Monthly Archives: August 2021

Recent Release Review- Not The Kind of Earl You Marry by Kate Pembrooke

Title: Not The Kind Of Earl You Marry (The unconventional Ladies of Mayfair, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kate Pembrooke

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Forever, July 27,2021

Pages: 368

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

The one woman in London who doesn’t want to marry him is now his fiancée.

William Atherton, Earl of Norwood, is as shocked as the rest of London to discover his betrothal via an announcement in the morning paper. Furious at what appears to be a shrewd marriage trap, William tracks down his alleged fiancée before her plans can affect his campaign for a coveted political post. But then William realizes an engagement, however fake, may benefit them both . . .

Miss Charlotte Hurst may be a wallflower, but she’s no shrinking violet. She would never attempt such an underhanded scheme, especially not with a man as haughty or sought-after as Norwood. Yet his suggestion to play along with the betrothal has its merits . . . and the longer they pretend, the more undeniably real their feelings become. But when the true culprit behind their engagement is revealed, can their newfound happiness survive the scandal?

**

This is a good book with an enemies-to-lovers trope. Well, perhaps not quite enemies although Charlotte and William tend to meet and and get off on the wrong foot. They decide on this fake engagement to help him get the parliamentary position he craves and to save her from scandal because of the newspaper announcement of their betrothal. Their togetherness fosters feelings for both although Charlotte believes that they do not suit. She is a country girl and he is a city man. The enemy who planted the betrothal notice is busy at work to make life even more difficult for our couple.

I enjoyed this Regency read and can recommend it to the HR fans. This is my first book by this author and I look forward to the rest of the series.

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Recent Release Review- The Magic Of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson

Title: The Magic of Found Objects

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romantic Elements

Author: Maddie Dawson

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Lake Union Publishers, Aug. 1, 2021

Pages: 362

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5-not graphic

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Phronsie Linnelle was conceived at Woodstock in a serendipitous liaison between a free-spirited hippie and a farmer’s son and was born with magical wonder flickering in her DNA and rationality knit into her bones. All her life she’s been torn between the two. But now that she’s been betrayed by both love and the mother she once idolized, her rational side is winning.

So when her best friend from childhood proposes that they give up on romance and marry each other, Phronsie agrees. Who better to spend your life with than your best friend? Maybe the connection they already have is love. Maybe there’s no falling to be done. But immediately after they announce their engagement, she encounters someone who makes a very charming and compelling argument for revisiting romance.

While her even-keeled stepmother argues for the safety that comes with her new engagement and her mother relays messages from the universe to hold out for true love, Phronsie must look to her own heart to find the answers that have been there all along.

**

I have mixed feelings about this book. It was written very well: check. The characters are well developed: check. It was very romantic: no. Phronsie and Judd were being very realistic about their relationship. But the universe tends to play tricks on our couple. Could Phronsie’s mother, Tenaj, really be psychic or is she really as crazy as she appears. I was hoping for some fantasy in this book but only got Tenaj being hippie-crazy. Adam was a fun addition but I wanted more from him and of him. Maggie, the stepmom, was a rather sad character, I felt sorry for her. The book ended rather abruptly and I was hoping for more. I can recommed it for the terrific writing but I was disappointed in the story.

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Review-All Night Long With A Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

Title: All Night Long With A Cowboy (Kittredge Ranch, book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Cowboy

Author: Caitlin Crewes

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s, August 24, 2021

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

f you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that. Yet.

Someone gets burned…


Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity— or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it—until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?

**

Character development is top notch here even though it’s a cliche combination of uptight spinster and wild rogue. Harriett is a very mature, sensible woman who only wants Jensen’s help with a problem student. Although she finds him very attractive. Jensen is still carrying around guilt from a tragedy that happened years ago and is not ready to let it go, no matter how much little frumpy Harriett intrigue’s him.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I felt like I could step right into the town of Cold River and be one of the natives instantly. This is a town where everyone knows your name and all of your business. like it or not. Harriett had lived in the town for 3 years and was still not a part of the town. Not until she took up with Jensen and had everyone talking.

Well written and definitely a fun read. This is only one of a few books I have red in this genre and I must say it is certainly my favorite.

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Recent Release Review- Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Title: Bombshell (A Hells Belles Novel, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Sarah MacLean

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, Aug. 24, 2021

Pages: 400

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom…and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.

No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him…and the way she talks to him…and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.

Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting…she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk.

**

Sarah MacLean can write rings around most HR authors and this start to a new series has plenty of good writing. In this first book we are introduced to the gang of four Hell’s Belles; the Duchess, Adelaide, Imogen and Sesily. The Duchess has the money to fund this vigilante group, Sesily and Adelaide are the “muscle” and brains, Imogen is a scientific genius who can concoct all kinds of bombs and lethal mixes. Their mission is to rid the Ton of the evil abusers. The romance of Sesily and Caleb is fraught with dangerous secrets Some of the danger could have been mitigated by some honest conversation but then we wouldn’t have all that suspense and action. Sesily is 30 years old and does not profess to be a virgin, she is really on a mission to seduce Caleb who she has loved for two years. Caleb appears to be attracted to Sesily but has his reasons for holding her at arms length. This is a very sexy romance with lots of violence and also lots of characters justifying lawless activity in the name of the greater good. This is an interesting story with terrific character development. I do look forward to future books featuring Adelaide and Imogen and the Duchess. I also find their moral ambiguity slightly disturbing. You be the judge.

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Release Day Review- I’m Only Wicked With You by Julie Anne Long

Title: I’m Only Wicked With You (The Palace of Rogues, book 3)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julie Anne Long

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, Aug. 24, 2021

Pages: 400

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

He’s the battle-hardened son of a bastard, raised in the wilds of New York. She’s the sheltered, blue-blooded darling of the London broadsheets, destined to marry a duke. Their worlds could only collide in a boardinghouse by the London docks…and when they do, the sparks would ignite all of England. 

 
Nothing can stop Hugh Cassidy’s drive to build an American empire…unless it’s his new nemesis, the arrogant, beautiful, too-clever-by-half Lady Lillias Vaughn. The fascination is mutual. The temptation is merciless. And the inevitable indiscretion? Soul-searing—and the ruination of them both. Hugh’s proposal salvages Lillias’s honor but kills their dreams for their futures…until they arrive at a plan that could honorably set them free. 

 
But unraveling their entanglement inadvertently uncovers enthralling truths: about Lillias’s wounded, tender heart and fierce spirit. About Hugh’s stunning gentleness, depth, and courage. Soon Hugh knows that as surely as he’d fight a thousand battles to win her…the best way to love Lillias means breaking his own heart. 

**

Julie Anne Long never disappoints. This book is another testament to her ability to bring originality to a sometimes (often) repetitive genre. This book can standalone but you will definitely enjoy the first two books in this series and you will have a firm foundation in the goings-on at the boarding house known as The Grand Palace On The Themes formerly The Palace of Rogues.

It is truly a delight to get to know all the borders at Angelique and Delilah’s establishment. They are a diverse lot, an American, an Earl and his family, a salesman and others as well as staff and the husbands of the proprietresses. I’m not going to tell you about our hapless lovers. I want you to enjoy the the fun as you read.

Most of the story takes place at the boarding house but toward the end the story moves beyond the premises. There are several twists and surprises some which make us impatient for the next book in the series.

I highly recommend this book as well as the series.

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