Tag Archives: Elizabeth Hoyt

My Favourite/Favorite Romance Novel Couples

There are books and novellas that I recommend. There are novels I loathed.

This list is my favourite romance novel couples and there is a separate one for my favourite heroes and heroines as individual characters. If I put them in order, I’d never get this list published, so they aren’t.

If you’re uncertain, I suggest leaning towards the couples list for a starting point.

Balogh, Mary Slightly Dangerous CLASSIC
Bowen, Sarina Blonde Date novella  CLASSIC
Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Him
Bryce, Megan To Tame a Dragon
Chase, Loretta Dukes Prefer Blondes  – LOVE THEM
Cole, Kresley Dark Desires After Duska guilty pleasure THUNDER SEX™!
Dare, Tessa One Dance with a Duke
Dare, Tessa Any Duchess Will Do
Duran, Meredith Fool Me Twice
Florand, Laura All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Kiss
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Touch – Top 5 romance and couple
Florand, Laura The Chocolate Heart Whoops! One of my least favourite couples.
Florand, Laura Chase Me
Gabaldon, Diana Outlander  OBVIOUSLY, plus the series
Garwood, Julie The Gift – Old School
Hoyt, Elizabeth The Ice Princess
Kelly, Carla The Lady’s Companion
Kelly, Carla Marrying the Captain
Kennedy, Elle The Deal
Kinsale, Laura Flowers from the Storm
Kleypas, Lisa Dreaming of You
Kleypas, Lisa Where Dreams Begin
Kleypas, Lisa Again the Magic
Kleypas, Lisa Secrets of a Summer Night
Kleypas, Lisa The Devil in Winter 
Kleypas, Lisa Love in the Afternoon
Lauren, Christina Beautiful Player
Lauren, Christina Dirty Rowdy Thing
Linden, Caroline One Night in London
Long, Julie Anne Like No Other Lover
Long, Julie Anne What I Did for a Duke  CLASSIC
Long, Julie Anne A Notorious Countess Confesses 
MacLean, Sarah One Good Earl Deserves a Lover
McNaught, Judith Almost Heaven  OLD SCHOOL
Milan, Courtney The Duchess War
Milan, Courtney The Suffragette Scandal  IF YOU READ ONLY ONE…
Parker, Lucy Act Like It
Phillips, Susan Elizabeth Natural Born Charmer
Quinn, Julia An Offer from a Gentleman
Quinn, Julia Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Quinn, Julia It’s In His Kiss
Reid, Penny Neanderthal Seeks Human
Reid, Penny Beauty and the Mustache
Spencer, LaVyrle Vows
Thorne, Sally The Hating Game CLASSIC
Willig, Lauren The Seduction of the Crimson Rose 

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful or my  streamlined recommendations list.

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The Ice Princess & Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Elizabeth Hoyt is one of the big names in historical romance and her novel The Raven Prince is considered a classic of the genre. She tends to be a little earthy for my tastes, but I have read portions of several of her novels and I did indeed read all of The Ice Princess and Scandalous Desires.  I really liked the former, the latter was nothing special.

A novella, The Ice Princess features Coral, the madame of a brothel called The Grotto which is featured in other Hoyt works, and Isaac Wargate, a naval captain who spends time in the brothel not being serviced, but looking out for his men and watching out for Coral. In a common romance trope, Isaac wins exclusive access  to Coral for a period of seven nights in a card game. (My inner feminist cringes while typing such things, then I read another romance because being a feminist is about the right to make choices.) Coral has not been with clients in a long time, although she was not spared years as a prostitute, and Isaac wants desperately to get to the woman he glimpses underneath her literal and figurative mask. He is a patient man. Coral uses her experience and acumen to put him off, but he wins her over with kindness and patience, she rescues herself, and they sail off into the sunset together. It’s a lovely little novella not about the redemptive power of love exactly, but more the power of seeing one’s own freedom through another’s eyes.

Scandalous Desires is a standard up-from-the-gutter romance featuring a Pirate King because, yes, this is a genre in which a “Pirate King” is standard fare. Mickey O’Connor works ships on the Thames for his living and he has amassed a considerable fortune and a formidable reputation. Romance heroes who clawed their way up from nothing always do. About a year ago, Silence Hollingbrook (I don’t care what you say, that name is AWESOME) spent one night with Mickey because of something, something, her husband, something, widow. Mickey has a bastard daughter he wants Silence to take care of, first at the foundling home she helps run and then living at his Pirate King pad. Hijinks and romance ensue. Hijinks that weren’t very compelling to me, didn’t rise above what is common in the genre, and, this is important part, their relationship was uninteresting. It always comes back to that one detail. If the emotional lives and connection of the characters are sincere and well-portrayed, the book becomes engaging. Mickey and Silence’s weren’t and the book wasn’t.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.