Perks of Loving a Scoundrel by Jennifer McQuiston

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Miss Mary Channing can think of nothing more lovely than an early morning spent in the garden reading a book. She is not perturbed by the prospect of spinsterhood or a life of quiet and solitude. Her sister, unfortunately, is set on making her be social and experience something outside of her small little world.

Mary finds herself called to London and thrown into society unceremoniously. But not before she encounters a drunken Lord in the back garden who can only be a terrible rogue, the likes of which she has only read about in her precious novels.

When Mary finds herself thrown into a conspiracy with the very gentleman she is trying to avoid, and no one will believe them about a possible plot to assassinate a prominent government official or perhaps even a member of the monarchy, Mary Channing’s life takes a very exciting turn, full of ladies of the night, corruption, scandal, duels, espionage and intrigue.

Will Mary survive her London adventures? Can she spend time one on one with a scoundrel Lord with her dignity and virtue intact? If you enjoy novels of the bodice-ripper genre, you will love this amusing, easy weekend read. Perfect for a rainy day in your favorite blanket.

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

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Sorry for the long delay between posts! Crazy busy! But the show must go on, and what better book to start off my new website than a bodice-ripper by Tessa Dare? If you follow my site, you may already know that I have a couple of favorite bodice-ripper novelists, and Tessa Dare is at the top of my list…This is entirely due to the fact that I find myself chuckling and laughing out loud when I read her stuff.

Romancing the Duke was no different. Miss Goodnight seeks out a castle which she has inherited, only to find that it is already occupied by a handsome Duke who refuses to leave the premises. To make matters worse, he is intolerably cheeky and seems to believe he can make her leave by making her fear for her virtue. To spice up the plot, there is a cranky, feisty Ermine, an army of storybook Knights, and a deep, dark secret which Miss Goodnight has never revealed to anyone…

If you want a read that is warm and delightfully scandalous, but with a light-hearted mood that’s perfect for a cozy weekend by a fireplace, then Romancing the Duke is a perfect next read for you. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Scotsman of My Dreams by Karen Ranney

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Minerva Todd wants answers about what happened to her brother, and she will stop at nothing until she gets them–including breaking and entering into the home of a dashing Earl. Dalton MacIain has returned home from fighting in the American Civil War, blinded by a terrible wound.

Two unlikely individuals join forces to find out just what happened to Minerva’s brother, and who might be interested in harming the Earl…Now if only they can fight their mutual attraction, pride and independence long enough to complete the task at hand and find the truth…

Scotsman of My Dreams, by Karen Ranney is the second in The MacIain series, which is humorous and light hearted, and great for readers who love Tessa Dare or Maya Rodale.

Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James

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If you know me at all, you already know that I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan. Sadly, she only has a few novels to choose from…But that doesn’t stop me from being a die-hard devotee, thanks to the many authors out there who love her as much as I do. One wonderful thing about the legacy of Jane Austen is that it opens up a world of spin-off literature. Tribute sequels to the novels are wildly popular, and authors enjoy speculating on the life of the author herself, too.

Fans of Jane Austen will already know that Jane never married in her lifetime, and spent most of her life acting as a companion to her father. Her many novels about Edwardian love send out the message that despite her celibacy, she may have had some idea of love, herself. We love to speculate that Jane might have had a lover once, too. Jane Austen’s First Love, by Syrie James, is a devoted follow-through on this very fantasy.

Jane Austen is 15 years old, one step behind her debutante sister and desperately hoping for love and adventure, despite being very much under her mother’s thumb. Enter Edward Taylor (Yes, Edward-if you read Austen, you will immediately think of Sense and Sensibility), a college-bound young man who saves Jane when her carriage gets stuck in the mud (sounds like Emma, doesn’t it?) The politics of marriage and courting are exhibited in Jane Austen’s First Love just as well as they are in the novels by Austen, herself, and fans will not be disappointed. Definitely worth picking up for your fellow Austen lover as a Christmas gift this year.

If you enjoy Jane Austen’s First Love, and other Austen spin-off literature, please also be sure pull up this Goodreads List of Jane Austen Spin-offs and check them out!

What a Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale

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Maya Rodale is one of my favorite smutty romance novelists. Her heroines are always plucky little things, very spirited and cheeky, and her tales are full of comedy and warmth. The “Bad Boys and Wallflowers” series has been a fun collection to sprinkle among my more intense reading choices in the last year or so. What a Wallflower Wants is no exception.

Miss Prudence Merryweather is approaching her 4th year as a debutante, and she is the only graduate of her finishing school to be unwed after so many seasons, much to her mortification…But Prudence has a complicated past and a dark secret that keeps her away from eligible bachelors, until she finds a gentleman who is willing to offer her a marriage of convenience that will solve both of their marriage woes without compromising their mutual secrets. Unfortunately while they are on their way to finally be wed, a highwayman stops their carriage and her deplorable fiancé throws her out of the carriage in offering to the blackguard-and she decides that he is no man she could possibly spend her life with…And she is alone on a country road, with no idea where she is, walking for hours before a handsome gentleman pulls up beside her in his carriage…But can she trust this man? What are his intentions? Is he who he claims to be?

This story is full of fun, the bad guys always get what they have coming, and love always wins….So if you haven’t tried Maya Rodale and you love bodice rippers, pick up her Bad Boys and Wallflower series and you won’t regret the purchase.

It Takes a Scandal, by Caroline Linden

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Abigail Weston has a life of promise in front of her. Her family is “new money” and she has a very promising dowry to make up for her lacking aristocratic background, she hopes to find a suitable (and hopefully devilishly handsome) husband when her father buys a country estate. She is immediately attracted to the brooding, serious neighbor, Sebastian Vane. But she learns that he has a dark past, and much of the town steers clear of him.

Sebastian Vane cannot pretend the lovely new neighbor exists, nor can he deny that he finds her irresistible. But what can he offer a woman who has everything, when he has nearly lost everything in his life?

These two love birds will fight against all odds to make their way to one another…But is their love strong enough to bring them together in the end? It Takes a Scandal is (obviously) a bodice-ripper of the first order. If you like smutty romance novels (you know who you are), then don’t miss Caroline Linden’s latest release.

Wallflower Gone Wild by Maya Rodale

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Maya Rodale’s Bad Boys and Wallflowers series, which started out with The Wicked Wallflower, has now introduced Wallflower Gone Wild. These lusty bodice-rippers are exactly what you might expect, full of fiery heroines and dark, brooding heroes who have no choice but to fall madly in love with one another (while, of course, breaking all rules of propriety along the way).

Novel #2, Wallflower Gone Wild, is about Lady Olivia Archer. Voted London’s Least Likely to Cause a Scandal, and hen-pecked miserably by her marriage-minded mother, Olivia is at her wit’s end. Especially when she realizes that her less than desirable financial situation has limited her options when it comes to suitors. Not to worry, however, Olivia’s parents have the perfect gentleman lined up for her- Phinneas Cole, otherwise known as The Mad Baron, who is widely known in the rumor mills as a mad inventor who murdered his previous wife.

Olivia will do whatever it takes to avoid marrying this frightening (but devilishly handsome) gentleman. She sets out to make sure that The Mad Baron would never find her attractive. Her plan seems flawless…But what if she doesn’t have the resolve to hold him off?

These novels are for the smutty novel-reading, bodice ripper crowd, so if you are looking for something easy to read and full of scandalous passion, pick up Wallflower Gone Wild today.

Stella Bain, by Anita Shreve

 

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A woman is found wandering, lost, confused and ill during World War I. A kind and generous couple takes her into their home and nurses her back to health, realizing with time that the self-named Stella Bain actually has no idea who she is, and has no place to go. The couple observes only that she has been serving in the war, based on her uniform, and that she has an American accent.

Stella must overcome her amnesia and get her life back-but how long will it take? Does she have family and friends who are worrying about her? Why can’t she push away the nagging guilt that arises whenever she tries to remember who she is? What if she doesn’t want to know the truth about her past?

Suddenly, it all comes back to Stella, and she must decide what to do with the rest of her life and rediscover who the real woman inside her wants to be.

Stella Bain is very historical fiction/women’s fiction in genre. The tone is very serious and rich in description and sentiment. I found it to be an excellent audiobook to hear at work- but I also have a special weakness for historical fiction set during the Great War-I just think it was a great time for women to start showing the world what they were made of, don’t you?!

 

The Brides of Wishmore series by Cathy Maxwell

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Cathy Maxwell has two new books out in her brand new Brides of Wishmore series: The Bride Says No, and The Bride Says Maybe. These novels are best read back-to-back, because they feature the inevitable love stories of two sisters, Lady Tara Davidson, and Lady Aileen Davidson. When, once again, the father of these two young ladies has put himself in a dire financial situation, he decides it is time, for once and for all, to put his daughters to good use…By marrying them off, of course. The ladies are heartbroken, but little do they know, true love is on it’s way, and it comes from the most unexpected of places… If you like bodice rippers or historical romance novels with happy endings, and you need a good weekend read, be sure to pick up the new Brides of Wishmore series today!

Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

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The 6th novel in the Maiden Lane series is here, and it’s out in audiobook too! Duke of Midnight, by Elizabeth Hoyt, is a bodice-ripper with a gothic twist.

Artemis Greaves is serving as a lady’s companion to her aristocratic cousin Penelope when they are accosted by some street hoodlums. Before they succumb to the evil men, they are rescued by a masked stranger who can only be the legendary “Ghost of St. Giles”. He is gone before they can get much information from him, but Artemis ends up with a ring from his finger-a ring that can only belong to an aristocrat. Who IS this Ghost, and why does he wander the dirty, booze-ridden streets of St. Giles if he comes from a noble family? Artemis is determined to find out more.

The Duke of Wakefield, Maximus Batten, has a secret second life, spending his days in Parliament and his nights seeking clues in the darkness to solve the murders of his parents, decades ago. No one can ever know the truth about his double life, so he keeps a safe distance from everyone but his faithful manservant. But the time has come for Maximus to find a suitable Duchess-someone from a titled family with a nice dowry would be ideal…So why does he find himself so captivated by Artemis Greaves…?

I was surprised by Duke of Midnight, mostly because it had a darker twist to it-madness, the corruption of the aristocracy and Bedlam, murder and revenge…If you want a nice, tidy bodice-ripper where boy meets girl and they simply banter back and forth until they inevitably fall into bed together, this one is not going to be that novel. If you want something with a little more bite, however, be sure to pick up Duke of Midnight, by Elizabeth Hoyt, today-and the audiobook version by Hachette Audio is impeccably narrated, so if you like to listen to your romance novels, this one is a keeper.