His Innocent Bride Review

nsfw warning

His Innocent BrideGoing about her mundane life in a small fishing village, Alethea never dreamed she would end up with a man like the Earl of Deanswood, yet when she caught the handsome gentleman’s eye he wasted no time in making her his wife. Unbeknownst to Alethea, however, her conniving mother has convinced Deanswood that she has no interest in the marital bed. Devastated by his seeming disinterest, Alethea searches for someone to instruct her in the ways of enticing a man.

When a friend informs Deanswood of Alethea’s plans, he decides to train his new bride himself. Soon enough, Alethea finds herself naked, blindfolded, and helplessly bound as she is thoroughly spanked and then brought to one blushing, quivering climax after another. But when Alethea’s life is threatened by her mother’s vicious scheming, can Deanswood protect his innocent bride?

This is not the type of historical fiction novel that I would normally be into, but I saw the author promoting this book on Twitter and decided to give it a try!

Alethea is a very naive girl. She is very sheltered and knows little to nothing about what goes on behind closed doors with a man and a wife. She is lucky enough to have escaped the area where she grew up, where a woman could be driven to suicide for being found in a compromising position with a man, but she still has those poisonous thoughts in her head. When her husband doesn’t come to her bed on their wedding night, she is sure that she has done something wrong, and she wants to find out how to do things properly so that her husband would be interested in her.

At times, I think Alethea was a little too naive. Even if she didn’t know anything about sex, surely if she had any brains she wouldn’t have thought to just go to a random “seedy” place to try to find an instructor. A plethora of horrible things could have happened to her, but the author finds ways to still allow her to be foolish and have a happy ending. I think that the story definitely makes you feel for Alethea, even when she is putting herself in direct danger.

The plot of this book did move very smoothly and I found myself finishing it in one sitting. The point of view does switch when the plot requires it to, but it is not confusing and does not draw away from the main storyline. I was even able to tell characters apart, which can be difficult in a historical romance novel where some things just seem to meld together.

I also appreciated the fact that this novel was on the longer side. I didn’t feel as if I had been cheated out of the storyline, and I didn’t feel as if I was reading shell characters. Each character had their own individual personality, and actions that fit that personality. Besides being worried about and annoyed by Alethea’s naivety at times, I truly enjoyed reading this novel!

I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a historical romance novel with non-vanilla romance scenes and an addictive storyline.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Marquess and His Maiden ARC Review

The Marquess and the Maiden (Lords of Vice, #2)Harriet Wheatley is the mastermind behind the Ladies of Virtue’s quest to rehabilitate the gentlemen of the ton. So when it comes to selecting her own target, she knows who to choose: Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport—the most extravagant wastrel in all of London.

Known for his opulent lifestyle, Oliver isn’t surprised by Harriet’s confrontation. It’s obvious Harriet longs for any way to take him down a notch. She says she’ll help him find a bride, but he knows it’s only because it gives her the excuse to chastise his indulgent ways.

Oliver has good reason for his flagrant overspending, but Harriet will hear nothing of it. So he has no choice but to teach the lady a lesson, even if it means risking his heart to the hard-headed and fiery woman.

I am occasionally iffy about Regency romances. Even though I had my ups and downs with this couple, I loved Heather and Oliver being together by the end of this story

Harriet’s involvement with the Ladies of Virtue made for a very unique story. I’ll be honest, I struggled to figure out the true purpose of this organization. At first, I thought it was some sort of Robin Hood type of thing, but then it just seemed as if they were trying to change the men to be more charitable. I wish that more time had been spent in this story really explaining what this organization was for.

I won’t spoil anything, but by the time I got to the end of the novel, I didn’t really see the point in their whole storyline of “trying” to get together. They almost always had chemistry, even if they tried to deny it. It didn’t make their romance pointless, but a lot of the “drama” between the two had me facepalming.

I did like the fact that Harriet was successful in her own way. Rather than succumbing to the “old maid” syndrome. She didn’t stop her life because she didn’t have a husband, or even feel the need to get a husband. She just wanted to live her life and better her community.

Even though Harriet may have been more spirited than the typical woman of the time, this book still stayed pretty historically accurate. It discussed the issues of women fighting against alcohol abuse, and woman fighting for the good of their communities. They didn’t want the rich men to have all of the power and waste their money on pointless things, dragging their communities to the ground.

The plot of this story moved smoothly, and it started to move quickly after the beginning had finished. It took me a bit of time to get into the story due to a bit of a time skip at the start, but then I got hooked!

I would recommend this short story if you enjoy Regency romances with strong female main characters and sweet love stories.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

The Earl’s Regret Review

The Earl's Regret: Regency Romance (Gentlemen and Brides)

Elizabeth is excited to finally meet her betrothed, but when she goes to a dance, she becomes interested in a handsome young man. To her surprise, this man is Lord Mallon, her betrothed. The two of them have a happy start to their relationship, but then a tragedy sends Lord Mallon back home to be with his family. He leaves a note for Elizabeth, but Elizabeth never receives it and thinks that he left her for no reason. Lord Mallon must find a way back to his betrothed and Elizabeth must trust him, before a lost letter and devious cousin tear them apart.

I love books about arranged marriages where the two characters start to fall for each other before they even know each other’s names, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Elizabeth and Luke/Lord Mallon are unique characters, and they are very connected with their families. Soon, their families are to become one, but someone doesn’t want that to happen.

This plot was smooth and I personally loved the storyline twists and turns, but I did feel that the action at the end was a little rushed. I won’t spoil anything, but if you read it yourself you will see. This didn’t take away from the overall story.

This story didn’t have that much descriptive worldbuilding as most of the novel focused on the romance, but the different places that Luke and Elizabeth visited did have some description. The main focus was the character development and description of the different characters added to the story. Elizabeth has a life of her own and has friends of her own, and all of them have unique stories and personalities. Her relationship with her mother is also touched upon. Luke is a bit more mysterious, but his relationship with his family is expanded upon during the tragedy arc of the story. His relationship with a specific family member is also important in the story, but I won’t spoil anything!

This book was short, but besides the ending, it didn’t feel too rushed. I didn’t even notice any editing errors even though I had an advance copy of the novel.  I enjoyed spending time in Luke and Elizabeth’s world, and I think that you will too!

I would recommend this book to lovers of clean historical romance novels.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

The Duke’s Secrets Review

The Duke's Secrets

Mary Eldrige is of age to be married, but she has no one willing to court her. Mr. Haskett comes along to try to woo her, but he has some secrets of his own. He even admits to courting other women to try to find the perfect wife for himself. Mary starts to fall for him, but she does not know if she can even fully trust him.

One of the first thing that the main male love interest in this novel does is compare women to flowers, saying that he courts many because “not every bouquet purchased will smell sweet, nor look fresh, for long after it is brought home.” To me, this was literally one of the worst things that he could have said on a first date. I disliked him from this point forward, and this sort of ruined the romance for me. However, this did not turn Mary away from him at all, as in the next paragraph it says that “She barely knew this man and yet…and yet she was inexplicably drawn to him.” This made me dislike Mary, for agreeing with his faulty reasoning. I could understand if he says a woman’s scent or “attitude” changes, but saying that he wouldn’t court them any longer if they are not as pretty as he first thought they were seemed quite rude to me.

Also, this whole thing is ordered by Mary’s mother. Mary’s mother seems to be trying to live vicariously through her daughter. She went down a rank in society when she married Mary’s father, but she only wants her daughter to move up. She literally makes herself sick with worry as she prays that her daughter doesn’t have to move down a rank.

Overall, this was a disappointing regency romance. The characters were shallow, and the only thing that kept me going was the suspense of the plot. I’m glad that the story was short because if it had been drawn out I would not have been able to finish it. Even though I thought things were going to be different at the end, it just ended in a very cliche way as well. I don’t recommend this one.

Overall Rating: 1/5

Hearts and Ever Afters: Regency Romance Collection Box Set Review

Hearts and Ever Afters: Regency Romance Collection by [Alec, Joyce]

I read every single book within this box set, so I am going to write a short review for each and then average out the ratings for a box set rating.

An Earl’s Agreement

Lucy does not wish to marry Lord Hutton, a very old man. Instead, she betrothed herself to Lord Caldwell to escape the situation. Everything seems to be going well as Edward and Lucy start to fall for each other, but Lord Hutton is not willing to give up his prize so easily.

Lucy and Edward’s relationship was so sweet, even if they started out as not knowing each other and only getting engaged for convenience. I also thought that Lucy was one of the strongest women in this box set, which was a change from the usual “damsel in distress” regency romance girls.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Married to a Marquess

Alice married William, but after the wedding, she has not seen him for three years. She decides to disguise herself and find out what her husband has been up to. Hopefully, she will be able to finally be free from his control.

I have to say that this story was probably my least favorite in the box set? I know that this is supposed to be regency romance with happy endings. However, if Alice had been strong, she would have left William and gone on to make her own life. I think I would have enjoyed this book better if it had been William searching for his long-lost wife and accidentally falling in love with her. The way the plot went was not completely uninteresting though, and I didn’t absolutely hate reading it.

Overall Rating: 3/5

A Viscount’s Second Chance

Henry has lost Eleanor before, but he is determined not to lose her again. Another man is vying for her affections, but there is something fishy about him. Soon, a friend of Eleanor’s is blamed for a robbery, and Henry must assist Eleanor and her friend in getting out of the situation. Nevertheless, his reputation precedes him, and he must work twice as hard in order not to lose the woman he loves.

I enjoyed this story because it showed the fact that not everyone who is rich in these romances may actually be good people. There were liars in history as well, but sometimes they are forgotten in these novels. I also enjoyed that there was some sort of mystery within this novel to give the plot an extra push.

Overall Rating: 5/5

A Duke for Christmas

Charles and Isabella were friends growing up, even though Isabella was simply the daughter of Charles’ governess. Isabella has disappeared for many years and then she shows up one night at his doorstep, asking for help. Charles must consider his options, and worry about Isabella’s safety as his family members start to attack.

I also really enjoyed this story in the box set and thought of it as unique. Rarely do I see regency romance novels about a rich man marrying a regular woman, and I think that this is a topic that should be expanded upon. This story was also a bit longer, which gave the characters more depth.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Unexpected Earl

Linton and Catherine were friends in childhood, but now they have drifted apart. Linton has a reputation for cheating people, and Catherine does not even want to associate with him. However, when she starts to court another man, Linton suddenly comes back into her life to warn her about him.

I also didn’t like this book as much as the others. When I read the novel when we find out what is wrong with Catherine’s current lover, I thought that it wasn’t a good reason for them to break up. Also, I didn’t particularly like Linton. Even if he tries to change his ways, I still thought of him as a cheat. All in all, the writing was fine, but I just didn’t enjoy the story.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Overall Rating for the Box Set: 4.2/5

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

A Marquess and A Secret ARC Review

A Marquess and a Secret: Regency Romance (Gentlemen and Brides) by [Alec, Joyce]

Lord Rivenhall is in search of a bride, but he is worried that people will only look at him for his money. His best friend Lord Michael returns from being a soldier and has a damaged leg. He is being forced to find a bride, but he is worried that she will never truly love him due to his bad leg. Johnathan/Rivenhall comes up with the "brilliant" idea that the two should switch places so that Michael can find a bride who is willing to try dating him since he would be a marquess, and so Johnathan can find a bride who will love him for him and not for his title. They both follow this plan and start to attend balls while switching places with each other.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the basic premise. I could understand how the plan would work for Johnathan. He wouldn’t have women throwing themselves at him because he was a marquess. But, this plan would never work for Michael. Michael would still have women throwing themselves at him simply because he is the "marquess". When they eventually switch places, Michael’s girl would leave him, and only Johnathan would get to keep his wife.

This story did have its interesting parts, however, especially with the inclusion of Miss Richards. Miss Richards was an unconventional female who didn’t seem very interested in finding a husband. Her character allowed me to be drawn back into the story, and I found myself liking her more as Johnathan fell for her.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick regency romance read including an unconventional bride and a switching-places storyline.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

The Pirate’s Tempting Stowaway Review

The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway (The Dukes of War, #6)

Captain Blackheart is sent to retrieve a woman from the States and bring her to her family in Europe, and he thinks that this will be a simple, albeit strange, mission. When he arrives, he finds out that this woman has consumption, a disease which kills a person almost instantly. He decides to check up on her anyways, partially due to his past, and he is surprised to find that this woman has been living on her own for 6 months but still has not died. Nor was she diagnosed by a proper doctor! He decides to take her to her family anyways, or at least to a proper doctor, and out of the horrible conditions she was living in. ON the long voyage to Europe, the two become close, but he has been ordered not to touch her. After leaving her in Europe he thinks that his mission is over, but Clara recognizes her feelings for him, making it her mission to find him again.

I love these regency romance/historical fiction romance novels, and this was no different. I loved the change of scenery from other Ridley novels. Rather than being in manors or castles, this story takes place half on land and half int he dangerous waters of the ocean.

Clara was an interesting character as well. Although she did need “saving” when she was trapping herself in her house to try and “protect” people from her illness, she was not the damsel in distress throughout the entire story. She actually proved to be quite useful later in the novel, which I quite enjoyed.

Blackheart’s background was also intriguing, and I found myself being drawn in as I learned the stories behind each character.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel, and I cannot wait to venture into the next Regency romance!

I received this book for free through Instafreebie in exchange for my honest review.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5