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).
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
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 .
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.
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
Okay so, A Delicate Deception?
Two bisexual/pansexual characters + One introvert author/spinster + One softly damaged/emotional engineer = an amazing book that I enjoyed SO much.
Blurb: After a bet with his brother, Liam O’Connor has to date the next woman who walks into the pub. And he’s all in, because his pub is on the line. What he didn’t expect was Cassie Meadows, who at first glance with her big glasses and bulky sweater looks like a woman who has many, many cats—but her wit and smile make him wonder what’s underneath her bulky armor.
Cassie Meadows aka sweet romance author Cassie O’Brian is about to lose everything. As in, her writing career is going down the drain because she can’t write the sexy stuff that’s selling these days. She needs inspiration in the worst way. That’s when she walks into the wrong pub at the right time. Sexy owner Liam is just what the writing doctor ordered. Her whole body is feeling inspired—and when he makes a proposal she can’t refuse—she’s all in. Oh, hell yes. Best. Sex. Of. Her. Life. Thanks to Liam, she’s about to write a best-seller.
But having an erotic romance alter ego is nothing compared to the real secret Cassie is hiding—and that one could destroy everything.
Taken from book blurb.
Release Date: 8 July, 2019.
Length: 193 pages.
Series: Stand alone.
Genre: Romance. Erotica.
Read as: an eBook.
Bet Me to Stay is quick and sexy read that has the two main characters enter into a physical relationship on the prompting of a bet. Liam, who is sick of his brother falling in and out of love and engagements, bets that his brother can’t stay away from the ladies for a month. The trade off is that Liam must date the first woman to walk through the door.
What sets Bet Me to Stay apart from other romance novels that feature ‘the bet’ trope is that Cassie is looking for inspiration to write better erotic scenes for her novel, and has been told by her friend/agent to find a one night stand to help. Both enter into a physical relationship wanting something from the other, which for me, really evened out the power imbalance and angst you sometimes find with this trope.
Blurb: Lady Ellie Swift learned at an early age that men were more trouble than they’re worth. Now she’s all grown up and is the toast of society. Only she has secret ambitions to run her brother’s infamous gambling establishment—the Raven Club. Everything is progressing as planned until the man who broke her heart, Hugh Vere, the Marquess of Deveril, wants to take over the club. Dark, dominant, and strikingly handsome, Hugh’s reputation for sin precedes him, and suddenly, her dreams—and her heart—are in jeopardy.
As rakish as Hugh appears, he has a sharp mind for business. No one stands in the way of what he wants, not even the fiery-haired beauty from his past. From the moment he sees her again sparks fly, but he knows better than to fall for the lady. According to Ellie, the battle lines have been drawn and Hugh doesn’t stand a chance. But the nearly combustible chemistry between them is hard to ignore, and soon the club is not the only prize he wants….
Taken from book blurb.
Release Date: 10 June, 2019.
Length: 200 pages.
Series: The Raven Club #2.
Genre: Romance. Historical.
Read as: an eBook.
How to Best a Marquess is a beautiful story of second chances at love and acceptance. Ellie and Hugh have a romantic history which ended in heartbreak at the discretion of one character. The novel sees the pair reunited as they battle for the chance to win the casino, the Raven Club.
Blurb: Museum curator Summer Hawthorne considered the exquisite ice-blue ceramic bowl given to her by her beloved Japanese nanny a treasure of sentimental value — until somebody tried to kill her for it.
The priceless relic is about to ignite a global power struggle that must be stopped at all costs. It’s a desperate situation, and international operative Takashi O’Brien has received his directive: everybody is expendable. Especially the woman who is getting dangerously under his skin as the lethal game crosses the Pacific to the remote and beautiful mountains of Japan, where the truth is deadly.
Length: 445 pages
Series: Ice #3
Genre: Romance. M/F Romance.
Read As: Paperback.
Why is it a favourite?
Back in the long long ago, a two level book store opened near where I live. This store (for a few years at least) was a game changer for me. I had a small source of income and unrepentantly spent too much of it here.
One section of this store that opened up a new world of accessible books for me was the romance section. I will admit I didn’t like being seen in this section or spending too much time in here but still it had WAY more romance books than my library 😍
Blurb: When Frances Bumgarten encounters a handsome stranger in her kitchen in the middle of the night, her first impulse is to wallop the scoundrel on the head with a bread paddle. And when Frankie discovers he is “The Fox,” a disarmingly arrogant purveyor of gossip among England’s aristocracy, she’s tempted to take a second swing . . .
Never mind that Reynard Boulton, nephew of the Viscount Tannehill, is returning her inebriated uncle safely home. This chiseled intruder has sparked an infuriating physical sensation unlike anything the feisty Nevada silver heiress has experienced. In fact, the noblemen of London are so dull, Frankie’s sworn off marriage entirely. She will, however, help her younger sister win her own love match—even if it means secretly enlisting Reynard’s enquiring mind . . .
But secrets, as Reynard knows too well, can be costly. For Frankie is yet unaware that a villainous duke is scheming to claim her—and ruin him. Soon they’re racing to uncover the truth—and fueling a passion that won’t stay hidden . . .
Release Date: November 27th, 2018. Length: 320 pages. Series: Sin and Sensibility #2.
Genre: Historical Romance. Read as an: ebook. Sourced: Netgalley.
My Thoughts: The Girl with the Sweetest Secret is a great example of what historical romance novels can be – the book was well written, engaging, and funny! From start to finish I found myself reading with a smile on my face.
Yoga instructor Louise Pine is the ultimate caretaker. Everyone around her seems to have an emergency, but Lou hasn’t met a fire she couldn’t put out—until she’s faced with the hunky, bossy firefighter who crashes into her own backyard—and her life. No one tells Lou what to do, yet somehow the guy’s take-charge style makes her tingle . . .
Phoenix “Nix” Jones is used to calling the shots, whether he’s dealing with his younger siblings or taking on a dangerous blaze. Luckily, the fire at Lou’s is a false alarm. But the heat the fit and feisty woman ignites is far from dying out…
As the sparks turn into 5-alarm passion, can two strong-willed people end up engulfed by love—or will they crash and burn?
Release Date: November 27, 2018. Length: 208 pages (on my tiny phone). Series: Braving the Heat #2.
Genre: Erotica. Romance. F/M. Read as an: eBook. Sourced: NetGalley.
My Thoughts: Taming Heat was a quick and punchy read. While enjoying a nice glass of wine next to her fire pit, Louise (or Lou or Aunty Loulou) is interrupted by the fire brigade as they kick down her fence. It is here that Phoenix (or ‘Nix’) meets Lou. The story follows the pair as they hit it off, get turned down, and then fall in love.