Educating Caroline by Patricia Cabot

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Grade: B

Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Historcal
Published: 10/30/01
Reviewed by Kate
439 pages

This one read like a soap opera-in the best way possible.  I feel like a who’s who might be the best way to start.

Cast of Characters:
Braden Granville-our hero, aka the Lothario of London
Lady Caroline Linford-our heroine, prim, proper, and, of course, virginal
Lady Jacquelyn Seldon-Braden’s fiance
Marquis of Winchilsea-Caroline’s fiance

Do you have it all straight now?  All right.  Here we go!

We start off with Lady Caroline walking in on the Marquis of Winchilsea (her finance, remember) in the arms (well technically, in the legs) of Lady Jacquelyn (Braden’s fiance).  She’s ready to call off the engagement, but her mother tells her there’s no way she can end it without causing a reputation ending scandal.  Instead, she should use her womanly wiles to make her fiance fall for her.  Which wouldn’t be a bad idea, except Caroline’s not really sure if she has any wiles. 

Braden knows that Lady Jacquelyn has not been faithful to him.  But he can’t call of their engagement without losing a lot of money.  Unless he can prove it, with a name or a witness.  Caroline decides Braden is the perfect person to teach her how to make the Marquis fall in love with her-all hands off of course. In exchange for teaching her, she’ll be his witness against Lady Jacquelyn.

And from that point forward we have the story of Braden and Caroline coming to love one another.  My reading experience was filled with happy smiles, chuckles, gasps of shock and outrage, outright laughs, and contented sighs.  With just enough intrique thrown in, this one kept me turning pages from start to finish.

Thanks to Anne for the recommendation.

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True Love West by Claire Charlins

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Grade: D+
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Historical
Series: Mail Order Romance #5
Published: 11/14/13
Reviewed by Kate
147 pages


Sarah feels lonely and ignored at home, all the attention is turned toward her older sister.  Add that to the fact that there’s a shortage of men in the area and Sarah sees a bleak future stretching out before her.  When her sister suggests becoming a mail order bride, Sarah hesitantly agrees to look at some of the adds.  And then she reads Charlie’s letter and knows that he’s the one.  He feels lonely and invisible as well.  Sarah boards a train, anxious to meet Charlie.  When she arrives she discovers that Charlie has kept a secret-he has an infant daughter.  How can she marry a man who has lied to her?


I love, love, love a mail order bride romance.  From my first, Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke, right through my more recent reads like the erotic Bride Train series by Reece Butler. I just can’t seem to get enough.  That being said…


This one was filled with tons and tons of emotional drama for Sarah.  Seriously.  She spent days agonizing over whether or not she could marry Charlie after he had lied to her, while we, the reader, could tell the decision had already been made.


What I typically like in a mail order read is watching as the hero and heroine become acquainted and figure out how they’ll fit into each other’s lives.  Sadly, there was none of that in this book.  Charlie was practically a saint, other than his one lie.  There seemed to be no adjustment at all for either of them.  It was all about Sarah having to make her decision.


The sex in this book barely warrants mentioning.  If Lauara Ingalls Wilder had written an erotic romance, I think the sex scenes would have read similar to this one. In fact, the writing style, in general, reminded me of the Little House books.


If you’re like me, and enjoy mail order bride stories, you may like this one.  Just prepare yourself for lots of drama and rather dull sex.  

Just One Thing by Holly Jacobs

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Grade: B
Hotness Level: Ember
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 6/10/14
Reviewed by Kate
198 pages

Lexie has had a terribly tough adult life.  Seriously.  A really hard life.  Just one thing after the other.  As she struggles to come back from the last thing, she starts walking to the local bar each Monday, just for one drink. She slowly starts talking to the bartender Sam.  Each week he asks her to tell him “just one thing” about herself.  Through these small confessions, Sam and Lexie slowly start a relationship and start to heal.


This one is hard for me to review because it wasn’t an easy romance (and easy romances are the kind I like to read).  An easy romance where the hero and heroine meet and you know that it’s going to be pretty easy going except for that one conflict that would be resolved in the last few chapters.  No.  This is a romance where you know instantly there is going to be drama.  And a lot of it.  And no shortage of tears.


This one centers around Lexie and as she slowly tells her “one things” to Sam you get to discover her journey to Sam.  And just like Sam, you discover it one thing at a time.  One tear-jerking thing at a time.  Sam has a past that slowly comes out as well, but honestly it’s Lexie’s story that overshadows everything.  Everything including the budding romance between Sam and Lexie.


It would be easy to say that I didn’t like this one.  It would be easy and wrong.  This story sucked me in during the first chapter and wouldn’t let me go until it was finished.  The “one things” are written in flashbacks and I knew every time I picked it up I was going to be crying, but I had to get the next piece of the puzzle that is Lexie.


If you like your romances carefree and lighthearted this probably isn’t one for you, but if you like Danielle Steel or similar authors, give this one a try.