A Christmas Bride/Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh

Christmas Bride and Beau

Setting: Regency

Summary:

A CHRISTMAS BRIDE

The very wealthy Edgar Downes has promised his aging father to finally take a bride—specifically, to wed a titled lady by Christmas. London is full of pretty, proper, and eligible misses, but it’s the widow Helena, Lady Stapleton, in a shocking red dress, who captures Edgar’s attention. Helena is intrigued by the seductive stranger—but he’s simply not in her class. Marriage, of course, would never do. But in a season of miracles, something wondrous is about to happen. 

CHRISTMAS BEAU
Not even the warm, forgiving Christmas spirit can stop the Marquess of Denbigh from settling his score with Judith Easton: The beautiful young widow injured Denbigh’s pride years ago by jilting him for another man. Now that Judith is free from a nightmare marriage, the handsome marquess has her in his sights—and wants her in his arms. But to trust the tender words on his lips, Judith must not only see past the hardness of his heart, but learn once again to trust her own heart’s desire.

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Review:

Yet another great 2 in 1 collection by Mary Balogh. These two classic Christmas romances will warm your heart-in any season!

To be honest, I wasn’t that fussed about reading romances set in Christmas time and I didn’t think there would be anything special that the Christmas setting could bring. But wow, did Mary Balogh change my mind! She makes the reader believe in the magic and spirit of Christmas and both stories need Christmas to end how they did.

The first story is about two people who seem completely wrong for each other but can’t seem to keep away from each other nevertheless! Meet Edgar and Helena who meet one night and share a magical connection but their class difference keeps them apart… until they meet at a Christmas house party and slowly their walls come down. It was great and touching to read this story as the heroine has a big secret that made her seem quite flawed but more human. I loved Edgar as a strong hero, who is determined to make Helena his! 😉

The second story was my favorite; a jilted hero seeks revenge on the long ago fiance who jilted him! The hero is a Darcy-type: dark, brooding, aloof which the heroine mistakes for being cold and cruel, hence why she ran away from him. Of course, things are more than they appear and I loved how the hero is the one who was heartbroken by the broken engagement-this made it very unique in that sense. I loved the chemistry as well and how our heroine realizes her stupidity in choosing a rake over a strong, stable character. The addiction of the kids in the story made it that much more emotional as well.

This is a fabulous set of books! I read it all within 3 days, it was too addictive. This is perfect for any season and a great pick me up. If you love Christmas, second chance romances and romances with kids, this book is for you! Those readers who loved her old classics can now enjoy them once more in a great set while those new readers can see what made Balogh such a star in the romance world.

Sensuality Rating: Warm (2/5)

Verdict: Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

Setting: 1822, Regency

Summary:

Sebastian Grey is in limbo. He is the heir presumptive to the Earl of Newbury, unless the current earl, a widower, can find a bride who will bear him a son. Newbury is in his sixties and somewhat portly, but as an earl he’s considered quite a catch. Sebastian, on the other hand, is twenty-nine and extremely handsome, but in no hurry to find a wife.

Annabel Winslow, a country girl through and through, has received an offer to go to London for the season. The eldest of a family of eight, she knows that a good marriage might be the only thing that will save her family from ruin. After a few weeks in town, Annabel attracts the attention of the Earl of Newbury. The thought of submitting to him makes her skin crawl, but she is practical and determined to do her duty. Even when Sebastian Grey comes on the scene.

*Note-The aforementioned blurb comes from the UK paperback edition

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Review:

This is my first Julia Quinn novel, sadly way overdue. I’ve been meaning to read her since forever but was always distracted by other novels from authors I already knew and loved. It was only at last on the recommendation of a friend of mine who is a great reader that I decided to give her a try.

I’m so glad I did! I loved it! This is truly the definition of a Regency romantic comedy! This book made me remember why I love the Regency period and how I came to fall in love with it! I couldn’t help but laugh all the way through at the antics of the characters and the witty commentary and dialogue. I completely understand now why she is considered as one of the best Regency authors! Her writing flowed and kept me so well entertained, it did not matter that the plot was a relatively simple story of girl meets boy but is promised to somebody else. The ending was also a bit implausible but the story thrived on the writing alone, in my opinion.

Sebastian, the hero is wonderful all the way through. From the very start, you just love him for his charm, his easygoing nature, and his kindness. I also loved that he was secretly writing popular fiction for the masses-it just made him that more lovable.

Our heroine, Annabel, is adorable as well. She is a sensible, practical girl, but a girl who also knows how to laugh and have fun. Their romance is sweet and has the reader eagerly anticipating the happily ever after. The other characters were well-fleshed out and rounded and I particularly loved Annabel’s over-the-top grandmother! What a character! The ending was a bit implausible but that didn’t distract from the general loveliness of the novel!

I wish I could say more, but I might bore you with too many positive adjectives! Pick this lovely book up because you will not be disappointed-I’m putting Julia Quinn on my must-buy list!

Sensuality Rating: Warm (Love scenes are short and not explicit)

Verdict: Simply a treasure that every romance reader needs to read!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rogue in My Arms by Celeste Bradley

Setting: Regency

Summary:

Laconic Sir Colin Lambert isn’t at all worried about the prospect of fatherhood–not if it brings the lovely actress Chantal back into his life! She refused him once, but now with little Melody to tempt her, perhaps she will return to him and be his wife at last!

The only problem is, Chantal has disappeared!

Prudence Filby isn’t as lowborn as she seems, but no one would hire a lady as a stage seamstress. Now that the obnoxious Chantal has fled without paying Pru, she doesn’t even have that income and her little brother Evan is getting hungrier by the moment! When the lovesick Mr. Lambert offers to pay her to help him find Chantal–and help him mind little Melody on the journey–Pru has no choice but to take him up on it!

Colin wants to fly to Chantal’s side, but with Miss Filby and the little ones in tow, he finds his way hampered by mishap after mishap. Along the way he realizes that the woman he wants is not the one he’s chasing!

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Review:

After reading the first book in the series (Devil In My Bed), I was already anticipating reading this one months before it came out. Sir Colin was introduced as a scholar and a man who’s funny and outgoing, a direct contrast with his friend/enemy, Aidan. When I read the premise for this book, I knew it would be good. A man searching for one woman while slowly and unexpectedly falling for another? I knew it would make for some juicy awkward moments and a great payoff.

Sir Colin was a great hero, not a rogue at all! He never tried to take advantage of Prudence, our heroine and always apologized when he couldn’t stop himself from committing well, a indiscretion. 😉 Sometimes it’s great to have a good hero amidst all the tortured ones out there. It’s a nice change. There’s something to be said for a nice, honorable hero 🙂

Prudence Filby was an awesome character as well and I loved how layered she was and how Sir Colin managed to find the lady under her coarse exterior. I laughed when I watched them bicker and sighed when it seemed they couldn’t be together (even though we all know they would eventually:p). They had tension to spare! I don’t think I disliked anything in this book, except maybe for Colin taking a longer time than he should have admitting he felt something for Prudence.

The whole idea of this book which is based around a three year girl is highly original and makes for some entertaining, true to life scenes 🙂 Little Melody is still as adorable as ever, and plays another role in bringing Colin and Prudence together. Be sure to pick this one up as you won’t be disappointed.

Sensuality Level: HOT 😉

Verdict-Hilarious, touching, sexy, romantic-This book had it all! There was even a touch of mystery in it as well. BUY IT, JUST BUY IT

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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