Review: Tamed by the Earl

Review: Tamed by the EarlTamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #9
Published by Carole Mortimer on February 24th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 99

FINAL DECISION:  This is a nice story that wraps up the series in a satisfactory fashion, but it is not among the best of the series.  The length of the novella made the relationship too quick and the sexual relationship felt rushed.  Good one time read.

THE STORY:  Lord Daniel Somersby, Earl of Latham survived a miserable marriage.  Since he has an heir, he has no intention of marrying again.  Returning home, Daniel runs into a fight among his stable boys.  The newest boy is causing trouble and something about his intrigues Daniel.  Disguised as a boy, Lady Josephine Kendall is running from her cousin who has tried to sexually abuse her and marry her off to settle his gambling debts.  Temporarily residing as a stablehand, Jo is fascinated by Daniel but trying desperately to maintain her disguise.

OPINION:  This novella fits right into the rest of the series.  The emphasis in the book is on the relationship between the characters and the plot does nothing more than serve that end.  I appreciate books that focus on characters because that is the reason I love romances.  This story is short so the character development is not too deep, but the story plays on some classic tropes that I enjoy.  The woman disguised as a boy is always a fun one.  Here Jo is a thorn to Daniel because he can’t seem to get her out of his mind despite believing her to be a boy.  The story is straightforward and a quick read.

If you have read the others in the series, you should finish out with this one.  There is a small payoff in the end.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is the last in the series and gives a little peek at the other characters at the end.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TAMED BY THE EARL is the ninth book in the Regency Unlaced series.  It can be read as a standalone although there is information about other characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3 stars.


Review: Seduced by a Marquis

Review: Seduced by a MarquisSeduced by a Marquis (Regency Unlaced 8) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #8
Published by Smashwords Edition on December 20th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 118

FINAL DECISION:  A sexy novella that has interesting characters and which I found to be a fun little read.  One of the better stories in this series, this novella manages to pack in a whole bunch of story and a developing relationship between Bella and Lysander in its few pages.

THE STORY:  Bella Reynolds is under the thumb of her older brother who uses her younger sister to compel Bella to give in to his wishes. Bella ends up engaged to Lord Lysander Falkner, Marquis of Trent who is jaded by all the women who have tried to get him to marry them.  Unwillingly betrothed, Bella knows that Lysander has no reason to trust her and yet forces are conspiring against them.

OPINION:  I found this story very appealing.  Perhaps it is the idea that Bella and Lysander are such good people who end up agreeing to a marriage of convenience that quickly becomes a passionate love match.

This is a novella so I’m judging it on that basis.  The character development is not as deep as I would expect in a full length novel and the story is not as well fleshed out.  But there is something fun and compelling about this story.  I loved these two people who are both hurt by their past.

Lysander is an illegitimate son turned heir to a duke (yes, improbable) — a common man raised to the heights of title.  Bella is a woman who has been used by her brother to advance his own agenda. She knows that she cannot hope for a happy marriage with children because of her past.

As is true with all the Regency Unlaced series, the focus with these characters is on their sexual attraction at first. This book manages to be hot while also making it clear that these two go have emotional possibilities with one another.

The plot is enough to keep the book moving but not so much as to take away from the focus on Bella and Lysander’s relationship.

This was a good read.  I found it enjoyable, I liked the characters and there was enough heat to make the story interesting.

WORTH MENTIONING:  If you want total historical accuracy in your historicals, you can pass on this one.  But if you value characters and an interesting story over details, you might give this one a try.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SEDUCED BY A MARQUIS is the eighth book in the Regency Unlaced series.  This book stands on its own although there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Pleasured by a Duke

Review: Pleasured by a DukePleasured by a Duke (Regency Unlaced 7) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #7
Published by Smashwords Edition on October 28th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 122

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable little novella that is hot.  The short nature of the story doesn’t allow for much characters development but the characters of Sebastian and Tia are fun in their interaction with one another.

THE STORY:  Sebastian Falkner, Duke of Stowmont, is a rake who ironically keeps getting unwanted wards.  Having just gotten rid of one, he finds himself guardian to a seven year old boy.  And this child comes with his adult step-sister.  Horatia “Tia” Chelford is a self-described mousy woman whose betrothed was killed in Waterloo.  Believing that she has lost her chance for love and marriage, Tia has dedicated herself to her step-brother.  While the duke intends to rid himself of the opinionated and mouthy Tia as quickly as possible, Tia intends on finding a way to stay.  At the same time, Tia and her stepbrother are in danger from the person who murdered Tia’s stepmother.

OPINION:  I’ve come to enjoy Mortimer’s Regency Unlaced series which are generally short novellas with an emphasis on the hot sex.  The stories focus on the sexual relationships and the characters tend to be in situations which heightens the tension in that relationship.

This book follows in that formula.  The characters are set in the beginning.  Sebastian is a man who never expected to be a duke but has taken on the role with a disdain for society.  He cares deeply for his family, including his illegitimate half-brother who acts as his secretary.  When he is given the guardianship of a young boy, he intends to fulfill his duty but doesn’t want anything to do with the older sharp-tongued step-sister — until he can’t resist her.

Tia is a woman who has lost everything except her younger step-brother and is willing to do anything to stay with him.  She has loved and lost and she accepts her limitations.  When she has the opportunity to find some happiness, she is willing to take it — even if society would not approve.

I liked this book.  My one complaint is that everything is wrapped up too quickly and too neatly.  I wanted a bigger confrontation on Sebastian and Tia’s relationship or a bigger part for the villain in the story.  Instead, things are just resolved too quickly (in a couple of pages) and that left me wanting in the story.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The duke’s illegitimate half brother looks to be getting his story next.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  PLEASURED BY A DUKE is the seventh book in the Regency Unlaced series.  It can be read as a standalone.  The only connection to the prior books are the mention of other characters in the epilogue.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.


Review: Captured by a Gentleman

Review: Captured by a GentlemanCaptured by a Gentleman (Regency Unlaced 6) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #6
Published by Smashwords Edition on August 30th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 117

FINAL DECISION:  This is one of the better stories in a somewhat uneven series.  The story between Darcy and Ranulf is hot and well constructed for its novella length.  I liked the characters, the conflicts and the romance between the main characters.

THE STORY: Ranulf Montgomery will never be vulnerable to a woman again after his experience with his adulterous wife. Now a widower, Ranulf does not intend to fall victim again.  Then Ranulf discovers his deceased wife’s cousin hiding in his traveling coach.  Darcy Ambridge desperately needs Ranulf’s help to avoid the lecherous advances of her uncle. While Ranulf does not want to help, he cannot consider allowing Darcy to be abused.  As they travel, the passion between them flares out of control at the same time someone seems determined to murder Ranulf.

OPINION:  This is a fast read novella.  The story doesn’t feel particularly historical in many ways, but I liked the characters and the connection between them was hot and intense.  Ranulf is a damaged man who has remade himself after his wife’s deception.  I like how he treats Darcy with respect almost from the beginning despite his concerns and fears.  While the connection goes too quick for a full-length novel, in this shorter version, the pacing went well, the characters were sufficient for the length.  I enjoyed this book and think that it pairs well with the book which introduced Ranulf.

I recommend those who are willing to accept a quick read book that doesn’t always feel historically accurate but contains a fun story with likeable characters.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella length story.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  CAPTURED BY THE GENTLEMAN is book 6 in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone although it is can be read as a sequel to TAKEN BY THE EARL (book 3).

STAR RATING:  I give this novella 4.5 stars.


Review: Desired by a Lord

Review: Desired by a LordDesired by a Lord (Regency Unlaced 5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #5
Published by Smashwords Edition on July 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical

FINAL DECISION:  This one was barely okay for me.  The characters had too much insta love and lust and the personal obstacles were no real obstacles at all once the external threat was resolved.

THE STORY:  Mrs. Emily Marsden comes to take her deceased husband’s place cataloging the library of Lord Alexander Whitney. Xander certainly didn’t expect a woman, especially not one so young and attractive.  Emily is hiding from her family’s scandal and also blackmail. The two are attracted to one another as the blackmailer follows Emily.

OPINION:  This novella didn’t do anything for me.  The characters were okay but not that memorable.  Their relationship seemed based primarily on sexual attraction and although interesting characteristics were introduced, they were quickly resolved without any real conflict. This was a story that I won’t even be able to recall in a couple of days.  The most memorable parts were the villain and the butler.  There was nothing wrong with the characters, they just were bland.

WORTH MENTIONING: Although there are highly sexual situations in this book, there is no actual intercourse.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DESIRED BY A LORD is the fifth book in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 2 stars.


Review: Pursued by the Viscount

Review: Pursued by the ViscountPursued by the Viscount by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #4
on May 27, 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 127

FINAL DECISION:  This was a simple, easy read.  I enjoyed the read, but it wasn’t particularly deep or memorable.  I would classify it as an enjoyable one time read.

THE STORY:  Lady Rachel Shaw is recovering from a bad marriage when she gets in trouble with a blackmailer who has incriminating letters written by her which if revealed could ruin her.  On he recommendation of her friend, Rachel approaches Lucien Brooke, Viscount Brooketon who is known for his ability to deal with sticky situations.  Lucien, at first, has no desire to help a woman who reminds him too much of his flighty, flirty, unfaithful mother but soon recognizes that Rachel’s exterior hides tremendous pain.  Indeed, Lucien realizes that he wants her for himself.

OPINION:  This book is a small story (novella) focusing mostly on the sexual relationship between Rachel and Lucien.  There is instant attraction, a quick sexual relationship and then a quick resolution of the story.  There really isn’t much drama between Rachel and Lucien. What appears to be a significant barrier — Lucien’s impression that Rachel is a flirt and a like his mother — is resolved during their first meeting.

The lack of real drama made this pleasant but not particularly memorable read.  I liked the characters so this was worth the one time read.  I also enjoyed the story because it was part of the series so I knew these characters already.

WORTH MENTIONING: I did not like the story with the blackmailer. I thought the story was stereotypical in its depiction of gays (who end up being the bad guys here).  There was nothing nuanced in the portrayals to soften this stereotypical depiction.

CONNECTED BOOKS: PURSUED BY THE VISCOUNT is the fourth book in the Regency Unlaced Series.  It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.


Review: Taken by the Earl

Review: Taken by the EarlTaken by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 3) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #3
Published by Smashwords Edition on April 2nd 2016
Genres: Historical

I Loved This Historical Romp of a Novella

FINAL DECISION: This short novella was fun, sexy with a tight story and a romance that I really enjoyed. This was my favorite of the series so far.

THE STORY: Mrs. Felicity “Fliss” Randall is a respectable widow. When she overhears a plot to murder the new Earl of Winterbourne, she is determined to warn the Earl. She ends up having to get an invitation to a notorious house party where she approaches the Earl in his bedroom. When Sinclair Montgomery finds Fliss in his bedroom, he believes the woman he finds in his room is there for pleasure and begins to make love to her. When Fliss insists he listen to her, Sin doesn’t know whether to believe Fliss, but she sure wants her.

OPINION: This was an enjoyable romp with a very sexy premise. Fliss has been restrained and respectable all her life. She has always done what she should until she decides that she must warn the Earl of Winterbourne of the murder plot against him. That decision leads Fliss to do things that she never dreamed of doing. She discovers a recklessness and a sensuality that she never imagined during her perfectly respectable marriage. What’s not to love about a Scottish hero named Sin who is determined to show the heroine her own sexual power and pleasure. The connection between the two is wonderful and the plot serves to move the romance forward without taking away the focus from the relationship between Fliss and Sin.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh, there is a gentleman in this book who so deserves a happy ending of his own some day.

CONNECTED BOOKS: TAKEN BY THE EARL is book 3 of the Regency Unlaced series. This novella can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this novella 4.5 stars.



Review: Claimed by the Marquis

Review: Claimed by the MarquisClaimed by the Marquis (Regency Unlaced 2) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #2
Published by Smashwords Edition on January 29th 2016
Genres: Historical

Sexy Little Novella Feels a Little Rushed

“Do please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but did you just ask if you might sketch me? Sans my clothing?”

FINAL DECISION: Great promise, very sexy, good setup and characters. Unfortunately, there was just too much going on for such a small novella and the relationship is too rushed at the end.

THE STORY: Lady Sally Derwent is unique. At 25, she is unwed, financially independent and doesn’t have any intention on marrying. Along with her fortune, she also inherited a collection of erotica from her grandmother. She decides to ask Nicholas Sefton, Marquis of Oxbridge to pose nude for her so that she can add the sketches to the erotica collection. Nicholas believes that Sally wants to have an affair with him since they are attracted to one another. Two people who have no intention to marry find that they are drawn to one another in ways neither expected. There is also drama because it appears that someone is trying to get rid of Sally permanently.

OPINION: The setup for this book is good. The beginning where Sally and Nicholas. They have a clever witty relationship. Sally decides to take a chance and have an affair with Nicholas. For me, that is what begins to breakdown a bit. I find it difficult to accept that Sally could so quickly go to spend the summer with Nicholas. It just seemed too brazen for a woman who hadn’t had a lover before. I could accept that but I felt that the mystery of the story begins to take over at that point and I didn’t feel enough progression in the relationship between Sally and Nicholas. For two people determined not to marry, they too quickly change their minds.

I did enjoy the book, but it wouldn’t be one that I would put on my keeper shelf.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is hotter than a typical Mortimer book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: CLAIMED BY THE MARQUIS is the second book in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.



Review: The Duke’s Mistress

Review: The Duke’s MistressThe Duke's Mistress (Regency Unlaced 1) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #1
Published by Smashwords Edition on November 4th 2015
Genres: Historical

Sexy and Exciting Novella to Kick Off New Series

“Thea desired a lover.”

FINAL DECISION: Short, sexy and also containing a suspense story, there is a lot in this short novella, but the characters are well-drawn and make this one worth reading.

THE STORY: Lady Dorothea Fitzroy, a young widow, is bored with her staid life living with her brother. She wants to find a lover and fulfill the sexual desires that her marriage left unfulfilled. Julian Remington, Duke of Blackmoor, walks into Thea’s life and while she desires him, she believes that she has nothing to attract such a man. Brought together by the marriage of Julian’s daughter and Thea’s nephew, the two begin a sexual dance that is threatened by a secret from Julian’s past. Someone wants to make sure that Julian pays for what happened in the past and will use anyone–including Thea to get revenge.

OPINION: This is one sexy little treat between Julian and Thea. The two are clearly meant for one another and the only thing keeping them apart is the danger from Julian’s past. I liked how their relationship developed and how there was a lot packed into this short book. While the identity of the threat is quickly known, there is still drama. I also liked that Thea is a woman who is ready to take control of her own life and own pleasures. These are likeable characters and I can’t wait to read more in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book introduces the series and other characters from future book make small appearances, but this novella focuses on the main characters rather than trying to introduce everyone in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE DUKE’S MISTRESS is the first book in the Regency Unlaced series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.25 stars.