Genre: Regency

IF YOU GIVE A GIRL A VISCOUNT by Kieran Kramer

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.

Source: Publisher
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.
IF YOU GIVE A GIRL A VISCOUNT by Kieran KramerIf You Give A Girl A Viscount by Kieran Kramer
Series: Impossible Bachelors #4
Published by Macmillan on 2011-11-01
Genres: Historical, Regency
Pages: 416
Reviewed by Shayna

If life were a fairy tale, Daisy Montgomery’s stepmother and two stepsisters would surely be cast in the wicked roles. For years, they’ve made life miserable for Daisy. But when she discovers she has a godmother, she’s determined to ask her for help. Little did Daisy expect her godmother to play matchmaker with her very own grandson—who happens to be a viscount!A freewheeling playboy, Charles Thorpe, Viscount Lumley, is bored with his wealth-seeking female admirers. Not only that, he’s been cut off from the family coffers. One day, on a bet, he rids himself of what little money he has left in his pockets and vows to solve problems using his wits alone. But when the Impossible Bachelor is confronted with Daisy’s plan to save her castle, the payoff is more than he could have bargained for. Sometimes, if you give a girl a viscount, you just might find love….

Daisy Montgomery is a real life Cinderella.  She’s miserable and determined to save her family home from her wicked stepmother and stepsisters.  When she discovers she has a godmother, Daisy thinks she’s found a way to solve her problems.  But instead of her godmother, it’s her godmother’s grandson, a rakish viscount, who answers Daisy’s plea.

Charles Thorpe is the last remaining “Impossible Bachelor.”  With his closest friends happily wed, the playboy viscount decides to wager that he can get to Scotland and solve problems by his wits alone.  But when faced with Daisy’s problems, Charlie realizes he might be in over his head.  What’s more, his days as a bachelor might be coming to an end.  For this Scottish Cinderella is fast capturing his Impossible Bachelor heart.

If you give a reviewer a romance with a fairytale plotline and a cute title, she’s going to want to love it.  At least, that’s true if the reviewer is me.  Sadly, If You Give a Girl a Viscount was a disappointing story.  I couldn’t connect with either Charlie or Daisy and didn’t find Kieran Kramer’s humor at all funny, which means the book dragged for me.  Furthermore, it seemed like the author couldn’t figure out what kind of “villains” she wanted the stepmother and stepsisters to be.  I got whiplash from the number of inorganic personality changes that occurred in If You Give a Girl a Viscount.

If You Give a Girl a Viscount is the fourth Impossible Bachelors book but it can be read as a standalone.  I own but haven’t read When Harry Met MollyDukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right, and Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage, but perhaps I’ll enjoy those books more than I did Charlie and Daisy’s story.

HOW TO MARRY A HIGHLANDER by Katharine Ashe

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.

Source: Publisher
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.
HOW TO MARRY A HIGHLANDER by Katharine AsheHow to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe
Series: Falcon Club #3.5
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on 2013-07-30
Genres: Historical, Regency
Pages: 100
Reviewed by Shayna

With seven troublesome half sisters to marry off, Duncan, the Earl of Eads, has one problem: he's broke. With the prospect of marriage to the pompous local curate, Miss Teresa Finch-Freeworth has one dream: to wed instead the handsome Highlander she saw at a ball. How does a desperate lady convince a reluctant laird that she's the perfect bride for him? She strikes a wager! If she can find seven husbands for seven sisters, the earl must marry her. Duncan has no intention of wedding the meddlesome maiden, and he gives her a deadline even the most audacious matchmaker can't meet—one month. But Teresa sets terms, too: with each bridegroom she finds, the earl must pay her increasingly intimate rewards . . .

Miss Teresa Finch-Freeworth has no desire to wed the suffocatingly pompous local curate.  Unfortunately for her, Teresa’s father has all but promised her to the man!  What’s a girl to do?  Why, hie herself off to London and propose to the handsome earl of her dreams, of course.  Only Duncan Eads isn’t as eager to wed Teresa as she is him — in fact, he’s a widower with no desire to ever get married again.  Still, Duncan has seven sisters he needs to marry off and no dowry to give any of them, which leads Teresa to strike a bargain with him.  If she can find husbands for all seven sisters in one month, then Duncan will marry her.  The wager itself may sound calculating, but the longer Duncan and Teresa are around one another, the more intimate their game becomes.  And when love enters the mix, both of them have to wonder who will give in first.

How to Marry a Highlander is bright, bubbly, and a whole lot of fun.  Katharine Ashe sweeps readers off their feet with a tale of one determined woman who’s not afraid to risk her heart on the chance of finding happiness with the man of her dreams.  I loved the vivaciousness of How to Marry a Highlander.  The story simply brims with energy as Teresa takes charge of Duncan’s sisters and sets out to find them their own happily ever afters even as she fights for a fairytale ending of her own with their stubborn brother.  The romance between Teresa and Duncan was lovely, though part of me felt like the resolution was a bit rushed.

While I liked Teresa and Duncan, I was charmed as all get-out by Duncan’s sisters, some of whom reminded me of Jane Austen’s Bennet sisters.  It’s no spoiler to say that most of the Eads women find love, but I almost wish one particular couple — Una and Teresa’s brother Toby — had gotten a separate story, only because I loved them so much that I could read about them for ages.

How to Marry a Highlander is loosely related to Ms. Ashe’s Falcon Club series.  Eagle-eyed readers will remember the moment Teresa first saw Duncan, which was in How a Lady Weds a Rogue.  Fans of the series will surely enjoy not only the references to that story, but the brief appearances of How a Lady Weds a Rogue protagonists Diantha and Wyn.  That being said, you don’t have to have read any of the Falcon Club novels in order to enjoy How to Marry a Highlander.  Still, I hope the Eads family reappears in the series because I absolutely adored all eight siblings and the men and woman who love them.

 

THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE by Cathy Maxwell

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Source: Publisher
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.
THE BRIDE SAYS MAYBE by Cathy MaxwellThe Bride Says Maybe by Cathy Maxwell
Series: The Brides of Wishmore #2
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on 2014-02-25
Genres: Historical, Regency
Pages: 384
Reviewed by Vanessa

New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell returns with a delicious new series, The Brides of WishmoreWhat happens when a bride says maybe?She'd once been the toast of London, but now scandal has brought her down. Still, pretty, petted Lady Tara Davidson can't believe her new fate. She had wanted to marry for love . . . but her profligate father has promised her hand to none other than Breccan Campbell, the

Lady Tara Davidson seemed to rule society and had her pick of men.  However, she would only marry for love.  Tara had no idea that her father was wheeling and dealing behind the scenes with the “Beast of Aberfeldy” for her hand in marriage.  Left with no alternative after her most recent escapade in town, Tara agrees to Breccan Campbell’s offer, but she has no intention of giving her heart with her hand!

Breccan Campbell aka Beast of Aberfeldy, has desired Tara since he first saw her.  He must possess her and has gambled a LOT to get his hands on her.  Yet, Breccan never figured his wager would cost more than he planned on giving, nor that there was more to Tara than the surface veneer.  However, Breccan soon comes to see that he wants it all, but how does he convince Lady Tara that she can have it, too? 

The Bride Says Maybe is like chicken soup for the disenchanted!  Breccan was the perfect hero of yesterday matched with the feisty heroine, Tara Davidson.  Their story was comforting to read in The Bride Says Maybe.  Breccan did come across as a bit of a “beast” in The Bride Says Maybe while Tara took on a little of the mantle of beauty. 

The secondary characters helped to move the story along in The Bride Says Maybe, but there was truly no real angst in this tale.  The Bride Says Maybe seemed to want to delve a bit more into their initial impressions of one another and how they changed as they got to know each other over the course of The Bride Says Maybe.  However, it was more of a light touch in that respect as well.  Overall, The Bride Says Maybe was reminiscent of the older romance novels, without all the action that I’ve come to appreciate.  

WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES by Sabrina Jeffries

WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES by Sabrina Jeffries

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.

Source: Publisher
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.
WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES by Sabrina JeffriesWhat the Duke Desires by Sabrina Jeffries
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2013-06-18
Genres: Historical, Regency
Pages: 416
Reviewed by Shayna

They are The Duke’s Men—an investigative agency born out of family pride and irresistible passion . . . and they risk their lives and hearts to unravel any shocking deception or scandalous transgression! Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims? Fearful that the powerful duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.

JoyfullyRecommended

Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, has long known that he will live his life alone.  Madness cursed his father and his uncle and his elder brother died under mysterious circumstances.  So when he receives a cryptic message from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claiming that Max’s brother is alive, the duke is cautiously hopeful.  But the meeting Tristan arranged never takes place, as neither Tristan nor Max’s supposed brother show up.  The duke is furious and determined to hunt Tristan down, only to cross paths with a different Bonnaud.

As the illegitimate daughter of an English viscount and a French actress, Lisette Bonnaud learned at a young age never to be dependent on a man, particularly an aristocrat.  Which is why she’s shocked to find herself attracted to the powerful Duke of Lyons, a man who could ruin the lives of her and her siblings.  Worried that her brother is missing and determined to ensure the duke doesn’t ruin Tristan’s career, Lisette courts disaster by posing as Max’s wife on a trip to France.  But it isn’t only scandal Max and Lisette risk by travelling together — the longer they remain in close quarters the more these two very different people risk losing their hearts to one another.

The Duke’s Men series is off to a fantastic start with What the Duke Desires.  Sabrina Jeffries has penned a marvelously entertaining story filled to the brim with romance, humor, heartbreak, and even a surprising revelation or two.

Lisette might just be my favorite Sabrina Jeffries heroine to date.  She’s smart, fiercely loyal, and very aware of the consequences of her illegitimacy in a way that Tristan and her legitimate half-brother, Dom, simply aren’t.  Her parents’ relationship and the fallout after her father’s death had a deep impact on Lisette, adding a touch of vulnerability to the strong and brave heroine.  Max, in turn, is a delicious hero with fears of his own.  His father’s very public descent into madness has made Max fearful of his own potential for insanity.  He’s afraid to love, afraid to get too close to a woman who will see him ultimately go mad.  Max is very much alone until he meets Lisette and I loved seeing her fight for him and for their relationship.  These two were a fantastic pair and their love story was a joy to watch unfold.

What the Duke Desires is the first book in Ms. Jeffries’s The Duke’s Men series, but fans of the Hellions of Halstead Hall books keep an eye out — Dominick Manton, Lisette’s half-brother, first appeared in ‘Twas the Night After Christmas, so it should be no surprise that past heroes and heroines get a mention in this book.  I Joyfully Recommend What the Duke Desires.  The only issue I had with the story is that Ms. Jeffries made Dom and Tristan so compelling that I can’t wait for them to get books of their own!

THE PRINCESS AND THE PEER by Tracy Anne Warren

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.

Source: Publisher
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.
THE PRINCESS AND THE PEER by Tracy Anne WarrenThe Princess and the Peer by Tracy Anne Warren
Series: Princess Brides #1
Published by Penguin Group US on 2012-04-03
Genres: Historical, Regency
Pages: 352
Reviewed by Shayna

From New York Times bestselling author Tracy Anne Warren comes an enchanting new trilogy about three princesses brought together by fate.  This is Princess Emma’s story… When a royal summons from her brother arrives, Emma knows it’s time to embrace her duties as the princess of a small European kingdom, and marry the man her brother has chosen for her…a stranger she has never met.  Instead she does what any self-respecting princess would do—she runs away.  All she wants is one week in London.  One week to experience everything life has to offer, before she is locked away in a loveless marriage forever… Former naval captain Nick Gregory has inherited a title he never wanted. As the new Earl of Lyndhurst, he chafes against his landlocked existence—until fate brings a mysterious young beauty across his path. Believing she’s an unemployed governess, Nick offers shelter and protection to the captivating girl, never guessing her true identity. Emma falls hard for Nick, but knowing they have no future, she flees once more—this time back to her royal responsibilities. But when she and Nick unexpectedly meet again, she learns that against all odds, he’s determined to make this princess his bride…

Princess Emma of Rosewald knows it’s her duty to marry for the betterment of her kingdom, but the thought of marrying a stranger twice her age and settling down to a boring life is almost too much for her to bear.  Before she goes through with the marriage, Emma wants just one week of freedom, one week to do everything she’s ever desired.  But her impulsive trip to London takes and unexpected turn when she’s rescued by the dashing Earl of Lyndhurst.

Former naval captain and newly minted earl Nick Gregory doesn’t know much about the beautiful woman who crosses his path, but it’s clear the so-called governess needs his help.  He only plans to offer her shelter, but soon he’s squiring Emma about town and falling for the headstrong young woman.  When Emma disappears from his life, Nick knows that he can’t simply let her go.  But what will happen when he discovers that his governess is really a princess in disguise?

The Princess and the Peer is a bit of a difficult book for me to review.  On the one hand, I enjoyed the beginning, which had a Roman Holiday-esque flavor.  On the other, I simply did not have the ability to suspend disbelief to the extent I would have to to enjoy this tale.  Emma is a princess who is understandably self-centered (she is a sheltered princess, after all), but she acts before she thinks constantly, which grated on my nerves.  What really bothered me, however, was that she doesn’t act a bit like the governess she’s pretending to be.  That Nick didn’t even question her cover story made me doubt his intelligence and the way in which he and Emma behaved all throughout The Princess and the Peer was so contrary to their positions and the time period that I was constantly drawn out of the story.  Add in a truly dizzying number of adjectives and the awkwardly manufactured plot and I’m afraid this book just wasn’t the one for me.

There were some bright spots in The Princess and the Peer that kept me reading the story.  My favorite character was Emma’s friend and fellow princess Ariadne.  Though I’m not sure I’ll be reading the second Princess Brides book (Her Highness and the Highlander), I’ll definitely be picking up the final story in the trilogy, The Trouble with Princesses, for I cannot wait to see what trouble Ariadne gets up to with Emma’s brother, Rupert

TRUE SPIES by Shana Galen

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.Source: Publisher 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.TrueContinue Reading

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