Category Archives: Book review

Advance Review- Never Deny A Duke by Madeline Hunter

Never Deny A Duke

Title: Never Deny A Duke (Decadent Dukes Society, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Madeline Hunter

Publisher: Kensington, April 30, 2019 (pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 304

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:

He is the last duke standing

. . . the sole remaining bachelor of the three self-proclaimed Decadent Dukes. Yet Davina MacCallum’s reasons for searching out the handsome Duke of Brentworth have nothing to do with marriage. Scottish lands were unfairly confiscated from her family by the Crown and given to his. A reasonable man with vast holdings can surely part with one trivial estate, especially when Davina intends to put it to good use. Brentworth, however, is as difficult to persuade as he is to resist.

The Duke of Brentworth’s discretion and steely control make him an enigma even to his best friends. Women especially find him inscrutable and unapproachable—but also compellingly magnetic. So when Davina MacCallum shows no signs of being even mildly impressed by him, he is intrigued. Until he learns that her mission in London involves claims against his estate. Soon the two of them are engaged in a contest that allows no compromise. When duty and desire collide, the best laid plans are about to take a scandalous turn—into the very heart of passion . .

**
A terrific enemies to lovers story. This trope works so well in the hands of an accomplished author and Madeline Hunter is one of the best. I loved the character development.

Davina is on a mission to find the necessary proof to reclaim her ancestral land. She is not letting anyone stand in her way of discovering the truth, not even the King. Brentworth, the Duke, is not about to give up his claim to those lands that Davina insists are hers. But when the two decide to work together to discover the truth they fall passionately in love.

I highly recommend this book to all Historical Romance readers.
I read book #2, A DEVIL OF A DUKE, in this series and loved that one also. Each is a standalone so I will definitely seek out Book #1, THE MOST DANGEROUS DUKE IN LONDON.

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Release Day Review- Run Away by Harlan Coben

Run Away

Title: Run Away

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Author: Harlan Coben

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs.

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.
***
Harlan Coben gives us, once again, a well plotted, suspenseful thriller. Simon, a financial analyst, doesn’t know how his life has fallen apart all he knows is that he must save his oldest daughter, but he can’t find her. There is his beautiful wife, Ingrid, a pediatrician and his three children; the two younger kids are on the right path but the oldest went off to college and ended up drowning in drugs. Simon takes many paths to find Paige, most very dangerous. Coben gives us some seeming unrelated events that all coalesce into a heart pounding surprising ending. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a can’t-put-it-down read.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Deet

St_-Patricks-Day

 

And Who was this St. Patrick? He was the saint who drove the snakes out of Ireland.

st-patricks-day-cartoon

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Recent Release Review- Wicked With The Scoundrel by Elizabeth Bright

Wicked With The Scoundrel

Title: Wicked With The Scoundrel (Wicked Secrets #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Elizabeth Bright

Publisher: Entangled, Feb. 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 217

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:

After ten years of adventure, Colin Smith, the bastard son of a viscount, returns to the place he most despises ––London. But only until he can sell off some of his treasures. He has no use for the stifling rules of the ton, but he’s more than happy to play the game if it gets him what he wants.
Lady Claire, daughter of a marquess, is everything Colin loathes about the ton, but she is determined to win him over. Her life is a catalogue of dances and evening gowns, and thanks to an eidetic memory, she can remember every blasted, boring second of it. A treasure hunt for the Cleopatra Emerald promises adventure, but Claire wants more. If she can convince Colin Smith to take her with him as he travels the world, then she’ll have the life she’s always dreamed of. There’s just one problem, he doesn’t seem to like her much.
But Lady Claire loves a good challenge and the intellectual beauty may be on her way to the grandest adventure of all.
Each book in the Wicked Secrets series is STANDALONE:
* Twice As Wicked
* Lady Gone Wicked
* Wicked With the Scoundrel

***

Here we have a quirky heroine who remembers everything and feels free to recite all details whenever someone inquires. Our hero is an adventurer who is only moderately interesting. They go on a quest; she for adventure and he for a treasure. Actually they both would like the treasure but only Claire is determined that it is to be found. Colin believes it to be a wild goose chase. He goes along with the adventure at the bidding of Claire’s father who has promised funding for Colin’s next Egyptian quest.

I enjoyed this book for the unique characters. It was well written with interesting side characters.

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Recent Release Review- Lady Notorious by Theresa Romain

Lady Notorious

Title: Lady Notorious (Royal Rewards book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Theresa Romain

Publisher: Zebra, Feb. 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Cassandra Benton has always survived by her wits and wiles, even working for Bow Street alongside her twin brother. When injury takes him out of commission, Cass must support the family by taking on an intriguing new case: George, Lord Northbrook, believes someone is plotting to kill his father, the Duke of Ardmore. Decades before, the duke was one of ten who formed a wager that would grant a fortune to the last survivor. But someone can’t wait for nature to take its course—and George hopes a seasoned investigator like Cass can find out who.

Cass relishes the chance to spy on the ton, shrewdly disguised as handsome Lord Northbrook’s notorious “cousin.” What she doesn’t expect is her irresistible attraction to her dashing employer, and days of investigation soon turn to passionate nights. But with a killer closing in and her charade as a lady of the ton in danger of collapsing at any moment, Cass has no choice but to put her life—and her heart—in the hands of the last man she ought to trust . . .

***

This book was unique in that we have an Alpha heroine and a Beta Hero. I did enjoy the fact that Cass was so intelligent and capable as a detective but George, Lord Northbrook was just a bit too Beta for my taste. He seemed to be so set on his camera obscura experiments to the ignoring of the task he hired Cass to do. He even took his experiments along on their trip to the seaside. Still the romance was fun with Cass playing the seductress. The mystery was solved (although it was a bit obvious). I do recommend this book for that twist of Alpha and Beta, it is well done.

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Advance Review- A Wicked Reputation by Liana Lefey

A Wicked Reputation

Title: A Wicked Reputation (Once Wicked book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Liana LeFey

Publisher: Entangled: Amara, Feb. 25, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 243

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Betrayed by her fiancé and her best friend, Lady Diana Haversham’s reputation is left in ruins, and she is unjustly cast out by her family. Left with little choice, she agrees to pretend to be a courtesan to protect her benefactor’s secret. What she didn’t count on was meeting temptation in the form of one Lord Lucas Blackthorn.
Lucas is fascinated by the shameless Diana, whom his friends claim is his perfect counterpart. He can’t stop thinking about her sultry smile and captivating eyes, but what draws him most is the sharp mind she reveals—and the certainty she’s hiding something.
When Lucas learns the scandalous truth, Diana will have to make a life-and-death choice.
Each book in the Once Wicked series is STANDALONE:
* To Love a Libertine
* Once a Courtesan
* A Wicked Reputation

***

This was a good read. The premise of a scandalous lady being wooed by an aristocrat is perhaps not new but this match up has many layers of subterfuge. It has heart pounding moments Where we think everything is lost. The side characters are well developed and add to the plot. Lucas is a swoon worthy hero but so is the Marquess Harrow who is Diana’s protector. Diana is the daughter of a Duke but because of lies her reputation was ruined.

I liked the unique plot and the way the characters were developed with sympathy. At times I thought that Lucas made some rather ill thought out mistakes which almost made me give up on him. But then he would turn around and redeem himself.

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Release Day Review- A Duke In Need Of A Wife by Annie Burrows

a duke in need of a wife

Title: A Duke In Need Of A Wife

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Annie Burrows

Publisher: Harlequin Historical, Feb. 1, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 288

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

A search for a duchess…despite his scandalous secret!

Oliver, Duke of Theakstone, needs a duchess, but who will accept his secret illegitimate child? He invites several eligible ladies to his estate to assess their suitability, including infuriating beauty Miss Sofia Underwood. Oliver is a master of cool practicality, so he’s hopeful when he sees the connection between Sofia and his daughter. What scares him is there’s nothing cool or practical about his attraction to Sofia!

**
Some historical Dukes can be so clueless. Oliver is fighting his attraction to clumsy, wild child Sofia and Sofia does not see herself as Duchess material. She is only at this house party because her Aunt Agnes wanted to hob-nob with the hoy-paloy. But Oliver has a secret child that Sofia accidentally meets.

There is nothing unique in this book, we have read it all before but somehow the magic happens with this author. What was ordinary becomes a fun, engrossing read. I can recommend this book to historical romance fans who like a good story with only kisses, no sex.

( Although this cover references the book content, I really don’t like it at all.)

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Release Day Review- Tempt Me With Diamonds by Jane Feather

tempt me with diamonds

Title: Tempt Me With Diamonds (London Gems book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Jane Feather

Publisher:Zebra, January 29, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 304

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:
A FINE ROMANCE…
Diana Sommerville seems to have it all—beauty, brains, and vast wealth, thanks to her family’s ownership of a diamond mine abroad. But when her beloved brother dies in battle and leaves a lion’s share of his estate to his best friend, Diana finds herself in a situation that seems scripted for the stage: Sharing her family home with the man she used to love—and now loathes. Worse, her unfaithful former fiancé has already moved in . . .

OR AN EXCELLENT FAKE?
Rupert Lacey didn’t expect Diana to take the news without a fight. Still, he didn’t expect her to bring the battle directly to their newly shared doorstep—complete with a full set of trunks, and a full set of orders to the staff. Yet there she is, bold, regal . . . magnificent as ever. Now they would face a formidable challenge: to ignore each other—and the unanswered questions that stood between them. The only sure thing is their still blazing desire. But with a woman like Diana, it will take nothing less than a momentous misunderstanding, a missing prized mare, and a shocking revelation to restore a love that hasn’t lost its shine . . .
**
At the beginning of this book we meet Diana, a woman who is grieveing the loss of her father and her brother. We also meet Rupert, who has inherited the entire estate of Diana’s brother. Rupert is also the ex fiance of Diana. Sparks fly when neither is willing to give up the family home or share amicably.

Questions of “why” keep the reader turning pages to find the answers and all is resolved in the end. I enjoyed this book with a real feel for the late Victorian time period with mention of steam ships, trains and restaurant nights of entertainment. We are glimpsed the African Boer War and it’s legacy.

The characters are well drawn. Diana is a product of a footloose childhood and a wealthy family. Rupert is from a neglected childhood but he is also from a gentry background. This book is not about aristocrats but about the wealthy merchant class. It was refreshing to read a book that sets the reader down into the historical era. I liked Diana and her friends Petra and Finella (heroines in future books in this series) but Found Rupert to be rather a bully at times. I kept thinking that these two were not a good matrimonial match. They had many stubborn arguments each unwilling to yield and a strong inability to understand each other. Lust seemed to be their strongest bond. It was a good read and I recommend it.

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Audiobook Review- Her Every Wish by Courtney Milan (Novella)

her every wish

Title: Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga 1.5)

Genre: Historical Romance, Novella

Author: Courtney Milan

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor

Publisher: Courtney Milan, May 2016

Source: Purchase

Length: 4 hours, 11 minutes

Rating: Story=5, Narration=5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Audible.com:

Crash has never let the circumstances of his birth, or his lack of a last name, bother him. His associations may be unsavory, but money, friends, and infamy open far more interesting doors than respect ever could. His sole regret? Once lovely, sweet Daisy Whitlaw learned the truth about how he made his fortune, she cut him off.
Daisy’s father is dead, her mother is in ill health, and her available funds have dwindled to a memory. When the local parish announces a charity bequest to help young people start a trade, it’s her last chance. So what if the grants are intended for men? If she’s good enough, she might bluff her way into a future.
When Crash offers to show her how to swagger with confidence, she knows he is up to no good. But with her life in the balance, she’s desperate enough to risk the one thing she hasn’t yet lost: her heart.
**
There is never a problem when Courtney Milan writes a novella. Characterization and plot development is spot on. This is a lovely story of one woman’s struggle with the male dominated society of Victorian England and her struggle for confidence in the face of overwhelming odds. The romance is subtle, with Crash wooing her and Daisy being reluctant. Can they both overcome their misunderstandings? Rosalyn Landor does a wonderful job with both male and female voices. She is not my most favorite of narrators but I must admit that here she shines.

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Release Day Review- The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

the golden tresses of the dead

Title: The Golden Tresses of the Dead

Genre: Mystery

Author: Alan Bradley

Publisher: Bantam, Jan. 22, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister Ophelia is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. “A church is a wonderful place for a wedding,” muses Flavia, “surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.” Flavia is not your normal twelve-year-old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So Flavia and dependable Dogger, estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire, set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve—not so simple an endeavor with her odious little moon-faced cousin, Undine, constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home, beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger.

**
Flavia De Luce is at detecting professionally with her partner Dogger. They even have a client who is willing to pay, that is until she turns up dead before their official meeting. Undeterred Dogger and Flavia are going to solve this case even though they have only sketchy information. Undine, Flavia’s younger, orphaned cousin, is another brilliant, precocious child who is a thorn in Flavia’s side and a mischievous imp. Ophelia is now married and sister Daphne is keeping to herself, as usual.

I always enjoy a Flavia mystery. I like that she is rather bloodthirsty and brilliant; she does not disappoint here in this 11th installment in the series. In fact we tend to see glimpses of a more thoughtful, kind and tender Flavia. This book had me a bit confused with the Dogger-Flavia duo solving two mysteries at once. I kept thinking that there would be a stronger connection between the two. But that was probably just me.

I still highly recommend this book and the series if you want to enjoy a truly wonderful, unique character and very intriguing mysteries.

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