Minute Reviews [6]

Posted September 25, 2015 by Kim in 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 0 Comments

Minute Reviews

It’s time for another installment of Minute Reviews! Once again, I am ridiculously behind on reviews, so expect a couple more of these posts while I try to get caught up. I’m afraid there’s no real theme for today’s post – just some romances I’ve read (relatively) recently. 🙂

And some of these might be a little longer than my average bite-sized reviews, but, well… just go with it. 😉

And if you want to do reviews like this REALLY easily, check out the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin! It’s amazing. Seriously.

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Minute Reviews [6]Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: March 30, 2010
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: eBook, 436 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:

A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.

In Review: My Thoughts

Books like this are why I love reading historical romance so much! It was witty, romantic, sexy as could be and held me basically hostage until I finished it. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was my first Sarah MacLean book and it was responsible for kicking off a binge-read of not one, but TWO of her series. I lost an entire week’s worth of reading to her books and I won’t apologize for it.

Lady Calpurina Hartwell stole my heart during this book. A spinster with body and self-esteem issues? How could I not find some common ground on which to connect with her? I loved her spunk and sass. Watching her break all the rules and begin living life – even if it wasn’t a life considered traditional for a lady back in those times – made me happy. Her banter with Gabriel was perfection. They had epic chemistry and a first kiss I was certain was going to set my iPad on fire. And the steamier scenes later on? Whew. *wipes sweat from brow* Gabriel was a notorious rake and has tons of issues from his past. But despite all of this, or maybe because of it, I absolutely adored him. He might not’ve been the pairing you’d think of first for a woman like Callie, but it worked. Oh, did it ever work.

If you’re a historical romance fan and you’ve not read Sarah MacLean’s books, do yourself a favor and start now, with this one. It was everything I love about historical romance wrapped up into one book.

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Minute Reviews [6]Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: eBook, 389 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:

Since being named on of London’s “Lords to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, damnably delicious woman he’s ever met!

The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks.

But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless…like falling madly, passionately in love.

In Review: My Thoughts

In the second book in her Love by Numbers series, Sarah MacLean tells us the story of Nick. (You know, Gabriel’s twin.) I was really looking forward to this after being introduced to Nick in the first book. It started off a little slow, but I still really enjoyed it.

Isabel was wonderful. I loved her and the residents of Minerva House. She was strong and independent, which of course led her to have a difficult time with Nick when he came around. She was keeping plenty of secrets and had far more pressure on her than she should. I knew it would be difficult for Nick to live up to his brother Gabriel, in the first book, but he came pretty close. He was charming and I loved the pairing of him and Isabel, even if they did run hot and cold at times. But there was plenty of witty banter and swoon-worthy scenes that made up for the cooler moments.

This series is just wonderful. I love how the characters’ stories are building and I’m already looking forward to learning more about the Duke of Leighton and, eventually, his sister Georgiana. (Though I know that’s part of another series…) Sarah MacLean gives good historical romance. 🙂

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Minute Reviews [6]Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: eBook, 385 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:

There is no telling where a scandal might lead...

She lives for passion.

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips…and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening–risking everything he holds dear–he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.

She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

In Review: My Thoughts

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart was SUCH a great book! I initially had this book as a four star read, but after not being to get it out of my brain since I finished, I decided to bump it to five stars. There were times when it absolutely ripped my heart from my chest, but it put me back together in the end. But you should definitely prepare for an emotional roller coaster with this one!

The Duke of Leighton and Juliana gave me all the forbidden love and sexual tension I could handle with this story. Juliana was awesome. She was sassy and didn’t really care what others though of her, which was a  huge no-no in those days, obviously. Simon was her exact opposite. He was bound by duty and willing to sacrifice his own happiness to marry a “suitable” woman to help smooth over the rough parts of his family’s reputation. It was their differences that made their chemistry so fiery and kept me hooked from the very start.

In a departure from most historical romance I’ve read, Juliana is the one who is pursuing Simon and he’s the one trying to stay away. I loved the shift in dynamic this brought to the story. It so worked. This book was full of passion and forbidden love/lust, feels and emotions (for me and the characters) and swoon-worthy romance. I wasn’t sure my heart could take all of it, because there were times that were difficult to read, but it left me with a big smile on my face when it was all said and done.

As sad as I am to say goodbye to this series, I’m thrilled it kinda rolls over into The Rules of Scoundrels. I can’t wait to devour all of those – AND FINALLY get Georgiana’s story. It’s gonna be a good one!

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About Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of YA and adult romance. She grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for own Season. Her unabashed addiction to historical fiction helped to earn her a degree in European History from Smith College before she moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. After receiving a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Sarah returned to New York, where she lives with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.

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Kim Sig

 

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