Monthly Archives: September 2018

Audio Book Review- To Tempt A Scoundrel by Christi Caldwell

To Tempt A Scoundrel

Title: To Tempt A Scoundrel (The Heart of A Duke, Book #15)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Christi Caldwell
Narrator: Tim Campbell
Source: Purchase Kindle/Audible
Publisher: Christi Caldwell
Pages: 211
Rating Book: 5
Rating Narration: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating:0
Description from Amazon:

Never trust a gentleman…
Once before, Lady Alice Winterbourne trusted her heart to an honorable, respectable man… only to be jilted in the scandal of the Season. Longing for an escape from all the whispers and humiliation, Alice eagerly accepts an invitation to her friend’s house party. In the country, she hopes to find some peace from the embarrassment left in London… Unfortunately, she finds her former betrothed and his new bride in attendance.

Never love a lady…
Lord Rhys Brookfield has no interest in marriage. Ever. He’s worked quite hard at building both his fortune and his reputation as a rogue—and intends to enjoy all that they can offer him. That is if his match-making mother will stop pairing him with prospective brides. When Rhys and Alice meet, sparks flare. But with every new encounter, their first impressions of one another are challenged and an unlikely friendship is forged.

Desperate, Rhys proposes a pretend courtship, one meant to spite Alice’s former betrothed and prevent any matchmaking attempts toward Rhys. What neither expects is that a pretense can become so much more. Or that a burning passion can heal… and hurt.

**

If you have never listened to romance on audio books then have I got a treat for you. All of Christi Caldwell’s books in this series are swoon worthy when read but when narrator/performer, Tim Campbell reads them in his molasses and honey baritone you are transported. Each book is a standalone in the series with some cameos from characters in previous books. These are also some of the most affordable audio books. (At this writing I bought the Kindle e-book for $2.99 and the audio book was offered for $7.49 .)

In this elegantly written and superbly sensual story, Rhys is being nagged to marry by his mother who has already picked out his bride. Rhys has no intention of marrying anyone, but especially his mother’s pick, Aria Cunning.  Alice was jilted by her betrothed just a year ago and finds herself at a Christmas house party surprised that her former betrothed is attending with his new wife. She and Rhys go from bickering to friends to trying to help each other through the party. Well on the way to an HEA.

I very highly recommend this book and audio book, and also this entire series.

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Kindle Deal-Blue Heron Complete Collection by Kristan Higgins

I had to tell you about this deal since this is my favorite Contemporary Romance series. You will love it, I guarantee!

Blue Heron complete collection

Today this fabulous series is on an Amazon Kindle sale for $2.99 

From Amazon:Funny, sexy and totally unforgettable! Discover the reason top retailers and reviewers have named Kristan Higgins’s Blue Heron series among their favorite books. A fan-favorite series from New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins, all five books in the Blue Heron series are collected here.

From the deep blue lakes to the lush, rolling hills to the to-die-for nachos they serve at the only bar in town, the residents of Manningsport, New York, know there’s something pretty darn special about their little community tucked away in wine country. It’s a place where romance is always in the air, full of first loves and second chances…and there’s always a good vintage handy to help get over a broken heart.

The Best Man originally published 2013

The Perfect Match originally published 2013

Waiting on You originally published 2014

In Your Dreams originally published 2014

Anything for You originally published 2015

 

 

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Recent Release Review- How The Earl Entices by Anna Harrington

How the Earl Entices

Title: How The Earl Entices (Capturing The Carlisles, book #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Anna Harrington
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: NYLA, Sept. 2018
Pages: 328
Rating: 3.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

WHEN OLD DECEPTIONS LEAD TO NEW DESIRES
Ross Carlisle, Earl of Spalding, has dedicated his life to serving his country. When he discovers secrets that could endanger England, he’s forced into an impossible situation—commit treason and race to London to clear his name before the crown turns against him. He’s prepared to abandon everything he possesses in order to protect England, including his life…until he crosses paths with a woman who’s keeping her own secrets.

Ten years ago, Grace Alden fled the only life she’d ever known in order to protect her son, only to come face-to-face with that past when Ross collapses on her doorstep. They strike a deal—she’ll help him travel to London if he helps her reclaim her son’s inheritance. But as old deceptions turn into new desires, will they be willing to sacrifice everything they hold dear in order to protect the people they love?

**
Another good read in Harrington’s Capturing the Carlisles series. There is plenty of action and an abundance of secrets on the part of Grace. Well, Ross had his share of secrets to start with but he came clean sooner than Grace. That was a difficult part to understand, why Grace felt it necessary to keep her secrets for so long. She often voiced her reasons but they just didn’t make sense if she wanted Ross’ help. Another thing that annoyed me was how Grace’s seriously stupid action almost cost her serious consequences at one point and then her “bravery” also worked out a second time. This is not an empowered woman, only a lucky one.

Yes, I had some issues with this book but the story was a good one and I did enjoy reading it.

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Advance Review-Last Night With The Earl by Kelly Bowen

Last Night With An Earl

Title: Last Night With The Earl (The Devils pf Dover, book#2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kelly Bowen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Forever, Sept 25, 2018
Pages: 462
Rating: 2.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiancé betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

**

I was disappointed in this book. It was too much like the first book in the series, A Duke In The Night, I had some issues with how modern the attitudes were in that book and they seemed to have carried over into this book. I’m certain that Ms. Bowen can write well but this story seemed to me to be just a rehash of the first book.

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Recent Release-Bakra Bride by N.J. Walters

Bakra Bride

Title: Bakra Bride ( Tapestries book #2)
Genre: Erotic Time Travel Romance
Author: N.J. Walters
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Beyond The Page, August 2018
Pages: 172
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5+
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

After witnessing a gruesome murder, Jane Smith has watched her life crumble around her. Her only solace is the stunning and mysterious tapestry she discovered at a thrift store. When the image stitched into the tapestry magically comes to life one night, Jane finds herself transported to a mystical Medieval world, where two massive warriors declare their intentions to cater to her every sensual desire.

Zaren and Bador are stunned to realize that the prophecy of the tapestry has come true and brought Jane to them. The brothers willingly accept their duty to indulge her in every possible form of passion. But Jane’s arrival has also attracted the attention of rival warriors, who will go to any lengths to steal her from the Bakra brothers and claim her as their own.

As Jane adjusts to this frightening but enthralling world, Zaren and Bador risk all to protect her—even as they use all their sexual skill, separately and together, to take her to unimagined sensual heights. Because the time for Jane to choose is drawing near, and the Bakra brothers must convince her to abandon her former life—and take one of them as her loving husband for all time . . .

**
Looking for a sexy, erotic romance without BDSM, this is your book. However if you want a good time-travel book then this one falls short. This is typical erotica in that there is a lot of sex in many variations, but it is cloaked in a bit of sappy romance. Zaren is over-the-top in his “love” for Jane. At least Bador seems to have a level head. Jane is having the time of her sexual life so it really leaves little doubt about her staying with the brothers or about which one she will choose for a husband. Little does it matter since she will still get to have sex with her brother-in-law also. This is a good erotic novel if you are tired of women being blindfolded and tied up, none of that here. Jane is a very active participant in all the bedroom romps. The writing is good, I just wish the time-travel part was explored further. The TT premise was a good one but it fell flat.

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Release Day Review- The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List

Title: The Dinner List
Genre: General Fiction/Magical Realism
Author: Rebecca Serle
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Flatiron Books, Sept. 11, 2018
Pages: 288
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5-not too graphic
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends with in her utterly captivating novel, THE DINNER LIST, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You.
When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.
**
A delightful premise that will have you naming your own 5 dinner guests. This is Sabrina’s dinner party on her birthday. She has invited her estranged father Robert, her significant other of 9 years, Tobias, her BFF, Jessica, Her college professor and Audrey Hepburn. They are all there for a reason. To help Sabrina put to rest the past and move on with her life.

This book is a compelling read and I could not put it down until I had finished the last page. It is a book about family, romance, and friends.   It is also about expectations and dashed hopes. It only gets a 4-star rating because I really can’t figure out why Audrey Hepburn is in the book in spite of Sabrina and her fathers’ enjoyment of her films. I recommend this book but have a box of tissues handy.

Deet’s Five: My Great Grandfathers, August and Frederick (German immigrants in the 19th century), Lisa Kleypas (favorite author), my Mom (because I miss her), Steve Martin (Every dinner party needs someone to tell a joke). I expect this list will change the more I think about it.

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Book and Movie Review- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Source: purchase
Publisher: The Dial Press, 2008
Pages: 322
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 3
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
**
THE BOOK: I have been meaning to read this book for years. It has been sleeping on my TBR pile always being moved lower in favor of some newer romance. Well Netflix made a movie of it and I decided that before I watched the movie I would read the book. And what a truly wonderful experience, yes, it is an experience to read this book. It is heartwarming, romantic, chilling, sorrowful, joyful and I guarantee you will place this book on your shelf to take down and reread over and over again.

It is written in the form of letters between all the characters and Juliet. Each letter moves the story along and gives more insight into the lives of people on the island of Guernsey during the Nazi occupation. It is a story of hardship, resilience, cooperation and love but it is also the story of Juliet and the members of the Society after the war.

If you read no other book this year please take some time and read this one.  Don’t let it languish for years on your To-Be-Read pile.

THE MOVIE (currently on Netflix): Not the same as the book, only the characters are recognizable and well cast.  I can’t really compare it to the book since so many features and scenes were changed. However, if I hadn’t read the book I am sure I would thoroughly enjoy the movie. Lily James (Downton Abbey’s Rose and Disney’s Cinderella)was perfect in the role of Juliet. The photography was beautiful and the whole movie felt like the 1940’s should have felt. Perhaps you should watch the movie first, then read the book. I think I would have enjoyed the movie more if I had done that.

P.S.- I was not a subscriber to Netflix until I heard that this movie and The Great British Baking Show was to be on this month. Now they have me with a free month but I suspect my subscription will continue….sigh…

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Release Day Review- The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews

The Matrimonial Advertisement

Title: The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Author: Mimi Matthews
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Sept 4, 2018
Pages: 317
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?

**
Well written with wonderful prose. Helena is desperate for someone to protect her from her greedy uncle. Justin is taken with Helena when they first meet and will “go to the ends of the earth” for her. But they are worlds apart in social standing, she an Earl’s daughter and he is an orphan bastard. There are many obstacles to overcome and scandal will follow.

I truly enjoyed reading this very original story. I do look forward to future books in this series. (Some of the orphans were introduced; Finchely and Nevelle.) I also hope the future books will explain why Mr. Oswald was so reviled. I was disappointed in this feature not being concluded satisfactorily. There is interesting information about the horrors of the Private Mental Asylums in the Victorian era.

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