ARC Reviews

01/11/2019

The Midnight Hour: All Hallows' Brides: (A Gothic Regency Historical Romance collection) by Collected Authors. My REview.



When doors creak and ghostly whispers are heard in the midnight hour, this stunning collection of Gothic Regency Historical Romance is sure to leave you breathless with Poe-inspired, romantic dreams…

Welcome to the All-Hallows’ Brides collection. Seven of your favorite Historical Romance authors have come together for a collection of never-before published stories that will give you a chill, a thrill, and have you reading them again and again. Inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, you’ve never seen a collection like this by some of the biggest names in Historical Romance.

The title of each story is named for their 'Bride':

Emma by Kathryn Le Veque
Aislin by Meara Platt
Sarah by Scarlett Scott
Madeleine by Mary Lancaster
Beth by Maggi Andersen
Hyacinth by Chasity Bowlin
Eleanor by Sydney Jane Baily
Cora by Mary Wine


So, grab your candle and lock your door, and settle down to read this smashing collection of darkly-tinged romantic tales with unforgettable heroes and magnificent ladies. Romance has never been so daring… or so Gothic.

And if you hear a knock on your door… don’t answer it.

Unless you are prepared to welcome a wandering wraith in a tattered wedding gown…

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



A great set of stories. Some spooky some not but all really well worth reading. 

Emma,

by Kathryn LeVeque. 

☆☆☆☆☆

This might be a shorter story than usual from this author but it's still a wonderful one. 
It starts in the present time with characters that just might have met in a previous life. 
We go back in time to the traumatic time when our careless hero and unfortunate heroine first met. 
I would love this to have been fleshed out to a full length book but I loved it anyway. 
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Aislin, 

By Meara Platt.

☆☆☆☆☆

William has lived as the pirate Lucifer for the last three years,  with very little memory of what happened before. Now however he has been having dreams of a woman who is obviously special to him.  So it's back to the place he hopes to find her for him. 
Aislin is apparently a very dangerous woman to know.  Her father holds a lot of power in the smuggling community,  and if anyone threatens what is his they have a tendency to dissapear forever. 
An action packed story with danger from all sides.  Both our characters are strong and possibly a bit too brave. The mystery they have to solve while not knowing who is on which side gives us a lot of excitement and a few giggles. 
I loved it. 
****************************

Sarah,

By Scarlett Scott. 

☆☆☆☆☆

Lady Sarah Bolingbroke is determined to have revenge for herself and her sister from the man who destroyed them both.  A masked ball seems like the perfect opportunity.  
Phillip the Earl of Markham gave up on love a few years ago when he was tricked but had a lucky escape. 
This is a lovely story that shows us that not everything we are told is true,  and sometimes it's those closest to us that lie the most.  Great characters that are easy to love,  and a mischievous story line.  
Good fun.  
**********************************

Madeline. 

By Mary Lancaster.  
☆☆☆☆☆

Miss Madeline Deare has returned to England to be with her brother after the death of her father.  Her brother seems intent on taking her to see as many unattached men as he can,  even though she's told him she not interested in marriage.  
Mr Robert Usher has been a soldier for years but has now returned home. It's not a particularly happy place.  The whole family has a reputation for being slightly crazy,  maybe it's true.  Maybe it's someone with evil intentions.  
A nice dark romance, with a damaged hero and a heroine with a good and strong heart.  
I always enjoy the "spooky" touch in this authors books.  
Loved it.  
**********************************

Beth, 

By Maggi Andersen. 
✰✰✰✰✰

Beth Harrismith was hoping to go to her first ball with her sister,  but a family emergency changes everything.  Little do they know there is mischief afoot.  
Marcus Neyland has been asked to keep an eye on friend's sister in law.  What starts as a pleasant evening turns into a race for a young girl's safety. 
A fast paced adventure with great characters.  
**********************************

Hyacinth, 

By Chastity Bowlin. 
★★★★★

Hyacinth is a companion to Lady Arabella and accompaning her on a visit to her cousin.  A near tragedy will put her in the arms of her host. 
Ian Blake Lord of Dumbarton knows his mother and cousin are matchmaking but that does help the way he feels.  
Really good fun.  

**********************************

Eleanor,  

by Sydney Jane Baily. 
★★★★★

Miss Eleanor Blackwood is staying with friends on the way to visit her sister.  There are lots of great memories and friends to see.  Including the handsome Grayson O'Connor. 
A lovely Gothic romance full of fun and adventure.  
Obviously part of a very good series. 
**********************************

Raven, 

By Violetta Rand. 
☆☆☆☆

James the Earl of Darkmoor has been morning the loss of his love for five years.  She vanished one night and he has never been able to put her out of his heart.  Maybe this anniversary will be easier, and he can move on.  
A very short spooky story.  
**********************************


AMAZON:US * AMAZON:UK



KATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY's HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD'Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also quintuple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2016.
Kathryn's Medieval Romance novels have been called 'detailed', 'highly romantic', and 'character-rich'. She crafts great adventures of love, battles, passion, and romance in the High Middle Ages. More than that, she writes for both women AND men - an unusual crossover for a romance author - and Kathryn has many male readers who enjoy her stories because of the male perspective, the action, and the adventure.

Kathryn loves to hear from her readers.

Connect with Kathryn:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub
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Meara Platt is happily married to her Russell Crowe look-alike husband, and they have two terrific children. She lives in one of the many great towns on Long Island, New York, and loves it, except for the traffic. She has traveled extensively, occasionally lectures and finds time to write. Her favorite place in all the world is England’s Lake District, which may not come as a surprise since many of her stories are set in that idyllic landscape, including her Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award winning story.

WEBSITE *   TWITTER * FACEBOOK * GOODREADS 
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Amazon bestselling author Scarlett Scott writes steamy Victorian and Regency historical romances with strong, intelligent heroines and sexy alpha heroes. She lives in Pennsylvania with her Canadian husband, their adorable identical twins, and one TV-loving dog.

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Mary Lancaster's first love was historical fiction. Since then she has grown to love coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films - simultaneously where possible. She hates housework.

As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University, after which she worked variously as editorial assistant, researcher and librarian. Although she has always written stories for her own entertainment, she began to make serious efforts toward publication in order to distract herself from a job she disliked. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband and three children.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter * BookBub

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Maggi Andersen wrote her first book for publication after gaining a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing. She lives with her husband, a retired lawyer in an historic country town near Sydney, Australia. She wrote her first adventure story at 8 years old. Her novels are still adventure stories, but also seductive romances. Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt among others, inspired her Regencies and she also writes contemporary romantic suspense, darker, Victorian mysteries and young adult novels.

Maggi supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books, IFAW and Youth off the Streets.

 Website * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook

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Chasity Bowlin lives in central Kentucky with her husband and their menagerie of animals. She loves writing, loves traveling and enjoys incorporating tidbits of her actual vacations into her books. She is an avid Anglophile, loving all things British, but specifically all things Regency. 

Growing up in Tennessee, spending as much time as possible with her doting grandparents, soap operas were a part of her daily existence, followed by back to back episodes of Scooby Doo. Her path to becoming a romance novelist was set when, rather than simply have her Barbie dolls cruise around in a pink convertible, they time traveled, hosted lavish dinner parties and one even had an evil twin locked in the attic. 

If you'd like to know more, please sign up for Chasity's newsletter at the link below: 
https://www.subscribepage.com/a6k1e7


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Sydney Jane Baily completed her first novel at the tender age of 17. Thankfully, that manuscript currently resides in an undisclosed secure location. She went on to get B.A. degrees in English literature and in history, and an M.A. in literature with a concentration in Romanticism. During her career while continuing to write stories, she has been a copy editor, cat snuggler, proof reader, production editor, mother of two, website developer, indexer, and dog walker, among other things literary and not. 

While writing historical romance, she firmly believes in crafting happily-ever-after stories for an already challenging world. Born and raised in California, she currently resides in New England with her family—human, feline, and canine.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter * BookBub

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Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Violetta Rand spent her childhood reading, writing, and playing soccer. After meeting her husband in New England, they moved to Alaska where she studied environmental science. Violetta spent a decade working as a scientist before quitting her day job to pursue her dream as a full time writer.

Violetta still lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and spends her days writing evocative contemporary and historical romance. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys time with her husband, pets, and friends.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

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