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ARC Review: An Extraordinary Lord by Anna Harrington

An Extraordinary Lord (Lords of the Armory, #3)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This one looked extremely promising – I absolutely love stories like this, with people working on the wrong side of the law to better other people’s lives. Unfortunately, I found myself skimming 90% of the words trying to get past the painfully awkward banter and fight scenes that would have been better in a movie. Phrases like “Deception flared in her eyes” illustrate what bothers me with this novel. What does that even mean? If it hadn’t been awkward and overwritten, I think I’d have greatly enjoyed this story.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing an e-arc for review.

ARC Review: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was an utter delight. I read it from start to finish in one sitting and don’t regret it in the slightest. I’ve been reading a lot of (very good) epic fantasy lately, and this was such a refreshing break from the heavy seriousness of it all. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but is also very sweet (and funny).

Kit is grumpy and charming, Percy and his valet remind me rather a lot of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, though Percy is rather cleverer than Wooster. I find myself very curious what mischief Marian was getting up to throughout it all, and hope her book will follow soon.

I also have to hand it to Cat Sebastian for her rendition of Kit’s injury that causes him chronic pain. It was thoughtful and integrated into the story and felt real and honest.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for providing an e-arc to review.

ARC Review: The Rake Mistake by Erica Ridley

The Rake Mistake (The Wild Wynchesters #1.5; Heist Club #1)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was delightful! Not only were the Wynchesters involved – especially Great Aunt Wynchester – but also Philippa’s book club (Heist Club!). I can’t wait for more!

*Thanks to Erica Ridley for the e-arc to review.

ARC Review: A Midsummer Night’s Romance by Erica Ridley (and others)

A Midsummer Night's Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Really enjoying this one! The idea is clever: Novellas from many historical romance authors with a common element – they all take place at one masquerade party. The novellas are short but enjoyable, and I’m finding lots of new-to-me authors to follow and check out their other works. There’s far too many to read in one sitting, but I’m enjoying slowly making my way through them in between other books.

*Thanks to Erica Ridley and Rose Garden Books for providing an e-arc for review.

ARC DNF Review: How to Train Your Earl by Amelia Grey

How to Train Your Earl (First Comes Love, #3)

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I thought this one looked great from the blurb, but I was sadly disappointed. I could tell within a few pages that the writing style was not for me, and the next few chapters didn’t change that. I started skimming but still couldn’t find anything to draw me into the book. Brina is constantly thinking about how ‘masculine’ Zane is. There’s a lot of insta-lust but not really much substance. And the writing is…. clunky.

It seems to be getting a lot of good reviews though, so maybe if writing style isn’t a make or break issue for you (it is for me) then it’s worth a try?

*Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an e-arc to review.

ARC Review: How to Catch a Duke by Grace Burrowes

How to Catch a Duke (Rogues to Riches, #6)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book took longer to read than most historical romances I read, and the pace was very slow. Stephen and Abigail were also a bit standoffish and took a long time to really open up to the reader. Once the story got going, however, I enjoyed it immensely. I probably would have enjoyed it more had I read the first four books in this series, rather than just the fifth, and would have got more of the references within the Wentworth family, but there was enough information provided that I never felt completely lost.

Once the story got moving, I really enjoyed it. The relationships were a tangle that was sorted in the end, and both Stephen and Abigail had past struggles and sorrows that they had to come to terms with (and they eventually did). Even without reading the first four books, I feel like this one wrapped up the series and provided a fitting end.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing this e-arc for review.

ARC Review: To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed to Have and to Hoax, but this one was even better. Possibly because I am eternally a sucker for an enemies-to-lovers dynamic.

Jeremy and Diana had so much chemistry (hidden under poking and teasing at one another) that their interactions were a lot of fun to read. I loved seeing them banter and tease and bait one another mercilessly, while also connecting in private and realizing that there was more to each of them than the carefully crafted lazy personas they showed the world. I found myself laughing over and over again at their ridiculousness.

Lady Helen was truly inspired, and I loved Jeremy’s grandmother. All of my favorite regency romances have a sarcastic, matchmaking grandma or great aunt involved, it seems.

One thing I really liked about this book was how even Jeremy and Diana’s closest friends sometimes couldn’t see beneath their masks, when it was so easy for Jeremy to see the real Diana and vice versa as they continued their liaison.

Also I am greatly looking forward to Lady Emily’s book. I assume that will be the next one, (unless it’s Sophie and West which would be just as good really) and I can’t wait. Really curious about Diana’s brother, though. His entire group of friends is pairing up, but so far I haven’t seen a whiff of a partner for him. Curious…

*Thanks to NetGalley and Atria books for providing an e-arc for review.