Karin A. (Jerseygirltoo) - - Reviews

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The Accidental Abduction
The Accidental Abduction
Author: Darcie Wilde
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/5/2015
Helpful Score: 1


This books was an unexpected and delightful find for me. I hardly ever buy books by authors completely unknown to me anymore. Not without checking the reviews, or getting a recommendation from a blog or someone I know. But I picked this one up in a bookstore, starting reading, and was immediately caught up in the story, so I had to get it. The heroine, Leannah, is chasing after her younger sister, who is running away to elope. The hero, Harry, accidentally ends up coming along for a wild ride with her. Over the course of just a day and a half, they form a strong connection to each other. Although the sister's elopement is thwarted, Leannah and Harry end up impulsively getting married instead. Now, the story so far could be the entire plot of another book, but in The Accidental Abduction, this is just the beginning. Now this couple has to find out if what they have is just a physical attraction, or if it will develop into a true and lasting love.
This type of story is my catnip, because I love to see a couple of newlyweds who barely know each other learn how to build a marriage. It's much more satisfying when the couple is working together against a common enemy, instead of constantly misunderstanding and fighting with each other. In this case, the conflict is their mostly well-meaning families and friends, especially on Harry's side, who think Leannah is a fortune hunter and carry tales to him. Besides that, Leannah has a disappointed suitor who tries to break up the marriage, as well as her sister's erstwhile suitor who is out for revenge because he blames Leannah for stopping the elopement.
It was lovely to see how this couple went into the marriage with the best intentions and try to keep faith with each other in spite of everyone trying to ruin their relationship. But Harry and Leannah both have complications in their pasts, and they do keep some secrets from each other, and this is what leads to the climax of the story, which I won't give away.
The bedroom scenes were sensual, affectionate, and very enjoyable. I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially the H&h's sisters. I look forward to reading more books by Darcie Wilde.


The Accidental Countess (Harlequin Historical)
The Accidental Countess (Harlequin Historical)
Author: Michelle Willingham
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 11/18/2013
Helpful Score: 1


The main characters drove me crazy in this book. The hero was overly suspicious, even though he and the heroine had been close friends in childhood; he should have known better. And the heroine was TSTL, doing stupid things that put her in danger for no good reason. I guess this author is just not for me.


The Accidental Wedding (Devil Riders, Bk 4)
The Accidental Wedding (Devil Riders, Bk 4)
Author: Anne Gracie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 12/15/2010
Helpful Score: 3


This is the 4th of the Devil Riders series. I enjoyed this book, everything Anne Gracie writes is good. I loved Maddie and the children. Maddie was quite handy, so I learned a bit about millinery and cooking and beekeeping. We are in the middle of a cold snap right now, so I especially enjoyed the descriptions of how delicious it is to have a big warm male body in bed with you! Even platonically! I also liked the reappearance of characters from earlier books in this series, especially Harry and Nell. The 3 previous Devil Riders books are The Stolen Princess, His Captive Lady & To Catch a Bride. His Captive Lady (Harry & Nell's story) is still my favorite of the series, but they are all worth reading, and all can stand alone.
In this story, the hero Nash is inspecting some property he just inherited, when he has an accident and ends up injured in Maddie's cottage, where she is barely eking out a living with her 5(five!!) younger brothers and sisters, and is in danger of getting evicted. He has hit his head and has amnesia so neither of them know that he is her landlord, while she is nursing him back to health. Luckily the author didn't drag out the amnesia plot line too long because that can just get silly.
I just have to add that Nash was not quite my ideal hero, as lovely as he is. He did end up doing the right thing, but he is in denial about being in love with Maddie till almost the last page of the book. That's my personal quirk, I like the hero to be on the same page as the heroine, if not several steps ahead! I also recall that he and his brother Marcus were quite nasty to their half-brother Harry in an earlier book, but even though that was resolved, I guess I'm still holding a bit of a grudge. Recommended, 4 stars.


The Admiral's Penniless Bride (Harlequin Historical, No 1025)
The Admiral's Penniless Bride (Harlequin Historical, No 1025)
Author: Carla Kelly
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 59
Review Date: 1/9/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Synopsis from Amazon: "Sally Paul is down to her last penny. As she spends it on a cup of teato stave off being at the mercy of the workhousethe last thing she expects is an offer of marriagefrom a complete stranger!
Admiral Sir Charles Bright's seafaring days are overand according to society, that must mean he's in need of a wife! Discovering Sally's in need of a home, he offers a solution. They marry in hastebut will they enjoy their wedding night at leisure?"

Good, but not one of Carla Kelly's best. As ever, her writing is good. I enjoy the dialog, and the way she gets into both the H&H's heads. Also there is a lot of realism in her historicals, you see the underside of those days. In this book, she touches on child abuse, anti-Semitism and political corruption. And just like real life, some problems can never be fixed, even though there is a HEA for the main characters.
So what didn't I like? Well, there was too much crying. The heroine cries, the hero cries, at various times just about every other character gets at least teary-eyed. Yeah, they both had tragic things happen in their lives, and I get it that a strong man can cry. But once or twice would be enough to show us that he's not afraid to show his emotions. This guy busted out in tears more than John Boehner.

If you're a fan of Carla Kelly you can overlook it. I'm glad I read the book, and I enjoyed it, it's just not a keeper for me.


An Affair Most Wicked
An Affair Most Wicked
Author: Julianne MacLean
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 9/6/2014


2nd of this series about American heiresses looking for husbands in England. I enjoyed it, not quite as much as the previous book, "To Marry The Duke", but still a compulsive read.
The first half of this book is about a rake who doesn't really want to reform, but finds himself so attracted to the heroine that he can't help himself, and ends up marrying her. The second half is a different story, about a newlywed couple adjusting to married life, while his family are subtly trying to sabotage the marriage by undermining the heroine's trust in her husband and basically "gaslighting" her. On a second read of the book, I found this part even more interesting. Clara, luckily was pretty levelheaded and reacted to situations in a rational way, by trying to logically talk things out with her husband, which put her a step above many romance heroines.


An Affair with Mr. Kennedy (Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, Bk 1)
An Affair with Mr. Kennedy (Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, Bk 1)
Author: Jillian Stone
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 7/30/2012


A quite fun and entertaining read by a new author, although not a keeper for me. This book is written in a light-hearted almost tongue-in-cheek style. Because it takes place in an era much closer to our own, there are modern touches, like bicycles and motorized "roadsters". The hero, Zeno "Zak" Kennedy, is a dedicated Scotland Yard detective, and gets to perform a couple of daring rescues, but the heroine is not exactly helpless herself. I liked that when a problem arose between them, she confronted him honestly and directly, so there were no dragged out misunderstandings. In the second half of the book, the pace picked up, with a chase after the bad guys from London to Paris. Two of Zeno's fellow "Yard men" are introduced in this book, who I think will be the heroes of future stories. The ending was very sweet and touching. I gave it 3 stars because of a couple of things in the plot that strained believability.


After the Scandal
After the Scandal
Author: Elizabeth Essex
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 7/19/2017


Maybe the best Scandalous Brides book yet. I absolutely adored it. My favorite set up: the hero loves the heroine right from the start, in fact he's been secretly carrying a torch for her for a long time.
All the action is compressed into a very intense day and a half that they spend together, and the adventure is non-stop. During that time, they get to know each other very well, and so do we.
A keeper for sure.


Against the Tide
Against the Tide
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 8/11/2013
Helpful Score: 3


Lydia was such a fabulous heroine, I fell in love with her and identified with her day to day struggles. The hero, Bane, let her down in the beginning but made up for it later, and he was a good match for her, but I felt like she was really the star of this book. She was a totally self made woman, and I liked it that the two men who played the biggest parts in her life, the hero and her employer, respected her intelligence and abilities. I thought the characters, the plot and the setting were all quite original. I liked that the author worked in characters of different social backgrounds and nationalities. I am not usually a reader of inspirationals but I totally recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance or fiction. The parts involving faith did not come into play until later in the book. I found them touching and well integrated with the story. I will definitely read more by this author.


The Alington Inheritance (Miss Silver, Bk 31)
The Alington Inheritance (Miss Silver, Bk 31)
Author: Patricia Wentworth
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 9/22/2010


Good Miss Silver mystery, it's one of my keepers. Most of Patricia Wentworth's books are worth reading. They were mainly written in the 1930's and 40's, and are in the English country house murder mystery genre. There is always a romantic subplot and most of them feature the private detective Miss Silver(think Christie's Miss Marple). They are all out of print, and most of the ones I've collected came from used book stores. Many of them are going for way over the original cover price on Amazon now, so if cozy British mysteries are your cup of tea, I would grab them here.


The Alington Inheritance (Miss Silver, Bk 31)
The Alington Inheritance (Miss Silver, Bk 31)
Author: Patricia Wentworth
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 9/22/2010


Good Miss Silver mystery, it's one of my keepers. Most of Patricia Wentworth's books are worth reading. They were mainly written in the 1930's and 40's, and are in the English country house murder mystery genre. There is always a romantic subplot and most of them feature the private detective Miss Silver(think Christie's Miss Marple). They are all out of print, and most of the ones I've collected came from used book stores. Many of them are going for way over the original cover price on Amazon now, so if cozy British mysteries are your cup of tea, I would grab them here.


All Through the Night
All Through the Night
Author: Connie Brockway
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/26/2014


Really good read, a rather dark and very emotional story, with lots of sexual tension, but not so angsty that it's unbearable. The hero and heroine are unusual and complex characters. She's a widow and companion to a young lady during the day, but a cat burglar at night. His job is to catch the cat burglar, but he doesn't realize the quiet widow he is falling for has a secret life. I loved their flaws and anxieties. Jack is a very protective hero, which I like, and Anne was capable and independent, which I also like.

It's also unusual that it's written not only from their POV's but sometimes we are seeing things through the eyes of the secondary characters.
Great writing and well worth checking out.


Almost a Scandal (Reckless Brides, Bk 1)
Almost a Scandal (Reckless Brides, Bk 1)
Author: Elizabeth Essex
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 9/12/2013
Helpful Score: 2


I loved it! What great characters Col and Sally are! The adventures at sea were so thrilling that it took me 3 tries to read the book from cover to cover-only because I kept skipping ahead in the exciting parts just to see what would happen next.
It's also the most believable tale involving a female disguised as a man that I've ever read. Although I know nothing about sailing, the descriptions of life aboard a British navy ship seemed authentic, and blended in with the story so well that I was never bored.
All that and a great romance too, with delicious love scenes.


Almost Taken
Almost Taken
Author: Isabel Mere
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 8/30/2011
Helpful Score: 2


Fast moving, exciting story and great characters. The hero reminds me a bit of the hero of "The Heir", a very responsible and honorable gentleman who finds himself enamored of a woman totally outside his class, who is in need of rescue. The heroine is a strong woman who plans to rescue herself, and is not expecting any help from a man. There is a serious underlying theme of slavery/involuntary servitude, and young children being exploited in workhouses and factories.
Very emotional and good love scenes too. I consider this book an undiscovered treasure. Unfortunately I can only find 2 more by this author, and I don't know what happened to her after that.


Always a Scoundrel
Always a Scoundrel
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 146
Review Date: 8/15/2010
Helpful Score: 3


Great book, I loved it. You really see the hero changing his character during the course of the story. Plus a great heroine with a brain. I loved that there were no silly misunderstandings between the H&H, because they communicated frankly and honestly, pretty much from the beginning.
While other authors' series start off strong but then seem to run out of steam in the later books, Enoch is the opposite. Just as "England's Perfect Hero" the last book in the "Lessons in Love" trilogy was the best one, this last book of "The Notorious Gentlemen" series is the best of the trilogy. But I still recommend reading them in order, because of the character development. I probably would not have appreciated this book as much without having read "Before The Scandal" and "After The Kiss".


Always a Scoundrel (The Notorious Gentlemen, Bk 3)
Always a Scoundrel (The Notorious Gentlemen, Bk 3)
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 9/27/2010


The best of The Notorious Gentleman trilogy(and they are all good reads) and one of Enoch's best books. I loved it.


An American Duchess
An American Duchess
Author: Sharon Page
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/3/2016
Helpful Score: 1


I've read a couple of Sharon Page's Regency era books, but this is a new direction for her. Not only is it set in the post World War I era, it's more women's fiction than romance. Her Regency books have much more explicit eroticism in them, so depending on your tastes, that may be a plus or a minus!
Although there is an HEA, along the way there is tragedy and multiple complications, I would call it more of an old-fashioned saga.
I think the author's prose doesn't flow as easily in this book as in the earlier historicals. And she overdid it a bit with the 1920's flapper cliches for her heroine, Zoe. Reckless and drives too fast, check; likes to frequent nightclubs and drink cocktails, check; wears short flapper dresses, check; smokes cigarettes, check!
None the less, I got caught up in the plot and the characters, and it certainly kept me turning the pages. So I give it 3 stars for good storytelling. If you like Downton Abbey type books, you'll enjoy it.


The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (Burgundy Club, Bk 3)
The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (Burgundy Club, Bk 3)
Author: Miranda Neville
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 3/28/2016


I've read all 4 of the Burgundy Club books, and this one is not my favorite, but it's still a darn good book. It's as if the author set herself a challenge, to use the most ridiculous plot devices, and least compatible couple in the world, to see if she could make a believable romance out of it. And she does! If you enjoy strikingly different characters and witty, intelligent writing, you'll enjoy Miranda Neville. There is no padding in her stories, every scene is there for a purpose.
Speaking of ridiculous plot devices: this book has not 1, but 2 kidnappings, an over-the-top foreign villain, amnesia, and a mysterious and valuable missing ruby from India. Neville has a great sense of humor, and I especially enjoyed the parts set at the Montrose family manor(two of the Montrose sisters are of heroines of "The Dangerous Viscount" and "Confessions of an Arranged Marriage". The theme of the whole series seems to be 'opposites attract'.


The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby, Bk 1)
The Anatomist's Wife (Lady Darby, Bk 1)
Author: Anna Lee Huber
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 52
Review Date: 12/6/2014
Helpful Score: 3


Very good historical mystery. The heroine was quite unique and I enjoyed her sister and brother-in-law as secondary characters. There is no romance, but plenty of foreshadowing that a relationship will develop between the two lead characters in subsequent books. I am looking forward to reading the more of this series.


Annabelle's Courtship
Annabelle's Courtship
Author: Lucy Monroe
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 12/13/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The relationship between the lead characters in this book seemed to be a rehash of "Tempt Me", another of her historicals, but with a Scottish accent. Our hero has a list of qualities he is looking for in a wife, & that's why he picks the heroine to marry. Gradually he finds out she is totally not what he expected & he spends the whole book getting her out of various scrapes. But he finds out it's her he loves, not the imaginary perfect wife he thought he wanted. That being said, I always enjoy Lucy Monroe's books and still would recommend.


The Arrangement (Survivors' Club, Bk 2)
The Arrangement (Survivors' Club, Bk 2)
Author: Mary Balogh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 77
Review Date: 9/24/2013
Helpful Score: 4


4.5 stars. I really loved the characters in this book, they just touched my heart. I so wanted them to be happy, and continued to think about them even after I finished reading the book. I'll be keeping it as a comfort read.
I have yet to read a Mary Balogh book that was bad, but this one is top notch. It's the second book in her "Survivor's Club" series, about a group of people (6 men and a woman) who suffered and were injured, in one way or another, during the wars, and band together for friendship and assistance. The first book, "The Proposal" was good, but "The Arrangement" is better and more original.
I'm not spoiling anything because the synopsis already reveals that Vincent, the hero, was blinded in battle. Sophia, the heroine, has lost her parents and she is penniless, and not particularly attractive, so she is ignored or treated like a nonentity by the relatives who have taken her in. In steps the hero, who gets to be the rescuer in a Cinderella type story; and I love Cinderella stories! Then in another sense, she is able to rescue him from his family, who are loving and well meaning but over protective.

What I also love about the book is that the two of them are honest and straightforward with each other, no miscommunications, and even before they fall in love, they like and respect each other. It takes a while before the heroine is able to gain back some self esteem and think of herself as a worthwhile and deserving person. The hero is very sensitive and understanding; what a refreshing change after reading so many stories about rakes! For her part, the heroine is sweet and loyal and determined to help Vincent gain back his independence in spite of his loss of sight. Although, I must say, since he has had years to adjust, he has more or less accepted and learned to live with his handicap, with the help his loyal friend and valet, and the other members of the Survivor's Club. I enjoyed seeing them as secondary characters and I think some of them will be challenging to find an HEA for, but I am counting on Mary Balogh to do it!


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