historical romance

Master of Seduction – Kinley MacGregor

714585Title: Master of Seduction
 
Author: Kinley MacGregor
 
Genre: Historical Romance
 
Series: Sea Wolves #1
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5
 
 

Synopsis: The infamous pirate Black Jack Rhys never encountered a ship he could not board or a woman he could not bed. But the dashing brigand may have met his match in the fiery beauty who has vowed to bring him to justice . . .

A fearless, flame-haired enchantress, Lorelei Dupree believes she has a duty to her fiancé and to the city of Charleston to help end the reign of the notorious Black Jack. But when the bold pirate eludes her carefully set trap, she suddenly finds herself the prisoner of the irresistible criminal they call “Master of Seduction.” Once trapped in Jack’s intoxicating gaze, Lorelei feels herself falling under the handsome rogue’s sensuous spell. And now the terror of the high seas faces the one peril he never anticipated—for though he has stolen so many hearts, he never dreamed he’d meet a woman who could so effortlessly conquer his own.

 
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What I thought about the book: I was so excited to read this more because of the ridiculous cover than anything else. I was disappointed with it, it turned out to be a bit boring. The swashbuckling adventure fell a little flat, the dramatic moments (the fire, Jack’s grand gesture) were a bit meh…. My expectations might have been set too high. I expected a wild raunchy affair (in fairness how could I not have with that cover) which it didn’t deliver. The best thing about the book was the characters. They were very well developed but the events they endured were a bit anticlimactic.
It was more like a romantic comedy than a pirate adventure.
 
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My Rating: 
3 paws
Master of Seduction

Get the book on Book Depository

Swashbuckling Romances

Oh, the thrill of the high seas (we’ll ignore the scurvy bit). Ya gotta love a bit of cheesy romance every now and then, there’s no shame in it. Even Marge chills out with a good swashbuckling adventure once and awhile. The romance genre gets looked down at a lot and this subgenre even more so but who cares what people think as long as it’s fun, right?! Here are some of my top picks from the genre.

Master of Seduction (Sea Wolves, #1) Master of Seduction – Kinley MacGregor

♦Enemies to Lovers ♦Pirates ♦Historical

I love that cover so much!!! It’s so cheesy!! (Kinley MacGregor is a pseudonym for Sherrilyn Kenyon so Dark Hunter fans this might be the one for you.) I expected this book to be a bit of a cheese fest with heaving bosoms and the like but it was much sweeter than that. It’s more like a romantic comedy on the high seas (which is a bit cheesy I guess). Jack and Lorelei set a wager that she can make him fall in love with her before he can get her into the sack. You can imagine the little cat and mouse games that follow. It’s a very entertaining and fun read. One thing that annoys me is that Jack actually walks around calling himself The Master of Seduction…..calm down lad! ★★★☆☆

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1) The Iron Duke – Meljean Brook

♦Steampunk ♦Kick Ass Heroine ♦Suspense

Oh man, I love this book! Since it’s first in a steampunk series there is a good bit of world building but it doesn’t hinder the flow of the story. Mina and Rhys are some of the strongest characters I’ve ever read in a romance. And the story? Such an adventure! And there are zombies but they’re not super gross. Mina is an inspector assigned to a case involving a dead body dropped from the sky onto Rhys’s property. Together they unravel a conspiracy threatening the lives of everyone in England. ★★★★★

The Captain of All Pleasures (Sutherland Brothers, #1) The Captain of All Pleasures – Kresley Cole

♦Enemies to lovers ♦Historical ♦Suspense

This is Cole’s debut novel but it still shows signs of the style she writes with in Immortals After Dark. This book is quite the adventure as well. Derek is taking part in a ship race while holding Nicole prisoner after he believes she attempted to sabotage his ship in the hopes of winning the race herself. Adventure (and lurve) ensue. ★★★★★

 The Price of Pleasure – Kresley Cole

♦Historical ♦Adventure ♦Tortured Hero/Heroine

Sometimes I feel like I might be pushing Kresley Cole on you guys…..but she is awesome so you should really read her books!!! Seriously, my favourite romance author. Anyway, this book is the follow up to The Captain of All Pleasures but you don’t need to read it to enjoy this one. Here we follow Derek’s brother Grant as he seeks out and rescues Victoria whose family was stranded on a desert island years before (I think it was like 7 years). Grant was the stoic responsible brother who finds his restraints tested around Victoria. ★★★★☆

Beauty & the Beast Retellings

There are actually a lot of these out there and I’ve only read a tiny fraction of what’s available. A lot of the retellings are YA which I don’t really read and a lot of the adult ones are erotic. But there are some books inspired by the tale that reach a happy medium. Here are the ones I’ve read and the ones I’d like to read.

Currently Reading

I’m starting this book today. A lady in my book group just finished it and said it was great. Just look at that cover!

Beauty of the Beast – Rachel L. Demeter

Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.


Retellings I’ve Read

Depravity (Beastly Tales, #1) Depravity, Deceit, & Devastation – M.J. Haag

This is a trilogy following 16-year-old Benella. The books are short (approx. 170 pages each), they could easily be combined to make one. I can’t decide if this is YA or NA, there are some mature situations and attempted rape. It’s a pretty good retelling but a lot of it could have been cut out. Did we really need every detail of Benalla picking vegetables and cleaning the castle? This is probably the only retelling I’ve read that has a curse with transformed servants.

Beauty and the Beast: An Erotic Tale (Sensual Fairy Tales Series Book 1) Beauty and the Beast – Jax Lawrence

This is a freaky sex one. It’s really short and seems to end in the middle. I’m guessing there’s a sequel. It’s just dirty and makes no sense! The beast is cursed to endure beastliness and scorn from the villagers until he can be sexually dominated *eye roll*. I read this because I read a really good review that didn’t reveal anything of the plot. I also didn’t read the synopsis. Luckily it was short.


These books are considered a kind of retelling. They have a beauty and a “beast” (usually a scarred man that’s still super hot) but there’s no curses or castles.


The Vixen and the Vet (A Modern Fairytale) The Vixen and the Vet – Katy Regnery

This is a sweet romance. I don’t usually go for sweet romances but I enjoyed this one. Savannah Carmichael is trying to revive her journalism career by interviewing wounded veteran and town hermit, Asher Lee. During their interviews, they become friends then fall in love. You know how it goes…

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) Lover Awakened – J.R. Ward

I love this book!!!!!!! This is the 3rd book in The Black Dagger Brotherhood (awesome series, you should totally read it). It follows the troubled and battle scarred Zsadist and the beautiful Bella. Since this is the 3rd book in a series I can’t really go into the plot without spoiling previous books but it’s amazing! My favourite book in the series (I’m only up to 7 though). The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a group of vampire warriors (with silly names) at war with soulless humans called lessers.

If You Deceive (MacCarrick Brothers, #3) If You Deceive – Kresley Cole

Ethan MacCarrick is a scarred and vengeful rake determined to punish Madeleine van Rowen for her parent’s crimes against him. Madeleine needs a husband or she’s out on the streets. Ethan decides to lead her on and ruin her. Nobody writes romance like Cole. I absolutely love her!

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1) The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – Jennifer Ashley

This book is something special among historical romances. Ian Mackenzie has Asperger’s syndrome but it being 1881 he was seen as being a bit mad. He spent his youth in an asylum, an experience that left a lasting mark on him. He meets Beth Ackerly and decides she’s a beauty he must have. Throw in a murder mystery and you got yourself a great book.

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) A Hunger Like No Other – Kresley Cole

Another one by Cole. This is the second book in her very popular Immortals After Dark series. Lachlain is a werewolf gone completely nuts after 150 years of torture by vampires. Emmaline is a vampire half-breed and his destined mate. Everyone in Immortals After Dark has a soul mate….guess it’s a handy way to deal with the instalove. This one wouldn’t be one of my favourites from the series. Lachlain is way too possessive and Emmaline really struggles to stand up for herself (she kicks butt in the end though). The best part of this series is the Valkyrie. They are awesome!!! I want to be Valkyrie!!


Retellings I want to Read

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast Beauty – Robin McKinley

Lord of Scoundrels (Scoundrels, #3) Lord of Scoundrels – Loretta Chase

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales, #2) When Beauty Tamed the Beast – Eloisa James

To Beguile a Beast (Legend of the Four Soldiers, #3) To Beguile a Beast – Robin McKinley

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1) Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hodge

Firelight (Darkest London, #1) Firelight – Kristen Callihan

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1) Romancing the Duke – Tessa Dare

Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1) Master of Crows – Grace Draven

Have you read any of these books? What retellings would you recommend? 

Angel in Scarlet by Jennifer Wilde

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Title: Angel in Scarlet

 
Author: Jennifer Wilde
 
Genre: Historical Romance
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.97/5
 
 
Synopsis: Jennifer Wilde’s dazzlingly passionate, superbly witty New York Times–bestselling novel about a schoolmaster’s daughter who becomes the toast of late eighteenth-century London and the woman two extraordinary brothers vie to possess

Angela Howard, the spirited daughter of a village schoolmaster, will never forget her first provocative glimpse of Lord Clinton Meredith, the gorgeous, golden heir to magnificent Greystone Hall. But it is Clinton’s illegitimate brother, Hugh Bradford, who claims Angie’s innocence—and her heart. They share one glorious night before violence and tragedy separate them. Her heart shattered, Angie moves to London, where she meets the mercurial, sensual playwright James Lambert . . . and a portrait painter named Gainsborough vows to turn her into a legend.

But through the years of fame and glory and wealth and success beyond her wildest dreams, Angie is haunted by the man she loved and lost—a man who won’t rest until she is his again.

Angel in Scarlet is a winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award.

 
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What I thought about the book: I don’t know who wrote the synopsis but they only skimmed some of the details in the book. Hugh and Clinton are cousins, not brothers.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this. There’s so much more to the story than what you get from the synopsis. We’re really following Angie’s life more than her romance with a single man. And she has lived quite a life! Great story, occasionally far-fetched but entertaining and emotional.
 
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My Rating:
5 paws

Book Haul 6-12 Feb

My ‘purchases’ this week. Got a few freebies, first two were mentioned in one of my book groups, the others I got from bookbub email. I read Jabril and Angel in Scarlet on scribd so didn’t really buy but I used two credits on them!
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Dianthe Rising (A Dia Mclearey Novel Book 1) Freebie

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Silver Storm (Rakes & Rebels: The Raveneau Family Book 1) Freebie

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The Curse Merchant (The Dark Choir Book 1)  Freebie

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The Loneliest Alpha Book #1 (The MacKellen Alphas series)  Freebie

20804378Scarlet Night (Behind the Vail Book 1) Freebie

24595202Angel In Scarlet

6753250Jabril (Vampires in America book 2)

A21956516A Dangerous Madness (Regency London 3) Freebie

Need a romance for Valentine’s?

How about a quickie?…

I love reading novellas and short stories, especially if I’ve just read something really long. They’re great for getting over reading slumps, filling in time between books or for when you want some instant gratification… And they’re great as a taster to a particular genre.

I love reading novellas and short stories, especially if I’ve just read something really long. They’re great for getting over reading slumps, filling in time between books or for when you want some instant gratification… And they’re great as a taster to a particular genre or series.

100 – 200 pages

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Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook 110pages

Set in Brook’s Iron Seas universe, this prequel follows Mad Machen and his love interest Ivy as they journey across the sea and he tries to win her heart. It’s an Enemies to Lovers story  (love those!) and despite its short length the characters are very strong and well developed, as is the relationship between the characters. There are one or two things in the book that may not make sense if you haven’t read The Iron Duke (which you should definitely read) but they only have a small effect on the story and don’t spoil future books.

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The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter 66pages

Another prequel, set in Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series (if you haven’t started it, get to it!). This is more of a Friends to Lovers story (or ‘person I know but don’t talk to’ story) following Geryon, the Guardian of Hell, and Kadence, the Goddess of Oppression. Set a long ass time before the series, we meet the characters at their post by the gates of hell and join them on their little adventure inside. Very quick read at about 66 pages and it doesn’t spoil a thing for the series. If you’re contemplating giving Lords of the Underworld a read but not sure, this is a fun story for a taster. My only issue with this one was that I thought it was really weird when the characters had sex…not that the sex was weird, just did not seem like the time or place for that kind of activity.

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The Darkest Prison by Gena Showalter 65pages

This one is set a bit later in the series but it’s spoiler free (I think…) Anyway, it’s a great story. Another Enemies to Lovers one that’s a lot of fun to read. Set in Tartarus and tells the story of Atlas, the Titan god of Strength, and Nike, the Greek goddess of Strength and Victory. These two have had quite the interesting relationship over the many many years their lives have been entwined. Nike is an awesome character, one of Showalter’s best.

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Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost 106pages

I had a lot of issues with Frost’s Night Huntress series when I first read it. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that I didn’t like but after reading this I think it’s the commando stuff I dislike. This story is set in the Night Huntress world and Bones makes an appearance at the beginning but this has no effect on the main series storyline. We follow new character’s Chance and Isabella as they try to save Isabella’s brother from the mafia. In true Frost style, this story is exciting with plenty of action.

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The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole 163pages

Oh, how I love Kresley Cole!! This novella was my introduction to her writing and it was love at first sight (or bite heh heh). Enemies to Lovers again here, which is a common trope in Cole’s books but it’s all good cause they’re fun to read. Here we follow the vampire warlord Nikolai and the seductive valkyrie Myst as they play a little game of cat and mouse with tantalising results. This is a bit of a raunchy one, just to warn you.

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Grizzly by Bonnie Bliss 154pages

This is kind of an Indie book written by a husband and wife writing team. It’s also pretty dang dirty! Perfect if you want something a bit steamier for your Valentine’s. Here we follow Sorscha and her bear shifting bodyguard Tethur as they battle orcs and get it on when they can. It’s a pretty fun story. Sorscha is a bit of a geek, I love the references to geeky shows and movies. Tethur is a bit overbearing (badum tish) but Sorscha is well able to deal with him.

200 – 250 pages

https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1426280852l/23636581.jpgBlurred Lines by Lauren Layne 221pages

I don’t often read contemporary romance and when I do, I don’t often finish it. This one I enjoyed right to the end! It’s a familiar Friends to Lovers story. Girl and guy are besties, guy sleeps with all the ladies, girl breaks up with boyfriend and asks guy to help her pick up dudes for casual liaisons. It’s been done to death but it works! It’s fun and easy going, perfect for Valentine’s. Hmmm, I might reread this one myself for Valentine’s day…

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Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder 240pages

This one is a bit of a rollercoaster emotionally. It may make you cry. It sure made me cry! It’s tagged Young Adult on Goodreads but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 16. I’d say it’s more New Adult although there is a teenage romance at the beginning. We mainly follow Nell and her relationship with her first love, Kyle, and later, his brother, Colton.

“This book is for anyone who has ever lost a loved one, for anyone who has woken up crying and gone to bed the same way, for anyone who has had to learn that it’s okay to not be okay. Surviving isn’t strength, it’s continuing to breathe one day at a time; strength is learning to live despite the pain.” – Jasinda Wilder

Series Short Stories

These ones should be probably be avoided if you haven’t been reading the series they belong to. I wanted to include them cause they’re great stories. I’m not going to talk much about the plot of each cause it’s hard to mention what happens without spoilers and you should only read them if you’re into the series.

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The Darkest Angel (Lords of the Underworld) by Gena Showalter 118pages

This is one of my favourite books in Lords of the Underworld. Should be read after book 4. The romance between Lysander and Bianka is a lot of fun. Bianka is another awesome leading lady by Showalter.

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Curran POV’s (Kate Daniels) by Ilona & Gordan Andrews 157pages

How could anyone not fall in love with Curran?? This collection shows Curran’s point of view during several integral moments during Kate and Curran’s developing relationship. Should not be read before books 1 – 4.

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A Family Affair (Cassie Palmer) by Karen Chance 46pages

This is a short story from Pritkin’s POV. Cassie isn’t in this one much. We learn so much about Pritkin’s character in this. If you’re on team Pritkin, this is a must! Should not be read before books 1-4.

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Shadowland (Cassie Palmer) by Karen Chance 54pages

This is a continuation of the previous short story, A Family Affair. More Pritkin time woohoo!!

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Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood) by J.R. Ward 91pages

Zsadist *swoon*. You should not read this before books 1-6. This story is so sweet! Zsadist is going to pull on those heartstrings yet again.

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The Day of the Dead (Cassie Palmer) by Karen Chance 52pages

You could actually read this one without reading the Cassie Palmer series but it’s helpful to have some background on Thomas. Really quick fun story.

What I’m Reading

I have mostly urban fantasy planned for this month with one or two romances. I might throw in a reread of Blurred Lines but I’ll most likely read one of the planned ones. Which are…

714585Master of Seduction by Kinley McGregor

I decided to read this book because of the cover. I mean, look at it!!! It is so damn cheesey, I HAVE to read it!!! I don’t even know what it’s about! I’m guessing pirates…

6668868Pride Mates by Jennifer Ashley

I love shapeshifter romances!! This one was recommended to me by a member of my book group (can’t remember who, sorry). I’ve read one of Ashley’s historical romances, The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, and it was brilliant! I recommend it if you like historical romance. It’ll be interesting to see how she does paranormal romance.

Well that’s it! I ended up talking about way more books than I had intended to. Hope you didn’t get bored!

If you decide to read any of these or you have already, I would love to hear what you think of them. And I would love to hear about what books you’re reading this month as well.

Transcendence – Shay Savage

20504754Title: Transcendence
 
Author: Shay Savage
 
Genre: Historical Romance / Time Travel
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
 
 

Synopsis: It’s said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?

Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from; she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.

Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive, but beautiful, man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.

With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.

 
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What I thought about the book:
Oh, my God!! This book gave me all the feelings!! I chuckled, I swooned, I was anxious, I cried. I loved it!!
 
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Favourite Character: Ehd
 
My Rating:
5 paws
 
Smutometer: 
Smut 3