Misc Book Reviews

A repost in case you missed it ↓

Romance Authors that I’ve found and favorited over the last several months: Joanna Shupe, Leigh Bardugo, Tessa Dare, Jennifer Ashley, Courtney Milan, Amalie Howard, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, and Mary Balogh

Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone Trilogy (YA and not romance but it very well could be) and the entire Grishaverse Series is an exceptional one as is the Netflix series. My favorite is probably Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, but I loved Shadow and Bone too. The worldbuilding is remarkable and the characters singular. I would’ve liked to explore more of the gothic romance between Alina and the General, alas. Perhaps they’ll explore it in the show since Ben Barnes is so pretty and entertaining. King of Scars and Rule of Wolves had me shipping Nik and Zoya so much I read both books in two days—marvelously written chemistry, as in steamy and will they or won’t they. The Grishaverse definitely has become my favorite Young Adult series. Absolutely looking forward to the remaining seasons of the Netflix series. 

Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzies & McBrides Series is really good. I have yet to get all the way through it (on a budget remember; the library rocks)—the last one I read was Rules for a Proper Governess. My favorites so far besides The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie were Lady Isabella’s Scandalous  Marriage (artist!) and The Duke’s Perfect Wife although I really liked all of them.

Amalie Howard’s books were a nice surprise. The four books I read were all really good: The Everleigh Sisters (or Regency Rogues) Series, Rule for Heiresses, and The Princess Stakes. Bravo for the four joys!

Loretta Chase was yet another surprise. The Fallen Women Series was a fantastic change of pace and one I would like to read more since one can easily get tired of the rich/innocent/virginal/woman trope. Don’t Tempt Me may have been a bit problematic culturally per the reviews but it prompted me to do more research and discuss it. I enjoyed it nevertheless. I’m working my way through her books and am enjoying every book. The Scoundrels series and The Dressmakers Series (more sisters) are really good. 

Eloisa JamesEssex Sisters Series quickly became my favorite before Joanna Shupe’s Uptown Girls booted it into second place. This would be another series I would love to see made by Netflix. The Wilde’s is fun—Say No To The Duke was my favorite. 

While I was reading Joanna Shupe’s books, I was working through Mary Balogh’s Westcott Series—I’m waiting for the sixth book in the series from the library. Her books are a bit more sedate than what I normally prefer. I love her big fat densely packed paragraphs though, her nuance of humor, and her characters are unusual and not more of the same. Her sex scenes always leave me a bit detached, but I enjoy her books nonetheless. I especially enjoyed Viola’s book as an older woman and hope for more of those in historical romance. It gets old (PUN!) when the protagonists are all twenty-some-year-old rich aristocratic virgins. Didn’t I write that earlier?

© 2022 Matilda London/Pamela Gay Mullins

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