The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
I’ve been putting this one off for almost an entire year now, and it’s also my first time reading Tessa Dare. I’ve been hearing such great things about her that I was just nervous to actually read her. Turns out, I totally didn’t need to be because this was brilliant. I’m always hesitant when it comes to books with scarred heroes, as someone with pretty noticeable scars myself, I kind of hate the whole narrative around them. More often than not the people with scars are either villains, or they’re extremely sexy. This takes both of those viewpoints and then lets the hero be an actual person. That gets extra points from me. On top of that, the romance is just unbelievably cute. You can really see the level of love and respect that the characters have for each other and honestly, it just makes my heart hurt. The next two books in this series arrived in early February and I am so excited to get to them soon hpefully.
To Wed A Scandalous Spy by Celeste Bradley
I picked this one up on a whim from Better World Books last February and finally got around to picking it up this month. I don’t really know how to put this into words—it was alright, but there wasn’t really anything special about it. As the title suggests, it’s about a spy but it just isn’t that exciting. I wanted more intrigue, more drama instead it’s just people being awfully to the two leads and constant but vague reminders that the male protagonist is a ‘traitor’. This could’ve been brilliant with just a little tweaking to the plot. So a little sad this turned out to be a disappointment, but on the other hand, I now know that I don’t want to continue with the rest of the series which is definitely going to save me a lot of time and money. You win some, you lose some, right?
The School For Heiresses series by Sabrina Jeffries
I read this entire series in less than a month and honestly, I’m pretty proud of myself for that. Usually, it takes me literal years to get through a series, but not this time! I did buddy read the first one—Never Seduce a Scoundrel with Angel and you can see our discussion here. I’ve said it numerous times before but Sabrina Jeffries is my favourite romance author and this just solidified that. I loved most of the books in the series, but I have to admit I did have my favourites—namely, book one and book three, Beware A Scot’s Revenge. That third book was just so much fun and I loved every second of it. Of course, there were a few I was less fussed on too—I didn’t really enjoy book two, Only A Duke Will Do or the final book, Wed Him Before You Bed Him. I was really disappointed I did love the last one as I’d been so excited to finally hear Charlotte’s story and see the reveal of Cousin Michael. I liked the reveal, but nothing after that really grabbed my attention. As for the second, I just felt like we’d already seen so much of Louisa and Simon’s story that I just wasn’t interested.
An Unexpected Earl by Anna Harrington
This is the second book in the Lords of the Armory series, the first of which, An Inconvenient Duke, was one of the best romances I read last year. So this one was pretty highly anticipated for me. I don’t think it quite lived up to my expectations, but it also wasn’t disappointing either. For me, I think this just lacked the depth that the previous book had. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this one is quite a bit shorter than that one.Marcus and Danielle from the previous book had a history together, but they also had their own stories, personalities and motivations. I’m not entirely convinced that Amelia and Brandon in this one do. They definitely have that history, but I felt very unclear on their motivations for doing things in this book. Amelia runs a charity for war widows, but I don’t think it’s ever really explained as to why she started it in the first place. We’re also told repeatedly that this charity is the most important thing to her, but we only see her actually do anything related to it once and that’s it. I’ve been reading a lot of historical romances lately in which the female protagonists are involved in some kind of charity or activism work and I love seeing that, which might be why I was so disappointed that we saw so little in here. It just would have really given some more depth to Amelia who really oesn’t have any descernible personality. Okay, I’m starting to think that I’m maybe a little more disappointed in this one that I thought I was. Book three is reportedly being released in June of this year, so I guess we’ll see how I feel about that one soon enough.
That it’s for today’s reviews! Have you read any of these? Will you be picking any of them up?