Book Review

ARC Book Review: Edward and Amelia by Karen Thornell

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Karen Thornell
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: June 6th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The last thing Amelia Kennington wants is to participate in the London Season. But the daughter of a duke is not afforded such opinions. She must put forth a subdued facade, but beneath it is a well-hidden fire that surfaces only when provoked—such as when an overly familiar gentleman startles her and she falls into the Serpentine.

Edward Drayton, the Earl of Norwich, has gained a reputation as Society’s most decorated rake. And while there are benefits to such a reputation, it no longer gives him the satisfaction it once did. This Season, he plans to find a wife—except she seems to find him instead. And she is nothing like he expected.

Scandal is inevitable following Edward and Amelia’s ill-conceived meeting, forcing them to marry. Amelia’s disdain for this man she hardly knows is more than clear, and Edward’s pride is wounded before their marriage has even truly begun. Yet, against all odds, the two slowly let their guard down, discovering the truth of who they married. But when Society gossip, a sister’s jealousy, and long-held secrets threaten their budding relationship, the unlikely couple must determine if their unconventional love is strong enough to withstand the opposition they face.

Thank you to Covenant Communications and Netgalley for an eARC.

IT WAS SWEET.

I am always bound to pick up a marriage of convenience read and this was no different. I loved that aspect and watching Edward and Amelia (especially Edward) bumble around trying to figure out how the whole marriage and falling in love thing works.

Edward wad endearing. I liked his nature and I think his heart was in the right place even if his mind put together the most ridiculous ways of trying to woo Amelia. Gratefully she was taking no crap from Edward and actually made him work for it. Anytime these two were on page having a quiet moment by the piano or talking together and letting walls down I was charmed. I do think these two had fantastic chemistry.

I struggled with the plots involving Edith. Wow she had way too much control over this entire story. I did not like her at all and became increasingly frustrated that she was never put in her place until 98% of the book. It made the ending wrap up way too quickly and not get some of those satisfying moments to the antagonists. I’m glad that Edward and Amelia were able to have an adult conversation about rumors etc. and that the drama for by that point was significantly lessened.

There’s plenty of good things here even I was had some issues with it. I like Thornell’s writing and will continue to read her books. I love a good swoony cinnamon roll lead and Edward delivered.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: bullying, shaming

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Book Review

Book Review: Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 266 pages
Author: Joanna Barker
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: October 12th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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?

SMITTEN.

Wow. I was blown away by this regency! It’s the first one from the author I’ve read and I found it enjoyable on many levels.

One of those being the unique nature of both Rebecca (the narrator) and Nicholas (the love interest). I loved that Rebecca rode bare-backed and was interested in learning how to shoot guns and other things that really added to her personality. Nicholas was a Navy lieutenant who was totally cool with Rebecca’s interests and willingly helped her improve those skills. They were such a match from the moment they met.

Which leads me to my 1/2 star deduction. I struggle with this across genres. I don’t like a current love that takes up most of the book. It takes away from the romance I’m trying to be fall for. Because it always creates instances of cheating (as it did here) and no amount of wording really makes me feel completely fine about it. This one did end that plot line better than I expected so I’ll give it that at least.

Overall, a really great regency. I love this genre, especially when swoony kisses are added in. The writing was beautiful and kept me captivated. The plot moved steadily and I loved the introspection from Rebecca. Even with that one issue I had I liked the way she easily acknowledged she messed up and could apologize and work towards her character arc. Many things to love on in this one!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gun use (not in a violent matter), recollection of a bad fall from a horse, medical trauma, depiction of difficult birth, cheating

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Book Review

Book Review: A Proper Scoundrel (Proper Scandals #3) by Esther Hatch

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 256 pages
Author: Esther Hatch
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: May 10th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years.

Lord Bryant is well aware of his questionable reputation. Indeed, he has cultivated the image carefully, and the last thing he wants is a wife. But when he’s approached by the younger sister of a business associate, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he cannot help. However, when he sees for himself what she is up against, Bryant grudgingly offers his assistance. Faced with his most complicated entanglement yet, Bryant is firm in his conditions—and Diana knows that to get romantically involved with Bryant would spell certain heartbreak. But as the counterfeit couple grow ever closer, the line between truth and lies becomes blurred, threatening both Lord Bryant’s well-laid plans and the future of Diana’s railroad business.

LOVED THIS STORY.

I’m so glad that I finally got to read Lord Bryant’s story!!! It was well deserved and beautifully written.

I adored Diana. I love the way she’s portrayed even a society/time period that didn’t look kindly upon a businesswoman. It’s fantastic seeing this in regency romances and I couldn’t get enough of her resilience and savvy skills to do what was needed.

And of course I looooved Lord Bryant. My sweet, tortured cinnamon roll soul. He met his match in Diana and their flirtatious banter was on point. The tender moments with hands touching, eyes locked had me swooning. I could use 100 more of those scenes and it would never get old.

Some of the antics were a bit different than I imagined for the story (like the Lady Emily sub-plot). That is my only minor complaint. This book had me loving every moment Lord Bryant swaggered into Diana’s rail business and Mrs. Oliver conveniently slipped away.

Everything was unconventional for a regency and their relationship and that is my favorite aspect of Hatch’s stories. They feel fresh and so incredibly romantic. I look forward to reading her next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: brief physical altercation
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a spouse

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Book Review

Book Review: A Proper Scandal (Proper Scandals #1) by Esther Hatch

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 222 pages
Author: Esther Hatch
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: May 1st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.

It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare.

ABSOLUTELY LOVED.

One of those reads where you question why it took you so long in the first place to pick it up.

I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. One of the best regency romances I’ve read. Hands down. No contest. If you even are remotely interested in the genre, please give this one a chance. As my second great Hatch book, she’s quickly becoming an auto-author for me!

Grace and Nate had such an amazing dynamic. Fantastic banter. Incredibly sweet. They were such a match. I forgot to even note that it was a fast-paced romance because everything worked beautifully. Somehow at odds with each other, yet working together had me mesmerized.

All of the dances, garden escapes, and meet-ups were wonderful. I love how often they actually got to see each other so you could feel the romance building between them. And one thing Hatch does well? KISSING SCENES. They are swoon-worthy and fill your heart with warmth.

I loved this book. I’m excited to continue this series. Read ittttt!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: implied and brief attempted sexual assault scenes (on and off screen), a creepy step-Uncle who continually hits on main character Grace

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