Here are some quick reviews of some romance novels that are discounted on the Kindle! The majority of my reading is now bargain-priced romance novels, I find it very restful after looking doing more technical stuff at work.
Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After by Tessa Dare
Tessa Dare is one of those authors whose books I expect to be delightful and I am never disappointed. Romancing the Duke is extra charming, with plenty of warm humor and character development. Isolde Ophelia Goodnight is orphaned at a young age and not provided for by her feckless author father who is famous for his well-known fairytale series. Seizing a last chance at independence when she arrives at Gostley Castle to claim an inheritance from an Earl who seems to be leaving castles to all his goddaughters (instant series!). As she arrives at the castle, Izyy faces some satiric gothic horrors out of Northanger Abbey. She makes the unfortunate discovery that the castle is actually still inhabited by Ransom, the Duke of Rothbury.
If you really like the ending part of Jane Eyre, than this book is for you, because as Izzy and Ransom get to know each other, there’s a similar dynamic here. It takes a little while for Izzy to realize that Ransom is blind, wounded by a duel gone wrong. Ransom is understandably hostile yet involuntary attracted to this young woman who shows up and announces that she now owns his house. Izzy is a fun heroine, a bit insecure about her appearance and saddled with a healthy dose of Christopher Robin syndrome because the fans of her father’s works expect her to be like the precious little girl that appears in his books. The fans call themselves Moranglians after the imaginary land where her father’s stories took place, and the roam about the countryside LARPing. This was one of most amusing romance novels I’ve read in a long time, and I’m going to snap up the next book in the series, Say Yes to the Marquess when it comes out in December.
The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn
Julia Quinn is always a reliable romance author, and she has excellent taste in coffee mugs. The Bridgerton series is one of the better sprawling romance series featuring a family that I’ve read, and it was a bit of a coincidence that I read this book featuring a psychologically damaged hero shortly after reading Romancing the Duke. Of course there are many many romance novels featuring psychologically damaged heroes, so maybe the odds were pretty good that I’d be reading similar scenarios one after the other. This is the first book in the Bevelstoke series.
Miranda has been in love with her best friend Olivia’s older brother Turner since she was a little girl. Miranda is basically brought up by Olivia’s family, as her own father is a neglectful scholar, and her headstrong friend Olivia needs a moderating influence. While some might view Miranda as a bit of a wallflower, she’s very aware of her own position in Olivia’s household and isn’t shy with expressing her opinions. Turner’s horrible wife has just died, and he and Miranda meet again at the funeral, when Turner expresses very unfuneral feelings at his wife’s grave. Turner and Miranda become reacquainted for the first time since she was 10, and he finds himself suddenly intrigued by a grown up Miranda, yet tortured at the same time because he has no desire to enter into a relationship again. Some of the plot elements in this book were a bit predictable, particularly the events that led up to the happy ending. Still, this is well worth trying if you’ve read the Bridgertons and the Two Dukes of Wyndham series and want to read more Julia Quinn. There are many witty moments, and all the characters are richly developed. I’m assuming that the next book in the series focuses on the headstrong and less than tactful Olivia, and I’m curious to read what happens to her.
Confessions of a Viscount by Shirley Karr
This book’s cover doesn’t match up very well with the contents, because the cover looks like a typical old school bodice ripper and the book actually features a LADY SPY. I absolutely adore lady spies in historical romance books. I am also a fairly uncritical consumer of lady spy romances, but this one is very good. The Viscount in the title is Alistair Moncreiffe, who is an astronomer. He makes decisions about which parties to attend purely due to whose house has a good roof for astronomical observation. The spy in question is Charlotte Parnell, who has been trained to spy by her brother. Spying was an ok occupation for a lady when the siblings were not in England, but now that they are back Charlotte’s brother wants her to give up her life of adventure for a respectable marriage.
Alistair and Charlotte meet when she uses him for cover when she’s tailing someone, sidling up to him and taking his arm and talking to him as if they’ve known each other for years. He plays along and tries to catch her name, but she manages to disappear when his attention is diverted. They meet at a party later, and Charlotte proposes a fake engagement. Later, Alastair manages to rescue Charlotte when she finds herself unexpectedly dangling off the side of a building. The couple agree to enter into a fake engagement in order to stave off Alastair’s relatives who want him married off and give Charlotte time to complete her spy mission in secret while making her brother think that she’s retired from her previous life of intrigue. The developing relationship between Alastair and Charlotte kept my interest throughout the book, because I appreciated the contrast between Alastair’s more scientific mind and Charlotte’s intelligent sneakiness. For only .99 cents right now, this is well worth picking up.