I just reviewed my notes doc for these posts and I AM SO BEHIND?? I haven’t posted a mini review of historical since NOVEMBER and it is now APRIL???? I blame the Harper Collins strike bc a lot of these are Avon titles and I couldn’t talk about them, but wow I’m so behind. But, I did post full reviews for Ana Maria & the Fox, Hotel of Secrets, and Earth Bound if you want to check those out. But, wow still have a lot of half done reviews. Some of these are from last year…
If you missed the first parts of this “series” you can read Part One here, Part Two here, & Part Three here, Part Four here, Part Five here, Part Six here, Part Seven here, Part Eight here, & Part Nine here.
I also read and reviewed (almost) the entire Bridgerton series if you want to check that out here, the entire Scandal & Scoundrel series here, & the Hathaways Series here.
The Duchess Hunt (Once Upon a Dukedom #2) by Lorraine Heath
Plot: The Duke of Kingsland failed at finding an appropriate wife for himself (book 1) so he has tasked his secretary, Penelope Pettypeacce, to find him a wife. The issue is, she has been in love with him for years.
Thoughts: I wanted to start this one the second I finished book one (thought in last set of mini review) but honestly I really just could not get into this story. There were some truly romantic lines that I loved, but I just was not invested in this love story. I will say I was very tired while reading this one so maybe that contributed, but I just found myself wanting the story to get wrapped up.
Penelope has been in love with the Duke for years and I wanted to see him fall in love with her a bit earlier as it felt a bit rushed with the ending/wrap up too.
Both of these characters are keeping secrets from each other and I just could not really get myself to care about them and felt like they were not as integral to the plot as they should’ve been. 3/5 stars
TW: abusive father,
Always Be My Duchess by Amalie Howard
Plot: Neve and Stone have a chance encounter in the streets of Covent Garden. He needs a fiancée and she needs money. So they come to terms with an agreement a la Pretty Woman.
Thoughts: I read this one while on vacation and it was the perfect vacation read! This was a blast. I had never read an Amalie Howard novel and wow this will not be my last (I’ve since bought three more of her books). Stone and Neve had instant chemistry and banter which I loved. They are thrust together in a moment of panic which always leads to some fun moments.
It’s also more steamy that this cover would suggest. I loved seeing them connect over music and just art in general.
My only critiques are the friend group got a bit confusing for me to keep track of all of them with nicknames/titles and all that. I think they will be the characters in the other book which lowkey worries me a tad because I have already forgotten their names. I also didn’t like the third act conflict/break up and it was resolved too quickly for my liking. 4/5 stars
*thanks to the publisher for an ARC; all thoughts are my own*
Get Thee Off My Lawn: A Regency RomCom with a Swan Problem by Daria Veronn
Plot: April wants nothing more for her Swan, Gerald, to find his happily ever after. When Gerald ends up in her neighbor’s pond she has to get him. Unfortunately that is not as easy as it sounds and she ends up falling to the pond. Her rescuer turns out to be her neighbor’s son who is back from traveling. And it is lust at first sight.
Thoughts: This novella gets the job done!! It’s a testament to this story that I enjoyed this so much since I was in a weird emotional state while reading most of it so I can see myself coming back to it and enjoying it even more when I’m not in a ~mood~.
If you’re looking for a steamy historical with a ton of avian puns and just the right amount of chaos I highly recommend this one.
This one is just a fun time. I was really emotional while reading this (not bc of this book lol) and this book was such a nice distraction. This is a novella and April and Leo are superrrr into each other from the get go (which worked for me bc of the short pacing) and ultimately have a very sweet and romantic relationship.
Also I cannot emphasize enough how many bird puns are in this novella which may be a pro or a con depending the type of person you are. Personally I found them fun, but there are a lot so keep that in mind.
Before we move on, can we take a moment to appreciate this cover?? Let’s bring back the dramatic fonts on historicals!!
This one is currently on Kindle Unlimited!
Star Dust (Fly Me to the Moon #1) by Emma Barry & Genevieve Turner
Plot: Anne- Marie Smith has just divorced her cheating husband and has moved her and her kids to a small Texas town. Her new neighbor is Kit Campbell, a famous golden boy astronaut. After a rough meeting they slowly start to like each other, but a relationship is not is the cards for them.
Thoughts: I really loved this one. The 1960’s space program was such a fun setting (even though I have tons of thoughts on the space program – not all of them good lol), but it was fun to read a romance with this setting. Anne – Marie and Kit had some great moments and I loved the whole hiding their relationship from their peers (they do it badly). My only critique is the whole conflict of them not being together was resolved too easily which makes the conflict seem kind of dumb.
I also don’t love kids in romances and felt like they were not developed enough to be on page. Kit goes from being like “I don’t want kids” to “I like these kids” with very minimal effort. But I am a sucker for a man hanging out with kids and letting them watch his dog and all that so it’s fine.
Overall this was just a fun time and a quick read which are my favorites. 4/5 stars. I did a full review for the second book here because while I enjoyed Star Dust I adored Earth Bound. This entire series in on KU so if you’re a subscriber hop on it!! I hope to read the rest of the series this year.
As a disclaimer – Emma Barry follows me on social media, but all thoughts on both her books are my own. I’ve read four of her books this year and I AM NOT DONE YET!! Her next release is Funny Guy which is a friends to lovers romance with a comedian which was a fun time and releases in May!
What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green #5) by Julie Anne Long
Plot: The Duke of Falconbridge found another man in bed with his fiancée. So he decides to get revenge on the man by ruining his sister right under his nose. Genevieve has been in love with her best friend, Harry, for years and Harry just told her he will be proposing to their other friend. Genevieve is heartbroken and is pointedly ignoring the Duke’s flirting, but there is a chemistry between them she cannot deny.
Thoughts: This was a bit overhyped for me. Rude people of IG who hyped this one up so much! I enjoyed it, but it was a bit too slow for me. The two characters basically just talk to each other for the first half of the book and then everything is wrapped up too quick. I did like the convo and the banter between Genevieve and the Duke and I love a clandestine hook up, but like I just needed a bit more!! I saw a review that said they didn’t love “the house party” setting and I would have to agree, it did lend itself for the two of them to cross paths, but also restricted what could happen.
I did enjoy the Duke’s and Genevieve’s chemistry and moments together, but I wanted more. There also is a pretty big age gap which didn’t really work for me? 3.5/5 stars
Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
Plot: Hester is a free Black woman living in Michigan. She works with The Underground Railroad to help other enslaved people make their way to freedom. A conductor brings her an injured man who she quickly finds out is a vital part of the underground network and has a price on his head.
Thoughts: What an epic romance!
This would be an excellent romance for historical fiction readers to start reading historical romance with because Beverly Jenkins incorporates so much of the underground railroad and history in general (the ending of the book features John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry).
I did think some of the plot slowed a bit in the middle and I wanted a bit more tension in the romance because in the beginning their dynamic was so good and then they are just in love for the rest of the book which is good! and I loved the ending, but some of the middle was a bit slow.
Truly see why this book is so popular with Beverly Jenkins’ fans because wow what a novel!!
I did the audio which probably didn’t help with the pacing since if I was reading this via kindle or physically I probably would’ve just skimmed the slow parts.
But, the plot kept me engaged and guessing and seeing Galen and Hester fall in love despite their hard lives was so rewarding. I’m so glad I finally read this one because it feels like it is a classic romance novel! 4/5 stars
TW: slavery, discussions of buying/selling enslaved people, trauma from being enslaved, racism
Thanks for reading & if you have any historical recommendations please leave them in the comments!
3 thoughts on “MINI REVIEWS: Historical Romances [part 10]”
So, I’ve never really gotten into historical romance. I’m not big on historical anything (aside from fantasy, I guess) for the most part and I just don’t know how this genre would go for me. But I spy a few titles/synopses that intrigue me haha. I might have to pick them up and just see what happens!
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It took me awhile to get into the subgenre (idk why since I love historical fiction and I love romance) but once I got into it I was IN IT (clearly lol).
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare is a good one to start with since is funny and lighter on the history! If you want heavier history I would recommend Beverly Jenkin’s books!
I hope you find one or more you love & thanks for reading!