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In the Void by Sheryl Nantus

In the Void by Sheryl Nantus (Tales from the Edge #2)Released: October 6, 2014
Format: eARC
Publisher: Carina Press

Series: Tales from the Edge #2

Source: NetGalley

Excerpt: No

Book two of Tales from the Edge

Catherine Rodgers doesn’t like Mercy spaceships, or the courtesans who work on them—not after her husband left her for a Mercy woman. But after her luxurious transport ship gets blown up to prevent her from cracking the lid off a corporate scam that’s left hundreds dead and a few people very rich, the only vessel around to save her is the Bonnie Belle.

Sean Harrison has worked as one of the Belle’s courtesans for years, bringing happiness to countless women along the space lanes. When he’s asked to look after Catherine while the Belle brings her to safety, it should be just another job. Somehow it’s anything but.

Sean is captivated by Catherine’s sense of justice and responsibility. And Catherine finds a softer, more emotionally intelligent man in Sean than she expected. Drawn together in darkness under the threat of death, they find the beginning of something lasting. But with pirates after the Belle and a price on Catherine’s head, that beginning might be all they get.

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I was completely hooked by IN THE BLACK, the first book in Sheryl Nantus’ Tales from the Edge, so I was over the moon (yes, space pun intended) when I found out that the next story in the series was coming out so soon.

IN THE VOID takes up back to the Belle, but now we’re focused on Sean, one of the most endearing characters from IN THE BLACK. He and the rest of the crew get tangled up in some big-stakes industrial crime when they rescue Catherine, the only survivor of a shipwreck that looks extremely deliberate. Luckily for Catherine, the Belle is in the area and pick her up. Not so luckily, she’s forced to deal with her prejudices against courtesans (which are not at all baseless) and the crew of the Belle is also forced into a confrontation but it’s one with life-or-death consequences since they know that whoever was after Catherine will be sure to make more attempts.

The plot kind of reminded me of a western standoff because you have the Belle fighting against an unknown but definitely stronger enemy (she has no weapons), fighting because it’s right and the crew has no other choice.  It felt like a showdown but also a race against the clock as they try to make it to a safe haven so that Catherine can testify before her enemies can take her, and the ship, down. There’s a real sense of urgency to IN THE VOID and it gave the book a great sense of pacing.

Have no fear, though, because the blossoming romance between Sean and Catherine does get its due. Nantus once again delivers some steamy chemistry and strong personalities and it was great to see Sean and Catherine fall for each other. I found Sean’s side of the story particularly touching because we learn how he ended up on a mercy ship. I won’t tell you how (spoilers!) but I will say that it’s a tragic backstory and you can see how it’s shaped him into the person he is in the series. As I said before, Catherine also has a personal journey but it’s not as deep as Sean’s, in my opinion. Catherine had to re-evaluate her perceptions of mercy ships and their crews but this didn’t touch me as much as Sean’s.

I truly hope we’ll get another Tale from the Edge soon because this is one series I can’t get enough of!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Cake by Lauren Dane

Cake by Lauren DaneReleased:
Format: e-book
Publisher: harlequin

Source: Netgalley

Series: Cosmo Red-Hots Reads

She won’t be satisfied with just one bite….

Art student-slash-bike messenger Wren Davis pursues what she wants. And what she wants now is Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. Wren’s gotten to know the man beneath the body art, too—and it only makes her crave him more.

But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne—intensely, but only for the moment. And after Wren experiences just how scorching sex with Gregori is, she’s determined to show him that just one taste won’t be enough….

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This is a bit of a departure from my usual reviewing fare but I requested it from Harlequin so here we go. I’m actually a big fan of contemporary romance, though I usually read more contemporary romantic suspense, and I’ve heard good things about Dane’s contemporary work so I wanted to give her a shot. What better than a steamy novella from Harlequin’s new Cosmo Red-Hot Reads line?

“Red hot” is definitely a good descriptor for this novella. There is sexual tension and sex galore in CAKE. Wren and Gregori have a really intense connection that’s been simmering for a year when they finally act on their mutual attraction. Dane writes sex scenes well but, as always, I’m much more interested in the emotional connections between the two lead characters, which they have in spades. Wren and Gregori get each other in ways other folks don’t, thanks to mutual interests and general interest in one another. Gregori is tempermental, autocratic, and obscenely talented but Wren respects his talent and gets where the moods come from. For his part, Gregori is incredibly supportive of Wren’s ambitions, even if he doesn’t understand all of her actions. Dane’s done a wonderful job of showing how two very different personalities can come together and start to fall for each other even before they hit the sheets.

I don’t much care for the cover but the content is great if you’re in the mood for a sexy novella with smart characters. CAKE is a perfect read for that lazy afternoon that’s hopefully in your future!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Taste of Passion by Renae Jones

Taste of Passion by Renae JonesReleased: October 21, 2013
Format: e-book
Pubisher: Carina Press

Source: NetGalley

Series: n/a

Excerpt: Yes

Fedni, an empath who can taste emotion, was once a highly desirable courtesan. But the conquering New Earth Federation has abolished her temple, forcing her into early retirement and making her struggle to find her place in a transformed world.

Lonely and bored, she visits her ruggedly handsome new neighbor, an off-worlder doctor named Rasmus whose strange ways and delicious body arouse more than her curiosity. Hot, hard lust flares between them, and a series of steamy encounters reveals to Fedni a generous lover.

But incredible sex can’t keep their cultural differences at bay. Rasmus is disgusted by the temple system, and Fedni leaps to defend her way of life and to show him the beauty of her traditions. As their heated arguments make them each question their long-held beliefs, Fedni must reconcile her newfound knowledge and her pride in her past, or risk losing the man who stokes her passion to new heights.

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Quick post for a short novella:

2013 is the year I’ve gotten really interested in sci fi romance and TASTE OF PASSION is an erotic novel set on a different planet, one that has been conquered by the New Earth Federation. As a result, humans have moved in to help the local population adjust to their new ways. Fedni, one of the locals, has had her life turned completely upside down. She used to work in a Temple of Passion, basically a courtesan, and the laws of the New Earth Federation make her previous profession illegal. She’s forced to retrain and adjust to human standards, which makes her rather grumpy. (As it would.) Despite this, she finds herself quite attracted to Rasmus, her human neighbour, and she decides to act upon her attraction. Fedni is definitely the more aggressive one in this coupling when it comes to initiating things, and she does it with an endearing mixture of confidence, brazenness, and (hidden) self-doubt. The fact that she’s an empath makes things a bit more interesting, since she knows how Rasmus is responding, but still isn’t always 100% sure of herself, as she would be with most other lovers.

On the whole, TASTE OF PASSION is quite enjoyable. It’s definitely a steamy, 18+ read but there’s a nice amount of story to counter all of the smexiness. Jones does a great job of developing both Fedni and Rasmus, so that you can see them as living, breathing people who just happen to get it on a lot.  Jones manages to get a lot of story into the 21,000 words she uses. It felt a bit short to me, but that was mostly because she definitely left me wanting more. Fedni and Rasmus don’t get to their forever HEA but they definitely move from being sex buddies to something with more romantic potential. I appreciate the realism in this sense — they really don’t know each other terribly well though they are well on their way to a strong relationship.

Renae Jones is definitely on my watch list now.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah Maclean

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah Maclean (First Rule of Scoundrels)Released: February 22, 2012
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: Avon

Series: Rules of Scoundrels #1

Source: Library

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets. . .

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . .even her heart.

Winner of the 2013 RITA Award for Best Historical Romance

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I got interested in A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME when I heard about it on Ilona Andrews’ blog. I enjoy a good historical romance and this one sounded quite tempting. I’ve been waiting for it to be available at my local library and I jumped on it as soon as it was. 🙂

A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME is a wonderful novel. I was immediately swept up in the world of nineteenth century nobility. Penelope is a winning protagonist, and Bourne is a great foil for her since he is all of the bad things according to polite society. Penelope’s not a typical heroine; rather than being an ingenue, she’s practically a spinster, her engagement to a duke broken when the duke fell in love with another woman shortly before his wedding to Penelope. She was pretty much ruined, which ruined her four sisters’ chances of stupendous marriages, but she is oddly okay with her impending spinsterdom.Penelope is relativeily content with her lot in life, though she regrets how her life has affected her sisters, which makes her something of an oddball, and which endeared her to me from the start. But then her father makes her dowry irresistible by adding in a property that used to be Bourne’s family estate and Penelope becomes a more exciting commodity, except that Bourne promptly swoops in and forces her to marry him. It’s a completely unromantic beginning to their marriage, made especially awful by the fact that they used to be childhood friends. (And some of the best parts of the book are the letters they exchanged as youngsters.

This wouldn’t be much of a romance novel if they didn’t overcome their bad start, would it? And once they do start to overcome themselves, things get steamy. And smoochy. And we get to see exactly what Bourne and Penelope are made of, and how very compatible they are.

Aside from the romance, I really loved the writing. Maclean has done a great job of creating a fantastic atmosphere. She does a great job of immersing the reader in the period, with lots of great details, and she does it without making you feel bogged down in the nitty gritty. The best authors are the ones who can create a really great sense of mood and history seemingly effortlessly and Maclean has done a bang-up job of setting the scene in A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME. I haven’t tried any of her other books but if this is an indication of her talent, you can bet I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more books at the library.

All in all, A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME is a wonderful foray into historical romance — a novel sure to appeal to fans of the genre and those who are just getting cozy with it. I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a great historical title.

A Spy to Die For by Kris DeLake

A Spy to Die For by Kris DeLake (Assassins Guild #2)Released: July 2, 2013
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Series: Assassins Guild #2

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

When Spy Meets Spy

Agent: Skylight
Profile: Seasoned Assassin Guild Super-Sleuth. Talented enough that she can write her own rules.
Budget: Unlimited.

Agent: Jack
Profile: Main investigator for the loosely federated Rover Assassins. Guided by a strict moral code, fierce loyalty, and a sense of duty.

More Than Sparks Will Fly

On opposite sides of a high-stakes game, lust lures two spies together in a passionate encounter. Little do they know that the heat of the moment would bind them, turning their worlds upside down. Hunted by deadly assassins, can the pair and their love withstand the onslaught?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A Spy to Die For was a pretty awesome read.

A quick word of warning: A Spy to Die For takes place concurrently with Assassins in Love, the first book in the Assassins Guild series, and references events in that novel, so you definitely want to read that first. It’s a neat storytelling device — and one I don’t think I’ve encountered before — and it helps provide some more context for the events that take place in both novels. And it’s really neat to see more than just one approach to handling the problem in question.

I think I actually enjoyed A Spy to Die For a tiny bit more than Assassins in Love because I really fell for the characters. Sky’s was an unexpected sort of character — not hard enough to be an assassin but beholden to the Guild, she works as something of an intelligence gatherer,checking out targets to make sure that they are indeed appropriate targets for the Guild. It’s a solitary lifestyle, which has contributed to Sky’s lack of trust, but not as much as her parents, who kept leaving her behind when she was a kid. Jack is also an experienced intelligence gatherer, though not for the Guild. They initially start off as a one-night stand but realize that they have a strong connection. (Sky is a bit more reluctant to admit it than Jack, which contributes to the fun of reading A Spy to Die For.)

There’s also a nice bit of action since there are folks trying to kill them. You can expect some stealthy action, some overt action, and an explosion or two, which should please all of the readers who appreciate a good battle or fight scenes.

All in all, A Spy to Die For is  a great read. I’d definitely recommend it. But I think you’d enjoy it more if you read Assassins in Love first since it’ll give you a better grounding in the world. DeLake’s Assassins Guild series is a great sci fi romance series and I think you should be putting it on your TBR list if you haven’t already!

netgalley knockoutCheck mark for the Netgalley Knockout!

A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious by Mary Wine

A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious by Mary WineReleased: August 1, 2012
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Series: [yes but I don’t know what it’s called and the author’s website isn’t up-to-date]

Source: Personal shelf (e-book)

Steamy sexual tension and secret societies fuse together in Wine’s electrifying first steampunk romance. 

Janette Aston is fascinated by all things scientific, and couldn’t care less that her thirst for knowledge is regarded as unladylike by Victorian society. Enthralled by the Illuminists, a group of individuals committed to scientific discovery, she sneaks into their headquarters and is caught by Darius Lawley, an Illuminist Guardian. The attraction between the two is instant and magnetic. When the Illuminists realize Janette is a rare Pure Spirit who can harness the power of crystals, she’s targeted by a rival society, the Helikeians. It’s up to Darius to protect her for the sake of science and love.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I have to say, my overall reaction to A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious is fairly neutral. I read the book, I liked the book, but it’s not a book I would necessarily recommend. There are some definitely strong aspects but, overall, it’s not the greatest steampunk romance and there are definitely other books that I would recommend to friends before this one.

That being said, there are some good things in A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is the worldbuilding. Mary Wine has created a very interesting setting for her books. It’s Victorian London with a twist, since there’s a whole separate society in the middle of the city: the Illuminists. They’re the essence of steampunk, very science-minded people building new technologies. They’ve also got something of a hippie vibe since they are all about being free with one’s sexuality. There are no shrinking maidens among the Illuminists since everyone has been taught that sex is something to be enjoyed, inside and outside of marriage. I thought the technology and social structure of the Illuminists was quite interesting and generally well explained, and it was a great backdrop for a love story. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as keen on the protagonists.

The hero of ALCNBTC, Darius, has been raised an Illuminist and stands Guardian for their society. In contrast, Janette is a more typical Victorian, though she does have wayward thoughts about science that get her in trouble with her father. And she discovers that she’s a Pure Spirit when she sneaks into a lecture in the Illuminists’ hall. Pure Spirits are able to handle Deep Earth Crystals, which regular people can’t do, and it makes Janette a hot commodity for both the Illuminists and their arch enemies, the Helikeians. There are Kelikeian spies hidden amongst the  Illuminists and they remain a mystery even at the end of the novel, and I loved this classic mystery element to it. I assume the great reveal will come in future novels and I’m very curious to see who the diabolical mastermind is. 🙂

Getting back to the main characters, though, I have to say that they’ve got a great set-up but there was something about these two people that didn’t work for me. What it boils down to is that they were both very stock. We have a plucky heroine with a curious mind and a brave heart (who, incidentally, takes to the free-loving aspect of Illuminist society a bit too easily for me to believe it) and a broody alpha male with overprotective instincts and major sex skills. They’re the kinds of characters we see in a lot of romance novels and that’s not bad but it’s important that they stand out in some way. And Darius and Janette never really came alive for me in that way. Funnily enough, I didn’t have the same problems with the supporting characters and I was actually quite charmed by Janette’s friend Seraphina, who’s featured in the next novel. I was more interested in the tensions between the secondary characters, so I’m hopeful that the next book in the series will be more to my tastes.

A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious is a decent steampunk romance. It has good world building and some okay characters but I wasn’t blown away by it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it but this book is more of a library loan than a keeper for me.

Prime Obsession by Monette Michaels

Prime Obsession by Monette Michaels (The Prime Chronicles #1)Released: September 28, 2009
Format: e-book
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books

Series: The Prime Chronicles #1

Source: Personal shelf

Melina Dmitros is a seasoned battleship captain for the Galactic Alliance. Calls from ships in distress are not all that uncommon in the outermost spirals of the Milky Way. Calls from the warlike Prime were. Now that they were allies, Mel figures she’d better get used to working in conjunction with the chauvinistic race. She never expected to be attracted to one of them.

The Prime, one of the oldest species in the galaxy, were known for going their own way. But with problems on Cejuru Prime and increasing attacks by the Antareans, the Prime joined the Alliance to lend their expertise in battling the warlike reptilian species–and ultimately, to survive as a race.

Captain Wulf Caradoc, the eldest son and heir apparent of the Prime leader, looked forward to the trip to the Alliance ambassadorial planet. His mission is ostensibly to deliver the diplomatic team to the new Prime embassy. His real mission is to meet his fated mate, his gemate, one of the Lost Ones. Wulf hadn’t anticipated the diplomatic mission being attacked by pirates–and he especially hadn’t anticipated his gemate, Melina Dmitros, being the one sent to rescue his ship.

Two strong people pulled together by biology and fate. Their union will be forged in a crucible of survival, treachery and duty.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I’ve been really into sci-fi romance lately and Prime Obsession by Monette Michaels is a pretty awesome read if you’re interested in this subgenre. It’s based on the fated mates trope, which I don’t always love, but it really worked for me this time around, because Melina and Wulf probably wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for  Wulf’s family seeing her “birthmark”, which the Prime know to be a gemate sign. Her optimal biological match, Wulf, has an identical gemat sign on his body, and the lovely cover folks at Liquid Silver Books have included this detail on the cover, which is pretty cool. You can’t really see Melina’s unless you look closely because it’s above her right hip bone and in the shadows but Wulf’s is pretty obvious since it’s on his chest.

The best part of this book is definitely Melina and Wulf’s relationship. They’re both such alpha personalities and it’s a lot of fun watching them find the balance between being in charge and sharing leadership. Wulf has a lot more trouble with this since he is ultra alpha, in all his growly glory, but Melina also has trouble sitting back and  letting Wulf lead at times. They’re both such great soldiers and leaders and this gives their developing relationship a lot of heat.

There is also a ton of heat between the sheets, so this book definitely isn’t for folks who are looking for a more cerebral romance. Sex is a big part of their relationship and Michaels isn’t shy about writing it, or writing about their uber lusty feelings.

I also loved the plotting in Prime Obsession. The book isn’t just about Melina and Wulf coming together. It’s also about them working to uncover a plot to stop the Prime from joining the Alliance and diluting the “pure” bloodlines. There are a lot of layers to this plot and it takes Melina and Wulf on a journey with a lot of twists and turns, which I really appreciated. And it gives the reader an opportunity to see how they function as a team, developing their battle-mate bond and building trust in each other.

My one criticism of Prime Obsession would be that I had trouble keeping all of Wulf’s family’s names straight in the later part of the novel. When there were just a few names to remember towards the start, and everyone was getting decent page time, it was relatively straightforward but we meet a lot more of Wulf’s family in the second half of Prime Obsession and I was a little overwhelmed.

If you’re looking for a romance with spaceships, aliens, and action, you should definitely check out Prime Obsession. The second book in The Prime Chronicles is also available and I’m going to be purchasing it from an e-retailer just as soon as I finish this post!

Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake

Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake (Assassins Guild #1)Released: March 6, 2013
Format: e-book (also available as mass market paperback)
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Series: Assassins Guild #1

Source: Personal shelf

A fast, edgy, and passionate story.” —Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author

When one killer falls for another

Agent: Misha

Profile: Highly trained in every method the assassins guild has to offer. Always goes by the book.

Agent: Rikki

Profile: Rogue assassin who kills only to rid the world of hardened criminals. Hates organizations. Always does it her way.

Love becomes a matter of life and death

Misha’s mission is to get Rikki to join the guild or give up her guns. He completely underestimated the effect she would have on him…and what heat and chaos they could bring to each other…

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today’s post is a quickie because I’m pressed for time with school and work. But don’t think the brevity of this post is a reflection on Assassins in Love because I thought it was a fun read!

I ordered this book on a whim after reading a review of it somewhere. The review wasn’t all that favourable, which is why I haven’t linked it here, but it was what put Assassins in Love on  my radar; even though the reviewer didn’t love the story, her review was very fair and the information she provided was enough to intrigue me, even knowing that she didn’t love this book. (That’s how you write a less-than-positive review, folks!) As it turns out, I had a very different reaction to Assassins in Love: I thought it was a fun sci fi romance, though it did have some flaws.

I suppose I’ll start this post off by talking about the two characters. They start off as opponents, though Rikki doesn’t know it when they first meet, and I enjoyed watching them clash. I really enjoyed Rikki with her headstrong nature and mulish stubbornness, but I found Misha to be a bit shallow. He wasn’t as well developed as Rikki but we get some backstory over the course of the novel and I found myself liking him more and more as Assassins in Love progressed.

My favourite part of the book was probably the setting. I’ve been more and more in the mood for sci fi romance and so this was a great pick for me. I loved the world that Kris DeLake (a.k.a. Kristine Kathryn Rusch) has created here. It’s  one with space travel, legalized assassination, and interesting technology, and I really enjoyed immersing myself in the setting. I love it when authors create a well thought-out and logical setting for their stories and Assassins in Love definitely hits this mark.

Assassins in Love is the first book in Kris DeLake’s Assassins Guild series and I’m definitely curious about what’s to come. With an interesting setting and the potential to be a great series, I look forward to wherever the author takes us next.

Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster (London Steampunk #2)See why I call Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster “an engrossing, thrilling sequel” to Kiss of Steel on Tynga’s Reviews.

Here’s the link for my post and the giveaway of Kiss of Steel.

More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh

More than a Mistress by Mary Balogh (Mistress #1)Released: June 28, 2001
Format: e-book (also available in paperback)
Publisher: Dell

Series: Mistress #1

Source: Library

In this captivating novel, Mary Balogh, the premier writer of Regency romance, invites you into a world of scandal and seduction, of glittering high society and intrigue, as an arrogant duke does the unthinkable—he falls in love with his mistress.
She races onto the green, desperate to stop a duel. In the melée, Jocelyn Dudley, Duke of Tresham, is shot. To his astonishment, Tresham finds himself hiring the servant as his nurse. Jane Ingleby is far too bold for her own good. Her blue eyes are the sort a man could drown in—were it not for her impudence. She questions his every move, breaches his secrets, touches his soul. When he offers to set her up in his London town house, love is the last thing on his mind.

Jane tries to pretend it’s strictly business, an arrangement she’s been forced to accept in order to conceal a dangerous secret. Surely there is nothing more perilous than being the lover of such a man. Yet as she gets past his devilish façade and sees the noble heart within, she knows the greatest jeopardy of all, a passion that drives her to risk everything on one perfect month with the improper gentleman who thinks that love is for fools.

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I’ve always been really into historical romance but I’m finally trying to expand my horizons in this category, partially because my favourites, like Julie Garwood and Judith Macnaught aren’t producing historicals anymore, and partially because I’ve heard some great things about authors like Mary Balogh and Eloisa James. My selections are based mainly on what the library has available when I log on for e-books, so my first new-to-me historical author is Mary Balogh, and I’m giving her Mistress Trilogy a try, starting with More Than a Mistress.

My general feeling: I liked it. I wasn’t blown away by it but it is one of her earlier books so I’m going to keep exploring Balogh’s work before I give up or fangirl. There are a lot of tropes in More Than a Mistress but they didn’t detract my overall enjoyment of the story because I really liked the two main characters. Jane is nicely acerbic  with Tresham from their first meeting — and unafraid of voicing her opinions — and they remain evenly matched throughout More Than a Mistress, even when the dynamics of their relationship shift. Both characters have some unexpected artistic abilities and I quite enjoyed discovering them. They added a little something extra to their story and their relationship, which was great.

I also thought Balogh’s detail and worldbuilding were outstanding. I’m no expert on the Regency time period but I love the details that were included in More Than a Mistress. It felt very authentic and was a fun change from my usual source of historical fiction: steampunk. It’s by no means my favourite time period since I’m a sucker for more medieval novels but I definitely had fun with it.

The rest of the Mistress trilogy focuses on the Tresham’s two siblings. I’m actually rather disappointed about this since there were some interesting supporting characters, including these two, but the ones I was most curious about don’t seem to have their own books. Nonetheless, I will be seeing what other Mary Balogh books the library has to offer me since I found my dive back into historical romance quite refreshing. I still love urban fantasy and paranormal romance but it’s been great reading something completely different!

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