Spirited Brides by Amanda McCabe
If you have insomnia, this book is for you! It will put you to sleep in a matter of minutes.
Spirited Brides by Amanda McCabe is a reprint of two regency books that were published in 2003.

The first one One Touch of Magic has a very slight touch of the paranormal in the form of kind of reincarnation. Miles and Sarah are the main characters in this book, she's digging up a viking village and he owns the land she digging on. The villain is easy to spot, and the romance is almost not there at all. This was a mediocre traditional regency read, however it is better than then second story in the book, A Loving Spirit.

A Loving Spirit has a story full of matchmaking ghosts haunting the castle of the uptight hero Philip and the ghost-chasing heroine Cassie. This story could have been really funny, but the author seams to have pulled back every time I thought that moment for a laugh out loud might occur. She must never have seen the Bob Hope movie, Ghostbreakers, later made into a Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin vehicle Scared Straight.

Both stories just sort of meandered along, never really going anywhere. Too bad, both of them could have been really good and it wasn't that there wasn't enough time. The books were long enough to have created some really funny memorable characters, they just didn't.

Time/Place Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Kisses


Sold to a Laird by Karen Ranney
Here is me beating my head against another disappointing read by an established writer. Is it written somewhere that an author becomes stale after so many books? And by the way, what a cheesy cover!

I really wanted to like Sold to a Laird, I really tried. Marriages of conveniences/forced marriages are one of my favorite story lines. You see, the hero, Douglas, is forced into marrying Sarah by the eviiiiil father. There is a silly plot-line of fabricated diamonds that doesn't go anywhere, the eviiiiil father piddles away then appears again, then piddles away. The hero says he will respect his uptight wife and not consummate the marriage, however, he talks dirty too her so he can seduce her. Another thing that irritated me was, Sarah is really devoted to her home and the people that inhabit it, but in the end that devotion just sort of vanishes and she moves on to her place in Scotland. Some of her servants go with her, but I couldn't help wondering what about all the other people that were on her land? The only person left there to take care of the land was her eviiiil father and well, he's eviiiil, so what would happen to all of those tenants?

However, amongst all of this silly stuff is some really strong, emotional, heartrending writing in the form of the death of Sarah's mother. In my opinion this part of the book was stronger than anything in the rest of the story. In fact, I found some of this really hard to read because the emotion suffered by Sarah was really devastating.

So, I found this a very inconsistent read, on one hand, silly plot-lines, eviiillll father and on the other hand, some really deep emotion prose.

Time/Place: Victorian England/Scotland
Sensuality Rating: Hot

Mistress by Mistake by Susan Gee Heino

Can you say far fetched, stretch of the imagination, farce, silly and historical inaccurate?
I purchase this book for a number of reasons, one it was a debut author and two it was getting good reviews. And those reviews happen to say "laugh out loud romp." So, I thought "Just what I'm looking for, a book with laughs." Half way through Mistress by Mistake, I was still waiting for my first laugh, I eventually smiled when I was about 50 pages from the end.

As I've said before, writing funny is hard and I give Susan Gee Heino some small applause for trying. However, she tried too hard. From the totally historically inaccurate Regency miss getting drunk on the bottle of wine she's carrying around to the convoluted idea that the hero, Dashford, has of getting out of his engagement, it was just way too much. It was like a Jerry Lewis movie, beating the audience over the head trying to get a laugh. And then there was one of my pet peeves, the interrupted love scene...over and over and over. There's that Jerry Lewis thing again.

Overall, the writing wasn't that bad and Ms. Heino seems like a talented writer, it's just I didn't find it funny.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Hot


The Sins of Lord Easterbrook by Madeline Hunter

Fan please!
Madeline Hunter writes hot stuff; she is also one of the better Medieval writers around, however, this isn't is hot though! This is the last of the four book Rothwell series, and it is about the eccentric older brother Christian. At last we find out why he is an eccentric recluse... he's empathic. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a paranormal book, it just has a little new age stuff thrown into the mix. You see Christian is a recluse because he is bombarded with other peoples emotions, that is until he meets Leona and she is the calm in his storm.

One of the interesting things about this book was the title. For once in a romance, the title actually matches the storyline. You see, The Sins of Easterbrook are not only Christian's but his fathers as well.

If you like books with strong Alpha males, this one is for you, Christian is very domineering, which was a good thing because Leona was a very stubborn woman. In fact she was very close to being a TSTL heroine who couldn't trust Christian; however she could certainly hop into bed with him for some very hot sex. And let me say, these sex scenes did require a fan. Also, for being a recluse, Christian certainly had all the right moves. This was a very intense romance and these two people struggled to the very end.

While I did enjoy the book and I found the writing to be above par, Leona really got on my nerves for way too long, which is why I couldn't give it the A rating I would have liked too.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Burning Hot