Short Book Reviews: The Deception, The King’s Pleasure, & Thief Of Hearts

Hello everyone,

today I’m briefly reviewing three historical romance novels I’ve read a while ago. Enjoy!

The Deception by Catherine Coulter
This is one of my favourite romance novels. When her father is kidnapped by Bonaparte’s supporters, who wish to reinstate him on the throne, Evangeline de Beauchamps is forced to act as a spy. She thus finds herself at the castle of her cousin’s widowed husband, The Duke of Portsmouth, asking him to hire her as a nanny for his son, while waiting for instructions. The two fall in love, which makes Eve feel even more guilty for her betrayal. She would like to confide in the Duke and ask his help, but she’s afraid her enemies will hurt both her father and her little charge if she does. There is great chemistry between the hero and heroine (but not much sex) and reading the scenes where they are together is simply a pleasure. Coulter also has a talent for creating likeable characters. Most heroines of romance novels are vain and selfish spoiled brats who throw a tantrum when things don’t go their way and always get themselves in trouble for not listening to good advice, but Coulter’s female characters are instead clever, sensible and just very likeable. And Eve is no exception. The Duke is fun and smart too. Although the book is a bit too long, it is highly enjoyable.
Available at:
Rating: 4/5

The King’s Pleasure by Shannon Drake
14th Century. Castle Aville, situated in Aquitaine, is captured by the English King Edward III, who then begets a daughter, Danielle, with the conquered countess. Danielle is a ward of the English King and thus bound to obey him, but has also made a vow to be loyal to France which will cause a lot of trouble for her. Years later, her father forces her into a betrothal with the Scottish knight Adrien MacLachlan. Although she vows to despise him, in the end she falls in love with him and will have to figure out how to be loyal to England, France and her husband. It’s not gonna be easy and the misunderstandings that ensure from this situation seriously risk to ruin her marriage, especially because Adrian has a tendency to always think the worst of his wife. And like most men, he’s not good at talking and communicating, which makes things even worse. Danielle instead is quite childish. Although there are moments when she acts like a mature adult, most of the time her behaviour is just childish and immature. Danielle and Adrian are one of those couples that argue all day and have sex all night (and the sex is mostly rape), which I find quite annoying. In addition, the book also at times feels like a history lesson, which is good if you’re interested in the history of this period, but not if you’re looking for a hot romance. Overall, I’d recommend it to those who like romances full of history snippets and who aren’t squeamish.
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Rating: 3/5

Thief Of Hearts by Patricia Gaffney
Anna Jourdaine marries Nick Balfour, her father’s right hand man and the man she’s been in love with for ages. But the groom is murdered the night of their wedding. Anna wants to find the killer and prove that the rumours about Nick selling her father’s ships to the Confederates are false, so she enlists the help of his dead husband’s twin, John Brodie. John is supposed to pass for Nick, but although they look identical, they couldn’t be more different. Nick was elegant and refined; Brodie is vulgar and curses a lot. Nick was a successful businessman; Brodie ended up in jail accused of murder. Of course Brodie and Anna will fall in love and it’s interesting to see how they relationship progresses. Anna is a true lady while Brodie is no gentleman. They have nothing in common. Although the plot and the characters are interesting, the story isn’t well-executed. The book is kinda slow and boring at times, which really spoiled it for me. I find this is the main problem with Gaffney. She just doesn’t know when to stop and thus puts way too much stuff in her books that’s just unneccessary and doesn’t allow the story to flow as easily as it should.
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Have you read these books? If so, did you like them?

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