Books, TBR Challenge

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

One month down in the 2020 TBR Challenge! Did you start off with a bang or a whimper?

I seem to have started off with a bang for a change 🙂 I think I’m still in Read All The Books mode even though I’ve been back at the day job for weeks now. I’m not complaining, though! I’m working my way through Courtney Milan’s Brothers Sinister series, and her books are always a treat. I managed to read one of the Random App books that I’d purchased in 2012 (!) and discovered that another was a duplicate of one I already had, so I’m making progress on that front, too. Plus, Goodreads says I’m a little bit a head of the game for my overall reading goal, which will make it easier to get back to writing more than just a few words here and there (which I need to do soon!).

So overall I’m pretty happy with where I’m at, reading-wise. We’ll see how long that lasts 😉

courtesy of Jbuatti via Wikimedia Commons

Free Books Worth Reading

I work at a small school and bring home a small paycheck. I’m also looking for a new place to live, so I’m trying to save as much money as possible. How, then, does a girl get her reading fix on a tiny budget?

Answer: free books. Good ones.

The Devil You Know by Victoria Vane—today’s the last day to snag this erotic Georgian novella. I haven’t read this one yet, but I read A Wild Night’s Bride, the first in the series, and liked it a lot. DeVere is definitely a wounded soul, for all he tries very hard to hide it, and those are some of my favorite heroes. I’m very excited to get to know him better, and see his wounds healed.

Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury—the first in the After Cilmeri series, this time-travel romance is technically YA, but I didn’t realize it until I was halfway through the series (which becomes a time-travel/alternate history/ series with romantic Medieval maiden and knightelements). It takes place in medieval Wales, when modern-day Meg finds herself transported to the court of Llewlyn the Last. He’s one of my historical favorites, so I may be a bit biased, but I liked this book immensely, and devoured the rest of the series.

Forevermore by Lauren Royal—a short novella set in 1667 England. A Scottish gentleman woos an English woman who is not only a widow with a daughter, but several years older than he is. It’s a quick read, but so good I want to dive into the rest of the series (and this is my first experience with Lauren Royal).

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan—a Regency romance where the duke isn’t the main character. The hero this time is his employee, tasked with “fixing” the duke’s problems (in this case, a governess named Serena who has been ill-used by said duke). It’s a long novella or a short novel (about 200 pages), so the story develops well, but doesn’t get bogged down in too many details.

Midnight Marriage by Lucinda Brandt—I haven’t read this Georgian romance yet, but I devoured Salt Bride and have heard wonderful things about this series. A young pamela-richardsongirl is drugged and wed to a rebellious lad in the dead of night. She’s returned to her bed, he’s shipped off to the continent. They meet again as adults. Are you curious about what happens next? I certainly am!

The Wild One by Danielle Harmon—a Georgian romance featuring an irresponsible but good-hearted lord, and his dead brother’s American fiancée. I’m always wary of period romances that include American heroines because they’re frequently portrayed as ill-mannered, but necessary because of their large dowries. This is not the case here; Gareth was fun to read, and Juliet was a good balance for him. Throw in Juliet’s daughter, and Gareth’s obvious adoration for her, and you’ve got a winner.

Didn’t see anything here you fancy? Have you already read these? Click here for the list of Kindle historical romances available for free…and let me know what you found!


Favorite First Lines

Since school started last week, I’ve been up to my neck in summer reading papers. So I thought now would be a good time to celebrate one of the fun parts of reading by sharing the opening lines of some of my favorite romances.


“When Tiberius Lamartine Flynn heard the tree singing, his first thought was that he’d parted company with his reason.”  —Grace Burrowes, Once Upon a Tartan

“In the tender green time of April, Katherine set forth at last upon her journey with the two nuns and the royal messenger.” —Anya Seton, Katherine

“The spy called Saint hunkered down in the bottom of the wardrobe she’d occupied for the last four hours and attempted to stifle a yawn.” —Shana Galen, Lord and Lady Spy

“Kate squinted up at the sky. Her nine-year-old imagination raced as fast as the wooly clouds that floated above her. A lamb, a dragon—and that big one, surely that was a giant with a horrid hooked nose.” —Anne Easter Smith, A Rose for the Crown

“ ‘Whatever fool claimed females to be the weaker sex never met my sister.’ ” —Candice Hern, The Best Intentions

“He was dead. However, his nose throbbed painfully, which he thought odd in the circumstances.” —Diana Gabaldon, Voyager

“Everyone knew that Sophie Beckett was a bastard.” —Julia Quinn, An Offer From A Gentleman

“Not every fairy tale begins with a prince or a princess. Some begin with a kiss that turns a man into a frog, or a tumble on the road that turns a basket of eggs into scramble.” —Eloisa James, Storming The Castle

“Gwen’s pulse beat so loudly in her ears, the sound drowned out the rumble of voices in the hall. He was here! And he still loved her!” —Sarah Woodbury, The Uninvited Guest

“So this was how it felt to be a conquering hero.” —Courtney Milan, Unveiled


Okay, so which ones did I forget? What are some of your favorite first lines?