<![CDATA[When Pen Met Paper... - Historical Romance]]>Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:32:21 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Book Review of Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon]]>Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:47:58 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-out-of-the-ashes-by-lori-dillonReview by: Anaka the Great

Out of the Ashes
by Lori Dillon

Published March 18, 2012 by Amari Press

Theirs was a love destined to be -- torn apart by the wrath of Vesuvius

Pompeii, AD 79

David and Sera are soul mates meant to be together, if only their bumbling guardian angels could do their job right...

First united in Pompeii as a privileged merchant's daughter and a slave gladiator, their young love is cut short when Vesuvius unexpectedly erupts. After several botched attempts, their angels get one final chance to bring the couple together and personally escort them back to war-torn Italy, nearly two thousand years later.

WWII, 1943

Sera is now an archeologist excavating the ruins of Pompeii. David is an American soldier masquerading as an Italian, sent to spy on the Germans camped near the ruins. With the help of their earth-bound angels, they soon find each other again as they excavate the ruins.

But will deception, the horrors of war, and the forgotten tragedy of their past lives, prevent them from unearthing the love of a lifetime?

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
Out of the Ashes and into your heart; this imaginative and emotional novel by Lori Dillon will have you wanting to go back in time. When it comes to archaeology, Serafina, also named Sera, really does know her stuff. In the middle of WWII in the contemplated country of Italy, Sera has studied archaeology and completely devoted her life to it. That is until one American spy captivates her attention.

David, a red white and blue soldier is working as a spy for Allied troops, and takes up a job near a German camp digging at the ruins of a once powerful city. Pompeii, the city which now lays beneath 15-20ft of volcanic ash and debris, once held the beginning of these two soul mates' tale. After a crushing catastrophe of the monstrous volcano Vesuvius, the two lovers get a fourth chance at a happily ever after. Now I say fourth because their lives are held by the fragile hands of two old married guardian angels, named Marsha and Hershel. No matter how much they try, they always seem to mess up the soul mates lives together, but this is their last time to truly get it right.

Sera is not at all transfixed with the tall, dark, and handsome David, who has deceived everyone into believing he is Italian. And David isn't too thrilled to be working side by side with a violently tempered female. Nonetheless, the two's journey has just begun, and the road to a happily ever after is a crucial one.   

You will be turning each page with blistering speed, while the ups and downs will surely make you frustrated enough to smack your own lover's arm at some point in the book. But if you keep reading, this romantic story will make you laugh while also pulling at your heart strings. It is just one of those stories that makes you wish you didn't read it, so you can read it over.
<![CDATA[Book Review of A Waltz at Midnight by Crista McHugh]]>Sun, 04 Mar 2012 15:57:05 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-a-waltz-at-midnight-by-crista-mchughReviewed by: Book Addict

A Waltz at Midnight
by Crista McHugh

Published February 27, 2012 by Carina Press

New York, 1866

When her mistress receives an utterly unromantic letter from a potential suitor, servant Susanna Parkwell is asked to craft an appropriate response. Though hesitant to take part in the deception, Susanna agrees, never dreaming the scorned suitor will write back.

Theodore Blakely abhors being pressured by his family to marry, but he's intrigued by the witty refusal he receives from "Charlotte". After exchanging more letters, Ted believes he's found a soul mate in his thoughtful and understanding correspondent, and asks permission to formally court her.

Though racked with guilt over her lies, Susanna can't resist the opportunity to meet Ted in person. So she poses as Charlotte at a holiday ball, where she vows to tell him the truth. But when the clock strikes midnight, will Susanna have the courage to reveal her identity and risk losing the man she loves?

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
If you're looking for a quick, light read with all the magic of a Cinderella story in a historic post- Civil war era, then look no farther than A Waltz at Midnight.

Susanna and her brother are living in their Aunt's boarding house in New York after the conclusion of the Civil War and her brother's injuries at its hands. Of course, they must pay their way and that is how Susanna finds herself as a maid of all work. When one of the boarding students receives a less than impressive letter from a potential suitor, Susanna is convinced to take matters into her own hands - by writing a suitable rebuff. What starts out as her doing a favor, soon turns into her masquerading as someone else as the letters fly fast and furious between "Charlotte" and Theodore.

For his part, Theodore is doing his duty by his pestering family and settling on someone to marry. It isn't a love match by any means, but all he needs is a girl of good breeding to help him carry on the family name. Imagine his surprise when he finds this girl is also full of wisdom, fire, and passion - through her increasingly open letters.

The deception must come to an end sometime, but not before Susanna takes one more turn at being Charlotte. The masked ball is her only chance to see the man she has fallen in love with in person and she promises herself she will reveal all to him before the night is through.

Will Theodore forgive her her misrepresentation and take a chance at love?

Although short, this story packed a strong emotional punch. The way the beginning chapters are dominated by Susanna and Theodore's letters to one another is the perfect backdrop for their love to unfold. By the time the ball arrives, you are filled with both hope and trepidation - you want Susanna to get her fairy tale ending with her handsome prince.

<![CDATA[Book Review of The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2012 20:43:56 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-the-many-sins-of-lord-cameron-by-jennifer-ashleyReview by: Book Addict

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron
by Jennifer Ashley

Published August 3, 2011 by Berkley Sensation

A renowned rake, Cameron Mackenzie doesn't care if Ainsley Douglas has a virtuous excuse for sneaking around his bedchamber. He only cares that she's at his mercy. One kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. But what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam's own rules.

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
The Many Sins of Lord Cameron is the third book in the series about the MacKenzie brothers. As something of a horse whisperer and a man with a haunting past, Cam finds himself more at home with his equines than with people. A single father and widower, he's not quite sure what to do with his unruly son and is grateful for his brothers' help with the lad's care.

Ainsley Douglas has encountered Lord Cameron in the past, both as his sister-in-law's dear friend, and as the Queen's close confidante. The last time they were caught alone together he gave her a scorching kiss that nearly made her forget herself. Six years later and Ainsley is a widow and free of any reason to hold back.

But what starts as a simple mission to retrieve the Queen's damaging letters, soon evolves into a sensual game that may have unforeseen consequences for Ainsley and Cam...

I really enjoy Jennifer Ashley's writing style. The MacKenzie brothers are all arrogant, dashing, fearsome Scots with just enough quirks to make them a bit crazy and loveable. Cameron is hiding a tragic past that has made him vow never to marry again. As he begins to fall for Ainsley and opens up more and more, you cannot help but feel immense joy for this brutish rake who is learning to trust again.

Ainsley is one of those strong, self reliant heroines who takes no crap from anyone - Alpha males included. Yet, she still has her moments of weakness and insecurity and Cam is the perfect man to hold her hand through it.

I cannot wait to read eldest brother Hart's story, The Duke's Perfect Wife, which releases in April and I have heard that there will even be a book for Cam's cheeky son, Daniel, all grown up.

I am sure you will find the mad MacKenzies as wild and spectacular as I did!
<![CDATA[Book Review of The Lady Most Likely by Quinn, James & Brockway]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2012 13:55:04 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-the-lady-most-likely-by-quinn-james-brockwayReviewed by: Book Addict

The Lady Most Likely
by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James & Connie Brockway

Published December 28, 2010 by Avon

Three of the brightest stars of historical romance invite you to a party at the country home of the Honorable Marquess of Finchley

Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, needs a wife, so his sister hands him a list of delectable damsels and promises to invite them— and a few other gentlemen—to her country house for what is sure to be the event of the season.

Hugh will have time to woo whichever lady he most desires . . . Unless someone else snatches her first.

The invitation list includes:
  • The horse-mad but irresistibly handsome Earl of Briarly
  • The always outspoken Miss Katherine Peyton
  • The dashing war hero Captain Neill Oakes
  • The impossibly beautiful (and painfully shy) Miss Gwendolyn Passmore
  • The terribly eligible new Earl of Charters
  • The widowed Lady Georgina Sorrell (who has no plans to marry, ever)
And your hostess, Lady Carolyn Finchley, an irrepressible matchmaker who plans to find the lady most likely . . .  to capture her brother’s untamed heart.

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please read 'Read More' below:
Most anthologies are a series of short stories completely independent of one another except for a common 'theme'. In The Lady Most Likely, we have the privilege of reading three stories by some of historical romance's best authors, that are all set at the same house party with the same characters. The transitions between story arcs are seamless, making you forget you are not reading a full-length novel by a sole author.

Normally, I would be giving you the rundown on each couple and their journey to happily-ever-after. However, in the case of this book, I think that would ruin the surprise. Part of the charm of this book is waiting to see who will wind up together. I will tell you that I found the horse-loving Earl of Briarly adorable, war hero Captain Neill Oakes fierce and capable, the new Earl of Charters utterly romantic, Miss Katherine Peyton determined, Lady Georgina Sewell kind and loving, and Miss Gwendolyn Passmore a rare intellectual beauty. The way these characters interact at the country house party amidst Lady Carolyn Finchley's matchmaking is nothing short of memorable.

These ladies know how to write wonderful historical romance and this book is no exception. Marriage hunting has never been this much fun!
<![CDATA[Book Review of Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2012 20:42:50 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-bride-by-mistake-by-anne-gracieReviewed by: Book Addict

Bride by Mistake
by Anne Gracie

Published January 3, 2012 by Berkley

Eight years ago, Lieutenant Luke Ripton made a hasty wartime marriage-in-name-only to protect a young girl from a forced union and left her protected in a remote mountain convent. Now, Luke is Lord Ripton, but he has been unable to obtain an annulment. Which leaves him no choice but to collect a wife he doesn't want.

For nearly a decade,  Isabella has waited like a princess locked in a tower, dreaming of her handsome, dark-eyed prince. Her dreams are shattered when Luke reveals himself not as a prince, but an autocratic soldier, expecting her unquestioning obedience, which is something Isabella's fiercely independent nature will not tolerate.

And while Luke and Isabella’s fiery personalities clash at every turn, they remain bound to their vows, never expecting that the passionate fury they share could become passion of a different kind…

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
Bride by Mistake is the fifth book in the Devil Riders series. If you haven’t read the first four, you really need to! If you just can’t wait to pick up Bride by Mistake however, I find that Anne Gracie’s books could be read on their own, out of order, with no major confusion.

We finally learn the tale of Luke Ripton, the most reckless of the Devil Riders. His time as a Lieutenant in the war has left scars, both emotional and physical. He seems to fling himself through each new day with little concern for his well being. His friends and family are naturally worried for him. You can imagine their great shock (and a little hope) when they learn that he has been married for eight years(!) and he must travel to Spain to collect his bride.

Isabella was fleeing from a terrible fate when she met Luke for the first time. Gallant and strong, he swept in like a knight in shining armor to save her. He married her to give her the protection of his name and then promptly left her on her Aunt’s convent doorstep.

The reunion of Luke and Isabella does not go the way either imagined it to. Luke really wants an annulment so that he can search for a proper wife, and Isabella has been dreaming of the day her husband will come for her for eight long years. As they travel across Spain with a deadline looming, they are forced into tight quarters and intimate situations. Luke and Isabella realize they are not the same people who first met so long ago, but they just might be able to fall in love with the people they are now.

Luke is the perfect damaged, troubled hero. I spent many chapters waiting for him to finally open up to someone and cheered loudly when he received the closure he so desperately needed. Isabella is headstrong and resilient, but she’s carrying around a childhood shame that weighs heavily on her. She too has a chance for closure and finally forgives herself for her past mistake.

This was a slightly different twist on Anne Gracie’s other Devil Riders stories, as it took place almost entirely out of England. I really enjoyed Luke and Isabella’s story, with its sweet romance, igniting passion, and dangerous adventure. I would have liked to see a bit more of them interacting with his family and friends in England, but the Epilogue was more than satisfactory.

<![CDATA[Book Review of The Lord of Illusion by Kathryne Kennedy]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2012 12:01:50 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-the-lord-of-illusion-by-kathryne-kennedyReviewed by: Book Addict

The Lord of Illusion
by Kathryne Kennedy

Published February 7, 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca


Lord Drystan Hawkes dreams of fighting for England's freedom from the endless evils of the Elven Lords. But first he must find the beautiful slave girl who holds the secret to his quest.


Enslaved for years in a realm of illusion, Camille Ashton has learned to trust no one. But she's truly spellbound when she meets Drystan, and somehow when they are together, she can see what's true.

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
Some books in a series can be read out of order. The Author spends time re-capping important events and re-introducing important characters, and you have no trouble diving into the continuing adventure. The Lord of Illusion is NOT one of those books. I picked this book up without realizing there were previously two books in the series. My mistake because I finished the story still feeling slightly confused, like I never totally caught up. So take this review with a grain of salt and with this thought in mind: Read this series in order!

The premise of this story was definitely interesting. Imagine England in the 1700's, where bad, bored Fae have broken through their world and taken over ours. This has been going on for generations and has resulted in half-Fae and mixed Fae descendants. England's brightest and bravest have banded together and formed the Rebellion, whose sole mission is to find the doorway back to Elfhame, home of the Fae. Enter Drystan, who has been searching for the Key to this doorway for years and finally finds it in the form of a beautiful slave, Camille.

Drystan, the 'orphan' who lives in Wales, is painfully bookish and feared by many for his devilish "fits" is nothing like Drystan the confident magic user and Sword Master who shows up to rescue Camille. It was honestly like reading about two different people. There really needed to be some more transition scenes as he made his way to England or else the original character needed to be tweaked a bit. I had a very hard time buying his complete transformation. And while I did like Drystan & Camille as a couple, there was something almost unlikeable about Camille on her own. I can't put my finger on what it was exactly, but I oftentimes found myself annoyed with her behavior.

That being said, the beautiful imagery, especially the magical illusions, was my favorite part of this book. The words are so carefully chosen, so lovingly placed, they involve all of your senses until you're there - flying on the back of a golden dragon, wind in your hair.  The ending was a happy one and I would say The Lord of Illusion is definitely worth a read, particularly if you read it in the correct order.
<![CDATA[Book Review of The Rogue Pirate's Bride by Shana Galen *ARC*]]>Thu, 26 Jan 2012 13:56:47 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-the-rogue-pirates-bride-by-shana-galen-arcReviewed by: Book Addict

The Rogue Pirate's Bride
by Shana Galen

Published February 7, 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca


Out to avenge the death of his mentor, Bastien discovers himself astonishingly out of his depth when confronted with a beautiful, daring young woman who is out for his blood...


British Admiral's daughter Raeven Russell believes Bastien responsible for her fiancé's death. But once the fiery beauty crosses swords with Bastien, she's not so sure she really wants him to change his wicked ways...

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
First of all, take a moment to stare, er glance, at that beautiful cover. Knowing nothing about the story, I would buy this book just from the cover. A dashing, shirtless pirate and a beautiful lady holding a sword she looks like she knows how to use. I know this story's going to be good and I must say it more than lived up to those expectations.

This story really has it all: danger on the high seas, a sexy pirate captain facing off with a fetching woman who is no damsel in distress, beautiful romance, and a spark of lust that could ignite the world.

Bastien and Raeven's story is not one of love at first sight. In fact, Raeven quite hates him and tries to kill him on their first meeting. They are both mired down in the past, searching for a revenge that will somehow make their losses feel more justified.

Raeven's confident, almost reckless attitude is a perfect match for Bastien's take charge, lord of all manner. Their clashing wits and dueling wills is just as much fun to read as the great swashbuckling scenes. Amidst all of the danger, secrets, and intrigue they find that they are not so very different from one another. All it takes is one little spark to light a fire into a blaze...

Most romance novels, historicals in particular, have a predictable happily-ever-after ending. You can see how the characters will get from point A to that forever point B and while there may be some minor obstacles along the way, you never doubt that that is where the author is taking them. Bride by Mistake is the first book, at least of recent memory, that had me literally on the edge of my seat, chewing my nails, in worry. There were times when I thought "Will they really end up together? How can it be possible?!" Bastien and Raeven really pull on your heartstrings and their HEA is all the more joyous for the peril and danger they went through to get to it.

If I had any complaint, it would be that I would loved to have seen a bit more between the last chapter and the epilogue. The ending felt a bit rushed after all of the excitement in the previous chapters.

I most wholeheartedly recommend you read this book. Like, right now. Seriously.    Why are you still here reading this?

It should be noted that there are two previous books in the Sons of the Revolution series about Bastien's brothers: The Making of a Duchess and The Making of a Gentleman. I have not read either of these yet but I had no trouble following the storyline and events in The Rogue Pirate's Bride.

Oh, and Ms. Galen - if you're handing them out, I'd like a Rogue Pirate of my own! ;)
<![CDATA[Book Review of The Price of Temptation by Lecia Cornwall *ARC*]]>Wed, 21 Dec 2011 13:55:34 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-the-price-of-temptation-by-lecia-cornwall-arcReviewed by: Book Addict

The Price of Temptation
by Lecia Cornwall

Published December 27, 2011 by Avon

Lady Evelyn Renshaw is married to England's most notorious traitor...
Or is she?

No one has seen Lord Philip alive for months. The Crown wants to hang him. The ton wants to know if Evelyn is as guilty as her husband, and Philip's enemies expect Evelyn to pay the price for her husband's sins.

Captain Sinjon Rutherford has troubles of his own. He needs a place to hide while he proves himself innocent of some very nasty charges. The Crown offers assistance, but only if Sinjon helps them uncover the truth about Evelyn's part in her husband's treason. He's planted as a spy in her household, disguised as a servant. But Sinjon is no footman...and he doesn't have time to fall in love with the enigmatic Evelyn, but the lady needs a strong protector, and a lover.

And it seems the lady has some dark secrets of her own, secrets that can get them both killed...

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
I really liked this second offering from Lecia Cornwall. The Price of Temptation starts off with a bang (literally!) and the action doesn’t stop until the last word on the last page. Lady Evelyn Renshaw’s notorious husband has been missing for some time, and it seems all the world is looking for the traitor. Of course, this means that they are also keeping a close eye on Evelyn herself. Living under constant surveillance, the disapproving clucking of her three sisters and the speculation of the Ton would be a bit much for anyone.

Enter one Captain Sinjon Rutherford, disgraced military man trying his best to prove his innocence. He is planted by the Crown as a spy in Evelyn’s household in the form of a footman. He is there to root out all of Evelyn’s secrets, not fall for her strength and charm.

This story was unusual in that a Lady of good breeding finds herself attracted to her servant. We all know that Captain Rutherford is no mere footman, but Evelyn does not at the time. I will say that I would love to read a historical romance where the Lady truly does fall in love with a man of lower class. If Dukes can marry their governesses, why can’t the under butler get a little love? What’s good for the goose and all that. But, I digress.

Even though the villains’ identities are laid out early on in the book, there is plenty of action and even a few twists in store. Though there were many obstacles that had to be overcome on both their parts, true love did win in the end.

A very well written story with likable characters (discounting Evelyn’s horrid sisters!) that had a happy ending for all.
<![CDATA[Book Review of Pride and Passion by Charlotte Featherstone]]>Wed, 23 Nov 2011 15:21:16 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-pride-and-passion-by-charlotte-featherstoneReviewed by: Book Addict

Pride and Passion
by Charlotte Featherstone

Published November 15, 2011 by HQN Books

Lucy Ashton had long ago given up her quest for true love. In the rarified society of Victorian England, Lucy plays the game--flirting, dancing and dabbling in the newly fashionable spiritualism. Even marrying when--and who--she's supposed to. If the stuffy Duke of Sussex cannot spark the passion she craves, he can at least give her a family, a home of her own,and a place to belong. But when her polite marriage reveals a caring and sensual man, Lucy begins to wonder if she can indeed have it all.

But Lord Sussex is not the man the London ton has come to admire. And Lucy has some ghosts of her own, as well. Thus, when a blackmail scheme turns to threats of danger, the newfound peace of the Sussex marriage is cast upon the rocks. Passion has a price, Lucy learns. And not all ghosts stay buried.

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
I did not read the previous book in this series, Seduction and Scandal. However, Ms. Featherstone did a wonderful job re-capping its main events so that readers were not left wondering at plot and character references. I really enjoyed the blending of classic historical elements with the mystery and danger of the Brethren Guardians, protectors of important ancient artifacts.

Adrian and Lucy's road to everlasting love was quite a rocky one. Adrian has been smitten ever since first sight while Lucy believes her heart lies elsewhere and certainly not with a man she feels is a cold-hearted prig. Deadly secrets are revealed and evil enemies hatch nefarious schemes. Will danger bring them closer together or separate them forever?

Adrian and Lucy are so similar it is easy to see why they are so drawn to one another. Both suffer from feelings of worthlessness and loneliness and are deeply passionate, though they keep it hidden well.

The end of Pride and Passion left me gasping and clamoring for more. I eagerly anticipate Temptation and Twilight, the next book which releases sometime in July 2012.
<![CDATA[Book Review of Tides of Passion by Tracy Sumner]]>Tue, 22 Nov 2011 12:00:22 GMThttp://whenpenmetpaper.weebly.com/historical-romance/book-review-of-tides-of-passion-by-tracy-sumnerReviewed by: Book Addict

Tides of Passion
by Tracy Sumner

Published originally by Zebra Books, re-released as an e-book October 17, 2011

She is his greatest temptation.

He is her forbidden desire.

A battle of wills leads to love.


Spirited Savannah Connor is passionately committed to stamping out social injustice. Yet when she arrives in Pilot Isle, North Carolina, ready to take up a new cause, she quickly finds herself on the outs with the town constable. Zachariah Garrett is the most arrogant, infuriating, maddeningly attractive man it’s ever been her misfortune to meet. And suddenly, Savannah is fighting a whole new battle—this one against her own yearning for a man who is impossible to resist.


Ever since his wife’s death two years ago, Zachariah Garrett has dedicated his life to keeping the peace. And avoiding the thought of love. But Savannah Connor isn’t an ordinary woman—and she proves hard to ignore. She’s a beguiling beauty with the power to awaken emotions Zach thought he’d never feel again, and the tenderness to help him forget his fears. And risk his heart once more.

For a complete review which may contain SPOILERS, please click 'Read More' below:
Savannah is an independent woman and an impassioned suffragette. She cannot bring herself to rely on a man but that doesn't mean she is immune to Zachariah's masculine charms.

Zachariah, feeling like an utter failure, has vowed never to wed again. He is the town sheriff and as reliable as they come. Everyone comes to him with their troubles but just once would it be so bad if he took something for himself?

The immediate sizzling attraction between Savannah and Zachariah was very hot! I don't know what I enjoyed more: their fierce disagreements or their passionate love-making. Lust exploded between them like a firecracker on the fourth of July, but it was the slow deepening of affection that made this book a truly enjoyable love story.

I typically read regency England historicals, so Tides of Passion was a refreshing change in its historic American setting. The times may be vastly different from today, but the relationships have a timeless, every day feel.

A great historical romance read!

You can find the e-book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005WVPFH0 along with the first book in the series, Tides of Love.