I’m still working through my historical romance windfall, and I’ve finished up another ten books, so I thought it was a good time to check in and give you some quick thoughts on them!
Regency Christmas Weddings – Nicola Cornick, Margaret McPhee, Miranda Jarrett
There are three stories in here – the first, The Pirate’s Kiss, was okay but I didn’t love the hero, who was rather self-centred and did a lot of grabbing of the heroine. I really disliked the second story, because it again was very dubious in its treatment of the heroine who is more or less coerced into kissing the hero and pretending to be caught sleeping with him to save her life – it didn’t feel very consensual, even if she was later okay with it. I think we’ve come a long way on consent in historical romance even in ten years, and I just don’t like to read this kind of grabbing-then-feelings – it’s not romantic to me. The last story in the book, The Sailor’s Bride, was much nicer, about an archaeologist and a sailor. This was much more sweet and actually felt like they liked each other.
My Notorious Gentleman – Gaelen Foley
This was just okay. Some of the characterisation of the hero suffered from not having read previous books, as there were a lot of references to his previous actions as a spy that I think may have been a little clearer had I had that backstory. As with the anthology above, there’s a bit of a tendency towards grabbing at the start of the book, which I didn’t love, and also I didn’t find the female characters wildly empowering – there’s the do-no-wrong parson’s daughter heroine, her friend who turns on her in an instant, and an ex-prostitute whose past comes back to haunt her. These were all ultimately given a positive spin but there’s not much genuine female friendship in the majority of the book, and I think that, along with the dated hero, made this feel quite old.
One Night with the Laird – Nicola Cormick
I don’t have an enormous amount to say about this one. Having not enjoyed the author’s story in the anthology above, I thought I’d give this a go sooner rather than later – it ended up being better than I’d hoped, but just not quite what I like from my romances. The heroine in this one was very strong and active, but the romance seemed to take second place to the mystery and there weren’t a lot of of romantic moments, just sexy ones.
The Queen’s Lady – Shannon Drake
This was certainly readable, but I ended up DNFing just because it was the wrong sort of story for me. I really am learning to stick to Regency for my HR fix!
The Rake and the Rebel – Mary Brendan
Unfortunately another DNF for me! I tried, but even 100 pages in I didn’t like the hero or heroine, so I decided to cut them loose.
My Lady’s Dare – Gayle Wilson
Honestly, I probably should have DNFed this one too, but I was morbidly fascinated to see how bad it could get. I hated this one. The heroine was treated like crap by everyone including the hero, from the moment she was bartered in a card game to the time the hero “punished” her (yes, described as such in the text) for having been sexually assaulted in the past by *checks notes* sexually assaulting her. Loathed the hero, hated the plot.
Lady’s Wager – Mary Spencer
This was a strange one! It was one part Georgette Heyer-esque tale of a young girl discovering London, one part JIlly Cooper-esque story of a group of rich friends falling into various configurations, and one part bombastic plot about the selling of prostitutes’ babies. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, though I did enjoy the dressing-down the hero got towards the end for not recognising his immense luck and privilege in having a loving family.
A Ring From A Marquess – Christine Merrill
I liked this one a lot! I think if you’re someone who’s bothered by characters who create their own problems by just not talking to each other, you might find this frustrating, but I actually found competent jeweller Margot and shy marquess Stephen really quite charming, even when they were being stubborn, uncommunicative idiots. This is my second Christine Merrill book from this stack and I’ll definitely be looking out for more of her stuff, as it’s been fun!
Winterset – Candace Camp
This probably isn’t fair to the book, but it was just in too poor condition to read – possibly dunked in the bath, because the pages were all stuck together! Looking at reviews, I don’t think this mystery-heavy read would have been my cup of tea anyway.
What a Hero Dares – Kasey Michaels
And to round things out for this time, a final DNF. I don’t tend to enjoy spy characters or second chance romance, so although this author has an amusing turn of phrase, I struggled to connect to the romance itself. Very much an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’!
That’s another ten books off the list, which means I’m halfway through the stacks! Six reads and four DNFs this time round, and on to the rest!
4 thoughts on “Historical Romance Windfall Thoughts, Part Two”
Thank you for bravely reading these so I don’t have to. I will try the Christine Merrill, though.
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Haha, that one was definitely the gem of this batch!