Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss Anthology #Review

Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss Anthology #ReviewOnce Upon a True Love’s Kiss by Alanna Lucas, Collette Cameron, Jillian Chantal, Julie Johnston, Katherine Bone, Lauren Smith, Samantha Grace, Victoria Vane

Series: #4 Whisper of Scandal, #1 Regent’s Revenge, #3 A Waltz With a Rogue, #1 Milady, #4 Rival Rogues, #1 Stolen Kisses
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published on January 4, 2016
Pages: 714
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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four-stars      four-flames

When this lovely came to my attention, I didn’t even hesitate to snatch it up.  A blend of familiar and new-to-me writers all presenting a variety of historical romances that range from sweet to some heat.  As it’s an anthology, I’ll be taking the stories one at a time in mini-reviews as I go.  And because it is packed with eight stories, I’ll be breaking up my review of this anthology into maybe two or three reviews.  I started with the two standalones in the set and both are by familiar to me authors.

Tempted by a Rogue by Lauren Smith

three-half-stars  

She thinks she’s in love with his best friend when he is the man behind the powerful letters they exchange the whole time he is at sea. However, now Jasper Holland is come home. How will he ever get Gemma to love him after all the lies. Because the letters weren’t a lie…

This was quick, humorous, hot, and ready to serve now style. For that, it was just right.

The Redemption of Julian Price by Victoria Vane

five-stars  

This one grabbed me and I delighted in this friends to lovers romance between the bad boy and his tomboy friend grown up.  Julian comes back from the war hollow and also his finances are in desperate straights after a profligate uncle squandered it all.  Hen is looking spinsterhood in the face, but she does come into some money which leads her to a shocking plan involving Julian who was once the boy next door.

The author infused a passionate romance with elements such as survivor’s guilt, PTSD, arranged marriage, fidelity, and so much more.  For a shorter story, this had heart and depth, but a lightness.  And such connection and chemistry that I wanted more of Hen and Julian.

With this taste of two stories from the set, my appetite is whetted for more.  I can recommend both the stories which were a nice variety in tone, pace, and romance.  I think Historical Romance lovers who want to sample authors or stories with some quicker novella-length reads would enjoy this collection.

My thanks to the authors for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #22 HR
Literary Pickers #22  Marriage of Convenience

About Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

About Victoria Vane

Victoria Vane is an Amazon #1 bestselling author of smart and sexy romance. Her works range from comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance and have received over twenty awards and nominations including: a 2015 Red Carpet Finalist for Best Contemporary romance (Slow Hand), 2014 RONE Winner for Best Historical Post Medieval Romance (Treacherous Temptations), and Library Journal Best Ebook Romance of 2012 (The Devil DeVere series). Victoria also writes romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee. She currently resides in Palm Coast, Florida with her husband, two sons, a little black dog, and an Arabian horse.
Contact info:
Email: victoria.vane@hotmail.com Website: www.victoriavane.com
Blog: www.embracingromance.com Facebook: http://on.fb.me/YVeXrf
Twitter: @authorvictoriav Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1vONQZh
Amazon: http://amzn.to/10QMKT5 Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1sccsM4
YOUTUBE: http://bit.ly/1yNtEMP

Praise for SLOW HAND
“Well-paced, scorching scenes and witty banter…”
—Publishers Weekly

“Slow Hand by Victoria Vane is delightful, funny, page-turning steamy sexy, and the romance between Wade and Nikki make you wish you could pull Victoria’s characters straight off the page and into real life…”
—Unwrapping Romance

“For erotic passion and one-liners, the first book in Vane’s new series will satisfy…Vane’s latest gets a big yee-haw.”
—RT Book Reviews

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • This anthology looks amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before but now it’s going on my TBR pile. I’m eager to read The Redemption of Julian Price.

    • I look forward to getting the rest of the stories. Victoria’s story was great. Hope you enjoy them, Angela.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Oh this looks sweet and just right for Valentines reading thanks!

    • Hey, now that would be a good time to indulge in these. I still have several of the stories to read so maybe I will too, Debbie.

  • Shari Delighted Read

    Wish I liked historical romances.

    • They can be fun for sure. Maybe your tastes will change enough. I notice that I get in changing moods where I can read stuff that didn’t interest me before.

  • I’m really not a fan of historical romances, but I’ve seen so many amazing reviews around lately that I’m thinking I may need to give them another try! So glad you enjoyed this! 🙂

    • My moods revolve so that I get a craving for different types of fiction which is really nice. Last year, I went back to historicals and found I was ready to appreciate them again. I look forward to reading the rest of the stories in the set.

  • Ooh, you know I love anthologies! I may have to grab this. Especially, since I’m getting back into the groove of HR.

    • Yes, this is a good sampling of historical writers. I haven’t read some of them before so I’m looking forward to maybe finding some new to me writers to love. Victoria is already a favorite and I’ve enjoyed the couple of Lauren’s that I’ve read.
      Hope you like them if you try this set, Lekeisha.

  • Sometimes I like them, sometimes not, still 🙂

    • Same here. Some writers become favorites and others are meh just as some things work for me in historicals and others don’t. As this is an antho, I’ll probably get a bit of everything when all’s read and done. 🙂

  • oh these seem fun to read!! I do love reading anthologies…they can be refreshing to read. Victoria Vane is a wonderful author to read.

    • I like the idea of getting a good sampling of writers I know and others that are unfamiliar. Looking forward to the rest of the box. And yes, agreed. I’m a fan of Victoria’s books already.

  • I always like anthologies and a combination of new to you authors and authors you know is fun, so you can discover some new ones and read more by authors you already know. Sounds like these two short storeis were both a hit! I like a good friend to lover romance and that one sounds well done. And that’s great the author managed to add some depth and difficult themes to the story as well. Great reviews and I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of this anthology as well!

    • Yes, that is exactly what I appreciate about anthos, too, Lola. The familiar with the new. I look forward to the other stories that I still need to read.

      Yes, this friends to lovers had some heart and depth that surprised me in a shorter story. Loved it.

  • I’ve been seeking out histrom, I might ping you for more recs! Thanks for this, Sophia, I’ll be taking a peek at these authors

    • Oh cool! Feel free to query me. Let me know heat level and tropes, etc and I’m happy to do lists.