Recommended Read, Review

Review: Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale (2010)

Heat Factor: The time they have sex when they’re seventeen is a little too real

Character Chemistry: It’s obvious to everyone but her that he’s head over heels

Plot: First love reunited

Overall: This book is ridiculous

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Ravished by Amanda Quick (2005)

Heat Factor: It’s definitely not unusual for an old school trad published historical romance, but also they have sex in a cave before the 50% mark…so maybe it also is?

Character Chemistry: If you like that “I’ve been wronged and misunderstood, so I’m going to live down to everyone’s expectations” plus “I see through your mask and am the only one to call you on your b.s.” dynamic, this is that

Plot: Bluestocking spinster with no time for social niceties calls beastly and scandalous landowner to town because criminals are getting in the way of her archaeology; compromise and marriage ensues

Overall: Um, this book is awesomesauce.

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Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare (2013)

This month, our theme week—inspired by SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge—was the Blue Collar archetype. What could be better than a cross-class blacksmith romance?

Spindle Cove, #3.5

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: He gets her all dirty

Character Chemistry: They’ve been pining from afar for a while and are finally ready to admit their feelings

Plot: Let’s try this courtship thang!

Overall: There are a couple of really standout scenes

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: I mean, it opens with her admiring the size of his………………wrists. And it ends with zero doubt some dirty stuff went down. 

Character Chemistry: There’s heavy longing suggested, but things get cooking right away, which is nice for us.

Plot: They want each other, but can they HAVE each other?

Overall: It’s really cute and I can tell this is one that will stick in my memory if not just because there are some very memorable (and unique!) moments.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: It’s a novella, so there’s a lot of desiring from afar but only the one fateful night 

Character Chemistry: There are some undercurrents between Diana and Aaron earlier in the series, so this book involves a good deal of pining followed by taking action

Plot: Diana and Aaron finally decide to stop dancing around each other and see if their feelings can overcome their class divide

Overall: I enjoyed it more the first time I read it years ago, but it’s still well-constructed and charming if you don’t mind some dated ideas

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Review

Review: A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall (2022)

Heat Factor: A little bit of feisty bedroom action in an otherwise very gentle book

Character Chemistry: So. Much. Angst.

Plot: How to buck oppressive expectations + Interrogating gendered expectations

Overall: I expected this book to make me cry, and it totally did not.

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Review

Review: Reputation by Lex Croucher (2022)

Heat Factor: It gets pretty steamy, but not remotely with the romantic couple.

Character Chemistry: They end up kind of being a balm for the rest of the very difficult to like cast of characters

Plot: It’s an Emma/Mean Girls mashup, essentially. Georgiana is the impoverished new girl in town, who catches the interest of wild child Frances and her rich group of friends. On the periphery of the friend group, Georgiana meets Mr. Hawksley, who is actually a good person, etc.

Overall: I almost DNF’d it three times. I struggled with this one because it was good but it was really uncomfortable to read and if that makes me a goody-two-shoes nerd, then so be it.

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