The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

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The Wallflower Wager is the third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I read this book immediately after listening to the Audible edition of the second book in the series (The Governess Game), and I was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next in the series.

Lady Penelope Campion is quite devoted to her small group of friends- two of whom have appeared as heroines in the previous books in the series- but for the most part, she avoids Proper Society. She is content to live with her sizeable menagerie of abandoned animals, but her family has told her that she needs to put an end to her eccentric ways and return to the family’s country house.

Gabriel Duke has crawled his way from the (literal) gutter to the top through sheer grit and determination. They call him the “Duke of Ruin” because of his ruthlessly methodical approach to achieving his goals. His newest project is renovating the house next door to Penny. He intends to sell the house to social climbers who will pay top dollar for the cachet of living next door to a Real Lady. So, against his better judgement, he agrees to help Penny find homes for all the animals so that she can remain in London. This is purely a business arrangement, nothing more- full stop. Read more

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The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

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My TBR queue has been in utter disarray for far too long, and I’m taking steps to remedy it. As I prepared for the release of Tessa Dare’s newest book, I realized that I never read the second book in the series. Luckily, I already owned it- and even luckier, I had the Audible edition as well. So, I popped on my headphones, and listened to the book while cleaning my middle schooler’s room while she’s away at camp.

But enough about me.

The Governess Game is the second book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series of Regency-era historical romance novels. As the title suggests, it features the governess trope, which is one of my absolute favorites.

Chase Reynaud is not a duke, although he is next in line for a ducal title. He has, however, already inherited the guardianship of two young girls- and all the responsibility that goes along with that. Read more

A Rogue by Night by Kelly Bowen

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A Rogue by Night is the third book in Kelly Bowen’s Devils of Dover series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book via Netgalley because I enjoyed reading the previous two books in the series. Harland (the hero) played a minor role in those earlier books, and I was looking forward to reading his story.

Katherine Wright meets Harland Hayward when he arrives at her house when she is trying to patch up her smuggler brother after he is shot by soldiers. At first, she’s annoyed; he might be a doctor, but she is a skilled surgeon and what she’s doing. When soldiers arrive shortly thereafter looking for Katherine’s brother, Harland helps convince them that nothing is amiss.

Even though he just saved her family, Katherine still doesn’t know if she can trust Hayward. After all, he is a baron, and her experience with members of the aristocracy has led her to believe that they are arrogant and callous.  Read more

Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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From the moment I heard about Red White & Royal Blue, I knew that I would absolutely fall in love with it. I received an ARC via Netgalley, but I have purchased my own copy of the Kindle edition AND I added the Audible. I’m probably going to buy the paperback as well; that’s how much I love this book.

Red White & Royal Blue is Casey McQuiston’s debut novel, and wow, what a debut. Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the President. Prince Henry is- well, a prince. They have been lowkey feuding for years, and their mutual animosity leads to a disaster at a wedding they are both attending. With the fiasco showcased around the world, they are forced to spend time together in an attempt to minimize the fallout.

And then they realize that all of their preconceptions might not be entirely accurate.

Finding excuses to visit each other and keeping their relationship a secret from the paparazzi isn’t easy, but Alex and Henry have never been happier than they are when they’re together. But how long can this last? Read more

Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall

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Waiting for the Flood is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Alexis Hall. I read the kindle edition of this book back in December during the reading spree in which I read most of Hall’s books. I recently listened to the Audible edition of this book, and I’m pleased to say that it is just as sweet the second time around.

It’s been several years since Edwin broke up with his boyfriend of ten years. Marius has moved on, but Edwin has been in a funk ever since then. It’s not that he doesn’t want to move on, but he’s not quite sure how.

When a flood comes to Edwin’s street in Oxford, an engineer arrives to assess the flood threat and mitigate as much damage as possible. Adam is confident and competent and seems to be interested in Edwin, although Edwin can hardly contemplate the possibility.

But Adam is going to be working in the neighborhood until the floodwaters recede, so there’ll be plenty of time for Edwin to get to know him. Read more

Who Slays the Wicked by C.S. Harris

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Who Slays the Wicked is the fourteenth book in C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series of Regency-era historical mystery novels. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I have read the last few entries in the series, and I was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next- especially when I saw whose murder Sebastian was investigating. Read more

Looking for Group by Alexis Hall

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Looking for Group is a contemporary m/m romance novel written by Alexis Hall. I came across this book on my quest to read all things Hall. I knew it was going to be a bit different from the books in the Spires series or the Arden St. Ives books, but the gaming theme piqued my interest.

Drew is a university student in England who spends a lot of time playing an MMO called Heroes of Legend. After some in-game drama, Drew joins a new guild, and strikes up a rapport with a new guildmate. He thinks that she’s really cool, and he likes chatting with her. He’s developed a bit of a crush, and then he finds out that his new friend is a boy. Read more

A Case of Possession by KJ Charles

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A Case of Possession is the second book in KJ Charles’ A Charm of Magpies series of Victorian-era m/m paranormal romance novels. Charles has become one of my favorite authors, and I’m pretty sure I started this book almost immediately after reading the first book in the series.

The story picks up almost immediately after the events of The Magpie Lord. Having dealt with the threat on Crane’s life, Stephen and Crane return to London. But, as they say, there is no rest for the wicked. Stephen returns to work as a magical police officer, and Crane…. Crane drifts around a little aimlessly. He’s still not happy with the title he’s inherited, and he wants nothing more than to return to China. But now there’s Stephen to consider.

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How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall

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How to Bang a Billionaire was written by Alexis Hall, and it is the first book in the Arden St. Ives series of contemporary m/m romance novels. I initially read this book last December, but since then, I’ve read the book a second time and I’m currently about ¾ of the way through the Audible edition. I think all of Hall’s books are 5 star reads, but this is one of my absolute favorites.

Arden St. Ives is about to graduate from St. Sebastian’s College (Oxford). As the story begins, Arden’s has agreed to participate in a telethon because his best friend has laryngitis. Everyone hangs up almost as soon as he says why he’s calling, but then Arden inadvertently calls Caspian Hart, a reclusive billionaire- and St. Sebastian’s alumnus. Caspian doesn’t hang up on him, and Arden invites Caspian to a fundraising dinner before he realizes exactly who Caspian is. Arden doesn’t expect Caspian to actually show up, but he does.

And thus begins the absolutely riveting story of Arden St. Ives and Caspian Hart: the bright-eyed university graduate and the emotionally detached billionaire. Read more

Standish by Erastes

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Standish is a historical fiction novel written by Erastes. I’d seen this book mentioned in various places, so when my library network purchased a digital copy, I knew it was finally time to check it out.

The first thing you need to know about Standish is that this is not a conventional m/m historical romance. If that is what you’re expecting, then you’re going to be disappointed.

Ambrose Standish is a sickly young man who lives in the English countryside with his sisters. They spend their days in genteel poverty in the shadow of Standish- the great country house that their grandfather lost in a card game.

Ambrose’s life changes forever when Rafe Goshawk returns from Europe to take up residence at Standish. Rafe is looking for a tutor for his son, and sees hiring Ambrose as a way to apologize for the whole losing-your-birthright thing.

There’s a minor amount of resisting forbidden urges, but eventually Ambrose and Rafe give in to temptation. How lovely! Sounds great! Happily ever after? Not so fast!  Read more