Murder at Kensington Palace by Andrea Penrose

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Murder at Kensington Palace is the third book in Andrea Penrose’s Wrexford & Sloane series of Regency-era historical mystery novels. I’ve read the other books in the series, so I was interested to see how the unlikely duo was going to handle their newest investigation.

This time, the victim is Cedric, a young man who recently inherited a barony. The prime suspect is Nicholas, the victim’s twin brother- the two were overheard arguing about the inheritance and the unfairness of Cedric receiving everything simply because he had the good fortune to be born a few minutes earlier. Read more

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Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

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Devil in Spring is the third book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series of Victorian-era historical romance novels. It came out a couple of years ago, but like all aspects of my life, my reading list is woefully behind. I ended up going between the Kindle edition and the Audible over the summer as I deep-cleaned my oldest daughter’s room when she was away at summer camp.

Pandora Ravenel has never wanted to be part of aristocratic society. She would much rather stay at home and work on designing a board game. Unfortunately for her, she has familial obligations, and ends up at a ball. Even worse, she ends up in a compromising position with a notorious rake- completely by accident. Read more

Guarding the Countess by Jess Michaels

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Guarding the Countess is the fifth book in Jess Michaels’ The Scandal Sheet series of Regency-era historical romance novels. I haven’t read any of The Scandal Series books, but I’ve read (and enjoyed) several of the books in Michaels’ 1797 Club series.

Naomi’s most recent husband has recently died, and since she finds the circumstances to be suspicious, she hires Marcus (a captain) and Everett (a marquis) to investigate. They agree to help, but then someone attempts to shoot Naomi in front of their house, they decide that she needs their protection in addition to their sleuthing skills. Read more

How to Belong with a Billionaire by Alexis Hall

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How to Belong with a Billionaire is the third book in Alexis Hall’s Arden St. Ives series of queer romance novels. I tore through the first two books in a matter of days last December, so I was extremely grateful that I was able to read this book a little early.

Quite a few of the books I read/review are part of a series, and I will blithely say that the book functions well enough as a standalone, etc.

That is NOT the case with this book. Readers really ought to read the first two books in this series before tackling this one. I would imagine it would be very difficult for a reader to appreciate the narrative as a whole if they jump in at the last third.

So, if you haven’t read this series, but your interest is piqued by a queer response to Fifty Shades of Grey that is loads better than the original, AND manages to be both cheeky and introspective, then I suggest you start with How to Bang a Billionaire.    Read more

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

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How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is the first book in Kerrigan Byrne’s Devil You Know series. I have been a big fan of her Victorian Rebels series for a few years, so needless to say, I was very excited about the opportunity to read an ARC of this book.

Even if you’ve only read one Byrne book before, you already know that the prologue is intense, and this book is no exception. Content warning: Alexandra, the heroine, is raped by the headmaster of her school, and she ends up killing him in self-defense. Her best friends help her bury the body, and they go on to live their best lives.

Flashforward ten years, and Alexandra is traveling to Castle Redmayne to meet up with her friends for a wedding. She doesn’t realize that it’s going to be *her* wedding, but she finds herself married to Piers- the Terror of Torcliff, an enigmatic duke who has inherited a title he was never supposed to possess. Read more

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

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