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.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

How to Woo A Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries

Excellent Regency romance
4 stars

Lady Minerva Sharpe needs to come up with the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother’s plans to cut off her grandchildren unless they marry. And getting herself engaged to a rogue sounds like the perfect plan.

Giles Masters is an extraordinary barrister and a delicious scoundrel – the perfect man to make Gran rescind her plans. But Giles has other reasons for saying yes to Minerva’s proposal. He wants her to stop using him as inspiration for her gothic novels, and, he wants to find a way to finally get into her heart.

This is the third book in Jeffries’ Hellions of Halstead Hall series coming after The Truth About Lord Stoneville and A Hellion in Her Bed. I suppose that you could read the books independently of each other or out of order but they do have a common storyline of the mystery of the Sharpe parents deaths and I feel these books would be better being read in sequence.

This was Minerva’s story and as set up in the last two books, her hero is the delightful rake, Giles Masters. Both characters were well rounded and had great depth – Minerva as the strong woman and Giles as the seducer and rogue. They worked together well and I liked the chemistry between the couple.

The mystery of the death of Minerva’s parents is still to be solved and I assume that it will get a step closer in the next book which will be Gabe’s story (the beginning of which was started in this book).

I enjoyed the story in this book although I would have liked to see a little bit more interaction between Oliver and Maria and Jarret and Annabel from the previous books. It wasn’t the best or most engaging book I’ve ever read but I enjoyed it and it really captured by attention. If you’re looking for a fun Regency romance or are reading the Hellions series then I would recommend this book to you. 4 stars.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Accidental Princess by Michelle Willingham

A good, Victorian romance
4 stars

All her life Lady Hannah Chesterfield has followed the rules and knows that she must marry a man of good breeding and social standing. But that doesn’t stop her from being intrigued by the wicked, dashing Lieutenant Michael Thorpe and the delicious feelings he provokes in her.

Michael knows that he can never have Lady Hannah for his own, but it doesn’t stop him from desiring her. But when scandal breaks, the pair find themselves thrown together on a journey to find the secret of Michael’s birth. If this ordinary man is really now a prince – can he convince Hannah to be his royal bride?

I have read a couple of Michelle Willingham’s Viking novels but never any of her Victorian ones so I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, especially since I’ve been a bit hit or miss with M&B Historicals in the past.

This seems to be the second book in a series that started with The Accidental Countess and An Accidental Seduction. The characters from those books only made an appearance so the book stands nicely alone.

This book started a little slow but after a couple of chapters it really got going. Hannah seemed to epitomise the true Victorian girl with her morals and innocence and I loved the way she evolved throughout the book. Michael was also a good character – I love a brooding man! Together they had good, if not explosive chemistry, and interesting interactions.

The plot really kept my attention and was far-fetched but not so ridiculous that you couldn’t get behind it. I felt it really flowed and once I got into the book I really enjoyed it.

If you’re looking for a page-turning historical romance with interesting characters then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this book. 4 stars.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

As Luck Would Have It by Alissa Johnson

Readable but with some flaws
3 stars

Returning from a life of adventure and travel, Miss Sophie Everton is surprised to find she’s been recruited as a spy for the Prince Regent. Despite having trouble adapting to the life of the ton, she accepts in order to save her family home.

Alex, the dashing Duke of Rockeforte and agent for the War Office, has been asked to keep an eye on Sophie but can’t seem to do so without finding ways to kiss her. So it’s no wonder that neither realise that danger lurks just around the corner.

This is the first book in Johnson’s Providence series and is followed by Tempting Fate, McAlistair’s Fortune and Destined to Last. The characters all feature in each novel but having read the books out of order myself, I can’t say that they need to be read in order to be enjoyed and understood.

For some reason I just couldn’t get engrossed in this book. That might explain why all the intrigue and subterfuge had me baffled at times. The plot, or at least the machinations of the characters to create the plot, was a tad ridiculous although I’m sure not meant to be taken seriously. Sophie and Alex were likeable characters but I could really have done with a little more depth and chemistry between them. The book definitely got more interesting as I kept reading and I’m glad I stuck with it as I really liked the group of characters introduced.

Unfortunately I have to mention a huge drawback to this book and that’s the horrific amount of Americanisms contained. Normally you’ll find one or two in a book of this sort but there were so many that I was cringing at times as I read.

Having said all that, this is a light, likeable enough read that is worth a go if it’s sitting in your bookshelf. I’m still looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series and will probably look out for other books by Alissa Johnson in the future. 3 stars.