Welcome to Cozy Jo's Romance Review blog. This is where you'll find reviews and discussions on historical or contemporary romance books and maybe a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure.
So come on in, sit down and find yourself a good romance book to read.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle

Mildly entertaining romance
3 stars

Thalia Langley has always wanted a grand adventure with a rogue who sets her heart on fire. When she spies a man in the shadows at a house party, she's sure she's met her dream man. Despite the man's claims that he's a bumbling country vicar, Tally is convinced there's more to him than meets the eye.

Lord Larken is certainly no vicar but rather a spy sent to kill a traitorous pirate. But he didn't count on stumbling across the enticing Tally and the way that she makes him forget his name, his mission and his heart.

This is the fourth book in Elizabeth Boyle's Bachelor Chronicles series (after This Rake of Mine, Something About Emmaline and Love Letters from a Duke) and there was a lot of continuing and linking storylines from the previous books in this one. I would suggest that perhaps it's best to have read the previous books in the series before reading this one for everything to make sense.

Overall, I'm sorry to say that I was a little disappointed by this book as a whole. There didn't seem to be much emotion between Tally and Larken and the plot got so overly complicated and convoluted that it was hard to take it seriously. I also found that Pippin and Dash's story completely overshadowed the main love story and while I'm looking forward to their book (the next in the series, Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress) it didn't say much for this particular love story that it was so easily forgotten.

If you've read the previous books in the series and enjoyed them, I would recommend this book to you. While being very readable and mildly entertaining, it's not wildly gripping or exciting and I can only really give it three stars.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Your Bed or Mine? by Kate Hoffmann

Sweet but unexciting romance
3 stars

Caley Lambert doesn't realise that coming home for her sister's wedding will be so eventful. And to make matters worse, on her first night she accidentally finds herself in the bed of the best man, and her teenage crush, Jake Burton.

All Caley's teenage fantasies involved Jake but now the pair are grown up, Caley's fantasies are so much hotter and this time they might just become reality.

I usually enjoy books in the Wrong Bed mini-series and while this one was readable, it really didn't have any special sparkle. Jake and Caley were both interesting and likeable characters but the emotions didn't run deeply enough for me and while we were told how they felt, it wasn't easy to believe in it.

As you would expect with a Blaze story, there were plenty of sex scenes but again, without the emotion, they felt a little flat and unexciting. The plot moved along nicely but nothing exciting ever really happened and in truth, it was a little predictable at times.

I would still give the book 3 stars as it's a readable and sweet romance but not one that I would read again.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Body Check by Elle Kennedy

Readable hockey romance
3 stars

Hayden Housten is determined to stop being a good girl - but only for one night. After growing up being dragged from rink to rink with her hockey-coach father, all Hayden is looking for is stability, security and a man with a future. And she plans to get it - after she has one night of passion with a deliciously sexy stranger.

Hockey player Brody Croft is stunned when gorgeous Hayden approaches him for a no-strings night. He's finally decided to leave his playboy days behind him and settle down and is sure that Hayden is the girl for him. Now he just needs to convince her.

This was a readable and easy-to-read romance that definitely had the sizzle you would expect from a Blaze. I really got into the story but about a third of the way through the secondary plot of the hockey match-fixing overtook the romance and it became more about the hockey team and the ongoing 'mystery' than Hayden and Brody.

At first I really identified with Hayden. And what's not to like about a sexy, rugged hockey player like Brody? The sex was passionate and plentiful but by the end the conflict was so dragged out that I wanted to shake the couple and tell them to stop being so stupid!

Overall, this isn't the best Blaze book I have ever read but it was very readable, fairly enjoyable and a good choice for an afternoon in the sunshine. 3 stars.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Tempted at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Wonderful end to a great series
5 stars

Lady Emily Stapleford is determined that she will only marry for love. Unfortunately, due to her family’s dire financial situation, it looks like Emily might not have a choice in the matter. So she concocts a daring plan. She writes a story about a lady vampire and hopes that by selling it she will save her family from financial ruin and herself from a loveless marriage.

In order to create public interest, Emily whips up a frenzy as a mysterious vampire which has the ton all abuzz. Except for one person – Logan Jennsen. The mysterious and aggravatingly handsome American knows Emily is up to something and is determined to find out all her secrets. Unfortunately, he’s got some secrets of his own that just might put the couple in serious danger.

This is the concluding book in the Mayhem in Mayfair series after Sleepless at Midnight, Confessions at Midnight and Seduced at Midnight. The same characters appear in all four books but the plot is completely separate so the book stands alone quite well.

I have been looking forward to Logan and Emily’s story from the start of the series and this book didn’t disappoint. I loved how the pair created sparks together and how they both were a bit confused by the fact that perhaps they didn’t hate each other after all! There was great chemistry and lots of sensuality despite the number of love scenes being quite small.

The very minor mystery element was interesting and the whole story kept my attention and really made me want to keep reading the book until the very end without putting it down. If I had to make one criticism it would be that I didn’t really understand the need for the snippets of the vampire book at the beginning of each chapter, but it wasn’t offensive in any way and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story as a whole.

Overall, this was a funny, sweet, romantic and interesting story and one that I would definitely recommend. 5 stars.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Sleepless at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Sweet and romantic romance
5 Stars

London is all abuzz with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, especially Miss Sarah Moorehouse and the other members of the newly formed Ladies Literary Society of London. So when Sarah spots Matthew Devenport, Marquess Langston sneaking back to his house in the middle of night, shovel in hand, her imagination runs wild. Her imagination runs even wilder when she is caught in his bedchamber with the very handsome and very naked marquess.

The Marquess has much more important things to worry about than a group of literature-loving ladies. But his grand plans to save his family all change when he finds Sarah hiding behind his curtain. What is the nosy spinster up to? And why is suddenly the only thing he can think about is sneaking into her bedchamber to see her naked?

This is the first book in the Mayhem in Mayfair series and it really is a great start to the series. If you have ever felt that you weren’t beautiful then you will empathise with Sarah who is warm, interesting and a loveable character. Matthew, the gorgeous, dashing lord, is delicious and it was wonderful to see him interact and fall in love with Sarah. Together the pair have great chemistry, some tender scenes and also some funny banter.

The story is believable and interesting, really keeping the pages turning and making you want to read just one more chapter before you put the book down. The writing is fun, fresh and I really felt the emotions of all the characters.

Overall this book is warm, romantic, a little sexy and is certainly a fun read. I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series (Confessions at Midnight) and would also highly recommend this book. 5 stars.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

A Duke of Her Own by Lorraine Heath

Engaging and emotional Victorian romance
4 Stars

Lady Louisa Wentworth is 26 and impoverished – two reasons she knows means she will never marry. So she takes a position as a chaperone to a pair of American heiresses, determined to find them the most suitable husbands in London.

The Duke of Hawkhurst is far from being the suitable gentleman that Louisa hopes for her charges but he is desperate for money and decides that an American heiress is the perfect solution. Deciding on a plot to trap an heiress, Hawk finds himself in a bind when it’s Louisa that gets caught.

I have to admit that when I first started to read this story I found it quite slow. However it really picked up and turned into a really enjoyable, emotional read.

I liked that the writing made you believe the characters and really understand their changing feelings and emotions. I enjoyed both Louisa and Hawk as characters and felt the emotional connection the pair had. There weren’t very many love scenes but the book was delightfully sensual.

This is the first book in the Rogues and Roses series followed by Kate’s story in Just Wicked Enough. I’m hoping that there will be more books to the series soon.

Despite the slow start, I found this to be an emotional and romantic Victorian novel that I very much enjoyed and would recommend. 4 stars.