January 21, 2019 07:29 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
December’s books offered a great wrap-up to my 2018 reading. Out of seven full-length books and three novellas/short stories, only one didn’t make the cut, so I’m really pleased with such a nice group of books to end the year. A few of those were five-star reads, as well, which was the icing on the cake. The stand-out romance from among them was an older Harlequin Historical title that turned out to be a really fun, delightful story, one that took the concept of Midsummer Madness to a whole new level. I can be pretty particular about romantic comedies, but this one was a very enjoyable farce that somehow managed to be both humorous and touching.
Although he knows he’ll have to marry someday, Brandon is perfectly happy playing the rogue, even though it’s earned him a couple of illegitimate offspring, but he takes his responsibility as a father to them seriously. When his father approaches the king about Brandon’s reluctance to marry, the king views it as his duty to see his loyal knight settled, so he declares that Brandon will marry the Lady Katherine. The only problem is that the lady’s nephew has made her out to be an old crone who might be a witch and who might have even killed her previous husbands. Wanting to know what kind of woman she really is before diving into marriage, Brandon schemes to trade places with his best friend, Jack, upon his first meeting with the lady. However, he soon finds himself falling for her strong, lovely, intelligent cousin instead. Brandon is an honorable and chivalrous knight, and while he may not be the silver-tongued devil with a talent for making ladies swoon like his friend Jack is, he can certainly say some very sweet and seductive things. He’s also a consummate protector to Katherine and the rest of his family when he discovers that her nephew is up to no good.
Lady Katherine hasn’t had much luck when it comes to marriage. Her first husband was an elderly man she had to nurse until he died just eighteen months after their wedding, while her second husband was an abusive lout with a penchant for drinking, gambling, and womanizing. Now widowed a second time, she’d hoped to spend the rest of her days in solitude, or at least, not marry again unless it was for love. That’s why when an order comes from the king himself that she’s to be betrothed to a complete stranger, and one who it’s rumored may bear some resemblance to her last husband, Katherine knows she must find out what kind of man he is first before marrying him. So she concocts a plan in which she’ll temporarily trade places with her beloved cousin, Miranda, when he arrives. The only problem is that she finds herself falling for her betrothed’s best friend instead. Katherine is a loving, caring, intelligent woman who always looks out for those for whom she’s responsible. She’s also very accepting of Brandon and his ready-made family and has a great sense of humor about their respective deceptions, making her an all-around wonderful and relatable heroine.
Overall, this book was pure, unadulterated fun to read. It boasts an extensive and superb supporting cast, including the real Jack and Miranda who fall for one another every bit as much as the real Brandon and Katherine do, but they’re miserable, thinking that they’re in love with someone they can’t have. Their pairing offered a second sweet romantic couple that I could root for. I also adored Brandon’s two impish children, Francis and Belle. The story is slightly dramatic in places, as the dastardly nephew plots to commit murder, but it still remains lighthearted most of the time. I’m not particularly well-versed on Shakespeare, but I have a feeling that the author’s love of the Bard and her experiences with Shakespearean productions definitely played into this story. Even though I often don’t find romantic comedies satisfying, this one really hit the spot. That’s why I’m naming Tori Phillips’ Midsummer’s Knight as my December Book of the Month. If you enjoy historical romance with a chivalrous knight hero and his fair maiden heroine embroiled in some fun identity swapping that leads to much hilarity, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
The lover or the fool...
Read my complete review of Midsummer’s Knight.
If you would like to win a copy of Midsummer’s Knight to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Sorry, but the paperback version is OOP. That being the case, one lucky winner will receive an eBook copy of the book, which I will gift to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N).a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tags: Tori Phillips