Best of 2014

As with every year, these are – in no particular order – the books that entertained me the most this year. Many of them are 2014 releases, but not all of them!

I hadn’t planned on my reading to go the way it did this year. I expected to read more suspense than I did, and my ongoing obsession with historical fiction really derailed things!

 

The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

The Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter

Danger Close by Kaylea Cross

Danger Close by Kaylea Cross

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

night broken_front mech.indd

Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare

Ride the Fire by Pamela Clare Second Cover

Marriage Made in Money by Sophia James

Marriage Made in Money by Sophia James

The Captive by Grace Burrowes

The Captive by Grace Burrowes

The Counterfeit Mistress by Madeline Hunter

The Counterfeit Mistress by Madeline Hunter

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

The Laird by Grace Burrowes

The Laird by Grace Burrowes

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3) by Patricia Briggs

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Midnight’s Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

Midnight’s Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

Surrender by Pamela Clare

Surrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers #1) by Pamela Clare

The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

The Conquest of Lady Cassandra by Madeline Hunter

The Conquest of Lady Cassandra by Madeline Hunter

A Rake’s Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden

A Rake’s Guide to Seduction by Caroline Linden

A 1950s Housewife (nonfiction) by Sheila Hardy

 A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy

 

And a book that will be released in 2015:

 

Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly

Temptation Has Green Eyes by Lynne Connolly

How to Tempt a Viscount by Margaret McPhee

How to Tempt a Viscount by Margaret McPhee

London,1807

A disastrous start to their marriage had led Ellen to leave her husband, Marcus Henshall, Viscount Stanley. Instead of retreating in humiliation, Ellen has been busy learning how to transform herself from a timid girl into a confident, sensual siren.

Now she has returned to London-and Marcus-with a mission; to seduce her husband and show him how it feels to have desire go unrequited. But when her plan starts working, she may not be able to resist her own attraction to Marcus…

How to Tempt a Viscount by Margaret McPhee

I bought this one because I loved another one of the author’s books: The Gentleman Rogue.

How to Tempt a Viscount is a bit steamier, and it’s also a novella, so things have to happen pretty fast. I do like stories involving couples who are already married, and this is the case with this one. The hero married the heroine even though at the time he wanted to marry another woman. He was forced into the situation and is resentful about it at first.

Being a steamier read, the characters do some fairly outrageous things, such as our formerly timid and shy – though deeply in love – heroine consulting a courtesan about how to seduce her husband.

What I like best about this author’s writing is the way she captures life in early nineteenth century England (this one is in 1807, placing it before the Regency era). We didn’t get to see as much of it in this story, but I still appreciated the glimpses we had.

This is a very quick read.

The Week: 18th – 24th August

Kyiv Ukraine

This weekend marks Ukrainian Independence Day, and Russia has spent the lead-up invading, abducting and slaughtering. Amongst the images to come out this week were some from a fashion show in Moscow that featured a child model dressed as Ukraine, waving a gun around and then pretending to shoot herself in the head. Lovely.

Russian Moscow fashion show has child model as Ukraine shooting herself in the head. August 2014

And then we have bastards like this one:

23rd august 2014

Russia’s evil propaganda cancer is turning the people into nasty creatures.

I would be hugely surprised if some major killing (more than usual – which is already shockingly bad) didn’t happen before the weekend is over. Russia won’t like Ukrainians devoting a day to celebrating their independence.

I’ve read some great books this week, including the first two books in one of Pamela Clare’s historical series. I’d have read the third book, too, but for some reason it isn’t available on Kindle, so I have to wait for the paperback to arrive. I prefer paperbacks, but this one has the most embarrassing cover!

My review of The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

My review of Maverick for Hire by Leanne Banks

Maverick for Hire by Leanne Banks

My review of Fiona’s Flame by Rachael Herron

Fiona's Flame by Rachael Herron

My review of The Homecoming by Robyn Carr

The Homecoming (Thunder Point #6) by Robyn Carr

My review of A Groom Worth Waiting For by Sophie Pembroke

A Groom Worth Waiting For by Sophie Pembroke

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

INESCAPABLE, UNDENIABLE AND IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST!

In a Mayfair ballroom, beautiful Emma Northcote stands in amazement. For gazing at her, with eyes she’d know anywhere, is Ned Stratham—a man whose roguish charm once held her captivated.

But that was another life in another part of London.

With their past mired in secrets and betrayal, and their true identities now at last revealed, Ned realizes they can never rekindle their affair. For only he knows that they share a deeper connection—one that could make Emma hate him if she ever discovered the truth…

The Gentleman Rogue by Margaret McPhee

Sometimes I just randomly download a review book because I can’t think of anything I’m in the mood to read. I don’t even bother worrying about the plot or the blurb.

I did it with this one and was so surprised. It is one of the best historical romances I’ve read in a long time – one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a long time. I was worried when I realised this was part of a series I hadn’t read, but you would never know it was. It’s a perfect standalone read.

The Regency era sometimes seems tired because it’s so overused, but this author found so many new, interesting things to cover. I think I’ll just do some dot points of what I liked, or I’ll be going on forever:

  • Characters who live and work in the East End, not just Mayfair.
  • A genuinely good hero who is “tortured” for legitimate reasons.
  • A villain who is only a villain in some ways, and a decent guy in others.
  • An interesting heroine with an interesting story and future.
  • Great research.
  • Familiar (even tired) settings reworked and made interesting again.
  • Some real drama and some huge conflicts for the relationship, and major obstacles in the way of a happy ending for the characters.

One thing I didn’t like was how the characters kept saying way instead of far. It made them sound like 21st century teenagers with poor grammar. e.g. Way too far.

I can’t really go into details of the plot without ruining things, but if – like me – some of the historical romance tropes are starting to seem a little boring, then you might want to read this book.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.