical romance fan.

 

TOO WILDE TO WED by Eloisa James

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

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
TOO WILDE TO WED by Eloisa JamesToo Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #2
Published by Avon Genres: Historical


 

 

It has been two years since Miss Diana Belgrave jilted Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde, and those two years have changed everything.  North went off to fight in the Colonies and has returned whole in body, though not in spirit.  And after being tossed out by her mother for breaking her engagement in favor of raising her orphaned nephew, Diana has taken a position as governess to North’s sister in the Wilde family household.  When North returns to England, the two come face-to-face and the sparks immediately begin to fly.  Even though she broke his heart and damaged his reputation, North still wants Diana.  And Diana is just realizing she never truly knew the man beneath the elegant mask North had put on to impress her during their engagement.  Is it possible for two outcasts who both want different things in life to find their way to a happily ever after together?

 

Too Wilde to Wed is such a fun book!  It’s fun, sensual, and in the Wilde family Eloisa James has created a host of bright, endearing characters who grab your heart and don’t let go.

 

Unlike most of the young women she knows, Diana has never wanted to be raised to the ranks of the upper aristocracy.  In fact, she positively panics at the thought.  I liked that Diana was unconventional, that she didn’t quite fit into the mold her mother tried to forcibly stuff her in.  After falling from society’s good graces, she finally finds her true self.  It’s a self that North has never seen.  He fell for her when he first heard her laugh (cue me melting when reading this), but he proposed to an elegant creation he only later realizes was not the true Diana.  My heart broke for North in the first Wildes of Lindow Castle book, Wilde in Love, as he tried to turn himself into a veritable peacock to attract Diana’s notice.  The North in Too Wilde to Wed is a hardened warrior with no patience for fripperies.  This North, the real North, is the man who ultimately captures Diana’s heart and one of my favorite things about this story was watching them talk openly and truly learn, one another.  Diana and North are clearly made for one another, but it isn’t easy for North to win over Diana.   But being in Lindow Castle, away from society’s judgmental eyes, frees them to be honest.  The resulting romance is by turns sweet and sexy and I was rooting for these two to find a way to get that perfectly happily ever after.

 

Too Wilde to Wed is the second book in Ms. James’s Wildes of Lindow Castle series and if you don’t mind some spoilers from the first book it can be read on its own.  My favorite thing about this series is the Wilde family as a unit.  They’re welcoming, loving, and incredibly funny.  I’m so glad North has a bunch of siblings because I don’t think I’ll ever tire of reading about their wild (pun intended) antics.  I finished Too Wilde to Wed a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see what adventures Ms. James has in store for the Wilde family next!

FALLING FOR THE HIGHLANDER by Lynsay Sands

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
FALLING FOR THE HIGHLANDER by Lynsay SandsFalling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander #4
Published by Avon Genres: Historical


 

Lady Murine Carmichael seems to attract bad luck, and she is tired of letting others control her fate.  Discovering that a family member seeks to sell her in exchange for horses, Lady Murine Carmichael determines to venture out alone in the harsh country for sanctuary with a dear friend.  Not worried about what or whom she may come across Murine feels that the outside world cannot be any worse than what she has endured at home.

Dougall Buchanan comes across a comely lass in need of escort in the wilds of the countryside and, being the gentleman that he is, he steps up to provide for her, since Dougall has just dealt with the treacherous individual who was willing to sell her for some prime horses!  During their journey, Dougall discovers more than he thought he would, and now he finds that he can’t part with Lady Murine Carmichael.  However, someone is willing to see that young lass depart more than just the company of the Highlander.

Falling for the Highlander is a sweet, charming tale.  However, I felt that Murine wasn’t as smart as everyone in Falling for the Highlander seemed to believe.  She seemed rather naïve and couldn’t seem to think beyond what is clearly evident to all others in Falling for the Highlander.  I found her weakness rather annoying, and I wondered why all the characters claimed she was so brilliant when some of the things she came up with seemed like common sense.  I did enjoy the chemistry between Dougall and Murine in Falling for the Highlander, but I don’t think I’ll reread this story.

THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia Quinn

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia QuinnThe Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Series: Rokesby #2
Published by Avon Genres: Historical

When she receives word that her brother has been injured on the battlefield in the Colonies, newly orphaned Cecilia Harcourt does the only thing she can do: pack her bags, flee her oily cousin trying to coerce her into marriage, and spend her savings coming to America to take care of her brother.  But when she arrives in New York, it’s not her brother she finds in the hospital, but his best friend, Edward Rokesby.  Edward is injured and unconscious and Cecilia is determined to help him.  To do so, she has to tell one little lie: that she’s his wife.  She doesn’t expect Edward to awaken with no knowledge of the last three months of his life.  He knows who she is and believes it when he’s told they’re married.  With no leads on her brother and an injured, kind man who needs her, Cecilia decides to temporarily carry on her charade.  But the longer she’s around Edward, the harder it is not to slip into the fantasy that she’s his wife.  She knows she can’t lie to him forever, but what will happen when the truth comes out?

 

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband is a bit of a difficult book for me to review.  Julia Quinn is one of my favorite authors and though this is a solidly-written book, it lacks Ms. Quinn’s signature vibrancy.  Part of this is due to the setting – Revolutionary War America, even away from the battlefront, doesn’t lend itself to witty banter or cheerful antics – but part of the problem is that nothing much happens in this story.  It’s the story of a good woman in a hard situation who is forced to lie, and the good man who is tricked as a result.

 

I won’t say The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband is a bad book, for it isn’t.  Cecilia and Edward are caring, likeable people who clearly make a good match.  But the most engaging part of their romance comes from the excerpts of letters they started to exchange through Cecilia’s brother months before our hero and heroine ever met.  Those tiny bits at the beginning of each chapter were, for me, the liveliest bits of the book.  The rest of the story was fairly slow and uneventful and this is the first time ever that I had no problem putting a book of Ms. Quinn’s down.  As I said before, it’s not a bad book; it’s a sweet, if slightly muted romance, and perhaps it would have worked better for me in a novella format.  Even though The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband wasn’t my particular cup of tea, the ending left me satisfied with Edward and Cecilia’s happily ever after and I’m incredibly anxious to read Andrew Rokesby’s book.

THE ART OF SINNING by Sabrina Jeffries

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Publisher
THE ART OF SINNING by Sabrina JeffriesThe Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #1
Published by Pocket Genres: Historical


 

American artist Jeremy Keane is far more interested in completing his next masterpiece than running the family textile mills.  He’s also far more interested in rakish pursuits than settling down.  It would take someone out of the ordinary to capture his interest, and Lady Yvette Barlow is exactly that person.  Jeremy is captivated by her from the first and is desperate to paint her.  Now if only he can convince her…

 

Yvette can spot a scoundrel a mile away and having been burned once by a rake she is in no hurry to repeat the experience.  But Jeremy catches her off-guard, tempts her and challenges her in ways she’s never known.  And the more time they spend together, the harder it is for either of them to resist the passion brewing between them.  But both Jeremy and Yvette have ghosts that haunt them.  Ghosts that might keep them from ever risking their hearts for a chance at love.

 

Sabrina Jeffries kicks off her Sinful Suitors series with the utterly charming The Art of Sinning.  Yvette and Jeremy are winning characters and their romance was lovely to watch unfold.  Yvette is outspoken, bright, and a truly fun heroine.  It’s easy to see why Jeremy is taken with her.  She’s no ordinary woman but a veritable Juno (to borrow Jeremy’s favorite description of her).  Not to mention her unusual interests – her work to build a slang dictionary had me grinning.  Yvette has a lot of love to give, but she was badly betrayed in the past and thus is wary of rakes.  And boy is Jeremy a rake in the beginning.  He’s a bold artist, one who wears the mask of rogue rather well.  But beneath the surface is a man with scars caused by the death of his wife and child – scars that have never truly healed.  I loved watching both Yvette and Jeremy come into their own as they worked to leave the past behind, though taking leaps of faith comes more easily to Yvette than Jeremy.

 

As individuals, Yvette and Jeremy are great characters. But as a couple, they shine.  Their banter made me grin more than once over the course of the story.  They’re so well-matched in every way that it’s easy to root for them.  Their love story develops organically; I liked that they fit as both friends and lovers.  It isn’t easy for them to get their happily ever after, but Ms. Jeffries makes every bump in the road worth it.  The result is a romance that’s emotional as well as sensual and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  I finished The Art of Sinning one well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Jeffries has in store for Yvette’s brother, Edwin.

EARL INTERRUPTED by Amanda Forester

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THE SCOT’S BRIDE by Paula Quinn

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DEVIL IN SPRING by Lisa Kleypas

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THE HIGHLAND DUKE by Amy Jarecki

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BECAUSE OF MISS BRIDGERTON

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PURSUED BY THE VISCOUNT by Carole Mortimer

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SINFUL SCOTTISH LAIRD by Julia London

SINFUL SCOTTISH LAIRD by Julia London

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WHEN A MARQUESS LOVES A WOMAN by Vivienne Lorret

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WHY DO DUKES FALL IN LOVE by Megan Frampton

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WHILE THE DUKE WAS SLEEPING by Sophie Jordan

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DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL by Tessa Dare

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ONE FOR THE ROGUE by Charis Michaels

ONE FOR THE ROGUE by Charis Michaels

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THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN by Lorraine Heath

THE VISCOUNT AND THE VIXEN by Lorraine Heath

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HEART OF A HUNTER by Lara Adrian

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PERSUASION by Brenda Joyce

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