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  • Tara Sonin 6:00 pm on 2017/12/07 Permalink
    Tags: a notorious countess confesses, a rogue by any other name, , , , , , heather cocks, if you deceive, jessica morgan, Joanna Wylde, julia quinn, julie anne long, , , , , , , one good earl deserves a lover, original sinners series, , reaper's legacy, , sarah maclean, slightly wicked, , , , trouble at the wedding, unclaimed, when he was wicked   

    A Romance Novel for Every Song on Taylor Swift’s reputation 

    It’s been over a week, we’ve listened to it over a thousand times…and now the moment has come: we’re pairing up romance novels with Taylor Swift’s newest album, reputation!

    “…Ready For It?”

    I immediately thought of Claire and Jamie for this song, so Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is my pick! It’s fast-paced, like their adventures, but also sensual and sexy, like their relationship. “Younger than my exes but he acts like such a man” make sense since Jamie is younger than Frank (and Claire herself) in the series. And of course all the references to islands reminded me of the current Season Three (no spoilers, if you haven’t seen it!)

    “End Game (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future)”

    “Ahh, and I heard about you…you like the bad ones too.” This song is all about a couple whose reputation precedes them, making them probably the least likely to work. “And I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ‘em” made me think of Devon Ravenel of Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas: he’s a rake who lives up to his name. But then he inherits an earldom and must step up to the plate and assume responsibiity for his status—and the honor of the late earl’s three sisters. “You’ve been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks” is what happens when he meets Kathleen, who knows better than to ever fall in love with a man like Devon…except, as the song implies, they both wind up wanting to be one another’s end game.

    “I Did Something Bad”

    Unclaimed by Courtney Milan is about a handsome Bachelor known for having unimpeachable character…who finds himself entangled with a secret courtesan, not the high-bred lady he assumed her to be. “I never trust a playboy, but they love me…” totally embodies Jessica’s character: she’s a woman who knows what she wants, and is willing to do “something bad” in order to get it…like team up with the bachelor’s enemies to take him down in exchange for money. But of course, doing bad things makes you feel oh so good, and Jessica and Mark are no exception to the rule.

    “Don’t Blame Me”

    The moody, rumbling, erotic nature of this song brought one threesome to mind: Nora, Soren, and Kingsley from Tiffany Reisz’ Original Sinners series. “For you, I would cross the line/I would waste my time/I would lose my mind/They say, “She’s gone too far this time…” are definitely words worthy of Nora, preeminent Dominatrix and submissive only to Soren, a Priest she credits with saving her life. And of course, there’s Kingsley, the owner of the BDSM club, Dominant in every way…except when it comes to Soren. “If you walk away/I’d beg you on my knees to stay…” The pulse-pounding romance between these three people over the course of the series is the perfect accompaniment to Taylor’s pining words.

    “Delicate”

    Two people with broken pasts—and reputations that have never been worse, as this song croons—meet and marry for convenience in A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean. It’s just business between them: Bourne runs a casino after being stripped of all societal influence a decade ago, and Penelope is just trying to secure her future after a string of failed relationships. But eventually their boundaries start to slip. “Is it cool that I said all that?/’Cause I know that it’s delicate…” That’s contemporary speak for the passion that ignites between this regency couple when they least expect it.

    “Look What You Made Me Do”

    A revenge song needs a worthy book—and I can’t lie, this one made me think about one particular villainess in the 50 Shades Series…Christian Grey’s ex-girlfriend, Leila. “I don’t like your kingdom keys/they once belonged to me…” those words might as well have come out of her mouth in Fifty Shades Darker. We all know that Taylor likes to parody the “man-eater” persona the media has developed for her, but in this case, Leila’s instability was totally real. “I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams”, indeed.

    “So It Goes…”

    This is one of the quieter songs on the album, but with lyrics like “You know I’m not a bad girl/but I do bad things with you” and “I’m so chill, you make me jealous” the book to match needed to have the right balance of sweetness with an undercurrent of passion. Sarah MacLean’s One Good Earl Deserves a Lover totally fits! Pippa is a good girl from a good family who wants nothing more than a quiet life…and the freedom to pursue science. But before she settles down in that life, she wants one little taste of true passion. So she goes to Cross, a notorious gaming hall owner, and proposes an arrangement between them—all in the name of science. But of course, Pippa can’t stay “chill” when it comes to Cross for long.

    “Gorgeous”

    This upbeat song is definitely worthy of a happily ever after! Julia Quinn’s When He Was Wicked follows the track of the song: a man and woman meet, and sparks fly…the problem—well, in the song it’s that she’s got “a boyfriend, he’s older than us…” but in this book, it’s a betrothal! And to make things worse, the guy she’s marrying is the cousin of the one she falls for. “You’ve ruined my life, by not being mine…” That’s exactly how Michael Stirling feels when she marries the guy anyway. But trust me, there’s a happily ever after waiting for this gorgeous couple.

    “Getaway Car”

    One of my favorite songs on the album spins a story about doomed lovers caught in the aftermath of their betrayal. “Nothing good starts in a getaway car”, the song begins…and the statement rings true in Reaper’s Legacy by Joanna Wylde, except for one thing: you can swap out “car” for “motorcycle”. A love triangle winds its way through the story of Sophie, Zach, and Ruger: Sophie and Zach slept together, resulting in their baby, Noah…but Zach’s a deadbeat dad, leaving his brother Ruger to pick up the pieces. But living—and loving—a man in a motorcycle club can be dangerous, and even when he tries to provide security for Sophie and her son, the past always finds a way of catching up with a speeding bike. After all, remember what Taylor says: “Us traitors never win…”

    “King of My Heart”

    This song makes specific reference to the “American” identity of the heroine (and of course, there’s been rampant speculation on the British identity behind most of Taylor’s new songs) so for this one I chose Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke, a story about an American falling for a Brit! Annabel does not want true love (just like the heroine of the song, who knows she is “better off being alone,”) but still, she agrees to marry a high-born man with a British title as a way to protect her new, “Southern” estate. The problem? Christian, the Duke of Scarborough, does NOT approve of Annabel’s choice. “Change my priorities/the taste of your lips is my idea of luxury…” And that’s exactly what Christian decides to do: make Annabel fall for him, instead, and become King of Her Heart.

    “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”

    Mary Balogh’s Slightly Wicked is about the ramifications of one reckless, erotic night that you think no one else will ever find out about. When Judith meets Rannulf after an accident with her stagecoach, she indulges in a passion she knows she will soon have to bury. (“First sight, yeah, we love without reason…”) But when he shows up at her aunt’s house, intending to court her cousin, Judith knows her secret will not be kept in the dark for long, especially when she can’t stop her feelings from pouring out. As this song says, “I knew there was no one in the world who could stop us/I had a bad feeling”, and soon enough, Judith and Rannulf are dancing with their hands tied, too.

    “Dress”

    One of the sexiest songs on the album deserves a romance to match. A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Anne Long made me think of some of the song’s steamiest lyrics, starting with “All of this silence and patience, pining and anticipation/My hands are shaking from holding back from you (ah, ah, ah).” Evie is an ambitious actress, and has charmed all of London…until her scandalous marriage goes down in flames. (Sound at all like a familiar narrative?) She escapes the tidal wave of gossip only to find herself tempted once more…by Vicar Adam Sylvaine, a man sworn to piety and prayer. “Even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me…” Soon enough, they can’t stop their passion from overflowing, and the costumes come off to reveal their true hearts to one another.

    “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

    You can finish the title of this romance novel with the title of Taylor’s diss track: If You Deceive…this is why we can’t have nice things! Two people caught at the center of a family feud (aka, a “narrative” they’d like to be excluded from, perhaps?) in the third novel in Kresley Cole’s MacCarrick Brothers series find themselves irrevocably drawn to one another despite the pain and anguish that their families have wrought. “But then you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand…” What starts as a quest for revenge soon becomes a mission to keep the one thing they both hold dear in this Highland romance.

    “Call It What You Want”

    The Royal We by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks is a sweet romance with just a tad of high-stakes drama: Bex Porter has a real-life fairytale in the form of Nick, the heir to the throne of England. But just like Taylor Swift, loving a famous person comes with consequences. “All the drama queens takin’ swings/All the jokers dressing up as kings…” is right: between the paparazzi, backstabbers, and family baggage, it’s going to take everything she has to keep their relationship together.

    “New Year’s Day”

    This poignant, piano-based closer is heartfelt and raw with emotion, all about what happens when the glitz and glamour fades and the reality of life sets in….and who will be by your side when it does. “I want your midnights/but I’ll be picking up bottles with you on New Year’s Day…” It’s not a New Year’s story, but that sentiment really reminded me of The Notebook: a love story all about choosing the harder road, but the one that’s ultimately true to who you are.

    What do you think of our pairings?

    The post A Romance Novel for Every Song on Taylor Swift’s reputation appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 4:00 pm on 2017/08/14 Permalink
    Tags: , anne stuart, , , , julia quinn, , , , , regency, , , sara mclean, sexy times, ,   

    50 Must-Read Regency Romances 

    There’s one genre of historical romance that has it all: Regency Romance. Taking place during approximately 1795-1837 (also known as the Regency era of England, where King George was ousted from the throne and his son took his place…who would later be followed by Queen Victoria!) there are hundreds of novels following the lives and loves of Lords, Earls, Dukes, Marquesses, Rogues, Spinsters, and more. For those just starting out in the genre (or those who can’t get enough!) I’ve narrowed it down to 50 must-read Regency romances, but if you have any other recommendations, leave them in the comments below!

    Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase
    A classic within the genre follows the infamous Marquess of Dain, whose reputation has not one iota of respectability. But when Jessica Trent walks into his life, Sebastian must convince a good woman to fall from grace—and fall in love with him.

    Slightly Dangerous, by Mary Balogh
    Mary Balogh is a Regency icon. Christine Derrick is intrigued when the mysterious Duke of Bewcastle invites her to become his mistress—but she isn’t an easy mark, and Wulfric soon realizes he’ll need more than lust to win her over.

    It Happened One Autumn, by Lisa Kleypas 
    An American heiress travels to England in search of a husband with a title—and the last man that will ever be is Marcus, the Earl of Westcliff. He’s cold, reserved, and stubborn beyond reproach. Then one night changes all of that, but once Lillian and Marcus fall in love, a conspiracy emerges to rip them apart.

    Flowers From the Storm, by Laura Kinsale
    Another veritable icon of Regency Romance where a wounded man with a dark past is healed by true love. Maddy Timms is a pious, religious woman—which is why she’s suspicious of the notorious rake Sebastian—Earl, Duke, and Viscount—working with her mathematician father. When he has a stroke, Maddy compassionately cares for him and learns that the past is nothing but a memory when confronted by a future with someone you deeply care for.

    Devil in Winter, by Lisa Kleypas 
    Read It Happened One Autumn and you will meet the villainous Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, one of Regency’s most beloved (and hated) rakes. There might be no one more dangerous, except Evangeline Jenner’s terrible, greedy relatives. That’s why a marriage of convenience with Sebastian is her only way to escape them. He agrees, but what starts as convenience becomes a relationship he would as soon die—or kill—for.

    Romancing the Duke, by Tessa Dare 
    After being raised on the fairytales of her writer father, Isolde has given up on true love. How can such happiness find her when she has no money and no home? But luck shines on Izzy when she finds out she’s inherited a beautiful castle from her godfather. There’s just one problem: Ransom Vane, the Duke of Rothbury, lives there. Blinded from an injury in his past, Ransom is harsh and bitter, but when Izzy arrives, one ray of sunshine turns into true love.

    When He was Wicked, by Julia Quinn 
    When Michael Stirling—a rogue known for his penchant for chasing women—meets Francesca Bridgerton, it is love at first sight. The problem? She’s marrying his cousin in two days.

    Thunder and Roses, by Mary Jo Putney
    Claire Morgan is desperate to save her small village—that’s the only reason she would approach the man known as the Demon Rake for help. He agrees, with one catch: move in with him, and tarnish her reputation, letting society think the worst of them both. But with them against the world, it’s no wonder an arrangement of mutual benefit eventually turns to love.

    Ruthless, by Anne Stuart
    Remember the ousted King George I mentioned earlier? Well, he had friends, and in this Regency romance they all secretly gather at a brothel to explore their carnal desires. No one is more accomplished at this than Viscount Rohan, except when it comes to Elinor Harriman, who seems immune to his seduction.

    Duke of Sin, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Sinfully attractive but dangerously unscrupulous, Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, has returned from exile to seek vengeance. But he meets Bridget Crumb, his new housekeeper, and finds he has a goal in mind. But Bridget has another reason for being in the Duke’s bedroom, and when her secret comes to light, their bourgeoning romance is threatened by the truth.

    A Rogue by any Other Name, by Sara McLean
    Another British elite exiled from society because of their dark past, the Marquess of Bourne is back, and back to his old ways. Lady Penelope Marbury doesn’t belong in his world. But she’s the key to helping him right the wrongs done to him, which means he must keep her close, but not let her into his heart.

    The Most Dangerous Duke in Londonby Madeline Hunter
    Clara Cheswick is a heroine with no interest in marriage. She has ambition and drive, publishing a women’s journal. So when the brooding and handsome rake Adam Penrose proposes marriage, she’s skeptical. After all, she’s the daughter of the man his family hates most.

    Nothing Like a Duke, by Jane Ashford
    Lord Robert Gresham loves Flora Jennings, but after years of pursuing her, he finally gives up. Of course, it’s at that exact moment when Flora shows up at his doorstep, finally ready for love.

    Blame it on the Duke, by Lenora Bell
    Nicolas, Lord Hatherly, does not want to marry—especially because madness runs in his family, and will inevitably come for him. But he has to marry to pay back his father’s debts. Alice Tombs feels the same way, having pushed away three suitors previously in her attempts to delay marriage. So they strike a deal: a summer to prove their marriage is “real”, and then they can go their separate ways. Except that the summer nights prove sensual, and what is fake and what is real become difficult to distinguish.

    Six Impossible Things, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Lord Rimsell is the opposite of a rake: strong, dependable, and honorable, he can be taken for his word. Which is why when he is caught after a moment of temptation with Rosalie Stratton, his course is clear: he must marry her, to protect their reputations. But Rosalie is not all she appears, and her secrets could taint Brody’s honor…

    Once Upon a Marquess, by Courtney Milan
    Judith Worth hates Christian Trent, the man she fell for who then destroyed her father. So when a difficult situation arises and she has to go to him for help, she is angry and ashamed. But Christian has always loved Judith, and will take this opportunity to do everything he can to convince her he’s not the man she thinks he is.

    One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, by Sara MacLean
    Philippa Marbury is a learned woman, who cares more for books than brooding men. Engaged to a lovely—albeit boring—man, she has the rest of her life planned out. But until the wedding takes place, she decides to pursue the parts of life she has ignored—for research purposes, of course. Enter scoundrel Cross, gaming hall owner and sexual conquest. But can Philippa keep her attraction to Cross purely scientific?

    What the Duke Desires, by Sabrina Jeffries
    Maximillian’s brother has been dead for a long time—which is why when a letter from an investigator hints that he may be alive, the Duke of Lyons is game to take on the case. But the investigator goes missing, and Maximillian is left with the man’s sister, Lissette, to seek out the truth. Now they are searching for two people, but conspiracy, and attraction, threaten to undo everything they are working for.

    If You Deceive, by Kresley Cole
    Ethan MacCarrick was brutally beaten and disfigured after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He got his vengeance against the man who gave the order, but it only made him hungry for more. Which is why he decides to pursue Madeleine Van Rowen, his enemy’s daughter. But revenge is a dish no longer served cold when passion ignites between them.

    The Pleasures of Passion, by Sabrina Jeffries
    Niall Lindsay has killed a man, which means he has to flee for his life. He expects the woman he loves, Brilliana, to come with him, but she does not. She doesn’t wait for him, either. When the tarnished Earl returns to society on a mission for the government, he is forced to reunite with his former love, whom he now hates.

    A Duke of Her Own, by Eloisa James
    A rake must marry to take responsibility for his illegitimate children, fathered over his years of being irresponsible with women. No one is better suited to be the Duke of Villiers’ wife than Eleanor, the daughter of the Duke of Montague. Except that Lisette, the daughter of a different duke, engaged to another man…is the one who tempts him most.

    Ravished, by Amanda Quick 
    Harriet Pomeroy needs a husband to protect her against the looters and thieves using the caves along her seaside home. Who more fearsome to scare them away than the Beast of Blackthorne Hall, Gideon Westbrook? With his scarred face and dangerous reputation, he is the perfect protector…but it will take a lot to get him to find the heart needed to truly care for her.

    A Rose in Winter, Kathleen Woodiwiss
    Erienne Fleming is beautiful, with suitors lining up to court her—but she only has eyes for Christopher Seton, an American…and can’t marry him anyway, because of her father’s devastating debts. She is won (or, rather, purchased) by Lord Saxton, a man who wears a mask and cloak to hide the results of a terrible fire. And yet, just as she starts to fall for him, Christopher Seton appears once more. Which will she choose: to remain the wife of a man who may not be able to reveal himself to her, or to betray him?

    Forbidden, by Jo Beverly
    Serena Riverton is done with marriage after barely escaping her first one with her life. But in a moment of passion, she seduces Francis, Lord Middlethorpe, and suddenly finds herself wondering whether true love can undo the darkness of her past.

    Lord of Vengeance, by Lara Adrian
    The story of Beauty and the Beast is reinterpreted in this romance where a woman is taken captive in an act of revenge—but eventually, makes the man fall in love with her.

    Thief of Shadows, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Winter Makepeace is a cold headmaster and Lady Isabel Beckinhall is tasked with tutoring him in the art of high society—so needless to say, they don’t exactly get along. At least not at first. But little does she know that Winter lives a double life, as a masked vigilante determined to protect his community, even with violence. Could Winter’s dark secret ruin the possibility of love with Isabel?

    Edenbrooke, by Julianne Donaldson
    Marianne Daventry is bored with her life—so when her sister invites her to a country estate that promises to have some adventure, she jumps at the chance. While Cecily seduces the heir of Edenbrooke, she will enjoy her freedom. Except when she arrives, an innocent flirtation leads her to more adventure than she bargained for.

    Arabella, by Georgette Heyer
    Penned by the acknowledged original queen of Regency, this romance features a strong-willed heroine who, on her way to London, finds herself indisposed outside the home of Robert Beaumaris. Arabella pretends to be an aristocratic heiress, and so when Beaumaris introduces her to London society as one of them, she is scared of the consequences if he finds out she is a phony.

    Cold-Hearted Rake, by Lisa Kleypas 
    Devon Ravenel is a devilish rake whose plans are interrupted by the inheritance of an earldom, and the responsibilities that come with it: namely, freeing the estate of debt, and caring for the former Earl’s sisters and the man’s widow. Kathleen doesn’t trust Devon, but can’t deny her attraction to him—resulting in a war for both of them between honor and passion.

    Trial by Desire, by Courtney Milan
    Lady Kate Carhart has finally healed from the damage done when her husband left her. So when Ned returns without notice, determined to win her back, she is equally determined to resist his charms. But when a secret from her past comes back to haunt her, he is the only one she can depend on.

    Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas
    Rhys Winterborne is ruled by his ambition, and nothing else. So when he meets Helen Ravenel, his desire to possess her is equal to his desire for wealth. But she is unfamiliar with the lengths men in high society will go to to take a woman’s body…including taking her virtue, to ensure that she’ll marry him to protect her own reputation.

    My American Duchess, by Eloisa James
    The Duke of Trent must marry a woman respected in society—aka, not Merry Pelford, a wealthy American infamous for leaving two betrothals. But one stolen moment between them is all it takes to show that they belong together…if only Merry weren’t already engaged, and determined to make it to marriage this time.

    Forever Your Earl, by Eva Leigh
    Eleanor Hawke is the original Carrie Bradshaw; a gossip columnist about the sin and scandal of London society. The Earl of Ashford is a constant feature in the column for his rakish behavior…but when he extends an invitation to no longer write about him, but be with him, Eleanor is intrigued. But Daniel’s true intentions are hidden, and when they come to light, will she wind up being the one gossiped about?

    When a Scot Ties the Knot, by Tessa Dare
    Sweet, awkward Madeline Gracechurch is about to be introduced to London society as an eligible prospect for marriage. The problem is she’s terrified, and so to avoid being pursued, she makes up a Scottish sweetheart. But when the man of her dreams, Captain Logan Mackenzie, shows up, he turns out to be as close to her childish fantasies as she could have dreamed.

    Sweet Disorder, by Rose Lerner
    Phoebe Sparks has been widowed, and decides never to marry again…except that she deeply cares about the results of the election in her small town, but can’t vote. However, if she had a husband, he could vote for her…enter Nicholas Dymond, brother of the candidate, who will do anything to help him win, including ensuring Phoebe finds a husband. But when an attraction grows between them, more than just politics is at stake.

    My Dangerous Duke, by Gaelen Foley 
    The Inferno Club is known for debauchery and rogueish behavior—but behind closed doors, they are an army in service of the King, avowed to protect their country and soil their reputations in the name of justice. Duke Warrington has sworn off love, having no time between the Inferno Club’s missions and out of fear of the tragedy that always befalls the men in his family. But complications arise when a kidnapped woman is brought to him and he decides to avenge her—because its more than just king and country he winds up fighting for, but her heart.

    The Magpie Lord, by KJ Charles
    An M/M Regency romance with a paranormal twist! Lucien Vaudrey has been exiled to China for twenty years. But his brother and father die in mysterious circumstances, and he has inherited both their titles, and their enemies. Stephen Day is a magician approached by the new Lord Crane to help him exact vengeance—and soon, as the magic of love forms between them, their relationship becomes more than just business.

    Will’s True Wish, by Grace Burrowes
    A shy, Shakespeare-loving heroine falls for an Earl’s spare as he investigates the mystery of dognappings in high-society London. Will is below Susannah in all the ways that matter in the aristocracy—but focusing on solving the case becomes difficult when their attraction rises to the surface.

    The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn
    Anthony Bridgerton the bachelor of all bachelors, but at long last he’s decided to marry. If only the bride’s older sister, Kate, would stop meddling in his affairs, determined to stop the marriage. But what begins as Kate interfering becomes her hoping that Anthony might choose her instead….

    The Perils of Pleasure, by Julie Anne Long
    Colin Eversea is about to hang for murder until a mysterious mercenary rescues him. At least, that’s what he thought, but Madeleine Greenway intends to hold him captive until the highest bidder pays. But eventually Colin’s rogueish charm wears her down, and as they flee the people who want him alive in exchange for her death, they fall deeper in love.

    An Unlikely Countess, by Jo Beverley 
    Prudence is poor, but intends to marry above her station. When she is rescued from robbers by Catesby Burgoyne, a marriage of convenience seems perfect for both of them. But when Cate’s older brother dies, making them both incredibly wealthy, will a change in status change the love between them?’

    My One True Highlander, by Suzanne Enoch
    A woman finds herself the pawn in the middle of a war between a Highlander clan and the Duke of Lattimer, her father. When she’s kidnapped by the enemy, a bond forms between them that prevents the Scot from using her as a chess piece in a game of deceit.

    The Corinthian, by Georgette Heyer 
    To avoid marrying her cousin, Penelope Creed runs away from London dressed as a boy. She is discovered by Sir Richard Wyndham, who vows to protect her.

    A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove #1), by Tessa Dare
    At times laugh-out-loud funny, this story shows another side of Regency, a side without all the balls and high-society woman. It takes place in a delightful little seaside resort town, where Susanna Finch invites ladies of “good breeding and delicate constitution” to come experience the healing properties of the seaside air, good food, and exercise. But when Lt. Col. Bram and a few fellow soldiers show up under orders to gather a militia in the sleepy town, Susanna fears a full-scale invasion of her safe space.

    Someone to Hold, by Mary Balogh
    Camille Wescott is a bastard without a title—her parents’ marriage was declared bigamous. Fleeing London society for a setting where she is less notorious, Camille teaches at an orphanage and lives with her grandmother. She meets Joel Cunningham, who is charged with painting her portrait. What begins as a fiery, abrasive relationship—as he once had feelings for her half-sister— soon turns to passion.

    When Beauty Tamed the Beast, by Eloisa James
    Linnet is betrothed to the Earl of Marchant, a man surrounded by myth and mystery. The most notorious of them all is that he is incapable of love. But Linnet believes she can tame the beast that refuses to love…

    Silk is for Seduction, by Eloisa James 
    A family of dressmakers find love in this Regency series. Marcelline Noirot is the definition of fashionable, and to make her mark on society she sets out to make over the least-fashionable: the betrothed of the Duke of Clevedon! But that means getting Clevedon on her side, and she finds the task made more difficult by the temptation of seduction between them.

    A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal, by Meredith Duran
    Simon St. Maur is a rake like no other—but when he inherits an Earldom, he decides to start over, with a fresh reputation. However, he was cut from the will, and a title with no money is useless; so he sets out for an heiress with the money to finance his new lifestyle. He meets Nell Whitby when she breaks into the former earl’s house with a gun in her hand—and proposes marriage. There’s one hitch: she’s not the heiress he thinks she is…

    The Secret Mistress, by Mary Balogh
    A beauty with a title and pedigree only wants a simple life with a marriage of love. Luckily for her, she thinks she finds it in Edward, the Earl of Heyward, when he defends her honor…unfortunately for him, Angeline is the last woman on earth he should marry.

    Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Jane Austen should be incredibly satisfied that all of these regency romances evolved from the tradition her novels inspired. This classic tale of misconceptions, miscommunication, and misguided interference between a cold, stoic man and a woman who thinks she has him all figured out has endured the test of time.

    What regency romance novels do you love?

    The post 50 Must-Read Regency Romances appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2017/07/10 Permalink
    Tags: because you're mine, duke of midnight, , how to marry a marquise, joanna chambers, judith mcnaught, julia quinn, , , the lady's secret, until you   

    5 Romances Featuring Secret Identities and Disguises 

    Disguises, hidden identities, and gender-bending have been tropes in romance practically since the genre was invented! What better way to add tension to a plot than to have the two people falling in love unknowingly—or knowingly, with great deception—with someone without knowing who they truly are. Here are a few of my favorites.

    The Lady’s Secretby Joanna Chambers
    After years of believing herself illegitimate, Georgiana Knight is suddenly informed that her parents were actually married. She and her brother are heirs to a great estate, with one catch: there’s no evidence of the marriage. But that’s no problem for Georgy: she’s an actress, like her mother was, and she’ll take on the ultimate role to secure the proof. She poses as a valet in Earl Nathaniel Harland’s household….which means handling most intimate tasks. And soon, intimacy blooms between her and Nathaniel, even though he believes her to be a man. A nice play on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night!

    How to Marry a Marquis, by Julia Quinn
    Marquis James Sidwell has a problem: his aunt is being blackmailed. In order to suss out the culprit and remove the threat, James decides to pose as the estate manager, severely lowering his station in order to befriend the working class inhabitants of the estate. There, he meets Elizabeth, who is in a pickle of her own: she needs to marry someone with money so she can afford good schooling for her little brother. That’s where a troublesome little book called How to Marry a Marquis falls into her lap, and she figures learning to flirt with someone she could never marry would be harmless. Until she falls for “Mr. Siddons”, who could never, ever, give her what she needs. A witty romance that balances comedy with sensual scenes.

    Duke of Midnight, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Do I love me a man in a mask! Maximus Batten has a come a long way from witnessing the gruesome murder of his parents two decades before. Now a Duke, he spends his time wielding power in Parliament…but at night, he dons the disguise of the Ghost of St. Giles to prowl for the murderer. But when he meets Artemis Greaves, Maximus finally meets his match. Artemis is a lady’s maid by day, but in truth, she is trying to free her bother from imprisonment…and when she discovers the Ghost of St. Giles’ true identity, she blackmails him: free my brother, or I’ll tell the world who you really are. But temptation may get the better of them both, as seduction and secrets often go hand in hand…

    The Masqueraders, by Georgette Heyer
    This one is a classic! Two siblings escape after the Jacobite Rebellion goes badly: practical and realistic Prudence and willful, restless Robin. Their father’s reputation as an adventurer—and a con man—precedes him, and so to keep themselves safe in London society, they decide to take on new names…and new genders. Prudence becomes Kate, Robin becomes Peter, and even though they are both trying to keep a low-profile, love finds them anyway. Kate can’t contain her affection for Sir Anthony Fanshawe, and damsel in distress Letitia Grayson catches Peter’s attention instantly. But they must keep up their ruse despite the temptation to reveal who they truly are…or risk being punished for their previous crimes.

    Until You, by Judith McNaught
    Sheridan Bromleigh has had her fill of adventure; as a child, living with her American father and his friends of questionable character. But after she is given to an Aunt and instructed in the ways of being a lady, she has resigned herself to a life of servitude and boredom. But when she is hired to act as chaperone to Charise Lancaster, a flighty heiress on her way to England to marry Lord Burleton, she happily accepts. An adventure, at last! Except it goes badly: Charise meets a man on the ship and absconds with him, leaving her poor chaperone without a penny, and with the task of informing her betrothed what has happened. But instead, she meets Stephen Westmoreland, Earl of Langford, with equally terrible news: Lord Burleton has died. Sheridan prepares to go home, but accidentally hits her head on the ship…and when she wakes, she has no memory of who she is and why she is there. Only that she came to England to marry a lord, and that the man caring for her—Stephen—must be him. When he goes along with the ruse, romance ensues. This one has swoons in spades!

    Because You’re Mine, Lisa Kleypas
    When I heard Lisa Kleypas had a series set in the theater, I was as giddy as an heiress who just laid hands on her fortune. In this installment of the Capital Theater novels, Madeline Matthews is a spirited heroine who takes matters into her own hands when she refuses to marry an old Lord…by running away from her Girl’s Academy to seek out Logan Scott, owner of the Capital Theater, for a reputation-ruining affair. He gives her a job, but keeps his distance, even going so far as trying to find ways to get her to leave. Logan’s past sins and haunt him, and he has no desire to ruin the future of a bright young girl. But after a kiss between them cannot be ignored, both of their plans might be ruined: it was never in Maddy’s plan to have a broken heart…

    What romances featuring disguises and secret identities do you recommend?

    The post 5 Romances Featuring Secret Identities and Disguises appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 12:30 pm on 2016/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: , because of miss bridgerton, ever after, , , , julia quinn, linda lael miller, nobody but you, once a ranger, ,   

    Romance Roundup: A Kind-Hearted Cowboy, a Victorian Mystery, and a Scheming Stepsister 

    This week’s romance roundup includes a cowboy with a heart of gold, a devious stepsister, and a military man in need of some TLC.

    Once a Rancher, by Linda Lael Miller
    Filmmaker Slater Carson has no idea what he’s in for when he decides to give a troubled teenage boy a job on his ranch. Add to that Grace Emery, the boy’s beautiful guardian and the new manager of the Mustang Creek resort, and things get extra complicated. Grace doesn’t think she has time for romance, but who can ignore someone like the eldest Carson brother? (Answer: No one!) This is the first book in Miller’s Carsons of Mustang Creek series, and fans know that when it comes to sexy, kind-hearted cowboys, she delivers. (Available in hardcover, paperback and NOOK on March 29.)

    Because of Miss Bridgerton, by Julia Quinn
    The latest book in Quinn’s Bridgerton series features former tomboy Billie Bridgerton and her longtime neighbor, the eldest Rokesby brother, George. They can’t stand each other, which suits them just fine; if anything, Billie thought she’d end up with one of George’s brothers. Still, as the two adversaries find themselves continually thrown together, their rivalry becomes difficult to keep up. First-time feelings combined with well-developed characters are sure to make for a delicious read. Add to that Quinn’s trademark humor, and romance readers have a great story! (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook and NOOK on March 29.)

    Garden of Lies, by Amanda Quick
    Victorian London is a terrific setting for Quick’s latest read. Ursula Kern has her own secretarial agency, but all’s not well in business. When Ursula’s best employee, Anne Clifton, unexpectedly dies, she decides to investigate. She teams up with archaeologist Slater Roxton, who isn’t exactly thrilled that the widowed beauty has decided to take on such a tough case. Together they work to solve the mystery while navigating London’s tricky society circles, and also dealing with that teensy little matter of their growing attraction to one another. (Available in paperback on March 29.)

    Ever After, by Jude Deveraux
    The final book in Deveraux’s Nantucket Brides trilogy features Hallie Hartley, a physical therapist who has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful stepsister, Shelly. Hallie takes off to Nantucket when she realizes she’s been left a house there, and that her devious stepsister is trying to steal it from her. Before long, Hallie meets a new patient in Nantucket, the wealthy James Taggert, and let’s just say he’s not the snobby, rich boy our heroine thinks him to be. Add a supernatural element to this story, and you’ve got quite the early spring seaside romp. (Available in paperback on March 29.)

    Nobody But You, by Jill Shalvis
    The third book in Shalvis’ Cedar Ridge series features Jacob Kincaid, an army guy who is in need of some peace and quiet after a mission goes horribly wrong. What could be better than going home to his hometown of Cedar Ridge, Colorado? The air is fresh, and he can relax in a lakeside cabin. But what’s with this woman who has claimed his dock for her own? Sophie Marren is a down-on-her-luck lady who doesn’t really have anywhere to go. These two troubled adults realize they must cooperate if they’re going to have any peace of mind. (Available in paperback, audiobook and NOOK on March 29.)

    What spring romances are leaving you twitterpated?

     
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