Tag: historical romance

March Wrap Up

“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” 
― L.M. Montgomery

I started March with a few rereads. I guess I was feeling nostalgic or something…. I should have been reading for The Irish Readathon but sadly only managed one book for it. I was visiting family and traveling for two weeks at the end of the month so that’s my excuse for not reading as much.

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A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016. You can read my original review here. I enjoyed it a lot more on my second read. The main characters annoyed me a lot less because I understood why they behaved the way they did and where their story was going.

This book seems to have very mixed reviews from people because Lachlain hits very highly on the Alpha-Asshole scale.

Shadow Game (Ghost Walkers #1) by Christine Feehan ★★★☆☆

Shadow Game (GhostWalkers, #1)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016 as well but it was on audio and I kept falling asleep. Not cause it was boring just cause I was listening at night and kept snoozing so a lot of this seemed new to me reading as an ebook.

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Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9) by Lara Adrian ★★★★☆

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

Paranormal Romance

This one I read for the Kick’n Down Your TBR challenge in Gotta Have Romance With a Kick on Goodreads. I read book #8 in this series in 2013 so it took me awhile to remember everything about the series when I started this one (and most of it hasn’t come back to me 😅). Despite forgetting most of what was going on Adrian’s little recaps throughout the story reminded me of the important stuff and I ended up enjoying the story. I think the earlier books in this series were more romance focused and this one felt very story and action focused with a romance.

The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

YA, Fantasy

So close to the end now 😭😭😭 This series has been such an insane and emotional roller coaster! I am VERY invested in these characters now and if anything bad happens (or worse that what has already happened) to them I will be very upset. Cole is such a fantastic writer. She manages to write fiction in genres that are usually so predictable in a way that’s familiar but still refreshing. And she is a master at developing tension.

Dreaming of You (Gamblers #2) by Lisa Kleypas ★★★★☆

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)

Historical Romance

I read this book for the Romanceopoly challenge. I landed on Austen Row – Read a classic romance OR a historical romance on UTC or Peace Love Books rec lists. So I chose a book from the rec list and really enjoyed it. This was my first Lisa Kleypas book, it was published in 1994 and I think certain elements of it show that it was a historical romance from that time. There are some things that the characters do that just don’t happen in historical romances anymore. But it’s a very good book and definitely doesn’t go as far as being rapey like romances often did in the 70’s/80’s.

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes ★★★★☆

Under the Duvet

Essays

If you want to see what life was like for Irish people in the late 90’s and early 00’s then read this. Some of the language may be a little confusing if you’re not Irish but it’s a very entertaining collection nonetheless.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare Review

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5; Castles Ever After, #4)Title: Do You Want to Start a Scandal

Author: Tessa Dare

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Castles Ever After #4, Spindle Cover #5

Goodreads Rating: 4.08/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis:  On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: Another great historical romance from Tessa Dare. This one features a mystery and the hero is a spy! Such a fun read. I love it when historicals have interesting subplots like this.

It’s kind of like a historical romantic James Bond story.

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My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel Review

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance NovelTitle: My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel
 
Author: Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
 
Genre: Romance
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.59/5
 
 

Synopsis: The romance novel that lets you pick your path, follow your heart, and find happily ever after

You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-loving highlander Captain Angus McTaggart? Or perhaps race through the chapters chasing a good (and arousing) man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, Lord Garraway Craven? Or read on recklessly and take to the Continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline? Or yet some other intriguing fate? Make choices, turn pages, and discover all the daring delights of the multiple (and intertwining!) storylines. And in every path you pick, beguiling illustrations bring all the lust and love to life.

 
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What I thought about the book:  Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It was a fun book. A bit raunchier than I expected but in a silly way.

I was expecting it to be like Pride and Prejudice but it’s more like modern Historical Romances with manly Scotsmen “cabers” and so on…

For my adventure, I ran off with a hot Scot to the Highlands. It wasn’t just romance though. There was a murder mystery for me to puzzle out too which kept the story interesting. I liked how the option to naturally change adventures during the story came up a few times as well in case I got bored of my Scot (as if!).

Very enjoyable, good for a few giggles. A great light-hearted rainy day read that you can revisit and begin something new.

 
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My Rating: 4 star review
 
Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository 
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My Super Late June Wrap Up

Better late than never right?….

Books Read

Shadowland (Cassandra Palmer, #4.2) Updating Pritkin (Cassandra Palmer, #5.5) The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries, #3) Milk and Honey Sputnik Sweetheart First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, #1) Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer, #8) Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1) Faro's Daughter My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)

Highlights

Ride the Storm

Ride the Storm by Karen Chance ★★★★★

The 8th book in Chance’s Cassie Palmer series sees several long running story lines come to a head (at last!). I had been waiting with bated breath for some of these and was not disappointed with the outcome.

The series follows Cassie Palmer, a clairvoyant time-traveling disaster magnet (love her!!), on her adventures ( or misadventures…) as the supernatural community’s new leading clairvoyant, The Pythia. Cassie isn’t your usual urban fantasy leading lady, she’s much more of an “every-woman” than a “warrior-woman” thrust into strenuous situations she isn’t prepared for. And, heck, we’ve all been there!! Cassie handles it all though and comes back swinging.

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★☆

I gave this 4 stars but 3.5 would be more accurate. A lot of the poems really resonated with me but I disliked the formatting and it occasionally seemed more like whining from a young woman’s diary than observations on life.

A lot of poetry seems to be written in this format now, all lower case and just a few sentences… it doesn’t seem like poetry to me but who the heck am I to judge!

Some parts I loved some I found frustrating but I guess the point of poetry is to make you feel something which it certainly did.

The Force of Wind

The Force of the Wind by Elizabeth Hunter ★★★★★

The 3rd book in Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries series is a slow burner for the most part and then explodes into a rousing inferno. Three anticipated story lines come to a head with varying outcomes.

The Elemental Mysteries follows Giovanni Vecchio and Beatrice De Novo as they unravel the secrets behind Beatrice’s missing father, Giovanni’s long lost library, his iniquitous son and how these things may be connected.

Oh and Gio is a vampire with fire elemental abilities.

First Drop of Crimson

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost ★★★★★

Now I know everyone seems to LOVE Cat and Bones from Frost’s Nighthuntress series but I gotta say I preferred this spin-off novel way more. I don’t know what it is about those two but I just don’t like them all that much… Cat and Bones are not the main characters in this book but I would recommend following the authors suggested reading order. There are some definite spoilers for Nighthuntress if you’re reading it.

This one follows two friends of Cat and Bones as they battle a shape-shifting demon. Much more paranormal romance focused than the other series as well. A very fun read, I gobbled it up.

Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami ★★★★★

This one really surprised me. I had never read anything by Murakami and only listened to this because it was part of Scribd selects last month. I didn’t really know what to expect from the author or the story (I was flying totally blind) but it grabbed me and sucked me in like a whirlpool. The story follows a disquieting love triangle (not the annoying YA kind) between K, Sumire and Miu. The relationships the three characters have really highlight human emotion, the need for connection, friendship and desire.

Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward ★★★★★

Took me ages to get into this book and damn near got whiplash from all the POV’s. Freaking loved it in the end though. This is the 7th book in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The romance plot for this one centres on Rehvenge but the book follows most of the main characters. The story is very exciting and the lessers are finally starting to look like a serious threat and interesting enemy.

Faro's Daughter

Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer ★★★★★

Despite Heyer being considered the mother of Historical Romance by many, I had never heard of her. I had spotted the audio book on Scribd selects a few times but never gave it much of a glance until last month. I couldn’t sleep and this was free and short, I figured ‘what the hey?!’. I ended up loving the story. It reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Hoyt’s or Kresley Cole’s historical romances with a sassy strong willed heroine and a roguish hero engaging in an intriguing têteà-tête. 

My Life as a White Trash Zombie

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland ★★★★★

First of all, how cool is that cover?! About as cool as this freaking book!! Such a fun story that may seem familiar if you’ve watched iZombie but only as far as both protagonists are blond females who happen to be zombies and work in the morgue. Another similarity is that the zombies seem to remain intelligent and fresh as long as they continue to eat brains. But White Trash Zombie was so much fun!! I listened to the audio book of this and the narrator was amazing, I highly recommend the audio.

The story follows Angel Crawford after she wakes up in the ER after an apparent overdose with no idea what’s going on, a new job and delivery of mystery milkshakes. Her “life” takes some mad turns and then a serial killer shows up to keep things interesting. Brilliant story, I ordered the next book before I even finished this one.


So that’s it for June. I didn’t read too much last month (I’ve already read more this month) but it was a good month. I really enjoyed almost all of the books I read.

Now I’m off to do dishes, make dinner and listen to my audiobook. Laters!

Master of Seduction – Kinley MacGregor

714585Title: Master of Seduction
 
Author: Kinley MacGregor
 
Genre: Historical Romance
 
Series: Sea Wolves #1
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5
 
 

Synopsis: The infamous pirate Black Jack Rhys never encountered a ship he could not board or a woman he could not bed. But the dashing brigand may have met his match in the fiery beauty who has vowed to bring him to justice . . .

A fearless, flame-haired enchantress, Lorelei Dupree believes she has a duty to her fiancé and to the city of Charleston to help end the reign of the notorious Black Jack. But when the bold pirate eludes her carefully set trap, she suddenly finds herself the prisoner of the irresistible criminal they call “Master of Seduction.” Once trapped in Jack’s intoxicating gaze, Lorelei feels herself falling under the handsome rogue’s sensuous spell. And now the terror of the high seas faces the one peril he never anticipated—for though he has stolen so many hearts, he never dreamed he’d meet a woman who could so effortlessly conquer his own.

 
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What I thought about the book: I was so excited to read this more because of the ridiculous cover than anything else. I was disappointed with it, it turned out to be a bit boring. The swashbuckling adventure fell a little flat, the dramatic moments (the fire, Jack’s grand gesture) were a bit meh…. My expectations might have been set too high. I expected a wild raunchy affair (in fairness how could I not have with that cover) which it didn’t deliver. The best thing about the book was the characters. They were very well developed but the events they endured were a bit anticlimactic.
It was more like a romantic comedy than a pirate adventure.
 
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My Rating: 
3 paws
Master of Seduction

Get the book on Book Depository