Historical

While the Duke Was Sleeping

While the Duke Was Sleeping

While the Duke Was Sleeping (The Rogue Files#1) By: Sophie Jordan

Plot:

Sometimes the man of your dreams . . .

Shop girl Poppy Fairchurch knows it’s pointless fantasizing about the Duke of Autenberry. Still, dreams can’t hurt anyone . . . unlike the carriage Poppy spies bearing down upon the unsuspecting duke. After she pulls him to safety, the duke lapses into a coma and Poppy is mistaken for his fiancée. But one person isn’t fooled: his arrogant and much too handsome half-brother, Struan Mackenzie. Soon Poppy isn’t sure what she wants more . . . the fantasy of her duke or the reality of one smoldering Scot who challenges her at every turn.

. . . is not who you think.

An illegitimate second son, Struan may have built an empire and established himself as one of the wealthiest men in Britain, but he knows he will always be an outsider among the
ton. Just like he knows the infuriating Poppy is a liar. There’s no way the haughty Duke of Autenberry would deign to wed a working class girl. It doesn’t matter how charming she is. Or tempting. Or how much Struan wants her for himself.

Review:

I’ve never really had a desire to read While You Were Sleeping fanfic and in fact didn’t really want to read this book, but I was interested in the sequel, and I’m weird and like to read series in order. So I read this book and it was exactly what I was expecting. It was basically a novelization of While You Were Sleeping with a few changes and the period twist.

It was a fine book. I liked the character of Poppy and I always love a Scottish hero. I wasn’t a fan of her sister or the Duke, but then I don’t believe I was supposed to be. The other characters were mildly interesting but didn’t put forth enough presence to make me care about them.

I’m not sure what year this was supposed to take place. If it was Regency then there were several inaccuracies. There were horses and buggies, though, so I’m not sure. It’s a romance, so historical accuracy is not necessarily necessary, but it’s something that I appreciate an attempt to be made.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with the series. I didn’t hate While the Duke Was Sleeping, but it didn’t really spurn me on too experience more in this world.

3/5

The Countess Conspiracy

the countess conspiracy

The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister #3) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership… even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

Review:

I was slightly disappointed in this book. Sebastian was a great romantic interest, very dedicated and funny and super sweet, but I found it hard to believe that he’d loved Violet for so long. The fact that he missed out on her trauma and yet was so in love with her felt suspect. He also felt a bit too good to be true. Maybe I’ve just read too many romances in a row?

Violet was an incredibly logical woman that was a scientific genius but emotions apparently alluded her. Which seemed to be because of trauma caused by her deceased husband, and I understood why she didn’t try and analyze those feelings, but I couldn’t understand why her supposed friends didn’t see what was going on. I was disappointed in all of them for how little they seemed to care about her.

The best part of the book was when Violet discovered her mother, who she didn’t think would support her, killed Violet’s husband because of what he was doing to her. Her mother’s love for her was beautiful.

I enjoyed The Countess Conspiracy, but I felt like it damaged my view of the relationship between the friends. There were so many secrets being kept from everyone and it conflicted with the image I had of them being long best friends.

3/5

The Heiress Effect

the heiress effect

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing—and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.

And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances—and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist… even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

Review:

Jane Fairfield is too much of everything. She’s too loud, too opinionated, too bright and colorful, and just too fucking amazing in the process. I loved her. I loved when she very nicely said things that you never say in polite society. I loved her and just wanted to be her friend and make all the mean people go away, but she handled herself beautifully.

Oliver is a good man that has let his ambitions cloud his judgement. I wanted to shake him a couple times but his “awakening” was worth the wait.

They were such a good couple, but Jane definitely stole my heart more than he did. I cried, again, while reading about her life and how she was treated. I worried about her and her sister, but they were both able to handle themselves.

The Heiress Effect wasn’t just about Jane and Oliver, though, it was also about her sister Emily and her love story. I loved the inclusion of a person of color, I do think the issues the couple will face were glossed over and racism was barely mentioned, but then this isn’t that kind of romance so I don’t really fault it.

I stayed up super late to finish this book because I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters, the story, the intimate scenes, just everything. Excited to read the following books and happy to have found a new author that I love.

5/5

The Duchess War

duchess war

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Miss Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled wallflower, and she wants to keep it that way. After all, the last time she was the center of attention, it ended badly–so badly that she changed her name to escape her scandalous past. Wallflowers may not be the prettiest of blooms, but at least they don’t get trampled. So when a handsome duke comes to town, the last thing she wants is his attention.

But that is precisely what she gets.

Because Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is not fooled. When Minnie figures out what he’s up to, he realizes there is more to her than her spectacles and her quiet ways. And he’s determined to lay her every secret bare before she can discover his. But this time, one shy miss may prove to be more than his match…

Review:

I follow a lot of writer’s on Twitter, Courtney Milan is not one of them, however one of her tweets came up in my feed and it described how the couple in this book met. I was immediately intrigued and when my library had her book through e-loan I downloaded it, then before I started downloaded the prequel, because that’s just what I do.

I don’t write reviews for novellas, usually, and I’m not going to here, but so far I’ve read the one before Duchess War and the one after and they were both excellent.

Anyway, Minerva Lane, or Willamina since she’s in hiding and changed her name, is an incredible interesting character. She is playing a role, trying to appear dull and unassuming so that she doesn’t attract attention, lest anyone find out that she is the famed chess master that dressed as a boy when she was a child. It’s all a bit complicated, but so very interesting.

Robert is the son of a duke that was a horrible person in so many ways and he desperately doesn’t want to be like him. I cried several times when he talked about his childhood, it was sad and depressing and you just wanted to hold him and tell him everything was going to be alright.

The sex scenes…omg. So very well written, so realistic without being unromantic. I loved them for their honesty as much as for their heat.

The conclusion to the story is properly climactic and very well done and had me IMMEDIATELY downloading the following novella and devouring it because I want to spend more time in this world. I love historical romances that don’t necessarily embrace everything from the period and I have no idea how accurate this is, but I seriously do not care. It’s wonderful.

5/5

The Other Miss Bridgerton

The Other Miss Bridgerton

The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #3) By: Julia Quinn

Plot:

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

Review:

Poppy was very curious and smart, for a woman of her time, but she was definitely a damsel in distress. She had no power, ever. Twice she was abducted and she just waited until men told her what to do. I realize that probably makes the book more realistic, but I don’t read Julia Quinn for realism. At the beginning we were also told frequently that she was smart, but it wasn’t until much later in the book that you really saw her intelligence, and one of my pet peeves is being told a character is smart and never actually seeing it.

Andrew was fine, mostly boring, male lead. He was a capable ship’s captain, but not a swashbuckling hero.

Another pet peeve of mine is when the hero and heroine are captured and have sex while they’re being held. I seriously do not get that trope. While, Poppy and Andrew didn’t have sex they were definitely intimate and it just caused me to roll my eyes.

Honestly, I was not a fan of this book. I love the series and Quinn, but this book did nothing for me.

3/5