2010 Round-up Review part 2: How to Marry A Marquis, 10 Things I Love About You, An Earl to Enchant, Love Letters and Confessions

Romance rules this post.  Naturally, since the bulk of my reading diet in 2010 consisted of romances – regency, historical, fantasy and paranormal mostly – the next couple of posts will be focused on my favourite genre.  Here then are five regency romances that I enjoyed …

Title: How to Marry a Marquis

2010 Round-up Review part 2: How to Marry A Marquis, 10 Things I Love About You, An Earl to Enchant, Love Letters and ConfessionsAuthor: Julia Quinn

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Avon

Year Published: 1990

Stand alone or series: second in a pair of books about two friends who happen to be former spies. The first is To Catch an Heiress.

Why I read it: Out of nostalgia and because I needed a good laugh

On the Back cover:

She’s trying to follow the rules…

When Elizabeth Hotchkiss stumbles upon a copy of How to Marry a Marquis in her employer’s library, she’s convinced someone is playing a cruel joke. With three younger siblings to support, she knows she has to marry for money, but who might have guessed how desperate she’s become? A guidebook to seduction might be just the thing she needs—and what harm could there be in taking a little peek?

…But he’s making his own

James Sidwell the Marquis of Riverdale, has been summoned to rescue his aunt from a blackmailer, a task that requires him to pose as the new estate manager, and his primary suspect is his aunt’s companion, Elizabeth. Intrigued by the alluring young woman with the curious little rulebook, he gallantly offers to help her find a husband… by practicing her wiles on him. But when practice becomes all too perfect, James decides that there is only one rule worth following—that Elizabeth marry her marquis.

In my books …

This is one of Ms Quinn’s earlier books which I really enjoyed.  The plot angle is not new, but the way Ms Quinn peppers it with her trademark humour, witty dialogue and it didn’t hurt that both heroine and hero are both likeable characters. A delightful, light reading romance.

Incidentally, this book was chosen as one of Amazon.com’s top ten historical romances for 1999.

IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it


Title:Ten Things I Love About You

Author: Julia Quinn

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Piatkus

Year Published: 2010

Stand alone or series: Standalone, but with references to the Bridgerton series, and What Happens in London

Why I read it:

It’s a Julia Quinn, need I say more? Amazon’s editors named this book one of the Top Ten Romances of 2010.

On the Back cover:

Sebastian Grey is in a limbo. He is the heir presumptive to the Earl of Newbury, unless the current earl, a widower, can find a bride who will bear him a son. Newbury is in his sixties and somewhat portly, but as an earl, he’s considered quite a catch. Sebastian, on the other hand, is twenty-nine and extremely handsome, but is in no hurry to find a wife.

Annabel Winslow, a country girl through and through, has received an offer to go to London for the season. The eldest of a family of eight, she knows that a good marriage is the only thing that can save her family from ruin. After a few weeks in town, Annabel attracts the attention of the Earl of Newbury. The thought of submitting to him makes her skin crawl, but she is practical and determined to do her duty. Even when Sebastian Grey comes on the scene …

In my books …

I was looking forward to Sebastian Grey’s story after What Happens in London, so naturally expectations were high.  After all, he has a most delicious secret as the successful writer of some gothic romances with a loyal following, but under a pseudonym – a female pen-name – and you knew somehow, that he has a romantic streak in him. Even if he dresses it up with a cavalier attitude, and rakish behaviour. Therefore, I was a little dismayed that Annabel was not quite the outspoken, strong heroine I was hoping he would be paired off with.

Nevertheless, the story has all the pre-requisites of a JQ hallmark – humour, romance, a little intrigue – that I forgave Annabel for her initial docile behaviour, even while she was rebelling in her mind against the injustice and shocking attitude of her grandparents toward a match with the old toad Newbury.

IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it


Title:An Earl to Enchant: The Rogues’ Dynasty

2010 Round-up Review part 2: How to Marry A Marquis, 10 Things I Love About You, An Earl to Enchant, Love Letters and ConfessionsAuthor: Amelia Grey

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Year Published: 2010

Stand alone or series: Book 3 from The Rogues’ Dynasty series

Why I read it: author is new to me and I need to read one by a new author for the 2 book challenges I entered into for 2010


On the Back cover:

HE’S DETERMINED NOT TO BE A HERO . . .

Lord Morgandale is as notorious as he is dashing, and he’s determined no woman will tie him down. But from the moment Arianna Sweet appears on his doorstep, exhausted after a grueling journey, he cannot resist the lure of the fascinating beauty, her exotic wardrobe, or tempting green eyes . . .

SHE HAS A DEADLY SECRET . . .

Arianna Sweet never imagined the significance of her father’s research until after his untimely death. Now she is in possession of his groundbreaking discovery, a discovery that someone would kill for. She can’t tell Lord Morgandale her secret, but she knows she needs his help, desperately.

In my books …

The heroine is so unconventional, feisty and independent that she’s a fresh departure from the usual innocent debutante that invariably peppers this genre. I particularly like how the author builds up the heady attraction and chemistry between the two leads. Not having read the previous two instalments of the series won’t deter you from enjoying this book on its own.  The novel stands as a separate story even though characters from the previous two books made cameo appearances here.

IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it


Title: Love Letters from a Duke

2010 Round-up Review part 2: How to Marry A Marquis, 10 Things I Love About You, An Earl to Enchant, Love Letters and ConfessionsAuthor: Elizabeth Boyle

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Avon

Year Published: 2007

Stand alone or series: part of The Bachelor Chronicles series

Why I read it:

I had great fun reading the author’s Something About Emmaline, and her other spy romances that I simply picked this up, especially since this carries on from where the Bachelor Chronicles last left off

On the Back cover:

He’s at her service . . .

Though she can’t afford the coal to heat her drafty Mayfair mansion, Felicity Langley still clings to her dream of marrying a duke—one she’s had since her very first curtsy. After all, she’s been promised to the very lofty Duke of Hollindrake for the last four years. Now all she has to do is meet him. But what Felicity doesn’t realize is that she has met her duke—he’s the altogether too handsome man who Felicity has just mistaken . . . for her new footman!

By rights, Thatcher should immediately set this presumptuous chit straight and tell her he has no intention of honoring the arranged betrothal. But he’s quickly smitten by Felicity’s delightful determination, her irrepressible charm . . . and her breathtaking sensuality. Yes, she’d wed him in an instant were his true identity revealed—but Thatcher’s vowed to marry only for love. So begins his deception and his conquest of this uncommon woman who doesn’t believe in romance, but is about to find her heart and passion set aflame by the unlikely man she’s sworn to resist.

In my books …

I’ve always enjoyed the comical situations that Ms Boyle puts her protagonists through and this book is no exception.  The mistaken identity plot angle may not be new, but in the hands of the author, she made this into such an entertaining romantic comedy romp with a subplot of spy and intrigue with a touch of the melodrama, that you can’t help but enjoy it.

IMB Rating: 3.5, liked it


Title: Confessions of a Little Black Gown

2010 Round-up Review part 2: How to Marry A Marquis, 10 Things I Love About You, An Earl to Enchant, Love Letters and ConfessionsAuthor: Elizabeth Boyle

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Avon

Year Published: 2009

Stand alone or series: part of The Bachelor Chronicles series

Why I read it:

Naturally after reading Felicity’s story, I had to see if Thalia gets her man, so this is a no-brainer

On the Back cover:

She spied him in the shadows …

And in an instant, Thalia Langley knew the man before her was no saint. He might claim to be the Duke of Hollindrake’s unassuming country cousin, but no man that handsome, that arresting could be anything but … well, he simply must be an unrepentant rogue. His cat-like grace and power leave Tally shivering in her slippers at the notion of all the wicked, forbidden things he might be capable of doing … to her.

Indeed, Lord Larken is no bumbling vicar, bus a master spy there in his majesty’s service to find – and murder – a notorious pirate freed in a daring prison escape. Devoted to the Crown, Larken’s not about to let an interfering (and not entirely innocent) Mayfair miss disrupt his ruthless plans. Yet how can he be anything but tempted by this lady in a little black gown … a dress tantalizing enough to lead even Larken astray.

In my books …

Another laugh-a-minute romp with the heady combination of romance, intrigue, some danger, family reunion, and feisty, intelligent heroines who are not afraid to do what a woman’s got to do to win her man and save his heart.  Hurrah for Ms Boyle!  Am definitely on the trail of Pippin story.

IMB Rating: 3.5, liked it

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