Historical Romance Reviews: Catching Up

Here’s the third installment of my catch-up reviews: historical romance!

tosThief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
Published: 2012
Genre: HR
Format: Kindle
Pages: 377
Source: Own
Dates Read: May 12 – June 30, 2018
Grade: A-
Goodreads Synopsis: A MASKED MAN…

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.


Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.


During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed…. But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel…and his life.

Review: I don’t know why I got distracted and it took me so long to finish this one. It’s good, just like all the others, of course, and I almost cried a few times…of course. I’m definitely looking forward to Godric’s story. I didn’t get into as much as Scandalous Desires, I do love a good hidden identity romance.

Favorite Quotes:

  • Still, it was the sad state of the world that people judged others not by the best that they could be but by the worst thought in their own hearts. (250)
  • She was everything and nothing and it was all because of him. (298)
  • “I’m privileged to see you like this,” he said, his eyes fierce. “Wear you social mask at your balls and parties and when you visit your friends out there, but when we are alone, just the two of us in here, promise me this: that you’ll show me only your real face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That’s our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together. (318)

The Book Depository | Amazon | Library | Goodreads

ouawe.jpgOnce Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare
Published: 2011
Genre: HR
Format: Kindle
Pages: 116
Source: Own
Dates Read: December 17, 2018
Grade: A
Goodreads Synopsis: Some wallflowers bloom at night…

Violet is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. The gentlemen aren’t beating down her door.

Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet’s feet. He’s wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet understands him. And she knows he’s not what he seems.

She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers—and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable… Love.

Review: Once again I’m reminded what a wonderful storyteller Tessa Dare is. This is the stuff daydreams are made of. She just pulls me in with every word, and I feel like I’m actually there with the characters. What more can a reader ask for?

Favorite Quote: He’d stuck a pin in her memory, put it under glass to treasure and admire it, as though she were some desiccated specimen. But Violet was a live creature. Changing, growing, and adapting. And beautiful in motion, with that sapphire silk flowing in the night. (Loc 921)

Amazon | Library | Goodreads

wgegbWhen Good Earls Go Bad by Megan Frampton
Published: 2015
Genre: HR
Format: Kindle
Pages: 208
Source: Library
Dates Read: December 18-22, 2018
Grade: B-
Goodreads Synopsis: What’s a lovely young woman doing asleep in his bed? Matthew, Earl of Selkirk, is shocked to discover it’s his new housekeeper! She’s a far cry from the gray-haired woman he expected. Matthew is no fan of surprises, and Annabelle Tyne is pure temptation. Perhaps he shouldn’t have had her hired sight unseen.

Annabelle, co-owner of the Quality Employment Agency, is no housekeeper, but she wasn’t about to lose a potential client simply because there was no one to fit the bill. Imagine her shock when the earl arrives at his London townhome and she’s awoken in the night by the most attractive man she’s ever seen.

Matthew is a man who lives life by the rules, but sometimes rules are made to be broken … and being bad can be very, very good.

Review: This novella fell a little short for me. While I loved the narration and the allusions to Amelia Bedelia through Annabelle, her relationship with Matthew just didn’t seem to flow quite right. I couldn’t feel their connection as deeply as I’d have liked to. Maybe if this were a full novel and there were more pressing conflicts, it would feel more fleshed out. As it is, it’s plenty fluffy if that’s what you want — which is fine. I just wanted a little more.

Favorite Quote: “Love is the reason” — sometimes the only reason, she thought — “so many of us do things. They may not always be the right things, but they are the things that matter. Love matters.” (Loc 536)

The Book Depository | Amazon | Library | Goodreads

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