Recommended Read, Review

Review: A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran (2011)

Thank you to Kay of Miss Bates Reads Romance for the recommendation! 

Heat Factor: A few open-door scenes where the focus is more on the emotions than the moving pieces.

Character Chemistry: They have some serious trust issues, but that’s the whole point. 

Plot: Guttersnipe + Rake in a Marriage of Convenience 

Overall: The emotional beats in this book are PERFECTION.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin (2021)

Heat Factor: Well hello, on page sex, I did not expect to see you here

Character Chemistry: Uh, grumpy cynic is soft for tortured cinnamon roll. YES PLEASE

Plot: The relics are BACK! With an aura-sucking vampire paranormal, a rude English Viscount who finds himself in the middle of a situation he knows nothing about, and a Puerto Rican nullification magic paranormal who has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and a tragic past

Overall: I am so delighted I might go back and read Magic in Manhattan all over again so I can get some more vibes

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Series Review

Series Review: The Princess Shanyin Saga by Liliana Lee (2014)

Heat Factor: These books go on the Erotica shelf

Character Chemistry: There’s a cosmic connection, but I don’t always buy it

Plot: Princess Shanyin gets a hot young lord sent to her harem. Power plays (and lots of sex) ensue

Overall: If you’re looking for high-brow reverse-harem erotica with bonus disturbing political machinations set in 5th century China, The Obsession is excellent. If you want the HEA, read the full series—but note that The Enslavement and The Fulfillment are less tightly written.

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Dueling Review, Recommended Read

Dueling Review: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (1995)

This month, as part of talking about morality chain romances, we all read Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. It comes up frequently as a “canon” romance, but none of us had read it before. Spoiler alert: we all really liked it.

Scoundrels, Book #3

Let’s start by each giving our metrics for the book:

Holly

Heat Factor: Purple prose alert!

Character Chemistry: Sarcasm abounds. Also, she tells him that he’s sensitive and he’s baffled but she’s not wrong. 

Plot: Jessica must rescue her brother from the clutches of the Marquess of Dain. He compromises her. She shoots him. They get married. 

Overall: ZOMG. The plot gets a little saggy towards the end, but I still had a blast.

Erin

Heat Factor: Kissing in the RAIN! 💕 But yeah, standard histrom fare albeit on the steamy side

Character Chemistry: She’s competent AF and he’s a man baby, and they’re both super besotted, so it’s pretty excellent, in fact

Plot: antagonists → spouses → exasperated (Jessica)/emotionally constipated (Dain) → lovers

Overall: Bottom line, this is simply a very fun read

Ingrid

Heat Factor: Oh, my.

Character Chemistry: Had Dain been with any other woman, I would have hated it…but since he was with Jess…swoon.

Plot: Dain is fully committed to a life of debauchery when he meets Jessica, who is a spinster and really doesn’t have any time for his nonsense unless he’s got her pressed up against a wall. Once he ruins her and refuses to do the right thing, she shoots him, they negotiate, and they’re pretty much in a bout of emotional fencing until the book ends.

Overall: Obsessed.

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Review

Review: Winter’s Heat by Denise Domning (1994)

The Graistan Chronicles, Book #1

Heat Factor: Sex happens early, but not often.

Character Chemistry: They are the worst communicators. Also he doesn’t respect her. 

Plot: Rowena is married off to Rannulf, and decides to make the best of it. Plus there’s a lot of drama with her inheritance and the Evil Other Woman. 

Overall: This was an interesting read when approached as an artifact of romance written in the 1990s, but it didn’t make my heart go pitter-pat.

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