Romance Novel Reviews – Roundup #4 – Week of June 8, 2015

Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Read Entire Review at All About Romance

Review Excerpt:

“While I’ve enjoyed all the books in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, Dearest Rogue has been the one I’ve most eagerly anticipated. In fact, it’s one of my most highly anticipated books of 2015. Perhaps that’s a little unusual, considering this is the eighth book in a long-running series, but something about the pairing of the older, world-weary, dour ex-officer with the young, vital but blind sister of a duke is intriguing and completely irresistible. Perhaps it’s that whole “bodyguard-falls-for-his-charge” thing – although that’s not a plotline I’m fussed about either way – or what’s more likely is that the glimpses we’ve been given of Phoebe Batten and Captain Trevillion in the earlier books, both separately and together, plus their appearance in the short Christmas story that appeared on the author’s website a couple of years back showed an already amazing chemistry that I was keen to revisit and experience in a whole novel.

I loved the way the relationship between the protagonists developed and especially the way in which Phoebe, unable to see, becomes aware of James as a man in other ways, through touch, scent and the sound of his voice. Despite the difference in their stations, once he realises the attraction between them is mutual, he doesn’t hesitate or keep pushing her away for her own good. He pays her the compliment of believing she knows her own mind – which is a refreshing change – so there is no overly contrived angst.

As I’ve come to expect from this author, the writing is elegant and richly detailed, and the characterisation is strongly observed all round.

Current Price – $7.99
Length – 347 pages
Genre – Historical Romances

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Worth the Fall by Caitie Quinn

Read Entire Review at Smart Bitches Trashy Books

Review Excerpt:

The story begins immediately after Kasey Lane’s boyfriend drops a bomb during what Kasey thought was a romantic dinner – he’s dumping her. He’s dumping her the day after she got laid off from her job and two days before she was supposed to move in with him. In short order, Jason proves himself to be an asshole of the highest order, and Kasey gets vengeance.

When Jason sees his flat tires, he calls the cops on Kasey; one arrives, assesses the situation and explains to Jason “You’re an asshole of the highest order,” only with more words and a garnish of “Stop wasting my time or I’ll arrest you.” Kasey immediately likes the cop, the cop seems to take a shine to Kasey, and I’m clearly an idiot because I didn’t figure out yet that the cop was Kasey’s HEA.

That’s just the first 15 pages, kids. This is a book where things HAPPEN.

There are two other couples in the book as well as numerous other side characters. I assume that each couple got together in previous stories in the series. I know that in some series jumping in the middle can leave you lost. But Kasey’s as new to all of these people as the reader is. The reader gets the sense that all of these characters are well-rounded and interesting in their own right.

Some of the things that happen to Kasey are rom-com clichés, but the reason that things become clichés is that they’re effective. None of them felt tired here; all of them felt earned. The obstacles that prevent Max and Kasey from initially getting together are completely reasonable within the context of the story.

Current Price – $3.99
Length – 285 pages
Genre – Contemporary Romances

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Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Read Entire Review at Smexy Books

Review Excerpt:

“Aden and Zaira couldn’t have been more suited for one another. Their connection forged as Arrow children and though forced to live as silent elite assassins, they never forgot one another. Zaira was a fantastic heroine. She loved Aden with a fierceness that we are used to seeing as the hallmark of the predatory changeling males. Zaria covets Aden, her loyalty and devotion ingrained into her very soul.

The beginning had a pretty steady pace. We witness Aden and Zaira’s daring escape, meet a new changeling pack all while learning the full history Zaira, Aden and Vasic shared. Nothing short of gripping – reliving their horrors as dangerously talented Arrow children, watching them be torn apart and toyed with by their handlers. It is a miracle they survived.

Did I mention that so much went down in this book!? I am tying myself in knots in efforts not to spoil everything but we have always known Aden was an adept medic with an unknown super-psy power.

Current Price – $10.99
Length – 484 pages
Genre – Paranormal Romances

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Only a Promise by Mary Balogh

Read Entire Review at Smart Bitches Trashy Books

Review Excerpt:

“This book is about two people struggling to hold their shit together and failing. Chloe Muirhead is a woman of good breeding and should be in London for the Season, finding a husband. Instead she’s living as a “guest” and acting as a companion to an elderly duchess.

When the duchess’s grandson comes home, Chloe sees the opportunity for bettering her circumstances. Ralph Stockwood was wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, but most of the damage was done to his psyche.

When Chloe suggests an alliance, it seems perfect. She gets to have children, like she always wanted, and run a household and be married. Ralph gets a wife and kids without having to go to London, and his bride is completely down with hiding out in the country and never going anywhere near the ton again. Ralph makes it very clear to Chloe that while he’ll always respect her, he can never offer her any type of emotional attachment.

Balogh manages to write two characters who really need each other, and who wouldn’t succeed in healing without the other. For all of that, it’s really a quiet romance where the love blooms naturally rather than in one lightning strike moment. There are no punishing kisses or sex as a placeholder for feelings.

I really can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s the best kind of romance, the kind with real people for characters, the kind that affirms we all deserve a partner to help us through the sticky patches in our life. And it’s all so subtly done that the story unfolds naturally and beautifully, and only when I stepped back at the end did I truly appreciate how complex and perfectly wrought Balogh’s narrative was.

Current Price – $5.99
Length – 393 pages
Genre – Historical Romances

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True North by Liora Black

Read Entire Review at Smexy Books

Review Excerpt:

“Liora Blake’s debut is a shining jewel in an otherwise overly saturated trope that promotes over the top emotional baggage and immature protagonists whose extreme sexual escapades overshadow the storyline. Blake has an enticing voice that lends credence and realism to her characters and their actions. Both protagonists (though the story is told in the first person from the heroine’s POV) are fleshed out; Blake expertly reveals their flaws and strengths with clarity and conviction.

Kate is a delicious combination of snark and strength that sheaths a fragile vulnerability that will take a strong and patient person to discover. Luckily for her, Trevor is one of the most patient heroes I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Sweet, sexy, funny, and forthright, he fights for her both sexually and emotionally. Every roadblock she places in front of them, and she puts up quite a few to my dismay at times, he pushes against them, using any means necessary to strengthen their connection.

Trevor and Kate’s romance is fraught with laughter and some heartfelt moments as they attempt a long distance relationship. I loved Trevor’s “chasing” of Kate. His text messages and gifts are thoughtful, showing his desire to get to know her better. Once they cross the point of no return, their love scenes blaze across the pages.”

Current Price – $1.99
Length – 287 pages
Genre – Contemporary Romances

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