Thursday, July 1, 2021

Romance Round-Up (5)

My reading has been up and down for the past month and a half. During my field school I wouldn't read much during the week, then devour as much as I could on the weekends. I've also been reading a bunch more YA books, which has been really fun. Hopefully I'll get those reviews tidied up and posted along with the romances I'll be talking about today!

Title: Devil in Disguise
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: Avon
Release: July 27, 2021
Series: The Ravenels
Pages: 384
Review: 5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for granting me an ARC on Netgalley!

I absolutely loved Devil in Disguise! Merritt is a great heroine, with lots of spunk. She and Keir connect right off the bat, but it doesn't feel like the somewhat annoying instalove. They're immediately attracted to each other for sure, and get along from the start, but it takes some time for true love to bloom. The plot was a bit all over the place, but it was second fiddle to the romance and so I was content to just roll with it.

I really enjoyed seeing characters from the previous books again. I haven't read Kleypas' other series, so I didn't connect as much with some parents who were around, but I've loved the other Ravenel books and enjoyed those cameos. I think it's really fun that Kleypas ties her books together instead of having each new series being a new version of the historical romance world.

Devil in Disguise felt like it was a bit higher on the sexy scale than some of the other books. Both characters are experienced to some degree from previous relationships, so there's none of the nervous virgin stuff that's in a lot of historical romances. And while the intimate scenes are obviously sexy, they're also sweet. Merritt and Keir are truly great together, and the care they show for each other shines through in those moments.

And just a note, there's a thing I see a number of people who anticipate the book worrying about, and I just want to say that I felt a certain twist was pulled off well.


New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas returns with an enthralling and steaming romance between a widowed lady and a Scot on the run—who may have connections to one of London's most noble families. 

“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.

From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.

So far, neither of those is going well.

Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals his secret connection to one of England’s most powerful families. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.

Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves... even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.

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Title: A Duke in Time
Author: Janna MacGregor
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release: June 29, 2021
Series: The Widow Rules
Pages: 384
Review: 5 Stars

This book is high in the swoon department! The premise of A Duke in Time is that main character Katherine finds out upon her husband's death that she is in fact one of three of his wives. To say she is shocked would be an understatement. Her husband's brother Christian is also called in to handle the mess, and while at first she's just trying to get him to help her and the other wives avoid scandal and get their money, the two start to fall in love.

Kat is a delight of a main character, and I liked how both she and Christian didn't shy away (too much) from their feelings for each other. Kat is also hiding from a bit of a shady past, and so has trouble dealing with her feelings at times due to the potential scandal.

The book is also full of a great cast of side characters! First and foremost is Willa, Kat's companion. She is such a delight, and I loved every second she was on the page. She develops the beginnings of a romance with Christian's valet Morgan, and I hope the two get a happy ending. The book also features Candace (wife #2) who is pregnant and almost ready to give birth when the book begins. While Kat is happy to shelter her new friend, they all know that if Candace wants to salvage any semblance of a reputation, she needs to marry before her baby is born. Luckily, there's a certain someone in her past who will do the trick. I can't wait to read Candace's book when it comes out next year!

Along with being generally great, the heat level is definitely higher than your typical historical. I enjoyed that, and recommend this if you're looking for something a little more sexy!


Get ready for lost wills, broody dukes, and scorching hot kissing all over London in A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor.

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri's accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she's been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri's far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she's Meri's widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri's two other wives, Katherine doesn't have time for much else. But there's something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they'll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other's hearts and futures.

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Title: To Tempt a Scandalous Lord
Author: Liana De La Rosa
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Release: June 21, 2021
Series: Once Upon a Scandal
Pages: 400
Review: 5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for granting me an ARC on Netgalley!

I absolutely *loved* Alicia. She is smart as can be, passionate, and not afraid to do what she thinks needs to be done for a good cause. Niall is also a great character, but he clearly needed someone like Alicia to come shake up his world. They work really well as a couple, even if Alicia is keeping a pretty big secret and Niall has a hard time opening himself up to love.

I've previously read the third book in this series, and the characters from that book (plus the earlier two) show up a lot in To Tempt a Scandalous Lord. Through a web of family and friendship, all the characters are connected to each other. While confusing at times, it can be fun for a reader who has read all the books. In fact, I loved this one so much that I looked up the ones I'd missed and immediately pick up book two!

I highly recommend this book (and really the whole series) but be prepared for some second-hand anxiety as Alicia attempts to conceal her secret of epic proportions.


Alicia Lindsay, the dowager Countess Lindsay, has spent her life under the dominion of men—leered at, yes, but ultimately silenced and cast aside. But widowhood has granted her the freedom to voice her critiques against injustices in articles that have enraptured the nation. Resolved to bring about political change, Alicia's investigation of the newest party candidates leads her to the captivating, hardheaded Lord Inverray. She's unprepared when he proves to be not only charming but chivalrous when a slight wardrobe malfunction—with all eyes of the ton upon them—forces her to accept his proposal. Now, she’s keeping a huge secret from her soon-to-be-husband.

Niall Campbell, Marquess of Inverray, has spent years finding support for numerous legislations to help his fellow Scots. Now, poised to grasp the party leadership, his success has been threatened by some anonymous articles critiquing his campaign. Niall vows to find the author and silence them, no matter the cost. But when he finds himself engaged to an alluring widow with a sharp tongue, his plans get derailed in more ways than one...

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Title: How to Survive a Scandal
Author: Samara Parish
Publisher: Forever
Release: May 25, 2021
Series: Rebels with a Cause
Pages: 332
Review: 5 Stars

I highly enjoyed reading How to Survive a Scandal! I've been excited for it for a while, and while looking around for a good romance to read I remembered this one. It annoyed me a little how confrontational the characters were at times, especially Benedict, but once they started to make nice I liked it a lot more. An odd aspect about this book, and that I've noticed in a number of romances, is that the buildup to sexy times is very descriptive, but then closes the door on the actual sex scenes. The characters talk about having sex and enjoying it, but never once is that on the page. I know that some people like closed door romances, but it seems a weird to be otherwise very descriptive and then hide the sex scenes. Just some thoughts. I did still enjoy the characters and the romance aspects we got though! Also, I loved Cassandra's character and hope to see more of her later!


In this whirlwind Regency romance, a near-death experience leads to a marriage of convenience for two unsuspecting strangers, but will their unusual meeting lead them to true love?

Lady Amelia was raised to be the perfect duchess, accomplished in embroidery, floral arrangement, and managing a massive household. But when an innocent mistake forces her and the uncouth, untitled Benedict Asterly into a marriage of convenience, all her training appears to be for naught. Even worse, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to this man no finishing school could have prepared her for.

Benedict Asterly never dreamed saving Amelia’s life would lead to him being shackled to the hoity Society miss. Benedict was taught to distrust the aristocracy at a young age, so when news of his marriage endangers a business deal, Benedict is wary of Amelia’s offer to help. But his quick-witted, elegant bride defies all his expectations... and if he’s not careful, she’ll break down the walls around his guarded heart.

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Have you had a chance to read any of the new releases? Let me know what you though! And I definitely recommend checking out Devil in Disguise when it comes out at the end of the month!

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