Tag: romance books

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell Review

Wives and DaughtersTitle: Wives and Daughters

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

Genre: Classics, Romance

Series: n/a

Goodreads Rating: 4.09/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly’s quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. ‘No nineteenth-century novel contains a more devastating rejection than this of the Victorian male assumption of moral authority’, writes Pam Morris in her introduction to this new edition, in which she explores the novel’s main themes – the role of women, Darwinism and the concept of Englishness – and its literary and social context.

October Wrap Up Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

Review:  Gaskell wrote this to be a story of everyday life in response to the more dramatic stories that were popular at the time. It’s a very pleasant study of rural life and relationships in 1830’s England. Beautifully written though lengthy and quite humorous at times especially with Molly’s father. It’s a charming easy read (despite its length) and unfortunately is unfinished due to Gaskell’s death. My edition featured notes from the editor of the magazine it was originally published which details the author’s plans for the ending.

I very much enjoyed reading this. It’s perfect when you want to read something pleasant and easy going.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne Review

99 Percent Mine

Title: 99 Percent Mine

Author: Sally Thorne

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

Format: ebook (eARC from Edelweiss+)

Pages/Hours: 368 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★★

Tags: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

Themes: Friend’s to Lovers, Second Chances

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Review:  I stayed up until 6.30am to read this book. That should really tell you enough about how much I enjoyed it 😅

It was a complete joy to read that left me with warm fuzzy feelings and a book hangover.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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

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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_

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare Review

When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)Title: When a Scot Ties the Knot

Author: Tessa Dare

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Castles Ever After #3

Goodreads Rating: 3.97/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis:  On the cusp of her first London season, Miss Madeline Gracechurch was shyly pretty and talented with a drawing pencil, but hopelessly awkward with gentlemen. She was certain to be a dismal failure on the London marriage mart. So Maddie did what generations of shy, awkward young ladies have done: she invented a sweetheart.

A Scottish sweetheart. One who was handsome and honorable and devoted to her, but conveniently never around. Maddie poured her heart into writing the imaginary Captain MacKenzie letter after letter… and by pretending to be devastated when he was (not really) killed in battle, she managed to avoid the pressures of London society entirely.

Until years later, when this kilted Highland lover of her imaginings shows up in the flesh. The real Captain Logan MacKenzie arrives on her doorstep—handsome as anything, but not entirely honorable. He’s wounded, jaded, in possession of her letters… and ready to make good on every promise Maddie never expected to keep.

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: I really enjoyed this. It’s a totally fluffy feel-good read that manages to avoid being too cute.

I totally identify with Maddie’s desire to avoid society and her shyness though not to the same extent (she tends to have panic attacks) and Logan *swoon* new book boyfriend right there.

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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_

Romanceopoly

Romanceopoly is a reading challenge game hosted by Under the Covers and Peace Love Books.

The game is based loosely on Monopoly and set in the fictional city of Romanceopolis. You can roll a die to make your way around the board or just do each task which is how I’m going to play.

The website the creators have made is so helpful with tasks. They have a list of recommendations for each task here which I have found great because there are a few tasks that require books I wouldn’t normally read.

Tasks & TBR

LEATHER LANE Urban Fantasy Read an urban fantasy where the series is already completed

Alpha (Shifters, #6)

KICKASS LANE Urban Fantasy Read an urban fantasy with a picture of a kickass heroine on the cover

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6)

DOWNTOWN Subway Read a rock star romance

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1)

GROWING PAINS PLACE Young Adult Read a young adult book (fantasy or contemporary)

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4)

MEMORY LANE Historical Fiction Read a historical fiction novel

With This Ring  (Vanza, #1)

WOMEN’S AVE Women’s Fiction Read a women’s fiction novel

The Woman Who Stole My Life

DUNGEON Corner Read a book with a hero in prison or who is an ex-con – OR – Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Book Boyfriends List.

Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)

COLLEGE ROW New Adult Read a new adult book set in college

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

BUS Transport Read a book where the character(s) have to go on a journey
which involves travel (this includes fantasy)

Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark, #18)

LGBT LANE LGBT Read a new adult LGBT romance

Him (Him #1)

FREEDOM FRIARS LGBT Read an adult LGBT romance

Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)

SWEET STREET Contemporary Romance Read a sweet or small town contemporary romance

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)

BAD BOY CIRCUS Contemporary Romance Read a contemporary romance with a bad boy hero or bad gal heroine

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

EROTIC EAVES Erotic Romance Read a smoking hot erotic contemporary romance

The Master (The Game Maker, #2)

FIRESTATION Corner Read a book with a firefighter hero/heroine – OR – Read an ON FIRE HOT erotic romance (can be other than contemporary)

Consumed (Firefighters, #1)

WARRIORS WAY Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance that involves a band of warriors

Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8)

MAGIC ROW Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance where the hero/heroine can wield magic

Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, #11)

CREATURE CRESCENT Paranormal Romance Read a paranormal romance where the hero/heroine isn’t human (shifters, vamps, angels, demons, gargoyles, etc)

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)

COZY CORNER Mystery Read a mystery or cozy mystery

For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy, #3)

MILITARY MEWS Romantic Suspense Read a romantic suspense with a military hero/heroine

Deadly Game (GhostWalkers, #5)

TAXI Transport Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Recs List (any genre).

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1)

MURDER MILL Thriller Read a thriller or romantic thriller

Final Girls

HEARTBREAK HOSPITAL Corner Read a book with a doctor hero/heroine – OR – Read a tearjerker

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)

FARAWAY LAND Fantasy Read a fantasy romance or a fantasy novel

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)

LONDON STREET Steampunk Read a steampunk romance or steampunk novel

Heart of Steel (The Iron Seas #2)

ALIEN AVENUE Sci Fi Read a sci fi romance or a sci fi novel

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin, #1)

AUSTEN ROW Historical Romance Read a classic romance – OR – Read a historical romance on UTC’s or PLB’s Recs List.

Jane Eyre

UPTOWN Subway Read a chef/foodie romance

Hyde and Seek (Hyde #1)

MAYFAIR Historical Romance Read a historical romance where there is a class disparity

Beauty and the Blacksmith  (Spindle Cove, #3.5)

Be sure to check out the website if you’re interested in the challenge. It is seriously the most informative site I’ve seen for a reading challenge.