Advance Review- Never Deny A Duke by Madeline Hunter

Never Deny A Duke

Title: Never Deny A Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Madeline Hunter

Publisher: Kensington, April 30, 2019 (pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 304

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:

He is the last duke standing

. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.

The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . .

**
A terrific enemies to lovers story. This trope works so well in the hands of an accomplished author and Madeline Hunter is one of the best. I loved the character development.

Davina is on a mission to find the necessary proof to reclaim her ancestral land. She is not letting anyone stand in her way of discovering the truth, not even the King. Brentworth, the Duke, is not about to give up his claim to those lands that Davina insists are hers. But when the two decide to work together to discover the truth they fall passionately in love.

I highly recommend this book to all Historical Romance readers.
I read book #2, A DEVIL OF A DUKE, in this series and loved that one also. Each is a standalone so I will definitely seek out Book #1, THE MOST DANGEROUS DUKE IN LONDON.

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Release Day Review- Run Away by Harlan Coben

Run Away

Title: Run Away

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Author: Harlan Coben

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs.

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.
***
Harlan Coben gives us, once again, a well plotted, suspenseful thriller. Simon, a financial analyst, doesn’t know how his life has fallen apart all he knows is that he must save his oldest daughter, but he can’t find her. There is his beautiful wife, Ingrid, a pediatrician and his three children; the two younger kids are on the right path but the oldest went off to college and ended up drowning in drugs. Simon takes many paths to find Paige, most very dangerous. Coben gives us some seeming unrelated events that all coalesce into a heart pounding surprising ending. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a can’t-put-it-down read.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Deet

St_-Patricks-Day

 

And Who was this St. Patrick? He was the saint who drove the snakes out of Ireland.

st-patricks-day-cartoon

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Recent Release Review- Wicked With The Scoundrel by Elizabeth Bright

Wicked With The Scoundrel

Title: Wicked With The Scoundrel (Wicked Secrets #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Elizabeth Bright

Publisher: Entangled, Feb. 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 217

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:

After ten years of adventure, Colin Smith, the bastard son of a viscount, returns to the place he most despises ––London. But only until he can sell off some of his treasures. He has no use for the stifling rules of the ton, but he’s more than happy to play the game if it gets him what he wants.
Lady Claire, daughter of a marquess, is everything Colin loathes about the ton, but she is determined to win him over. Her life is a catalogue of dances and evening gowns, and thanks to an eidetic memory, she can remember every blasted, boring second of it. A treasure hunt for the Cleopatra Emerald promises adventure, but Claire wants more. If she can convince Colin Smith to take her with him as he travels the world, then she’ll have the life she’s always dreamed of. There’s just one problem, he doesn’t seem to like her much.
But Lady Claire loves a good challenge and the intellectual beauty may be on her way to the grandest adventure of all.
Each book in the Wicked Secrets series is STANDALONE:
* Twice As Wicked
* Lady Gone Wicked
* Wicked With the Scoundrel

***

Here we have a quirky heroine who remembers everything and feels free to recite all details whenever someone inquires. Our hero is an adventurer who is only moderately interesting. They go on a quest; she for adventure and he for a treasure. Actually they both would like the treasure but only Claire is determined that it is to be found. Colin believes it to be a wild goose chase. He goes along with the adventure at the bidding of Claire’s father who has promised funding for Colin’s next Egyptian quest.

I enjoyed this book for the unique characters. It was well written with interesting side characters.

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Recent Release Review- Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain

Lady Notorious

Title: Lady Notorious (Royal Rewards book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Theresa Romain

Publisher: Zebra, Feb. 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Cassandra Benton has always survived by her wits and wiles, even working for Bow Street alongside her twin brother. When injury takes him out of commission, Cass must support the family by taking on an intriguing new case: George, Lord Northbrook, believes someone is plotting to kill his father, the Duke of Ardmore. Decades before, the duke was one of ten who formed a wager that would grant a fortune to the last survivor. But someone can’t wait for nature to take its course—and George hopes a seasoned investigator like Cass can find out who.

Cass relishes the chance to spy on the ton, shrewdly disguised as handsome Lord Northbrook’s notorious “cousin.” What she doesn’t expect is her irresistible attraction to her dashing employer, and days of investigation soon turn to passionate nights. But with a killer closing in and her charade as a lady of the ton in danger of collapsing at any moment, Cass has no choice but to put her life—and her heart—in the hands of the last man she ought to trust . . .

***

This book was unique in that we have an Alpha heroine and a Beta Hero. I did enjoy the fact that Cass was so intelligent and capable as a detective but George, Lord Northbrook was just a bit too Beta for my taste. He seemed to be so set on his camera obscura experiments to the ignoring of the task he hired Cass to do. He even took his experiments along on their trip to the seaside. Still the romance was fun with Cass playing the seductress. The mystery was solved (although it was a bit obvious). I do recommend this book for that twist of Alpha and Beta, it is well done.

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Do You Reread Favorite Books?

Do you reread books? I mean, do you keep a book on your shelf and take it down every few months/years to read again? These are usually books that grab us in some indefinable way. They stir our emotions, define our sense of good creative writing or even teach us something new or remind of us what we already know.

I’m not big on rereading the classics. The only literary classic I can recall rereading is Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, although there may have been others. My mind is currently all wrapped around what I’ve been book-devouring for the past few years, which are vampires, romance & mystery.
I’m not too involved with rereading non-fiction. Only one book on my shelf is worn from use and that is Sister Wendy Beckett’s THE STORY OF PAINTING. This one gets hauled out when I’m having museum withdrawal.

I have so many books in my To-Be-Read pile that rereads do take a back seat, but some oldies are just too good to not take a breather with now and then.

Here are a few of my favorite rereads, grouped in genres;
Vampires:
Lynsay Sands’ SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE– after being introduced to the modern take on vampires by reading the TWILIGHT series; I was thrilled to find Sand’s Argeneau vampire series. They were funny, and sexy. This book was the first I read and led me to the entire series where I simply fell in love with this fun loving vampire family. This one is still my favorite of the series.

Single White Vampire
D.B. Reynolds’ RAPHAEL– I have read this book three, maybe 4, times. It is a wonderful combination of THE GODFATHER (or GOODFELLAS) and very sexy, romantic vampires. The entire Vampire’s In America Series is rereadable for me for I love scary vampires who wreak pheromones. Not to discount the fabulous wordsmithing of Reynolds.

Raphael

Lara Adrian’s MIDNIGHT BREED SERIES– Okay, I have not reread all of these yet but I will because this is the penultimate vampire brotherhood ( sorry J.R. Ward fans). In this series there is lots of action and lots of suspense and LOTS of romance. I just need some free read time to start on these again.

Midnight breed series

Romance:
Linda Howard’s KILL AND TELL-(Romantic Suspense) What can I say, this has one of the longest seductions in any book I’ve read. The over the top Alpha male (like most of Howard’s heroes) is so good that the heroine doesn’t realize she’s been seduced until it is wa-a-ay too late. Add to that delight, the steamy description of the wet New Orleans setting and I am transported. And it has a very suspenseful A+ plot.

 

Historical Romance:
Mary Balogh’s A MATTER OF CLASS– talk about delightful!!! This is one of my favorite Historical Romances and probably the shortest book I’ve read. I can’t say more because I would not want to spoil it for you.

Lisa Kleypas’ Suddenly You- Wow! a perfect book boyfriend in Jack. But let me not forget the stunning Wallflower Series, four books of sheer delight. The Hathaway Series is also totally absorbing.

 

Julia Quin’s Bridgerton Series- A fabulous family with each sibling getting a HEA.

The Duke and I

Mysteries:

I have trouble rereading mysteries because on the second read I already know “whodunit”. But I have read some again because I like the author and I am impatient for their next book. Those would be Harlan Cobin, Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden series, Kathrine Hall’s The Body in The… series.
**
Perhaps if you pick up one of the books I have mentioned you will get hooked on a few rereads too. Or am I preaching to the choir? Do you have favorite rereads? Tell me about them. Have you reread a book that didn’t hold-up to your expectations?

(Parts of this post is reposted from an earlier post.)

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Advance Review- A Wicked Reputation by Liana Lefey

A Wicked Reputation

Title: A Wicked Reputation (Once Wicked book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Liana LeFey

Publisher: Entangled: Amara, Feb. 25, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 243

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Betrayed by her fiancé and her best friend, Lady Diana Haversham’s reputation is left in ruins, and she is unjustly cast out by her family. Left with little choice, she agrees to pretend to be a courtesan to protect her benefactor’s secret. What she didn’t count on was meeting temptation in the form of one Lord Lucas Blackthorn.
Lucas is fascinated by the shameless Diana, whom his friends claim is his perfect counterpart. He can’t stop thinking about her sultry smile and captivating eyes, but what draws him most is the sharp mind she reveals—and the certainty she’s hiding something.
When Lucas learns the scandalous truth, Diana will have to make a life-and-death choice.
Each book in the Once Wicked series is STANDALONE:
* To Love a Libertine
* Once a Courtesan
* A Wicked Reputation

***

This was a good read. The premise of a scandalous lady being wooed by an aristocrat is perhaps not new but this match up has many layers of subterfuge. It has heart pounding moments Where we think everything is lost. The side characters are well developed and add to the plot. Lucas is a swoon worthy hero but so is the Marquess Harrow who is Diana’s protector. Diana is the daughter of a Duke but because of lies her reputation was ruined.

I liked the unique plot and the way the characters were developed with sympathy. At times I thought that Lucas made some rather ill thought out mistakes which almost made me give up on him. But then he would turn around and redeem himself.

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Valentine’s Day 2019

Back in 2012 I posted a “Sexy Man Tuesday” Valentine.  Since I still think it one of my more thoughtful…well…appreciated posts I’m going to send you over there to have a look. https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/sexy-man-tuesday-happy-valentines-day/ Be sure to watch the Morticia and Gomez video…be still my heart!

Valentine's Day All-you-need-is-love

 


 

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Release Day Review- A Duke In Need Of A Wife by Annie Burrows

a duke in need of a wife

Title: A Duke In Need Of A Wife

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Annie Burrows

Publisher: Harlequin Historical, Feb. 1, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 288

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

A search for a duchess…despite his scandalous secret!

Oliver, Duke of Theakstone, needs a duchess, but who will accept his secret illegitimate child? He invites several eligible ladies to his estate to assess their suitability, including infuriating beauty Miss Sofia Underwood. Oliver is a master of cool practicality, so he’s hopeful when he sees the connection between Sofia and his daughter. What scares him is there’s nothing cool or practical about his attraction to Sofia!

**
Some historical Dukes can be so clueless. Oliver is fighting his attraction to clumsy, wild child Sofia and Sofia does not see herself as Duchess material. She is only at this house party because her Aunt Agnes wanted to hob-nob with the hoy-paloy. But Oliver has a secret child that Sofia accidentally meets.

There is nothing unique in this book, we have read it all before but somehow the magic happens with this author. What was ordinary becomes a fun, engrossing read. I can recommend this book to historical romance fans who like a good story with only kisses, no sex.

( Although this cover references the book content, I really don’t like it at all.)

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Release Day Review- Tempt Me With Diamonds by Jane Feather

tempt me with diamonds

Title: Tempt Me With Diamonds (London Gems book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Jane Feather

Publisher:Zebra, January 29, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 304

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:
A FINE ROMANCE…
Diana Sommerville seems to have it all—beauty, brains, and vast wealth, thanks to her family’s ownership of a diamond mine abroad. But when her beloved brother dies in battle and leaves a lion’s share of his estate to his best friend, Diana finds herself in a situation that seems scripted for the stage: Sharing her family home with the man she used to love—and now loathes. Worse, her unfaithful former fiancé has already moved in . . .

OR AN EXCELLENT FAKE?
Rupert Lacey didn’t expect Diana to take the news without a fight. Still, he didn’t expect her to bring the battle directly to their newly shared doorstep—complete with a full set of trunks, and a full set of orders to the staff. Yet there she is, bold, regal . . . magnificent as ever. Now they would face a formidable challenge: to ignore each other—and the unanswered questions that stood between them. The only sure thing is their still blazing desire. But with a woman like Diana, it will take nothing less than a momentous misunderstanding, a missing prized mare, and a shocking revelation to restore a love that hasn’t lost its shine . . .
**
At the beginning of this book we meet Diana, a woman who is grieveing the loss of her father and her brother. We also meet Rupert, who has inherited the entire estate of Diana’s brother. Rupert is also the ex fiance of Diana. Sparks fly when neither is willing to give up the family home or share amicably.

Questions of “why” keep the reader turning pages to find the answers and all is resolved in the end. I enjoyed this book with a real feel for the late Victorian time period with mention of steam ships, trains and restaurant nights of entertainment. We are glimpsed the African Boer War and it’s legacy.

The characters are well drawn. Diana is a product of a footloose childhood and a wealthy family. Rupert is from a neglected childhood but he is also from a gentry background. This book is not about aristocrats but about the wealthy merchant class. It was refreshing to read a book that sets the reader down into the historical era. I liked Diana and her friends Petra and Finella (heroines in future books in this series) but Found Rupert to be rather a bully at times. I kept thinking that these two were not a good matrimonial match. They had many stubborn arguments each unwilling to yield and a strong inability to understand each other. Lust seemed to be their strongest bond. It was a good read and I recommend it.

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