Monthly Archives: February 2014

New Release- A Wicked Pursuit by Isabella Bradford

Title:  A Wicked Pursuit: A Breckonridge Brothers Novel

A Wicked Pursuit

 Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian)

Author: Isabella Bradford

Publisher: Ballentine Books, Feb 25, 2014

Source: Free For review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

….new trilogy, three noble brothers—London’s most scandalous rakes—are about to do the unthinkable: settle down. Harry Fitzroy, Earl of Hargreave, is the first to meet his match and lose his heart . . . to a lady who’s not all what he expected.
 
As the eldest son of the Duke of Breconridge, Harry Fitzroy is duty-bound to marry—and marry well. Giving up his rakish ways for the pleasures of a bride’s bed becomes a delightful prospect when Harry chooses beautiful Lady Julia Barclay, the catch of the season. But a fall from his horse puts a serious crimp in his plans. Abandoned by Julia before he can propose, the unlucky bachelor finds himself trapped in the country in the care of Julia’s younger sister.

Harry has never met a woman like Lady Augusta. Utterly without artifice, Gus is clever and capable, and seems to care not a fig for society. After a taboo kiss awakens passion that takes them both by surprise, Harry realizes he’d almost given his heart to the wrong sister. While London tongues wag, he’ll use his most seductive powers of persuasion to convince the reluctant Gus that she belongs with him—as his equal, his love, his wife.

**

I wanted to love this book.  After all the author has written other historical romances as well as historical fiction as Susan Holloway.  I am a huge fan of her blog she shares with author Loretta Chase that has all manner of interesting posts on fashion and mores of the 18th and19th century. http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.com

So what went wrong for me with this book?  The writing was good, the characters appealing but the plot just fizzled.  The ending I would characterize as anti-climatic except that a climax was missing altogether.  I have rated the book as “okay” because the main characters are so well drawn and the attention to period detail was exceptionally done.

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New Release Review- The Trouble With Honor by Julia London

Title: The Trouble With Honor (Book #1, The Cabot Sisters series)

The Trouble With Honor

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Julia London

Publisher: Harlequin HQN, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Book #1 of author Julia London’s brand-new series about four sisters determined to rescue themselves from ruin…

Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home—and their place on the pedestal of society—to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.

**

Oh Yum! This book sizzles with sexual tension and romance.  It is a page turner from the beginning.  The wonderfully nuanced characters are spot on.  We have the feisty, slightly spoiled, head strong debutante and the penultimate rake.  She is trying to save herself and her sisters from ruin and he is on a downward spiral of losing his entire fortune.  They have an instant chemistry that neither can deny although they do their best.  He can’t keep his hands off of her and she can’t seem to refuse him. The side characters of the slightly vacant stepbrother, the social climbing fiancé, the serious sister, the wise beyond her years sister and the young attention grabbing sister make this a fun, believable read.

I highly recommend this book to all Historical Romance lovers.

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Review- What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

Title:  What Nora Knew

What Nora Knew

 Genre: Women’s Fiction

Author:  Linda Yellin

Publisher: Gallery Books, Jan. 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Molly Hallberg is a thirty-nine-year-old divorced writer living in New York City who wants her own column, a Wikipedia entry, and to never end up in her family’s Long Island upholstery business. For the past four years Molly’s been on staff for an online magazine, covering all the wacky assignments. She’s snuck vibrators through security scanners, speed-dated undercover, danced with the Rockettes, and posed nude for a Soho art studio.

Fearless in everything except love, Molly is now dating a forty-four-yearold chiropractor. He’s comfortable, but safe. When Molly is assigned to write a piece about New York City romance “in the style of Nora Ephron,” she flunks out big-time. She can’t recognize romance. And she can’t recognize the one man who can go one-on-one with her, the one man who gets her. But with wit, charm, whip-smart humor, and Nora Ephron’s romantic comedies, Molly learns to open her heart and suppress her cynicism in this bright, achingly funny novel.

**

Oh my, yes,yes,yes!!  This is so funny you will be laughing out loud and like me telling all your friends to read this book.  Molly Hallberg’s assignment from her magazine editor is to write a romantic article about people falling in love and staying in love, a la Nora Effron, says her editor.  Somehow Molly has weeks to write it but blows the article and nearly her job.  She is romantically challenged it seems.  So starts the Briget Jones  type antics and Molly continues to be clueless about love.

Linda Yellin can write wickedly witty scenes and dialog.  She captures that NYC vibe of disdain and disregard in the office and the snobby vibe of a weekend in the Hamptons, but all played for fun and laughs…for us…but not for our heroine.   Molly can’t seem to put a foot right.  Will she let her destiny be downtrodden?  We turn pages almost violently to find out if she can be saved from herself.

Oh please give yourself a treat and a lift during this snowy housebound winter and get this book.

**

(Now for a story from Deet:  Four, or maybe five, years ago I was attending a conference in Providence, Rhode Island.  I was sharing a room at a motel with my friend Cyndie and I awoke early one morning and trying not to wake her I grabbed my Kindle and headed for the breakfast room and please, Lord, coffee.  I settled myself in a chair in the already crowded room (lots of leaf peepers were up early to get some coffee before boarding their bus to see the blazing colors of Autumn). I turned on my Kindle and between sips of coffee I was reading and eating a rather crumbly blueberry muffin.  Someone said in my distracted ear, “Excuse me but how do you like it?”.  “What,” I mumbled through a mouthful of crumbs,”Do you mean the muffin?”. “No,” she laughed, “your Kindle, how do you like it?”  Well I extolled the virtues of Kindle and I think I convinced her she really would enjoy it.  Then she said to me, “you know, my daughter is an author.  Her name is Linda Yellin.  Have you heard of her?”  I apologized for being clueless about Ms. Yellin and promised to read her new book coming out the next year.  The next year I did look for Ms. Yellin’s book and decided to write her an e-mail telling her how her cute mother was on a leaf-peeper-book-promo-tour of New England and had led me to her book.  I never heard from Ms Yellin or her publisher.  I was a bit put out.  I decided not to buy the book.  Then this book, 5 years later, or maybe 4 years later was offered and I accepted to read it for review.  It”s fate I tell you.  I was meant to read Ms. Yellin’s work, one way or another, just as fate worked in her new novel.  I hope her mom is doing well, a delightful lady.)

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Review- Carrots by Colleen Helme

Title:  Carrots (A Shelby Nichols Adventure)

Carrots

 Genre: Chick Lit/Cozy Mystery

Author:  Colleen Helme

Publisher: Amazon digital, Feb 2011

Source:  borrowed on Amazon Prime

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: behind closed doors

Description from Amazon.com:

Shelby Nichols is an average woman who is married to the only guy she ever fell for. Her life is organized and predictable, revolving around her husband and two children. All that changes the day she stops at the grocery store for some carrots. As the cashier rings up her purchases, a gunman is busy robbing the bank inside the store. When a customer grabs the robber’s mask, he is shot and everyone runs for cover. Everyone except Shelby, who finds herself face to face with the killer. The next thing she knows, she’s lying on the floor with a bullet wound to her head. Luckily, the bullet only grazes her scalp, and she doesn’t suspect any lasting affects until later, when she suddenly ‘hears’ what people are thinking. With this uncanny ability, her life takes on a whole new dimension. Her kids think she’s bossy and too old to understand them, but that’s nothing compared to her husband. He says he loves her, but what is it about the redhead at work that he doesn’t want her to know? As if that isn’t enough, the gunman knows she can identify him, and he’s out to silence her forever. In her fight to stay alive, she is saved from certain death by a handsome hit-man with ties to organized crime. This pulls Shelby even deeper into danger, where knowing someone’s thoughts can not only hurt her feelings, but get her killed.

**

This is a zany romp in the Chick Lit genre.  I have no superlatives for the writing but the plotting and story line is well done.  There are some humorous moments.  The scenes that should have actually been full of scary drama are somehow not so much.  The mystery is quickly solved. The characterization calls to mind characters from other authors in the Mystery/Chick Lit genre.  There is the dark, handsome, dangerous bodyguard, the zany heroine who stumbles in one trouble after another, the dimpled police detective whom she calls…what else…”Dimples”.  This is a fast, light, read that will cause no PTSD symptoms.  Just some laughs.

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Deet’s Life- Speed Reading or Not

Speedread

I took a speed reading quiz to see just how fast/slow I was reading.  Well…..I already knew I read slowly because I really like to savor a book and find speeding up just distracts me too much.  What I didn’t realize, and what I discovered by taking the quiz, is that I read faster than a third grader but not quite as fast as an 8th grader. What!  Holy Guacamole!

I am going to bet all of you can beat my score without blinking. Give it a try and then tell me in the comments how well you did.

Go here: https://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/ereaders/speed-reader/iframe.html

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Advance Review- The Fall of A Saint by Christine Merrill

Title: The Fall of a Saint (Book #2, The Sinner and The Saint)

The Fall of A Saint

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Christine Merrill

Publisher: Harlequin Historical, March 1, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

THE ONLY WOMAN WHO CAN MAKE HIM REPENT!

Honorable—and handsome to boot!—Michael Poole, Duke of St. Aldric, has earned his nickname “The Saint.” But the ton would shudder if they knew the truth. Because, thrust into a world of debauchery, this saint has turned sinner!

With the appearance of fallen governess Madeline Cranston—carrying his heir—St. Aldric looks for redemption through a marriage of convenience. But the intriguing Madeline is far from a dutiful duchess, and soon this saint is indulging in the most sinful of thoughts…while his new wife vows to make him pay for his past.

**

My first introduction to the writing of Christine Merrill delights me in that I found this author.  The plotting is straight forward.  Maddie has been wronged and Michael has vowed to make amends.  All is good and right except that Maddie vows to make him sorry he wronged her.   This is a warm story of redemption and forgiveness.  There are more than a few moments where we doubt the romantic match.  There are some surprises also.

This is the second book in The Sinner and The Saint Series but it is a standalone novel.  Michael’s half brother Sam and his wife Evie play important roles in this book.  Their story is in book #1 of the series, THE GREATEST OF SINS, but we are given background enough in this book to make us look forward to reading their story.

I recommend this book to all romance readers who like a classically written historical romance.

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Recent Release Review- Romancing The Duke by Tessa Dare

Title:  Romancing The Duke (Book #1, Castles Ever After series)  

Romancing the Duke book    

 Genre:  Historical Romance

Author:  Tessa Dare

Publisher:  Avon, Jan. 2014

Source: Purchase (yes, I do buy books)

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com

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.

**

Have you been yearning to fall into a fairytale and lose yourself for several hours of humor, semi-drama and sizzling romance? Here it is in all its knights and handmaiden glory.  Yes, there are knights, a ghastly, ghostly Gostly Castle, a resident scarred and tortured  Duke, handmaidens (on demand it seems) and a feisty, innocent young woman who refuses to be pushed around.

Izzy is described as not a beauty, at least in her own eyes her super curly, untameable hair and her nose make her unattractive.  But Ransom, the duke, and the reader know that she is beautiful inside and out.  She has a pet ermine that attacks at will and also with encouragement.  She has knights and handmaidens at her beck and call.  Yes, it is true, but I will leave you to find out why.

Romancing the Duke Izzy hair

ermine

Romancing The Duke knight

Romancing the Duke handmaiden

Ransom is scarred and physically injured from a short-sword fight that occurred several months ago, but he is a handsome man in spite of the injuries, but irascible and not at all tolerant of having Izzy invade his space.  Duncan his manservant of all tasks just tries to help where he can.

Romancing The Duke Jason Momoa

Romancing The Duke Duncan michael-gough-jpg

This book is Tessa Dare in top form.  Her dialog and prose is laugh out loud:

She tilted her face to his.  He could feel her breath against his neck.  Soft wisps of heat.

“And ever since I was a girl,” she whispered, “I’ve dreamed of my first kiss.  I just knew in my heart that it would be romantic and tender and knee meltingly sweet.”

“Well now you know you were wrong.  By this age, you should be accustomed to disappointment.

Or perhaps this passage:

“Adolescence,” he said, “is awkward.  Attending a past lover’s wedding is awkward.  Making love on horseback is awkward.”

She was in agreement, so far as the first part.  She’d have to take his word on it when it came to the second and third……..

….She had a hundred questions she wanted to ask him.  Nay, a thousand.  And the stupidest questions were the ones that clamored loudest to get out. Have you truly made love on horseback?  She wanted to ask.  How does that even work? Was it how you were injured?

I recommend this book to all who want a feel good, smile friendly, sexy romance.

P.S.-thanks to blogger friend, Carol, for the idea to put faces with these characters.

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Deet’s Happy Valentine’s Day to you

I hope I’m not too late to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!!

ValDay14-CH

(cute Valentine hearts for readers from Daily Cheap Reads.com)

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Deet's Life, Historical Romance, Kindle, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Review- Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

Title: Unleashing Mr. Darcy

Unleashing Mr. Darcy

 Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Teri Wilson

Publisher: HQN, Dec 2013

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.

Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs—her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy…and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?

**

Can a cat fancier, me, really get into a book about dog shows? The answer is a resounding “Yes” when it has touches of my heroine author Jane Austen.  This is a delightful book with just enough Pride and Prejudice to let you know it is based on that story but not so much that you roll your eyes and say “oh Pul-eee-ze”.

This is not Ms. Wilson’s first book although it is the first she has based on a Jane book.  I found her dialog delightful, her characterization of Donovan wonderful (be still my heart) and the overall info about dog shows fascinating.  I did think that Elizabeth doth protest too much but then she had some issues to overcome.

I recommend this book to those who like Jane Austen, dogs, hunky wealthy guys and a good story.

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Free on Kindle Today, Historical Story from Courtney Milan plus another

The Lady always Wins

Here is my review from March, 2012:

If I had a top ten author list Courtney Milan would be on it every time she published.  This is a short story about 60-70 pages long.  Now you might think that is not enough length to fully develop a love story.  You would be wrong.  At first we don’t know why Simon feels an urgency to marry in three days and we wonder why this particular woman.  As the story unfolds we are privy to their long standing love and regard, and the problems that hindered them in the past and that have come to hinder them again.  There are heartbreaking memories that make the reader long for the couple’s happiness.   The romance in this story is exquisite.  If you ever thought roses were the flower of love your mind will be changed, for the flower of this love is the tulip.

Also free on Kindle: The prequel novella to The Brothers Sinister Series

The Governess Affair a novella

 

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