Daniels True Desires by Grace Burrowes

November 24, 2015

This is my first experience with Grace Burrowes. Well, that's not true; I started one earlier this year and set it aside. After reading this one, I thought about glomming Ms. Burrowes. I went to her website and she has about a gazillion books, so I'm not going to be glomming her any time soon. I liked her writing style enough to go back and pick up the one I sat aside though. If you happen to visit Ms. Burrowes website you will notice that most of her books are connected in one way or another and she is one of those authors who have created pedigree charts of her characters. It was rather intimidating.  

Daniels True Desires is a different type of romance book. At least for me it was. I became engrossed in the story and about half way through I figured out why. For me it was a little reminiscent of older writing similar to Little Women or Little Men. Yes, there was romance in Daniels True Desires but there seemed to be more than just that. This book may be classified as a romance, but it seemed to be a story of a lot of people, not just two. In this case it was a refreshing change. Ms. Burrows did a fine job of fleshing out the other characters in her story. I learned to care about not only the Reverend Daniel Banks and Lady Kirsten but a number the supporting cast. Those supporting cast were more than just supporting, they were an integral part of some pretty satisfying storytelling.

Evidently in some previous stories, both Daniel and Kirsten have been introduced (remember the gazillion connected stories I found at her website?) Anyway, this is the plot line: Daniel is the new minister of Haddondale. He has left behind his son, Danny, who is not really his son but the illegitimate son of Daniel's sister, Letty. Letty's story is in another book. Also left behind is Daniel's horrible, conniving wife, Olivia. So our hero has a wife hiding in the countryside somewhere. If you are worried about any infidelity, don't be - Ms. Burrowes takes us down an interesting path that shouldn't trigger anyone’s hot button. Daniel is a really nice guy (at last a nice guy.) There were times when I thought he might have been just a little too astute, too insightful, almost Q-like, but I ended up not minding too much.

Then we have Kirsten. Kirsten is ready to be everyone’s favorite doddering aunt. She doesn't want to marry, she has convinced herself that she will be happy going from household to household bouncing her siblings children on her knees. Besides that, she is one of those heroines who cannot have babies. In her case those words came from a doctor, so it's not something she came up with herself. Then she meets Daniel and she is attracted to him right away. The attraction is mutual, but Daniel will not act on it because he is already married. So they form a friendship and of course fall in love. Then things happen in the form of Olivia. I'm not telling you what those things were, except it was horrifyingly fascinating.

Then there are the "rotten boys." Daniel decides to teach a group of boys whose ages appear to be around eight, nine or so. All of these boys are well-developed, wonderful characters. Soon joining this group of boys is Danny, who runs away from Letty. I can't tell you how much I loved these boys, especially Danny. All of the interaction between them and Daniel and Kirsten and, well, everyone else in the story was just wonderful.

Overall, this was a great book. The people in the story were drawn so well, I found myself cheering them on. While the HEA may have been a little over the top as far as the solution, the ending/epilogue was just delightful. I intend to keep Ms. Burrowes on my radar from now on and have started to read the one I put aside: The Captive. I wish I had started reading her a little sooner, 'cause I don't think I can glom a gazillion books.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Hot

The Demure Miss Manning by Amanda McCabe

November 24, 2015

When I finished reading The Demure Miss Manning it only took an hour before I forgot almost everything in the book, especially the romance.

The book is set against an interesting but little-known event in

history: the invasion of Portugal by Napoleon, and the panicked exit of most of Portugal's nobility. That nobility also includes the Portuguese royal family, the House of Braganza. This story covers the mad scramble out of Portugal by Dom John VI and his entry into Brazil, where he sets up court. These were real, actual events. If you happen to read an account of them, you will find that the real story is exciting, and filled with intrigue, danger, suspense. The actual account of the Braganza court leaving Portugal for Brazil is/was a whole lot more interesting than The Demure Miss Manning. The factual story of a shipload of aristocrats crossing the Atlantic was horrendous, and should have been explored more in this story, but it wasn't. There were storms, fighting political factions, a dysfunctional royal family, and semi-starvation on the ships containing all these aristocrats. Nothing of this was brought up. Nope our hero gets our heroine on board the ship, and then the next thing you know they are in sunny Brazil. The author missed all the exciting things that happened on the crossing and changed them into a mundane, choppy story. Along for the ride was a romance couple who are separated a lot in this book and have no chemistry.

I was underwhelmed by this story. There were 173 pages in this book, but it seemed shorter. The characters are never fully developed and the heroine, Mary, seems to be overly concerned about her father's health. In fact she asks him how he feels about a gazillion times throughout the story. It was really irritating. Turns out he was just tired, nothing was wrong with him. So what was the point of asking him over and over and over how he felt? I thought for sure he'd die somewhere between Portugal and Brazil but he never did. His non-illness was just page fill, it served no purpose.

By the way, our cardboard couple were Mary and Sebastian. No chemistry, no romance, no bickering, bantering - nothing. There was just a lot of jumping from one scene to another, from one year to another. This was a forgettable romance and I'm sorry to say, I just cannot recommend it.

Time/Place: 1814s Portugal/Atlantic/Brazil
Sensuality: No chemistry

A Wicked Way to Win an Earl by Anna Bradley

November 24, 2015


Whenever I pick up a debut author's book, I always have my fingers crossed. It's always harder for me to review a debut author as opposed to one who has been around for a while. I expect more from veteran authors. I am of the belief that reviews are highly subjective, and are only one person’s opinion. Let's look at this one person’s opinion of A Wicked Way to Win an Earl by Anna Bradley.

The book begins promising enough. It starts in 1783 and there is an elopement going on. I was actually intrigued by the two female characters in the prologue, Caroline Swan and Millicent Chase. Their exchanges were exciting and I was looking forward to finding out more about their stories. However, the author took another path. In the opening chapter she has jumped forward to 1814 and the daughters of Millicent: Delia and Lily. It seems that Delia and Lily have been invited to a house party at the Earl of Sutherland's estate. This could be disastrous, because you see Millicent was about to become engaged to Hart, the Earl of Sutherland. But she had other plans. She eloped with her beloved Mr. Somerset. As you may have guessed, this caused quite a scandal. It was an embarrassment caused by Delia's mother and perpetrated on the Sutherlands. As far as I could tell there was only one Sutherland who was still upset by the old scandal, and that was our hero Alec. All the other Sutherland's in the book either were very forgiving or forgetful; that includes Alec's two sisters, his brother Robyn, and his mother. Alec was the only one who was perturbed. By the way Alec is the hero.

Alec and Delia. Alec and Delia's introduction as a couple was highly amusing. Delia's carriage has been in a wreck, the coachman injured, Lily is incapacitated, so Delia has to go find help. Let's just say her path to finding help leaves her a muddy mess. While she is grumbling about that mess, she stumbles across a man and a woman having a hot tryst. I mean hands under skirts and buttons on pants flying. As it turns out, it is Alec having a bit of sport with a local village maid or some peasant girl or someone of lower social standing than he. He's a real lord of the manor. Anyway, this initial meeting is rather humorous, with Alec and Delia unleashing their inner sarcastic voices - sniping and biting at each other - until. Delia finds out that Alec is the Earl and it is his home she is invited to. At first she feels a bit chagrinned, but then Alec just cannot help doing little digs. He doesn't know why he likes to irritate Delia, he just does. Then Alec discovers that his brother Robyn is interested in Delia. It is at this point that he decides it is a good idea to ruin Delia. And, this is when the story started to go downhill for me. I place the blame fully on Alec.

I found Alec’s character totally juvenile – like, totally. I would say he reminded me of a high school boy, but some of his antics were much younger than that. I had visions of kids passing notes - "I like you, do you like me? If you do put an X here." The whole idea of ruining Delia was just bizarre, it made no sense. How could he believe that ruining someone would create a scandal only for Delia and not his own family? And, how immature must one be to actually set out to destroy someone’s reputation? On top of that was the blinding jealousy that happened every time Delia so much as smiled at another man. He's also over-the-top jealous, dangerously so. By the end of this story I had grown to dislike Alec so much, I just wanted it all to be over. There isn't too much an author can do to save a story if the hero is a bonehead.

Does this mean I will not read any more on Ms. Bradley's books? No, I'll probably pick up her next one and keep my fingers crossed. It was Alec. I just could not like him. What a bonehead. 

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot
Idea, writing, most characters:


Ta dah! Time for the new upcoming Histoical Releases!

November 17, 2015
Authors with an asterisk*, I'm picking up! For more Upcoming Releases that aren't historical see Hey Delia!!! For mostly: December 15, 2015 to January 14, 2016.  
Holy Cannoli, it's 2016 already!!!
Adrienne Basso

The Highlander Who Loved Me
December 29
Bronwyn Scott

Rake Most Likely to Seduce
Rakes on Tour series
December 15 - paperback

January 1 - ebook
Courtney Milan*

Once Upon a Marquess
Worth Saga series
December 1 (maybe)
Courtney Milan*

His Every Wish
Worth Saga series novella
December 15 (maybe)
Elizabeth Rolls

In Debt to the Earl
December 15 - paperback

January 1 - ebook
Erin Knightley

The Viscount Risks It All
Prelude to a Kiss series
January 5
Jane Ashford

Heir to the Duke
The Duke’s Son series
January 5
Jayne Fresina

How to Rescue a Rake
Book Club Belles Society series
January 5
Kasey Michaels*

An Improper Arrangement
The Little Season series
December 29
Kathryn Albright

Familiar Strangers in Clear Springs
Heroes of San Diego series
December 15 - paperback

January 1 - ebook
Kate Noble

The Lie and the Lady
Winner Takes All series
December 29
Loretta Chase*

Dukes Prefer Blondes
Dressmakers series
December 29
Margaret Moore

Scoundrel of Dunborough
The Knights' Prizes series
December 15 - paperback

January 1 - ebook
Megan Frampton

One-Eyed Dukes Are Wild
Dukes Behaving Badly series
December 29
Monica McCarty

The Rock
Highland Guard series
December 29
Nancy Campbell Allen

My Fair Gentleman
January 5
Rose Lerner

Listen to the Moon
Lively St. Lemeston series
January 5
Sabrina York

Susana and the Scot
Untamed Highlanders series
December 29
Sarah MacLean*

The Rogue Not Taken
Scandal and Scoundrel series
December 29
Scarlett Dunn

Finding Promise
McBride Brothers series
December 29
Sophie Barnes

The Earl's Complete Surrender
Secrets at Thorncliff Manor series
December 29
Stephanie Laurens

The Lady's Command
The Adventurers Quartet series
December 29


Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

November 16, 2015
"I see you shiver with antici…pation."  Dr. Frank N. Furter


Remember what you were doing the day Lisa Kleypas left behind writing historical romances? Me neither. However, I do remember feeling a sense of loss because I always considered her to be one of the "big momma's" of historical writing. I wondered how I would fill the void. Afterall, she is responsible for one of my alllll time favorite heroes: Derek Craven. As in all things, there were plenty of up-and-coming authors to take her place. Even with all those newcomers bringing us joy, I was filled with an-tic-i-pat-ion when I learned that Ms. Kleypas was writing another historical romance series. You know, the word anticipation is a funny word. According to Webster it means: "A feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen; the act of preparing for something." It doesn't necessarily mean something pleasurable, it could also mean something vexing. So when I learned that Lisa Kleypas was lifting her pen/pencil/keyboard again into the historical romance genre I was pleased, which was followed quickly by a "what if her return fails like a number of other big authors who have left historicals only to return with a less than stellar performance?" For all those months of waiting I kept my fingers crossed. Contrary to what you may believe, I do want alllll authors to succeed.

Cold-Hearted Rake is the beginning of the Cold-Hearted Rake series. (I counted three other rakes in the book. Madame Zoltar predicts three sequels.) This one contains our hero Devon Ravenel, Earl of Trenear, and his brother West. Devon is not a happy camper. He didn't want all the responsibility that inheriting stuff brings with it. He was totally happy wasting away on drunken binges with his brother. Not only has he inherited an estate which is worth nothing, but included in the package of things he doesn't want are the late Earl's widow and three sisters.

The heroine of this piece is the Earl's widow, Kathleen. Kathleen is trying to hold everything together: the estate, the sisters, and the people who reside on the estate trying to eke out a living. When Devon and West pay a visit to the estate with the intent to sell the whole thing, it isn't long before Kathleen and Devon are at each other’s throats.

Devon is sorry Kathleen thinks he's a cad because he wants her. She on the other hand can't stand Devon, considers him to be pretty much a low-life like her husband was. Then Devon goes to London and leaves West in charge of surveying the estate. Of course, while he's away he cannot stop thinking about her.

Here's the deal - I had a problem with Devon leaving. I loved the secondary character of West, thought he was quite witty and am looking forward to his book, in my opinion he stole the show. In fact, I was more interested in almost all of the secondary characters. They were all charming and there was some terrific character building in preparation for the next book. But, this book was supposed to be a romance about Kathleen and Devon and I couldn't feel any of it.

Sure, the words were what one would expect when reading a Kleypas book, but this story didn't come anywhere close emotionally to some of her crowning achievements. I have come to expect more from this particular author and was disappointed that after so long of a wait the finished product wasn't what I expected.

I found Devon to be pretty close to being a bonehead hero, a high-maintenance bonehead who does come around in the end. He unnecessarily insults Kathleen, says things to her that are supposed to be funny but are just downright rude. He's has a mean streak, that really doesn't ever seems to be under control by the end of the book. The struggle between Devon and Kathleen was tiring. I had a hard time believing that these two people could ever fall in love. There was just not enough time spent on Devon on Kathleen to make this a compelling romance. The HEA seemed a little rushed and I was irritated that it only took the words "I love you" for Kathleen to accept Devon.

Bottom line. I'm delighted Ms. Kleypas is back writing historical romances and I'm looking forward to the others in this series. If you've never read Lisa Kleypas, I would suggest you start with one of her older novels, Dreaming of You. Cold-Hearted Rake is a good prequel to the next book in the series, but as a romance between Devon and Kathleen it fails.

Time/Place: 1875 England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot


Scandal Takes the Stage by Eva Leigh

November 10, 2015

I probably should sit back and let this one settle a bit, but I'm not going to. My first reaction to Scandal Takes the Stage was, "Wow, at last a powerful book." Then my negative brain
kicked in telling me to calm down and look at some of the things in the book that irritated me or were not fleshed out enough. So I did and I have to say there weren't all that many. I suspect that the writing style in this particular book may not be to everyone’s taste. But for me this is what "romance" is all about: no spies, murderers, kidnappers, orphans, vampires or angry beavers. This was just a sort of slow story about two people falling in love. I hesitated using the word slow because that seems to have a negative connotation; in this case slow is good. One might also throw in the word intense.

Cam. Cameron Chalton, Viscount Marwood has always lead a privileged life. People have kissed his big toe whenever he enters the room. He can have any woman he wants and he has. In fact, women talk about his prowess - he is a legend. He is also one of those rakes who in real life may have contracted some nasty Mr. Toad fall-off-disease, but he's not real, so that's not going to happen. But let's just say the rumors abound and women are just palpitating to try him out. There are two people in this book who are not impressed with Cam's shenanigans: his father and Margaret “Maggie” Delamere. We will talk more about his father later; right now let's turn our attention to Maggie. Maggie is a playwright - a good one, and Cam is obsessed with her plays. Actually Cam is obsessed with the theater. This actually was one of my sticking points. Cam's obsession bordered on being a scary kind of obsession and even after the explanation of why he "luved" the stage so much, I still didn't buy into the overwhelming need he had for hanging out at the theater. It's not just Maggie's writing which captivates him, it's the whole theater experience. While this was a fascinating part of the book, I felt it was also one of the weak spots because I never fully understood the why or maybe the “why” explanation wasn't good enough for me to believe.

Then there is Maggie. She's having a writer's block, which isn't good when you’re a playwright. Especially when that is how you are putting the food on the table for yourself and everyone else in the theater. One day the backers tell her that she must deliver the script or lose their backing. She is faced with a dilemma, which she solves by approaching Cam, a man she despises. Why does she despise him? Well he is a rake and she hatesssss all rakes. The reason for that is revealed later. Even after she gets his financial backing she still has writers block, so he proposes she leave London and go to his estate in the country, away from everything she knows. She accepts. It is at this point in the story that I absolutely adored the book. I loved her time in the country - by herself. The writing is so good in this part of the novel that I wished it had lasted just a little longer. It is while she is here in the country, away from Cam that she finally grows to know him. She wanders the halls and rooms of his estate, finding bits and pieces of him. The toys he played with, the stories he wrote has a child, the things he scribbled on the blackboard, and she listens to the stories the servants who knew him tell. Everywhere she wanders, she is surrounded by Cam. I was enchanted with this part of the story and the visual that was created of someone falling in love with a person who isn't there, just by looking at the things they have left behind. Cam becomes her muse. Of course, her idyllic time in the country with the essence of Cam doesn't last because back in London Cam can do nothing but miss her. So, he arrives at her doorstep (which is really his doorstep), and a different door to the romance is opened. But I have to say the moments when she is alone in the country with Cam's essence was a great piece of writing.

Once they are together in the country they become closer; become a couple. Both of them know that because of their different placement in the class system, they can never be a permanent couple. How the insurmountable solution is solved seemed a little rushed to me. However, I'm also not sure how much more the author could have added to her book without it becoming an epic. 

Let's talk about the father. We were privileged to meet Cam's father in the previous book and he's came off as being a rather overbearing, stubborn man. He wants his son married to the right kind of woman, producing little heirs all over the place and he wants it now. We are visited by him again in the first few chapters of this book and I thought for sure he'd show up later in the book to ruin Cam and Maggie's relationship. (She is really not the right sort of woman for Cam.) However, much to my surprise he doesn't. There is only a short paragraph devoted to him in the epilogue. I am of two minds to this. I really don't care that he didn't have a bigger part in this book. Honestly, I'm getting tired of mean-spirited, overbearing, pushy, fathers in my romance books. On the other hand, I thought he received short shrift in this story. It was as if the author ran out of time and couldn't squeeze him in. Again, that's ok with me, but then why introduce him in the first place if one is not going to do something with him. See - back and forth, back and forth.

Overall, even with not fully buying into the reason for Cam's obsession and the short shrift to his father, I loved this story. I think what made this story so powerful for me was Maggie's alone time in the country - that was some really special writing.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality: Hot

The Last Chance Christmas Ball and What Happens Under the Mistletoe

November 10, 2015
It's short story time!

The Last Chance Christmas Ball


What Happens Under the Mistletoe

So, I just finished two anthology books - one with sex and one without. The first one is from the Word Wenches authors - Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Patricia Rice, Susan Fraser King/Sarah Gabriel, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott/Andrea Penrose and Joanna Bourne, titled The Last Chance Christmas Ball.  The other one is titled What Happens under the Mistletoe, and the authors who participated in this one are Sabrina Jeffries, Karen Hawkins, Candace Camp and Meredith Duran. Here's the up side to both of these books - all the stories are new - the down side - they are short.

Let's start with The Last Chance Christmas Ball. First of all, there were a lot of stories trying to get squeezed into around 300 pages; if a deep character study is what you require in your stories, you're not going to find it here. This is just a relaxing story for the holiday season.

The majority of the stories in this book were second chance romance; which means there wasn't too much character development required. Most of the characters had a past together. I will confess that my favorite story in the bunch was a couple who hadn't met previously. It might be an interesting experiment for the publishing world to create short stories that are a little longer and give us a 500 page book. I for one would buy it - because I'm a sucker.

The Last Chance Christmas Ball had a neat little plot device. All the short stories happen at a Christmas ball at the Dowager Countess of Holburne home, which all the characters are going to attend. While the intention of this plot device was a great idea, it didn't necessarily work. I would have liked the stories to flow seamlessly from one story to another. Oh sure, there were a few which connected, but only because of family relationships, not the nuance of the story lines.

In the introduction of this book we are bombarded with all the character who are going to be in the later stories. By the time I read each story, I did not remember the intro for each of them, or their problems; it was sort of a waste of space. I would have been happier without the plethora of characters. Oh sure, there should have been an intro, but all the name dropping was not necessary, nor did it add anything to the stories in the following chapters. If it had been me doing the writing, I would have had the dowager tapping her chin wondering who to invite. That would have been it. Then for the epigraph to each story I would have the dowager thinking pithy thoughts about each character in the following story. But, no one asked my opinion.

The stories were so short, it's hard to review each one individually, but here’s a quick rundown: 
My True Love Hath My Heart by Joanna Bourne: a second chance romance involving spies, revenge and thieves.
A Scottish Carol by Susan King: a second chance romance between a widowed woman and a doctor.
Christmas Larks by Patricia Rice: another second chance romance, this time between two old friends. There are also some charming talking mice in this story, which I thought added a bit of whimsy. Too bad it turned into a Scooby-Doo reveal, I would have preferred magical mice.
In the Bleak Midwinter by Mary Jo Putney: once again a second chance. By this story the second chances were becoming a bit repetitious. This one has a wounded war hero hiding away from everyone who loves him. Then he is forced back into the land of the living by his lost love.
Old Flames Dance by Cara Elliott: again, a second change. The brother to the war hero finds his romance with an old friend who has returned to England looking for her lost love - lost love - lost love. A lot of lost loves in this book, a lot of misunderstandings, and a lot of jumping to the wrong conclusions.
A Season for Marriage by Nicola Cornick: this one revolves around a married couple. Of all the stories in this book, this one deserved a longer platform. Nothings better in romance than a marriage on the rocks. But for that plot line to work, complex issues need to be explored. We don't have that in this story. Too bad.
Miss Finch and the Angel by Jo Beverley: this is the first story which wasn't a second chance romance. The dowager’s companion and a happy-go-lucky duke are the focus.
And finally, Mistletoe and Kisses by Anne Gracie: this one was my favorite. While I knew the rest of the stories were taking place during the Christmas season, this is the first one that I had a sense of the season. I could almost smell the crispness in the air. It’s not a second chance romance and it works. We have a woman who is about to leave her home and a man (and his sister) who are snowbound at her house. I loved Ms. Gracie's offering.

Overall, The Last Chance Christmas Ball is what one would expect of some talented authors doing short stories. Nothing earth-shattering, just some quick tales that may enhance your holiday season and should be read with a cup of hot chocolate in one’s hand.

Time/Place:Regency England
Sensuality: Sweet

On to the second anthology, What Happens Under the Mistletoe. Unlike The Last Chance Christmas Ball, What Happens Under the Mistletoe has enough space for everyone to have
at least one whankee-roo-hoo scene. There is also a little bit more character development; but remember this is still a book of "short" stories so there isn't a whole lot of complex storytelling going on.

First off is The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries. This one is part of the Sinful Suitors series, and we have a couple of 21st century politically correct characters residing in 1829. Lord Stephen Cory is a journalist fighting for the rights of mill workers and Amanda Kane is an American heiress who owns a mill. Needless to say these two butt heads,  immediately, form the wrong conclusions about each other and bicker. It was actually quite a good story - until. Usually, a short story is not going to trip my OMG button, but this one did. I have ranted before about couples who take time out from the kidnapping, killers chasing them, running from the law/pirates/murderer to have a spot of whankee-roo-hoo. This one takes the cake. Go no further if spoilers upset you! Amanda and Stephen are trapped in a burning building, about to die. However they can no longer help themselves. Yep, they have hot hot-watch-out-below-Mr. Potato-head whankee-roo-hoo. OMG, I just had to laugh. In a burning building! Obviously Ms. Jeffries has never been inside a building which is on fire. There's heat and smoke and gasping and choking and fire and darkness. So, instead of finding a way out, they partake in the "one last time before I die" routine. By the way, there was another way out.

Next is Twelve Kisses to Midnight by Karen Hawkins. This one is tied to The Oxenburg Princes. Guess which irritating secondary character show up? Yep, that hi-lar-i-ous grandmother Natasha.  We do get to see more of Crown Prince Nikolai, he seemed to be pretty sexy by the way. But the story isn't about him, it's about Marcus Sutherland and Kenna. This was a second change romance with a couple who really really had some misunderstanding issues.

By Any Other Name by Candace Camp featured Gregory and Rylla. This one has a girl disguised as a boy trying to locate her brother. It also has a hero who thinks there is something wrong with him because he is attracted to a guy. The story tackled way too much for a short story, hence it seemed to be a bit rushed.

The Sweetest Regret by Meredith Duran.  This is another second chance love story and another misunderstanding/jumping to the wrong conclusion plot. By the way, it was a biiiggg jump to the wrong conclusion story. We also have a horrible dastardly father, who gets off way too easily in the end. This one didn't seem like a short story at all.

Bottom line. Both books are easy, fast holiday reads. There isn't any stand out story and none will stick with me as I move on to another book. However, if you are looking for something to relax with between other romances, either one of these might do the trick. Just watch out for the fire scene - on second thought, maybe a storyline might stick with me. I can hear myself in some distant future time asking someone, "Remember that story with the couple who did the hot-bootle-ooo while the house was burning down around their ears? What was that story? I guess I’ll go to a message board and see if someone else can remember."

Time/Place: Mostly Regency England
Sensuality: Warm/Hot