Recent Release review- The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan

Title:  The Suffragette Scandal

The Suffergette Scandal

 Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Courtney Milan

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

An idealistic suffragette… Miss Frederica “Free” Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women’s rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope…but she needs more rope, and she needs it now. …a jaded scoundrel… Edward Clark’s aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She’s only a pawn to use in his revenge. …and a scandal seven years in the making. But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it’s too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past…and once the woman he loves realizes how much he’s lied to her, he’ll lose her forever. The Suffragette Scandal is the fourth full-length historical romance in The Brothers Sinister series.

The other books in the Brother Sinister series are:

½. The Governess Affair (prequel novella)

1. The Duchess War

1½. A Kiss for Midwinter (a companion novella to The Duchess War)

2. The Heiress Effect

3. The Countess Conspiracy

4. The Suffragette Scandal

4½. Talk Sweetly to Me (coming in August)

**

In the beginning of the novel we pretty much know where Frederica Marshall stands.  She is a Suffragette, fighting for women’s rights in male dominated Victorian England.  Edward Clark, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery.  His story unfolds bit by bit throughout the book.  And , oh how that fact keeps us turning pages to uncover all the secrets of his past.  There are two, perhaps three, intertwined plots.  There is Edward’s revenge, there is Amanda’s awakening, and of course, there is the romance of Edward and Free.

Courtney Milan has once again written a superbly constructed novel that overflows with romance and drama and spot on details of Victorian England.  In this the fourth installment to the Brother’s Sinister Series we have cameos by several of the “brothers”.  This is a standalone novel in the series and can easily be read without having read the others, but I encourage you to read all of this series for a true look at how romance novels should be written.  You will find original plots, sensuous evocative writing, deft characterization and hours of reading enjoyment.

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Deet’s Condo Renovation- Some Before Photos July 2014

My husband and I are renovating a condo in Florida, USA.  This is our second condo in three years. When we first bought we had a 2 bedroom, one car garage condo, but really wanted a 3 bedroom 2 car garage and alas none were available.  so when our ideal condo became available we jumped on it.  The only drawback is that it needs lots of upgrading.  We have been working on it….well hubby has been doing most of the work…for two weeks.  We have stripped off some unwanted chair rail, took off the shutters on the pass through to the kitchen, painted all the bedrooms and the living room/dining room area.  We ripped up the ancient carpeting and will install laminate floors throughout.  What you can’t see is the $5,000 replacement, central air conditioning system. (Just try tearing out carpet in the summer, in Florida, with no AC!)  Here are some before photos of the living room/dining room area and later on I’ll have some after photos, hopefully with our furniture in place. I’ll also post photos of the other rooms as we redo them.

Before-Looking from the front door area toward the Lanai. The room is L-shaped, that’s DH tearing out carpet. ( no, he is not wearing a skirt, those are his baggy work shorts):

Before Condo reno 7-2014 032

Before-Here is a view of the living room  “L” and a peek at our third bedroom which we will use as an office/studio:

Before Condo reno 7-2014 003

Before-Looking from the lanai toward the front door and kitchen.  Off to the left is the 2nd bedroom and full bath:

Before Condo reno 7-2014 004

 

Here is a closer look at the dining room chandelier, I love this:

Condo reno chandelier 001

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Recent release Review- Into The Shadows by Carolyn Crane

Title:  Into The Shadows

IntoTheShadows-CarolynCrane-500x750

 Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Author: Carolyn Crane

Publisher: July 16, 2014-

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from author’s website ( http://authorcarolyncrane.com ):

HE’S A KILLER.

Thorne McKelvey knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her was the hardest thing he ever did, but his undercover mission could blow up at any second. No way will he drag Nadia down with him.

SHE CAN’T RISK HER HEART.

Maybe it was foolish to fall in love with her late father’s deadliest henchman, but Nadia Volkov’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful little boy. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect Benny, which means she must hide his identity—especially from his father.

Now Thorne has burst back into her home, searching for clues to a gangland mystery…and stirring a hunger Nadia hasn’t felt in two years. But Benny’s identity isn’t the only secret she’s keeping, and things are turning deadly. Can Thorne and Nadia trust each other long enough to stay alive and have a chance at happiness?

**

If you want to know how just reading a book can give you an adrenalin rush then this is the book that will do it.  Carolyn Crane starts this book off with an action scene and she doesn’t let you off the hook for the entire book.  This is a story of gangsters, gangs and a family.  It deals with the underbelly of society and shocks us with sweatshop slave rings, drug dealing and money laundering by the lowlifes that populate that society.  The romance is surrounded by lies by both the hero and heroine but they have an undeniable attraction to each other that sizzles and ignites the page in flames. The alpha hero is damaged physically and emotionally and the heroine has overcome a party-girl lifestyle to take up a mission that redeems her image. Both are no-holds-barred tough, and calculating.  It is so satisfying when their individual missions become entwined and they can team together.

This is the third book in Ms. Crane’s Undercover Associates series and is a welcome addition. Each book is a standalone novel.  I highly recommend this series and especially this book to those who like a non-stop, page turning experience. You’re gonna love this one!

Undercover Associates by Carolyn crane

  1. Againist The Dark
  2. Off The Edge
  3. Into The Shadows

 

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Recent Release- The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

Title:  The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot

 Genre:  Erotic Romance

Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Publisher: Harper Collins, July 2014

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

A sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from amazing Stephanie Evanovich’s New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda.

When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.

But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.

Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punchline. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?

**

Chase Walker is an Alpha of the first order. He wants total control and Amanda won’t allow it, so it is inevitable that they fall in love. But Amanda is a sweet, sassy, good girl and Chase has the reputation of an all American boy next door but he is really into some kink in the bedroom. How this all plays out between them and the media is the heart of this well written book.

There is consensual spanking throughout this story. That is the way these two enjoy their relationship. It is only later on toward the end that some of Chase’s actions call into question if at some point he might go beyond the fun and games. That is disturbing to me and I wonder at Amanda’s total disregard of the incident.

I thought this book very well written. I was hoping for some of the humor of her first book, BIG GIRL PANTIES, but I was totally enthralled with the relationship of these two characters. I recommend this book.

 

 

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Recent Release Review_ This Wicked Gift by Courtney Milan

Title:  This Wicked Gift

This Wicked Gift

 Genre:  Historical Romance Novella (an enhanced e-book)

Author: Courtney Milan

Publisher: Entangled: Edge, July 7 2014

Source: free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Lavinia Spencer is too poor to be anything but practical. But when her younger brother lands himself in trouble, she has no choice but to do the unthinkable. She accepts the help of the dishonorable man that she’s always wanted, even knowing that it might mean her ruination…

This Wicked Gift is a novella prequel to the Carhart series. The full series is:

  • This Wicked Gift, a prequel novella
  • Proof by Seduction
  • Trial by Desire
  • This work contains pictures, audio, and author commentary. You can read this enhanced ebook on any device, but the audio content may not be accessible on all ereaders. That content has been made available on the web, so you won’t miss anything if your device doesn’t support audio.

*************

This wonderful novella was originally published in the anthology THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS. I loved it when I first read it and I loved it again as I re-read it. The enhanced version has the author answering questions about the novella and showing art work that was to be used for promotion but was never used. Don’t worry if you can’t read with the audio or video, I re-read it without those and still got all the interesting and enlightening content.

Here is my review from my first reading, and I stand by every word after my second reading:

William has loved Lavinia from afar and when he sees a chance to assist her and to seduce her he grabs for it.  After ruining her, he can’t live with himself and he is in no position to offer her marriage.  Lavinia loves him but can’t get past his disgust with himself.  Can there ever be any happiness at Christmas or ever for these two poor souls of the working class?

Courtney Milan is one of my favorite authors so it was no surprise to me that I was predisposed to liking this novella.  However, I was blown away by her perfectly nuanced characters and the feeling of reality she generates in regard to the working classes of the regency period.  Her characters are all multidimensional and exquisitely written.  The romance is sublimely sensual. (This novella is a first in the Carhart Series and gives a glimpse of Gareth Carhart whose story is in Proof by Seduction.)

Deet’s Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

 

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Recent Release Review- Once Upon A Duke by Eva Devon

Title:  Once Upon A Duke

Once Upon A Duke

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eva Devon (Maire Claremont)

Publisher: Bard Productions

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Book Description :

What a Widow Wants:

Everything is going swimmingly for Kathryn Darrell. She’s got an annuity of a hundred thousand a year, her lecherous-heart breaking husband has had the good graces to pop off, and best of all, she has her freedom– Something she has every intention of reveling in to the fullest. And who better to revel with than Ryder Blake, the infamous Duke of Darkwell?

A Duke’s Desire:

Ryder Blake, Duke of Darkwell, known as the Duke of Debauchery, is certain he will never love again. His heart lies buried with his wife and he has vowed to never give more than his body to a woman. But when Kathryn shows up on his doorstep, quite literally, demanding he show her the ways of London, he finds that his heart longs to love once again.

**

Okay, Maybe the duke doesn’t “long to love once again” right away. But he is certainly, uncomfortably smitten with the woman who just barges into his home demanding he live up to his reputation as a great lover. He puts her off at first thinking she is an innocent miss, but when he learns that she is a widow who is practically stalking him he gives in to the liaison and his lust. But in a public hallway at the Opera???!!! Really? Surprise, it creates a scandal when they are caught.

This is a sexy, raunchy romp from a very good writer and if you are up for somewhat disbelieving antics then this is certainly where you will find them. It is a romance and you will get everything that that title implies and so much more. Enjoy!

 

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Review- Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Title: Wallbanger

Wallbanger

 Genre: Erotic Romance

Author: Alice Clayton

Publisher: Gallery Books, Feb. 2013

Source: purchase

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.

**

This is very sexy chick-lit.  On Amazon this book has, as of this writing, 2,654 reviews, 1,937 five-star reviews and 154 three star reviews and this one makes it 155. ( I changed my mind and only gave it two-stars on Amazon) Why didn’t I like it as well as all those other reviewers?  Well, it starts off with a bang, literally, and it seemed like a cute chick-lit premise.  But the heroine is so self indulgent and whiny that I found it hard to get to actually like her.   The hero on the other hand is handsome and hot as all get out but he is having friends-with-benefits arrangements with three other women. For me this would be a red flag but not for our heroine.  Oh yes, she does doubt a bit but hopes that the “harem” will just dissolve.  We anxiously wait for this to happen so our dear heroine can get some.  Well finally it looks like she will throw caution to the wind and make a move on our hero and he says sorry “no”.  Then we wait until the end of the book before these two stop teasing each other ad nauseum and actually do get it on and by this time I don’t care anymore.  The humor is forced and the side characters, who are supposed to be adult, act like teenagers. The sex scenes are just boring.

What did I like? Well, the texting between characters was cute and fun.

Note: there is lots of sexual innuendo, “adult” language and sex in this book.  If you don’t like that, then you should pass on this one. Pass on it even if you do like that sort of thing.

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Filed under Book review, Books, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Recent Release Review- How To Lose A Lord In Ten Days by Elizabeth Michels

Title: How to Lose a Lord in Ten Days

How to Lose a Lord In Ten days

 Genre: Historical romance

Author: Elizabeth Michels

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

I want to know you, to understand anything at all about you, because you are the most maddening lady I have ever encountered.”

He’s the perfect gentleman… After years hidden away from the mockery of the Ton, proud Andrew Clifton, Lord Amberstall, is finally ready to face Society again. But when his horse is injured on the road to London, Andrew finds himself literally thrown at the feet of the beautiful, infuriating, and undeniably eccentric Katie Moore.

…she’s anything but a lady. Katie always preferred the stables to society, so when she was badly injured in a riding accident, she was more than happy to retreat to the countryside and give up the marriage mart for good. She never expected an infuriatingly proper lord to come tumbling into her life-and she certainly never expected to find herself wondering what it would be like to rejoin the world at his side. They couldn’t be more different, and soon Andrew and Katie find themselves at odds about everything but the growing passion between them…and a keen awareness of a threat that may end their unconventional romance before it has even begun.

**

Katie’s father lets Katie leave the family home to live alone on their estate in a cottage following her mother’s death. I think Katie was around twelve….okay. That is only the first of some “huh?” moments in this book. There is the fact that Andrew is on his way home from his self-imposed exile because his mother has sent him an urgent summons. So instead of insisting that he must be on his way he decides to tarry on Katie’s estate.

There were too many of those “Huh?” moments for me to thoroughly enjoy this romance but that does not negate the fact that Ms Michels is good at character development. Katie because of her self-imposed exile to the cottage is a bit of a wild child and Ms. Michels has done a fine job of this portrayal. Andrew’s embarrassment over his society scandal is a bit over the top and does not endear him to this reader.

I can recommend this book if you can overlook those things I have mentioned.

 

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Recent Release Review- The Captive by Grace Burrowes

Title:  The Captive (book#1, Captive Hearts)

The captive

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 1, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

He’ll never be free… Captured and tortured by the French, Christian Severn, Duke of Mercia, survives by vowing to take revenge on his tormentors. Before the duke can pursue his version of justice, Gillian, Countess of Greendale, reminds him that his small daughter has suffered much in his absence, and needs her papa desperately.

Until he surrenders his heart…Gilly endured her difficult marriage by avoiding confrontation and keeping peace at any cost. Christian’s devotion to his daughter and his kindness toward Gilly give her hope that she could enjoy a future with him, for surely he of all men shares her loathing for violence in any form. Little does Gilly know, the battle for Christian’s heart is only beginning.

**

Every time I read another Grace Burrowes novel I think “Oh! This is the best one”. I can say that because each time she raises the bar and envelopes the reader in her wonderful dialogue and impeccable characterization. The emotion in this novel is so strong with each of the protagonists that we are taken back to the era and we are witnesses to the terrors, the troubles and the overwhelming success of their redemptive love. This is true romance with all its ups and downs. Ms. Burrowes weaves a plot that is so believable that you will think it is true history. I highly recommend this book.

Captive Hearts Series:

  1. The Captive
  2. The Traitor (August 5, 2014)
  3. The Laird (Sept 2, 2014

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Recent Release Review- The Escape by Mary Balogh

Title:  The Escape

The Escape

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Mary Balogh

Publisher: Random House, Dell, July 1, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

In this poignant novel of longing and salvation, a hopeful widow and a resilient war hero discover the promise of love’s magic and new beginnings.   After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws—until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.   Ben wants Samantha as much as she wants him, but he is cautious. What can a wounded soul offer any woman? Samantha is ready to go where fate takes her, to leave behind polite society and even propriety in her desire for this handsome, honorable soldier. But dare she offer her bruised heart as well as her body? The answers to both their questions may be found in an unlikely place: in each other’s arms. Includes Mary Balogh’s charming short story, “The Suitor.”

**

Mary balogh is right up there in my Top-10 Historical Romance authors.  She does not disappoint with this new book in the Survivor’s Club series.  She has the ability to evoke emotion and drama pertinent to the era with a lyrical mastery. This is not a quick read; it starts out slow but keeps us riveted to the plot. Her characters are complex with differing facets to their personalities.  There is Samantha’s understandable reluctance to give up her freedom, her fears and her ambivalence about her feelings for Ben. Ben is still struggling to find himself after his war ordeals and the aftermath, leaving him insecure in his manhood. Their romance is inevitable but society and their own fears intrude to keep them apart.

I highly recommend this book to all historical romance lovers.  It is a standalone novel but treat yourself to the first two in the series; THE PROPOSAL and THE ARRANGEMENT.

 

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