Sunday, March 27, 2022

Historical Romance Bracket Challenge: Round of 32 Day One

Welcome to the Historical Romance Bracket Challenge Round of 32! You all voted, and your voices were heard. Half the original books have now been eliminated, and your favorites are going head-to-head. Who will make it through unscathed? Only time will tell!

Current Standings:
Since I didn't do a post yesterday, here are the results from the last four groups of the Round of 64. We had four runaway races this time around. In Group 8, Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean handily beat Blame It On the Duke by Lenora Bell. For Group 16, The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley triumphed over Betting on a Duke's Heart by Royaline Sing. In Group 24, Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (a favorite in Romancelandia) beat An Extraordinary Lord by Anna Harrington. And Tessa Dare fans SHOWED UP. In what was probably the most votes of the Round of 64, A Week to Be Wicked won over The Highlander Who Protected Me by Vanessa Kelly.

Enemies to Lovers Alley
Only One Bed Lane
Marriage of Convenience Avenue
Aristocrat in Disguise Road
A new round means an updated full bracket too! Feast your eyes (if you can read the tiny print).

Round of Thirty-Two (March 27th - 30th)
Group 1 - Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid vs Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 2 - After Dark With the Duke by Julie Anne Long vs The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 3 - The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham vs Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 4 - West End Earl by Bethany Bennett vs Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean (March 30th, 8pm)
Group 5 - The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh vs An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 6 - A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins vs The Devil of Downtown by Joanna Shupe (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 7 - The Rebel and the Rake by Emily Sullivan vs Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 8 - Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins vs The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley (March 30th, 8pm)
Group 9 - Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall vs Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 10 - The Lady's guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite vs About a Rogue by Caroline Linden (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 11 - Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman vs Some Like It Scandalous by Maya Rodale (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 12 - Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt vs Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (March 30th, 8pm)
Group 13 - The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan vs A Good Duke Is Hard to Find by Christina Britton (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 14 - The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton vs My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes (March 28th, 8pm)
Group 15 - When a Duke Loves a Governess by Olivia Drake vs A Taste of Honey by Rose Lerner (March 29th, 8pm)
Group 16 - The Butterfly Bride by Vanessa Riley vs A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare (March 30th, 8pm)

Sweet Sixteen (April 1st - 2nd)
Group 1 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 3 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)
Group 4 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)
Group 5 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 6 - TBA (April 1st, 8pm)
Group 7 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)
Group 8 - TBA (April 2nd, 8pm)

Elite Eight (April 4th - 5th)
Group 1 - TBA (April 4th, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (April 5th, 8pm)
Group 3 - TBA (April 4th, 8pm)
Group 4 - TBA (April 5th, 8pm)

Final Four
Group 1 - TBA (April 7th, 8pm)
Group 2 - TBA (April 7th, 8pm)

TBA (April 8th, 8pm)

Today's Books:
Group 1 - Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid vs Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 5 - The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh vs An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 9 - Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall vs Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke (March 27th, 8pm)
Group 13 - The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan vs A Good Duke Is Hard to Find by Christina Britton (March 27th, 8pm)

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:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Apple Books

Title: Beauty Tempts the Beast
Author: Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon
Release: September 29, 2020
Series: Sins for All Seasons #6
Pages: 370
My Review: 5 Stars


She wants lessons in seduction

Althea Stanwick was a perfect lady destined to marry a wealthy lord, until betrayal left her family penniless. Though she’s lost friends, fortune, and respectability, Althea has gained a scandalous plan. If she can learn to seduce, she can obtain power over men and return to Society on her terms. She even has the perfect teacher in mind, a man whose sense of honor and dark good looks belie his nickname: Beast.

But desire like this can’t be taught

Benedict Trewlove may not know his parentage but he knows where he belongs—on the dark side of London, offering protection wherever it’s needed. Yet no woman has ever made such an outrageous request as this mysterious beauty. Althea is out of place amongst vice and sin, even if she offers a wicked temptation he can’t resist. But as the truth of his origin emerges at last, it will take a fierce, wild love to overcome their pasts.

You Can Find it At:
Apple Books
Barnes & Noble
Avon Books

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:

Title: An Unconditional Freedom
Author: Alyssa Cole
Publisher: Kensington
Release: February 26, 2019
Series: The Loyal League #3
Pages: 320


Daniel Cumberland’s uneventful life as a freed man in Massachusetts ended the night he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. To then have his freedom restored by the very man who stole his beloved’s heart is almost too much to bear. When he’s offered entry into the Loyal League, the covert organization of spies who helped free him, Daniel seizes the opportunity to help take down the Confederacy and vent the rage that consumes him.

When the Union Army occupies Janeta Sanchez’s small Florida town, her family’s goodwill and ties to Cuba fail to protect her father from being unjustly imprisoned for treason. To ensure her father’s release, Janeta is made an offer she can’t refuse: spy for the Confederacy. Driven by a desire for vengeance and the hope of saving her family, she agrees to infiltrate the Loyal League as a double agent.

Daniel is both aggravated and intrigued by the headstrong recruit. For the first time in months, he feels something other than anger, but a partner means being accountable, and Daniel’s secret plan to settle a vendetta and strike a blow for the Union can be entrusted to no one. As Janeta and Daniel track Jefferson Davis on his tour of the South, their dual hidden missions are threatened by the ghosts of their pasts and a growing mutual attraction—that might be their only hope for the future.

You Can Find it At:
The Ripped Bodice
Barnes & Noble

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:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Title: Governess Gone Rogue
Author: Laura Lee Guhrke
Publisher: Avon
Release: January 29, 2019
Series: Dear Lady Truelove #3
Pages: 372
My Review: 5 Stars


Dear Lady Truelove...

My twin brother and I need a new mother, though Papa insists he'll never marry again. Must be nice, brainy, and fond of cats...

Lady Truelove may be London's most famous advice columnist, but James St. Clair, the Earl of Kenyon, knows his wild young sons need a tutor, not a new mother. They need a man tough enough to make his hellions tow the line, and James is determined to find one.

Miss Amanda Leighton, former schoolteacher and governess, knows she has all the qualifications to be a tutor. And while female tutors are unheard of, Amanda isn't about to lose the chance at her dream job because of pesky details like that. If Lord Kenyon insists on hiring a man, then she has only one option.

Jamie isn't sure what to make of his new employee, until he realizes the shocking truth—beneath the ill-fitting suits, his boys' tutor is a woman. An unconventional, outspoken, thoroughly intriguing woman. Despite Amanda's deception, he can't dismiss her when his boys are learning so much. Yet Jamie, too, is learning surprising lessons—about desire, seduction, and passionate second chances.

You Can Find it At:
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

Title: The Suffragette Scandal
Author: Courtney Milan
Publisher: Courtney Milan
Release: July 14, 2014
Series: Brothers Sinister #4
Pages: 260
My Review: 5 Stars


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: A Good Duke Is Hard to Find
Author: Christina Britton
Publisher: Forever
Release: June 30, 2020
Series: Isle of Synne #1
Pages: 351
My Review: 5 Stars


After her third fiancé leaves her at the altar, Lenora Hartley is beginning to think she's cursed. One thing's for certain: she needs to escape London and her father's tyrannical attempts to find her yet another suitor. The Isle of Synne, an isolated and idyllic retreat off Britain's northern coast, is blessedly far from society's gossip, but it also carries haunting reminders of her first fiancé. Letting go of the past to find happiness seems impossible—until Lenora is thrown in the path of a gruff, mysterious blue-eyed man who makes her pulse race.

Next in line for a dukedom he doesn't want to inherit, Peter Ashford is only on the isle to exact revenge on the man who is responsible for his mother's death. Once he's completed the task, he'll return to America where his life can finally be his own. Yet when he meets the beautiful and kind Miss Hartley, he can't help but be drawn to her. Can Peter put aside his plans for vengeance for the woman who has come to mean everything to him?

You Can Find it At:

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