Friday, March 18, 2022

Historical Romance Bracket Challenge: Round of 64 Day One

Hello, and welcome to the Historical Romance Bracket challenge! This is the first of many daily posts. Every day there will be polls running on Twitter for readers to vote on their favorite historical romances. These posts will have more info on the books being voted on and updates on the bracket standings. The full rundown and schedule can be found at the intro post here.

Current Standings:
The play-in titles have been decided! For Eva Leigh, The Good Girls' Guide to Rakes beat Would I Lie to the Duke. Joanna Shupe's race was close, but The Devil Downtown eked out a victory over The Rogue of Fifth Avenue. Cat Sebastian fans determined that they preferred Two Rogues Make a Right over The Larwrence Browne Affair. For Olivia Waite, The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics beat The Hellion's Waltz. In a runaway victory, Marrying Winterborne shattered Hello Stranger in the Lisa Kleypas play-in. The Tessa Dare contest was close, but ultimately A Week to Be Wicked triumphed! With these decided, the brackets are now finalized!

Enemies to Lovers Alley
Only One Bed Lane
Marriage of Convenience Avenue
Aristocrat in Disguise Road
Full Bracket

Today's Books:
Group 1 - The Prince by Katharine Ashe vs Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 9 - The Duke Who Loved Me by Jane Ashford vs The Good Girls' Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 17 - Highland Sword by May McGoldrick vs Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall (March 18th, 8pm)
Group 25 - The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan vs The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne (March 18th, 8pm)

Title: The Prince
Author: Katharine Ashe
Publisher: Avon
Release: May 29, 2018
Series: Devil's Duke #4
Pages: 415


The temptation of her lips… 

Libby Shaw refuses to accept society’s dictates. She’s determined to become a member of Edinburgh’s all-male Royal College of Surgeons. Disguising herself as a man, she attends the surgical theater and fools everyone—except the one man who has never forgotten the shape of her exquisitely sensual lips.

…will make a prince say yes to her every desire 

Forced to leave his home as a boy, famed portraitist Ziyaeddin is secretly the exiled prince of a distant realm. When he first met Libby, he memorized every detail of her face and drew her. But her perfect lips gave him trouble—the same lips he now longs to kiss. When Libby asks his help to hide her feminine identity from the world, Ziyaeddin agrees on one condition: she must sit for him to paint—as a woman. But what begins as a daring scheme could send them both hurtling toward danger…and an unparalleled love.

You Can Find it At:
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

Title: Her Wicked Marquess
Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled Amara
Release: December 29, 2020
Series: Sinful Wallflowers #2
Pages: 383


Miss Maryann Fitzwilliam is too witty and bookish for her own good. No gentleman of the ton will marry her, so her parents arrange for her to wed a man old enough to be her father. But Maryann is ready to use those wits to turn herself into a sinful wallflower.

When the scandal sheet reports a sighting of Nicolas St. Ives, the Marquess of Rothbury, climbing out the chamber windows of a house party, Maryann does the unthinkable. She anonymously claims that the bedchamber belonged to none other than Miss Fitzwilliam, tarnishing her own reputation—and chances of the dastardly union her family secured for her. Now she just needs to convince the marquess to keep his silence.

Turns out Nicolas allows for the scandal to perpetuate for his own reasons… But when Maryann’s parents hold fast to their arranged marriage plan, it’ll take a scandal of epic proportions for these two to get out of this together.

You Can Find It At:

Title: The Duke Who Loved Me
Author: Jane Ashford
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release: August 24, 2021
Series: The Duke's Estates #1
Pages: 288


Fans of Bridgerton will fall in love with this sparkling Regency romance from bestselling author Jane Ashford featuring:

A duke accustomed to getting his own way
A lady determined to teach him a thing or two about love
Delicious opposites-attract romance
Glittering detail and banter
First in a new series!

James Cantrell, the new Duke of Tereford, has inherited a dukedom in disarray and is overwhelmed by his unaccustomed responsibilities. Then he gets an idea. Cecelia Vainsmede served as liaison between James and her father, and she knows a great deal about business matters, his own in particular. She's also quite pretty. Ever the pragmatist, he suggests a marriage of convenience.

Cecelia has always been good at working with James, but she doesn't understand how he can be so obtuse. He clearly doesn't realize that he's the duke she's always wished for, or that his offer is an insult. But when a German prince arrives in London and immediately sets out to woo Cecelia, James will have to come to terms with what he really feels for her. Is running away worth the cost of losing her, or will the duke dare to win her once and for all?

You Can Find it At:

Title: The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes
Author: Eva Leigh
Publisher: Avon
Release: February 22, 2022
Series: Last Chance Scoundrels #1
Pages: 384
My Review: 5 Stars


In USA TODAY bestselling author Eva Leigh's new novel a notorious rake and an innocent debutante strike a scandalous bargain...

When Kieran Ransome’s latest antics result in a massive scandal, his father issues an ultimatum: find a respectable wife or inherit nothing. But as one of London’s most inveterate scoundrels, Kieran doesn’t know any ladies who fit the bill. Or does he?

Celeste Kilburn is a society darling, beloved by influential members of the ton. But keeping a spotless reputation leaves little room for adventure and she longs to escape her gilded cage, especially with her impending engagement to a stuffy earl. When Kieran—her older brother’s best friend and an irresistibly attractive rogue—begs for her help, Celeste makes a deal: she’ll introduce him to the right social circles if he’ll show her the scandalous side of London.

In between proper teas and garden parties, Kieran escorts Celeste—disguised as “Salome”—to rowdy gaming hells, wild fêtes, and sensual art salons. As they spend more time together, their initial attraction builds to a desperate desire that neither can ignore. But when someone discovers their midnight exploits, Celeste’s freedom and reputation are endangered, and Kieran must save the woman he loves… respectable or not.

You Can Find it At:
Barnes & Noble

Title: Highland Sword
Author: May McGoldrick
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release: March 31, 2020
Series: Royal Highlander #3
Pages: 314
My Review: 4 Stars


Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best. From USA Today bestselling author May McGoldrick comes Highland Sword, the third book in the Royal Highlander series. 

Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.

Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?

You Can Find It At:

Title: Something Fabulous
Author: Alexis Hall
Publisher: Montlake
Release: January 25, 2022
Series: Something Fabulous #1
Pages: 350


From the acclaimed author of Boyfriend Material comes a delightfully witty romance featuring a reserved duke who’s betrothed to one twin and hopelessly enamoured of the other.

Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has twin problems: literally.

It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But, unfortunately, too many novels at an impressionable age have caused her to grow up…romantic. So romantic that a marriage of convenience will not do and after Valentine’s proposal she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on him again.

Arabella’s twin brother, Mr. Bonaventure “Bonny” Tarleton, has also grown up…romantic. And fully expects Valentine to ride out after Arabella and prove to her that he’s not the cold-hearted cad he seems to be.

Despite copious misgivings, Valentine finds himself on a pell-mell chase to Dover with Bonny by his side. Bonny is unreasonable, overdramatic, annoying, and…beautiful? And being with him makes Valentine question everything he thought he knew. About himself. About love. Even about which Tarleton he should be pursuing.

You Can Find it At:

Title: The Suffragette Scandal
Author: Courtney Milan
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Release: July 14, 2014
Series: Brothers Sinister #4
Pages: 260


An idealistic suffragette...

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope... but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...

Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past... and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.

You Can Find it At:

Title: The Hunter
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin's
Release: February 2, 2016
Series: Victorian Rebels #2
Pages: 412


They're rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the proper Victorian-era ladies who love them, a hint of danger only makes their hearts beat faster...

A scandalous proposal.

As one of London't most elite hunters, Christopher Argent never misses his mark and always gets his man. But when his latest target turns out to be a woman—the popular, and stunningly beautiful, actress Millie LeCour—it turns his whole world upside-down. Overwhelmed by the heat that simmers between them, Christopher can't complete his mission. On the contrary, he'll do anything to save Millie's life—even if it means risking his own...

A dangerous passion...

When she learns what Christopher was hired to do, Millie is torn between the fear in her heart and the fire in her soul. Putting herself in this dangerous man's arms may be her only path to safety—but giving in to her desire may be the deadliest mistake she's ever made. With both of their lives in jeopardy, Millie and Christopher must learn to trust the real feelings they're hiding—to find the true love they're looking for...

You Can Find it At:
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

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