Master of Desire (Zebra) by Jessica Trapp is up first, with Gabriel of Whitestone cornering his prey, Lady Ariana of Rosebriar in a church, intent on carrying her off and seeing her punished for her crimes, including the murder of his brother and her spying against the king. I thought this one sounded like it could be good, the whole secret-identity, two completely opposite purposes story. I was wrong. Gabriel ties her up, carries her off, away from her home and child, and the reader is supposed to believe that she's going to want to sleep with the man. I found it very difficult to believe myself, and things didn't get better from there. They're unpleasant to one another more and more throughout the story, and, sadly, I just couldn't buy into a romance here, much as I wanted to.
Moonlit Knight (Signet Eclipse) by Jocelyn Kelley is next, with her third lady knight tale. This time Mallory de Saint-Sebastian is off to protect the queen, with Saxon Fitz-Juste an unlikely (and unbelievable) troubador in the company. If you're a regular visitor here, you'll already know I couldn't buy into the previous stories in this series, and that hasn't changed with this tale. If you've felt differently about the previous stories, then, likely, you'll disagree with me once again.
The Wife Trap (Ivy) by Tracy Anne Warren has Lady Violet's sister Lady Jeannette getting her own romance this time out. After being banished for her altar-switch with her sister, Jeannette is now heading for Ireland and some elderly relatives to try to tame her. Along the way, she meets architect Darragh O'Brien, a charming rogue who is more than he seems--and more than Jeannette believes. After reading the first story, one expects Jeannette to behave like a spoiled child. One might not, however, expect the man she falls for to lie to her, even after their wedding. I was very disappointed with this one for that reason. I think Darragh's deception went on far too long, though, now that I think about it, I think I felt the same way with Violet's story and the lying. And in this case, it wasn't simply a matter of self-preservation as for Violet, but a continuation of his plan to teach her a lesson, which I found distasteful. I have higher hopes for the last book in the series, though, with Violet's friend Eliza and her brother-in-law Kit--there can be no hidden identities there, as that pair already knows one another.
Until next time, happy reading!