Book Review: Claiming Her Highwayman by Michelle Grotewohl

claimingherhighwaymanGenre: Historical

Words: 17,970

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5 stars

My rating: 2/5 stars

Cass runs one of the greatest band of highwaymen around. Despite being a woman, she’s respected by her crew, and every night they return to camp richer than they were and she can enjoy being in the arms of her second-in-command, Will Carpenter. But that all changes when Will accepts a position in the King’s Guard. Cass knows Will wants more than what she can give him. He wants marriage and kids, as well as honest work instead of thieving. But Cass doesn’t know if she can ever give him up.

Claiming Her Highwayman is free on Smashwords.

I found myself underwhelmed by this story. When it starts, Will and Cass are already a couple, and the chemistry between them already feels forced, as well as the heist they’re about to go on. It’s like a bad first draft that hasn’t developed into something greater yet. Cass and Will feel more like paper dolls than people and unfortunately, I never get that attached to them. They just don’t have the chemistry.

It doesn’t help that my suspension of disbelief took a huge beating when Will’s offered a job with the King’s Guard, as the princess’s personal guard. He’s a highwayman! Since when do they let criminals guard princesses? Um, never. Not only that, but he’s still in contact with his old gang, and he’s not even in training to be a soldier! He just is. Apparently the standards for becoming a member of the King’s Guard is really low.

It would make a hell of a lot more sense to me if there was a scarcity of guards for some reason, like the country was at war, and that’s why they’re turning to criminals to keep up with the demand of soldiers. That would flesh out the plot, too. But nope. Apparently we’re supposed to accept that a robber can become a princess’s bodyguard easily after mugging her with his gang of bandits. Oh, and he almost becomes her husband. Because every king wants his little girl to marry a common criminal.

Despite everything wrong with the story, I like Will’s and Cass’s characters. Even though Will only exists to be Cass’s lover, he’s got some pretty charming lines in the story. His need to protect her is incredibly sexy.

Cass’s character is a little more complex. She’s strong and independent, and she knows what she wants in life. She’s the type of girl who would be bored to death in most respectable professions for a woman, instead enjoying being a bandit. But I hated her when Bryce, one of her men, attacked her in her tent. All she did to defend herself was bide her time until she could scream for help

What. The. Fuck.

She’s a damn gang leader and she doesn’t know how to defend herself against one man who gets too handsy? Please. That’s fucking ludicrous, and all of my respect for her is just gone because of that one scene. How the hell did she become a leader in the first place if she needs to scream like a damn damsel whenever she gets attacked? Not cool.

This book really didn’t do much for me. While it’s all right, it’s not that good. The characters aren’t good, and neither is the writing. I suggest you look elsewhere for your historical romance bad boy.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Read War Bride

256062181. It’s more than just a romance

War Bride by Elise Marion is primarily a romance, but it’s so much more than a love story. The book covers a lot of social issues today, even though it’s a medieval fantasy romance. Lady Emery Calliot fights for equal rights as a woman in a misogynist world. Leofred grieves over his brother’s death. Both of them have PTSD from a recent, brutal conflict between their kingdoms that almost turned into a devastating war. Even though this is book is a lot of fun to read, nobody can ever call it a piece of fluff.

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Diversity in Romance With Brilliant Author Elise Marion

71xltwle9xl-_ux250_Elise Marion, author of the Chained series, was generous enough to do an interview with me in anticipation of our War Bride giveaway event. It’s a pleasure to be working with her and to have her on the blog. She has some great answers, including her opinion on the lack of diversity in books. I highly recommend you read her work, because she really is a fantastic writer.

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Book Review: War Bride by Elise Marion

25606218Genre: Medieval, Fantasy, Adult

Goodreads rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m going to earn your trust, Emery Toustain, he thought as he released her hand. Perhaps, if you let me, I’ll earn more than that. 

The first time I read War Bride was several months ago. It was so good I actually missed a call from my boss because I was so busy reading it. No, really. I didn’t even “ignore” the call. The fact that my phone was ringing didn’t even register because I was so absorbed in the book. I ended up finishing it in less than a day. 

I just finished it for the second time today, and it’s still incredible. 

Emery Calliot kicks ass.

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10 Romance Novels to Read If You Like Doctor Who

72e887e547dc1a48f9231b3952375896Doctor Who is a show I’ve been binge-watching recently, not only for the plot and the antics, but also for the amazing love stories in the show. While most people probably don’t consider Doctor Who  a romance, that is basically what it is. There are the main love stories, like the Doctor’s love with Rose Tyler, a woman he can never be with, and his marriage with River Song, a time-traveling femme fatale brain-washed to kill the Doctor but falling in love with him anyway. And who can forget Rory and Amy, who have to have the most ideal marriage ever? There are also the single-episode stories, like John Smith and Joan Redfern in “Human Nature” and the Doctor and Astrid in “Voyage of the Damned”.  So here are ten books for Doctor Who fans who can’t get enough of these fantastic love stories.

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Book Review: Chained by Elise Marion

51trbu9hbll-_uy250_As acting high lord of the house of Toustain, it’s Lady Gwendolyn’s job to manage affairs of Dinasdale, and that includes managing her new unruly prisoner, Caden Maignart. Unfortunately it looks like the only way she’ll be able to manage him is to have him chained up in her bedchamber. 

After thirty years of peace, tensions are mounting between Daleria and Dinasdale again. After receiving reports of Dalerians massacring a Dinasdale village and Gwen’s brothers vanishing after being attacked, Gwen won’t take any chances with the Dalerian intruders found on Dinasdalian land. But she quickly realizes just throwing them into the dungeon won’t work, not when one of them is willing to stir up as much trouble as he possibly can to be freed. Chaining him up in her bedchamber keeps him secure, but it causes a whole new set of problems. Like how she can’t hide her thoughts and feelings from him. Not to mention the growing attraction she feels towards him, despite him being the enemy and her being engaged to another. 

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Book Review: A Most Unconventional Courtship

2606798“Do you not recall last night?” The hidden speaker came into view at last. There was a moment of crowded thought and he realized his mouth was hanging open.

“I remember nothing of it at all, and I’m sure I’d remember you.” He would have to be dead not to, he thought, studying the tall, slender figure standing in front of him, hands on her hips and an expression of exasperated disapproval on her oval, golden face. A  veritable Greek beauty, he thought.

There is an instant attraction between Benedict Casper Chancellor, Earl of Blakeny and Alessa, an independent woman in the Greek town of Corfu. Alessa hates everything he stands for– conservative, high society England. It was the very thing her father ran away from all those years ago. But when Chance realizes English relatives of Alessa are looking for her, he wants to acquaint her to her family, and bring her to England where he could court her properly. He was convinced the life of an English noblewoman would be better suited for her than her life full of hard work and responsibilities. But Alessa isn’t willing to give up her independence. yet, especially when her aunt says Alessa cannot bring her two orphaned wards to England with her and then kidnaps her to save her own reputation. Chance will do anything to get her back, even becoming a pirate. 

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