All three of these books deserve their own review, because I loved them all; but that's not going to happen for Reasons, so rather than let them slip by unmentioned, I'm giving 'em short shrift here.
The Ruin of a Rogue, Miranda Neville: Miranda's one my faves (I allow myself the presumption of her first name, as we've met briefly in person and exchanged tabby pics on Twitter), and there's more great stuff here, as the titular scoundrel, Marcus Lithgow, woos the wealthy, reserved Anne Brotherton. At first it's a con: he's angling for a payoff from her guardian to remove his unsuitable presence...but when he starts to actually enjoy her company, he finds himself considering the unthinkable: becoming an honest man. Charming, witty, sweet, and hot.
The Luckiest Lady in London, Sherry Thomas: Ms. Thomas can wrench my gut like no one else (with the exception of Joss Whedon), and this one's no exception, although here the queasiness comes more from dark eroticism than pathos. Felix Rivendale, having seen the havoc love wreaked on his parents' marriage, has walled up his heart, plastered over the hollow at his core with perfect politeness. What he feels for Louisa Cantwell--in London for one desperate Season, needing to marry rich to support her family--brings out something fierce and possessive in him. And she finds herself in unwelcome lust at first sight; he makes her want to do things well-bred young ladies do not do, even as she finds his charming facade repugnant. It's messed up, you guys, and it's a testament to Ms. Thomas's awe-inspiring talent that she coaxes an actual love story out of them, and earns a happy ending.
To Charm a Naughty Countess, Theresa Romain: This one's not out till May, but I got an advance copy cause we're besties! (Also, she lent me the previous two books, because my book-buyin' budget is currently nil. Thank you, sweetie.) Her writing just keeps getting better, and her Matchmaker Trilogy for Sourcebooks (of which this is the second) does some unique and important things for the genre. Here, most notably, we have a hero with an anxiety disorder: Michael, the Duke of Wyverne, isn't just shy and awkward, but overwhelmed by crowds, helpless before the niceties of social interaction. He gets headaches, suffers panic attacks, and the heroine, Caroline, can only help, not fix him. Theresa also sets this in 1816, the Year Without a Summer, which seriously needs to show up in novels more often. Good show, m'dear!
ALSO: I've decide to shutter this blog for the time being. I've been writing for five years, and have never been willing to do what's required to build an actual audience; my posts average a couple dozen views, and it's simply not worth the stress. I want to read what I want and then not have it staring at me waiting to be blogged about. I still plan to write the occasional review for F5, and gush about books on my Tumblr. Join me there if you'd like!