First up this week is a book highly anticipated by many Laura Kinsale fans: Shadowheart (Berkley). Allegreto is a very unusual man--and quite frightening to Elayne when she is held prisoner by the man. Frankly, I can't blame her for being afraid. Not having read the book that spawned Allegreto, I had a hard time understanding him, and I found some of the more intimate scenes very distasteful and violent. If you're interested in a book written most faithfully to the historical period, quite detailed as to the role religion played in normal day-to-day life and including archaic language usages, and you don't mind a near-rape or two, you might enjoy this one. Otherwise, you may want to skip it, as I wish I had. I honestly found the detail quite interesting, and probably would have enjoyed it even more had I been in the proper frame of mind, but the more intimate scenes left me appalled. I'm only borrowing two of Cupid's five arrows for it.
Next up is Diane Farr's Under a Lucky Star (Signet), with Derek Whittaker falling in love with the ice queen Cynthia, who seems an altogether different woman when they met a second time--different, that is, from the woman who returned his kisses so eagerly when they first met. Complicated characters and complicated story here. And honestly, I hated that Cynthia was such a weakling she couldn't stand up for her own wants, no matter what society's rules. For Regency fans, you may be delighted with this one. It's earned only two and a half arrows here.
Finally, we have Rebecca Hagan Lee's second in her Free Fellows League series, Merely the Groom. This time, it's Colin McElreath's turn to wed Gillian Davies, and neither of them is too put out by the arrangement. As I've come to expect when reading a book from this author, the story and characters are engaging and fun, and you won't finish disappointed. I'm giving this one three and a half arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!