12 Tropes of 2020 – Two Dukes and a Lady by Lorna James

Love Triangle from
12 Tropes of 2020

When two people both love a third person, and that third often loves them both. The object of their love may be conflicted as to whom he/she wants.

Taken from Urban Dictionary.

A state of affairs in which one person is romantically or sexually involved with two others (one or both of whom may not be aware of or complicit in the situation).

Taken from Lexico.

Two Dukes and a Lady
by Lorna James (aka Jamie K. Schmidt)

Charles Ashdown, Duke of Densmore, and his closest friend William Kenwood, Duke of Tennison, love gambling and womanising too much to ever be ensnared by a debutante. Certainly, no decent wife would allow the debauchery they enjoy. But the only woman they’ve ever loved has returned. Unfortunately, Society, and likely darling Lily, will never accept the sharing relationship they’d like to propose.

Lillian Drew returns to England after her husband’s mysterious death and finds solace with her girlhood crushes, Charles and William. Sure, they’re as unapologetically crass and self-centered as always, but she loves them both. When her dead husband’s creditors come after her, she has no choice but to remarry, though she can’t make up her mind which duke she’ll propose to. With a toss of one of the few coins she has left to her name, she hopes the loser will understand.

Taken from blurb

My thoughts

Full disclosure, I am a bleeding heart and couldn’t stomach the typical ‘love triangle’ trope. So instead of the usual V pattern of a relationship where one person is ultimately chosen, I went with a book where both romantic options are chosen 😋 Yes, yes I am aware that this is a menage or polyamorous trope but I couldn’t handle the angst of someone being rejected 😥

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Read and Rated: September

I was quite productive and read a fair amount this September. So here is a quick rundown of the books I finished during the month of September.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Who’s that Earl by Susanna Craig

Who’s That Earl is the first book of Susanna Criag’s I have read and I quite enjoyed it. The characters of the historical romance were very nuanced and I not only did I like them as individuals but I really liked them together. First in the Love and Let Spy Series, I will deifnelty be looking out for the next in store.

Also I do love the cover of this book, it is so striking and different. However every time I look at it I can’t help but think that there is something wrong with her arms? Maybe it is the style of the dress that is throwing me off? I’m not sure, what do you think?

Continue reading “Read and Rated: September”

12 Tropes of 2020 – Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

Wallflower from
12 Tropes of 2020

A person who has no one to dance with or who feels shy, awkward, or excluded at a party.

Taken from Lexico

She might be on the shelf, but love doesn’t pass her by in the end. These are romances where the heroine is a spinster, is on the shelf, or is considered an old maid by society (even if it’s by choice).

Taken from Best Romances With Spinsters, Wallflowers, Or Old Maids reading list on Goodreads.


Brazen and the Beast
by Sarah MacLean

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly… until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure… on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires… for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power… and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything… including their hearts.

Blurb taken from book blurb

My thoughts

The second book in The Bareknuckle Bastards series, Brazen and the Beast was an enjoyable and refreshing read. The book did not suffer from second book syndrome and was just as enjoyable as the first. As with her first book in the series, Wicked and the Wallflower, Brazen and the Beast follows one of the notorious ‘Bareknuckle Bastards’ as they are brought to their knees by powerful women of the time ladies .

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Long Lost Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Long Lost Reviews Icon

The Perfect Rake

Anne Gracie.

She ran from a brute…

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters’ chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke…But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence’s game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry… 

Taken from book blurb

I class this book as a long lost review as I have literally lost the book.

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12 Tropes of 2020 – A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian

Mistaken Identity from
12 Tropes of 2020

The ploy where one person is mistaken for another and hilarity ensues.

Taken from TV Tropes

All the books where one (or both) main character is keeping his/her’s identity secret or the other just thinks she/he is someone else.

Taken from Goodreads

A Delicate Deception
by Cat Sebastian

When Amelia Allenby escaped a stifling London ballroom for the quiet solitude of the Derbyshire countryside, the very last thing she wanted was an extremely large, if—she grudgingly admits—passably attractive man disturbing her daily walks. Lecturing the surveyor about property rights doesn’t work and, somehow, he has soon charmed his way into lemon cakes, long walks, and dangerously heady kisses.

The very last place Sydney wished to be was in the shadow of the ruins of Pelham Hall, the inherited property that stole everything from him. But as he awaits his old friend, the Duke of Hereford, he finds himself increasingly captivated by the maddeningly lovely and exceptionally odd Amelia. He quickly finds that keeping his ownership of Pelham Hall a secret is as impossible as keeping himself from falling in love with her.

But when the Duke of Hereford arrives, Sydney’s ruse is revealed and what started out as a delicate deception has become a love too powerful to ignore. Will they let a lifetime of hurt come between them or can these two lost souls find love and peace in each other?

Blurb taken from book blurb

My thoughts

Okay so, A Delicate Deception?

Yes please!

Two bisexual/pansexual characters + One introvert author/spinster + One softly damaged/emotional engineer = an amazing book that I enjoyed SO much.

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 – A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian”

Romance Recommendation: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

by Mackenzi Lee

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and travelling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 10 hours 47 minutes

Series: Montague Siblings #1

Genre: Young Adult. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as an: eAudiobook


My Thoughts

While listening to the first chapter of this audiobook, I was very tempted to stop reading. Don’t get me wrong, the narrator was amazing and the writing was good – it was just the character Monty was such a prick that I didn’t want to listen to a whole book about him.

I am SO glad that I powered through because I came to love Monty. While it might be stretching it to say that he grew as a person, he none the less grew on me as I came to understand him.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a young adult, historical, LGBTQ+ romance adventure novel. Encompassing that many genres may be a stretch with some books, but Lee pulls it off spectacularly. Soon I was absorbed in the world of the novel and was fighting for Monty and his love affair with Percy.


“We’re not courting trouble,” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.”


Continue reading “Romance Recommendation: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee”

Anticipated Arrival: The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

Anticpated arrivals

Ten years ago, Nicola and the duke wanted nothing to do with each other… and that’s exactly why they got engaged.

What is it?!

The Bride Bet is the fourth book in the Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare. The book, if it goes by the usual ‘side-character who gets their own book’ formula, is potentially the last book in this series.

When is it coming out?!

August 15, 2020.

I know, I know, there is a long time to wait until we get to read the book. Probably even longer if I want to continue how I’ve previously engaged with the books, and listen to it as an audiobook. But still, I am looking forward to reading The Bride Bet.

Why do you want it?!

I really want this book because the character, Nicola, has always intrigued me and left me wanting to know more about this pretty closed off character.

The snippets of story that we got in the third book, The Wallflower Wager, about Nicola seemed really interesting – the revelation that all this time, Nicola had been engaged and her desperate attempts not to be seen by him made me want to know more!

Why does everyone else need it?!

So far Tessa Dare has been a very entertaining and humours read – it is sometimes hard to find the right mix of romance and humour in historical romance books and the third book The Wallflower Wager aside, I have really enjoyed all the characters and their romances.

So not only do I recommend you pick up one of Tessa Dare’s books but I think you should also get excited about the fourth and potentially last book of this great series!


Anticipated arrival comment

Girl Meets Duke Series by Tessa Dare

The Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare has been my introduction to all things Tessa Dare. The historical romance series is also the first time that I have managed to finish and enjoy a fictional audiobook.

I’m really happy to have found this new historical romance author (well new to me 😋) and after listening to the first book in the series, quickly devoured all that I could. So the below quick little reviews are just my comments on the books that make up the Girl Meets Duke series. Enjoy 💌


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 1

The Duchess Deal was my first ever audiobook that I finished and that I loved. The narrator of the audiobook was amazing and really brought the characters to life.

I absolutely loved the story and characters of this romance novel, the romantic lead Ashbury is such a gruff bastard but he was one that I fell in love with – he had the incredibly endearing and humourous trait of only swearing in Shakespearean quotes. Also Emma was such a strong and beautiful character – I was honestly rooting for the pairs happy ending.


The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 2

Once again I fell in love with the characters of this novel. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the amazing, Mary Jane Wells, and once again the whole cast were brought to life through not only this narration but storytelling.

The multiple doll funerals really made me fall in love with, not only the two girls, but Chase himself. The resigned patience and punny eulogies really made the novel and made me see past the libertine archetype that I usually dislike. Also Alexandra was a true treasure as she helped the girls explore and learn as pirates, not to mention her inner strength and Filipino representation!


The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke: Book 3

I loved this story – Penny had always been a character from the previous books that had stood out to me and I really enjoyed seeing her story with her romantic lead Gabriel.

Be warned – spoilers ahead

I really loved this story until about three quarters of the way through – the book takes a serious turn with a revelation of childhood sexual assault. This revelation really did sour the book for me – I am not saying that historical romances shouldn’t tackle hard issues but the previous books had been quite lighthearted so this was not what I was expecting.

I’m not saying I hated the book because I didn’t, I’m just saying that I was quite shocked that this content was included. Also the way that the characters in the novel decided to deal with it was, in my opinion, quite hodgepodged and really detracted from the end of the story.


I am really enjoying the Girl Meets Duke series and despite the one hiccup with the third book, I am looking forward to reading about Nicola in the fourth book, The Bride Bet.

Have you read the series? Do you love them or hate them? Do you agree with me about the third book? Leave a comment and let me know 😊

Book Bingo Update 9


Hard to find genre

The Mistress and Her Men by Minerva Howe

For my hard to find genre, I decided to go with a polyamorous femdom historical romance novel. I’m not going to lie, I agonised over that sentence 😅

Continue reading “Book Bingo Update 9”

SLRG: Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas

luckisnolady
Luck is No Lady

by Amy Sandas.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she’d live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father’s death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London’s most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma’s shameful secret or her reputation-and her life-will be ruined.

But Roderick Bentley, the hell’s sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game…and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.

Length: 382 pages.

Series: Fallen Ladies #1.

Genre: Romance. Historical.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. The main character, Emma, is quite intelligent and was allowed to demonstrate this in an easy and respectful way. The romantic lead, Roderick, had a very accepting and almost nonchalant attitude towards Emma and her ‘scandalous’ behaviour.

The book is part of a trilogy that follows Emma’s two sisters, however I don’t think I will read these as the blurbs and characters didn’t grab my attention. Luck is No Lady was a sweet and smile inducing novel, I would really recommend this book for anyone looking for a good regency read.


Smut Level

Decent. I really liked the back and forth between these characters and the physical scenes were very focused on Emma.


Are there any romance novels that you love to read? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you 🙂

Book review comment ender