I am so behind!

I deleted the post I was going to have today, because the site I was going to reference pissed me off with their nasty comments about blondes!

So, instead, I will tentatively recommend two books I’m less than halfway through reading:

Now, the title of this one is so clunky it makes me want to cry, and the people on the cover have the world’s worst hair, but ignore all of that! Also, it seems to be (there’s no date) set in the 1830s, which has the dorkiest fashion of any era in history (OF COURSE, it’s not represented on the cover), and I love that!

Lisa Kleypas News

While Lisa Kleypas’ website is currently down for maintenance (I live in hope the awful lolly pink background of the last version is now gone forever!), there is some news about her upcoming book in the Ravenels series over at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

The blurb for the next book is below. Surely I’m not the only one who knew EXACTLY what pairing was coming up next!

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule 

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.

Cover Love

Marrying His Cinderella Countess Louise Allen British Cover

Marrying His Cinderella Countess Louise Allen American Cover

^^^^

UK and US covers.

Someone loves Louise Allen, because she gets the best covers Mills and Boon/Harlequin puts out. Sure, nobody ever manages a man who looks like he’s from the 19th century, but compared to most dreadful, anachronistic historical romance covers out there, this is another one that’s pretty great.

Allen is by far one of the best authors for this publisher, and I’m really excited about this new book.

The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors #4) by Sabrina Jeffries

The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors #4) by Sabrina Jeffries

When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.

Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with….But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?

The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors #4) by Sabrina Jeffries

A note: this book has one of THE most embarrassing titles ever, with a Bold and the Beautiful cover. Don’t judge it for that!

For those who are wondering about the heroine’s name: HERE is the origin of “Brilliana”. I liked the choice because it was historically accurate AND unusual. Character names in historical romance can become repetitive, but then authors usually make the mistake of going for anachronistic choices.

I really liked this book. It uses my favourite trope: the reunion romance. It also resolved a storyline that was hinted at in the last instalment in the series.

When I review so many books I do lose track of characters. Between the last entry in the series and this one I’ve read God only knows how many books, but at least forty in the historical romance genre alone. I do wish I’d gone back and reread the scenes between Niall and Brilliana before starting this one – you don’t need to, but it adds something.

There are so many secrets and lies between hero and heroine in The Pleasures of Passion. Niall had to flee England after fighting a duel, but Brilliana wasn’t free to run away with him in that moment. Both of them being young at the time, they were easy to manipulate into thinking each had betrayed the other.

This resulted in years of separation, and Brilliana being forced into marriage to another man, a man who died in terrible circumstances a few years later.

Now, this is the sort of angst I like, especially so when it’s done by a skilled author, as Sabrina Jeffries is. I love more than any other trope an angsty reunion, and I think the drama was drawn out for just long enough.

I always worry when the terms “spy” and “fake engagement” turn up in this genre. I’m not a fan of either, and yet in this book they both worked perfectly for me. The counterfeiting storyline gave the two of them opportunities to sort through the disaster of their failed relationship, and to get over their anger.

I was also happy with Brilliana’s little son, who read as a real child, not a Romance Novel Kid.

I don’t really have any complaints. Pretty much everything in this one worked for me, and it was one of my better reads by this author. And yay for a fair-haired hero!

I will say, though: having a character called “uncle Toby” was a little distracting for me. Uncle Tobys is a breakfast cereal brand!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 12th – 18th June

Canberra Australia Winter Evening Lake Burley Griffin Sonya Heaney 11th June 2017 National Carillon Reflection Nature SunsetIMG_2047

Okay , so this was Sunday afternoon in Canberra *last* week, but I wanted to share.

Canberra Australia Winter Sunny Afternoon Sonya Heaney 14th June 2017 Blue Sky Garden Nature

Gorgeous winter days here. This was Tuesday afternoon.

But then it got a bit foggy a few days later!

We started the week with the Queen’s Birthday holiday, and the week seemed to go fast from there!

At least 200 firefighters and 40 engines on the scene of a huge fire at Grenfell Tower in Latimer Road, near Notting Hill, in West London. 14th June 2017.

My God, that fire in London was awful. My last home in the city was very close to the location of the fire – my street (in Notting Hill) is in the picture above. England can’t catch a break at the moment.

My review of The Runaway Bride by Patricia Johns

The Runaway Bride (Harlequin Heartwarming) by Patricia Johns

My review of The Secret Marriage Pact by Georgie Lee

Interesting thoughts over at Vox