Tag Archive | Historical romance

Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

How to Catch a Wild Viscount

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She’s on the hunt for a hero…

Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, returned from war a changed man. Battle stripped away his civility and brought out his inner beast. There is no charm or tenderness in him now; only dark passions and a hardened soul. He has nothing to offer the starry-eyed, innocent girl who pledged her heart to him four years ago.

But Cecily Hale isn’t a girl any longer. She’s grown into a woman—one who won’t be pushed away. She and Luke are guests at a house party when a local legend captures their friends’ imaginations. While the others plunge into the forest on a wild goose…er, stag chase, Cecily’s on the hunt for a man. She has only a few moonlit nights to reach the real Luke…the wounded heart she knows still beats inside the war-ravaged body…or she could lose him to the darkness forever.

This novella was previously published as The Legend of the Werestag

I’ve heard of Tessa Dare previously but How to Catch a Wild Viscount is the first book I’ve read by Ms Dare. Strangely enough, reading Lauren Dane’s The Best Kind of Trouble spurred me to read this short. The heroine, Natalie, in The Best Kind of Trouble is a librarian and Natalie recommended Tessa Dare to another character as a great historical romance read. I decided to read How to Catch a Wild Viscount next. So glad I did! It was a good read!

Tessa Dare’s author note for How to Catch a Wild Viscount states that this was her first published work. I don’t know if it was reworked any but this was a rather cute story – and if her first published work is this polished…I need to grab more! There are some parts that give a “dated” impression but on the whole this story is a very solid and very enjoyable read.
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Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Palor Games by Leda Swann

Parlor Games

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Do you dare open the door and enter a place like no other?

In these three historical tales of sensual awakening, nothing that stimulates and titillates is taboo, ecstasy comes in many sizes, and pleasure is its own reward . . . a world of seduction and sensation, where inhibitions are unlaced and desires long corseted are gloriously freed. . . .

Parlor Games – Leda Swann

An innocent virgin enters a brothel to escape starvation and receives expert tutelage in the steamy Victorian parlor games that rakish gentlemen indulge in. . . .

 

 
Accck! This one, I really disliked.

Parlor Games was the third book I read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. Since this story is part of an anthology I that already priced – I’m still counting this as book 3.

***Trigger Warning*** This story has an attempted rape including the restraint of the heroine by another character.
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Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Fallen Angel by Jess Michaels

Parlor Games

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Do you dare open the door and enter a place like no other?

In these three historical tales of sensual awakening, nothing that stimulates and titillates is taboo, ecstasy comes in many sizes, and pleasure is its own reward . . . a world of seduction and sensation, where inhibitions are unlaced and desires long corseted are gloriously freed. . . .

Fallen Angel – Jess Michaels

London’s greatest beauty and most notorious madam employs the services of a disgraced Bow Street Runner to keep her safe from a stalker . . . and satisfied after dark.

 

 
Meh. Really, really meh.

Parlor Games was the third book I read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. Since this story is part of an anthology I that already priced – I’m still counting this as book 3.

The heroine, Arabella, is being threatened. After receiving multiple written threats and surviving several attempts on her life, Arabella calls on Valentine, former Bow Street Runner, to protect her and pretend to be her lover.

Most of the short story focused on the sexual power plays between Arabella and Valentine – they both have been hurt by relationships – but these sections felt a little forced. To be honest, the entire story felt a little forced – especially the HEA. I did not believe in the HEA and I really didn’t enjoy [the story] that much.

I was able to figure out the antagonist from the first moment they were introduced on page. Meh.
 

 
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Book Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Border Lord by Julia Templeton

Parlor Games

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Fleeing an unfaithful fiancé, a nubile young lovely finds herself the prisoner of a lustful Scottish laird and must bow to his every erotic whim.

 
Parlor Games is the third book I’ve read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99.

Border Lord reminds me a lot of the book Warlord by Jaid Black. Both stories are situated in Scotland and both books contain unsuspecting time traveling heroines from the future. Strangely enough, I find that I prefer Warlord to Border Lord even though Warlord is much older and is a little more corny. There’s another time-traveling Scottish Lord story I read that was similar to this one as well but I can’t remember the title. That one also starred a cheating fiance, IIRC.

With that being said….there’s not a lot to Border Lord. It’s ok. It’s entertaining-ish. I enjoyed it for the most part but since I’ve read better with this same set up…I wasn’t as impressed as I expected to be. Border Lord is short and to the point without much more to recommend it.

2.5 Stars

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Review: Everything Forbidden (Albright Sisters #1) by Jess Michaels

Everything Forbidden

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YOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS WILL BELONG TO ME

For summers Miranda Albright has watched—aghast, yet shamefully titillated—as her wicked neighbor Ethan Hamon, the notorious Earl of Rothschild, “entertained” a succession of lovers on the grounds of his estate. Now that her father has passed on, leaving behind a mountain of debt, Miranda must do the unthinkable. For Ethan has promised to sponsor her younger sisters, financially and socially, at a scandalously dear price: Miranda must offer herself to him completely for three full months, with no remorse and no restraints.

Ninety days and nights of unbridled sensuality await her in the arms of a rogue who views her submission as no more than a grand erotic game. But neither Miranda nor Ethan realize that fire blazes behind her innocent blush. And once her passion is unleashed by his lips and his touch, it is the student who will school the teacher in the ways of forbidden pleasure … and love.

 

Everything Forbidden is the second book I read using my Scribd trial, introducing me to Jess Michaels. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I have to admit that I would have never read this book without the Scribd membership – the price is waaay to high for my blood – especially for a NTM author.

I’m not really sure what to say about it – the blurb covers it all pretty well, lol. I did like this one – I liked it quite a bit. My enjoyment was less about the plot and more about the execution, however – which was close to flawless.

The sex was steamy, the heroine was likeable and the hero wasn’t an alphole. What more can a girl ask for in an historical erotic romance? As a character, Miranda was quite interesting and rather brave – but she didn’t have any stand out characteristics that made her particularly memorable past the reading of the text. Ethan was the same – great for the read but not a “dreamy” hero that I pondered about or squeed over. Marianda’s sisters, Penelope and Beatrice, and her mother left a more lasting impression to me – but only because the impression was decidedly negative.

There’s no tension in the book – no push and pull between the H/h and very little (read: none) sexual tension. Even the final Big Mis was resolved very quickly and with no on page tension. I like a little tension in my romances…

I enjoyed the final ending – no epilogue – when the “I love yous” were said. I thought it was tooth-achingly sweet but it worked for the couple.

 

 

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Old Skool Erotica Review: Warlord by Jaid Black

Warlord

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In the year 1052…

Euan Donald rules the Highlands with an iron fist. When a rival clan chieftain fails to deliver his betrothed to him, Euan decides to take matters into his own hands and acquire a bride the old fashioned way—he’ll go steal one.

Present day…

Janet Duval is in Scotland on business. One minute she’s leaving the local pub after having dinner and drinks with a friend, and the next she finds herself being chased—1000 years in the past—by a heavily muscled, grim-faced warrior hell-bent on possessing her.

Written erotica has been around for ages. I remember reading a couple of my father’s eroticas while in middle school (or younger!). During those days, erotica (at least, what I saw) was written and marketed primarily to men.

[Quite] some time later (about 1999), Tina Engler (Jaid Black) started writing and trying to sell erotica. Being constantly rebuffed, Engler started her own business to start selling her erotic romance fiction under the pen name Jaid Black. By 2001, Engler’s site was up and running – making Ellora’s Cave one of (if not the) first ebook erotica bookstore.

Erotica has come a long, long way since the opening of Ellora’s Cave and the publishing of Engler’s first novels. The cheesy covers have started to fade away, the language has changed, the plots have become increasingly complicated. Erotica has become…mainstream.
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Ravished by Amanda Quick

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From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple…poised to discover the rapture of love.

There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself…

Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe…and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart – and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.

Harriet Pomeroy is a “spinster” amateur archeologist – specializing (read: obsessed) in animal fossils. She obtains the majority of her fossils from her explorations of a series of caves located near her home. The area (including the caves) is owned and “ruled by” the Earl of Blackthorne Hall, Gideon Westbrook.

Six years prior to the start of this novel Gideon “lost” his honor – he was engaged to the local Rector’s beautiful young daughter. One day she goes to Gideon and informs him that she is pregnant. He dissolves their engagement…and she goes home and shoots herself. Everyone – including Gideon’s parents – believed that it was Gideon who “ravished” his young and beautiful fiancee who he discards once she becomes pregnant. Gideon’s honor is besmirched throughout his small hometown – he becomes known as “The Beast of Blackthorne Hall” – as well as throughout the entirety of society. He throws himself into his work (managing his family’s many estates) for the next six years, growing more and more bitter.
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