Category Archives: Historical Romance

Review of The Iron Rose by Marsha Canham

This is the second story by Canham that I have read and reviewed and I’m happy to say it was a fun summer read! The second in the series follows Juliet Dante – daughter of the Pirate Wolf – on her own high seas adventure. Add in a dashing English Duke, the Spanish treasure ships and a few ruthless pirates and you have yourself a great piece of escapist historical fiction filled with detailed battles, richly drawn scenes and romantic tension that keeps the pages turning.
I do have to note the use of a “miracle” that I noticed – in the first book Across a Moonlit Sea – Lucifer was unable to speak because his tongue had been cut out – miraculously, it grew back (or someone whittled him one, much like a peg leg?) because he could speak in The Iron Rose. Although it annoyed me (obviously enough to for me to mention it!) I still give high praise to The Iron Rose because the two scenes which contained the “healed” Lucifer had enough other things to make my eye rolling minimal and it didn’t really interfere with the story at all. You might be wondering why I mentioned it, so let me confess that when he spoke the first time I stopped reading for a few minutes and the second time it happened I just rolled my eyes and continued reading the story and enjoyed every subsequent moment of it.

Juliet Dante is a wonderful character – even more appealing than Beau was in Across the Moonlit Sea – because Juliet is also a heroine with an attitude and she put the English Duke on notice from the first moment they met – she is not a woman to be trifled with!

The beautiful thing about Canham’s writing is her stories are undoubtedly HISTORICAL romance – not just a “love story” set in a “time-period” – her characters are realistically drawn and there are enough details and real history woven into the tale to make you feel smart to be reading about history while you’re indulging the guilty pleasure of reading romance. I hate historical romance books that have inaccuracies or worse yet, those that seem to have one mention of a time/place and nothing to back it up. Give me a little schooling along with some good old fashioned lust and I’m a happy girl! There’s one more book in the series and I’ll be reading that one soon before detouring to some other books.


Review of Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn has outdone herself with this story. It was one of those books that I read quickly until I realized I was getting close to the last chapter – then I slowed down because I didn’t want the story to end. The pace is terrific with just enough detail to fill in the gaps of the “mental movie” that plays in my head while I read – I could picture the characters and locations clearly – but the detail didn’t slow the story down one bit.

I know my Roman history (it’s an odd fascination of mine) and Quinn brings the time period to life with a deft hand. The story is entertaining, but some reviewers called it depressing on Amazon – I thought it was an accurate portrayal of the time with character that were plausible set in situations that were most likely common. It is a sweeping, epic story that will satisfy not only those who know that history, but those who are looking for a great introduction. Quinn’s work is “lighter” than Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series, but if you liked McCullough, you’ll love Quinn.

The Empress of the Seven Hills was a terrific journey into ancient Rome and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed her other books or Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series.

Review of Dangerous Talents by Frankie Robertson

R. Leonia Shea

As I’ve posted before, I’ve been reading a lot of Indie fiction – yet maybe you’ve been wondering why there aren’t many reviews posted on my site…well, I’m not recommending anything that I’m not absolutely in love with – and I love, love, love Frankie Robertson’s book Dangerous Talents.   The story unfolds quickly with an incident that changes Celia’s (our heroine’s) life.  From the get-go, the story unwinds with believable, interesting characters that you will both recognize and find strangely unfamiliar.  Woven throughout this tale is Norse Mythology and Legend (I’m not telling you how, you’ll have to read it to find out) and it’s masterfully done with well written dialogue and artfully crafted scenes that let you glimpse the inner lives of the characters.  The motives are clear, the scenes fluid, and all of the loose ends are neatly tied up in nice little packages with pretty ribbons that leave you…

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Review – Across a Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham

Need an escape from your own every-day struggles? Then set sail with Marsha Canham in the Pirate Wolf Series and you won’t be disappointed! Historical Romance should teach you something about the time period while keeping you completely absorbed in the characters and plot. This book delivers! Vivid descriptions set the scene from page one and it doesn’t let up. It’s not boring description, though – it’s seamlessly woven into the plot and by the time the book was over, I had a detailed image of the ship, cannons, and characters in my head. This is one of those rare books that strikes the perfect blend between story and setting. Strong female lead, a dashing “pirate”, and secondary characters that round out the cast quite nicely. It’s an adventure on the high-seas that historical romance readers will love.

Genre: Historical Romance
definitely “R” rated (at least)