Review

Review: Calhoun by Diana Palmer (1988)

Long, Tall Texans, Book #1

Heat Factor: There’s a little topless fooling around but no (extremely euphemistic) orgasms until wedding bands are exchanged

Character Chemistry: If I’m using my lizard brain, it’s awesome, but if I’m using my emotionally mature brain I have concerns

Plot: “How best can I manufacture drama to ensure that my hopeless, loveless vision for the future will actually come to pass?”

Overall: OMG this book is SO 80s and I love it

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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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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Indigo by Beverly Jenkins (1996)

Heat Factor: It’s pretty steamy for a reasonably standard old school historical romance 

Character Chemistry: Galen makes Hester feel things. He also thinks she’s arresting.

Plot: Slave catchers are roving around, looking for our protagonists, in antebellum Michigan

Overall: The work this book does is really something special

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Rant, Review

Review: Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts (1999)

Gallaghers of Ardmore, Book 1

Heat Factor: It’s very poetical.

Character Chemistry: Some of their interactions made me uncomfortable. 

Plot: Woman goes to Ireland to Find Herself. Succeeds, and finds love as well. Plus she meets the King of the Fairies. 

Overall: A disconcerting reading experience: even though it’s a contemporary, it reads like a historical.

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