Book Reviews

A Huge Historical Romance Round Up

Today I have nine mini reviews for you, because I’ve been reading a ton of historical romances over the last few months! All of these were ebooks sent to me free of charge, either through NetGalley or by the authors, but as always my opinions are my own.

A Lady For a Duke – Alexis Hall

Rather more angst in this one than my usual taste, but it’s so beautifully, sensitively done that I couldn’t begrudge it. This is the first historical romance I’ve read with a trans woman as the heroine (though I’ve come across several enbys and trans men as leads before) and I’m really glad that this is finally out there, because it’s so gorgeously warm and accepting. Look up and take the content warnings seriously before you read, as it’s pretty dark in places, but it’s such a great love story and it will stick with me for a long time.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting – Sophie Irwin

This is a fun light-hearted rom-com that I really enjoyed, but if you’re coming to it from fairly standard historical romance, be aware it’s a bit more loose with the format than many – there are multiple POVs, for example! That being said, it’s still a very funny and fluffy read, so I definitely recommend it if you’re after something light and fun, more like a modern day Heyer, and I’d definitely read more from the author.

How The Wallflower Was Won – Eva Leigh

This is the second book in the Last Chance Scoundrels series, which started with The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes (review here). I did enjoy the continuation of the series (this is a bit more linked than some romance series, so I recommend starting at the beginning), but I felt that some elements of the plot were a bit too similar to the author’s other recent second-book-in-series, Would I Lie to the Duke (review here), with the heroine trying to gain access to an all-male society. On its own, though, this is a fun, steamy, and irreverent read.

A Scandalous Bargain – Darcy Burke

This was actually the book that made me take a break from reading Darcy Burke! Not because it’s bad, necessarily, because it isn’t, but I just realised that I don’t love how very angsty her characters often are, and I feel like there’s more external plot than I prefer in a romance. I’m just not a fan of the crime-heavy setting that this particular series is focused on.

How To Catch A Viscount – Annie Burrows

I’ve really enjoyed stories by this author before, but I just didn’t click with this one. The heroine really annoyed me as I found her very petulant, and I didn’t really feel like the romance was, well, very romantic! Even the happily ever after ending admits that they’re both very irritating to each other and will fight all the time – I don’t know about you, but that’s not really what I’m looking for from a stable relationship! Just a bit of a mismatch in taste, I think.

Never Rescue a Rogue – Virginia Heath

The first book in this series, Never Fall for Your Fiancée, was hugely good fun (see my review here), and the banter and hijinks are just as high in this sequel, which follows another of the Merriwell sisters. The relationship between Diana and Giles was heavily foreshadowed in book one, and I feel like maybe that made this a little bit less entertaining for me, as it was already partway developed before the book started. There’s still plenty of witty repartee, but I think on the whole I just slightly preferred Minerva and Hugh as characters. I’m excited to read book three!

Challenging The Brooding Earl – Lucy Ashford

A sweet, plucky heroine and an angsty earl make this an entertaining enemies-to-lovers read. This isn’t my usual fare in either tropes or setting, being more of a countryside story focused on class differences, but it was still a really enjoyable romance.

Hit Me With Your Best Scot – Suzanne Enoch

Oh, I truly love this series – it’s so funny and cute! This is probably my least favourite of the three, as Coll is not quite as humorous a character as his brothers, but it’s still a very strong, very romantic read that really nails the emotional beats while still being entertaining as hell. I love the clashes between the leads and the banter, and it’s a really satisfying end to the series.

Cinderella and the Duke – Lydia Drake

I had so much fun with this one! It’s a spin on the Cinderella fairy tale, obviously, but it’s only light touches and the main story stands on its own nicely without the references. Both Julia and Gregory are very likeable, entertaining characters and their reluctant chemistry and the way their humour clicks are both very realistic. But what I liked most about this was how well they communicated – there’s a couple of plot moments that would absolutely have been dragged out for maximum drama in other books, but these two are just like ‘oh, yeah, here’s what’s up with that’ pretty much immediately. It made their conflicts so much deeper and more interesting when they were based on genuine clashes of personality and lifestyle rather than Big Secrets TM. Really great fun, and I’ll be looking out for more by the author!

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