Category Archives: Book review

Advance Review- From Governess to Countess by Marguerite Kaye

From Governess to Countess

Title: From Governess To Countess (Matches Made in Scandal, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency/ Russian
Author: Marguerite Kaye
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Harlequin Historical, March 1, 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 288
Rating: 3
Sexy rating:5
Description from Amazon:

The scandalous truth about the count’s new mistress!

Count Aleksei Derevenko has hired governess Allison Galbraith for her skills as a herbalist, not a mistress! But when rumors spread, Allison is more shocked by her wanton reaction to Aleksei—inscrutable and impossibly handsome, his icy blue eyes promise white-hot nights of sin. She knows too well how fragile her reputation is, but will the price of their passion be worth paying?

**
It is refreshing to read a Regency era historical romance set in the opulence of Russia. Ms. Kaye gives us a true introduction to the architecture and vast wealth that was controlled by the aristocracy in that country. There is a mystery to solve, was the death of the Duke murder or natural causes? Can Allison help with the determination since she is an herbalist?
There is an attraction immediately between Allison and Aleksei but will their differing social stations prevent their romance.

I found this book fascinating because of the setting and a good read because of the mystery and romance.

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Advance Review- No Earls Allowed by Shana Galen

No Earls Allowed

Title: No Earls Allowed (The Survivors, book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Shana Galen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, March 6 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 416
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

It is a truth universally acknowledged
that a lady can do anything a man can do:
backwards and in high-heeled dancing slippers.

Lady Juliana, daughter of the Earl of St. Maur, needs all the help she can get. She’s running a ramshackle orphanage, London’s worst slumlord has illicit designs on her, and her father has suddenly become determined to marry her off.
Enter Major Neil Wraxall, bastard son of the Marquess of Kensington, sent to assist Lady Juliana in any way he can. Lucky for her, he’s handy with repairs, knows how to keep her and the orphans safe, and is a natural leader of men.
Unfortunately for both of them, the scandal that ensues from their mutual attraction is going to lead them a merry dance…
The Survivors Series:
Third Son’s a Charm ,Book 1 (available for Kindle now $1.99) Ewan’s story
No Earls Allowed (Book 2)
An Affair With a Spare (Book 3) coming July 2018 Rafe’s story

**
Shana Galen does it again. There is action, adventure, heart stopping sexual tension and a hero to melt every reader’s heart. Juliana is stubborn and determined to save her orphans. Neil is intent on getting her out of the slums and back to her father’s home. As hours turn into days and weeks Neil is still not succeeding in his mission but he is falling for Juliana and quite possibly becoming attached to the children she cares for. We see in significant roles Ewan from the first book in the series and Rafe who is the hero of the third in the series.

I often say that books are page turners or can’t-put-downs but when I read this one five hours disappeared and the only reason I stopped for the night was because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open. I couldn’t wait to get back to this book. Ms. Galen gives us all the romance, suspense and action. Her villains are truly evil and her hero is truly heroic.

This is a standalone novel but I guarantee you will want to read the others in the series.

 

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Advance Review- A Duke In The Night by Kelly Bowen

A Duke In The Night

Title: A Duke In The Night (The Devils of Dover, book#1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Kelly Bowen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Forever, Feb. 20,2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 336
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Duke. Scoundrel. Titan of business. August Faulkner is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known-and reviled-for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts. It’s a reputation he wears like a badge of honor, and one he intends to keep.

Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good.

**
This is a good story and HR fans are going to like it, maybe even love it but (you knew there was a “but” coming here) along with an original premise there were too many instances of modern American language and 21st century politically correct actions. This is early 19th century England. Women, spinsters like Clara were more circumspect in their sexuality and ideas even if they were trying to change the plight of women. If this timeline had been pushed forward to the early 20th century it would have been more believable.

Objections aside, Ms. Bowen can capture a reader with her witty dialog and I do recommend this book to romance readers who want a hunky hero, a feisty heroine and an original premise.

Nice cover! Love the cleft chin. How about this cover of the next book in the series coming in Sept. 2018 Last Night With An Earl

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Deet

Valentine's Day All-you-need-is-love

valentines-day-pictures-funny

Valentines Day tub

 

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Advance Review- The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran

The Sins of Lord Lockwood

Title: The Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules For The Reckless, book #6)
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Author: Meredith Duran
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Pocketbooks, Feb. 27, 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 368
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5+
Description from Amazon:

BACK FROM THE DEAD, AN EARL SEEKS VENGEANCE…

Liam Devaliant, Lord Lockwood, was born into a charmed life. Charismatic, powerful, and wild, he had the world at his feet—and one woman as his aim. His wedding to Anna was meant to be his greatest triumph. Instead, in a single moment, a wicked conspiracy robbed him of his future and freedom.

…BUT WILL HIS LONG-LOST COUNTESS PAY THE PRICE?

Four years later, Liam has returned from death with plans for revenge. Standing in his way, though, is his long-absent bride. Once, he adored Anna’s courage. Now it seems like a curse, for Anna refuses to fear or forget him. If she can’t win back Liam’s love, then she means at least to save his soul…no matter the cost.

**

Another page turner from Meredith Duran. Liam is a tortured soul with the scars to prove it. Anna is his wife who felt abandoned by him on their wedding night. But Liam is back after 4 years and Anna wants answers. Liam feels that he has no answers for himself or Anna.

This book delves into the dark world of torture, slavery and corrupt politics in 1860’s Britain. The theme is Liam’s revenge against the persons who caused his harm and Anna’s attempt to bring back his humanity.

The format of the early to middle of the book is back and forth each chapter between Liam and Anna’s courtship and their present reunion. This gave the story added interest. We see their relationship as it developed and how Anna’s past impacted her reaction to Liam’s disappearance.

I loved this book and this author never disappoints. The ending was just a bit too pat for me but that is my only complaint. I highly recommend this book to romance readers who don’t mind some graphic descriptions of violence.

 

 

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Audiobook Review- The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmaker's Playbook

Title: The Matchmaker’s Playbook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Narration: Jeremy York (rating-4)
Source: Audible purchase
Publisher: Skyscape, Apr. 2016
Pages: 306
Rating: 2
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.
After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.
From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

**
This book has over 750 reviews on Amazon and 63% of them are 5 stars. This disturbs me because I wonder where I missed the whole “wonderful” of this book. As I see it this is a book about a dirtbag (Ian) and his sidekick dirtbag (Lex) running a matchmaking service between quickies. Ah, but the quickies are only with “stupid” girls, the matchmaking service is for the “sad” girls. There is a girl who is a long time friend to the hero but cooks for him and his sidekick (Lex). She and Lex have a violent relationship with frequent verbal altercations. You gotta know that this will be the romance in the next book. Now as to Blake, the girl who Ian falls in love with, well she would have been better off running for the hills.

Yes, I did finish listening to this entire book. Why? It was like a car accident along the highway where you can’t help but look and rubberneck. I kept longing for some kind of redemption for these poor excuses for men.

Since I am an Amazon Prime member I got to borrow this book for my Kindle with an option to get the audiobook for $1.99. I listened and did not read. The narration, by Jeremy York was well done especially considering the material he was working with.

 

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Release Day Review- I Wrote This Book Because I Love You by Tim Kreider

I wrote this Book because I love you

Title: I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays
Genre: Nonfiction Essays
Author: Tim Kreider
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Feb. 6, 2018
Pages: 224
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 0
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Psychologists have told him he’s a psychologist. Philosophers have told him he’s a philosopher. Religious groups have invited him to speak. He had a cult following as a cartoonist. But, above all else, Tim Kreider is an essayist—one whose deft prose, uncanny observations, dark humor, and emotional vulnerability have earned him deserved comparisons to David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, and the late David Foster Wallace (who was himself a fan of Kreider’s humor).

In his new collection, I Wrote This Book Because I Love You, he focuses his unique perception and wit on his relationships with women—romantic, platonic, and the murky in-between. He talks about his difficulty finding lasting love, and seeks to understand his commitment issues by tracking down the John Hopkins psychologist who tested him for a groundbreaking study on attachment when he was a toddler. He talks about his valued female friendships, one of which landed him on a circus train bound for Mexico. He talks about his time teaching young women at an upstate New York college, and the profound lessons they wound up teaching him. And in a hugely popular essay that originally appeared in The New York Times, he talks about his nineteen-year-old cat, wondering if it’s the most enduring relationship he’ll ever have.

Each of these pieces is hilarious and profound, and collectively they further cement Kreider’s place among the best essayists working today.

**
You may wonder after reading the book description if I would have anything new to say about the book. The answer is, not really. I agree that this book is profound and hilarious and Tim Kreider has lived a most interesting life with his romantic and platonic relationships. Each essay gave insight into this man’s thinking but he also touched most frequently on universal truths of human relationships; observations we can all relate to our own lives. The women in his life were all different with some strong similarities. They were smart and adventurous. No shrinking violets here. I highly recommend this book!

( A really horrible cover!!)

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Advance Review- More or Less a Marchioness by Anna Bradley

More or Less a Marchioness

Title: More Or Less A Marchioness (The Somerset Sisters, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Anna Bradley
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Feb. 6, 2018
Pages: 252
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

 

For the sake of propriety, and her younger sisters’ reputations, Iris Somerset has kept her rebellious streak locked away. But though she receives a proposal from Phineas Knight, Lord of Huntington, Iris can’t marry a man she knows isn’t truly enamored with her. In fact, Iris no longer wants to be chosen—she wants to choose. Under the clandestine tutelage of “wicked widow” Lady Annabel Tallant, she’ll learn how to steer her own marriage prospects—and discover her secret appetites . . .

What kind of debutante refuses a marquess? Finn is surprised, a little chastened—and thoroughly intrigued. This new, independent version of Iris is far more alluring than the polished socialite she used to be. Finn believed he needed a safe, quiet wife to curb his wilder impulses. But the more Iris surprises him, the more impossible it becomes to resist their deepest desires . .

**
Iris jilts Finn twice! But this seems to bring him around to actually wanting to pursue her romantically. He is also determined to keep her away from Lord Wrexley who is a rogue and a rake. Iris has good reasons to refuse Finn, that Finn changes his demeanor is a bit unbelievable but welcome because we are cheering for Iris’ happiness.

I loved this book and the humor that Ms. Bradley brings to the story. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the stories of Iris’ sisters.

(another lovely blue cover)

 

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Release Day Review- Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

Wallflower most wanted

Title: Wallflower Most Wanted: A Studies In Scandal Novel (book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery
Author: Manda Collins
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pages: 320
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

THE PICTURE OF ROMANCE
A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overheard conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even if it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…
Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?
**
I have enjoyed the two previous books in this series; Duke With Benefits and Ready, Set Rogue. You do not need to have read those to appreciate this standalone novel but an introduction I feel is necessary. Four bluestocking young women have inherited an estate from a woman who believed that each had talents that needed nurturing. The woman who fulfilled her goal at the end of a year would inherit the estate free and clear. The heroine in this book is one of those women, Sophia, an artist. Each book has a mystery and a romance. Benedict is our romantic hero and the local vicar who Is enamored of Sophia and when they, together overhear conversations, and are included in talks of an art forgery ring they both are intent on solving the mystery. Romance blossoms while in the midst of sleuthing.
Once again Manda Collins gives us a page turning romance/mystery. Benedict is a wonderful romantic hero and Sophia is determined to paint her art, we keep reading to find out if marrying Benedict will allow her to continue with the subjects she prefers to paint. Yes this is a bit predictable but the mystery is a good one.
I can recommend this book along with the others in the series.

(I love the covers on this series.  My favorite color blue.)

 

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Advance Review- Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me

Title: Still Me: A Novel
Genre: General Fiction
Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books, Jan. 30, 2018
Pages: 400
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

**

This is the third book in a series that started with Me Before You and then After You. Louisa is the heroine in all three books starting with her ill-fated romance with quadriplegic Will Treynor and then finding love with Sam the Ambulance man and in this book she throws herself into the NYC scene by taking a job as an assistant to a very wealthy NY socialite. She is finding it difficult to maintain her own identity when there are so many forces that seem to want her to reinvent herself. Through the ups and downs can her love affair with Sam survive?

Another page turner from Jojo Moyes. Louisa is every woman who has suffered tragedy and the determination to move forward. You will laugh and cry at the curves life throws at her but you will admire her fortitude. I highly recommend this standalone book but you will enjoy it more if you read the previous two books first.

 

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