Tag Archives: historical romance

Audiobook Review: A KISS FOR MIDWINTER by Courtney Milan


a kiss for midwinterTitle: A Kiss for Midwinter (The Brothers Sinister #1.5)
Author: Courtney Milan
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Source: bought audiobook via Audible
Genre: Historical, Romance, Novella
Buy Links: Amazon | B & NiTunes | Google Play | Smashwords | All RomanceAudible

Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can’t forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him…or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He’s been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he’s determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. It all starts with a wager and a kiss…

A Kiss for Midwinter is a novella (38,000 words) in the Brothers Sinister series. It follows The Duchess War. Each book stands on its own, but those who prefer to read in order might want to read that book first.


Continue reading Audiobook Review: A KISS FOR MIDWINTER by Courtney Milan

Audiobook Review: IT HAPPENED ONE AUTUMN by Lisa Kleypas


it happened one autumnTitle: It Happened One Autumn (The Wallflowers #2)
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Source: bought audiobook via Audible
Buy Links: Amazon | B & NBook Depository | BAM | Audible

Four young ladies enter London society with one necessary goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So they band together, and a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

It happened at the ball…

Where beautiful but bold Lillian Bowman quickly learned that her independent American ways weren’t entirely “the thing.” And the most disapproving of all was insufferable, snobbish, and impossible Marcus, Lord Westcliff, London’s most eligible aristocrat.

It happened in the garden…

When Marcus shockingly—and dangerously—swept her into his arms. Lillian was overcome with a consuming passion for a man she didn’t even like. Time stood still; it was as if no one else existed…thank goodness they weren’t caught very nearly in the act!

It happened one autumn…

Marcus was a man in charge of his own emotions, a bedrock of stability. But with Lillian, every touch was exquisite torture, every kiss an enticement for more. Yet how could he consider taking a woman so blatantly unsuitable…as his bride?

Continue reading Audiobook Review: IT HAPPENED ONE AUTUMN by Lisa Kleypas

Review, Excerpt, Giveaway: TALL, DARK, AND ROYAL by Vanessa Kelly


*Vanessa is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for $30.00 Amazon or B&N Gift card and FOUR sets of the first two books in the series (Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard, Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom).


tall, dark and royalTitle: Tall, Dark, and Royal (The Renegade Royals #2.5)
Author: Vanessa Kelly
Publishing Date: November 25, 2014 (from Zebra / Kensington)
Source: eARC via Netgalley
Buy Links: AmazonB & N | iTunes | Kobo

He’s the man behind the mission to track down the illegitimate children of England’s Royal Princes and help them get their due. But his deepest desire is far more personal…

Magnificent and stubborn. Fourteen years apart had not changed Chloe Steele, or Dominic’s love for her. He’d been a street urchin, a boy raised at court, and finally a magistrate, yet he’d never belonged anywhere—except by her side. Now Chloe devoted herself to girls threatened by scandal—like she had been. But she was in danger, and Dominic was determined to help—and hopefully make up for lost time…

Even in childhood, Dominic had made Chloe feel safe. Now she also felt thrillingly flustered by the powerful man he’d become, and by the longing he inspired. Because Dominic meant not only to protect her, but to untangle the lies that had separated them. Yet for Chloe, surrendering to temptation may be easier than risking a future that could ruin them both…



Continue reading Review, Excerpt, Giveaway: TALL, DARK, AND ROYAL by Vanessa Kelly

2014 Historical Romance Reading Challenge: Count me in!

historical challenge



I accept!


The 2014 Historical Romance Reading Challenge is hosted at Hurding Cats & Burning Soup. The challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.


The goal is to read at least 12 Historical Romance! 
  • Level 1–12 historical romance
  • Level 2–18 historical romances
  • Level 3–24 historical romance
  • Level 4–30+ historical romances

You can change your level anytime. Choosing one is just a starting point.


What counts!
  • Every historical romance you read and review in 2014
  • Any time period prior to 1920 qualifies.
  • They can be historical paranormal, historical erotica, m/m, f/f, etc.
  • All historical romances over 100 pages in length–audio, ebook, print
  • Re-reads, cross overs from other challenges


I think I’ll be going for Level 4 — 30+ historical romances. This is my first reading challenge and I’m super excited. I love me my historical romances. This genre and mystery/thriller are the first genres I ever enjoyed reading since my adolescent reading life. So bring it on!




Review: The Duchess War by Courtney Milan


Courtney Milan has already become an automatic read for me. She’s proven her brilliance with her craft and I always appreciate the unconventionality of her stories. In a genre such as historical romance, which does not experience a dearth in quantity of material, it is such a great feat for a writer to set herself apart from the others and in a good way. Courtney Milan does that with every single one of her books and her latest is yet another example of how good a writer she truly is.

Book Blurb:”Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly—so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.But that is precisely what she gets.Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…”

Let me count the ways I love this book:

As always, the first thing that struck me is the unconventionalities that the story presents the readers, starting from the main characters where you have a heroine who’s smart, street-smart, strategy-smart, and strong-willed, and a hero who’s pretty much the anti-thesis of the conventional brooding and rakish heroes of the genre. In fact, the heroine has a scar on her face and the hero is a romantic at heart. They’re just both strong people in that they have survived the ugliness of their childhood pasts.

I love the running theme of discovering the true character or essence of a person beyond the physical, beyond a title, beyond a name, beyond the past. Minnie, the heroine, assumes another name in order to escape a past and hides behind a quiet demeanor to keep her past from catching up to her. Robert, the hero, is a duke, a member of the realm. But he is also a radical and the change that he wants done, to abolish the peerage. He fully knows the privileges that his title has brought him but at the same time he has this innate belief that such privileges are the causes of abuse and he abhors that impunity does not pay because people are protected by their titles and their wealth. I love that these two people are not who people see them to be and the first one to discover the true person underneath it all, the first one to see through the mist of illusion is each other.

I love Minnie but Robert is really the shining character in this book for me. He defies every conventional trait of the supposed ‘hero’ of a novel: he’s a duke but he’s embarassed by his title and his wealth and he even wants to abolish the institution that has made him such; he’s not a rake, in fact, he’s even (GASP) a virgin; and last but not the least, he’s a romantic. Despite the rejection and disillusionment that his parents’ marriage showed him, he still believes in love. However, he does not believe that he will experience it. Until he met Minnie, that is. The scene where he realizes that he loves Minnie offers one of my favorite lines from Robert and just displays the brilliance of Milan’s writing:

It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in love. The thought of love was like water in the desert. Now there was a stupid cliché, one that made him think of a man in ragged clothing staggering through the Sahara, searching for an oasis among the sand dunes.But the Antarctic was a desert, too—a cold desert, one made dry because water there turned to ice the instant it hit the air.So he believed in love. He’d always believed in love. He’d been surrounded by water all his life; it had simply been frozen solid. He’d loved as hard as he dared and watched it freeze before his face. It was no surprise now when he checked his feelings and discovered that he loved her. The surprise was that this time, when he dared to take a sip, he found water instead of ice.

Her characters, even the secondary ones, are well-fleshed out. They don’t seem like characters in a book; they’re like real people. They make mistakes. They make wrong decisions. They’re flawed, basically. And human. But then you understand them and what they’ve been through and you stand behind them just the same. That’s great writing.

Last but not the least, the story itself was unconventional. What I love about Milan’s writing is that she takes a conventional premise and then somehow manages to transform it into something new, something not cliche. When you think that the story would go this particular way, she surprises you because it takes a detour and goes to an opposite direction. And it works. She doesn’t divide her universe and her characters in blacks and whites; there are always grays and colors. And again, that’s great writing.

All in all, this is another A-grade piece by Courtney Milan. I can’t wait for the next installment in her Brothers Sinister series. And for those who haven’t read her other books, you should try them. They’re good.

Rating: 5/5 stars