My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

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I have a confession to make: as much as I enjoy Eva Leigh on Twitter, this is my first experience with one of her books.

But now I’m hooked.

There are a few standard tropes in (historical) romance: friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, fake courtship, only one bed, brother’s best friend, and a few others. This book is an example of that first trope- friends to lovers. In order to fully appreciate this book, you have to remember the spate of 90s teen romcoms, wherein a geeky girl received a makeover and then the hottest guy in the school finally notices her.

But wait- in My Fake Rake, it is the HERO who receives the makeover, not the heroine. Read more

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

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This book is considered to be one of the best historical romance novels of all time, and it launched the modern iteration of the genre. I’ve had this book for a few years, where it lingered in my TBR queue.

But then some of my favorite authors were talking about it on Twitter, and some of them were reading it for the first time. My curiosity got the better of me, and I finally started reading.

The Marquess of Dain has been alone for most of his life. His mother absconded, and his father dropped him off at Eton and never came back for him. Dain inherited an estate encumbered by debt, and through sheer will and cunning, amassed a fortune. He has an entourage of hangers-on, but he doesn’t really have close friends.

Jessica Trent travels to Paris to retrieve her brother Bertie, who has fallen in with Dain. Bertie doesn’t have the sense that God gave a goose, and it’s time for him to return to England. Read more

Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

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This is the third book in Reid’s Game Changers series of m/m hockey romance novels. I haven’t read the other two books in the series, but they are already on my TBR queue based on how much I liked this one.

Well, spoiler alert, but there you have it: I loved this book.

Ryan, a professional hockey player, has been traded to Toronto. He doesn’t know anyone, but he immediately runs into Fabian, whose family he boarded with when he was a junior hockey player.

Fifteen years ago, they had an “almost” moment, but then they went their separate ways.

Until now. Read more

Jeremiah by Jayce Ellis

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I want to begin by saying that Jeremiah and Collin have one of the best meet-cutes. Jeremiah, who works as a paramedic, sees Collin struggling to get his two drunk friends back to their apartment. Not only does Jeremiah help, but he carefully puts Collin’s friend’s heels on top of a shoebox.

That’s when I knew that Jeremiah was a sweetheart, even if he and Collin didn’t immediately fall in love after that one scene. All I needed to know was that even though Jeremiah was exhausted, he still took the time to help people he didn’t even know. That’s the kind of person Jeremiah is.   Read more

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

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I don’t remember who recommended Roan Parrish to me, but this book seemed like a good place to start since it’s the first in a series.

Dan has always felt like an outsider: he is too cultured for his father and brothers, and he was not cultured enough for his college classmates. But when he receives an opportunity to teach at a small college in Michigan, he sees an opportunity for a fresh start.

Dan meets Rex after his job interview, and there’s clearly some chemistry between them, but nothing happens because there’s an injured dog that needs to go to the vet (long story). Read more

Jackdaw by KJ Charles

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Jackdaw takes place in Charles’ Charm of Magpies universe series of Victorian-era queer paranormal romance novels. It isn’t a strict perquisite to read the first three books in the series, but readers will benefit from a better understanding of the larger story arc.

Jonah Pastern played a supporting role in Flight of Magpies, the third Charm of Magpies book. I don’t want to reveal too much, but I will say that Jonah appeared as one of the villains of the piece, so right away, it’s interesting to see him as the protagonist in a romance.

Once upon a time, Jonah met Ben, and they were very happy together.

Until they weren’t. Read more

Betrothed by Christmas by Jess Michaels and Elizabeth Essex

 

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The holiday season seems to start a little earlier every year, and I don’t mind one bit. I love the music and the decorations and the snow, and most importantly the time spent with my family and friends. Needless to say, I was very excited about the opportunity to read this new historical romance anthology.

The two novellas share the same which I thought was a fun worldbuilding element. They also take place during the Christmas season, but the plots are not overwhelmed by the holiday, which works well because the emphasis falls on the characterization rather than relying on the holiday to carry the plots. Read more

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

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The Widow of Rose House was written by Diana Biller. I’m a big fan of historical romance; I don’t read very much of American historical romance, but the premise piqued my interest.

Alva Webster has returned to New York after living abroad, accompanied by her scandalous reputation. She intends to renovate a Hyde Park mansion, detailing the process in an interior design book full of photographs, an innovative and creative venture that hasn’t been done before.

But the workers have abandoned the project because they say the house is haunted.

And then this pesky scientist keeps popping up because he wants to study the ghosts.

Alva doesn’t want to rely on anybody but herself, but Samuel Moore is sweet and kind and very earnest. Read more

Gilded Cage by KJ Charles

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Gilded Cage is the second book in KJ Charles’ Lilywhite Boys series of queer Victorian-era mystery/romance novels. If you haven’t read Any Old Diamonds, the first book in the series, I suggest you stop reading because I’m going to be unable to discuss Gilded Cage without revealing spoilers for Any Old Diamonds.

It’s really good- you’ll love it. Read more

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

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Twice in a Blue Moon is a contemporary romance novel written by Christina Lauren. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I absolutely loved Autoboyography, which is one of their other books.

The story begins fourteen years ago with a trip of a lifetime to London for Tate and her Nana Jude. While in London, they meet fellow Americans Sam and Luther. They end up spending a lot of time together sightseeing. Tate and Sam hit it off right away, and she trusts him with her biggest secret- that she’s the estranged daughter of one of Hollywood’s most famous leading men. Trusting Sam turns out to be a huge mistake, and Tate’s world is changed forever.   Read more