Category Archives: Book review

Release Day Review- Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

Rogue Most Wanted

Title: Rogue Most Wanted (Cavensham Heiresses Book #5)

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Author: Janna MacGregor

Publisher: St Martin’s Paperbacks, June 25, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 380

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Wanted: an engagement of convenience. Found: A noble suitor.
Raised on a remote Scottish estate by her adoring grandfather, Lady Theodora Worth has inherited an earldom as well as the land itself. But when an upstart duke challenges her claim to the title and the Ladykyrk estate, Thea is suddenly in need of a husband—in name, at least. An elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might be the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except she has no intention of marrying the first man she meets. That would be utterly ridiculous.
It just can’t be him. . .
Lord William Cavensham is entirely too devoted to his family’s estate—ever since he was jilted as a lad–to wed, but he agrees to meet the woman his aunt has taken under her wing—and introduce her to possible suitors. But after just one meeting with beautiful, spirited Thea, Will is determined to help her reclaim her title. And even moreso, he can’t stop thinking that perhaps marriage to this bold, passionate woman may be the one thing he’s been missing all along?
**
What a lovely family, those Cavenshams. They remind me of J. Quinn’s fabulous Bridgford family. William is the second son who manages the estates of his family, he is the doted upon nephew to his Great Aunt Stella and he keeps his emotions in check by being a workaholic. He is by no means a “rogue” so I don’t understand the book’s title. Thea has been managing the estates of her grandfather for years since he slipped into senility. She is completely attached both physically and emotionally to her estate. A cousin challenges her rights to the estate and William pledges to help her win the challenge.
I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It has Tear jerking scenes as well as heartwarming scenes. The romance is slow budding but so sensual. William is a new book boyfriend and Thea is a woman ahead of her time.

P.S. I love that cover!

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Advance Review- Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries

Project Duchess

Title: Project Duchess (Duke Dynasty, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Publisher: Zebra, June 25, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 400

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher “Grey” Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey’s focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather’s funeral, he’s shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn’t interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady . . .

Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn’t exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest “project”: schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey’s charms to his wounded heart, she’s having trouble keeping him at arm’s length. But once Grey starts digging into her family’s secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family . . . or with the man whose lessons capture her heart . . .

**
Sabrina Jeffries is a skilled author. She can bring characters to life so that they breathe air on the page. Her dialogs are always entertaining and she is usually spot on with her research of the era. Thanks to a family tree illustration at the beginning of the book, I could easily follow who all the characters were and their relationship to one another. But the reality of Regency mourning rituals are easily glossed over in this book. Practices of the time would have the family being quiet, sitting with the dead, attending to rituals, not schooling debutantes for a come-out and certainly not dancing.

Grey continually voices complainants of his lack of control when around Beatrice. The reader wants to shout “Just say ‘no’.”. And Beatrice for all her spinsterish ways seems a bit slutty at times. The mystery is not fully solved, so I believe this may be an ongoing thread in a future book.
I was disappointed in this book but I am a fan of this author and I hope that future books in the series correct the irksome issues I found presented in this one.

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Release Day Review- Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald

Time after Time

Title: Time After Time

Genre: Historical Fantasy Love Story

Author: Lisa Grunwald

Publisher: Random House, June 11, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 416

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings, and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again—and again—will become the focus of his love and his life.

Nora, a fiercely independent aspiring artist, is shocked to find she’s somehow been trapped, her presence in the terminal governed by rules she cannot fathom. It isn’t until she meets Joe that she begins to understand the effect that time is having on her, and the possible connections to the workings of Grand Central and the solar phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge, when the sun rises or sets between the city’s skyscrapers, aligned perfectly with the streets below.

As thousands of visitors pass under the famous celestial blue ceiling each day, Joe and Nora create a life unlike any they could have imagined. With infinite love in a finite space, they take full advantage of the “Terminal City” within a city, dining at the Oyster Bar, visiting the Whispering Gallery, and making a home at the Biltmore Hotel. But when the construction of another landmark threatens their future, Nora and Joe are forced to test the limits of freedom and love.

Delving into Grand Central Terminal’s rich past, Lisa Grunwald crafts a masterful historical novel about a love affair that defies age, class, place, and even time.

**
A tremendous amount of research went into this novel. Ms. Grunwald
makes the reader feel the pulse and rhythm of the daily city within a city that is Grand Central Terminal. I was so impressed with the story of the terminal that I immediately upon finishing the book went to look up the history and photos of the terminal.

I originally thought this to be a time travel book but it is more of a fantasy. Nora died in a train crash at the terminal in 1925 but on a certain Manhattan solstice day she comes back to the terminal. She meets Joe who falls in love with her and the major plot of the book is how they can remain together. The reader must suspend disbelief in order to accept that a ghost can have a physical body and that the Biltmore Hotel doesn’t know who is sleeping in their rooms. Somehow Ms. Grunwald makes us believe all sorts of impossibilities.

I did enjoy this book, especially the history of the Terminal. The heroine/ghost was a bit flighty at times and I didn’t like her actions at the end. I couldn’t help but feel that Joe would have been so much better off without her. The fact that the author created such feelings in the reader is revealing that she is a true master of her craft.

**

Some Grand central Terminal photos of light beams that  play an important part in Nora’s travels between worlds  :

Grand Central Station light beam

Grand Central Station sunbeams

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Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Fantasy, General Fiction & Literature, Historical Fiction, Time Travel Novel

Recent Release- Smitten By The Brit by Melonie Johnson

Smitten by the Brit

Title: Smitten By The Brit ( A Sometimes in Love Novel book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Melonie Johnson

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, May 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 382

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

English professor Bonnie Blythe expects her life to play out like her favorite novels, especially now that her long-term boyfriend has finally proposed. So when a shocking discovery leads Bonnie to end her engagement, she decides to close the book on love. But the plot thickens when a brand-new character enters the scene—and quickens Bonnie’s heart.
With his brilliant blue eyes, sexy accent, and irresistible charm, Theo Wharton is like a romantic hero straight out of a Jane Austen novel. When fate places Bonnie in England for a summer—conveniently close to Theo—she realizes a hot friends-with-benefits fling is exactly what she needs to start a fresh chapter. Just as Bonnie begins to believe she’s falling in love, an eye-opening revelation into Theo’s life makes Bonnie feel like she’s wandered into one of her favorite books. Will Bonnie have the courage to risk her heart and turn the page with the dashing Brit to find her true happy ending after all?

**
I met Theo and Bonnie in book #1 of this series, GETTING HOT WITH THE SCOT,. They had an undeniable attraction in that book even though Bonnie was engaged to be married. How convenient that several months later Bonnie ends her engagement (not her fault) and Theo is there to pick up the pieces. There were obstacles to their union but all seemed to slickly resolve at the books end. I didn’t love this story. There was too much immaturity about both of the protagonists and side characters. There certainly was plenty of hot sex. This was not a bad book, just not in my wheel house.

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Advance Review- The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

The Wisdom of Sally red shoes

Title: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Genre: General Fiction

Author: Ruth Hogan

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books, June 11, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 312

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

They say friends make life worth living…

Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, Masha’s life was forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds comfort in her faithful canine companion Haizum, and peace in the quiet lanes of her town’s swimming pool. Almost without her realizing it, her life has shuddered to a halt.

It’s only when Masha begins an unlikely friendship with the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice and a penchant for saying just what she means, that a new world of possibilities opens up: new friendships, new opportunities, and even a chance for new love. For the first time in years, Masha has the chance to start living again.

But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, her past comes roaring back…

Like her beloved debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan’s second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who lead us through a moving exploration of the simple human connections that unite us all.

**
The writing is beautiful. The characterization is spot on. The story intriguing. But it was so depressing that even a light at the end of the tunnel didn’t lift the gray skies. If you like sad, heartwarming books, than this is definitely a good book and I did like it but I just couldn’t get past the gloom.

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Release Day Review- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The unhoneymooners

Title: The Unhoneymooners

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books, May 14, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 416

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

**
This book had me alternating between giggles and guffaws. This enemies to lovers story is full of mishaps and hilarity throughout except, of course, when it is breaking your heart. But this is a romance so hearts do get mended.

Arising early and not wanting to awaken my spouse, I started reading this book at 6am and did not stop reading until I had finished the book. Luckily it was Sunday and hubby didn’t mind bringing me coffee and getting take-out food. There was no way I was going to stop reading until I knew how Olive and Ethen managed the disasters.

I loved this book, it put a smile on my face that refuses to go away. Highly recommended.

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Recent Release- The Earl’s Countess of Convenience by Marguerite Kaye

The Earl's Countess of Convienience

Title: The Earl’s Countess of Convenience (Penniless Brides of Convenience, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Marguerite Kaye

Publisher: Harlequin Historical, May 1, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 288

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

A countess in name only…

…tempted by a night with her husband!

Part of Penniless Brides of Convenience: Eloise Brannagh has witnessed firsthand the damage unruly passion can cause. Yet she craves freedom, so a convenient marriage to the Earl of Fearnoch seems the perfect solution! Except Alexander Sinclair is more handsome, more intriguing, more everything than Eloise anticipated. She’s set her own rules for their marriage, but her irresistible husband might just tempt her to break them!

Penniless Brides of Convenience miniseries

Book 1 — The Earl’s Countess of Convenience

Book 2 — A Wife Worth Investing In

Book 3 and 4 — coming soon!
**

This is the first book in a new series for Marguerite Kaye. It starts off, necessarily, with a lot of “telling” by Eloise and Alexander. They are trying to get to know each other to see if they would suit for marriage. They assure each other that this is to be a platonic arrangement. Both have their reasons to avoid an emotional entanglement. There are few obstacles until they both start having feelings for the other.

The characters are well developed with introductions to Eloise’s sisters and aunt who will probably figure prominently in future books in the series. I enjoyed the obvious naivety of Eloise and even Alexander. I thought the beginning a bit of a slow start but once the marriage took place it became a page turner.

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Recent Release Review- Lord Bredon and the Bachelor’s Bible by Mia Marlowe

Lord Bredon and the Bachelors Bible

Title: Lord Bredon and the Bachelor’s Bible (The House of Lovell book#2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Mia Marlowe

Publisher: Lyrical Press, April 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 214

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

With the dowries of all the season’s debutantes exposed in its scandalous pages, The Bachelor’s Bible is a handy tool for an earl in need of an heiress . . .
Edward Lovell, newly minted earl, bears a weighty responsibility: to restore his family’s estate to its former grandeur. The task requires not simply a wife, but a wealthy one. Thanks to The Bachelor’s Bible, he already has a particular lady in mind. He has only to convince her sponsor that he will make a suitable husband. There’s just one complication: the sponsor is none other than the only woman he’s ever loved—and inexplicably lost. Now a young widow, Lady Anne Howard is more beautiful than ever . . .
Anne is not about to be taken for a fool a second time. When they last met, Edward was Lord Bredon, the man she adored—the man who destroyed her dreams of a happy future. Now he is pursuing the hand of the young lady Anne must keep safe from unscrupulous suitors. But who will protect Anne from the earl who still possesses her heart?. . .

**
There seems to be no way these former lovers, Anne and Edward, can be reunited. He has an estate that is going bankrupt and his only hope of saving it is to marry for money. The hitch is that he loves widowed, penniless, Anne Howard who returns his love but also refuses to marry him and cause his estate to fall to ruin. How can this lead to a Happily-Ever-After? It takes a clever, intelligent author to bring about this HEA and this we have in Mia Marlowe. There are some twists and total surprises which are always my favorites. If this book seemed a bit slow to start it certainly picked up the pace later on. I look forward to the next book.

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Recent Release Review- Getting Hot With The Scot by Melonie Johnson

Getting Hot with a Scot

Title: Getting Hot With The Scot: A Sometimes In Love Novel (Book #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Melonie Johnson

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, April 30, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 366

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt. . .
Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love?
**

Cassie and her 4 friends head to Europe for a long-planned vacation. Toward the end of their trip they are in Scotland at the Edinburgh Castle where Cassie accidentally winds up in a video prank by Logan and she kisses him. That is the meet-cute that ends up causing all sorts of problems.
I found this book to be on the fluffy & cute side. If you want a book for total escape then this is a good one. The characters are well drawn, even if I didn’t always like them. This is probably considered a “New Adult” genre although for me it read like an erotic “Young Adult”. There is a lot of explicit sex.

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Recent Release Review- No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman

No Other Duke But You

Title: No Other Duke But You(Playful Brides Series #11)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, April 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 312

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:

SINGLE LADY SEEKS DUKE
Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…
Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…
Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?

**
This is number eleven in the Playful Brides Series and this is the end of the series. To wind things up for this grand finale Ms. Bowman has given us a book that has many characters participating from earlier books in the series. But being the accomplished author that she is this is still a delightful standalone book.

I can count on this author for laugh out loud moments that populate the pages. While the characters are readying themselves for a charity production of A MIDSUMMERS NIGHT DREAM their lives are remarkably resembling that Shakespearean play. There is mistaken identity and various delightful couple switches. The friends to lovers trope is well done.

I highly recommend this book and this author to all Historical Romance fans.

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