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Archive for 'Romance'

A Dangerous Madness

A Dangerous Madness (2014) Michelle Diener (Regency London) Set in London in 1812 “I can’t marry you, Pheebs. I know that’s going to make things difficult for you and I want to go through with it, of course I do, it would solve a number of problems, but I don’t have the time for it, […]

Monk’s Hood

Monk’s Hood (1980) Ellis Peters (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) Set in England in 1138 The tide of civil war between King Stephen and the partisans of the Empress Maud had receded into the southwestern borders, leaving Shrewsbury to recover cautiously from having backed the weaker side and paid a bloody price for it. Pope Innocent […]

One Corpse Too Many

One Corpse Too Many (1979) Ellis Peters (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) Set in England in 1138. This is set with the civil war between King Stephen and Empress Maud in the forefront of the story. In this early summer of 1138 the fratricidal strife, hitherto somewhat desultory, was already two years old, but never before […]

The Emperor’s Conspiracy

The Emperor’s Conspiracy (2012) Michelle Diener (Regency London) Set in England in 1811. Once you accept the premise of the relationship between Charlotte and Lady Howe, this is a fantastic mystery and romance. Lady Howe really is marvelous. “There is no man in this house,” Catherine said into the silence. “So I’ll ask you as […]

Banquet of Lies

Banquet of Lies (2013) Michelle Diener (Regency London) Set in London in 1812. Another favorite. “We’ve been fattening Mavis up,” Iris said, and something in the way she said it made Gigi go very still. If this was evidence of Mavis with more meat on her bones, she must have been a walking skeleton when […]

An Unexpected Gentleman

An Unexpected Gentleman (2011) Alissa Johnson (Haverston Family) Set in the early 1800s in Scotland All Adelaide Ward wants is to marry for the security of her family: her sister, her nephew, and (probably) her brother. And if doing that means marrying Baron Robert Maxwell, she is willing to do so. But Connor Brice wants […]

Nearly a Lady

Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson (Haverston Family) Set in England and Scotland during the regency, after the wars with Napoleon. Gideon Haverston has returned home from war with both physical scars and mental ones. Gideon shifted his weight to his good leg, pivoted, knocked the barrel of the rifle away with one hand, and […]

A Morbid Taste for Bones

A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977) Ellis Peters (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael) Set in England in 1137. The herbarium in particular was his kingdom, for he had built it up gradually through the fifteen years of labour, and added to it many exotic plants of his own careful raising, collected in a roving youth that […]

Waiting for the Flood

Waiting for the Flood (2015/2024) Alexis Hall (Spires) This is both a reissue and a revision, with Marius’ story–Chasing the Light–added, along with bonus material and an epilogue short story. I wanted (and this is straying perilously close to analysing my own work so please take this with a mine full of salt) to explore […]

Loud and Clear

Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne This is probably one of my favorite novellas, one I reach for when I’m feeling terrible and need to get out of my own head. “Don’t bother,” he said, nodding at the notepad. Caleb looked up at him and frowned. “I mean. You can write, if you wanna, if […]

Breeze Spells and Bridegrooms

Breeze Spells and Bridegrooms (2024) Sarah Wallace, S.O. Callahan (Fae & Human Relations: A Regency Fantasy Series) Roger Barnes failed his Hastings Exam–the magical test that determines which child can inherit. He believes the is inherently problematic, and goes up before the Council to propose a different testing scheme. Many humans, once they reached the […]

The Wolf at Bay

The Wolf at Bay (2019) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) I love the beginning of the book so much. “You’ve been standing here staring at that flower shop for fifteen minutes. So is it for her birthday or anniversary, or are you making up for a fight? Because I’ve been married for thirty-two years, and […]

Where There’s a Kilt, There’s a Way

Where There’s a Kilt, There’s a Way (2021) Ella Stainton (Kilty Pleasures) Set in Scotland and Sweden in 1930 (I)t gave Joachim a place where he could pay rent instead of sponging off his lover and not have to ask to borrow Ainsley’s motorcar. Not that Ainsley minded—he never seemed put out to share at […]

The Wolf at the Door

The Wolf at the Door (2019) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) “It’s a standing joke around the Trust that the real reason behind the coming-out was to combat the number of public indecency charges wolves rack up every year.” “You’ve got exactly twenty-seven hours and then I’m coming in there and trimming you down,” Park […]

Lady Ambition’s Dilemma

Lady Ambition’s Dilemma (2024) Jane Steen (Lady Helena Investigates) Set in England in 1883. Lady Helena is approaching the end of her mourning period, following the death of her husband in 1881. Although she still misses Justin, she is ready to return to the world–and her growing feelings for Armand Fortier also need to be […]

Damaged Goods

Damaged Goods (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) The worst thing about Samir’s parents—worse than the cruelty, the manipulation, the toxicity—was the fact that Samir had loved them. You would think, with the number of awful things she’d done in her life, that they’d all blur together. But she remembered every desperate, acidic moment. Those two words […]

A Girl Like Her

A Girl Like Her (2018) Talia Hibbert (Ravenswood) Avoiding conflict was his mode of operation. They’d taught him that at basic training, once they’d figured out his hair-trigger temper. Always avoid conflict. “No,” she interrupted. “But you don’t need to cook for me.” “I do,” he said calmly, “because if you die of malnutrition just […]

Paladin’s Hope

Paladin’s Hope (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) Galen is one of the broken paladins of the Saint of Steel. Like his brothers (and sisters) in arms, he works for the White Rat, and does his best to be helpful. He was one of the two paladins who survived Hollowbind, and the guilt sometimes […]

Paladin’s Strength

Paladin’s Strength (2021) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) For some reason, every time Galen said”Boss” to Istvhan I kept thinking of Loiosh from Steven Brust’s Vlad Taltos series. “What are you afraid of, Boss?” “Shut up, Loiosh.” “What if she kills you, Boss?” called Galen. “Then either avenge me or put her in charge. […]

The Best Corpse for the Job

The Best Corpse for the Job (2014) Charlie Cochrane (Lindenshaw Mysteries) Queer cozy mystery: a comforting reread. Note to self, three: Don’t even think about falling for him. Too complicated. (p. 46) Note to self, four: do not ignore note three. (p. 46) Note to self, five: Do not ignore note three. Remember? (p. 47) […]

Think of England

Think of England (2014) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1904 (Peakholme) had been an extraordinarily modern creation at that time, equipped with the very latest innovations, with running water in all the bathrooms, heated by hot-water radiators and illuminated throughout by electricity from his own hydroelectric generator. “It was a damned business. My company […]

Proper English

Proper English (2019) K.J. Charles Set in England in 1902 If Pat stayed, she would continue running Skirmidge House, and either she would resent Olivia for treating her as an upper servant, or Olivia would resent her for usurping her rights as head of the household Pat did not corset. She had had no mother […]

Paladin’s Grace

Paladin’s Grace (2020) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) The Rat’s priests fixed things that could be fixed, and when things were broken past all mending, they helped people pick up the pieces. “Gentlemen,” said Beartongue, “I forbid you to smash the Archon’s decor and try to duel with it.” “Yes, your holiness.” “I’ll have […]

The Missing Page

The Missing Page (2021) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in in England in 1947 “The letter from the solicitor said the uncle’s will stipulated that all legatees attend the reading at the family home in Cornwall or forfeit their bequest.” Leo’s eyebrows shot straight up. “Was it his uncle’s dying wish to reenact a […]

Hither, Page

Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers) Set in England in 1946. This story reminds me very much of an Agatha Christie, only with boinking. A combination of A Murder is Announced and The Moving Finger. None of the witnesses could suggest a possible motive, nor did any of them think Mrs. Hoggett had […]

Ex Appeal

Ex Appeal (2022) Cathy Yardley (Ponto Beach Reunion) This follows Gouda Friends and one of the characters is the brother of Tam from that book, but you do not need to have read the previous books for this story. Vinh is very good at what he does–even though what he does isn’t especially good. Aimsley’s […]

Two Wrongs Make a Right

Two Wrongs Make a Right (2022) Chloe Liese (The Wilmot Sisters) I picked up my first book by Chloe Liese because it was highly rated and had a female main character with ASD. I’ve very much enjoyed every book of hers I’ve read since then, although I don’t read them one after another, because they […]

The Mistletoe Motive

The Mistletoe Motive (2021) Chloe Liese Gabriella Di Natale love Christmas. She also loves working in Bailey’s Bookshop, where she can recommend books (especially her favorite romances) to customers. But the store is in trouble. A chain is trying to put them out of business, so the Bailey’s hired another manager–one focused on business–to try […]

Stubbed Toes and Dating Woes

Stubbed Toes and Dating Woes (2023) Dahlia Donovan Niclas Ruiz loves his archeological work. He also has a huge crush on his brother’s best friend. Falk “Grizz” Evensen is content with his life. He has his own business (which he runs with the help of his best friend) and is successful. But his life is […]

Socially Orcward

Socially Orcward (2021) Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey (Adventures in Aguillon) Dave’s favorite thing is dragons. Especially his dragons. And he is thankful that his kings gave him a tower where he could raise and keep them. Simon Perrin doesn’t know how to do much, but his willing to try. What he does know, however, […]

Glass Tidings

Glass Tidings (2016) Amy Jo Cousins This story is full of little things. Then he changed his mind and gave the jeans a quick hand wash in the utility sink next to the dryer, unable to stand the thought of all that blood swishing around with Eddie’s clothes in the wash. Eddie didn’t trust anyone […]

Shelter in Garnet Run

Shelter in Garnet Run (2023) Roan Parrish (Garnet Run) We met River Mills in Best Laid Plans as one of the teens who hangs out in Rye’s derelict house, and again in Adam’s younger sibling in The Lights on Knockbridge Lane. Cassidy is an ethical taxidermist, often working with animals who were hit by cars. […]

A Holiday By Gaslight

A Holiday By Gaslight (2018) Mimi Matthews Set in England in 1861 Sophie’s father keeps improving their country estate–whether they have the funds to do so or not–so when wealthy manufacturer asks permission to court her, the family agrees. But despite wanting to help her family, Sophie also wants to be happy. Is it so […]

Last Call at the Nightingale

Last Call at the Nightingale (2022) Katharine Schellman (Nightingale Mysteries) Set in New York City in 1924 Vivian Kelly and her sister Florence are glad to have jobs, a roof over the heads, and food on the table (even if it isn’t always enough food). (W)orking at a dressmaker’s shop meant they both had to […]

Wolf Gone Wild

Wolf Gone Wild (2020) Juliette Cross (Stay a Spell) Mateo Cruz has been cursed. He doesn’t know by whom, and he doesn’t know why, but he hasn’t been able to shift for months and his wolf is almost impossible to control and won’t cease his randy and bloodthirsty thoughts. Evie Savoie helps her sisters run […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1862 He hadn’t chosen to become a doctor so that he could foretell the death of children. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them […]

A Christmas Dance

A Christmas Dance (2014) Alissa Johnson Miss Byerly did not feature in his matrimonial plans. Pity, really, that she wasn’t a bit softer. He’d spoken to her once or twice before and she seemed an intelligent sort, with an efficiency of speech and manner he appreciated. But he wasn’t in need of additional efficiency in […]

Rough Around the Hedges

Rough Around the Hedges (2023) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance) Vanessa Woodbridge and her sister defied their father–and paid the price when both were cut off. But Vanessa wants to go to school, but to do so she needs her father to verify her education–since she and her sister were both home schooled. He sighed. “You […]

Bingo Love

Bingo Love (2018) Tee Franklin, Joy San & Jenn St-Onge Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray first met in 1963 at church bingo. They became best friends but then realized they felt more for each other than they were expecting. Separated by adults, they se each other again for 50 years. It’s a story of history […]

A Little Too Familiar

A Little Too Familiar (2022) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance) Declan needs to get away. His sister has fallen in love with his ex-girlfriend, and since they were all living together, it’s mighty uncomfortable. So he’s leaving Portland for Seattle. Even after a century and a half of being in the open, the Uncanny still made […]

Paladin’s Faith

Paladin’s Faith (2023) T. Kingfisher (The Saint of Steel) Marguerite Florian left town in a hurry after helping her friend Grace led her to trouble (Paladin’s Grace). Which wasn’t necessarily unexpected, since Marguerite is a spy. So she turns to the White Rat. Apparently one of the problems they had solved was bribery. You couldn’t […]

The Wonder Engine, Audio Book

The Wonder Engine, Audio Book (2018/2019) T. Kingfisher narrated by Khristine Hvam (Clocktaur War) This book picks up where the previous book left off. The group has made it to Anuket City, but have to find Brother Amadai, avoid the crime lord who wants Slate dead, and somehow stop the Clockwork Boys. I’ll be honest, […]

Muscle Cub

Muscle Cub (2023) Slade James (Bear Camp) Despite living nearby, Paul has never gone to Bear Camp. But he’s been single for awhile now, and isn’t getting any younger, so his friends convince him to take a weekend to help them celebrate their birthdays. What Paul doesn’t expect is Austin: young, handsome, and did he […]

Swordheart, Audio Book

Swordheart, Audio Book (2018/2021) T. Kingfisher narrated by Jesse Vilinsky I’d been playing this as background for a couple of months–not especially paying attention, but wanting voices talking. Then I finished Michael Prichard’s narration of the Spenser series (I absolutely cannot stand listening to David Duke’s narration) and while floundering trying to figure out what […]

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter (2012) Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister) Set in England in 1864 Jonas Grantham worked hard to rise above his beginnings and to become a doctor. He’d been seduced by the stories—the stories of John Snow saving hundreds of lives by careful observation, of men who noticed the world around them and cared […]

A Power Unbound

A Power Unbound (2023) Freya Marske (The Last Binding) Set in England in 1909 The final book in the Last Binding Trilogy centers on Alston, Lord Hawthorn who has been arrogant and supercilious throughout the series, but here becomes Jack, and Alan, Alanzo Rossi, who met Alston, Maud, and Violet on the ship from America […]

Served Hot

Served Hot (2015) Annabeth Albert (Portland Heat) I thought I was in the mood for this. I was looking for stories with complicated grief, and this story has that. “You feel what you need to feel.” What did I know about grief? I would be pissed, but I wasn’t David. And if David’s sadness made […]

A Restless Truth

A Restless Truth (2022) Freya Marske (Last Binding) Set in England in 1908 (or so) One of the things I especially like about this series are the lovely secondary characters. “Miss Debenham,” he said, warm with pride, “meet Lady Albert Barton. My wife.” Oh. Lady Albert Barton rolled her eyes and sat down heavily on […]

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers (2018) N.R. Walker Sunday was just like any other Sunday, except this one was the day before Monday. The very Monday I was spending with Griffin. So naturally it dragged like a Wednesday, which was my Monday. “Oh, you’re not staying for dinner?” I asked his Mum. Dane stared at the side of […]

Role Playing

Role Playing (2023) Cathy Yardley Maggie Le thought being divorced was hard. But her son Kit living for college was worse. Now she had no reason to leave her house, except to get food. “Second: I have changed markedly since my twenties,” she said. “I don’t want to wear bandage dresses and club all night […]