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angel's caress deana james franco

Historical Romance Review: Angel’s Caress by Deana James

book review historical romance
Angel's Caress by Deana James
Rating: one-half-stars
Published: 1989
Illustrator: Franco Accornero
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Book Series: Hunter-Gillard Series #4
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Civil War Romance, Romance with Rape Element, Forced Seduction
Pages: 447
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Historical Romance Review: Angel’s Caress by Deana James


The Book and the Characters

This review is of Angel’s Caress, book #4 in the “Texas/ Hunter-Gillard” series by Deana James. (Zebra/KensingtonJuly 1989).

Heroine: Fair Eleanor-Christine “Ellie Crain,” 16. Black hair, golden eyes.

Hero: Cash Gillard. Dark blonde hair, brown eyes. Courier/soldier, Union Army. Rapist.

The Plot

Part I: There Came an Angel from the East

The book begins on a farm in Tennessee during the Civil War. Living on the farm are members of the Crain family. There is an unnamed man called Grandpaw; his daughter, Mahala; her stepdaughter Fair Eleanor-Christine ”Ellie” Crain; and Mahala’s biological children, two daughters, Mary Magdalene and Viola; and a brother, Jeremiah “Jere.”

Mahala’s husband–-and the children’s father–-Thomas Peyton, is off fighting for the Confederacy in the war. The family is forced out of their home by Union soldiers.

Among them is Cash Gillard, the hero of the book. Cash later rapes Ellie.

Part II: In Frost!

Upon discovering Ellie and Cash’s relationship, Mahala throws Ellie out of the Crain homestead. Ellie goes with Cash and becomes a laundress for the Union Army.

We also learn a bit about Cash’s background. He is the son of Alex Gillard, and the grandson of Caroline Fancy England Gillard and Hunter Gillard, from Deana James’ previous Zebra romance, Captive Angel.

Alex later appears, separately visiting both Cash and Ellie.

Part III: Out Fire!

Ellie returns home, and Cash is shot and wounded as the fighting in the war intensifies. He later comes to the Crain homestead, where Ellie nurses him back to health, much to the chagrin of Mahala, who orders him to leave.

Cash does, taking Ellie with him and they live… Happily one supposes.


The best part of Angel’s Caress is the last chapter, where some of the questions raised after Captive Angel are answered. The revelations are both surprising and interesting.


Unfortunately, this information is in chapter 28, which means to get to it, one has to go through 27 other chapters. And that is where the problems lie.

The book contains many elements I didn’t understand or like, such as paranormal elements. I can accept some paranormal elements in books, but the ones in Angel’s Caress are both hard to understand and accept for me.

The characters in the book fall into two categories: not interesting or unlikeable. And some, like Ellie and Cash, fall into both.

I was uncomfortable with Ellie falling in love with a “man” who raped her. However, I also understood it. In my personal and professional experience, people who grow up in dysfunctional homes–and Ellie’s home is definitely dysfunctional–will, in all likelihood, have at least one dysfunctional relationship with a non-family member at some point in their lives.

Cash is a rapist. Nothing more needs to be said about him.

There is no character development and the storylines–such as they are–are incredibly boring.


There are two “love” scenes post-Cash’s rape of Ellie. The scenes try to generate heat but fail.


Assault, battery, rape, shooting, and killings all occur during Angel’s Caress. The violence is mildly graphic.

Bottom Line on Angel’s Caress

The book Ms. James wrote prior to this, Captive Angel, was a Rolls-Royce book. This was entirely due to that book’s heroine, Caroline Fancy England Gillard. Angel’s Caress is a Ford Edsel.

The ONLY thing keeping this book above 1 star is the first half of chapter 28.


Settings: Tennessee, circa 1862.

Tropes: Civil War. Historical Romance. Rapist Hero. Underage heroine

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 1.5


Ellie looked like heaven. After seeing nothing but the blue-coated soldiers for months, sweet sixteen-year-old Ellie Crain was the sexiest sight virile Cash Gillard had ever set his battle-weary eyes on. And as a man unused to sensual deprivation, nothing could’ve kept the Yankee corporal away from the innocent farm girl’s ivory skin and youthful curves. Planning to love and leave the wench, he suppressed his tender feelings for her. But as he satisfied his desire, their fates were bound ever tighter with each kiss, each whisper, each caress.

Raised on a southern Tennessee farm, clever Ellie Crain was no stranger to the facts of life and she recognized the gleam in the Union officer’s eyes as pure animal lust. The untouched beauty steeled herself against the Northerner’s invasion and was shocked to feel his touch gentle, his embrace arousing. The inexperienced girl blossomed into a passionate woman who would fight to keep her first man. Cash had taken her against her will now she’d make him pay for making her respond with a lover’s heart and an Angel’s Caress.

timeless love

Category Romance Review: Timeless Love by Judith Arnold

category romance


The Book and Characters

This review is of Timeless Love, book #11 and the final book in the “Bachelor Arms series. It is the second of two written by Judith Arnold, a pseudonym for Barbara Keiler. (Harlequin Temptation #565, published December 1995). 

Heroine: Hope Henley, 25. Black hair, brown eyes. Sales clerk in a retail store.

Hero: Morgan Delacourt, 30. Brown hair and eyes. Cartoonist. New millionaire. 

The Plot

At the beginning of the book, Morgan Delacourt is celebrating his newly minted millionaire status. That happiness, however, is short-lived as Morgan hits Hope Henley with his car. Although it wasn’t his fault, Morgan feels immense guilt as Hope is in a coma as a result of the accident. He vows to take care of Hope, pays her medical expenses, and lets her move in with him.

As they spend time together, we learn more about them, including Hope’s connection to the mystery that began in the first book in the series. They also fall in love with each other, although both try to fight it. 

In the end, the mystery of Bachelor Arms and Hope’s part in it are revealed. She and Morgan become lovers. They get married and have their Happily Ever After. 


Both Hope and Morgan are likable, developed characters. I liked the fact that Morgan took responsibility and cared for Hope even though he didn’t have to. He and Hope are very nice relatable characters who are the type of people I would love to know as real people. 


Slightly nitpicking, but at times Morgan was condescending towards Hope for her beliefs. I probably would be too, but it was still annoying. 


Two love scenes that are not graphic but fit in well with the rest of the book. 


Other than Morgan hitting Hope with his car, no violence. 

Bottom Line on Timeless Love

Readers who like a romance with a caring hero and sensitive heroine will find lots to like in Judith Duncan’s Timeless Love.

Tropes:  Contemporary romance, Hollywood, Light paranormal. 

Location: Los Angeles, Monterey, California

4 .55 Stars



Flights of fancy were not Hope Henley’s style. So why did she flee in terror after just one glance at the infamous mirror in Apartment 1-G–straight into the path of Morgan Delacourt’s car? Having just arrived in L.A., Hope reluctantly accepts Morgan’s generous offer of convalescence at his home. Suddenly she is believing in all sorts of crazy notions. Like destined, timeless love with sexy Morgan. But that couldn’t possibly be. Determined bachelor Morgan is tied to Hope by guilt, not by love. And the secret of Bachelor Arms isn’t connected to her. Or is it?

Could the history of Bachelor Arms be about to repeat itself?

Timeless Love by Judith Arnold
when lightning strikes

Historical Romance Review: When Lightning Strikes by Kristin Hannah


1 Star

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

Kristin Hannah is a successful author of women’s fiction. It’s fortunate she found success in that genre because her romances I’ve encountered are–sad to say–lacking in excitement. When Lightning Strikes is a time travel romance that starts promisingly but takes a boring turn into snoozeville with its drawn-out plot. This should have been a category-length romance of 190 pages, not 400 pages long!

The Plot

The setup of When Lightning Strikes is rather intriguing. Alaina Costanza is a single mother and a romance writer living in the present day. Or whenever Geraldo Rivera had a daytime talk show, so maybe “modern era’ would be more appropriate. Our main character is a writer who has no life but her daughter. Now that her daughter is away at a summer camp, she’s got nothing to do but pop pills and drink herself silly.

Rather a dark setup, but appropriate for this emotionally overwrought book.

One night while typing at her computer, lightning strikes and ZAP! Alaina wakes up in totally new surroundings. She’s traveled back in time, not to the real Old West, but inside her own romance novel!

So if she’s in her created world, where is the hero? It turns out he’s an utter douchebag. In actuality, it’s the villain of Alaina’s book who’s the hero of this one.

The entirety of When Lightning Strikes is Alaina getting kidnapped by the bad guy known only as Killian. They spend their time trying to outrun the “hero” who’s out to kill him. Alaina simply wants to get back home to her daughter. Still, she has a connection to Killian and finds herself fighting her feelings for him.

Fate has thrown them together for a reason. This would be fine if the book didn’t go on forever and ever blathering about what soul mates here were. There’s even a cliched magic woman of color who somehow has mystical insights into the heroine’s destiny and her relationship with Killian.

The narrative dies down in favor of navel-gazing and droning on about how Killian and Alaina are meant to be for chapters on end.

Will Killian meet his end at the hands of the hero? Will Alaina stay in the past with Killian or finally go home to be with her daughter? I didn’t care. But it all ends as happily as one can imagine.

Final Analysis of When Lightning Strikes

This could have been a decent book. Rather than being action-based and romance-based, it was bogged down by internal angst. Chapters went by where literally nothing happened.

It was a chore to finish. I’m sure Hannah has created better books than this. But–sorry to say–I never want to experience another romance as mind-numbing as When Lightning Strikes again.

falling angel

Category Romance Review: Falling Angel by Anne Stuart

Falling Angel, Anne Stuart, Harlequin, 1993, Cover Artist TBD

American Romance #513


3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

Anne Stuart’s Falling Angel is yet another paranormal from the American Romance line. This is a holiday-themed romance that begins on Thanksgiving and culminates in a Christmas miracle.


Emerson Wyatt MacVey had lived only for the love of money. He was a corporate raider who thought nothing about ruining lives and impoverishing people, much less breaking women’s hearts—especially the heart of Carrie Alexander from the small town of Angel Falls, Minnesota. But living a life of depravity took its toll upon the blond, handsome Emerson, and he died of a heart attack at the young age of thirty-two.

Our story begins at the Pearly Gates, where the angels above try to decide how to judge Emerson. Instead of sending him to hell, where he will surely suffer torments for all eternity, he is given a second chance. He is allowed to return to Earth in a new form: the black-haired Gabriel Falcone on Thanksgiving Day. His job is to help people and undo the damage that Emerson had wrought. He has until Christmas to get things right.

Gabriel arrives in Angel Falls in a pickup truck and quickly finds himself trapped in a snowbank. Looking for help, he comes upon the home of Carrie Alexander, the very woman whose heart he’d broken as Emerson. She’s having Thanksgiving dinner with friends and invites the stranger in to join them. Carrie introduces “Gabriel” to her friends. Gabriel must learn to help the folks he comes upon and regain Carrie’s love. Carrie, for some reason, finds Gabriel similar to someone she knew in the past…could it be Emerson? But he and Gabriel are as different as night and day!

Will Gabriel be able to prove to Carrie in one month that he truly loves her? That he’s worthy of being loved?

Final Analysis of Falling Angel

Gabriel’s struggles to be a good man are the main highlight of this book. Carrie is a sweet–very sweet–character. She’s a bit too perfect, and the story here lays the saccharine factor on real thick. It is a Christmas story, however, so it’s seasonally appropriate. There’s a bit from both “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” here.

Falling Angel was quite a change of pace from the Anne Stuart romances I’ve read, where her heroes were intolerable with their cruelty and contempt towards their heroines. In Falling Angel, Stuart takes that evil villain and forces him to be a good guy. I wouldn’t rank it as my favorite Christmas Romance, but it was entertaining enough to earn a positive review.

Read this during the Christmas Holiday season, and it will get you in a merry mood.

the pirate and his lady

Category Romance Review: The Pirate and His Lady by Margaret St. George

The Pirate and His Lady, Margaret St. George, Harlequin, 1992, Cover Artist TBD

Harlequin American Romance #462


4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

The Book

Margaret St. George’s The Pirate and His Lady isn’t a historical romance, but a time-traveling adventure published through Harlequin’s American Romance line.


Elizabeth Rawley is a bookish young woman obsessed with all things pirate, especially the legend of captain Richard Colter and his ship, the Black Cutter which, along with its treasure, had been sunk off the Florida coast after being engaged in a battle over 200 years ago.

While attending a “Pirate’s Ball” she witnesses a strange sight: two ancient-looking ships blasting away at one another in the waters of the sea. When she goes to the shore, she finds a washed-up body. But the man isn’t dead; he’s very much alive and dressed in puffy white Seinfeld shirt and other pirate regalia. Was he a guest of the party dressed in costume? Who could this man be?

Why, it was Richard Colter, the captain of the Black Cutter. How could this be?

Elizabeth takes Richard back to her home. Richard’s adjustment to twentieth-century life is difficult as he’s a man out of place and time. While modern luxuries have made lives easier for humans, Richard was in a way actually better off in the past, as he was a man of wealth and privilege. Even watching tv fills him with a sort of amazed dread.

Elizabeth and Richard fall into a lovely romance as they try to figure why Richard has been thrust into the future. does the lost treasure have anything to do with his improbable appearance?

Either Richard will have to stay in the future or find a way back to his past. But does he want to?

Final Analysis of The Pirate and His Lady

The romance here is bittersweet, as most time travels romances are. I enjoyed The Pirate and His Lady for being a different sort of contemporary category romance. Published in 1992, this book was released right around the time when romances began to branch out from traditional plotlines and introduce paranormal aspects. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Here, I’m happy to say it does!

Time enough for love

Category Romance Review: Time Enough For Love by Suzanne Brockmann

Time enough for love
Time Enough for Love, Suzanne Brockmann, Loveswept, 1997, Ed Tadiello cover art

Loveswept #858


5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

Time for Something Different?

Bantam’s Loveswept category romances might not have been as big-selling as Harlequins or Silhouettes. Still, their output of almost 1,000 books over 16 years gave rise to many popular and successful authors like Iris Johansen, Sandra Brown, Janet Evanovich, and Suzanne Brockmann. The line gave writers more freedom to stray from traditional series restrictions. 1997’s Time Enough For Love by Suzanne Brockmann is a different kind of love story for that era, as it entails time travel plus a love triangle. Between one woman and two versions of the same man!

Maggie Winthrop finds a naked man on her property screaming about the apocalypse. He swears he’s from the future. Like any sane woman, her first instinct is to call the police (but first, maybe a peek won’t hurt. The guy’s body is incredible!)

Does she know this man? The weirdo acts as if they’re good friends. He says he’s Chuck Della Croce. Maggie knows Charles Della Croce, doesn’t she? But this man is not Charles, even though he is. But he’s also Chuck. To Maggie’s amazement, Chuck can predict incredible events before they occur. How is this possible?

It’s because Chuck IS Charles who used a time machine to travel from a time seven years from now into the present that is 199X. (Is your head starting to hurt?)

Time For Two Heroes

Chuck’s creation of said time machine caused a terrorist cell to overthrow the Whitehouse, topple the US government, and take over the United States. Chaos reigns and the only way to put an end to the madness is to stop it from happening in the first place.

Chuck has come back to 199X to make sure his past self doesn’t create that time machine. He knows that present Charles has a secret crush on Maggie, so he will listen to what she has to say. But Maggie, who has no clue about Charles’ feelings for her, isn’t sure she’s up to that task.

Maggie and Chuck spend time together, plotting out their plan. As they do, Maggie can’t help but have feelings for this handsome, tormented traveler from the future that may or may not be.

Eventually, Maggie goes to Charles, whose entire life is his work, and begs him to–well, to stop working. Charles can’t believe what he hears or sees. This is a rare romance (a rare book, for that matter) where the main character meets an older version of himself. Or younger. It all depends on your perspective.

There’s also a shadowy agency after the group to add a little bit of suspense to this short 210+ page book.

As the action unfolds, Maggie is drawn close to both versions of Mr. Della Croce. She is in a love triangle that transcends alternate personalities. He’s the same man, just in two bodies! Chuck, who’s from 7 years into the future…and Charles, who is Chuck in the present day.

It’s weird because Brockmann had me rooting for Chuck, but knowing that to be with Chuck, Maggie had to be with Charles, but–

Final Analysis of Time Enough For Love

I won’t spoil any more for you! Give this one a chance, now that it’s readily available in e-book format. I loved the premise of this romance. It was like “The Terminator” but with 2 Kyle Reeses.

Often, time travel romances are dicey for me. Especially when it’s the heroine traveling back in time and acting all out of place, wondering how she got to the past. Thankfully this book is the opposite of that. Because of the brevity of this Lovewsept romance, there’s no time for silly questions. They have a world to save!

I had so much fun with this. There was plenty to enjoy: the unique premise, the strong writing and characterization, the conflict Chuck feels about the woman he loves falling in love with a him that isn’t himself…

I adored this one. I could kick myself in the rear for selling that hard-to-find original copy I had of Time Enough for Love, but my thighs won’t let me reach!

forever mine valentine crouse

Category Romance Review: Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson

category romance
Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: February 1990
Illustrator: Daniel Crouse
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Temptation #288
Book Series: Mine Valentine Series #2
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson


The Book

Vicki Lewis Thompson‘s Forever Mine, Valentine, Booke #2 in her “Mine Valentine” duology was my introduction to the now, sadly, defunct Harlequin Temptations line.

The Temptation imprint launched in North America in March 1984. These books were far more sensual in nature than Harlequin’s other series, the Romance, Supperromance, and Presents lines. Temptations featured main characters from all walks of life, not just the rich. They took place anywhere, from small towns to big cities to tropical destinations.

The setting of Forever Mine, Valentine, is mainly in a shopping mall in Colorado, where St. Valentine himself is a character in the guise of Charlie Hartmann, a sweet, seemingly doddering old man.

The Plot

Jill Amory left her old life behind–including a stable dentist boyfriend–to wander across the country on foot with just a backpack. She paints windows for businesses to earn a little money and has a deadline to travel through all the States. Jill doesn’t quite know what she wants in life, but she knows it’s not commitment.

Spencer Jegger owns a successful sporting goods store in the mall. He’s athletic, attractive, and friendly to all, including Charlie, who insists that Valentine’s Day miracles are in store for Spence.

Charlie tells a disbelieving Spence that he and Jill are destined to be lovers for life. While Spence doesn’t trust the old man’s predictions, he is interested in Jill.

Spence hires Jill to paint the windows of his store, and in the meantime, he and Jill form a playful relationship with sexual tension bursting through the surface.

Jill is hesitant about getting close to Spence. He’s an incredibly good-looking man and makes his interest in her known. Jill’s mind is not on settling down, not even for a short while for a love affair. She’s aiming to roam, to search for something, some purpose in life.

I didn’t understand Jill’s hesitancy towards commitment to Spence and was glad when she decided she knew where her true home was.

Charlie is a cute character, doing everything he can to get Spence and Jill together. The two are destined for each other, he fervently declares. Isn’t it Valentine’s season? Doesn’t Jill’s surname, “Amory,” has the word love in it?

That’s more than a mere coincidence. It’s a sign from the heavens above that they’re meant to be!

Charlie also has a cute flirtation with an elderly mall walker, a lady who wouldn’t mind cuddling up to the supposed St. Valentine.

A Brief Memory About Forever Mine, Valentine

Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson left quite a mark on my impressionable younger self. This romance introduced my young mind to real love-making in books. I’d read sex scenes before in V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic and Stephen King’s Carrie. But they were brief and not as detailed as what I read in this one!

My goodness, I was such a dorky, nerdy bookworm back then. I passed this book around to my friends, spreading the salacious content around in school until one day, I got in trouble with my social studies teacher.

She took the book away from me in class one day and made a big scene, which was humiliating, although fortunately, that was the worst of it.

Well, except for the fact that it earned me a reputation for years as “that girl who reads the sex books.”

After a while, I learned not to care about what others thought and held my head high and proud whenever I held a clinch-cover romance, and someone teased me about it.

Never be ashamed of the genre!

Final Analysis of Forever Mine, Valentine

Forever Mine, Valentine was a sequel to Vicki Lewis Thompson’s 1989 Be Mine, Valentine, where Charlie had previously wielded Cupid’s bow and arrow to great success. Yes, the angels from above sent the old scamp down to spread love among mortals!

I loved that aspect of the Temptation line. There was so much variety; the books could have any crazy plot or simple, mundane ones. Temptations told all kinds of stories; the only qualifier was they had to be sexually steamy enough for a new era of romance readers.

This Temptation romance had a hefty dose of humor and lots of steamy love scenes making it an engaging Valentine’s Day treat.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.7


Hartman strikes again!

Old Charlie Hartman was out of his mind! To insist that Spence Jegger would marry the first woman he saw on Valentine’s Day was pure madness, given Spence’s opinion of marriage. And an aging vagabond playing St. Valentine was a bit much for even a friend like Spence to accept. Until Charlie pointed out Spence’s “intended,” Jill Amory.

All Jill wanted, however, was to finish painting Valentine messages on the windows of Jegger Outfitters and be on her way. She had a deadline to meet…on the other side of the country. Now all of a sudden two crazy men – one of them the tempting Mr. Jegger himself – seemed determined to influence her schedule…and her heart.

the coach to hell

Gothic Romance Review: The Coach to Hell by Rachel Cosgrove Payes

The Coach to Hell by Rachel Cosgrave Payes
Rating: two-half-stars
Published: 1979
Illustrator: Alan Reingold
Published by: Playboy Press
Genres: Gothic Romance, Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Georgian Era Romance
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Gothic Romance Review: The Coach to Hell by Rachel Cosgrove Payes


The Book

The Coach to Hell was a bit of a disappointment for me after reading Rachel Cosgrove Payes‘ Moment of Desire. That book had a heroine who was placed in awful situations yet tried to make the best of them while always knowing her mind.

This book’s heroine is a wishy-washy sort that just goes with the flow because that’s what toilet paper does.

The Setup

The Coach to Hell is a paranormal/Gothic/bodice ripper romance that features a beautiful, orphaned woman named Georgina. To avoid the lusty clutches of a local pervert, she is forced out of her home.

Georgina has the gift of the special sight of psychometry. Like some psychic blood-hound, she has the ability to touch an item and immediately glean information about its history or find a hidden object if she touches items associated with it.

Georgie’s ESP is the Chekhov’s gun of this novel as it will be instrumental in the plot’s resolution, what little there is of it.

The Plot

She heads to a far-away town to seek out a distant cousin in hopes that he will care for her, a relative in need. On the coach ride to her new environs, Georgina meets a dashing red-haired coachman whom she falls for.

However, well-meaning fellow passengers warn her that he’s the love-them-and-leave-them type, with different women in every village. Georgie ignores their advice and engages in a secret love affair.

The hero, Charles Collins, supposedly has lots of sex appeal (I didn’t see it here.) but no fortune, as he is the bastard son of a nobleman. He believes he is legitimate, however. Charles is working as a coachman to save money to hire a barrister.

He tells Georgina that the relative she’s going to live with is his younger half-brother, Francis, his father’s legal heir. Charles is convinced there must be some shenanigans afoot. Our Coachman to Hell is certain he– not his brother–is the true inheritor of the manor and title.

Charles and Georgie get down with each other, and he sweet-talks her into promising to search for any information that will prove his claim. Georgie vows to do her best.

Her best is… Well, you’ll see.

So the Lord of a half-brother is also a charismatic hunk (I definitely saw it here.) and lives openly with his mistress, who’s naturally contemptuous of Georgina. If Georgie would say the word, he’d gladly throw his courtesan aside to have Georgina instead.

But Georgie has her dashing coachman and wouldn’t dream of being unfaithful to her beloved.

No, I’m just joking. Remember, this is a 1970s Playboy Press bodice ripper!

One Hell of a Crazy Scene

Back in her hometown, when some creepy old dude had wanted her to be his mistress, Georgie’s upstanding morals wouldn’t have allowed such dishonor. Now, things are different.

Yes, she’s in love with a young, handsome dude, but she’s living with his equally hot and much richer brother…

Morals? Pffft. That’s for poor people who don’t live in fancy manors.

The best part of Coach to Hell is when Georgina has Charles in her room for a late-night tryst. Then his brother enters her chambers with the same intention, forcing Charles to hide in her wardrobe.

Georgina can’t shoo Francis away by being smart enough to say she’s on her period. So while Charles–the hero–conceals himself in the closet like some teenage boy hiding from an angry father, Georgie–the heroine–bangs Francis–not the hero–in her bed!

And Francis is so good at making love that Georgina forgets everything and moans away in ecstasy, giving our sad-sack hero something extra-special to listen to.

As this book is a bodice-ripper, Charles is our supposed “Alpha” male hero. So does he burst out into the room and kill them both in a blind rage? Does he trounce his bro for messing with his woman?

Nope. Charles stays there, sitting and sulking, while his hated enemy joyously screws the woman he loves, bringing her to orgasmic heights.

Did the Scene Redeem the Book?

This scene was so WTF and made me wish that The Coach to Hell had fully embraced its campy nature and included more juicy bits like this!

After that, I admit I lost all respect for the hero. I certainly didn’t expect him to go all wifebeater on Georgina, but he at least could have punched the lights out of Francis.

Unfortunately, I can’t root for a cucked hero, so I just read to get to the end of the story.

tales of ribaldry cuckold
SOURCE: NBC Saturday Night Live “Tales of Ribaldry”

Moving on, then.

This Book Finally Ends!

Remember Georgina’s special kind of ESP? Well, it served the plot’s purpose. She’s able to find the secret evidence that proves Charles’ legitimacy.

You didn’t actually think Charles wasn’t the real Lord, did you?

Oh no, I gave away the ending!

Look, if you’re reading these cheesy romances, you know they’re supposed to end “Happily Ever After”–no matter how discombobulated the path to “Ever After” is.

Final Analysis of The Coach to Hell

I do wish I had enjoyed The Coach to Hell more, but Georgina was just too stupid for words.

I lost any admiration for Charles after he was ignominiously crowned with a set of horns. Instead, I rooted for his brother from another mother to get the girl.

Ultimately, this Rachel Cosgrove-Payes Gothic/ Bodice Ripper romance was a so-so read. It was memorable, alright, but for the wrong reasons.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 2.3


Rescued from poverty to live in an opulent mansion filled with servants…loved by two adventurous and passionate men…Georgina’s new life was wantonly wonderful. But she was caught between her arrogant benefactor and his rakehell coachman brother — and their fierce obsession threatened to shatter everything. Each man claimed to be the rightful heir to a noble title. Each man thought Georgina knew the secret location of the missing proof. And though each man already possessed Georgina’s body — each demanded more…