Book Review: A Duke Changes Everything by Christy Carlyle

Nicholas Lyon gambled his way into a fortune and ownership of the most opulent, notorious gentlemen’s club in England. But when Nick’s cruel brother dies, he inherits a title he never wanted. The sooner Nick is rid of the estate that has always haunted him, the sooner he can return to the life he’s built in London. But there’s one obstacle—the exquisite Thomasina Thorne.

When the new heir to the Tremayne dukedom suddenly appears in Mina Thorne’s life, she’s flustered. Not only is he breathtakingly handsome, but he’s also determined to take away her home and position as steward of the Enderley estate. If Mina learns what makes the enigmatic duke tick, perhaps she can change his mind—as long as she doesn’t get too close to him.

With each day Nick spends with Mina, his resolve weakens as their colliding wills lead to explosive desire. Could she be the one woman who can help him finally bury the ghosts of his past?

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Book Review: The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?

Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder—including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.

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Book Review: Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden

Title: Ashes on the Moor
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Audio
Length: 10 hr. 37 min.
Source: Purchased
Date Finished: July 16, 2020
Grade: A
Synopsis: When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities.

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Book Review: Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker

Title: Otherwise Engaged
Author: Joanna Barker
Published: 2020
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Length: 266 pages
Source: NetGalley
Date Finished: September 23, 2020
Grade: A
Synopsis: She’s never been afraid of breaking the rules—until she risks breaking her heart. Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly—or not so quietly—rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.
When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged—to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship. Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily.

After all her carefully laid plans are shattered during a family crisis, Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine? (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd

Title: The Light at Wyndcliff
Series: Cornwall #3
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Published: 2020
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Length: 320 pages
Source: NetGalley
Date Finished: October 11, 2020
Grade: A
Synopsis: In the small Cornish village of Pevlyn, secrets are as treacherous as the rocky English shores. Raised on the sprawling and rugged Wyndcliff Estate near the dangerous coast of South Cornwall, Evelyn Bray lives with her grandfather, a once-wealthy man now reduced to the post of steward. Evelyn is still grieving her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment when a passing ship is dashed against the rocks.

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Book Review: If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell

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If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #2
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 372
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: May 14-23, 2019
Grade: C
Synopsis:
After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl, or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.

The duke ruined her plans and he’ll just have to fix them.

Garrett, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage—he uses dalliances and public spectacle to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart . . . and he’s losing it to Thea. (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

trpThe Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Princes Trilogy #1
Published: 2006
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 392
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: March 29 – April, 27, 2019
Grade: F
Synopsis: 
There comes a time in a woman’s life when she must do the unthinkable – and find employment. For the widowed Anna Wren, that means taking a job as female secretary for the Earl of Swartingham.

Secretaries are always male – never female – as Anna well knows but the real downfall of her career is the realization that she is falling in love with Edward de Raaf – the Earl. But when she realizes that he is going to visit a brothel in London to take care of his ‘manly’ desires, Anna sees red – and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to also take care of her ‘womanly’ desires – with the Earl as her unknowing lover.

But the Earl has another reason for going to London. He is formalising his betrothal and trying (with little success) to forget about a secretary that has no right being female. Unhandsome, he knows that no woman wants him.

Except for the mysterious lady with whom he spent two unforgettable nights at Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most scandalous brothel in London. But when Anna’s plan is revealed, a bit of blackmail is thrown into the mix, a proposal is rejected and even the Earl himself will be unprepared for the intrigues that ensnare them. (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: The Tokaido Road by Lucia St. Clair Robson

ttr.pngThe Tokaido Road by Lucia St. Clair Robson
Published: 1991 
Genre: 
Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Format: Kindle
Pages: 538
Dates Read: June 29, 2014 – March 28, 2019
Grade: A-
Synopsis: After the execution of her father, young Lady Asano’s life is in danger from the powerful Lord Kira. To save herself and take revenge, Lady Asano, known in the Pleasure District as Cat, must find the leader of her father’s warriors. In disguise, Cat travels the fabled Tōkaidō Road. Her only weapons are her quick wits, her samurai training, and her deadly, six-foot-long naginata, with its curved, eighteen-inch blade. She’ll need them all to outwit the rōnin hired to capture her. (from Goodreads)

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Book Review: With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

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With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander
Series: Carnton #1
Published: 2019
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 417
Source: Library
Dates Read: February 19-21, 2019
Grade: A
Synopsis: On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can’t abide. He compels Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain’s leg but also his life.

When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie’s arms that night, the boy’s final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy’s first name. And, as she soon discovers, there’s no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones’s offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

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Book Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

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Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Gamblers of Craven’s #2
Published: 1994
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 373
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: February 12-16, 2019
Grade: A-
Synopsis: In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Fielding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven—and into Derek Craven’s dangerous world.

A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from poverty to become lord of London’s most exclusive gambling house—a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world—with her impeccable manners and her infuriating innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper “mouse” can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress—and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion…and the promise of love. (from Goodreads)

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