Tag Archives: Katharine Ashe

The Prince by Katharine Ashe

The Prince (Devil's Duke, #4)The Prince by Katharine Ashe

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Devil’s Duke #4
Publication Date: 5/29/18

Katharine Ashe’s writing is smart, sexy and sophisticated. Her story is unique, thoroughly plotted and she stays on-point throughout. I love that the story takes place over a long period of time – if you count the epilogue it is about forty years. The love that develops is the slow and enduring kind – yes, they were attracted to each other physically, but they actually got to know each other. I also loved that he was an honorable man – he kept telling her ‘no’ and avoiding her because he was so attracted to her and he knew nothing could come of their relationship. The heartbreak is palpable and I was sure that we wouldn’t see an HEA for our couple – I mean goodness – I was practically at the end of the book.

I really liked Ziyaeddin Mirza, AKA Ibrahim Kent, who is a Prince, in exile, of the small country of Tabir. He is a totally honorable man and is supporting himself as a portraitist while he is waiting for England’s government to assist him in taking his country back from the general who murdered Ziyaeddin’s parents and took over. Ziyaeddin is also a gifted portraitist – his eye sees beyond the flesh to the person underneath and that is what is reflected in his portraits.

Elizabeth (Libby) Shaw, AKA Joseph Smart, is a driven lady – she has to become a surgeon at all costs. Her father is a renowned forensic surgeon and they have lived all over England – wherever his rich and powerful patients resided. Libby has an anxiety disorder of some sort (and frankly she gave me one too). My friend described it this way – I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m borrowing her description, but it is just absolutely a perfect description of Libby — imagine Temperance Brennan from Bones and Adrian Monk have a love child – that is Libby.

Ziyaeddin had met Libby a couple of years ago (in the last book). She is astonished when she sees him at an anatomy lecture she is attending. She’s dressed as a male, but she’s still afraid he might recognize her and call her out for dressing that way. However, he says nothing and leaves. He did recognize her – he’d recognize her however she was dressed – he was fascinated by her mouth and could never draw it just right.

Libby’s father is living in London for a year and she will be staying with a friend in Edinburgh. She sees this as the perfect opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon. She’ll dress as a man and enroll in the program. She’s already more knowledgeable than most of the professors, but she can’t practice without a certificate. Now – I’m not sure what she thought she was going to do AFTER she got her certificate – was she going to dress as a man forever? Society would never have allowed her to practice as a woman. I’m not saying that is fair – I’m just saying that was the time she lives in. It would have been a huge scandal and she would have been ostracized.

Once her decision was made, she managed to convince all of her friends AND Ziyaeddin to support her. Her friends helped her cover with her family so they didn’t realize what was happening and Ziyaeddin allowed her to live in his home as a male tenant.

Over time, Ziyaeddin shares his secrets with Libby – his true name, family history and how he came to be living in Edinburgh. They draw closer and closer – Libby embraces it, but Ziyaeddin fights it. He doesn’t deny it – he just fights acting on those passions.

The defining moment comes when a nasty rumor is started and Ziyaeddin’s life is at stake. Can Libby set him free? Can she sacrifice everything to save him? Is there another solution?

I thought this story was unique, but I do have to confess that I thought it was pretty wordy. I found myself thinking “get on with it” on a number of occasions and skimming pages at a time. I’m not saying it wasn’t a good story because it was, it could have just been several chapters shorter.

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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

Tracy & Barbara’s Historical Romance Favorites For 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to thank each of you for your support of our blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.  We were so excited to start our blog in April, but we were apprehensive as well.  We wondered if we’d be able to produce content that others would appreciate and if we’d be able to grow our following.  Thanks to you, we have grown, are still growing and look forward to growing even more in 2018.

We have read and reviewed some wonderful books this year and we’d like to share our favorites with you.  So, we’ll be sharing our ‘favorites’ published in 2017 with you, in this post and the next – along with a link to our review (just click on the picture to see the review).   You might notice that some books are on both Tracy and Barbara’s list – smiles – that should let you know it was a REALLY good book.  We hope you will enjoy the list, the reviews – and maybe find a new favorite for yourself.  If you like our blog, please pass us along to your friends so maybe they’ll follow us too.

First up – is a list of our favorite Historical Romances.  They are not listed in any particular order.

Barbara’s List

Traitor In Her ArmsThree Weeks With A PrincessThird Son's A CharmThe Silent DukeThe Highlanders Princess BrideThe Duke Of Her DesireHighland SpyHighland RuseTracy-Duke With BenefitsA Most Unlikely Duke

Tracy’s List

Tracy - Anything but a GentlemanTracy-Duchess DealTracy - Duke of DesireTracy - Earl In Wolf's ClothingTraitor In Her ArmsTracy - The Daring DukeTracy - The DukeTracy - Seducing Mr. SykesTracy - Someone To LoveThe Highlanders Princess Bride





The Duke by Katharine Ashe

The Duke (Devil's Duke, #3)The Duke by Katharine Ashe
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Devil’s Duke #3

Release Date: September 26,2017

4.5 Stars

Amarantha Vale travels to Jamaica to marry the man of her girlish dreams, but before she does, she will meet the man that will forever own her heart.

Amarantha and Gabriel meet during a hurricane in Jamaica and bond is formed that neither time or circumstance can break. The spend time together over the next 9 weeks and the bond grows even stronger and when Gabe asks Amarantha to break off her betrothal and wait for him, she agrees. But a well placed lie along with vicious gossip, turn their lives in different directions.

Five and a half years later, Amarantha is a widow and has made her way to Scotland to find her missing sister in law. This is where she learns of the Devil’s Duke and realizes that he is in fact the young man she once loved. Unable to believe the lies about him, she sets out once more to find Penny and to get answers about Gabe.

When they finally met again, they are both a bit wary of the other and neither realize that their HEA was thwarted purposefully. Gabe has secrets, that he cannot share, even with the girl that captured and held his heart for these past 5 years. But Amarantha is not willing to walk away without answers. As they grow closer and truths are revealed, another lie interferes with their newly born relationship and a threat that may cost Gabe his life is issued.

Amarantha is not willing to grieve for Gabe again and sets out to save him, but in true Gabe fashion, he would rather sacrifice himself than let others suffer for him.

This is truly an epic tale, spanning several years and two continents. Gabe is a hero every woman wishes she had and Amarantha is a truly lovely (if not slightly misguided) woman. The sexual tension between them is red hot and when they finally give in to the enviable, it is wondrous. The book is well written, flows nicely, has lots of twists and turns, secrets, surprises, cameos from previous characters, amusing moments, tense moments and heartbreaking moments. It was an emotional roller coaster of a read and I loved every second!

I would highly recommend this book and even though it is the third book in the series, it could easily be read as a stand alone title with no problems. I have read the other reviews where the reviewers didn’t care for Amarantha and will say, I was right there with them, but after I finished the book, I had a revelation, I don’t think that Ms. Ashe set out to make Amarantha seem unlikeable, I think she wrote Gabriel too well and made her readers fall in love with him and therefore no heroine would have been good enough for him. So judge for yourself, is Amarantha unlikable? I don’t think so, I think the problem is Gabriel is too wonderful (as if that is a problem).

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher*

The Wicked Heir by Elizabeth Michels and The Earl by Katharine Ashe

The Wicked Heir (The Spare Heirs, #3)The Wicked Heir by Elizabeth Michels

Barbara’s Rating:  5 of 5 stars

Series: Spare Heirs Society #3
Publication Date: July 4, 2017

I rarely give 5-star reviews, but this one definitely deserves it. I haven’t read the other books in the series, but you don’t need to read them in order to enjoy this book.

First, I’ll mention the Spare Heirs Society. It wasn’t what I thought it would be. Since I hadn’t read the first two books of the series, I assumed that it was a group of gentlemen who had banded together to help each other succeed financially in life by advising each other on investments, etc. Not so, although they do some of that kind of thing. To me, they sound sort of like a benign mafia. They do help the downtrodden by providing protection to places that are generally preyed upon – like gaming hells and brothels, etc. The members are paid a stipend and those who need it are even offered a place to stay in the ‘headquarters’. I’m thinking that maybe after this book they may head toward more aboveboard, totally legal enterprises. I hope so.

Fallon St. James is a
control freak. We don’t really learn a lot about his background other than his deceased father was a drunken lout as is his brother (the heir). Evidently the brothers never see or talk to each other. Fallon is the head of the Spare Heirs Society and he devotes his entire being to the organization. He is always planning, meeting, etc. in furtherance of the Society – it is his whole life and he doesn’t know how to make room for anything else. He sleeps little and eats little because those are wastes of time he could be spending working for the Society. So when he meets Lady Isabelle Fairlyn and she decides they will be friends, he has no idea what to do with her.

Lady Isabelle Fairlyn has only been a ‘Lady’ for about four years. Before that, he father was an unlikely heir. Isabelle is definitely a Pollyanna – she only sees the good in everything. She lives in books and stories of romance and love. Her head is definitely in the clouds and she ‘falls in love’ every other month. Because of the contentious relationship between her parents, she absolutely can’t abide conflict and therefore, her version of love means that there will always be agreement, sunshine, butterflies and unicorns. Yes – she does sound immature, but I don’t think she really is – I think she just has no idea of what love really is because she hasn’t seen it.

When the villain sets his sights on Isabelle with an eye to ruining her, her family and the Spare Heirs because of an old grudge, Fallon has to save her. When he finds her unconscious and nearly dead along with a ‘confession’ letter about missing artwork from the museum he takes her to his home (which is also the SHS headquarters). He has to keep her locked up in order to keep her safe and protected – so – of course he locks her in his bedroom. Why – well – nobody other than him can provide her with the protection she needs. Well, I told you he was a control freak!

As they spend the next month in close proximity to each other, they get to know each other and really care for each other. Fallon, however, can’t see a future for them together because of the Spare Heirs. Plus, he’s afraid of her finding out about the Heirs and what they really do. The read, the solution to the troubles and the road to love are all wonderfully done with the excellent writing of Elizabeth Michels. I definitely recommend the book.

“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

The Earl (Devil's Duke, #2; Falcon Club, #5)The Earl by Katharine Ashe

Barbara’s rating: 3 of 5 stars

Series: Falcon Club #5 and Devil’s Duke #2
Publication Date: October 25, 2016

This is a cross-over book and finishes the Falcon Club series and is book #2 in the Devil’s Duke Series. I haven’t read any of the books in either series, but that didn’t take away from reading this book. It did make me curious about the Devil’s Duke, so I may read the next book in that series. I rated this book 3-stars because I so thoroughly disliked Lady Emily Vale (Lady Justice). I loved Peregrine (Colin Gray, the Earl of Egremoor) and I liked the story-line, but I just disliked Lady Emily. Some reviewers have described her as a feminist, but I see her as a hater and very mean spirited.

Peregrine and Lady Justice have had a long-standing feud because they are on such opposite sides of every issue. I see Peregrine grow and adjust some of his views, but I don’t see the growth with Lady Justice. I can’t picture a HEA for them (although they got one) because I can see her being unyielding and him having to do all of the yielding. I can’t picture him happily doing that forever.

Lady Justice’s sister is missing and she wants Peregrine’s help in finding her – but – she’s not willing to be honest with him and let him know she’s Lady Justice. He assumes Lady Justice is actually a man and that really sets her off. Anyway – she needs him so she tries to hoodwink him into doing an investigation. Then, at the meeting they set up, she recognizes him as an old childhood friend of hers who she now hates. So, she tries to cancel the request for help – but Peregrine goes forward with it anyway. *** BTW — the hate her is her main driver – and when the reason is revealed it is so very, very, very lame.

Lady Justice heads to Scotland (from London) with only a maid/companion and a coachman. That is so unacceptable. She does many, many, many things that are totally unacceptable for the period and I can’t see how she isn’t scorned and shunned by society. That part of the story just doesn’t work.

Then, when she gets to Scotland and runs into Peregrine, they are mistaken for a pair of highway men who have murdered someone. They take off on a cross-country chase and spend much time together. She still doesn’t tell him who she is until he finds out at the very end because it is the only way they can get out of the situation they are in.

I won’t tell you more of the story – you’ll just have to read it for yourself if you are interested. There was a set-up for the next book in the Devil’s Duke series and I may give that one a try.

I like strong women in my books, but I didn’t like this one. I’ll hope the next heroine is more likeable.

View all my reviews

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