Holiday Anthology- How the Dukes Stole Christmas by T. Dare, S. MacLean, S. Jordan & J. Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas

Title: How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance /Holiday/Anthology
Author: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Schupe
Publisher: Amazon Digital, Oct. 15, 2018
Source: Purchase for Kindle
Pages: 392
Rating: 4.5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Descriptions from Amazon.com:
Christmas magic is in the air… From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors whip up some unforgettable romance…with a little help from some enchanted shortbread.

“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless—and unexpectedly handsome—Thorndale himself. Now the duke’s holding her future in his hands…and he’s not letting go.
Deet’s review: Delightful! This is Regency romance how we like it: desperate heroine, clueless Duke, magic shortbread, witty repartee and even a romp in the snow. Tessa Dare at her best. 5-stars, very sexy Christmasy feeling: 4

“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm—the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped loving…or the future they’d once been promised. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…

Deet’s review: This is the most emotional of the four novellas. We ache for Eben’s heartache and we try to figure out if Jack is in it for revenge or something else. Maclean is the mistress of perfect prose and the long awaited HEA. 5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

“Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister’s family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss … until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

Deet’s review: The romance felt a bit rushed. There is no denying that this novella was based on the movie HOME ALONE. There is a breath holding action scene. This one needed a bit more emotional feeling. 3.5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy Feeling: 2

“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column’s author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing—especially when Duke’s attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?

Deet’s review: This novella is based on the movie CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. This novella is so well done I wish it had been a full length novel. I wanted more romance between Duke and Rose although this was very sexy, but the romance was rushed.
4.5- stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

Deet’s Over All Opinion: You can’t go wrong with this anthology. Every story is a page turner. I finished it in two nights and wanted more. Highly recommended!!

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Release Day Review- A Holiday By Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

A Holiday by Gaslight A Victorian Christmas Novella

Title: A Holiday By Gaslight: A Victorian Christmas Novella
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian/Holiday
Author: Mimi Matthews
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Nov. 13, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 147
Rating: 5+
Sexy Rating: 3
Violence Rating: 0
Christmasy Feeling: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
A Courtship of Convenience

Sophie Appersett is quite willing to marry outside of her class to ensure the survival of her family. But the darkly handsome Mr. Edward Sharpe is no run-of-the-mill London merchant. He’s grim and silent. A man of little emotion–or perhaps no emotion at all. After two months of courtship, she’s ready to put an end to things.

A Last Chance for Love

But severing ties with her taciturn suitor isn’t as straightforward as Sophie envisioned. Her parents are outraged. And then there’s Charles Darwin, Prince Albert, and that dratted gaslight. What’s a girl to do except invite Mr. Sharpe to Appersett House for Christmas and give him one last chance to win her? Only this time there’ll be no false formality. This time they’ll get to know each other for who they really are.
**
I don’t usually jump up and down getting all excited about a book but there is a time for everything,  so you can picture me jumping up and down. This novella is delightful!, wonderful!, and perfect for a spirited lift in the Holiday season.
Sophie is not going to marry a man she doesn’t like and for the 2 months Ned Sharpe has been courting her, he has been uncommunicative and cold. So it is best to end it with Ned because he seems not to even like her. Ned does like her but he is from “trade” and Sophie is an aristocrat. He is out of his element. He bought a book that tells him “the rules” of courtship and he’s trying not to make a mistake, until he messes up everything. But Sophie’s parents need her to marry for money and play on her sense of duty to try and rectify the breach with Ned.
So often I complain about how characters are not well developed in novellas but Mimi Matthews has shown here that it can be done and done well. Not only the main characters but also the side characters. The Romance is slow developing and the essence of Victorian mores is ever present. This gives the book a true feeling of the era. There is a Christmasy feeling with the festivities at the house party. There are touches of the times in discussion of Prince Albert’s death and modern innovations. All in all a 5+ star book, I highly recommend this book for your relaxing holiday pleasure.

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Recent Release Review- A Christmas Revelation by Anne Perry

A Christmas Revelation

Title: A Christmas Revelation: A Novel
Genre: Historical Mystery/ Victorian
Author: Anne Perry
Publisher: Ballentine, November 6, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 177
Rating: 4
Sexy Rating: 0
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Description from Amazon.com:
Formerly a river urchin living on the banks of the Thames, nine-year-old Worm has never experienced a family Christmas. But thanks to a job at Hester Monk’s clinic in Portpool Lane, he’s found a makeshift family in kindly volunteer Miss Claudine Burroughs and curmudgeonly old bookkeeper Squeaky Robinson.

When Worm witnesses the abduction of a beautiful woman by a pair of ruffians just days before Christmas, he frantically turns to Squeaky for help. A one-time brothel owner, Squeaky knows the perils of interfering in nasty business, but he can’t bear to disappoint Worm—or leave the boy to attempt a rescue on his own. What neither of the would-be saviors expects, however, is that the damsel in distress already has her dilemma well in hand . . . and is taking steps to bring her captors to justice for crimes far worse than kidnapping. But the rogues, as cunning as they are deadly, are not to be underestimated. The aid of cynical old Squeaky and hopeful young Worm just might make the difference between a merry triumph over evil and a terrible yuletide tragedy.
**
This is a short novel, more a novella. The mystery is a bit thin but the story is heartwarming and at times heart-pounding. Ms. Perry brings to life the Victorian seedy side of London and those decent people as well as ruffians who reside there. I was won over by sweet, nine-year-old Worm and not quite sweet, 60-year-old Squeaky as they do there best to save the beautiful lady (Eloise). Christmas comes into the story as the two also are bringing Christmas décor and festivities to the clinic where they live.

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Release Day Review- My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes (plus An Elizabeth Hoyt Holiday novella)

My One and Only Duke

Title: My One and Only Duke: Includes a bonus Novella
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency/Christmas
Author: Grace Burrowes, (Elizabeth Hoyt’s Once Upon a Christmas Eve)
Publisher: Forever, Nov. 6, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 464
Rating: 5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
A funny thing happened on the way to the gallows…
One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he’s declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who schemed against him.

There was just one tiny problem…
Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher, crosses paths with Quinn in jail. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.

They were wrong.
He’s a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She’s a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after?

**
Jane is the only daughter of Preacher Winston and meets Quinn in prison. They are not in love. They enter into a marriage of convenience that will benefit Jane, for Quinn likes her and since he is about to die on the gallows he can do her a good deed. But a twist of fate spares Quinn and now he and Jane must muddle through a marriage and becoming Duke and Duchess.

Quinn is the rapscallion youth who has fought his way into adulthood and made it big in the banking business. He has been convicted of murder and sentenced to die. He is head of family to two sisters, Althea and Constance, and a brother, Stephen, the youngest at 17 and wheelchair bound. Quinn’s cousin, Duncan is tutor to Stephen and Quinn’s right hand man. Joshua is Quinn’s business partner and confidant. These are the fleshed out characters who will appear in future books in the series and I can’t wait to read their stories.

There is slow developing friendship and romance between Quinn and Jane, no falling in love immediately which is a breath of fresh air. However, Jane is vested in this marriage and her role as wife and Duchess. Quinn’s focus is on revenge for his incarceration and Jane’s challenge is to make him focus on their future.

Grace Burrowes wows me once again! This book is the first in her new Rogues to Riches series and it promises to be one of those where we cannot wait for the next book to publish. I can highly recommend this book and the multiple book boyfriends to be found in these pages.
Also includes the bonus novella Once Upon a Christmas Eve from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt!

Once Uon a Christmas Eve
When his carriage wheel snaps in a snowstorm, Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, is forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he’s ever met.
**
This is a well written novella with loads of Christmasy feeling. It is an enemies-to-lovers story. Not a new offering (December 2017), it is available on Amazon for Kindle and Audio at a really good price. This novella wraps up the Maiden Lane Series. It is a must read for all Hoyt fans and those who want a cozy fireside read for the holidays.

 

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Deals on Top HR Author’s Backlist Best

Have I got a deal for you? You bet your bippy! I have curated for you some great Kindle and Audible deals on top tier Historical Romance authors backlist best.  Hide your wallet cause these are so-o-o tempting.

Secrets of a Summer Night

Secrets of a Summer Night (The Wallflowers, Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Lisa Kleypas (Author)
4.4 out of 5 stars 492 customer reviews
Price: $3.99 Kindle ($7.49 Audible with Kindle purchase)
The Wallflowers
Four young ladies at the side of the ballroom make a pact to help each other find husbands . . . no matter what it takes
Proud and beautiful Annabelle Peyton could have her pick of suitors—if only she had a dowry. Her family is on the brink of disaster, and the only way Annabelle can save them is to marry a wealthy man. Unfortunately her most persistent admirer is the brash Simon Hunt, a handsome and ambitious entrepreneur who wants her as his mistress.
Annabelle is determined to resist Simon’s wicked propositions, but she can’t deny her attraction to the boldly seductive rogue, any more than he can resist the challenge she presents. As they try to outmaneuver each other, they find themselves surrendering to a love more powerful than they could have ever imagined. But fate may have other plans—and it will take all of Annabelle’s courage to face a peril that could destroy everything she holds dear.

Seduce me at Sunrise

Seduce Me at Sunrise (Hathaways Book 2) Kindle Edition
by Lisa Kleypas (Author)
4.5 out of 5 stars 263 customer reviews Book 2 of 5 in Hathaways (5 Book Series)
Price: $2.99 Kindle ($7.49 Audible with Kindle Purchase)

Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation…and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.
Then, Win returns to England…only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for…in Seduce Me at Sunrise, the second book in the Hathaways series by beloved author Lisa Kleypas.

A Rogue by any other name

A Rogue by Any Other Name: The First Rule of Scoundrels: . (Rules of Scoundrels Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Sarah MacLean (Author)
4.4 out of 5 stars 457 customer reviews Book 1 of 4 in Rules of Scoundrels (4 Book Series)
Price: $1.99 Kindle ($12.99 Audible with Kindle purchase)

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets. . .
A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.
A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to an unexplored world of pleasures.
Bourne may be a prince of London’s illicit underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . .even her heart.

Romancing The Duke

Romancing the Duke: Castles Ever After Kindle Edition
by Tessa Dare (Author)
4.5 out of 5 stars 449 customer reviews

Book 1 of 3 in Castles Ever After (3 Book Series)
Price: $2.99 Kindle ( $12.99 Audible with Kindle purchase)

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde
Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens.
She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks
offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.
• Ugly duckling turned swan?
• Abducted by handsome highwayman?
• Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance.
She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over
for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been
kissed? ……This one.

 

The Duke and I

The Duke and I With 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Julia Quinn (Author)
4.3 out of 5 stars 640 customer reviews Book 1 of 8 in Bridgertons (8 Book Series)
Price $3.99 Kindle ( $7.49 Audible with Kindle purchase)

Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister—the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her . . . but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke . . . for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love.

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Recent Release- The Stone Warriors: Gabriel by D.B. Reynolds

Gabriel

Title: The Stone Warriors: Gabriel (book#3)

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn Books, Oct. 30, 2018

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages:292

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating:5+

Description from Amazon.com:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until. . . .

Gabriel Halldor. . . one of the fiercest warriors the world has ever seen, but his tremendous skill can’t save him from a sorcerer’s curse. Trapped in stone and left lying in darkness for thousands of years, he is, at long last, brought into the sunlight of a Japanese garden, where a young girl comes to sit at his feet and read him stories as she grows to womanhood.

Hana Himura. . . beloved granddaughter of a Japanese mob boss, raised to the life of a warrior. When death comes for her grandfather, he sends her to the one guardian courageous enough to protect her from a sorcerer who will stop at nothing to have her.

Raphael. . . the most powerful vampire lord on earth, and the only man who can save Gabriel and Hana from an enemy who would enslave them both.
Running from the certain death that awaits them in Japan, Hana and Gabriel flee to Malibu and the vampire lord her grandfather called friend. Raphael is magic and power combined, and Gabriel and Hana will need both if they’re going to survive long enough to defeat their enemy and light the flame of desire that’s been simmering between them for years.
**
Margaret Atwood on vampires, “You used to know where you stood with them-smelly, evil, undead-but now there are virtuous vampires and disreputable vampires, and sexy vampires and glittery vampires, and none of the old rules about them are true any more.”

That is Raphael’s cue to make an entrance; for he is not smelly (thank goodness), he is not disreputable, and he is definitely not glittery. He is sexy and powerful and totally capable of aiding Hana and Gabriel in their fight against evil sorcerer Sotiris. Sorcerer Nicodemus Katsaros is the warrior who led the others in battle in ancient times and has been searching for the four stone warriors since. Nico’s magic will aid Hana in developing her magic control. He will also fight Sotiris along with Raphael.

This offering in The Stone Warriors series starts off with Hana running for her life with Gabriel, newly released from his stone prison, and hardly gives the reader a breath as they fight their way to safety from Japan to Malibu where they hope Raphael can help vampire Gabriel. However no place is safe for Hana as long as the evil sorcerer Sotiris is after her.

Once you start with this series it becomes addictive. The action, suspense, the sensuous sex, the romance and love all add up to pure addiction. You can easily read this book as a standalone but I don’t recommend that. You need to start with THE STONE WARRIORS:DAMIEN and then KATO. I recommend this not because this book lacks sufficient background but because these two warriors appear in this book and I want you to be immersed in their stories as well as Gabriel’s. Then we can all wait anxiously for Stone Warrior Dragan. I also have it on good authority that my heart throb, book boyfriend Nick Katsaros will get his book also in this series.

If you are new to this author you will want to read more of Raphael and his mate Cyn in the Vampires in America Series. Start with RAPHAEL and enjoy sexy, powerful non-sparkly vampires and the women who bring them to their knees. ( search for my reviews of this series in the search box in the left column. Type in D.B. Reynolds.)

Another aside: This blog received a cover quote but let me assure my followers that it in no way influenced my review. It just made me very happy. 🙂

 

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Happy Halloween-The Legend of the Jack O’Lantern

Halloween jack-o-lantern-

Do you know the legend of “Stingy Jack?” It’s a good one…People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.Happy Halloween!

from Joe Photo at http://webshots.com

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Release Day Review- Badly Done, Emma Lee by Leah Marie Brown

Badly Done Emma Lee

Title: Badly Done, Emma Lee (Riches to Romance book #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Leah Marie Brown
Publisher: Lyrical Press, October 30, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 352
Rating: 4
Sexy Rating: 5-behind closed doors
Violence Rating: 0
Description from Amazon.com:
All seemed lost—until this Southern belle embraced a new beginning in the unlikeliest of places . . .

Spoiled, stylish, socially connected Emma Lee Maxwell has spent her life in the idlest of pursuits—attending debutante balls, organizing sorority mixers, and acting as Charleston’s unofficial Gossip Queen. But when her family’s fortune suddenly dwindles, Emma Lee realizes her days as a Lowcountry Princess are numbered.

When she discovers that she’s inherited her aunt’s cottage in the Cotswolds, she hightails it to England, nurturing fantasies of polo matches and jaunts to London. All that social organizing is going to come in handy—Emma Lee plans to take after her namesake and put her people-pleasing ways to good use by becoming the village’s very own matchmaker! And she’ll start with three local brothers . . .

There’s just one skeptical, handsome, charming challenge: the oldest brother, Knightley, is stubbornly insisting Emma Lee abandon her well-meaning ways and focus on making a match of her own—with
him . . .

**
This is a modern mash up of Jane Austen’s EMMA. It feels more like the movie CLUELESS, in that Emma Lee is very naïve, but intelligent and also very kind and generous. Emma Lee is certain that her matchmaking skills are a calling; after all she matched her BFF with her true love. She makes friends easily in her new home in England and immediately starts to plan matches for them. Knightly Nickerson is the son of Emma’s Aunt’s friend who picks her up at the airport and there is an immediate attraction that they both work to deny.
This is a fun easy read from an author who sustains Emma’s personality throughout the pages. This book follows the basic Austen story with all modern twists. I enjoyed this light escapist read. Well done, Leah Marie Brown.

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Advance Review- Kiss Me At Christmas by Valerie Bowman

Kiss Me At Christmas

Title: Kiss Me At Christmas: Playful Brides (book#10)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Valerie Bowman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, October 30, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 320
Rating: 4
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Description from Amazon.com:

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe in Kiss Me At Christmas by Valerie Bowman.
Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…
Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

**
When someone wants to hurt Regina, her cousin the Marquess hires Daffin to protect her. That means that Daffin will be spending the holidays with the Marquess and his family. Not a prospect Daffin relishes but he is fond of his good friend the Marquess. Being together with Regina is another problem since Regina has made untoward advances and Daffin tries to keep his presence on a professional Bow Street basis. But this is an HEA so we know that love will win out, that is if Daffin can find out who wants to hurt Regina.

This is a romance wrapped up in a mystery and actually a better romance than mystery. There was a bit too much coincidence involved with the mystery. It takes place during the December holidays and there is a bit of Christmassy fun. I enjoyed both the Hero and heroine, they were well developed with interesting back stories, especially for Daffin. Side characters have appeared in previous books in this series but this is a standalone novel.

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Advance Review- Barbarous by Minerva Spencer

Barbarous

Title: Barbarous (Outcasts, book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance/Pirates
Author: Minerva Spencer
Publisher: Zebra, Oct. 30, 2018 preorder available
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 304
Rating: 5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
He could be her ruin

Hugh Redvers is supposed to be dead. So the appearance of the sun-bronzed giant with the piratical black eye patch is deeply disturbing to Lady Daphne Davenport. And her instant attraction to the notorious privateer is not only wildly inappropriate for a proper widow but potentially disastrous. Because he is also the man Daphne has secretly cheated of title, lands, and fortune.

She could be his salvation

Daphne Redvers’ distant, untouchable beauty and eminently touchable body are hard enough to resist. But the prim, almost severe, way she looks at him suggests this might be the one woman who can make him forget all the others. His only challenge? Unearthing the enemy who threatens her life . . . and uncovering the secrets in her cool blue eyes.
**
Privateer, Hugh Redvers has been summoned back to England by his old friend, Will Standish, because threatening notes have been arriving at the home of his uncle’s widow, Daphne and her sons. Hugh was the earl’s heir until the old earl married young Daphne and now her son is due to inherit. Hugh’s enemies are also posing a threat, but Daphne has secrets and enemies and Hugh is trying to unravel who is the enemy and how he can protect Daphne. At the same time Hugh may have to deal with other threats.
This is a terrific series and this book is as fun to read as the first in the series, Dangerous.

This is the story of the pirate(privateer), Hugh Redvers, who sent his ship to save Mia from the Harem. (book#1) but that is just an aside. This is a standalone book with just cameos from the first book. That said the hero of the next book is introduced in this book. You can start with this one and then read Mia and Adam’s story in Dangerous since they run concurrently.
I am excited to tell you about this action packed book, with some surprises and lots of sensual moments. Hugh is a pirate to swoon over and we want Daphne to tame him. There are heart pounding moments that kept me turning pages long into the wee hours of the morning. Another delicious novel from Minerva Spencer in the “Outcasts” series.

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