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Review: Kisses and Rogues: Four Regency Stories by Anthea Lawson


Kisses & Rogues: Four Regency Stories by Anthea Lawson
My Overall Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Passion flared in his eyes, and he took her mouth again in a kiss that seared her to her soul. In a moment, they must pull apart, their two bodies un-melding, but for now she savored every second.

I breezed through this anthology because the stories were exactly what I needed at the time: short, lighthearted romances with a touch of historical ambiance and a guaranteed HEA. Without going into too much detail on such short stories, I’m just going to sum up a couple key points about each one.

Five Wicked Kisses: 2 of 5 stars – I kept getting really distracted (and upset) by the coercion in this story, which wasn’t long enough to dive into such morally fraught waters.

Maid for Scandal: 3.5 of 5 stars – While totally unbelievable, this story was hilarious. It would have had a slightly higher rating if I hadn’t been so annoyed at the heroine’s naivete, but I suppose that was also part of the story’s charm.

The Piano Tutor: 4 of 5 stars – This was definitely my favorite of the bunch, and I think it was because the heroine was more mature. The plot also worked excellently as a short story.

To Wed the Earl: 3 of 5 stars – Of all the stories, this was the one I most wanted to see developed into a full-length novel. I kept finding myself wanting to know more about the characters, the financial mystery, and the side relationships.

As someone who doesn’t often read historical romance, I was happy with how this one turned out. I have had Passionate on my TBR for about a year now, so maybe it’s time to give that one a try.


Book Jar Pick # 2

Despite great success with my last read (see my review), my book funk persists, so it’s time for another Book Jar pick! For those who are wondering what on earth a Book Jar is (or a book funk, for that matter), here’s a link to my previous post.


Without further ado, here are my three choices from this round:

  1. Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye – (old favorite) A contemporary romance with a potential sequel in the works, this is my favorite novella to date (my review).
  2. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale – (old favorite) This is another contemporary romance, but full-length and much more on the romantic comedy side of things. It’s the second book in Hale’s Austenland series, and like the first, it’s a quick, hilarious read.
  3. The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble – (TBR) This is a young adult fantasy novel with mermaid folklore. I’ve read mixed reviews, but the premise really intrigues me!

To be honest, finals week is upon me, and I’m really feeling like a comforting read. To that end, I’m going to go with Hearts in Darkness! While it won’t give me something new to review, hopefully it will help me survive the week with a little more of my sanity in tact 🙂

Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness, #1)

Have you read any of these picks? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Time to Break Out the Book Jar…


The Book Jar

I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk lately… I keep picking up new books, reading maybe the first chapter, then putting them back down, not to be opened again because I’m just not feeling it. Or something.

This has led to a few things: stress about writing new posts because it’s hard to post reviews without reading new books first, partial re-reads of old favorites because I still have that gosh-darn daily commute to endure, and a lot of unfortunate first impressions that don’t even begin to do these books justice. And like most funks, it’s a negative feedback loop that’s really hard to beat!

So here we are, mid-book-funk, and I’m breaking out a Book Jar! I’ve seen a few of these around the internet, and it seems like just the thing to shake things up. Mine is a recycled jar, hand-painted by me, currently containing 52 little papers, each with a unique book written on it.

Book Jar

Here’s the general criteria I used to fill the jar:

  • Most of them are books from all over my TBR pile.
  • Many of them are recent victims of my book funk that deserve a second chance.
  • A handful are old favorites that never fail to bring a smile to my face.
  • None of them are borrowed or have other time restrictions.
  • Each of them is commute ready and already downloaded onto my Kindle.

So here’s my plan: whenever I feel the weight of the book funk, am feeling anxious about picking the perfect book to read next, or just plain can’t decide, I’ll turn to the book jar! To make it even easier to use, I’m going to enact a “best of three rule,” meaning I can pick as many as three books from the jar before choosing which one to read. (Any unpicked books must go back in the jar, of course.)


Without further ado, it’s time to make the first pick! And the three choices are…

  1. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – I will now shamefully admit that I raced through the first 5.5 books of The Mortal Instruments series, only to stop halfway through book 6… Yeah, I know…
  2. The Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower – It was a Kindle Daily Deal, and I just couldn’t resist the cover and hilarious contemporary romance title.
  3. The Kraken King by Meljean Brook – This one has had quite a presence on my blog lately, and it’s one of my absolute favorites, but I really want my next read to be something new.

This time around, I’m going with… The Mad Tatter! J.M. Darhower is a new author for me, and I can be picky about contemporary romance, but this is the only truly new book of the three choices. Here’s hoping it’s a good one!

The Mad Tatter

Review to come…

Update: The book has been read and the review has been written!