Educating Caroline by Patricia Cabot

640121
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.  

Lumberjack in Love by Penny Watson

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15993406
Note: the top cover is the latest cover for this book.  I feel like I should get bonus points for bravery for reading it when it had the original hand drawn cover!

Grade: B
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Lumberjack in Love #1
Published: 9/7/12
Reviewed by Anne
114 pages

Ami is a city girl through and through.  She’s visiting her sister in the boonies of Vermont while nursing a broken heart.  She was just dumped by her boyfriend, who she not realizes was a total loser.  Her sister sends her on an errand to deliver something (papers, I think) to Marcus, a very lumberjack looking man who is building a custom treehouse for Ami’s niece.  They’re each attracted to the other, but also very aware of how unsuited they are.  And very aware of how attracted to each other they are.  So a little fling couldn’t hurt, right?

This was a quick and funny read.  It’s full of lines like this one: “Was there a Mrs. Mountain Man in the picture, maybe sewing the checkerboard curtains and keeping his axe well oiled?”  I love this kind of humor, so the story flew by with me chuckling a lot.

The ending had me rolling my eyes a bit.  It annoys me when otherwise rational characters choose not to communicate and the main reason seems to be to set up conflict.  That was the case here.  Also, while I appreciated a discussion of birth control, neither character seemed concerned about STDs, which didn’t seem responsible.

Still, it was cute and I enjoyed it and would try another story by this author.  I recommend it if jokes about wood still crack you up – I know they do for me!