Genre: Historical: European
Book Review

A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber

A Stroke of Malice

I’ve read most of this series, and it’s among my favorite comfort reads. I’ve mentioned this before, but I started reading this series in Japan, when jet lag would gift me with a hard wake-up at 3am and I’d have no ability to get back to sleep. My memories of these characters are indelibly mixed with being wrapped in a duvet, hiding under the covers so the light from my e-reader wouldn’t wake everyone up. … Continue reading A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber

Book Review

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Chasing Cassandra

In Chasing Cassandra, the sixth book in the Ravenels series, railway magnate Tom Severin finally gets his turn to be the hero. I have been hoping for a book about Tom since he was introduced in the first book in the Ravenels series. After all, I love to read about a Sad Historical Businessman brought low by love! Unfortunately, while I enjoyed this book, it also pained me because I felt like it could have … Continue reading Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Book Review

The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden

The Lady and the Highwayman

Bitchery, I have a conundrum. I loved this book, then I hated this book, then I softened, and now I don’t know how I feel. First, the parts I loved: In its favour, we have a wonderful heroine in Miss Elizabeth Black, the headmistress of a school for middle-class girls in Victorian London. However, Elizabeth has more strings to her bow than the general public realise. Not only does she write ‘high brow’ silver spoon … Continue reading The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden

Lightning Review

Much Ado About A Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Much Ado about a Widow

Content warning: Attempted rape Much Ado About A Widow starts with Georgie, two years widowed, returning to her father’s house to marry a man she loathes on pain of being disowned. On the way, she is kidnapped by unsavoury persons; she escapes them only to collide with Robin, Lord St Just, a friend of her brother’s, who rescues her… by kidnapping her again, this time onto his boat. To do him justice, this is probably … Continue reading Much Ado About A Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Lightning Review

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by KJ Charles

The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter

Caution warnings: Misgendering; references to forced sex work; threats of violence, acid attacks, and torture. The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter is a prequel to KJ Charles’ historical romance Any Old Diamonds. The focus is not on the Lilywhite Boys themselves, although they are an integral part of the story, but on their fence Stan and the music hall performer he admires, Miss Christiana. Their relationship is very sweet, and a stark contrast to the horrible things that … Continue reading The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter by KJ Charles

Book Review

A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian

A Delicate Deception

I came close to crying more than once when reading A Delicate Deception. Sometimes I think of myself as a jaded reader; many books entertain me, but few impress me, and even fewer really move me. But then I read a book like this one and it turns me into a giant mush-ball and I think maybe my book-reading heart and brain are not so hardened as all that. A Delicate Deception is about Amelia … Continue reading A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian

Book Review

A Beastly Kind of Earl by Mia Vincy

A Beastly Kind of Earl

This is a joint review by Aarya and Claudia. Sometimes reviews here are in the form of a dialogue, and sometimes they are rather longform; this one is both, and we hope you enjoy our discussion. Claudia: I have a confession to make: I was today years old when I discovered what is really my favorite romance trope. Oh, for years I was pretty sure it was marriage-of-convenience. For me, a reader of (mainly) historical … Continue reading A Beastly Kind of Earl by Mia Vincy

Book Review

My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

My Fake Rake

This book is kind of a weird read. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think I mean it in a good way? It’s mostly charmingly bizarre. This book puts a lot of plates spinning in the air, and while some of them end up crashing to the ground and breaking, the show is fun while it lasts. The basic premise is that Grace and Sebastian are two scholarly nerds who are friends. … Continue reading My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

Book Review

The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard

The Beast of Beswick

The Beast of Beswick is what you get when you put Beauty and the Beast and The Taming of the Shrew into a blender with a whole lot of feminism and drink the results. The heroine, Astrid, is beautiful, bookish and prickly; full of feminist rage; and determined to protect her sweet, pretty, but surprisingly shrewd younger sister, Isobel. The hero, Thane, is horribly scarred; very brooding and moody; and rather inclined to embrace the … Continue reading The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard

Book Review

The Princess Plan by Julia London

The Princess Plan

I am but a simple woman. Give me even the slightest whiff of antagonism between characters and I am there with all the bells on my person. The Princess Plan delivers on snarky banter as a form of foreplay between two main characters that I really enjoyed. However, there are a few things that kept me from feeling satisfied in the romance department. The two princes of the fictional kingdom of Alucia are in England … Continue reading The Princess Plan by Julia London

Book Review

A Lady’s Past by A.S. Fenichel

A Lady’s Past

Content warning: Heroine has history of torture, attempted rape, traumatic death of parents. None of this is described in detail, but it is there, and I do discuss it in the review I picked up the ARC of A Lady’s Past purely based on the cover, which really is a thing of beauty, somewhere between impressionist and pre-Raphaelite. It is the fourth book in the Everton Domestic Society series, but it stands alone reasonably well. … Continue reading A Lady’s Past by A.S. Fenichel

Book Review

Squee from the Keeper Shelf: The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

The Masqueraders

The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer is surely one of the Ur-texts of the romance genre. It is also the very first romance of any kind that I ever read, and was instrumental in launching my lifelong affection for the ‘heroine dresses as a man’ trope. As a bonus, it also has a hero who dresses as a woman and who manages to be EXCEEDINGLY hot while doing so. Just to clarify, there are two couples … Continue reading Squee from the Keeper Shelf: The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

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