Coming Soon from Theresa Romain

Lady Rogue (The Roguish Runners Duo #1) by Theresa Romain

The first book in historical romance author Theresa Romain’s new series is out in one week. It follows the recent trend for books about art forgery.

I’ll be reviewing it soon.

Her Secret Scandal

As far as London’s high society knows, Lady Isabel Morrow is above reproach. But the truth is rarely so simple. Though the young widow’s passionate fling with dashing Bow Street Runner Callum Jenks ended amicably months ago, she now needs his expertise. It seems Isabel’s late husband, a respected art dealer, was peddling forgeries. If those misdeeds are revealed, the marriage prospects of his younger cousin—now Isabel’s ward—will be ruined.

For the second time, Isabel has upended Callum’s well-ordered world. He’s resolved to help her secretly replace the forgeries with the real masterpieces, as a…friend. A proper sort of friend doesn’t burn with desire, of course, or steal kisses on twilight errands. Or draw a willing lady into one passionate encounter after another. Isabel’s scheme is testing Callum’s heart as well as his loyalties. But with pleasure so intoxicating, the real crime would be to resist.

 

Passion Favours the Bold (The Royal Rewards Duo #2) by Theresa Romain

passion-favors-the-bold-the-royal-rewards-duo-2-by-theresa-romain

Yay for a cover that matches the book!

DESPERATE MEASURES
Georgette Frost’s time is almost up. On her twenty-first birthday, the protections outlined in her late parents’ will are set to expire. With prospects for employment or marriage unfavorable at best, she decides to leave London and join her brother, Benedict, on a treasure hunt for gold sovereigns stolen from the Royal Mint.
 
DANGEROUS LIAISONS
 Lord Hugo Starling has always felt protective of his friend Benedict’s sister, Georgette. So when he discovers her dressed in ragged boy’s clothes, about to board a coach for parts unknown, he feels duty bound to join her search. But mystery piles upon mystery as they cross England together, not least of which is the confounded attraction between them. As Georgette leads him to a reward he never expected, Hugo realizes he’s embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime…

Passion Favours the Bold (The Royal Rewards Duo #2) by Theresa Romain

^^^^ See what I did with the spelling!

There aren’t many authors whose books I’d pick up when they advertise two of my three most hated historical romance tropes: the heroine in breeches, and the treasure hunt. (The third is the “duke who is a spy”.)

However, I have really enjoyed most of the books Theresa Romain has written, and so I took a chance. Her books are often lighter-hearted, but usually they’re funny rather than trying to be funny.

Firstly: the silly boy’s disguise disappears near the beginning of the book.

Secondly: the treasure-hunting adventure wasn’t some relentless tale of mad capers. This was at least as much a ROMANCE, with strong character development, as it was anything else.

And that is what is so special about this author’s books: the characters take their time, have quirks, and fall in love despite all the conflicts and flaws (Kate Noble is another author who does this).

There are some steamy scenes, but there is no conventional sex scene in this book. Even the first kiss comes a while in – and I liked this pacing. Even when they’re pretending to be married, hero and heroine are not jumping into bed together.

These two characters are a little strange, and have many issues to work their way through.

However, they are both great fun, and genuinely enjoy spending time together. The forced proximity worked because it wasn’t some obvious attempt to throw them straight into passionate love.

One other thing I absolutely love is that Romain often writes characters who are *slightly* socially below those in most Regency romances. Yes, the hero of this one is the son of a duke, but he’s a *younger* son, with almost no chance of ever inheriting, and so he has a career instead: medicine.

Romain’s use of British English has improved. It’s nice to see words like pavement in this book.

HOWEVER, a sentence ends with a FULL STOP, and never a “period”. Many a Regency author from North America uses expressions like ‘put a period to their stay in Northumberland’ – this makes absolutely no sense.

I enjoyed this book because everyone in it was slightly different. It’s nice to have some new ideas in an almost-overused time period.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 4th – 10th April

Autumn Leaves Garden Canberra Australia 6th April 2016 Sonya Heaney Nature

I was hoping to get some good autumn pictures before we head overseas and have another summer, but there’re very few changing leaves because of the hot weather… We had our hottest April day for thirty years on Wednesday (exactly twice Melbourne’s temperature, for example!). I’m never going to break in my new boots.

There’re only days to go now, and I’m not at all ready. We’ll be gone for about two months, which means there’re two months of life to sort out in advance. We are also scrambling to get all our bookings done for our next trip to Europe in February before we go on the first one!

Russian Team Replaced On Eve Of Hockey Championship, Failed Drug Tests Cited.

Russian Team Replaced On Eve Of Hockey Championship, Failed Drug Tests Cited.

It just doesn’t end, does it.

Which leads me to this.

The Netherlands did something very, VERY pro-Putin and pro-Kremlin in their referendum this week, and I am VERY angry about it. Apparently thousands of Ukrainian lives lost to terrorism sure don’t matter, whereas dozens of French and Belgian lives sure do… The world has a very established hierarchy for how much value a life from each nation has.

Hey – remember Russia shooting down MH17, and how all those Dutch people died?

I read Sylvia Day’s new book this week (which was VERY long, for some reason), as well as finishing a really good historical fiction novel about slavery in the US South during the Civil War. Both to be reviewed soon.

Release Day for J.R. Ward

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14) by J.R. Ward

My review of The SEAL’s Second Chance (Alpha Ops #3) by Anne Calhoun

The SEAL's Second Chance (Alpha Ops #3) by Anne Calhoun

My review of Want Ad Wedding by Cheryl St.John

Want Ad Wedding by Cheryl St.John

My review of Fortune Favours the Wicked by Theresa Romain

Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

My review of His Forbidden Debutante (Regency Charms #4) by Anabelle Bryant

Deep space

Fortune Favours the Wicked by Theresa Romain

Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board—and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything—and everyone—he’s experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…
 
When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realises her tenacity is matched only by Benedict’s—and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they’ll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they’ve always dreamed of for a love they’ve never known…

Fortune Favours the Wicked by Theresa Romain

(Sorry, but I *had* to add the U to the title. This book IS set in England!)

Theresa Romain is such an original writer. In a genre that tends to be very samey, she always comes up with something new.

While I would never have picked up this book if I wasn’t familiar with the author (the blurb just doesn’t appeal to me), she manages to make me enjoy anything she writes. She makes you want to try more outlandish stories.

You’re not going to get much more original in historical romance than a courtesan heroine and a blind hero. These are not “types” that work with many readers, and I’m glad somebody was willing to give this story a chance. My first feelings were very much for our hero, who is up against all the usual assumptions about his condition. Nobody wants to publish his book because they refuse to believe a blind man could achieve what he achieved (the author’s note says he was based on a real man).

Romain’s writing is fairly unique, which I suppose goes with her unique characters. Even if I love some of her books more than others, it’s a nice style to read.

While I know many a reader was looking forward to the author’s newest book in her horse racing series over this one; I have to say this one – while not my favourite from her – appeals to me more.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 2nd – 8th November

Sunset Canberra Australia Sinya Heaney 7th November 2015

My totally unedited photograph of Canberra’s sunset on Saturday – taken from the back of a car!

 Tuggeranong Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 2nd November 2015 Spring Sky Clouds Nature A Few Minutes Apart

Monday evening in Canberra. Pictures taken from the same spot, a few minutes apart!

Raghad Khanfoura, 4, poses for a picture a few hours before she was killed in a Russian airstrike on her grandparents house in the central Syrian village of Habeet, Syria.

Raghad Khanfoura, 4, poses for a picture a few hours before she was killed in a Russian airstrike on her grandparents’ house in Syria. Please stop believing and sharing the Kremlin propaganda that says the US is only killing civilians, and Russia is only killing ISIS fighters! I can’t believe how many Westerners are falling for it!

Okay, I’m Ukrainian Catholic, we socialise with a religious community, but the results of THIS STUDY do not surprise me in the slightest. You don’t come across many religious people in Canberra, but in recent times – elsewhere – I’ve been coming into contact with more and more evangelical types, and I find this study to be exactly what I expected.

Please read the statistics. Most news reports on this study don’t share the actual breakdown of results. Nor do they – as this article DOES – mention what side religion was on with things like apartheid and US Civil Rights.

My review of A Talent for Trickery (The Thief-takers #1) by Alissa Johnson

A Talent for Trickery (The Thief-takers #1) by Alissa Johnson

My review of The Sport of Baronets (Romance of the Turf #0.5) by Theresa Romain

The Sport of Baronets (Romance of the Turf #0.5) by Theresa Romain

My review of Safe Harbour (Drake Sisters #5) by Christine Feehan

Safe Harbour (Drake Sisters #5) by Christine Feehan Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters #5) by Christine Feehan

Lisa Kleypas’ Next Book

Marrying Winterborne (2016) by Lisa Kleypas

Crimson Peak

crimson-peak-10-1500x844

A romance with a man and a… very large dog?

Chasing Victory (The Winters Sisters) by Joanne Jaytanie

The Sport of Baronets (Romance of the Turf #0.5) by Theresa Romain

The Sport of Baronets (Romance of the Turf #0.5) by Theresa Romain

An original novella introducing Romance of the Turf, Theresa Romain’s exciting new Regency romance series…

The lives of Sir Bartlett Crosby and Hannah Chandler have been marked by fierce competition between their elite families…the perfect breeding ground for a mutual attraction neither can deny.

Bart hopes to conquer “the turf” through victory in a much-touted match. Should his heavily-favoured colt win, the Crosby reputation and fortunes would be revived. Bart’s plan seems poised for success until the lovely Hannah Chandler, daughter of a noted rival trainer, turns up claiming ownership of the colt. When Hannah insists on claiming her purchase, the prize colt disappears from Bart’s stable. Theft or treachery? As Hannah and Bart rush to solve the mystery before race time, they uncover a scandalous truth about their families’ pasts-a truth that has the potential to either destroy both their futures, or to guide them to a love they never imagined.

The Sport of Baronets (Romance of the Turf #0.5) by Theresa Romain

I’m quite a fan of Theresa Romain’s historical romances, so I got this one without reading the blurb. I’m going to assume the bleeding obvious, that this is the introduction to a new series!

While I’m really excited about the new series, I did find all the horse talk a little… well, it wasn’t for me. I’ve found recently that – as horse-mad as I was when I was younger, and as jealous as I was of my friends who had horses – it can be a little boring reading about them.

However, Romain is one of the better voices in historical romance. I don’t always agree with and love everything, but she not only tries new things and different settings, but she doesn’t insist on all her characters being dukes and duchesses. She introduces more interesting characters by having them a rung or two down the social ladder.

I wish more authors would do this!

It was an unfortunate thing (coincidence, I’m guessing) that this book was released ON Melbourne Cup Day (the Melbourne Cup being one of the biggest and most important horse races in the world). The reason? Because naming your racehorse trainer Bart conjures images of one of the world’s greatest racehorse trainers: Bart Cummings.

Bart Cummings

Cummings won the Melbourne Cup twelve times. Whatever he was, sexy was not one of those things – at least for me!

This is not my favourite book by this author – not by a long shot. However, you can do a lot worse than Romain’s work.

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 3rd – 9th August

Sunset Queanbeyan near Canberra Australia 19th July 2015 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney Clouds Sky Winter

Sunset from a few days ago.

Queanbeyan City Council Grease

Saturday night involved a trip to see Grease, theatre version. Yes, I’m well aware of the spectacularly sexist ending, but when a bunch of Ukrainian women are going to the theatre (and drinks, of course there’re drinks!) and they say: want a ticket? well, you go. 🙂

After just writing about how tired I am of single parents in my romances (and widowed heroes and heroines, too), in the fortnight since writing that post that’s all I’ve read! Actually two of the books I read this week – one sweet historical Western, and a nineteenth-century story set in New Orleans – were very good. It’s just… is there anyone left writing about characters who aren’t widowed and/or parents?

Meanwhile, in Russian-occupied Crimea, Kremlin-approved Nazi symbols are coming out, right alongside Putin’s picture *:

nazi-style propaganda in russian-occupied crimea 5th August 2015

Am I out of touch with romance readers? Or is it the publishers’ fault?

Harlequin Publishing Logo

Mills and Boon Logo

Coming up for Lisa Kleypas

Cold-Hearted Rake (2015) by Lisa Kleypas

Theresa Romain’s Upcoming Book

Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

My review of The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett

The Marriage Act by Alyssa Everett

My review of Brown-Eyed Girl (Travises #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Brown-Eyed Girl (2015) (The fourth book in the Travis series) by Lisa Kleypas

My review of A Rose for Major Flint (Brides of Waterloo #3) by Louise Allen

A Rose for Major Flint (Brides of Waterloo #3) by Louise Allen

Theresa Romain’s Upcoming Book

Not out until the 29th of March next year, this one will be interesting, if Theresa Romain’s recent writing is anything to go by.

The dress is gorgeous, and I really like the covers this author is getting. Nobody’s clothes are falling off.

I still find it weird to see books set in England with words like “Favor” in the titles, however…

In the game of seduction, everyone wins…

INDECENTLY LUCKY
 
As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board—and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything—and everyone—he’s experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…
 
When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realises her tenacity is matched only by Benedict’s—and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they’ll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they’ve always dreamed of for a love they’ve never known…

Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

The Week: 5th – 11th January

christmas-canberra-australia-blue-silver-1st-december-2014-sonya-heaney1

Busy week! Hot week. It was Ukrainian Christmas, which we celebrate over the 6th (Christmas Eve) and 7th. Now we have New Year next week, and then half the family has birthdays. Before we know it there’ll be two Easters to deal with! Apparently there’re already hot cross buns on the shelves, which is sad. Good on Paris for leaving their decorations up for the second (and original!) Christmas!

This guy isn’t ours, but when he stands out in the rain, looking pathetic…

Ernie Ragdoll Cat 9th January 2015 Oksana Heaney Sonya Heaney

Terrible things happening all over the place this week, too. Russian news claimed the terror attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris were organised by the CIA, while some of their Orthodox leaders praised the attacks. Too many terrible people in the world at the moment…

A cartoon from The Canberra Times made it all over the world after the event:

Charlie Hebdo Cartoon The Canberra Times

I found out this week that people in my family have been called up into the Ukrainian Army to fight the Russian invasion. On a better note, I received a letter from Australia’s Prime Minister (well, probably his office, but close enough!) addressing some of the issues we’ve had with his handling of Ukraine – and the fact he continues to call the country by the Russian insult ‘the Ukraine’.

Revisiting the Russian romance book thing…

Dimitri Her Russian Protector 2 by Roxie Rivera

Cover Love

The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

My review of What A Woman Desires by Rachel Brimble

What A Woman Desires by Rachel Brimble

My review of Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress (The Matchmaker Trilogy #3) by Theresa Romain

My review of Cowboy Seeks a Bride by Louise M. Gouge

Cowboy Seeks a Bride by Louise M. Gouge

Weird book packaging…

The M.D. She Had To Marry by Christine Rimmer

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress by Theresa Romain

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress (The Matchmaker Trilogy #3) by Theresa Romain

One good proposition deserves another…

Heiress Augusta Meredith can’t help herself—she stirs up gossip wherever she goes. A stranger to Bath society, she pretends to be a charming young widow, until sardonic, darkly handsome Joss Everett arrives from London and uncovers her charade.

Augusta persuades Joss to keep her secret in exchange for a secret of his own. Weaving their way through the treacherous pitfalls of a polite world only too eager to expose and condemn them, they begin to see that being true to themselves is not so bad…as long as they’re true to each other…

Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress (The Matchmaker Trilogy #3) by Theresa Romain

I have some of Theresa Romain’s Regency romances on my “Favourites” list, and Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress was definitely one of her best books. Set in Bath in a chilly spring of 1817, this book features characters who exist just outside the lofty heights of the snobbish upper classes.

Romain’s books hover somewhere between the flightier, dare I say it, wallpaper historical romances and something more serious and better-researched. There’s a lot of humour while she deals with serious issues, but it’s a balance I like. I adore the fact her characters are all so, so original, and I like that she digs into little corners of the Regency world others don’t bother with. I believe these are real people living real lives because they’re unique.

I do struggle with some of the same mistakes popping up book after book. Having English characters from 1817 using the American slang word taffy to describe things, for example. And the fact she still persists in behavioural anachronisms: having men and women of different classes meeting and greeting with handshakes!!

One of my favourite characters was the insufferable baron, second cousin to the hero. He was consistent in his drug and alcohol-induced, oblivious state, living the life of the privileged and taking the entire world for granted. You could never quite hate him because he was such a clueless mess all on his own.

As for the main romance, I found it fascinating. I have to admit that at first the actions of the characters were baffling to me. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how these two knew each other or why they were teaming up to gallivant about the town. I did come to enjoy it a lot, however, and liked that things between them changed and grew. As with the rest of the book, the relationship is character-based, and their complex personalities drive the relationship; it’s not just about the sex!

I think Romain did a wonderful job of creating a sense of the place and the era with this book. For whatever reason, I love this series a lot more than her other series, and will be sad to see it end.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.