November Bookviews // The Romance Edition

I tried to fight it. Really, I did. But before I knew it, I’d fallen down the Regency Romance rabbit hole.

It always starts with one. Always does, right?

I know many folks who hate the phrase “clean romance,” but that’s most definitely what I prefer. Sometimes a book hits that nail on the head. Other times it falls short. Every genre has flops like that.

My debut into Regency Romances (see what I did there?) began late one night when I signed up to for Patricia Haverton’s “ARC Team.” I thought, “Sure, I’ll give this story a shot. The title intrigued me.” Fourteen books later, here we are.

With these Bookviews I try to include a wide array of authors. There will be some repeats this time around. Without further adieu, here’s The Romance Edition!

As always, I’ll pull six titles from this site’s On My Bookshelf page: three from What I’ve Read, two from Upcoming Reads, and one from that dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) pile. From What I’ve Read, you can expect my final thoughts on plot, character development, and a star rating. From Upcoming Reads, my expectations or hopes for the book. And perhaps even a prediction or two. Finally, from the DNFs, what made me close the cover for good and if I’ll ever attempt to read it again.

The First Section: What I’ve Read

A SEA ROSE FOR THE DUCHESS
by Fanny Finch

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Regency Roses, Book 3
Pub. Year: 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A SEA ROSE FOR THE DUCHESS contains within it equal parts of romance and adventure. My kind of book, ladies and gentlemen of the ton!

I love stories set at sea, but one I tried reading earlier this year turned me off that concept for quite a while (it makes me angry just thinking about it). Enter in this one by Ms. Finch, and she helped me love ships again.

Both main characters are in their mid to late twenties, which I quite appreciated. Many female MCs in Regency and Victorian era novels are anywhere from sixteen to twenty. I much prefer New Adult tales.

Loss, renewal and forgiveness are strong themes in A SEA ROSE FOR THE DUCHESS. I highly recommend this book, even if you aren’t totally sold on the Romance genre.

Synopsis: Captain Arnold Reynes has found a lot of things at sea: peace, freedom, and an escape from a past he avoids facing. What he never expected to find, however, is a beautiful young woman who has lost her memory. All he knows about her is her name…

Aboard the Sea Rose, Odelia struggles to remember who she is. What the pieces of her returning memory show her, though, may be something she’s not ready for.

When the voyage ends, their quest for Odelia’s identity takes them on a journey across England. However, someone dangerous seems to lurk in the shadows of her past, and that person may not be finished with her yet. Now, Arnold and Odelia will both have to face the sorrows and secrets of their past and seek a way into the future they desire.

But their enemy might prove more cunning than they expected, and has vowed to turn their dreams to ashes…

Fanny’s Links

HIS CINDERELLA GOVERNESS
by Fanny Finch

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: –
Pub. Year: 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As a lover of fairy tale retellings, it was the title that first drew me in. Yet another New Adult tale, both the main characters have experienced much loss.

I do have to give this one four stars out of five, as there were some places where it felt the conversations were a bit dragging. You can have a fairy tale retelling without having too many cliches, and this one did toe the line a little bit. It was refreshing in that there was only one step-sister instead of two, and there were a couple twists I wasn’t expecting.

All in all, still a good read if you’re looking for something a little bit different.

Synopsis: It is time for Henry Radcliff, the Marquess of Whitecroft, to choose a wife. No lady he’s ever met has managed to steal his heart… until he accidentally meets a mysterious governess, that strangely enough has the manners and elegance of a highborn lady.

Lydia Stanley’s life has been very hard since her father passed away. Her stepmother controls her fate and has reduced her to nothing more than her little brother’s governess. No one even remembers she exists… but Lydia’s hopes for a better future are renewed when she meets the kind and gallant Marquess of Whitecroft. The lie may cost her her only chance at love, but the truth may separate her and her little brother forever…

Now, Henry must find a way to uncover the secrets and save his Cinderella before it’s too late. But the wicked Countess of Canwick has not played her last card yet…

I did not include her links again as they’re already listed above.

PERFECTLY MISMATCHED WITH THE DUKE
by Patricia Haverton

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: –
Pub. Year: 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I will admit that this particular novel starts out a bit slowly. There were also a few scenes I felt weren’t necessary for the story at all. At times, the indecision between them was a bit frustrating to read through.

However, I was drawn to both the main characters. Both were very well developed and fit their worlds perfectly.

There are also a couple curve balls you won’t see coming. Well, I didn’t see them coming, anyway. Thankfully, there is a decent amount of intrigue and adventure in PERFECTLY MISMATCHED WITH THE DUKE, though there could’ve been just a little bit more to move the story along. Still, it’s a great read if you’re looking for a cozy night in with a fuzzy blanket and mug full of a hot, steamy drink.

Synopsis: Matchmaker extraordinaire Alexandra Evans lives by one rule: never fall in love. Having watched her mother wilt away after her father’s untimely passing, she has vowed to dedicate herself to her flourishing business and never fall victim to that kind of painful loss.

Maxwell Hayes, Duke of Gatterlen, feels like an ensnared hare when his mother announces that she has found a suitable match for him. That is until he meets the matchmaker tasked with making it happen.

With her walls crumbling one by one, courtesy of one dashing Duke, and someone ransacking her home, Alexandra decides this just might be the first match she’ll walk away from. Only, she never gets the chance to. And when he goes looking for her, all that’s left behind for Maxwell to find is a single silver pendant…

Patricia’s Links

The Second Section: My Upcoming Reads

I’ll not include any stars for these entries as I’ve yet to read them. Instead, I’ll include its brief synopsis, why I picked it up, and what I hope will come from the story.

THE HOUSE GUEST
by Mark Edwards

Genre: Mystery
Series: –
Pub. Year: 2020

Many mystery and suspenseful stories have been recommended to me as of late, so I decided to add several to my Kindle Unlimited list. While not my favorite genre, I have indulged one or two already this year. The synopsis for Mark Edwards’ THE HOUSE GUEST made me download it.

Synopsis: When British twenty-somethings Ruth and Adam are offered the chance to spend the summer housesitting in New York, they can’t say no. Young, in love and on the cusp of professional success, they feel as if luck is finally on their side.

So the moment that Eden turns up on the doorstep, drenched from a summer storm, it seems only right to share a bit of that good fortune. Beautiful and charismatic, Eden claims to be a friend of the homeowners, who told her she could stay whenever she was in New York.

They know you’re not supposed to talk to strangers—let alone invite them into your home—but after all, Eden’s only a stranger until they get to know her. As suspicions creep in that Eden may not be who she claims to be, they begin to wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake…

Mark’s Links

The Carrow Haunt
by Darcy Coates

Genre: Horror
Series:
Pub. Year: 2018

I don’t handle horror very well. Probably why I haven’t read a single thing from Stephen King. So why did I pick up Darcy Coates’ THE CARROW HAUNT? For one, the title. So many books like this have the words “house” or “manor” in them. I liked that this was different. Secondly, its creepy cover. Finally, the MCs name is Remy, same as my toddler cousin.

Synopsis: Remy is a tour guide for Carrow House, a notoriously haunted building. When she’s asked to host seven guests for a week-long stay to research Carrow’s phenomena, she hopes to finally experience some of the sightings that made the house famous.

At first, it’s everything they hoped for. Then a storm moves in, cutting off their contact with the outside world, and things quickly become twisted. Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance.

Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house’s original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls. But by then it’s too late to escape.

Darcy’s Links

The Third Section: What I Did Not Finish

A RELENTLESS LOVE FOR THE SHATTERED LADY
by Leah Conolly

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: –
Pub. Year: 2019

There were several things I didn’t like about this book, but there were several things I did enjoy. Let’s begin with the pros.

The main premise tackled disability, and how society looks at individuals with them. Regardless if they were born with it or it happened by accident. Ms. Conolly quite successfully built up a strong female lead.

A flashback scene quite early on made me wish she’d begun with that scene in the first place. As an actual part of the book rather than a flashback.

There was also a bit too much inner thinking spelled out for both the male and female main characters. The male MCs father came across as arrogant and unbending. I really did not like him. There were quite a few slow parts, and some scenes that felt rehashed from earlier in the book.

Overall, I couldn’t quite get into this story. The premise and time period in which it was set were both fantastic, but it needs a bit more finesse. A RELENTLESS LOVE FOR THE SHATTERED LADY was, sadly, not my cup of tea.

Synopsis: When Eleanor Baker learned she might never walk again she thought her chances for a happy future had truly disappeared forever. . If not for her sister’s constant care and support, she would have succumbed to utter misery. But when a handsome officer entered her life and saw past all her wounds, a small glimmer of hope started to shine in her heart once again.

Colonel Samuel Jacobs, smitten with the lovely Eleanor, cannot wait to start a life with her. But a series of unfortunate events will ruin the perfectly laid out plan he had in mind, as he will be saddled with a title he never wanted…

Fighting with rumors, social expectation and their own deepest fears, their love will surely be put to the test, until one thing is clear to them both: staying away from each other is impossible…

Leah’s Links

Published by Leigh A. Hartman

Hey all! Welcome to my website! I'm currently writing my first novel series called The Firedamp Chronicles. Check out the following links to find out more about why I write!

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