Mass market Historical Romances: an addicting guilty pleasure

Hello, guys! Today I’ll talk about a huge guilty pleasure of mine: mass market historical romances. I have lots of these and have read a ton more ❤
This is a very interesting romance area in Brazil, because the books are very cheap in comparison to the paperback and hard cover books and the authors are just the best international ones. I met Nora Roberts in those romances that are financially cheap, but very rich in details and plots.

some of the babies <3
some of the babies ❤

I selected my Top 5 titles that touched my heart among all the ones I’ve read to review and recommend:

5. The Naked Duke – Sally MacKenzie

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This is the first book of the Naked Nobility series. Sorry for the lack of a personal picture, but I only have it at my Lev and it’s the bundle edition, so you can barely see its cover D:

From the Goodreads’ description:

The Surprise Of Her Life

Sophisticated. Scandalous. In fact, Miss Sarah Hamilton, a proper Philadelphian, finds London society altogether shocking. How can it be that she has awakened from her innocent slumber to find herself in bed next to a handsome–and exceedingly naked–man? The laughing onlookers standing in the doorway are no help whatsoever and surely this amorous lunatic cannot be a duke, as he claims. She is compromised–though she most certainly will not marry him!

The Sweetest Moment Of His

James, the Duke of Alford, is enchanted by his unexpected bedmate–and not at all afraid of her pink-cheeked fury. True, the circumstances and place of their meeting are most unusual, but the spirited American who’s pummeling him with a pillow is an incomparable beauty. If Sarah will only listen to his perfectly reasonable explanation, James is sure that he can capture her heart… Forever.

What I thought: Sarah is a unique character. She has strength, personality and manages to be charming even when the situation is totally disfavoring her. James was an okay hero, not really that much different from thousands of gentlemen that came before him in my readings. My favorite scene is when James tries to explain to Sarah his titles and names. Her answer is ingenious ❤

  1. The Bridegroom Wore Plaid – Grace Burrowes
ebook courtesy of iTunes Store
ebook courtesy of iTunes Store

This is the first book of the MacGregors series and I got mine at Apple Store. Honestly, I want to stop buying digital editions, but I also have to eat, LOL. From the Goodreads’ description:

Ian MacGregor is wooing a woman who’s wrong for him in every way. As the new Earl of Balfour, though, he must marry an English heiress to repair the family fortunes.

But in his intended’s penniless chaperone, Augusta, Ian is finding everything he’s ever wanted in a wife.

What I thought: I liked Grace’s writing very much. The way she describes the scenes and the characters makes you feel like you are inside the book with them, it’s very cool. And Ian was a dream. I love this name, I love how he looks like in my mind and his personality is dashing. Augusta was a surprise too, even being more like the status quo kind of historical romances’ heroin. The plot was also very good and intriguing. It’s a very worth reading!

  1. Betrayed – Judith McWilliams

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This book is one of my oldest from the genre, as you may notice by the poor state of the cover. From the Goodreads’ description:

Forced to play the pauper in an England racked by war, American Eleanor Wallace vowed to help her country in any way she could. Yet the intrigue was becoming difficult, for she had somehow lost her heart to the formidable Duke of Ryland, a man who would never forgive her for what she’d done.

James Wolf, Duke of Ryland, sought a life of honesty over artifice — a quality hard to find in London’s pretentious ton, until the arrival of peerless Eleanor Wallace. But though the woman intrigued him, he had yet to unveil her secrets. Secrets that she guarded as carefully as she did her heart.

What I thought: this book surprised me. The plot is amazing! Lady Eleanor is so smart and funny. It’s only natural that James fell for her. I devoured it crazily and my attention was locked until the very last page. It’s been a long while since I’ve read it, I have to read it again soon!

  1. Cut From The Same Cloth – Kathleen Baldwin

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This is the third book from Regency Trilogy. In Brazilian, the title was translated to “The Light In Your Eyes”. Bizarre, honestly. From the Goodreads’ description:

All is not as it seams…

Why does the powerfully built, golden-haired, Lord St. Cleve dress like an overdone Dandy? His outlandish wardrobe belies the hard unyielding lines of his face. Whoever he is, he’s ruining Elizabeth Hampton’s desperate scheme to secure a rich husband. Terribly vexing, to arrive at the most fashionable Breakfast Party of the Season wearing a perfectly stunning Chinese silk gown, only to discover Lord St. Cleve is clad in unmentionables cut from identical cloth.

Lord St. Cleve despises pretension of any kind. He cannot abide the self-important airs put on by some members of the Ton and takes pleasure in making a mockery of Brummell’s fashion strictures. Conceited frauds! Hadn’t his grandfather’s snobbery made his mother’s life a misery? Maddening to discover the one woman who captures his interest is the biggest pretender of all! He vows to teach Miss Elizabeth Hampton a lesson she won’t soon forget.

What I thought: This is the kind of romance that makes you laugh hard while reading. I got several stares while reading it outdoors, because Elizabeth and Valen are both very clever in their arguments and he makes her loose her ground, something Elizabeth has never lost before. Something I always notice in books is the dialogical construction and Kathleen was brilliant at it.

  1. The Truth About Cassandra – Laurie Brown

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From the Goodreads’ description:

When a woman with a secret, scandalous career as a novelist saves a notorious rake’s life, she only gives him her pen name…and leaves him searching for the woman who’s stolen his heart.

What I thought: This book changed my life. Seriously. Since I was a small girl, I wanted to be a writer and a Lady from the 19th century. When I saw a character that had a mind very much like my own in my favorite historical period, with my dream profession, doing something I’ve always wanted to try for fun (crossdressing) and that had my name (Anne), I went nuts. Moreover, decided that it was a sign to get into Journalism and not Law School. Now I’ll be a poor happy girl forever, LOL (I’m kidding, I love my profession and my job <3). In reality, it’s not any different from any of the other books that I reviewed on this post or from the one I’m currently reading (Darius, from Grace Burrowes), but it was very dearly special to me ❤

That’s it! I always say that, with this genre, the thing isn’t about knowing the end of the story, but how the couple gets there 😉 Do you like this kind of historical romance too? 😀

assinatura

Fandoms of Jane Austen

Jane Austen is definitely a remarkable author. Besides crossing the space and time with her romances and enchanting generation after generation without never getting old, she inspires many fandom books. I’ve separated some titles that I’ve read, some that I still want to read and some that are just bizarre 🙂

My babies <3
My babies ❤

Jane Bites Back – Michael Thomas Ford (2009, from Ballantine Books)

 From the Goodreads’ description:

Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it’s because she’s the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.
To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?

What I thought: I actually bought it by mistake in 2010. In the Brazilian edition, they renamed the book to “Jane Austen, The Vampire”. As you guys can see in the cover of the first book of my pic, it looks like the book was written by Jane Austen, as Michael’s name is very tiny under of “The Vampire” part. It was an instinct. I admit I didn’t paid much attention on the rest of the cover with the real possibility of having a vampire story told by Jane in my hands, LOL. When I got home and studied the book better, I noticed my mistake and got a little sad, but decided to give it a shot anyway – I had already bought it, right?

Lucky me, because it was an amazing book! Michael writes in a way that makes Jane feel like a real woman, that could be my neighbor. She faces the same everyday problems that we do and can’t tell anyone she is THE Jane Austen. It’s marvelous, really.

In 2010, I didn’t know there would by a sequel (and some research proved that the other two books in the trilogy – Jane Goes Batty and Jane Vows Vengeance – were never released in Brazil), so I criticized the end of the book, that naturally was vague. But now it makes perfect sense, LOL.

If you look for the Portuguese edition of the pic, you can only find it at Saraiva Online. The original English edition is also available at Saraiva Online and, of course, at Amazon. One more book at my wish list…

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith (2009, from Quirk Classics)

From the Goodreads’ description:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

What I thought: This book was one of those cases where you see the cover and you have to have it. I saw it at Saraiva Bookstore and I bought it in the act. Lucky me again, because it was amazing. Seth doesn’t lose Jane’s delicate and acid writing, presenting us the beautiful romance we all know with zombies. I really loved it and have to read it again sometime, as I read it in 2009, lol.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls – Steve Hockensmith (2010, from Quirk Books)

This is the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. From Goodreads’ description:

In a prequel to the best-selling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Elizabeth Bennet evolves from a simple young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead, as she trains with nunchucks and katana swords and experiences a tragic first romance.

What I thought: I have to say that I read this sometime in 2010 and I can’t remember a line from the book. I know I didn’t like it at the time, but I don’t remember why. In addition, I have to admit that my English in 2010 wasn’t what it is today (as you can see in my pic, the third book is the original English edition <3), so I have to give it another try anytime.

Moreover, there are also the books I haven’t read yet, but I really want to:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After – Steve Hockensmith (2011, from Quirk Books)

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It’s the sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. From the Goodreads’ description:

The story opens with our newly married protagonists, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, defending their village from an army of flesh-eating “unmentionables.” But the honeymoon has barely begun when poor Mr. Darcy is nipped by a rampaging dreadful. Elizabeth knows the proper course of action is to promptly behead her husband (and then burn the corpse, just to be safe). But when she learns of a miracle antidote under development in London, she realizes there may be one last chance to save her true love—and for everyone to live happily ever after.

Pride & Prejudice manga version – Stacy King and Po Tse (2014, from Udon Entertainment

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From the Goodreads’ description:

Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.
Vampire Darcy’s Desire – Regina Jeffers (2009, from Ulysses Press)

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From the Goodreads’ description:

Vampire Darcy’s Desire takes the greatest literary romance of all time and reinvents it around the hottest publishing genre–vampire romance. No story lends itself better to adaptation. Two lovers trying to overcome that which separates them: their pride, their prejudice, Darcy’s vampirism and the evil workings of master vampire George Wickham.

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre – Amanda Grange (2009, from Sourcebooks Landmark)

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From the Goodread’s description:

A married man in possession of a dark fortune must be in want of an eternal wife…
My hand is trembling as I write this letter. My nerves are in tatters and I am so altered that I believe you would not recognize me. The past two months have been a nightmarish whirl of strange and disturbing circumstances, and the future…
I am afraid.
If anything happens to me, remember that I love you and that my spirit will always be with you, though we may never see each other again. The world is a cold and frightening place where nothing is as it seems.

Mr. Darcy’s Diary – Amanda Grange (2007, from Sourcebooks

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From the Goodreads’ description:

Monday 9th September
“”I left London today and met Bingley at Netherfield Park. I had forgotten what good company he is; always ready to be pleased and always cheerful. After my difficult summer, it is good to be with him again. …””
The only place Darcy could share his innermost feelings was in the private pages of his diary…
Torn between his sense of duty to his family name and his growing passion for Elizabeth Bennet, all he can do is struggle not to fall in love.
Mr. Darcy’s Diary presents the story of the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Darcy’s point of view. This graceful imagining and sequel to Pride and Prejudice explains Darcy’s moodiness and the difficulties of his reluctant relationship as he struggles to avoid falling in love with Miss Bennet. Though seemingly stiff and stubborn at times, Darcy’s words prove him also to be quite devoted and endearing – qualities that eventually win over Miss Bennet’s heart. This continuation of a classic romantic novel is charming and elegant, much like Darcy himself.
Pride and Prejudice has inspired a large number of modern day sequels, the most successful of which focus on the rich, proud Mr. Darcy.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – Steve Hockensmith (2011, from Quirk Books)

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From the Goodreads’ description:

From the publisher of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!

This is it! Thank you for reading 🙂 Did you know any of those titles? Have you read any? 😀

assinatura