Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss by Julie Johnstone, Katherine Bone, Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas, Lauren Smith, Victoria Vane
Release Date: January 4, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital, Inc.
Source: book provided by the author for review
USA Today Bestselling author, Julie Johnstone, joins bestselling, award-winning authors Katherine Bone, Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Samantha Grace, Alanna Lucas, Lauren Smith, and Victoria Vane in this delightful limited edition, containing eight tantalizing kiss-and-tell stories. Meet dashing, wildly charming rogues, spies, pirates, rakes and their extraordinary, intrepid heroines as they whisk you along on sweet to sizzling romantic romps in these wickedly entertaining historical romances.
AFTER FOREVER by JULIE JOHNSTONE, USA Today bestselling author. Lady Julia is hired to turn a rogue into a gentleman and receives lessons in love and desire.
THE PIRATE’S DUCHESS by KATHERINE BONE, National bestselling author. A duke masquerading as a pirate to “rob from the rich and give to the poor” sheds his darkest-kept secrets to keep from losing the duchess his wife has become.
HER SCANDALOUS WISH by COLLETTE CAMERON, National bestselling and Award-winning author. A marriage offer obligated by duty . . . an acceptance compelled by desperation.
MILADY AND HER SPY by JILLIAN CHANTAL, 2015 RONE Finalist. A lady, a spy, a traitor… a battle of wills.
KISSED BY A SCOTTISH ROGUE by SAMANTHA GRACE, Acclaimed, RITA-nominated author. Scottish land steward Fergus McTaggert calls a temporary truce with his employer’s companion only to discover their passionate battles have been masking their hidden desires.
STOLEN KISSES FROM THE VISCOUNT by ALANNA LUCAS, National bestselling author. A rake, an heiress, and stolen kisses…this seduction could be his last.
TEMPTED BY A ROGUE by LAUREN SMITH, National bestselling, Award-winning author. Gemma never
planned on falling in love with her childhood sweetheart’s best friend, Jasper, when he returns home, but she can’t resist the naval officer’s brooding charm.
THE REDEMPTION OF JULIAN PRICE by VICTORIA VANE, National bestselling author. She gave him a chance to bury his past…but the price would be his heart.
Review: I love anthologies because you buy it to read something new from a beloved author and most times you find a new author along the way. I also enjoy the bit of variety in the stories as they capture the essence of the time making me fall in love with the time period all over again. The gentleness, the passion, the intrigue, the pure promiscuity that shows things never change from time to time. They can be very entertaining while being witty, funny and charming. They are full of characters that keep you on your toes…Whether you love the ton of England, the Scottish Countryside or a Pirate and his sea there is something for everyone in this anthology.
Pirate’s Duchess by Katherine Bone — Prudence’s husband returns from the dead on her wedding day. Tobias who now goes by the name Black Regent has been living as a pirate all these years; a Robin Hood of the high seas.
I really enjoyed Ms. Bone’s world of pirating. She invites you in and shows you a world that she has filled with details of life as a pirate. She made the story of Prudence and Tobias come to life with characters that unfold showing you what they feel. It was a fast paced story full of action and adventure leaving you on the horizon not knowing where these two were going to take you.
I enjoyed Ms. Bone’s story and look forward to more from this talented author. She has a way of bringing the Pirate to life right in your home.
After Forever by Julie Johnstone — Noble woman Lady Julianna overhears ex-boxer Nash having a meeting of sorts with a women. As she listens she steps in standing up for Nash. Nash finds this woman…well just what he is looking for. Nash wants to be taught the way of the ton…good manners, so his daughter is insured a good future. Nash finds Julianna perfect in every way possible.
Ms. Johnstone gives us a match that may not seem to work but it does. I found that I fell in love with Nash right away. He was the scoundrel that everyone thought him to be. I loved this fun story of falling in love all over again. Ms. Johnstone kept it moving along at a fast pace never allowing me to become bored with her characters. You wouldn’t have gotten bored with Nash and Julianna anyways.
Her Scandalous Wish by Collette Cameron — This to me was a beauty and the beast switch. Philomena was abandoned by the love of her life; having been scared by the fire that took her parents lives. Philomena’s brother is deathly ill and needs to marry her off so she is taken care of and also because they need the money.
In walks Bradford her long lost love who has abandoned her. He thought she had died. Why he didn’t stick around to find out? Ms. Cameron shows us that sometimes we are given a second chance at love with it being our choice to take it or give it up. I liked the story but was left with a lot of unanswered questions which I did overlook as it is hard at times to fit all you want to say in a short story. Story had lots of explaining on Bradford’s part. But overall a nice read.
Milady and Her Spy by Jillian Chantal — I loved Lady Augusta from the start. She was her own woman holding her own in a man’s world. She loved to fence, ride and hunt to name a few. So she wouldn’t work with a namby pamby man. In walks Myles Cuthbert a spy. Perfect…
Myles needs help finding a traitor and enlists Augusta’s help.
This was a fun passion filled adventure. Ms. Chantal shows us how easy it was for Augusta to adapt to the life of a spy. She seemed to have a lot of fun in the process. She gave us well developed characters that were fun. Augusta was a modern woman in regency England. Enjoyed this story.
Kissed by a Scottish Rogue by Samantha Grace — Finally a working class love story… guess what it absolutely works. Land Stewart Fergus McTaggert doesn’t like his employer’s paid companion Edith Gallagher. They butt heads all the time, fighting. But they find that they have one thing in common and that is their loyalty to their employer. So they find they must work together to make the Christmas party a success.
Ms. Grace takes two wonderful characters from dislike to friendship and finally love. It’s the natural process right? Well for some anyways. It worked for me. I found it easy to relate to the characters because of their working background not one of privilege. Sometimes not knowing what the other had to endure or overcome to get to where they are now, not really knowing everything can make one a little skeptical. It was fun to watch them overcome their odds and fall in love. This was a really sweet romance.
Stolen Kisses from the Viscount by Alanna Lucas — Who hasn’t had a wrong first impression about someone. Lady Aveline was not going to marry a rake no that just would not do. She wants a different life than what her parents had. Just saying a rake would be so much more fun. Lord Leybourne can really be a rake at times but after all he has a title and everything that Aveline wants…really?
A Ms. Lucas fold in a lot of twists and turns into their relationship but for me it just wasn’t enough it fell flat but was still an okay read.
Tempted by a Rogue by Lauren Smith — Gemma and Jasper a love made through letters. Gemma has written letters to her best friend for years. When it turns out that the letters weren’t written by her best friend but her best friend’s best friend. Did you follow that? To top it off Gemma was finding she was falling for Jasper who is the author of the letters and didn’t want to tell her best friend that. Confused yet?
Ms. Smith wrote a funny, quick read with a very endearing love story. She gave us characters that were easy to fall in love with along with a story that was charming. Why doesn’t anyone write letter’s anymore. It could be fun.
The Redemption of Julian Price by Victoria Vane — Best friends since childhood…always in love with each other…but, Henrietta had an understanding with Julian’s best friend Thomas who just died in the war. Julian unsure of his worth is thrown back into Henrietta’s life. Money…the root of problems. Short story…Henrietta inherits a lot of money from an Aunt who happens to know exactly what Henrietta will do with it.
Ms. Vane takes us from a friendship to lovers and that is just how it should be. These two went through a lot. They survived. Julian is the one that needs saved and Henrietta is the right person for the job. It was easy to fall for Julian and Henrietta as I watched their love unfold; taking them slowly from friendship to lovers. Ms. Vane gave us a twist on the normal regencies which was refreshing because instead of the woman needing the saving it was the man. Fun/fast paced and just a little different.
So, I have to say this was a very enjoyable collection of stories with just the right amount of adventure, intrigue, romance, rogues, pirates and Scottish men to cover anyone’s taste. Find that comfy chair and settle in for your own adventure.