Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Malin’s #CBR Reviews #78-80: Historical romance edition

So I’m finally NEARLY up to date with this summer’s reading, and decided that these three historical romances I read in August could easily lumped together into one post.

Book 78: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James. What if Dr Gregory House was an Earl in on an estate in Wales and a really gorgeous woman wanted to marry him, mainly because most of polite society thinks she’s carrying a prince’s bastard? 3 stars

Book 79: A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare. I absolutely ADORED the previous two Spindle Cove novels by Tessa Dare, and it was frankly unrealistic that this novel live up to my sky-high expectations. It was very enjoyable, if not as awesomely enjoyable as the first books in the series. 4 stars.

Book 80: The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James. When the plain young heiress discovers that her best friend, the handsome heir to a duchy, mainly married her to cover up the fact that his father embezzled a bunch of her money, she kicks him out and he’s forced to resort to piracy (sorry, privateering) to stay alive. The most enjoyable Fairy tale retelling by James yet, certainly a LOT more fun than the original story by Hans Christian “I really hate children and am determined to scar as many as possible with my dreadfully depressing stories” Andersen. 4 stars.

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7 thoughts on “Malin’s #CBR Reviews #78-80: Historical romance edition

  1. I tried some Eloisa James, but I couldn’t get into her. How often do I say that and then try again and decide I love the writer?

    I really enjoyed A Week to Be Wicked too, even though Dare requires such a willing suspension of disbelief. I feel the same way about as you about A Lady by Midnight. When Kate rides back to town with him and she looks up and him and she suddenly finds him handsome, I thought “uh-oh”. He just wasn’t gruff enough for the giant laconic guy he was in the past two books, and that fight at the end was a bit much even for a romance novel, it was perilously close to twee.

    • Suspension of disbelief or not, I absolutely adored A Week to be Wicked. How can I not love a book dedicated to all the girls who walk and read at the same time? 😀

      I suspect I would’ve enjoyed A Lady by Midnight more if I hadn’t had such high expectations, and if the plot hadn’t gone so very suddenly from “he’s so gruff and PTSD and angsty” to “My love can heal him because we were children in the slums together and that will also sort out the huge sudden difference in our social ranks”. I did find the Grammercys intriguing, though, and good on Dare for putting some lesbians in there. Now why would the lordly cousin with the many duels constantly be wearing gloves? That’s some nice teasing set-up there, and on the basis of her previous novels, I’m willing to pay the money to find out what lovely young lady will soothe his temper.

      Eloisa James’ books are ok, but mostly they are good place holders while I wait for something I really like to come out. The Ugly Duchess did something a bit different, and I appreciate that.

  2. Wouldn’t they be wearing gloves for the dancing?

    Dare did sort of bring everyone lumbering in all primed for their own books, didn’t she. I liked that they included the gay couple, but COME ON it’s 1820 or something, a little subtlety please. And also, SERIOUSLY, on a hall floor next to a party? They couldn’t even slip upstairs and get caught on the way back down? I’m wondering if excitable Evan (is that his name?) is for Diana, who will have unsuspected depth. Plus it needed more Colin, he slays me. Even with my quibbles, Dare is on my auto-read list from now on. She is nothing if not consistently entertaining.

    This morning, I snagged What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long for 99 cents on Amazon. Score!

    Mary Balogh had been my placeholder author briefly, but she got same-y quite quickly and not in the way of Kleypas where I find it entirely acceptable. Now I’m working on Grace Burrowes who is meh. You’d think I’d just, I don’t know, read non-genre fiction for a while but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

    • Oh, my biggest suspension of disbelief in literally ages was the first love scene in A Night to Surrender. Really, you’re deflowering her on the village green, under a tree, mostly naked, with EVERYONE in the village in the pub next door. With no thought as to who could catch you? But the book was still hella entertaining, so it won me over anyway. Even with surprise grisly leg injury and sudden amputation bringing my fun down a bit there towards the end.

      • There’s nothing like an amputation to bring your fun down towards the end.

        “Just kisses”: I was going to mention that tree ridiculousness, but I decided I was going on a bit in my comment. Also, I didn’t think HE would ever do such a thing. Did they EVER find a bed? Then there’s Colin and Minerva, um, investigating and tutoring. Okey-dokey. There’s a whole PG 13 range of these books that really are “just kisses”, but what’s the fun in that? That’s the thing – it’s not that they’re just unrealistic historically, they’re unrealistic period. I don’t care though. I so totally don’t care. You know what I loved? “Colin, I love you. Please stop talking,”, and when Thorne would just say, “Katie”. Swoon. I can’t believe I just typed that. Oh well. There’s no one here but us chickens.

      • Oh, I adore Colin. He is high up there on the list of my favourite romance heroes ever. So much fun, even with the horrific nightmares.

      • I swear that sleep issues are the most common go to issue for heroes, those and PTSD. Always with the PTSD. I started writing something about it in a review I’m working on. Colin is my favourite Dare hero, although I also liked Julian in Three Nights with a Scoundrel.

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