Seducing an Angel by Mary Balogh
Gee, I wish I could write like Mary Balogh (even a mediocre Mary Balogh) which sorry to say Seducing an Angel turned out to be for me.

Stephen Huxtable is the angel and he truly is. He's almost too good to be true and he didn't strike me has being a man of his time. And, that is some of the problem I had with this book, Stephen is thinking with a politically correct 21st century brain (not necessarily a man's brain either.) On the other hand, the simply gorgeous Cassandra is a product of her time...she wants Stephen to be her protector and she sets out to trap him into it.

Cassandra has a wonderfully written simply horrific background; a totally sympathetic background, however, I didn't really like her. Stephen, I liked, but I didn't believe there could be a man like him around today, let alone in the Regency time period. The conflict between the two is believable, however the ending feels contrived.

So far, this is my least favorite of the books in the Huxtable series, but even with that, it is still filled with terrific Mary Balogh writing. And, I am really looking forward to Con's story.
Sensuality Rating: Mildly Hot


At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh
The third book in the Huxtable Family series At Last Comes Love, is Margaret's story. You remember Margaret, the doormat from the other books. Well, get ready, this is not the same drudgery-boo-hoo-poor-me-let's wait for ten years Margaret. She finally sprouts a backbone. And let me just say that Crispin is a jerk!

There are all kinds of standard romance trappings in this book that could have made it a real bummer...there is the gruff but lovable curmudgeon grandfather, a very talkative mother, a four year old child, numerous martyrs. But it all works, the grandfather is really lovable, the mother is a hoot (I wanted to take a breath for her) and at least for me, the four year old seemed like a four year old and not a twelve year old disguised as a four year old. I am basing the child statement on just having dinner with my two year old nephew.

Now, on to Margaret and Duncan, who bump into each other at a ball. Loved that scene! And, they make a great couple right from the beginning. They are an interesting couple and for the most part they are an honest couple; although, there was one secret that Duncan had that I didn't understand why he didn't explain it when he was 'Splainin everything else. And, there was a Margaret temper tantrum that was out of character for Margaret and didn't really make sense. But those are just minor quibbles.

Warning to those of you that are the weepy type (and you know who you are), there is a scene that just may bring a tear to your eye, so be prepared!

At Last Comes Love is a lovely read. Margaret and Duncan are made for each other. Stephen makes an appearance in this one and gets his own HEA in Seducing an Angel.
Sensuality Rating: Not Quite Hot, but Not Warm


A Scotsman in Love by Karen Ranney
Anything that arouses curiosity or perplexes because it is unexplained, inexplicable, or secret. Conundrum: A Scotsman in Love by Karen Ranney.

Love Karen Ranney! Love the hero, Robert McDermott! His character is wonderfully written, he's a sad deeply scarred individual who has had great tragedy in his life and needs to find love, enter the heroine, Margaret Dalrousie.

Love the heroine, Margaret Dalrousie, wonderfully written and in her past is a horrendous experience that has left her a deeply scarred individual, incapable of passion (at least for another human being.)

So, why couldn't I give this book an A? These two wonderfully written characters and would have made really really great friends, but I never thought there was a passionate spark between them. Even when they became intimate, I didn't understand why.

These were great characters, they just didn't work as a romantic couple in this book.
Sensuality Rating: Hot


The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor by McCabe, Gaston and Marlowe

Why do I buy anthologies?? Actually I know why I do, sometimes I want to have a fast read and since an anthology is a compilation of short stories...ta da...there you go. And, occasionally I have found new author's, because a lot of times publishers will introduce the new authors in an anthology format along their trusty best selling authors. In fact the last anthology I read, I found a new author at the very end. I digress.

The authors: Diane Gaston aka Perkins, Amanda McCabe and Deb Marlowe, all regency writers and all for Harlequin. Their three stories are intertwined; they are about three sisters of the Fitzmanning Miscellany (loosely based on the real life families of Georgina and Harriette Spencer, yes the same Spencer family of Diana.) Justine and the Noble Viscount by Diane Gaston, Annalise and the Scandalous Rake by Deb Marlowe, Charlotte and the Wicked Lord by Amanda McCabe.

All of these stories are standard traditional Regencies with the requisite sex scene thrown in. These were all warm, nice stories and I think my favorite was the shortest one, Amanda McCabe's story about Charlotte. We are also introduced to other characters that are all probably going to get their own stories. The only thing I could have wished was that they had all been full length stories, because I think they are lacking the emotion that comes with bigger books.

If you are looking for a fast read that doesn't need a huge emotional commitment this books is for you. I would recommend however checking it out of the library instead of buying.
Sensuality Rating: Warm


To Beguile a Beast 3rd in the Legend of the Four Soldiers by Elizabeth Hoyt

This is a Beauty and the Beast story, I'm not sure if I like Beauty and the Beast, maybe I'm just tired of them, because actually one of my favorite french films is La belle et la bĂȘte from 1946. I digress.

To Beguile a Beast is the story of Helen (a fallen woman) on the run from her lover, with her two illegitimate children. See, already something different in the heroine department. She arrives at the castle-steps of Alistair (the beast) and tells him he needs a housekeeper, whether he wants one or not. I loved that part.

The romance between the two main characters proceeds at way to fast a pace and so, some of the tension between the two was missing. This had the potential to be really a good love story, but it missed it by just a little. I didn't really buy the possessive ex-lover either, maybe he'll show up in the next book, but I thought this part of the book was a little weak.

What I thought was really strong in the book, was the relationship that developed between Alistair and the two children. It was really quite aw-shucking. However, don't get me started on lemons and his monstrously huge manhood.

In all fairness, this is not a bad book, it's just not a great book either. I do have high hopes for the fourth in the series To Desire a Devil.
Sensuality rating: Scorching (even with a lemon)


Always a Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch
All I can say is WOW! Always a Scoundrel, the third in a series by Suzanne Enoch is wonderfully written.

Can't tell you how much I loved this book and everything about it. The characters were well written, even the evil villain. But the best character was Bramwell with Rose along for the ride. The other characters from the previous books show up, but they are needed, they're not just thrown in for a catch up on their lives.

The plot is a standard romance plot: rake meets virgin who is being sacrificed by her horrible family to the bad guy, but this story is really really well written and the standard plot turns into something new. Have I said that this book is well written? I'm so jealous, there was some thought put into this plotting and how things were going to be maneuvered so we could have our HEA. And, you are going to hate her family.

This books is a bit darker than some of her previous books, and I almost didn't recognize the writing. Ms. Enoch seems to have found her voice and I hope it continues in this manner.
Sensuality Rating: Hot


The Virgin's Secret by Victoria Alexander
The Virgin's Secret is the beginning of a new series from Victoria Alexander. There are three brothers, one sister and a mysterious American, so, I'm not sure how many books are in the series. This series is based in the Victorian era, in the world of archeology and treasure hunting.

The story seemed to be more action, adventure suspense than romance and it wasn't the best Victoria Alexander I've ever read. The chemistry between the two characters, Gabriella and Nathanial, picked up later in the book as their escapades increased. I enjoyed reading about Nathanial's family, mainly his two elder brothers. Love guys that lean on fireplaces with a drink in their hand.

There is a mystery in this book that isn't solved by the end of the book, although I think I know who the bad guy is and I'm not goin' tell.
Sensuality Rating: Warm