February 24, 2021

Abbreviations #123: Night Song, A Notorious Vow + The Highwayman

I finally read my second Beverly Jenkins novel! Night Song is all about the romance between the young teacher Cara Lee Henson and the handsome, capable Sergeant Chase Jefferson. While Cara does her best to resist the temptation to give in to Chase, and while Chase insists he cannot commit to a true relationship while still working with the cavalry, there’s an undeniable connection between them that’s just begging for them both to take that leap into the unknown together. This was the pick for January for the Historical Hellions book club, and I’m glad because it was a lovely romance to start the year with! The setting (a small town in the Western US), the meddling and extremely nosey (but usually well-meaning) neighbors, and the situations that presented themselves due to the town dynamics reminded me a lot of similar books I’d read as a kid. But what set this one apart was the sweet romance that blossoms between these two stubborn individuals. I appreciated that both Cara and Chase were very strong-willed and independent, though I was constantly shaking my head at their lack of proper communication when they needed it most. It was delightful to watch them eventually give in to their feelings for each other! I’ll admit that I didn’t necessarily love the latter portion of this book, as it does get a little too heavy on the drama for my tastes. But still, overall, Night Song was another solid romance from this author.

Pub Info: July 1, 1994 by Avon | Add it on Goodreads

A Notorious Vow
was my first historical romance novel by Joanna Shupe, and I can confidently say that it’s definitely not going to be my last! In this novel, Lady Christina Barclay and her family have arrived in New York in disgrace, and she must quickly secure a wealthy husband to improve her family’s future. Enter Oliver Hawkes, her handsome neighbor and an inventor, and cue the platonic marriage that will save Christina from an intolerable suitor her parents have their eye on. The agreement is that their marriage is temporary, as Oliver is deaf and his focus is on the revolutionary device that could aid him and others like him. But neither of them counted on the fact that something more could spark between them… A Notorious Vow is charming! And the romance certainly had a refreshing dynamic between our main couple, as well as plenty of moments worthy of swooning and others that broke my heart. I really liked both Oliver and Christina (although the latter did have a tendency to be a touch too naïve in a number of instances), and could easily see how they brought out the best in each other. But, admittedly, A Notorious Vow isn’t perfect either as the latter portion of the story devolves into over-the-top drama and a villainous character straight out of those old cartoons where a damsel in distress is tied to the train tracks. While I didn’t particularly mind that too much, it did take away from the lovely start this story had just a touch. Still, A Notorious Vow was a lovely, easy to devour romance, and I’m eager to check out more of Shupe’s work.

Series Info: The Four Hundred #3 | Pub Info: September 25, 2018 by Avon | Add it on Goodreads

I’m happy that I finally read The Highwayman, as it was my first experience with Kerrigan Byrne! This complicated romance is between Dorian Blackwell, a ruthless, wealthy and influential man that will stop at nothing to seek revenge and get what he wants, and Farah Leigh Mackenzie, a beautiful widow who is keeping a powerful secret that could threaten her life. Farah accepts Dorian’s scandalous proposal to wed him for her protection in exchange for him using her secret to exact revenge on his enemies. But it turns out that there may be more that ties them together. And maybe, just maybe, Farah will be the one to help Dorian discover that he still has a heart underneath that villainous persona he puts on for the rest of the world. To be completely frank, I wasn’t initially into the story and was concerned I’d wind up not liking it in the end. But the way that Byrne writes is compelling, and she eventually reeled me in a way where I couldn’t untangle myself until I found out how it would all come together. I ended up appreciating many elements of this story: the various characters we spend time with, the action and mystery, the angst, heart and humor. It came together very well in the end! While I don’t think I loved this one as much as some of my friends do, it was definitely a solid start to a series. I’m definitely curious to see who the other books in the series are about in the future too.

Series Info: Victorian Rebels #1 | Pub Info: September 1, 2015 by St. Martin's Press


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