Friday, September 28, 2012

Julia's Romance Review - Historical Edition

I was looking through my Goodreads "To Review" shelf today and noticed that I have a lot of romance novels that I read once upon a time that I never took the chance to review. I don't think I could come up with a solid review for all of them, so I thought I would take a few and highlight them in one post. This is the historical romance edition.

Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
Published: June 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
Series: Maiden Lane #4
Rating: 5 stars

I am in love with the Maiden Lane series. It takes a completely different route than most historical romances. It is not set in the ton, but in the slums of St. Giles where all are poor and most addicted to gin. This particular story is one I have been waiting for and highlights the Ghost of St Giles.

The romance is between Winter Makepeace, the caretaker of an orphanage, and one of the Ladies that patron the facility, Isabel. It is very much a continuation of the last book, and so I don't recommend it as a stand alone. But the other three books in the series are just as good. I actually reviewed the first book, Wicked Intentions, back in the day. That is where I would start.

A Night Like This  by Julia Quinn
Published: May 2012 by Avon
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #2
Rating: 3.5 stars

Oh, Julia Quinn. You are so hit and miss for me lately. I adored almost all the Bridgerton books, but after those it has been a pendulum between 'meh' and 'this is amazing'.

Sadly for me this falls under 'meh'. It wasn't bad. I don't have any particular qualms about it. Nothing really rankled me, but nothing made me laugh out loud, nothing made me sigh, nothing made me cry, nothing made me do anything but watch these characters. I didn't feel invested.

Is it a bad book? Nope. I've read a lot more stinkers. But it just didn't click with me.

This book could be read as a stand alone, but does reference things that happened in book one, especially during the beginning.

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Published: February 2012 by Avon
Series: The Rules of Scoundrels #1
Rating: 5 stars

I had read Sarah MacLean before, but sort of forgot about her. Daisy (and the rest of the romance blogosphere) brought this book and author back to my attention. The story is about two childhood friends who fell apart because of Bourne, our lead male, lost his inheritance in a wager and left society.  Well he comes back and through some circumstances, Bourne marries Penelope though both have become different people.

The beginning reminded me a lot of Disney's Beauty and the Beast mixed with some of The Lion King, but I didn't really see that as a negative. The book was quite interesting, despite its slow start. The characters were the best part, and I am looking forward to the continuation of the series.

Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke
Published: December 2011 by Avon
Series: Abandoned at the Altar #3
Rating: 3 stars

I read this one a hell of a long time ago (January), and thus it has been in my review queue forever. This third book in the series really has almost no connection to the other two beside the fact that it has altar abandonment.

Annabel is on a boat getting ready for her wedding while crossing the Atlantic when she meets Christian who is trying his damnedest to not let her marry. They have a cute little flirtation on the boat which I found highly enjoyable. What I do remember not liking is that after they left boat it sort of dragged. The characters are not horrid and neither is the story, but I just didn't connect with it as I have with past Guhrke books.

You Only Love Once by Caroline Linden
Published: August 2010 by Avon
Series: The Bow St. Agents: Spies in Love #3
Rating: 3.5 stars

I can tell you for certain that this book can be read as a stand alone since this is what I did. I picked this one up at the Border's liquidation sale and was glad I did as I highly enjoy Linden's writing.

Angelique is our spy heroine who is paired with American Nate Avery to complete a highly sensitive mission regarding embezzling. I remember liking the characters and interaction between the leads as they try to find the embezzler.

It was a pretty interesting spy love story. I tend to enjoy these. The sexy times were pretty hot on the heat scale, though I got bored with them at the end and wanted to read more about the spies. The plot was super intriguing, and that is why the other books in this series are on my to read list!

All of these books were purchased or taken on loan from the library.


  1. I seriously need to give romance novels a chance. For real. Maybe I'll choose from one of these unless you have an even better place to start!

    1. What genre do you enjoy? If it's historical novels then I think one on this list is alright. I liked "What Happens in London" by Julia Quinn as a good start.

      There are quite a bit of other subgenres under the "romance" heading, too: paranormal, contemporary, amish, inspirational, scifi fantasy. Let me know what you would be interested in and I can dig up a recommendation :)

  2. I have that Elizabeth Hoyt on my shelves to read--glad to see you enjoyed it so much :)

    1. The series is easily one of my favorites! I hope you like it too!

  3. I get what you're saying about A Night Like This by Julia Quinn. I really like Quinn (although I hated The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheevers!!), but this one I read, I enjoyed (but didn't love) and I forgot about it.

    1. You know, I completely agree with you! I also didn't like the Secret Diaries... but loved What Happens in London. I am hoping the next two in the Smythe-Smith series are more memorable.


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