Advance Review- It’s All About The Duke by Amelia Grey

It's All about the Duke

Title: It’s All About The Duke: The Rakes of St. James, book #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Amelia Grey
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 29, 2018
Pages: 352
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal—but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…
Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?
**
Cute and coincidental, that is how I view this book. I enjoyed Marlena and her BFF Eugenia and even some of Eugenia’s fainting whenever she saw the duke. That this consummate Rake had an epiphany and became an honorable gentleman who could sponsor a ward who is in her twenties…well, that was a stretch. Okay, now you think I didn’t like the book but that is not true. Ms. Amelia Grey can write circles around most others and give you laughs one minute and have you tearing-up the next. This was a most enjoyable Historical Romance, cute and coincidental.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- Matchmaking For Beginners: A Novel by Maddie Dawson

Matchmaking for beginners

Title: Matchmaking For Beginners: a novel
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Author: Maddie Dawson
Source: Free from “Amazon First Reads” for Prime members, otherwise $4.99 on Kindle
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing, June 1, 2018
Pages: 378
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5 (behind closed doors)
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

**
There is a bit of magic in the way Blix and Marnie can see auras and “sparkles” that lets them know what couples belong together and those that should get out of the relationship. Maneuvering those that should be together has been elderly Blix’s life work and now that she is at the end of her life she wants to pass on her “projects” to the only person she has ever met who is qualified for the task, Marnie. Reluctant Marnie finds that she is manipulated into a life that she didn’t expect.

Oh my! This is a gem of a book and an absolute delight to read. I was smiling most of the way through, unable to put it down and so sorry to see it end. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can read this book for free now. If you are not a Prime member, at $4.99 it is still a steal but you will have to wait for its release on June 1st. Don’t wait! Go ahead and preorder if you must, I’m guaranteeing one of your best reads of 2018.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, General Fiction & Literature, Romance, Women's Fiction

Recent Release Review- The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

The Luck of the Bride

Title: The Luck of The Bride (Cavensham Heiresses Series, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Janna MacGregor
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 1, 2018
Pages: 384
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

She’s leaving nothing up to chance. Not even love…
March Lawson is an orphan who, for the past eight years, has struggled to raise her siblings on a meager allowance. Most women March’s age would be picking out ball gowns for the upcoming season. But March’s focus is not on finding a husband. First, she must devote her energies to just one man: the coldhearted skinflint who refuses to release her inheritance.
Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, is not a heartless man. When he learns that Miss Lawson has been forging his name to procure funds, he can’t bring himself to have her arrested—not when the bold-faced embezzler is so enchantingly beautiful. Instead, McCalpin agrees to visit her home to assess the situation more closely. March has no choice but to accept. But how can she manage the handsome trustee who controls her purse strings—when he tugs at her heart strings as well?

**
Filled to over flowing with heartwarming characters we settle in for a feel good novel of a certain Happily Ever After. That is, as long as the H & h prove that they are not their own worst enemy. But there is an enemy, cousin Rupert is villain enough for them and causes a rift that may tear them apart.

This is a heartwarming story that will give the reader feel-good vibes. I enjoyed it but I did think that the impact of scandal in the 19th century was given little credence. I do recommend it for the delightful story and characters.

1 Comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- Someone To Care by Mary Balogh

Someone to Care

Title: Someone To Care (A Westcott Novel, book #4)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Mary Balogh
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Berkley, May 1, 2018
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune–except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness–until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.

Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.

When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it. . . .

**

I love how Ms. Balogh can bring the Regency period to life and give us such superb characterizations. We sympathize with Viola’s anxiety and choices, and we understand Marcel even if we disagree with his choices. We become totally invested in both the H & h.
We are given cameo appearances by Viola’s extended family that brings us up to date on their lives. In depth looks at Marcel’s children and family round out a very large cast of characters. At times so many characters can be a bit overwhelming but their appearance in the novel is necessary to understand Viola and Marcel’s dealings.

This is the fourth book in the A Westcott Novel series and can standalone but I do encourage you to read the previous books in the series for a more complete understanding of Viola and her family.

(Isn’t that a beautiful cover? So classy, just like the author.)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

A Duke like no other

Title: A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides Series, book#9)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Valerie Bowman
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martins Press, May 2018
Pages: 368
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the otherway around. . .
General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.
Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled.
**
I have been a huge fan of this series but this book was just all wrong for me. Now you might be okay with the background of the couple being told in flashbacks but those just annoy me and take me away from the interesting part of the story. I liked the way the book started off with Mark seeking his estranged wife so he could get the promotion of his dreams and Nicole agreeing to help him if he will give her the child she craves. We can deduce that these two really are fond of each other but because of a misunderstanding they remain estranged. That was a good start and then we are thrown into a murder mystery that affects Mark and the coincidence is rather in your face. It is like the first part of the book didn’t set well with the author so she started an entirely different story keeping Nicole in because she was hanging around waiting to be made enceinte.
Now the book is not a complete bust because the mystery is rather fun. So if You don’t mind flashbacks and abrupt changes in storyline then you are in for a good read.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- The Pisces by Melissa Broder

The Pisces

Title: The Pisces
Genre: General Literature/Fantasy
Author: Melissa Broder
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Hogarth, May 1, 2018
Pages: 288
Rating: 2
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection.

Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

**
“Obsessive love”? I think it was more like obsessive lust. Okay, maybe some love but for the most part this is the story of a woman who went off the rails and searched for love in all the wrong places. The worst place was the ocean. That’s where she met the merman, Theo, whose siren call (his charm and attention to her) she could not resist.

I did not like this book and I think the reason is that I didn’t like any of the women and I did like Theo and he disappointed me. Besides, this is a very depressing book. I’m on a personal campaign to read books that are uplifting and the blurb led me to believe this would be one of those. Unfortunately it isn’t. The author is accomplished at turning a phrase but what comes across is someone who is very unhappy. This is just another man-bashing tirade. Not once did I find anything “hilarious”.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Fantasy, General Fiction & Literature

Release Day Review- Quinn by D.B. Reynolds

Quinn

Title: Quinn (Vampires In America, book #12)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: D.B. Reynolds
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: ImaJinn, April 27, 2018
Pages: 308
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Ireland—a land of magic and fantasy, of fierce warrior kings and fairy mounds . . . and, of course, vampires who’ve been around for nearly as long as those beguiling fey.

Brilliant and ambitious, Quinn Kavanagh was aiming for the top, even before he was turned. But now, as a powerful vampire lord, he’s driven by the demands of his blood, compelled to conquer and destroy, to defeat Ireland’s criminal ruler, and make the territory a better place for all its vampires and humans alike.

Smart and beautiful, Eve Connelly was a graduate student with life’s endless possibilities stretched out before her. She knew nothing of vampires and didn’t care . . . until she watched two of them murder her beloved brother. Now she’s driven, too. But she doesn’t want to help Ireland’s vampires—she just wants to kill them.

Bound together by love and hate, Quinn and Eve will risk everything to bring down the bloody regime of Ireland’s current vampire ruler. But in order to find revenge for Eve and the ultimate power for Quinn, they first have to learn to trust each other. And that might be the most dangerous thing of all . . . .

**
In this book the American vampires have left the states for Ireland. Vampire Quinn means to wrest control of the Irish vampires from the villainous lord Sorely, this to establish a foothold for bringing the vampire war to Europe. Frequently getting in the way of Quinn’s plans is determined vampire hunter, Eve. Falling in love was not in the plan.

This being book #12 in the Vampires In America series, what can I always count on when I read one of these books? I can count on a smoking hot, dangerous, over the top Alpha vampire Lord, an intelligent heroine that can hold her own in…most situations, although at times she may be naïve about vampires, super sizzling sexual tension and sex scenes and action scenes to rival the best thriller movies. This latest entry in the series does not disappoint on any of these points. The world of Quinn and Eve is fraught with danger at every turn because as we know vampires are a dangerous lot.

It was once again easy to fall under the spell of D.B. Reynolds’ vampires and lose myself in her vampire world. I loved the background information on how Quinn and Garrett were turned. The action scenes were well done and if I have any complaint it is that I wanted more from Quinn’s entourage in those scenes. This is not my favorite book of the series but I am falling for Quinn.

Do understand that there is violence aplenty and smokin’ hot sex .

Another goody in the series but do be sure to check out those that came before.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Recent Release Review-You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

You Think it I'll Say it

Title: You Think It I’ll Say It: Stories
Genre: Contemporary Short Stories
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Random House, April 24, 2018
Pages: 226
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided. In “The World Has Many Butterflies,” married acquaintances play a strangely intimate game with devastating consequences. In “Vox Clamantis in Deserto,” a shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life. In “A Regular Couple,” a high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. And in “The Prairie Wife,” a suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie.

With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.

**
This book chronicles the often misinterpretations that arise between men and women. The author shows how seemingly innocent encounters or games or interactions between men and women are misconstrued. Sometimes a women feels she is in love only to find that the man isn’t onboard. Or the man thinks he has an innocent relationship where the woman wants more. Each story is different and well worth the read. So sit down and enjoy the mystery of the sexes. Highly recommended.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Short Story

Release Day Review- A Devil Of A Duke by Madeline Hunter

A Devil of A Duke

Title: A Devil of A Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance Regency
Author: Madeline Hunter
Source: Free for review from the publisher via Amazon Vine
Publisher: Zebra, Apr. 24, 2018
Pages: 352
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

HE MAY BE A DEVIL
He’s infamous, debaucherous, and known all over town for his complete disregard for scandal, and positively irresistible seductions. Gabriel St. James, Duke of Langford, is obscenely wealthy, jaw-droppingly handsome, and used to getting exactly what he wants. Until his attention is utterly captured by a woman who refuses to tell him her name, but can’t help surrendering to his touch . . .

BUT SHE’S NO ANGEL EITHER . . .
Amanda Waverly is living two lives—one respectable existence as secretary to an upstanding lady, and one far more dangerous battle of wits—and willpower—with the devilish Duke. Langford may be the most tempting man she’s ever met, but Amanda’s got her hands full trying to escape the world of high-society crime into which she was born. And if he figures out who she really is, their sizzling passion will suddenly boil over into a much higher stakes affair . . .

**
Ah, yes, this may be a predictable Historical Romance but, it has been awhile since I’ve encountered such writing skill. This means I need to return to reading more from Madeline Hunter. The sensuality and sexual tension between Gabriel and Amanda is off the charts. There is deliciously clever dialog as these two play a cat and mouse game. This book is so elegantly written and splendidly entertaining I didn’t want it to end. I also look forward to more from the other two Decadent Dukes, Stratton and Brentworth, in the first and future books of the series. If you want to read a master at character development then look no further. Highly recommended.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- The Duke Who Ravished Me by Diana Quincy

The Duke Who Ravished Me

Title: The Duke Who Ravished Me (Rebellious Brides, book #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Darcy Quincy
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Loveswept, April 17, 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: ? (Kindle ARC editions do not contain page numbers.)
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, happily enjoys a different woman (or two) every night—or he did, until his wards landed on his doorstep. Ever since Sunny took in the seven-year-old twin girls and their prim and proper governess, Isabel Finch, his love life has been a shambles. But, as time goes by, Sunny catches himself getting lost in Isabel’s haughty blue eyes, or following the curves beneath her unbecoming dress. An unexpected kiss ignites a passion that shocks him into realizing how thin the line between love and hate can be.

If Isabel’s hidden past were revealed, she could lose everything. Oddly enough, only when “Sinful Sunny” is near does she feel safe—or safe enough to speak up in defense of the girls. The duke’s decadent lifestyle is a disgrace, and clearly he considers Isabel a nuisance. Still, she can’t help admiring his sculpted cheekbones, strong-cut jaw, and tousled chestnut hair. When their lips meet, it’s almost as if he could kiss the secrets right out of her. Worse, she’s tempted to let him. . . .

**
This book is pretty formulaic to start; Dissipated, haughty Duke, forced to be guardian of young girls, is constantly bickering with their governess. The plain governess is only interested in her charges safety and morality. Then the two find they are attracted to each other. We’ve read this story line before but in the hands of Diana Quincy it becomes something new and very interesting. There are passionate moments and rage filled misunderstandings that all lead to a surprising Happily Ever After.

Side Characters from previous books are involved in the plot but this is definitely readable as a standalone. I enjoyed this Regency romance and can sincerely recommend it to Historical Romance readers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, E-Book