Tag Archives: historical romance

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Book Review: A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing, by Susanna Allen

I borrowed a copy of Susanna Allen‘s A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing through Hoopla.
a wolf in dukes clothing

A Duke in want of a wife…

Alfred Blakesley, Duke of Lowell, has long been an enigma. No one dares to give a man of his status the cut direct, but there’s simply something not quite right about him. What would the society ladies say if they learned the truth―that the Duke of Lowell is a wolf shifter and the leader of a pack facing extinction if he doesn’t find his true love? So now he’s on the hunt…for a wife.

Felicity Templeton has a goal of her own: to remain unwed until her twenty-fifth birthday, when she will inherit a significant fortune. But that all changes when she meets Alfred, the dashing duke who’s determined to have her for his very own…

my review

This was absolutely ridiculous. Nothing about Felicity’s reactions felt believable. So, it took a lot of suspension of disbelief. But it was ridiculous in a cute way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I appreciated Felicity’s backbone and how unflinchingly and openly willing to want Alfred was.

I was annoyed at how often Felicity fell asleep and was able to be picked up, moved, undressed, etc in her sleep. This is a scenario that only really makes sense with small children and I find it a wolf in duke's clothing photohorrendously infantilizing when authors subject their adult female characters to this. (It’s only ever women too. I can’t think of a single male characters this happens to.) Additionally, this is labeled “a steamy shapeshifter regency romance” on Amazon. But that calling that is a stretch. There’s basically nothing more than angst and a kiss the very end and, even then, the sex is very tame. So, I don’t know what steamy scale it’s rated on, but don’t expect much.

All in all, for a bit of light fluff this was fun. But I wouldn’t call it any more than that.


Other Reviews:

ARC Review: A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing by Susanna Allen

Review: A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing – Susanna Allen

 

 

BEWITCHING A HIGHLANDER

Book Review: Bewitching a Highlander, by Roma Cordon

I accepted a review copy of Roma Cordon‘s Bewitching a Highlander through Rockstar Book Tours. The book has also been featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for further information, including an excerpt, author bio, the tour schedule, and a chance to win a copy of the book.

 

Defying all for the love of a bewitching lass.

Breena MacRae, a healer from Skye with a touch of witchery in her blood, embarks on a dangerous search for her missing father. She arrives on the Isle of Coll, seat of the vile Campbells. There, she encounters the debonair future chief to the Dunbar Clan, Egan, who rescues her from a Campbell sentry.

Egan Dunbar is on Coll to keep the peace between the feuding Campbells and Dunbars. But when he catches Breena in a lie, he agrees to help her find her father to pay back an old debt and get to the bottom of the secrets she’s hiding.

As their attraction for each ignites like a firestorm, Breena and Egan realize a future together could trigger deadly consequences—a clan war between the Campbells and the Dunbars. Is Egan willing to betray his clan for love, even though he knows Breena is keeping secrets from him? Can Breena trust him with her family secret and put those she loves at risk?

my review

This is one of those books that is really hard to review. Because, objectively, it’s fine. The writing is readable. (I read an ARC, so can’t comment on editing.) The characters seem likeable. The world holds together, etc. For the right reader this is a guaranteed 5-star read.

But, honestly, it was just a passable read for me, for reasons that are almost completely subjective. First, I picked this up for the witchery. Fantasy romance is one of my favorite genres. But the magic part of this book—the fantasy aspect—is very light. VERY LIGHT, practically non-existent. Which makes this much more a historical romance, than a historic fantasy romance. Which is fine, obviously, just not what I was looking for.

Second, I’m just not a huge fan of narration that is full of hyperbole, especially when it’s how characters characterize the romance. By which I mean when characters spend the whole book thinking super exaggerated thoughts about the other. Each is ‘the most’ this, or ‘the only’ that, or ‘the first/last’ whatever. I think it lacks nuance and subtlety. But I know some readers love it.

Plus, I think that if you took out all the repetition and that hyperbole, you’d be forced to acknowledge that very little actually happened in the book. And the one big life threatening thing that did happen, was completely random and not particularly well stitched into the rest of the plot. Similarly, the plot twist was super obvious. I predicted it before the 100 page mark.

Lastly, as far as I can tell, this is the author’s first book. (I can’t find any others, anyhow). But I spent this whole time I read Bewitching a Highlander thinking I’d missed a first book in the series. These two characters are meant to have met before, in events that are referenced. I thought they must have been side characters in another couple’s story. (That’s 100% how it read). But then I discovered there isn’t another book and was confused.

All in all, I know this sounds like a negative review. But it just wasn’t the book for me. For those who like this particular sort of book—mildly spicy, Scottish historical romance— this will be a winner. I’m certain of it. For me, it wasn’t what I was hoping for. But I’d read another Cordan book

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Other Reviews:

Bewitching A Highlander Blog Tour

a duke, the lady, and a baby banner

Book Review: A Duke, The Lady, and a Baby – by Vanessa Riley

I picked up a second-hand copy of Vanessa Riley‘s A Duke, The Lady, and a Baby at Savers not too long ago.

a duke, the lady, and a baby
When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . .

A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

 my review
I enjoyed quite a lot about this story. Both Patience and Busick were likeable characters. I especially appreciated how forthright and communicative Busick was and how ready to stand for herself Patience was. Not to mention that as a West Indian and an amputee, both are unlikely characters…or at least, too seldom seen represented in historical romance characters.

I also liked that there were complexities to Patience’s previous husband. He undoubtedly did bad things, some of which emotionally hurt her horribly. But he also legitimately loved her and some of the things that hurt her so, were his ham-handed, wrong-headed attempt to protect her.

I did think there was some inconsistency in Patience characters. One minute she’s willing to do absolutely anything to stay with Lionel, the next she’s unwilling to take even the smallest order for the same thing. I mean, Busick liked it. So, it worked out in the end. But it wasn’t represented as being done to catch his attention, or with a purpose. So, it just felt like an inconsistency. The dialogue was also stilted at times. But I otherwise liked the writing.

If you’re looking for a steamy romantic read, this isn’t it. It’s not even overly romantic, in the sweep you off your feet sense. . It’s sweet and the love is meant to be real. But it’s more subtle, more a romance of convenience than anything else.

All in all,  I enjoyed more than I didn’t and am interested in following the series.

a duke, the lady, and a baby photo


Other Reviews:

Book Review: A Duke, the Lady and a Baby

Book Review: A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley