Home Book Reviews Looking for a Great Historical Romance to Read?
Sunday, 05 November 2017 11:38

Looking for a Great Historical Romance to Read?

Written by Jennifer Porter
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There were some fabulous historical romances released this past week - ones that made me so very happy to read. The first is Janna MacGregor’s The Bride Who Got Lucky (read my individual review here). But I enjoyed several others as well: Valerie Bowman’s The Right Kind of Rogue, Joanna Shupe’s A Daring Arrangement and Eloisa James’ Wilde in Love. All four are very different reads, but each have wonderful romances with fantastic characters that make these romances shine.


RightKindRogueValerie Bowman’s The Right Kind of Rogue, the 8th book in the Playful Brides series, is a story featuring a heroine (Meg Timmons) who has been in love with her best friend’s older brother (Hart, Viscount Highgate) for years. Hart finally decides that it is time to marry which forces Meg to try to get him to notice her. Meg enlists the aid of another friend (she doesn’t want her best friend to know) to help with the matter. With a new wardrobe and some pointers on shedding her wallflower status, Meg does indeed catch Hart’s attention. However, there is a long-standing and bitter feud between Meg and Hart’s parents, making a match nearly impossible. Yet, the feelings developing between these two are real and intense - and maybe a bit out of control.

 

 

The out-of-control feelings, Meg’s well-meaning friends and the right circumstances lead to a scandal that forces Hart to marry Meg. However, he believes he has been set up by his new bride and her friends (and his sister!), and as a result, things do not go well for the very unhappy couple. In all honesty, he is a bit of a dickhead to Meg. He reminded me a young child throwing a tantrum. Fortunately, everyone (his sister, his friends, etec.) all called him on his behavior. Most were at a loss to understand why he was so upset, especially since he as an active participant in the clinch leading to his ruination. Hart does grovel well, mostly making up for his behavior.


Despite Hart’s dickhead phase, The Right Kind of Rogue is a delicious romance with a wallflower heroine who finally finds her footing and gets her HEA with the man she has always loved. My heart is still smiling from reading this one.


DaringArrangementNext is A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe, a historical romance set in New York City during the Gilded Age and the lead off in The Four Hundred series. The heroine is Lady Honora Parker; she is sent to New York City by her father to forget about the unsuitable artist with whom she has fallen in love. She schemes to find man so reprehensible that her father will let her return home to England to be with her artist. Her choice is the wealthy and scandalous playboy Julius Hatcher who may have money, but is not part of New York’s elite society. Julius agrees rather easily to Nora’s plans, but he has plan of his own. He needs access to high society to find out what happened to his father years ago. Julius believes that Nora could well be he entree into that society. As a result, he isn’t interested in creating the scandal for which Nora is hoping.


Both Nora and Julius have their own goals for their pretend engagement. Of course neither plans for the heat that develops between them or for the fun that they have together. It doesn’t take long before their ulterior motives take a back seat to their developing relationship. Complications arise, of course, when Nora’s abandoned love crosses the pond after her and when Julius learns that Nora’s family may have ties to those who likely caused his father’s financial ruin. Each one has to examine their own motives and their feelings in order to figure out what is truly important.


A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe is a sexy and sizzling romance with some excellent banter. Nora and Julius are both very strong personalities who view their relationship as a game to be won for much of the story. But they are very playful and flirty with each other, especially when Julius starts taking Nora on improper, night-time adventures in the city. I was hooked on this romance from the beginning. Shupe makes the Gilded Age shine brightly with romance in A Daring Arrangement.


WildeInLoveThe fourth historical romance from last week that I want to talk about is Eloisa James’ Wilde in Love. Back across the pond we go his this story in which a daring adventurer, Lord Alaric Wilde, falls hard for the only woman in England who is unimpressed with his exploits, Miss Willa Ffynche. This romance is hilarious and endearing. I was utterly charmed.


Alaric returns home from his travels to discover that people are wild for him the stories that he has written about his adventures. At a house party at his family’s seat (Lindow Castle) to celebrate his older brother’s engagement, Alaric finds out how popular he is is, especially with the ladies. But Willa has no interest in him or his exploits. She isn’t keen on adventurers or those who seem to be full of themselves (as she believes Alaric is). Alaric attaches himself to Willa almost immediately, in many ways to help hide from several other guests.


One of the funniest parts of this book has to do with a popular play about Alaric, titled Wilde in Love, which seems to be the biggest reason for his celebrity. Alaric is horrified when he learns about the play because its contents are not true and because he is worried about who may have written it. This thread of the book is critical to the story and leads to the major external conflict for Alaric and Willa (although of course it also helps bring them together). One of my favorite parts of the book is when Alaric’s father arranges to close the play, but invites the actors to Lindow Castle for its final performance.


Alaric is enamored of Willa from almost the moment he meets her. Willa is the one who is hesitant and unsure about whether she should trust Alaric, especially Alaric the adventurer. There is a great deal of fun banter, much of it heated and lust, between the two. Alaric is one of the most colorful heroes I’ve read in quite some times. He was delightful. Wilde in Love is a fun and sexy romance that will make readers laugh and fall in love.


As a side note, Alaric’s brother and his brother’s unhappy fiance are major characters who I couldn’t quite figure out. I assume this is because their story is next book in this new series, The Wildes of Lindow Castle. I cannot wait!


Book Disclosure: A paper copy of Valerie Bowman’s The Right Kind of Rogue was provided by the publisher (St. Martins). Egalleys of Wilde in Love and A Daring Arrangement were provided by the publisher (Avon) via edelweiss.

Last modified on Sunday, 05 November 2017 11:47
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

Romance Novel News

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