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Romancing the Novel

While I am an avid reader, I primarily stick to romances. I would say that my favorites are historical romances, but I love romance novels in every category.

Currently reading

Through the Smoke
Brenda Novak
How To Tame Your Duke
Juliana Gray
The Next Always - MacLeod Andrews, Nora Roberts 3 1/2 stars. Great story and characters, but way too much descriptions of building and decorating the hotel. It all just felt like filler that was just plain boring!
Dangerous in Diamonds - Madeline Hunter Well worth the wait and anticipation to get to Castleford's story. The first half of the book was excellent, I am giving this book 5 stars just for that half. The second half was good but I think it could have been more. A nice touch was seeing Sommerhays' brother from the first book, get his HEA.
But Castleford was the true shining star of this book. How could you not love this guy? I found myself smiling through this book at his constant antics. He was just so well written and unique that you just have to love his arrogance and banter.
Sinful in Satin - Madeline Hunter A great addition to the series. Celia's mother, a courtesan has just died and Celia takes up residence in a house her mother has left to her. She is surprised to find Jonathan is a tenant there. They both have motives for searching through her mothers papers. Celia to try to find out who her father was, Jonathan is on a mission from the home office to find a list of the mothers clients to see if there was a traitor passing secrets.
Celia had lived with her mother for a year when she was 16 to be trained by her mother to be a courtesan. While Celia fell in love with the man picked to be her protector, she thought he meant to marry her. When she found out differently, she left, heartbroken, to live at rarest blooms. Now that she is back, this guy thinks he can pick it back up where he left off with her. The thing is, she and Jonathan have some serious chemistry going on.
Jonathan is the supposed illegitimate son of an earl, but his cousin will not acknowledge him. When he was 9 he heard his mother fight with this cousin stating that she had married Jonathan's father while he was on his deathbed.
It was heartbreaking the way they were each treated by society, her being a courtesans daughter (it was just expected that she would take the same route) and he being a bastard.
The part that annoyed me in this story, was Celia kept hearing her mothers courtesan advice in her mind telling her how to act and what to do. She also kept flip flopping that maybe she would take up her mothers proffesion... it was quite annoying.
While I liked Celia and Jonathan's story, honestly, I only read it to get more of Castleford. He absolutely is the highlight in each book.
I am JUMPING to the next book, Dangerous in Diamonds to finally read Castlefords story!!
A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare I loved this book... It was just a fun romance.
Lord of the Fading Lands - C.L. Wilson I really don't have much to add to the glowing reviews already posted.. I will just say, ditto, ditto, ditto.
I listened to the audio book, but the narrator made the h sound like a 12 year old. I will be reading the rest of this series so that I can find my own voice for these wonderful characters.
The Black Hawk - Joanna Bourne What an amazing series this has turned out to be. I do not think that I am able to point out a favorite, they are all my favorites! Well, maybe Doyle and Maggie's story, The Forbidden Rose but then, that wouldn't be fair to the others :) This will be my desert island series. Honestly, I could not be stranded on a desert island without this series. I read this series in publication order. The author states: "If you read the books in the order in which they were written, you're going to see the characters develop as they did in my own mind. You'll find out about them in the way I found out about them."
That worked very well for me. TFR would be read first in chronological order, but the H, Doyle is in all of the books and I loved reading his story after getting glimpses of him that made me quite curious to get to know him better.
This book, The Black Hawk, is Adrian (Hawk) and Justine's story. Hawk has also been in all the books and we watch him grow up. This book goes back and forth from when they first met to the current situation they find themselves in. I am not always a fan of that type of writing, but it worked in this book. This story really starts in TFR as that is where he first meets Justine.
I HIGHLY recommend this series, it is not to be missed!
The Visions of Ransom Lake - Marcia Lynn McClure 3 1/2 stars.

While I did like this book, and I loved the H, Ransom, it was the h, Vaden that just annoyed the hell out of me. She acted like a 12 year old throughout the book. She also did not remain true to the character we were led to believe she was. She was supposed to be this carefree, nature loving, tomboyish girl who just loved life. 1/4 into the book and all she did throughout the rest is cry and have pity partys with herself.
The Duke's Perfect Wife (Highland Pleasures, #4) - Jennifer Ashley Oh my! I will admit that this book started off slow and rocky for me. I never really liked Hart in the other books and was not truly looking forward to his story. I started this last week and kept putting it down to read something else. Thankfully, I decided to plow through it to get it over with. I am so happy I did!!! I think this story was the most emotionally moving book in the series. I am blown away...
For all you Ian lovers, there is plenty of him in this book too!
Ice Storm - Anne Stuart While this wasn't my favorite in the series so far, it still deserves a 5 star rating! One of the best parts was seeing Bastien and Chloe with their children as well as Peter and Genevieve and catching up on what is going on in their lives {{{{Bastien}}}} ~sigh~
I was happy to see Isobel get her HEA... Killian, well, we don't really get to know him that well through most of the book, but after a lot of revelations about him, I just loved him.
Loving A Lost Lord - Mary Jo Putney While I truly did enjoy this story, there were some things towards the end that were just so ridiculously contrived that I found myself shaking my head asking WTF? This really should have been a 3 star read because of that, but I chose to ignore it. I do love a good amnesia story and it was a good lead up to the other books.

My shaking head WTF moment: (MAJOR spoiler!!)
Right after Adam found out his mother was actually alive and he also had a sister and half siblings ( how do you explain why the mother NEVER contacted him, well, you don't, just ignore it)
Mariah finds out that her mother is alive and that she has a twin sister who has the same name as her imaginary friend. Mother and father had a fight and separated all those years ago when she was two. Here they are, all laughing and bubbling with happiness. Anyone else would have been pissed beyond belief at the father if they were in that situation.. sheeesh
About That Night - Julie James Another great story from Julie James. I did not quite love it as much as her other books though. There was just a little something missing. The H, Kyle was great but the h, Rylann was kinda blah.
Between the Devil and Desire - Lorraine Heath While this was a good story, there were too many obvious clues as to why the H, Jack was made guardian to a dukes son. It made Jack and Olivia seem like half wits that they could not figure it out after the first few chapters. The mystery in the first book in the series, was less obvious.In Bed With the Devil
One of my favorite Dickens' stories is Oliver Twist, and this series is based on that story, so I did find a lot of enjoyment in it.
Wild Sweet Ecstasy - Jo Goodman 4 1/2 stars, The conclusion of this story dragged a bit for me to give it a 5 star rating. It just didn't wrap up smooth enough for me.
That aside, it had a great story line with action, suspense and a great romance.
She Tempts the Duke - Lorraine Heath It looks like it's going to be another great series by Lorraine Heath.
The story was a bit dark and also a bit predictable, but still a great read, bonus points if you love scarred and tormented hero's. Of the 3 brothers that this series will revolve around, Sebastian, the hero for this book, is scarred by far the worst.
The heroine in this story, Mary, was his childhood friend and she had saved the 3 brothers from certain death by their uncles hands. They felt they had no choice but to separate and run away for 10 years. When they do make their way back after 12 years, it is obvious they have had a horrible time of it. They crash the uncles ball by force and announce who they are. Mary is there with her fiance' and is the one who stands up and states that they ARE who they say they are. Of course there is a strong attraction between Sebastian and Mary, but of course he feels he looks like a monster and even though he is a rich Duke, she deserves more. ... yadda yadda, you know the rest :)
I am very interested to read the next two stories, just to see the details of how the other brothers lived while they were separated.
Let Me Be The One - Jo Goodman 3 1/2 stars. Its hard to rate this one. I liked the story very much, I have no fault with the writing, but it just seemed so slooooow... I found this also with If His Kiss Is Wicked
Also there are 4 books to this series. They are each based on one of the 4 friends that make up the compass club. This one was about the Earl of Northam. Book 2: Earl of Southerton
Book 3: Marquess of Eastlyn and Book 4: Duke of Westphal. A bit silly eh? But I assure you, there is no silly substance to this book. No fluff and ruffles here. Plenty of steam, drama a bit dark even. But too slow moving for my taste.
The Iron Duke -  Meljean Brook 4 1/2 stars.

This is the first steampunk book for me. I enjoyed this quite a bit more than I thought I would :)