Good Earl Gone Bad (Manda Collins)
Horses. It’s all about the horses.
We have a headstrong woman with a father who just does not know what to do with her. Instead of letting her go be herself and do all the things she wants, he undermines her and then gives her away when she becomes to be too much trouble. At least the man he loses her hand in cards to is a mostly moral individual who knows this isn’t going to be easy for her. Unlike her dad, he understands what is important to her and makes sure that her horses come home. And, on the way, they fall in a bit of love.
The Unforgettable Hero (Valerie Bowman)
Have you ever wanted to live inside a book? This is the one written for that little piece inside of all of us who really wanted to be the heroine to the point where we cast our friends in the delusion. The fun of this is that it casts a gentlemen as a duke who has no such aspirations, a heroine who’s determined to save herself from a fate worse than death (a terrible marriage), conniving guardians and glimpses of some of our favorite Playful Brides.
The Hunter (Kerrigan Byrne)
In my former life, I worked in theater. Having a book that takes place in/around/near theater is fun. Some of the things that happen at the theater were bothersome to my modern theatrical sensibilities. Not to mention that this has all the feelings of a Beauty and the Beast/Stockholm love story at points. If I boxed the theater part of my brain, I enjoyed the way our hero was willing to put the darkness in him aside for this woman. But. I would have liked a better build up on the villain.
Wedding Night with the Earl (Amelia Grey)
I don’t think this could have been telegraphed harder. I don’t want to give anything away, but we’ve got a hero brooding and shut himself away after his beloved wife dies in childbed. Like many women, she blamed him for the big baby that eventually killed her and the child in labor. Like many men, he took it seriously and was prepared to never do this again. Except, he’s somehow an heir, with an earldom to manage and an orphan from a branch of the family to raise as heir. Finding his way back to society requires serious effort, and a guiding hand from a young lady. It was quite fun, even though I desperately wanted to beat the husband over the head with a frying pan after a bit for insisting he couldn’t possibly risk losing another woman he loved.