Reviews by Sue: The Chocolate House, All For Love Anthology

thGood morning. I trust all of you are missing that hour of sleep as much as I am. I never mind the fall back, but each year, the spring forward knocks the stuffing out of me. It was worse when I was teaching since the students had trouble getting to school on time for a few days, but now it’s just hard to get up when it isn’t quite as light out. And of course, there’s the everlasting snow!

This morning, as I started writing this, I took the time to check out  Six surprising facts about the time change. Did you know spring forward increases your odds of heart attack by 10%? Or that the number of a fatal car accident increase 4-7%? Take time to read the article and be better prepared for the next couple of days.

Today in my review, I’m doing a bit of a public service announcement. Some very good friends of mine Have written an anthology filled with Georgian and Regency romances. The book is meant as a fundraiser for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Some of you may remember the hospital was the recipient of royalties from Barrie’s Peter Pan.  GOSH is a children’s hospital in London, UK, and we all know how important the work of such facilities is. The Chocolate House sells for 99 cents on Amazon.com. It’s an easy way to donate to an excellent cause and support fellow authors.

About The Chocolate House:961799_1802469636645065_550045960_n

A Sensual blend of Chocolate, Romance, Murder & Mystery at “Masqueraders”.

The beautiful City of Bath, famous for its Roman Spa, its Abbey, its Pump Room & Assembly Rooms, and Sally Lunn’s bun shop, is a place made famous within the literary world by the likes of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and other authors of Georgian and Regency historical novels. Thus Bath is renowned as a place for intrigue and romance, but few readers will have stepped across the threshold of Masqueraders’, a notorious and fashionable Chocolate House, that existed within the city from 1700 to the latter part of the reign of William IV. What happened to it thereafter, no one knows, for sure. Nor does anyone know why Sally Lunn’s bun shop disappeared for decades until it was rediscovered.

So it could be said, essence of chocolate drifting on the ether denotes where the seemingly mystical Masqueraders’ once existed, and it is that spiritual essence that has brought authors together from around the globe, to pen a delightful collection of Georgian & Regency romances, that are, all, in some way, linked to The Chocolate House. We sincerely hope you will enjoy the individual stories, and be assured all the royalties earned will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.

The stories: A Rose by Any Other – Giselle Marks. A Fatal Connection – Elizabeth Bailey The Runaway Duchess – Francine Howarth Death at the Chocolate House – Susan Ruth A-Pig-in-a-Poke – Jessica Schira A Little Chocolate in the Morning – David W. Wilkin.

My Review: 5 stars

I downloaded the book to support my friends and the charity, and took the time yesterday to read a couple of the stories. It has been a while since I’d read Georgian and Regency romances, but within seconds, the authors dragged me back in time through the use of clever language and beautiful descriptions. The stories I read were A Rose By Any Other, by Giselle Marks and The Runaway Duchess by Francine Howarth. I will definitely be going in to finish the other stories as soon as I get the chance.

10867004_1802469819978380_278977010_nA Rose By Any Other is the classic damsel in distress story. The beautiful Rose is hiding from her past in Bath. When the Earl of Chisolm  believes his young heir may be being targeting by an actress, he goes to Bath to set things right, but Rosalie King isn’t what he expects and he’s captivated by her. Discovering the lady isn’t what she seems, intrigues him and when he kisses her, his intentions to remain a bachelor for life go out the window. When someone kidnaps his lady love, he has no choice but to ride to the rescue. The story flows well, the actions well paces, and the conclusion eminently satisfying.

The Runaway Duchess is the classic second chance at love story with a twist. The story starts out in Randolph’s POV and I fully expected the story would be about him, but it changes to the POV of Mattij, his cousin and the story turns out to be about the cousin and Juliana, the woman he’d loved and thought he’d lost. The story is poignant and the lovely Frances puts it all in perspective, Mattij’s aunt the Countess or Martock is a force to be reckoned with, a perfect example of the snobbery and sense of self-importance for which the nobility was known. The story ending is satisfying, and I was pleased to see some of the issues brought up successfully concluded. I have the feeling there’s more to the story yet to come.

If you like historical romance set in England in the Regency period, you’ll love these stories and the others in the anthology.

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