Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers' hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain's bed…
He found her at the wrong time...
Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he's stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he's stuck with her.
Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?
When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew's secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?
About Julia Quinn
#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and in 2001 she did so in grand fashion, appearing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code. Ms. Quinn is one of only sixteen members of Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame, her books have been translated into 29 languages, and she currently lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest.
I’m finally reading The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband and I’m so thoroughly enjoying it. Because of Miss Bridgerton was my very first Quinn novel but I think I picked a good one to start with. I can’t wait for more in this series!
More than her fiery hair marks Freydís as the daughter of Erik the Red; her hot temper and fierce pride are as formidable as her Viking father’s. And so, too, is her devotion to the great god Thor, which puts her at odds with those in power—including her own brother, the zealous Leif Eriksson. Determined to forge her own path, she defies her family’s fury and clings to her dream of sailing away to live on her own terms, with or without the support of her husband.
New Hampshire, 2016
Like her Icelandic ancestors, history professor Emma Moretti is a passionate defender of Norse mythology. But in a small town steeped in traditional values, her cultural beliefs could jeopardize both her academic career and her congressman father’s reelection. Torn between public expectation and personal identity, family and faith, she must choose which to honor and which to abandon.
In a dramatic, sweeping dual narrative that spans a millennium, two women struggle against communities determined to silence them, but neither Freydís nor Emma intends to give up without a fight.
About Amalia Carosella
Amalia Carosella began as a Biology major before taking Latin and falling in love with old heroes and older gods. After that, she couldn't stop writing about them, with the occasional break for more contemporary subjects. She graduated with a BA in Classical Studies as well as English. A former bookseller and avid reader, her current interests focus primarily on the Age of Heroes and Bronze Age Greece, though anything Viking Age or earlier is likely to capture her attention. Today, she lives in upstate New York with her husband, and dreams of the day when she will own goats.
Amalia particularly enjoys exploring myths that have been overlooked, the footnotes that change or challenge the most popular interpretations, and allow those characters involved a new voice to tell their stories. Helen, Theseus, and Pirithous are some of her favorites!
She also writes fantasy and paranormal romance as Amalia Dillin.
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.
Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
Why have I waited so long to read Maya Banks? This was the perfect historical romance: steamy yet romantic. ‘Never Seduce a Scot’ is the start of a new series entitled ‘The Montgomerys and Armstrongs’ which I will most definitely be continuing!
The summary had me intrigued but I felt that the reference to Eveline being ‘fey’ had me expecting a paranormal historical twist, but… there wasn’t any paranormal anything to be found within these pages.
Eveline though, was a fantastic character and one that managed to light up the pages despite her lack of dialogue (at first). I really love it when authors create imperfect characters since it adds something ‘different’ to the otherwise typical historical romance storyline. Eveline was strong despite her inability to hear and despite the hostile environment she’d been forced into.
‘She twisted his insides into knots he had no hope of loosening.’
The romance was a bit insta-love but still managed to be heartwarming regardless. You can’t help but love Graeme because of his continued support of Eveline despite the fact that he’s being forced to marry her even with their family history. I loved their obvious chemistry and enjoyed being able to see how much he cared for her by the end pages.
This definitely won’t be my last book by this author! Fantastic!
Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.
The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.
I read this a few weeks back but I decided to take some time to sort my thoughts so that this may actually make some sense rather than having me come across as some crazed silly lunatic fan-girl.
Clarinda and Ashton were childhood friends but as the years progressed, so did their feelings for each other. One night, Ashton sets out to leave his home and Clarinda behind but she catches him in a nearby meadow and the feelings that they had kept restrained for so long were finally let loose.
’…the spark of animosity between them had finally flared into something so combustible it had threatened to incinerate them both.’
Ashton inevitably still leaves her behind and Clarinda is heartbroken beyond all reason. As time passes and stories of Ashton are heard at home, it becomes apparent to Clarinda that he’s not coming back for her so she becomes engaged to his brother, Max. Clarinda and her best friend Poppy set sail to meet up with Max for their wedding when their ship is boarded and the two women are captured by the Corsairs. Fearing the worst, the two end up being bought by the sultan Farouk and they are taken to his palace in the desert as his ‘guests’. Despite the fact that he is incredibly kind to both of them, they are still not allowed to leave. Max hires his brother Ashton to rescue Clarinda from the sultan not knowing the position he’s putting Ashton and Clarinda both in.
Teresa Medeiros books were the first romance books I ever read and inevitably got me hooked from that point on. I have yet to be disappointed by her; her books never lack in originality and are always entertaining. Considering this is a 500+ book I think that says a lot for her writing. I loved the exotic Middle East setting and that the majority of the storyline was spent there.
Her characters are always vibrant and full of life. You couldn’t help but love Ashton, even though there were times that you really wanted to hate him. It was painfully obvious how much Ashton and Clarinda cared for each other but he was a fool and left her and never returned.
’No matter how much it galled him, Clarinda belonged to his brother now. He had promised to return her to Max, and that was exactly what he was going to do. With any luck, Max would never find out what had transpired between Ash and Max’s bride-to-be in the meadow that morning.’
On top of loving the main characters, her secondary characters were just as fabulous. Poppy was definitely my favorite character and I loved not only the friendship between her and Clarinda but her infatuation with Farouk (and vice-versa!) was simply adorable.
If you enjoy romance novels, this one definitely needs to be on your list. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, and you may even shed a tear. (I know I did!) There was a sneak peek at the end of the next book in this series (yes! A series! yay!) featuring Max. I can’t wait. 😀
Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family, and at last the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom, and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But when he arrives, he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance.
And her dearest love.
Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy—the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties—and the tantalizing promise of passion...
Unveiled focuses on Ash Turner, a man in desperate need of revenge after the Dalrymple family ruined his life. After he propositions to have the current Duke removed and have Ash replace him, he ends up affecting more lives than he intended. Margaret is a seemingly innocent party but more closely involved in the scandal than Ash is aware of, even after he finds himself falling love with her he still doesn’t know the truth.
Margaret is actually Lady Margaret, the daughter of the current Duke and was declared a bastard when Ash sought to take his place. She originally planned on finding out any and all information that she could in order to get Ash’s case thrown out, but she begins to realize that her feelings are beginning to have an impact on her loyalties.
I love the intricacies of the characters and how they’re written. Each and every character I’ve read in a Courtney Milan book is detailed, original, and one of a kind. Not only are they unique as people, but the passion and romance between the characters is also quite tangible and incredibly authentic. Ash had his own little quirk that I thought was a great addition to an already fabulous story.
Oh I love a good romance and I continue to be amazed at how much I enjoy Courtney Milan’s books. This is the first book in Courtney Milan’s Turner series, but the 3rd book in the series that I have read. (Read 1.5 then 2 and now 1) Obviously it’s not a requirement to read them in order as the stories are intertwined yet still work as stand-alone books.
With this story, I was immediately drawn in and intrigued at how the author planned on making this storyline ‘okay’. Here’s this girl who basically falls in love with her enemy, and if she decides to be with him she’s essentially betraying her family. Pretty black and white, or so I thought. I loved Courtney Milan knotted everything up only to have everything untangle quite gracefully. The only book I have left in the Turner series is Smite… I intended on hanging on to it for a little while because I’m not looking forward to finishing the series, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to wait. She is becoming one of my most favorite authors to date.
Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king. Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king’s bed. But with the new queen’s impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber—and her hopes for security—will swiftly come to an end.
His Honor A Distant Memory
Haunted by his past, hardened by the recent civil war, Captain Robert Nichols lives only for revenge. When told he must marry the king’s courtesan to provide a cover for their affair, he’s faced with a new low. Both are pawns of a great man, but married to their dreams of independence, their clash is inevitable. Can these two wounded souls realize the answer to all their dreams might lie in each other’s arms?
I’ve never read anything by Judith James so I went in to this not sure what to expect. About halfway through I found out that this is actually a follow-up novel to ‘Libertine’s Kiss’ but ‘The Kings Courtesan’ still held its own as a stand-alone novel. I love a good historical romance novel every now and again; however, this one wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped it would be. It took me FOREVER to read because I could not get into it for some reason… I kept putting it back on my to-read shelf and coming back to it on various occasions.
Hope Matthews is the courtesan to King Charles; however, that will be ending soon as the King has agreed to marry the Queen of Spain and it would not be in his best interest to continue to keep his courtesan around. Knowing this, Hope asks Charles for a little place of her own so that she can leave court with her dignity intact. Charles, failing to understand how she could be willing to leave so quietly, decides to make a deal with Robert Nichols and forces him into marriage with Hope in order to still keep her close by. Naturally, the two are unable to get along at first, especially since Hope thought it was all a joke rather than a real marriage. As the two grow closer and love develops between them, Robert is forced to make a choice between his wife and an old vendetta that has eaten at him since he was a child.
Not my favorite romance novel but nonetheless enjoyable.
Handsome, wealthy and respected, Sir Mark Turner is the most sought-after bachelor in all of London and he's known far and wide for his irreproachable character. But behind his virtuous reputation lies a passionate nature he keeps carefully in check...until he meets the beautiful Jessica Farleigh, the woman he's waited for all his life.
Is to ruin the man she loves...
But Jessica is a courtesan, not the genteel lady Sir Mark believes. Desperate to be free of a life she despises, she seizes her chance when Mark's enemies make her an offer she can't refuse--seduce Mark and tarnish his good name, and a princely sum will be hers. Yet as she comes to know the man she's sworn to destroy, Jessica will be forced to choose between the future she needs and the love she knows is impossible.
Beware of Spoilers! 🙂
Sir Mark Turner, a Victorian-era ‘rock star’, has done the impossible: he’s made chastity popular. After writing ‘A Gentleman’s Practical Guide to Chastity’ he himself becomes practically a celebrity and is loved by many but certainly not all. Hating his popularity he seeks to get some peace in the country. Jessica Farleigh is a courtesan who agrees to seduce Mark Turner for the sole purpose of ruining his spotless reputation. She is to seduce him and share the story of it so that it can be published for all to read about in London. When Mark meets Jessica, his plans to get some peace in the country are blown out of the water because soon enough she’s all he can think about.
I absolutely loved this novel. LOVED it. Not quite sure what it was about it specifically but it was one of the best romance novels I’ve read. Considering I haven’t read a ton of them so my opinion may not be worth much, but this is my review, so I can gush all I want! Haha Maybe I was really in the mood for a romance novel… maybe this novel really is that good… maybe it was both.
Neither Mark nor Jessica should be taken at face value because both individuals have a secret depth to them that was quite intriguing and really made the story. The author did an amazing job of rather than revealing all the secrets and laying them all out immediately but uncovered them layer by layer. It really made the change in emotions of the characters, their thought processes, and overall actions… well, you understood them. They made sense. It wasn’t whimsical. You came to conclusions with them and their actions became ones you would make and it made me feel so involved and wrapped in the story that normal. Okay so re-reading that, it sounds like total bullshit, but that’s the best I can explain it. Lol
I loved the characters… eventually. I thought Mark Turner was a pompous ass at first but then you discover more about him and it made him totally lovable. I loved Jessica immediately but my love for her kind of resembled a roller coaster. I kept changing my mind about her if she actually did go through with seducing him and telling his private story to the world. I breathed a sigh of relief when she finally told him the truth but then my heart broke for her when he walked away from her. And then I almost hated her again when she sold the story… but then it turned out to be a completely different story. Not the story of his private life.
I was totally trending on giving this 5 stars because I loved it so much. But then it’s almost like the end turned into the total typical kind of romance… Where she knows she loves him and then someone sends a threatening letter and she keeps it from him even though if she told him he’d be able to fix it and then she starts treating him super awful to the point where you want to slap the bitch because she’s trying to run him off … *yawn* But I can understand why it had to be included, still didn’t like it though.
All in all, by the end, I was still plenty happy and really enjoyed this. Will definitely be looking for more Courtney Milan in the future.
The MacKinloch Clan Highland warriors prepared to fight fiercely for their country...and for love
BACK IN HER HUSBAND’S BED
Alex MacKinloch is chief of his clan and, in these dark times of unrest, he has united his people. The void between him and his wife is proving a much harder challenge. When Alex discovers Laren has been keeping secrets from him, his thinly veiled frustration can no longer be contained.
The pleasures of the marital bed seem long forgotten to Laren. Yet her warrior husband is looking at her with increasingly hungry eyes... This powerful highlander has seduction on his mind and his wife in his sights!
I’m typically a sucker for a good Highlander romance so I quickly snagged this one up. I went into this with the impression that it would be your typical romance story but this novel really surprised me with how heartfelt and touching it was.
‘Seduced by her Highland Warrior’ is the second installment in the MacKinloch Clan series. I did not read the first novel and even though it did kind of feel like in the beginning I had walked into the story halfway through, the author did a fine job in still making it work as a stand-alone novel.
Alex MacKinloch is chief of his clan and is trying to get everyone to work together to rebuild their keep that was recently destroyed by the English. His wife, Laren, is an intensely shy woman who has difficulty adjusting to her roles and responsibilities when her husband becomes chief. Born to a poor family, she is looked down upon by other members of the clan and is treated unfairly because of their beliefs that Alex should not have married her.
Alex and Laren haven’t been close for almost 3 years now after the loss of their newborn son causes them to drift apart when they don’t know how to comfort each other from the pain it caused them both. I loved how the story shows glimpses of the past back when the two of them first met, fell in love, and also tells what happened between them after the death of their son.
This story while sad and touching was also hopeful because even though they had drifted apart they did still love each other and were doing all they could to work on things between them. Watching the story progress and seeing the two become closer was very moving, yet also extremely believable. I really enjoyed this one.
A long string of tragic loves haunts Viscount Benedick Francis Alistair Rohan. Cool and cynical, he's weary of life's fickle games and wants a prim and proper wife he can ignore while indulging his sensual appetites.
Lady Melisande Carstairs is nothing less than a tornado storming into Benedick's measured life. Possessed of boundless energy and the soul of a reformer, Melisande always conquers, whether it's saving the souls of soiled doves or seducing the man she's inconveniently fallen for. When she informs Benedick that his brother's newly revived Heavenly Host has graduated from simple carnal debauchery to sadistic violence, he's compelled to investigate, undercover. Under those covers, however, is Melisande herself, playing a dangerous game in the name of justice.
And the Heavenly Host has just seen her hand, and more.
This is the 4th novel in the House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart. This is actually the first book I’ve read of hers and found it worked as a stand-alone novel. I loved how this story was more than just a simple romance novel; it was also a mystery with a very interesting storyline that proceeded to completely absorb me.
The Viscount Benedick Rohan has only two goals in mind: One, find a suitable woman to marry and have children with, and two, to find someone to satisfy his sexual needs immediately. Benedick’s second wife recently died giving birth to their child and he is just now returning to town after the proper mourning period. While is pursuit of completing goal number two he encounters Lady “Charity” Melisande Carstairs, a woman that he finds thoroughly intrigued with, despite his inability to understand why he feels this way exactly. When Charity comes to Benedick asking for his help after rumors arise that the secret society “Heavenly Host” has been conducting violent acts, he agrees to help her knowing full well that more time spent with this woman would do him no good.
I loved Benedick and Charity. Those two had chemistry, no doubt about that, despite efforts from both parties to fight it and/or completely dismiss their feelings entirely. Charity herself was a great character. She is a recent widow who decides to use her late husband’s fortune to help women learn a trade, rather than being forced to sell their bodies for coin. Her “gaggle of girls” as they are called, certainly added a bit of humor to the story. I also loved the sub-story about Brandon and Emma and I really hope Anne Stuart expands on that and writes at the very least a short story.
Much like books of this genre, the storyline and ending was a bit predictable; however, I still found it thoroughly enjoyable. I’ll definitely be reading more from Anne Stuart in the future.
A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she's his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.
Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love...
Unlocked by Courtney Milan is about Lady Elaine Warren and her constant torture she endures by individuals in society. She was bullied at a young age and it unfortunately failed to cease as she grew older. This story is about her overcoming all and breaking out of her shell.
This was indeed a nice surprise. I love a good romance novel that leaves me with a smile on my face. This novel was so heartbreaking at times but so adorable the next. I loved it! I agree with many of the reviewers comments regarding the length of the novel. As much as I loved it, it would have been nice if the author had gone into the story with a bit more detail.