Historical Romance Thursday #3

review

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.32.18 AM

 

The Duke and I

The Bridgertons # 1

Julia Quinn

3stars (I’m feeling generous)


Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?

—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love.

Divider

 

There will probably be spoilers.

 

The Duke and I started off great. I loved Daphne and Simon and I immediately fell in love with the Bridgerton family. Anthony, Benedict and Colin are exactly the type of older brothers I always wanted but never had (thanks for nothing, parents). Loving, overprotective and sometimes very much needing to be put in their place. And for the most part Daphne is able to handle herself among them. I loved her mother (Violet? I forget already), and I loved what we saw of the younger children.  I also really enjoyed the inclusion of the society papers and I’m very interested in finding out who Lady Whistledown is.

So I was all set for novel filled with wonderful characters and a trope that I enjoy. Fake relationships are always an excellent means for falling in love so I was very interested in watching them go about their plan and slowly fall in love. Wouldn’t that have been an amazing book?

But somewhere along in the book (possibly the 50% mark, I don’t quite remember) they are caught in a compromising situation by her brother Anthony and he demands they get married. Simon refuses, there is a scheduled duel, and Daphne steps in at the last minute and Simon gives in.

And then they are married and (I think) they profess their love for one another and that was simply not how I wanted the book to go. It might be strange, but I don’t actually care what happens to the couple after they wind up happily ever after. I like the journey, but once they say I do, I’m done. I don’t want to read about their married (or dating) life. So for a large portion of this book to take place AFTER they are married was annoying enough, but then the drama wasn’t over yet. And that should have been good, but it was domestic drama and I’m not here for that.

(It doesn’t help that Daphne, who the entire first half of the novel claimed to know all sorts of things thanks to having three older brothers turns out to be incredibly naive when it comes to “the marital act”.  I like my HR heroines to be historically inaccurate when it comes to their knowledge of sex, thank you.)

Daphne wants a baby, and while Simon told her he couldn’t have kids, she soon realizes that he just doesn’t want them. But, she is determined to have one anyway. I’m not going to comment on what happens, but I just wish that this book had gone the way I expected it to. Ending with a nice marriage and Simon deciding to have children without Daphne forcing the decision on him.

I will say that even though I don’t like reading about married life, I did actually enjoy the 2nd epilogue that was included in my kindle version and showed their lives 20 or so years in the future. A little glimpse isn’t bad; I just don’t want it to take place within the actual confines of the novel.

 

Although this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I will eventually continue with the series. I am trying to read a variety of historical romance authors first to get a feel of the type of story and writing I enjoy.

Just One More

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 12.01.51 PM

Just One More is a weekly feature where I gather the books I have added to my TBR in the past week.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.11.38 PMInto The Dim

by Janet B Taylor

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Time travel. I’m in.
Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.13.42 PM

Beyond the Red

by Ava Jae

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.

When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

I might take this one off eventually, but for now it sounds interesting.  I mean, I’m sure there will be, but I’m still hoping for no romance between Kora and Eros…I’m not a huge fan of slave/master love stories.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.13.29 PMA Fierce and Subtle Poison

by Samantha Mabry

Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

I have this ARC. It sounds pretty interesting and I like that it takes place in Puerto Rico.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.13.01 PM

Bleeding Earth

by Kaitlin Ward

Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn’t so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can.

1. F/F relationship 2. the earth is bleeding?? What is this? Sign me up.
 

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.47 PMBlack Wolves

by Kate Elliott

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father’s fate.

I found this through twitter and apparently women play a pretty big role so I am totally into this. Plus I already have another of Kate Elliot’s books on my TBR so I might as well add some more! 

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.34 PMPlaying With Matches

by Suri Rosen

When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt-but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous “MatchMaven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One.

Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her secret life catch up with her?

It’s really depressing how many books have Jewish characters especially ones that aren’t about the Holocaust. This is one I really want to see more of in YA. It might not be as important as POC, disabilities or the LGBTQ communities, but the best part is that characters can be all of those things and JEWISH as well:).

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.10 PMThe Glittering Court

by Richelle Mead

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands.

I’ll probably wait for the reviews on this one as I haven’t read a Richelle Mead book yet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.12.02 PMCurse of the Cailleach

By Navessa Allen

My life was good. I had a loving family, a thousand acres to roam, and plenty of deer to hunt. What more could a werewolf ask for?

Then my younger brother and twenty three other members of our pack were struck ill by a mysterious wasting sickness. My best friend Casey and I were sent on a recon mission to find out what the local clan of Celts knew about it. Turned out, they knew a hell of a lot more than we bargained for.

Now we’re stuck in the seventeenth century Scottish Highlands, struggling to find some way home. Oh yeah, and there’s a war going on. Everyone’s trying to kill each other. And us.

The good: men in kilts.

The bad: no bazooka to use against the men in kilts.

I guess claws will have to do.

This is a Work in Progress and the first 6 chapters are currently available to read on Navessa Allen’s blog…for FREE.  GO READ IT!!!

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.11.52 PMBeastly Bones

by William Ritter

In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.

First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.

This sequel to Jackaby. It’s on order at my library and I can’t wait to check it out.

I also added 2 historical romances because I am trying to broaden the types of genres I read.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.07.58 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.07.45 PM

and

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.08.09 PM
 Because it takes place in the Hudson Valley region of New York where I am from.