Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kelly Bowen

Looking for a new author to try out? Here’s everything you need to know about Kelly Bowen, whose books include I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm, Last Night with the Earl, and A Good Rogue is Hard to Find.

What She Writes: 

Regency romance, usually with some suspense elements. 

Please note: Bowen’s most recent book, The Paris Apartment, is a split-time World War II / present-day story that is firmly historical fiction, not romance. We haven’t read that one because 1) we are smut-lovers first and foremost and 2) we suspect that it differs dramatically from her other books.

What Makes Her Unique: 

Bowen writes unconventional heroines – like, really unconventional. Not like, “Oh, I like horses and the outdoors instead of embroidery.” More like, “I like horses and therefore fix horse races to fleece unscrupulous nabobs who don’t pay their tailors.” Her characters tend to be very morally upright, though they also tend to operate outside the letter of the law. 

Writing Style: 

Alternating 3rd person POV. Gritty details. (Think: children dying of poverty or horses dying on the battlefield.) Steamy sex that is well integrated into the plot and character development. Humor breaks things up so that her books aren’t overwhelmingly broody (which they *could* be, given the other content). 

Why We Love Her: 

We like that her books tend to have a strong moral center without getting preachy. We love her bad-ass heroines. And she does an excellent job writing sex scenes with good steam that’s not just there for fun, but also works to advance the characters’ relationship. 

Her Books as a Gif:

She Might Not Be For You: 

If you like your Regency romances to stick to ballrooms, Bowen is probably not the author for you. Her characters spend a lot of time in the underbelly of society, and Bowen doesn’t gloss over these bits. 

Also, if you definitely prefer your book titles and covers to be relevant to the book you’re reading, you might find Bowen’s books challenging. Two of the books with “Duke” in the title are not about dukes at all. And both of the “Rogue” books are actually about aristocrats (including one very staid, responsible duke who is not a rogue at all). 

Notable Quotation: 

“Have you given any thought to the formula you would like me to run?”

Alex nearly lost his grip on the decanter. “I beg your pardon?”

“At least a few of your patrons will need to achieve moderate success, and the occasional player will need to achieve considerable success at the vingt-et-un table if you hope to attract those individuals whose pocket books match their greed and belief that the next hand will change their fortune. I will require instruction as to how you wish me to deal in order to maximize both prophets and popularity.” She withdrew a small square of paper from a hidden pocket somewhere in the folds of her skirts and held it out to him.

“I’ve run some scenarios, allowing for a margin of error that I will not be able to avoid. It’s all basic accounting worked into a matrix of probabilities, but I thought you might want to review it.”

Alex very carefully replaced the heavy crystal on the surface of his desk struggling to draw a breath. This was not good at all. Forget his alarming charge into the fray on a white horse, he was rather afraid he had just fallen in love.

—Between the Devil and the Duke

The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a well-balanced historical romance that includes humor, suspense, and sex, Bowen might just be the author for you!

Content Warnings:

Books include references to extreme poverty, spousal abuse, child abuse, and deaths of family members. Usually these references are not oblique. 

Start With:

I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm. Just ignore the cover.


Review: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen (2017)

A Season for Scandal, Book #3

Review of A Season for Scandal, Book #2

Heat Factor: Steam city!

Character Chemistry: For the first time, her skills are appreciated. 

Plot: Angelique is desperate for money, so she’s been counting cards at the vingt-et-un table at Alexander’s gaming club. (NEVER DO THIS.) When she gets caught, Alexander offers her a job. And then her brother is arrested for murder. 

Overall: This is the most romantic suspense-y of Bowen’s books I’ve read, but it works pretty well

Continue reading “Review: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen (2017)”

Saturday Smutty Six: Bad-Asses

To celebrate Women’s History Month, every Saturday in March we’re posting a top-six list of some of our favorite heroines. Since we’ve got history on the brain, books are in loose chronological order by setting.

This week: Bad-Ass Heroines. You know: the ladies who shoot guns and throw knives and can kill a man with a hatpin.

Continue reading “Saturday Smutty Six: Bad-Asses”

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen (2018)

Devils of Dover, Book 2

Heat Factor: The sex scenes are excellent and well-integrated 

Character Chemistry: They are both soooooo morally upright, so I guess they are perfect for each other

Plot: Earl presumed dead returns, runs into former friend’s former fiancée, woos her for himself

Overall: Not my favorite of Bowen’s oeuvre

Continue reading “Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen (2018)”

Favorite Military Heroes – Beyond Military Romance

Military romance is a whole subgenre of romance, featuring strong alpha males (Navy SEALs, Marines, Special Forces, etc etc). In general terms, what distinguishes a military romance in our minds is that the protagonist’s military service becomes central to the plot. Perhaps the hero and heroine have to work out what being in love between deployments looks like, or the hero draws on his Special Forces Skillz to defeat the bad guy. 

Beyond Military Romance

However, military heroes and heroines show up in all sorts of different subgenres of romance, and therefore also come in different molds beyond the super-alpha super man. 

Here are some of our favorites. 

Continue reading “Favorite Military Heroes – Beyond Military Romance”