Jo Goodman's One Forbidden Evening is a good book. Unlike most romance readers, I'm not a huge fan of Ms. Goodman's, though I've been reading her off and on for years and years. I usually find her stories a tad too long, this one falls into the too long category, the mystery seemed somewhat superfluous. What does work impressively is 1. the dialogue--quick, snappy and smart, and 2. the secondary characters are outstanding, I particularly liked the Earl's mother, brother and best friend.
Cybelline Caldwell is a widow in need of a night out and finds one night of passion with the Earl of Ferrin, a "notorious rake", what follows is an interesting and unusual courtship. A nice solid read.
Hmmm, what to say about Joy Nash's The Grail King? I liked it, it's not perfect and one must suspend belief while reading, but it's a fun and entertaining book.
It's a Celt/Roman relationship which reminds me tremendously of the Saxon/Norman books of the 80's and 90's. These books automatically have a built in conflict. Owein (The Celt) has had a difficult life, in fact he is a Druid and has the "Sight", and has been fighting the Romans for most of his life, has been a slave and has escaped and now hides in the marshes, living a solitary life. Clara (The Roman) is searching for the Druid that can help her find a magical grail that has been stolen from her family. She is trying to save her dying father and believes if he drinks from the grail his life will be saved. There are several secondary characters that are known to each character, but upon finding one another, they don't realize how intertwined their lives are already.
I read this book in 2 sittings, which was pretty good considering it didn't seem like I had a free minute while we were away. I had issues with the dialogue, it sounded like a cross between a contemporary and a Scottish historical, but since I'm not really sure what the dialogue from AD130 should sound like I just ignored this and enjoyed the book.
The Cad by Edith Layton turned out to be a re-read. It's part of a series that I read back in the late 90's. I'm not really going to say much about the story except that it's probably better than okay, but I wasn't into the "poor me, I'm a damaged heroine" story line, she wears her facial scar like a chip on her shoulder, which is probably understandable given how she is treated by most of the secondary characters in the book. I liked this book the first time I read it, this time it didn't work a well.
OMG, how does Carla Kelly pack so much into 215 pages? One Good Turn is probably one of the BEST Regency period romances I have ever read. The characters are wonderful. I love how she brings us into Nez's (Benedict Nesbitt, seventh Duke of Knaresborough, the hero) head, we know his thoughts throughout the book. The character development is incredible, Liria, the heroine is shrouded in mystery, Sophia and Juan are children that act like children. Liria's mystery slowly unfolds and in the process, we learn details of the Penninsular War, painful details that left me crying and heartbroken for what Liria and so many other women and children went through. This book is incredible.
Joan Wolf's His Lordship's Desire pales in comparison to OGT. I'm at a loss when it comes to Joan Wolf's writing. It has become overly simplistic, to the point it's just plain boring, it's hard to believe this is the same woman who wrote her Dark Ages series.
The hero of this one has just returned from the Penninsular, he has nightmares yet these are somewhat glossed over. He thinks he's coming home to the woman he loves and plans to marry, but she's still really angry that he left her in the first place to go off and play soldier. This animosity continues until page 356, yes that's right, 356 pages of arguing and unhappy relationships, she even engages herself to someone else, this book is a mess. And to be honest the secondary relationship between Sally and the "Duke" would have been much more interesting and satisfying.
Ah, Lynn Michaels' Marriage by Design was a much needed break from historicals. This is a fun read, with likeable characters and good dialogue. It's a romance with a Chick Lit feel.
Mia Savard is a top designer at her father's bridal design business. The book opens with Mia fighting with her father to move her to a different design department, she wants out of wedding gowns. Then all hell breaks out, her one of a kind design for the governor's daughter has been stolen and shows up in a bridal magazine for a different design company. Yikes, her hot-head father fires everyone and in the process hires Joe Kerr to investigate, what the heck happened. Of course, Dad hires everyone back, even the villain. It's obvious from the beginning of the book who the villain is, so much so that I started to question myself--could it be this obvious. But, none of this matters, it's simply a fun and entertaining read, and definitely worth bringing to the beach.
Well, that's it, my beach reading. My husband brought Stephen King's Salem's Lot and reread it for the Nth time, so when he finished it I picked it up. I read SL 25 years ago and it scared the life out of me, slept with the light on for a month after reading it. I thought it deserved a reread.
Have a good one and happy reading.