Improper Proposals by Juliana Ross

Grade: A
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Historical
Series: Improper #3
Published: 3/24/14
Reviewed by Anne
122 pages

“Instead of instructing young wives on how to roast a chicken or darn a sock or ease colic in an infant, I want you to write a guide that will tell them, plainly and directly, what they might expect from marital relations with their husbands.  It will tell them that it could and should be a pleasant experience, and not a shameful necessity to which they are bound to submit.”  -p.24

When her husband of eleven years dies, Caroline is distraught and alone, with no other family to turn to.  As time passes, she throws herself into the project of writing an instruction manual for young wives.   Once it’s done, she seeks out a friend of her husband’s who is a publisher.  She’s disappointed when he says there’s no market for her book, but he contacts her again, impressed with her writing and proposes she write the same sort of book, but this time have it focused on “marital relations.”

Juliana Ross really shines in this story!  I devoured it in one sitting and wanted to turn around and re-read it immediately!  Since Caroline lives in the country, and her publisher, Tom, lives in London, they send letters and manuscripts through the mail, then meet in person about once per month to discuss things. I loved the contrast between the formal way they talk and write letters to each other and how very dirty they are in the bedroom.  It was great read and an incredibly hot one!  The author also manages to sell me on a second love of a lifetime without bashing the first – something I really appreciate!  

My biggest complaint was how Caroline handled the obstacle they faced near the end of the story.  It seemed out of character, especially when the solution seemed so easy to me.  However, the way Tom reacted really redeemed things.  He was so confident in her love for him and his for her that he was able to handle things well.

I also want to note that Tom is a dirty talker in the bedroom, and Caroline finds that she really enjoys it.  The sex scenes are very well written!  I highly recommend this book – it’s going on my best of the year list!

One Night With An Earl by Jennifer Haymore

One Night with an Earl (House of Trent, #2.5)
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-House of Trent #2.5
Reviewed by Kay
120 pages

This is a short and very sweet novella. It’s about an Earl, who never thought he’d be one and a widow who thought she had lost her chance at love before she ever married.

Andrew Sinclair, the Earl of Weston reluctantly agrees to attend a masquerade party held by a member of the Ton. What he finds there is the chance to be with the only woman he has ever loved, Lady Fenwicke. He never thought he’d be the Earl of Weston because the heir before him was sure to have children. Then that heir died but when he tried to claim the woman he loved, she was betrothed to another.

Lady Beatrice Fenwicke, before her marriage, was an innocent seventeen year old girl. During her marriage, she was a victim of domestic abuse. When she was widowed, she became a pariah. Someone to be given the direct cut, ostracized and she became a recluse. She agrees to accompany her best friend to the masquerade ball knowing what her heinous parents would think. She sees the perfect man there. Can she let go one night in her miserable existence? Can she have one night with an Earl?

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the House of Trent series. But this novella? I’m a huge fan of it! It was precious, well paced and steamy. It had a couple of things that are my favorite tropes. Second chance love, a heroine who becomes strong and a loveable hero. Jennifer Haymore was a favorite author of mine with her first series but I kind of got lost after that but now I may have to re-evaluate. Oh, who am I kidding? You had me at masquerade ball.

Favorite lines:

“You have the sweetest laugh I’ve ever heard.”- Andrew

“i’m going to work to earn your trust. I know that’s difficult for you. But if one day you trust me completely, Beatrice, then that will be my greatest reward.”

A Convenient Husband by Reece Butler

A Convenient Husband (Bride Train, #4)


Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-Mild Kink
Series-Bride Train #4
Reviewed by Kate
326 pages

Ben was finishing law school out East. Ben had made a promise to his older twin Ranger though. He promised his gruff brother that he would bring a bride home for Ranger to marry. Leaving things to the last minute, Ben purchases a ticket on the bride train heading to Montana, sure he’ll be able to find a willing bride for Ranger. What he finds instead is Florence, a well educated, out spoken woman with 2 small children in tow. Everything that Ranger doesn’t want in a wife. When one of the children is threatened, Ben marries Florence himself to save the little girl.

So. This book is written by Reece Butler. Right away that’s a point in the plus column. I’ve read every book she’s written and continue to wait anxiously for the next release. And it’s a marriage of convenience, has children, a menage. Plus, plus, plus. At the same time, this book is screwed up in so many ways, I really shouldn’t like it as much as I do (*facepalm* I’ve reread the thing 4 times already).
How is it messed up you ask? Well…Ben is moving to Tanner’s Ford Valley, where a menage lifestyle with three men and one woman is quickly becoming the norm. And despite his 3 brothers (book #1) and his sister (book #3) living in menage relationships, Ben knows nothing about it. Next we have the whole thing with Ranger being so grumpy and crotchety and particular that he’d never be able to find his own wife. Then there’s Ben, who feels so obligated to his brother that he decides to let Ranger take Florence’s virginity rather than doing the deed himself. Yep. You heard me right. Ben and Florence haven’t yet consumated their marriage by the time they reach the ranch, so Ben tells Ranger to go ahead and take care of her the first time (he’s apparently much more experienced with women than Ben is). Of course, Florence has 2 children with her (who aren’t hers by the way). These kids are the perfect soap opera children. Present when they are needed to advance the story.
 Conveniently absent (read: away staying with relatives) when they would be in the way otherwise. And let’s not forget Patrick. Poor Patrick. Who really seems to be an addition to the story simply to keep the 3:1 ratio of men to women that seems to be required in this series. Patrick is the youngest brother and just feels like an add on throughout the entire read.
All that being said, you will notice that I gave the story a B+ rating. Simply because I absolutely am in love with it. Despite all it’s WTFery, I have read this book 5 times (the first time, plus 4 rereads). It is one of my favorites in the series, although numbers 1 and 2 are very close.
If you like your historical menages to be filled with strong heroines, hot cowboys, and even hotter sex, (and can forgive the hot mess that sometimes comes with it), give this one a crack.