Tag Archives: historical romance

Any old diamonds KJ Charles

Review: Any Old Diamonds, by KJ Charles

Any old diamonds KJ Charles I purchased a copy of Any Old Diamonds, by KJ Charles last October but never got around to reading it. Then, later, bought an Audible copy, which I listened to.

Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes is the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar, with a bitter grudge against his wealthy father. The Duke intends to give his Duchess a priceless diamond parure on their wedding anniversary—so Alec hires a pair of jewel thieves to steal it.

The Duke’s remote castle is a difficult target, and Alec needs a way to get the thieves in. Soldier-turned-criminal Jerry Crozier has the answer: he’ll pose as a Society gentleman and become Alec’s new best friend.

But Jerry is a dangerous man: controlling, remote, and devastating. He effortlessly teases out the lonely young nobleman’s most secret desires, and soon he’s got Alec in his bed—and the palm of his hand.

Or maybe not. Because as the plot thickens, betrayals, secrets, new loves, and old evils come to light. Now the jewel thief and the aristocrat must keep up the pretence, find their way through a maze of privilege and deceit, and confront the truth of what’s between them…all without getting caught.

It took me a while to get into this book, but I eventually did and enjoyed it. I very much appreciated the way both men tried to be good to the other and the way Jerry insisted on clear boundaries and obeyed them. They were definitely perfectly matched in desires. However, I also thought there was a tad too much sex, it cluttered the plot. (It was hot though.)

The close bonds outside of the main pairing were also appreciableJerry and Lane, Lazarus, the siblings. There were tons of platonic relationships and connections and I thought it enriched the story. Plus, it was fun to get an indirect peek at some of the characters from another Charles book!

All in all, I wouldn’t call it my favorite Charles book, but as always I enjoyed reading it…or listening. Cornell Collins did a fabulous job with the narration.

 

Review of Misleading a Duke, by A. S. Fenichel

Through Goodreads, I won an early e-copy of Misleading a Duke, by A. S. Fenichel.

Description:

Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.

After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.

Review:

First off, I should not have read this book without reading book one. I don’t think it stood well on its own. But what’s done is done and that’s not the book’s fault.

Outside of that issue, I simply didn’t care for the book. I think I liked what the author was attempting to do (create a group of sassy, self-reliant women going after control of their lives) but not what she actually wrote. I found the whole thing repetitive, contradictory, and overly sappy. I’ll break that down a little more.

I lost track of how many times the characters’ internal thoughts ran the same rail. Nicholas was especially bad about this, but certainly, Faith thought the same things over and over too. Tying into this was what Nicholas actually thought. I hated the way every other paragraph was interrupted for either thoughts of how badly he wanted Faith (how attracted he was to her, etc) or how much he disliked her (or both). I get that the author was trying to show that he was conflicted. But instead, it just felt like waffling. But it also made the first half of the book REALLY choppy. Similarly, as the book and relationship progressed the characters went from obviously wanting each other to thinking about how the other was about to leave them or not want them, etc. Over and over and back and forwards.

The sappiness is on an objective scale, but this tipped over into too sappy for me. There were just too many passages about how amazing one or the other was, how much they loved the other, too many declarations of adoration, etc. In my experience, this is a symptom of a particular sort of blunt romance that I just don’t enjoy very much.

I do love that cover though!

Review of Must Be Magic, by Patricia Rice

I’m on vacation, slash, visiting my mom. Which means I get to read and write my reviews in the St. Andrew Bay sea breeze. Today I finished Must Be Magic, by Patricia Rice. I borrowed an e-copy from the library before I left home.


Description from Goodreads:

An Explosive Attraction…

Lady Leila Staines has always felt like an outcast among her magically gifted sisters. Desperate to discover her own talent, she seeks out Dunstan Ives, a dark and brooding aristocrat with a scientific bent who may hold the key to unleashing Leila’s hidden powers.

Can Create A Spark That’s Pure Magic…

Dunstan has shunned the decadent society that wrongfully condemned him of murder, and he’s vowed never again to succumb to the spell of a beautiful woman. But the bewitching Lady Leila makes him a proposal no man in his position can resist.

Review:

Generally enjoyable. I appreciated the slightly older couple (a widow and widower), the unusual inclusion of an illegitimate child, and that the female character was given sexual agency throughout. I did find the mystery easy to decipher and thought Dunstam was a little too driven by his lusts (though I did like how he fully owned that he went brainless in the presence of an attractive woman).

This is book two in a series and I was able to read it easily, even without having read book one. I’ll happily read the rest of the series.