The Inconvenient Duchess – FREE on Kindle & NOOK (for now anyway)…

Penny’s Rating: C+ This is pretty good for a freebie! I haven’t ventured into historical het romance land recently, and I was pleasantly surprised. Publisher Description”Dear Cici and Father,” “I have come to Devon and married a duke. And I’m more tired and hungry than I have ever been in my life. Please let me come home.” Compromised and wedded on the same day, Lady Miranda was fast finding married life not to her taste. A decaying manor and a secretive husband were hardly the stuff of girlish dreams. Yet every time she looked at dark, brooding Marcus Radwell, Duke of Haughleigh, she felt inexplicably compelled–and determined–to make their marriage real… So yay! A decent free book. I did go into this with pretty low expectations. I really wasn’t expecting much, but I have to say I was surprised that this story avoided many of the stereotypical pitfalls of het historicals. I’ve gotten jaded and bitter over the years and most of the time I choke on the unrealistic virginal sex scenes and the absolutely depressing helplessness of either one or both MC’s. “I love him sooooo much, but what is I tell him/her and he/she doesn’t feel the same…

A Tryst With Trouble

By Alyssa Everett Penny’s Rating: C I was not enamored of this book. It falls somewhere in the middle of the plethora of historical romance novels I have read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I was actually impressed by first time writer, one Alyssa Everett, but have to acknowledge that this book just isn’t my thing. Publisher Description: “Dogged for years by painful gossip about his father’s homosexuality, the Marquess of Beningbrough—Ben, to his friends—has protected himself by becoming the ultimate man’s man. Passed over by suitor after suitor in favor of her pretty but vapid younger sister, clever, forthright Lady Barbara Jeffords has reached the disappointing conclusion most men are shallow, boorish clods. When a philandering footman turns up dead, the two square off: he’s sure she’s determined to pin the crime on his hapless young cousin, while she thinks he means to shift the blame to her sister. To find the real killer, Ben and Barbara must declare a truce that threatens to expose both their buried insecurities and their growing desire for each other.” In addition to the romance between Ben and Barbara, this is also a whodunnit mystery, and for me, it…

How to Dance With a Duke

By: Manda Collins ebook, 400 pages Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin’s Press ISBN: 142995261X (ISBN13: 9781429952613) original title: How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1) Penny’s Rating: C- Publisher Synopsis: “What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants… Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it. Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could…

The Forgiven Duke

By Jamie Carie Paperback, 320 pages Expected publication: July 1st 2012 by B&H Publishing Group ISBN: 1433673231 (ISBN13: 9781433673238) Series: A Forgotten Castles #2   Penny’s Rating: C Let me preface this review by saying, I am not religious. If I were, I probably really would have enjoyed Jamie Carie’s new novel The Forgiven Duke a good deal more. The main characters are very, very Christian, and while that is probably accurate in a historical context, it really got in the way of the story for me. The Forgiven Duke is a good yarn, even when you spend half of the time you are reading irritated at one character or another for being naive, stubborn, innocent, or just plain stupid. Alexandra Featherstone has run away from her appointed legal guardian, the handsome duke of St. Easton in order to search for her parents. She is certain are still alive and in trouble somewhere, not dead like everyone thinks. Against her better judgement, in order to follow her parents trail to Iceland, she has promised herself in marriage to one Lord John Lemon. John and Alex journey to Iceland, and frequently masquerade as a married couple so that no one will question…

The Bastard

by Brenda Novak Published on November 1, 2011 ISBN: 00B005Z4ZX94 Kindle Edition, Published October 23rd 2011 Penny’s Rating: B- A penniless French daughter of a nobleman (Jeannette Boucher) flees from her new English husband and a fate worse than death. To escape the clutches of her powerful husband, (St. Ives) and his nefarious plans for her wedding night, Jeannette chops her hair, dresses in boys’ clothing, and joins the crew of a Royal Navy ship. In running away, she runs right into the arms of one Lieutenant Crawford Treynor, who protects her even before he discovers who “Jean” really is. Their growing attraction causes both great frustration and pain as they struggle to guard their hearts. Not to mention, Jeannette is already married. Will she be able to escape her husband for good, and find true love? This book has some classic storytelling elements that when I list them off sound pretty cliché: A girl masquerading as a boy A wedding without a wedding night A jaded but honorable bastard, (the handsome Lt. Treynor) A heroine who gets into scrape after scrape A hero who nobly sacrifices himself again and again to get said heroine out of trouble A voyage…

Her Christmas Pleasure (The Merry Widows #2)

by Karen Erickson 20,000 words, ebook, 67 pages Published November 28th 2011 by Carina Press ISBN 1426892705 (ISBN13: 9781426892707) Penny’s Rating: C+ Penny purchased the e-book for this review from Barnes & Noble. If you’re looking for a good romantic “quickie” read, this novella is not a bad way to go. I am not always a fan of novella’s; quite often the stories are underdeveloped and over too quickly, but in Her Christmas Pleasure, author Karen Erickson, manages to turn out a fair short tale. Damien Morton is in love with the lovely Lady Danvers (Celia), who used to be married to Damien’s best friend. The basic plot is that Damien has carried a torch for Celia for years, but doesn’t feel he’s good enough for her. Celia’s husband Lawrence, whom she loved dearly, has been dead for two years, and Celia is raising her young son Theodore alone. Damien has decided that if he can’t be with Celia, that he needs to get as far away from her as possible, even going so far as to accept a position on the continent. Damien plans to depart for the continent after the Christmas holidays, but everything changes when Damien and…