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Mayhem but not enough Magic

Magic & Mayhem Book Cover Magic & Mayhem
by Erica Ridley
Romance , Sci Fi & Fantasy
WebMotion
Pub Date 26 Jul 2019

KISSED BY MAGIC Enjoy an Outlander-meets-Frozen romantic comedy: A treasure-hunter risks an ancient curse and ends up trapped inside an icebound castle with a medieval princess! MUST LOVE MAGICPrincess Bride-meets-Office Space romantic comedy: When a magically challenged fairy jeopardizes her apprenticeship by getting involved with a sexy mortal, it's one disaster too many. In order to earn her wings, she'll have to ditch the human–and her one chance at true love. SMITTEN BY MAGIC A former corporate raider plans to redirect his money and attention toward family and good works. Unfortunately, his attempts to make things better meet with one disaster after another. His plans disintegrate further when he runs into an angelic tourist with... wings?

Another set of 4 books, re-issued from first published, revised, edited and improved. But still not quite 4 stars.

Whilst these are romantic comedies they read like they are still early stories where the author is still learning her trade – not as sophisticated as her current novels.

Some were better than others, and they all had a good twist that didn’t rehash the standard fairy story (like Red Riding Hood or Cinderella of which there are far too many on the shelves now).

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And there’s a wife in the Attic?

Gothic Love Stories
by Erica Ridley
Mystery & Thrillers , Romance
WebMotion
Pub Date 23 Aug 2019

TOO WICKED TO KISS When an impoverished bluestocking finds herself at the mercy of an irresistible scoundrel, his touch holds her captive to his every dark desire... TOO SINFUL TO DENY When a disgraced socialite is exiled to an isolated manor atop a pirate-infested cove, the only person who can help her escape is the one man who cannot be trusted with her heart... TOO TEMPTING TO RESIST A rakish lord has the chance to win forgiveness from a lost love... if he can spirit her away from a haunted castle. TOO WANTON TO WED A secretive governess seeks shelter in the towering home of a mysterious recluse who may be even more dangerous than the man she fled.

A set of books in the Gothic genre of historical romances. With brooding heroes and doughty heroines who fight for their right to romance etc.

For me, book 1 took quite a while to actually grab my interest. certainly a set of upper-class horrors were portrayed here, where a kiss makes a girl unmarriageable and age is no barrier, only money.

Women are possessions, things.

Interestingly, reading a recent article about millennial dating and sexual habits we seem to be coming back to this view – it is OK for a male to spit on his partner as one kind of kink/fetish, and semi-strangulation is OK too. Women put up with it as part of the norm for having a boyfriend rather than objecting. Women accept it and expect to be treated as a body rather than partner.

Whatever happened to feminism?!

So gothic heroes are perhaps more the normal type of male these days? Treating women badly is OK?

Luckily in the novels, the women fight back and demand better treatment and get it.

Not really my favourite genre but by the end of the set of novels I was enjoying them more.

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What a Night to Remember

One Night to Remember Book Cover One Night to Remember
Wicked Dukes Club
by Erica Ridley
historical romance
Webmotion
Pub Date: 11 Jun 2019

Notorious whip Giles Langford is surprised to learn his blacksmith is a girl, shocked to realize she’s the out-of-his-league sister of a duke, and horrified to discover he’s fallen in love with the impossible-to-tame woman anyway. With no money and no title, Giles has nothing to offer but his heart...

Felicity Sutton knows poverty firsthand, and she’s never going back. She might miss the smithy, but not the relentless desperation of no home and an empty belly. Of course she’ll accept the stability of a wealthy ton suitor. As for the penniless daredevil she loves, well... At least they’ll have one night to remember.

Meet the unforgettable men of London's most notorious tavern, The Wicked Duke. Seductively handsome, with charm and wit to spare, one night with these rakes and rogues will never be enough... 

Now this was more to my taste than Darcy’s book. The heroine should character and was doing something ‘forbidden’ to her – ie undertaking so-called men’s work. Being a carriage mechanic. Undertaking and devising carriage improvements. Working with her hands – good job Ladies always wore gloves and getting oily and dirty.

She also drove her brother’s curricle – a racing carriage late at night when there was no-one to see, but still not something a Lady should do.

Her only problem was her fixed idea of what she needed from a husband in order to further her ambition to found a trust for poor children.   But she had gumption and showed her intellect.

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Let’s Travel?

One Night of Passion Book Cover One Night of Passion
Wicked Dukes Club
Erica Ridley
Historical Fiction , Romance
WebMotion
14 May 2019

Lifelong romantic Thaddeus Middleton is on the hunt for a wife. He hopes to find a woman more attracted to him than to money. Instead, he finds himself drawn to a spitfire who isn’t interested in him at all! At least, that’s what she says when she’s not kissing him beneath the stars...

Miss Priscilla Weatherby will inherit a fortune… provided she remains unwed and scandal-free. Easy enough, until she meets a man more dangerous than haughty lords and heartless rakes. Thad is a sweet, sexy delight, whose passionate embrace will ruin everything—including her! She’ll sacrifice anything for independence. Even love…

Meet the unforgettable men of London's most notorious tavern, The Wicked Duke. Seductively handsome, with charm and wit to spare, one night with these rakes and rogues will never be enough...

One night of passion was all she wanted – she didn’t think she needed or wanted, to get married, after all it would really interfere with her life – her requirement to remain unmarried in order to inherit a fortune. A fortune that would enable her to live well as a single female on the interest – once invested – and that would allow her to join her father and grandfather in their adventuring. But she had to behave as though she would like to get married – to attend balls and parties etc.

Erica Ridley always writes a good Regency romance and this one adds in the idea that a single female could go adventuring – if she had the money -Gertrude Bell of course is one of the most famous but she was a little later in the century. The one that really could be used as a model was Jane Elizabeth Digby (1807-1881). She managed to marry 3 times, have 5 children, and at the age of 46 married a Sheik and lived in the desert and went adventuring with him.

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Weight it up and read all about it

One Night for Seduction Book Cover One Night for Seduction
#1 Wicked Dukes Club
by Erica Ridley
historical, fiction, romance, Regency
WebMotion (
8 April 2019)
Image result for queen anne wine gallon
This is the best Erica Ridley book I've read so far - and I've read a large number! Why? Because I've learnt a lot of new things about life and shopping in the Regency age.
I had no idea that there were so many different weights and measures around in this time. and I've discovered the origin of why the American gallon is not an English gallon. All of which was very mysterious before.
So in real life there was an Act of Parliament in 1824 that laid down the exact weights for measures in the UK.
A gallon was to be measured as the volume of 10 pounds of distilled water weighed at 62 degrees Fahrenheit, with a barometer pressure of 30 inches or 277.274 cubic inches.
So very precise!
The old Troy pound was later restricted as being used only to weigh drugs, precious metal and jewels.
But it was not until 1963 that the rod and chaldron (who has ever heard of that?! But it was apparently a measure of coal being 36 bushels), were finally abolished.
Now isn't that fascinating?
But to add to the confusion, the American weights and measures guys adopted the units the English used before 1824. This means that an American gallon is based on the Queen Anne wine gallon of 231 cubic inches and is thus 17% smaller than the English. The Old English (Queen Anne) Wine Gallon was standardized as 231 in3 (133 fl oz) in the 1706 Act 5 Anne c27, but it differed before that, as an example the London 'Guildhall' gallon before 1688 was 129.19 fl oz.
And the US bushel is 3% smaller; with the American dry pint being .551 cubic decimeters and the English keeping the wet and dry pint the same at .586 cubic decimeters. Yes the wet American is the same as the English to confuse us all...
I do hope everyone followed all of that!
So for me, the story was in the usual good form of Erica with a great heroine and a somewhat bemused hero but for me,  being a history buff, the weights and measures issue sent me off into research land which doesn't often happen these days. Well done Erica!

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