Gentle romp through Regency life

The Return of the EarlThe Return of the Earl by Sandra Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s a few things expected when reading a historical romance, especially a Regency one, and for the most part, this one has those.

However, in the first few opening parts of this story the author gets the name wrong of one of Britain’s finest, and most well known, Neo-Classical Georgian architects, Robert Adam when she erroneously gives him an extra S. It’s a minor point for sure but one that should have been spotted in editing and proofing.

Putting that aside though, this is a gentle little romp through country life as a reluctant Earl, still smarting over a perceived slight some 13 years earlier.

Characters were nicely developed though, again, a little bit repetitive in the phrasing when referencing Bryn’s heterochromia and with Bryn calling Con “my Con” all the time. Little bit more variety would have worked well here.

The steam levels are fairly low but the slow burn pays off in the final quarter of the story and the epilogue is lovely and in keeping with the historical setting.

#ARC kindly provided by the publishers via NetGalley in return for an unbiased and honest review.

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High-tech hijinks in this futuristic retelling

EnsnaredEnsnared by Rita Stradling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would probably never have read this book if it wasn’t for the cover. It drew my eye enough that I overlooked the sci-fi futuristic element of this particular re-telling of Beauty and the Beast and I am glad I did because this was an incredibly complex and well crafted story.
I was expecting a run of the mill re-telling but instead I got a rollercoaster of a thriller style romance between a girl forced to pretend she’s a robotic version of herself and a man trapped inside a high-tech tower who is afraid of the outside world.
The science was a bit confusing at times but not enough to spoil the story and it did take a while to get going but once Alainn was living in the tower and interacting with Lor and then discovering her robotic lookalike Rosette was perhaps slightly flawed and potentially murderous, the pace really kicked off.
There were great secondary characters as well and the ethical dilemma of “what makes us human” was explored in a interesting way.

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