Nocturne by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

First let me start off by saying I love sexy steamy romance novels, the steamier the better. This book was not one of them. Nocturne is a gentle love story about two lonely people who find each other through their passion for music.

Young governess Ella Montgomery is still grieving the death of her beloved father when she is hired at Blackheath Manor. The earl and his countess are not very welcoming, but their five year old twin daughters are adorable, making the job bearable. Ella is utterly alone since she is unable to befriend any servants–and the housekeeper seems to despise her.

When Ella discovers a mystery man playing piano late one night she befriends him. He turns out to be the earl’s brother Thomas who has been kept hidden away due to his crippling wounds from the war. Their love of music bring them together, while finding a friend each so desperately needs. Their falling in love was believable and not rushed at all, despite this being a novella.

This was a sweet story with a happy ending full of hope and new beginnings.

Taken by the Duke by Jess Michaels

Romeo and Juliet meets Beauty and the Beast.

In Taken by the Duke we first learn there is an age old feud between two families.The story starts off with a heartbreaking fatal accident. (I was crying over the prologue!)

To avenge his sister’s death, Christian Rothcastle kidnaps Lady Ava Windbury, the sister of his enemy. A simple abduction turns into a sinful bargain. Ava agrees to stay with Christian for three weeks as his mistress if he promises not to hurt her brother. The only problem is once they start, neither wants it to end.

This is a highly erotic historical romance. There are a lot of graphic sex scenes, but they are exquisitely written and emotionally charged.

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