Monthly Archives: July 2021

Recent Release- A Good Day For Chardonnay by Darynda Jones

Title: A Good Day For Chardonnay (Sunshine Vicram, book #2)

Genre: Mystery/Romantic Elements

Author: Darynda Jones

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 416

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

From the New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones comes the second novel in her laugh-out-loud Sunshine Vicram mystery series, A Good Day for Chardonnay.

Running a small-town police force in the mountains of New Mexico should be a smooth, carefree kind of job. Sadly, full-time Sheriff—and even fuller-time coffee guzzler—Sunshine Vicram, didn’t get that memo.

All Sunshine really wants is one easy-going day. You know, the kind that starts with coffee and a donut (or three) and ends with take-out pizza and a glass of chardonnay (or seven). Turns out, that’s about as easy as switching to decaf. (What kind of people do that? And who hurt them?)

Before she can say iced mocha latte, Sunny’s got a bar fight gone bad, a teenage daughter hunting a serial killer and, oh yes, the still unresolved mystery of her own abduction years prior. All evidence points to a local distiller, a dangerous bad boy named Levi Ravinder, but Sun knows he’s not the villain of her story. Still, perhaps beneath it all, he possesses the keys to her disappearance. At the very least, beneath it all, he possesses a serious set of abs. She’s seen it. Once. Accidentally.

Between policing a town her hunky chief deputy calls four cents short of a nickel, that pesky crush she has on Levi which seems to grow exponentially every day, and an irascible raccoon that just doesn’t know when to quit, Sunny’s life is about to rocket to a whole new level of crazy.

Yep, definitely a good day for chardonnay.

**

Darynda Jones has penned a laugh-out-loud, action packed, suspense filled novel. Yes, all of that in one 416 page book. I must admit that the pages turned so fast that I didn’t even realize it was a long book, so don’t let that deter you from this gem.

Sunshine is in love with Levi and has been since they were in school together but she can’t figure out if he is interested in her. Levi is playing it cool, maybe too cool, he is waiting for Sunshine to make a move. The side characters add dimension to the story. There is Sunshines trouble-magnet, daughter Auri, her deputies Quincy, Rojas and Salazar, her loving,helpful parents and the entire dastardly Ravinder clan.There are several mysteries to be solved and they are all successfully tied up at the end. There are a few loose threads that I’m sure will be addressed in the next book in the series. Although this is a definite stand alone novel you really will be happier if you read the first book also (A BAD DAY FOR SUNSHINE) and then wait impatiently, like me, for the next book.

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Release Day Review- Devil In Disguise by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Devil In Disguise (The Ravenels, Book #7)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, July 27 2021

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.

From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.

So far, neither of those is going well.

Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals the secret of his mysterious past. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.

Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves . . . even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.

**

This book is awash in an original plot. Leave it to Lisa Kleypas to give us originality, along with sizzling chemistry that builds up smoking hot sexual tension and characters and romantic prose that lingers long in our minds after the book is over.

Merritt is the daughter of Marcus and Lillian Westcliff who were first introduced in Kleypas’s Wallflower Series. They make an appearance in this book along with Sebastian and Evie from the same series. I’ll say no more so I don’t give away any spoilers, but fans of that series will love this reintroduction of these people years later.

There is lots of action, suspense and some violence in the pages of this book. I’ve already indicated that the romance is sublimely sensual. There is an evil villain and a surprise or two to keep the pages turning. This is the summer read you will truly enjoy.

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Advance Review-When A duke Loves A Governess by Olivia Drake

Title: When A Duke Loves A Governess (Unlikely Duchesses, book#3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Olivia Drake

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, July 27, 2021

Pages: 320

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who’s crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.

Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy’s family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?

**

Often Tessa seems too innocent to be telling all the lies that she does but then her childhood was not so innocent. Guy, the Duke of Carlin, hires Tessa even though he has misgivings and really never trusts her fully until toward the end of the book. I can’t help but wonder if he had so many misgivings then why let her be governess to his daughter? Well, Tessa is the ideal governess so that works in her favor.

There is good romance writing here. There are some surprises you won’t see coming and some scary action. This is a sexy novel and there is lots of rapid breathing and stolen kisses.

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Advance Review-The Viscount Made Me Do It by Diana Quincy

Title: The Viscount Made Me Do It (Clandestine Affairs, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Diana Quincy

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, July 27, 2021

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

A seduction that could ruin everything… 

Hanna Zaydan has fought to become London’s finest bonesetter, but her darkly appealing new patient threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard for. The daughter of Arab merchants is slowly seduced by the former soldier — even though she’s smart enough to know Griff is after more than he’ll reveal. Whatever it is, the bonesetter’s growing desire for the man just might tempt her to give it to him. 

An attraction that cannot be denied… 

Rumors that he killed his own parents have followed Thomas Ellis, Viscount Griffin, practically since he was a boy. More than a decade after the tragedy, Griff receives a tip about his parents’ killer… one that takes him straight to a captivating bonesetter. Griff is convinced Hanna is a fraud, but the dark-eyed beauty stirs deep feelings in him that he thought had perished along with his family. 

Hanna has a gift for fixing fractured people, but can she also mend a broken heart? More importantly, will Griff let her?

**

Along with lots of romance and sexual tension, this novel has a suspenseful mystery. I thought the book a bit slow to start but soon I was turning pages to find out what would happen next. There are surprises and twists that make this a compelling and enjoyable read. There is a villain who is truly evil. Although this is book two of the series it is a standalone novel. However the first book, HER NIGHT WITH THE DUKE, is also a most enjoyable read. Characters from that book make brief appearances in this book. I highly recommend this book as well as the series.

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Recent Release Review- A Duke In Time by Jenna MacGregor

Title: A Duke In Time: The Widow Rules (Book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jenna MacGregor

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, June 29, 2021

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

A Duke in Time is the first book in a three-story arc that will have you rooting for leading heroines, searching for lost dowries, and falling for swoon-worthy heroes.

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.

**

This trope of a widow befriending her husband’s other wives or paramours is new to me, perhaps there have been other HR with this trope but I can’t recall and then there are two just within the past months. (Caldwell’s Someone Wanton This Way Comes and this one)

I give our Heroine Katherine credit for her ability to forgive and forget her husband’s betrayal but it is a bit farfetched. There is however, explanation for her attitude. I will say that the romance and friendships in this book are well written and simply the best. As an independent woman of business success in Regency England she is undoubtedly unique. Christian has his issues with his now deceased family but Katherine helps him to overcome. Katherine has so much to lose if her background is revealed but Christian is steadfast in his support. The romance is very sexy.

The other widows are introduced and each will get their own book with Constance’s story being the next. I enjoyed this book and there is a thread that will run through each book, not quite a cliffhanger but an unanswered question.

(Beautiful Cover!!)

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