Mini Reviews #3: The Romance Edition

Here’s another batch of my mini reviews. They’re dead useful for whittling down my massive pile of books to review and I love them for the books that I didn’t love – those mediocre books are always the hardest to review. But there are a couple of jewels in here as well, so take a look! Check out my NA romance mini reviews!

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entice-enchantress-karen-hawkinsHow to Entice an Enchantress (The Duchess Diaries #3) by Karen Hawkins, published in 2013 by Pocket Books. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased (paperback).

My rating: 4.5/5.

My mini opinion: This was actually a re-read. I lovelovelove Karen Hawkins’s books, she’s one of my auto-buy authors, and How to Entice an Enchantress is one of her best. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling (though in a very loose sense), and is the quintessential comfort read. It has fluff, it has banter, it has a grumpy-but-swoony hero and a smart heroine. What more can you ask for in a romance? :)

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viscount-lived-down-lane-elizabeth-boyleThe Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (Rhymes with Love #4) by Elizabeth Boyle, published in 2014 by Avon. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 3/5.

My mini opinion: Ahh, romance covers… Always with the improbable abdominal and pectoral muscles… He looks like he’s in pain. This was a fun read with the usual “dark and damaged hero doesn’t want to be saved by quirky and unpopular herione” twist. It also features a rather bleak view of the London society at the time (what with the vicious rumors of Louisa’s mother’s behaviour marring her debut) – but I imagine the people were quite cruel in this regard. Especially since the upper classes didn’t do much beside dancing and gossiping. But yeah, this is a good one-evening entertainment if you run out of light stuff to read!

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secrets-sir-richard-kenworthy-julia-quinnThe Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn, published in 2015 by Avon. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 3.5/5.

My mini opinion: Well, Julia Quinn is one of my favourite historical romance authors but this one fell short of my expectations. I mean, it’s ok and all, but not the witty, funny prose I usually encounter when I read her novels. Let me just say: I would murder Sir Richard in his bed if I was Iris and he kept a secret like that from me (now you all have to read it to see if you agree with me, HA!). But I loved returning to the known characters (the scene with the play that the kids put on is hilarious) and I understood Iris’s actions. She’s one of those quiet heroines that’s not quite a wallflower but likes to listen more than she likes to talk if that makes sense. See Quinn’s and Lark’s reviews if you want more info on the book!

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talk-of-the-town-karen-hawkinsTalk of the Town (Glory NC #1) by Karen Hawkins, published in 2008 by Pocket Books. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 3/5. 

My mini opinion: This is the first contemporary novel by Karen Hawkins that I read and I have to say I prefer her historicals. I do like a good small-town romance (Jill Shalvis owns my heart), but this one just didn’t speak to me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t connect with the heroine, Roxie, who is on a sort of a bender to revolutionise herself after a nasty divorce caused by her finding her husband in bed with his cross-dressing lover. She returns to her home town (with her older brother in tow – hello book #2) to take care of her ailing mother and meets “the one that got away”, Nick, the town sheriff. She takes on her mother’s charity work, which throws her into a murder investigation, helped by a bunch of geriatric busy-bodies. Maybe it was all a bit much for me (there’s a really silly scene with the mayor’s girlfriend that involves showing off their boobs). Hawkins is the queen of historicals for me and that’s that.

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master-kresley-coleThe Master (The Game Maker #2) by Kresley Cole, published in 2015 by Gallery Books. Goodreads. Author.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

My rating: 2.5/5.

My mini opinion: This is straight-up erotica, no doubt about that. This book doesn’t even pretend it’s anything else, because the heroine takes her first job as a prostitute in chapter one and meets the hero, a Russian mobster who likes to play rough. She doesn’t follow his script, which is, of course, hugely entertaining for him, so he wants her back. And then things spiral a bit because he thinks she wants to entrap him by having a baby, becomes a controlling freak, and basically imprisons her (but leaves her the use of his credit card, naturally). Eh. I really liked Cole’s If You Dare and her Immortals After Dark series, but this is just a bit too much (not the sex parts, the story that goes with it).

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Have you read any of these romances? What did you think?

Do you have any good recommendations for me? I’m always looking for new stories! :)

  • I just added How to Entice an Enchantress to my TBR! I’ve never read Karen Hawkins, but I can see that is totally not acceptable. And a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling – even better.

    And yeah, I totally would have murdered Richard, too in, The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy.

    • I hope you like Karen Hawkins! *fingers crossed* I really like her romances (or as I discovered now: her historicals, which is the majority of what she writes). She’s all about Scotland and I like that she actually writes funny stuff. I re-read her books constantly.
      I’ll read anything Julia Quinn writes, probably, but I wish for a more balanced hero in the future!

  • The Master sounds… kinda yucky!

    • It is, really. I mean – I love Kresley Cole, I do, but this series just isn’t my thing.

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