Recent Release Review- Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Title:  Fast Track

Fast Track

 Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author:  Julie Garwood

Publisher:  Dutton, July 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother. Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them. Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he’s unwittingly drawn into a volatile family drama. Aiden wants to help Cordelia get answers about her mother, but threats from her wealthy, high-powered family are quickly becoming dangerous. Sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but after multiple attempts are made on Cordelia’s life, Aiden realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.

**

This book felt like a book two or three in a series but when I went to Ms Garwood’s website I could only find that some of the characters had possibly appeared in another book but I was not directed to what book that might be.  The side characters were intricate to the plot of this book with what appeared to be a long history that was adequately explained but felt like a previous book.  This is a standalone plot, so the “previous stories” were not distracting but actually interesting and I wanted more.

The fact that Cordelia was curious and angry about the mother who abandoned her was understandable.  Her tactics did come across as a bit childish and prankster-like.  Her determination to get away from Aiden and start a new life was doomed.

Aiden, male model handsome and a tremendously wealthy workaholic, was the alpha male that Cordelia could not resist.

Ms. Garwood brings us a well written, page turner; an easy read.  The romance is predictable but still entertaining. The suspense was nearly nonexistent because we knew Cordelia had a cadre of good-guys on her side.

 

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Advance review- The Fall of Lady Grace by Julia London

Title:  The Fall of Lady Grace (book #2, The Cabot Sisters Series)

The Fall of Grace

 Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julia London

Publisher:  Harlequin HQN, July 29, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

A plan born of desperation…

Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace’s wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.

…and altered by passion.

Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Jeffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace’s temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can’t resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Jeffrey might just see it as a new beginning

**

Oh the delight in starting a book that grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until the end. Jeffrey suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and some out-of-the-ordinary sexual proclivities. He thinks he is insane and tries to cover up his problems to avoid a scandal in society. Grace, after their forced marriage, thinks something is wrong but is determined to help Jeffrey.

This is one scorching and kinky romance. Julia London has penned an engrossing tale that will leave you breathless. This is definitely a delightful read and wonderful addition to the Cabot Sisters Series that started with THE TROUBLE WITH HONOR.

 

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Deet’s Condo Renovation- weekend #2 update

The new laminate floors are installed, we got them from Lumber Liquidators and had their installers lay them.  The color is Delaware Bay Driftwood a gray/brown color.  We also have a new central air conditioning system, Lennox from Home Depot.  The movers delivered our furniture from storage on Friday. Remember what the before pictures looked like last Sunday?  Here is a link to that post Deet’s Condo Renovation

In these photos you can see the new floors and also the chaos that we are still trying to get straightened out.  More to come in the weeks ahead.

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Condo Reno 2 010

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Advance Release review- Rogue With A Broque by Suzanne Enoch

Title:  Rogue With A Brogue(Scandalous Highlanders #2)

Rogue With A Broque

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, July 29, 2014

Source: Free For review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A ROGUE FOR EVERY LADY

London, 1817: Stuck in a Mayfair ballroom thanks to his lovestruck brother, highlander Arran MacLawry wants nothing but a bit of distraction from an arranged betrothal—and a clever auburn-haired lass in a vixen’s mask promises just that…until he discovers that she’s the granddaughter of the Campbell, chief of clan MacLawry’s longtime rival. Despite their families’ grudging truce, falling for fiery Mary Campbell is a notion too outlandish even for this Highlander…

THE THRILL OF THE FORBIDDEN

Raised on tales of savage MacLawrys, Mary is stunned to realize the impressively strapping man in the fox’s mask is one of them. Surely the enemy shouldn’t have such a broad chest, and such a seductive brogue? Not that her curiosity matters—any dalliance between them is strictly forbidden, and she’s promised to another. But with the crackling spark between them ready to ignite, love is worth every risk…in Rogue with a Brogue by Suzanne Enoch

**

This, the second book in the Scandalous Highlanders Series is a romantic gem. Ms Enoch can spin a tale of star-crossed lovers that brings to mind the Hatfields and the McCoys as well as Romeo and Juliet. The feud between the MacLawry Clan and The Campbell Clan is many generations old and no one can quite remember how it started. There is plenty of action, a few laughs, steamy love secenes and true love. The characters are so well drawn that we feel as if they are real. This is a standalone novel in this series. This is the story of Arran MacLawry and I can’t wait to read his brother Ranulf’s story in The Devil Wears Kilts. As usual I’m reading out of order but it doesn’t seem to matter with this series.

I highly recommend this book to all my fellow romance lovers.

Scandelous Highlanders

  1. The Devil Wears Kilts (Ranulf’s story)
  2. Rogue With A Brogue (Arran’s story)

 

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Recent Release Review- Trapped At The Altar by Jane Feather

Title:  Trapped At The Altar

Trapped At the Altar

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jane Feather

Publisher: Pocket Books, July 22, 2014

Source:  Free for review from the publisher

Rating:  3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Ariadne Carfax has vowed to be with the man she loves, Gabriel Fawcett. There’s just one obstacle. On his deathbed, Ari’s grandfather decrees that she marry her childhood friend Ivor Chalfont, thus forging a powerful alliance between the two warring families. Giving Ari no time to protest, the elders plan her wedding the next day, forcing her to follow through on the nuptials. Though she is fond of Ivor, Ari has no intention of consummating their marriage—until he kindles an intoxicating desire that she can’t ignore. Ivor has loved Ari for years, but he doesn’t want an unwilling wife. He wants Ari to ache with the same irresistible longing he feels. And if that’s the way to woo her into his bed and into their new life, he won’t rest until his new bride surrenders to true love.

**

Ariadne is a fickle young woman.  First she is so in love with Gabriel that nothing will ever change her feelings and before you know it she is enjoying her marital bed with Ivor.  I’m all for a woman’s prerogative to change her mind but it happened so suddenly, only days after her “good-bye” to Gabriel.  Ivor is a decent guy, he loves Ariadne and they are the better match.  But we still feel sorry for poor Gabriel who uproots his life to go off to London at Ariadne’s bidding.

I’ve read other Novels by Jane Feather and enjoyed them, this one not quite as much.  We still have her finesse at character development and the plot moves along at a nice pace.  I think I was just put off by Ariadne’s personality and in order to really like a book I have to have some liking for the main character.

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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):

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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:

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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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