Book: Scandalous Desires
Series: Maiden Lane, #3
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Reviewed by: Ellyce
Rating: 5/5 stars
I’ll admit that despite rave reviews from my friends, Elizabeth Hoyt’s books have been a bit hard for me to get into. There’s no doubt that she writes well, but many of her romances feel extremely rushed. This leads to the characters only being really attracted to one another due to physical attributes or how great of a kisser or lover they are, and the emotional side of the story doesn’t really come into play until it’s too late (or at all, sometimes). Going into the third book of her Maiden Lane series, I had my doubts as to whether it could hold up to all of the praise it’s gotten.
Of all her work, Scandalous Desires is the one that shines brightest and delivers more than expected. The characters are incredibly fleshed out and don’t fall into the genre tropes that you might expect of them, and there’s a deep emotional attachment and growth between them that is truly the heart of the story. Continue reading
Book: Secrets of a Summer Night
Series: Wallflowers, #1
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Reviewed by: Danielle
Rating: 5/5 stars
Before I start to gush, let me get something out of the way first: I don’t read romance novels. That is, I hadn’t before I became addicted to Lisa Kleypas’ wonderful Wallflowers series. The only introduction to the genre I’ve had previously is the first two books of the Outlander series, and many would tell you emphatically that those cannot be categorized as romance. But that’s a different story. Truth be told, I would avoid this section of book stores with its steamy book covers like the plague. I had preconceived notions as to the quality of writing I would find in those books and so steered clear.
However, I’m not anything if not romantic, so I find it odd that I’ve just now discovered quality writing in the romance genre. Who knew that all you had to do was look (or ask a friend, in this instance). I’ll admit that the writing is no Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf, but Lisa Kleypas’ breezy series is well-written, with strong (and swoon-worthy) characters, precious love stories, and heartfelt passion. Kleypas knows how to weave a story and how to satisfy her readers while also keeping them engaged on the edge of their seats, hearts thumping. I acknowledged numerous times throughout the series how skillfully she keeps two characters apart for just enough time to tantalize and make her readers squirm, and then brings them together again at just the right moment with fires blazing. Continue reading