Friday, September 25
My Hidden Gem of Romance this month was another accidental library find. Matter of fact I believe it was the same trip that I discovered Anne Gracie. Obviously I was in the romance section, and at the time I was reading only historical romances, mainly set in the Regency period. What can I say I love Regency romances just about as much as I love Highland romances :) Anyways, I guess I was feeling adventurous because I picked up two new to me authors, Anne Gracie's because of the title, and Olivia Parker's....well I can't really tell you why I decided to pick it up. The cover is certainly not anything to write home about (I actually really detest it), the back blurb is like so many others, and the title...meh. Nothing it would seem to make it stand out. Maybe it was "divine intervention", I don't know. One thing I do know is that I would have missed out on one of my absolute favorite Regency romances if I wouldn't have taken it home. That's saying a lot I know considering some of the great authors out there. I thought At the Bride Hunt Ball was so refreshing and reminded me of the earlier Julia Quinn novels that I also love.
Olivia Parker's debut novel At the Bride Hunt Ball is a light-hearted and sexy historical romance filled with lots of witty dialogue between her hero and her heroine, Gabriel and Madelyn. I found myself laughing several times, especially in a scene where Madelyn's inherent clumsiness results in a comedic moment due to a bee and a lily pond. I think you can imagine what happens next :) But then, I found myself enraptured in a sexy archery lesson, in addition to a very poignant scene in which Gabriel and Madelyn share a private waltz.
I love Olivia's style of writing because not only does she write endearing H/h characters, and dialogue, but she also adds fabulous secondary characters like Charlotte, Tristan, Rosalind and Rothbury. These characters add so much to the story that I can only hope that they will all receive their own stories in due time. I am currently reading Olivia's second book To Wed a Wicked Earl (Charlotte and Rothbury's story) and while I am not very far into the book, I am loving it just as much as I thought I would.
At the Bride Hunt Ball is a fun and witty Regency romp that is, at times, very reminiscent of an early Julia Quinn novel. Which is why I think it is amusing that Julia gave this quote for the cover of To Wed A Wicked Earl:
"Utterly charming!" Julia Quinn.
Another quote that I think reveals a lot about Olivia Parker and the kind of books she strives to write is the one she has on her website on her "about" page:
"I dearly love a laugh....follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can." Miss Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.
Ok so now you have an "if you like Julia Quinn I think you'll really like Olivia Parker", a quote from Julia herself stating how "charming" Olivia's books are, and you have an author who quotes Elizabeth Bennet. I ask you what more of an endorsement do you need? My answer: None, read it. I just adore her books, and if you haven't read At the Bride Hunt Ball then I would urge you to do so. I don't think you'll be disappointed, and while your at it go ahead and pick up To Wed a Wicked Earl. I promise that you are going to love the secondary characters enough that you will want to read their stories too :)
To Snare a Bride...
To Gabriel Devine, Duke of Wolverest, the bonds of marriage are nothing more than shackles. He has shocked the ton with his declaration that he will not be taking a bride. But if he's to remain a lifelong bachelor, that leaves only his younger brother to carry on the family name. Inviting the ton's seven most eligible ladies to an elegant ball and ensconcing them in his ancestral castle where one would be picked for the esteemed position at the end of a fortnight, Gabriel is certain any one of them would be all too eager to become the next duchess and provide an heir -- leaving Gabriel to continue his ecstatic pursuit of pleasure. But trouble comes in the form of Miss Madelyn Haywood--the only woman in England who doesn't want to be included in this scandalous bride-to-be elimination.
To Catch a Rogue...
Her social-climbing stepmother would give anything to have Madelyn Haywood betrothed to a future duke. But Madelyn believes the brothers Devine to be nothing more than heartless rogues -- especially Gabriel, whose rakish reputation precedes him. He is nothing more than a slave to passion, and she will not be conquered by his caresses -- and yet his wicked ways tempt her so...
If you are so inclined you can click on the photos above to purchase these books. And you can learn more about Olivia Parker on her website.
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