Category Archives: Books

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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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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Best Books of 2017 in Romance Novels Compilied by Deet

I could not choose just ten “Best Books of 2017” so this is a very long list of fabulous reads of 2017. Most are Historical Romance/Regency but there are some other genres which I indicate. If you would like my reviews just plug in the title or author’s name in the search box to the left. (The book covers are at the bottom of the post, scroll down.)

Jan:
Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

On Second Thought by Kristin Higgins (Contemporary Romance)

Feb:
If The Duke demands by Anna Harrington

Mar:
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Let me get this out of the way; I am in love with the Bridgerton Series. There, now you know so that is why I am totally biased about each of the books. Every time I read one I think “Oh, this is the best one.” And then I read another and think the same thing again. Start with the first and read through, even a re-read is so satisfying.

A Ladies Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

May:
Shacking Up by Helena Hunting (Contemporary Romance)

Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane (Romantic Suspense)

June:
Say Yes to the Scot (Anthology) by Cornwall, Harrington, York, McGoldrick
This Anthology is really a cut above the usual in that every novella was a winner. I’m used to finding stories in anthologies that are good and not so good and in this one they are all better than good. They are excellent. There is beautiful romance, suspense and sexy times. This is one for the keeper shelf.

Kato by d.B. Reynolds (Paranormal Romance)

A Fallen Lady by Elizabeth Kingston

July:
The Red by Tiffany Reisz (Fantasy Erotic Romance)

The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

Aug:
Traitor In Her Arms by Shana Galen

Dec:
Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

His Mistletoe Wager by Virgina Heath

The Christmas Stranger (Novella) by Anna Campbell

Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant (Kindle and Audio)

 

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Advance Review- The Red by Tiffany Reisz

The Red

Title: The Red: An Erotic Fantasy
Genre: Contemporary Erotica Romance/Fantasy
Author: Tiffany Reiz
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: 8th Circle Press, July 11, 2017 (preorder available for Kindle)
Pages: 212
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5++
Violence rating: 4 (all sex is consensual but very often rough)
Description from Amazon:

** Paperback Not Available for Pre-Order, But Will Be For Sale on Release Day (July 11, 2017) **

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

**
This is labeled a “Fantasy” but Mona isn’t sure if her involvement with Malcolm is reality or fantasy. She will do what it takes to save her mother’s art gallery and if that means submitting to Malcolm then how hard could it be when he is devastatingly handsome.

There is constant suspense and mystery that is intertwined with all of the extremely erotic encounters of Mona and Malcolm. I initially thought Malcolm was real, then a fantasy, then real and I kept going back and forth wondering. That kept me turning pages to find out what was the outcome of this mystery.

I am a fan of Tiffany Reisz’ books ever since I read the wonderful THE HEADMASTER. She is a wonderful storyteller and there is no one better at writing erotic sex scenes. This is a romance even if not the usual vanilla type. If you are at all squeamish about BDSM, then you will want to skip this one. However the story is compelling enough so that you will like it anyway.

 

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Review- The Stone Warriors: Kato by D.B. Reynolds

The Stone Warriors Kato

Title: The Stone Warriors: Kato (book #2)
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Author: D.B. Reynolds
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: ImaJinn, June 23, 2017
Pages: 254
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5+
Description from Amazon:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Kato Amadi . . . born of darkest sorcery, unstoppable on the battlefield, his magic is as deadly as his blade. But not even magic could save him from vicious betrayal. Trapped for millennia in darkness and silence, he is freed at last, only to find himself in the middle of a battle against the very beasts of hell he was created to destroy.

Grace Van Allen is a scholar of ancient languages who toils in the dim recesses of a museum basement with only a beautiful stone warrior to keep her company. But when Grace calls upon her silent warrior to help her translate an obscure new language, she breaks the ancient curse holding him prisoner . . . and frees three deadly demons to rampage through her city.

Tracking demons is what Kato was born to do, but he’ll need Grace’s help. And when they discover that Kato’s enemy is still alive and still plotting against him, their hunt takes a dangerous turn, one that might just prove fatal for both of them . . .

**

Hold on to your bloomers, the studliness of Warrior Kato is going to melt them right off. Grace can’t resist him so how are we supposed to resist, and who would want to? If we have to go up against deadly blood-dripping demons I want this guy covering for me. We also get to see Nick, Damien and Cassey from book one but this is truly Kato’s show. Grace who works at the museum at first appears rather sedate but as the story unfolds we are treated to Grace the female warrior. Here’s a hint, she falls for Kato just as much as the reader but she gets dessert and we get to sigh. There are lots of bloody battles fought, so be forewarned. There is magic in this book both Dark and Light and I am once again totally in love with Nick. I did want more of Ryan the mathematician because that was a bit of a mystery not completely resolved. (perhaps D.B. will treat us to more of him in future books).

Here’s a riddle for you; what’s hotter than a summer heat wave? I thought you would be way ahead of me on this one. Correct, this absolutely mind bending, mind boggling, vicious, sexy down right dirty, delightful novel from Ms. Reynolds. This is number two in her Stone warriors series and she has once again come through with an original plot that kept me riveted. You can start with this book since there is sufficient back-story incorporated and you won’t be lost but reading the first book , the Stone Warriors: Damien, along with this one will make it more enjoyable. Then like me you will wait impatiently for the next in the series, The Stone warriors: Gabriel, to which we are given a peek at the end of this book.

 

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Release Day Review: The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

The Darkest Corner

Title: The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers, book #1)

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Liliana Hart

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Pocket Books, May 23, 2017

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 5++

Description from Amazon:

Liliana Hart’s first book in her suspenseful Gravediggers series, featuring an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.
The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…
Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.
Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s
only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.
Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

**

This is the heart pounding, breath-holding first book in Liliana Hart’s Gravedigger series.  There are six Gravediggers, American Deacon, Aussie Axel, French Colin, British Dante, Israeli Levi and former Navy Seal Elias.  All are bad-ass, gorgeous and super intelligent. All have been sent to Last Stop, Texas to set up a headquarters for the secret Black Ops organization, Neptune. All are under the thumb of Eve Winter a no-holds barred  supervisor who holds them in check with threats against their lives. Deacon is the leader and their cover in this small town is as assistants at the funeral home where Tess Sherman is the mortician.  Eve Winter bought the funeral home out from under Tess but agreed to the stipulation that Tess remain on in charge of the Funeral Home. Tess and Deacon are attracted to each other but trying to keep their relationship on a professional level.  Deacon is afraid to involve Tess in the danger of their missions, Tess is trying to stave off town gossip. Of course this will fail. But the biggest threat is the terrorists that they need to thwart.

 Wow! This book is why we love Romantic Suspense; it is brimming with action, adventure, sexual chemistry, evil villains and witty dialog.  The characters are well developed so that we look forward to the next books in the series. The action doesn’t ramp up until the second half of the book but never mind that since finding out the back stories of all the players, and side characters from town, is fascinating and we do want to know more of each in future books. We won’t have to wait very long for those books since Books #2 & #3 are releasing in the next two months. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Gravedigger Series: (pre-orders available)

  1. The Darkest Corner (Deacon and Tess) May 2017
  2. Gone To Dust (Miller and Elias) June, 2017
  3. Say No More (Dante and Eva) July 2017

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Recent Release Review- The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

The Best of Adam Sharp

Title: The Best of Adam Sharp

Genre: Literary Fiction

Author: Graeme Simsion

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 2, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 320

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Two decades ago, Adam Sharp’s piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, an intelligent and strong-willed actress. They had a chance at something more—but Adam didn’t take it.

Now, on the cusp of turning fifty, Adam likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been.

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

Set to the soundtrack of our lives, The Best of Adam Sharp follows along with emotion and humor as one man looks back on his past and decides if having a second chance is worth the risk.

***

It would be very easy to give spoilers for this terrific book so I’m going to be very careful with what I say.  It is a book about love, regret, long term relationships and also if we can let go of the past or get a second chance.  There is a theme of classic pop songs that runs through the story and makes us wonder at the emotional manipulation of music. We are at times rooting for Adam and at other times wondering what he was thinking.  Angelina is selfish, self-centered and we wonder if she is truly a match for our hero.  Claire is not as well developed a character and Charlie and Richard are no match for Adam’s intelligence, although they think themselves superior.

I read this book straight through. Getting out of my reading chair only for snacks, coffee and potty breaks. I loved the author’s THE ROSIE PROJECT and although this one doesn’t have the same humorous intent, it is still a 5-star read.  It is provocative and so intensely sensual you will either admire, dislike or relate to the characters, or perhaps all three.

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Recent Release Review- Dating The Undead by Juliet Lyons

Dating The Undead

Title: Dating The Undead (Undead Dating Service, book #1)

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Contemporary

Author: Juliet Lyons

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 2, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

For mortals wanting to get up close and personal with the beautiful undead, there’s…

V-DATE, THE UNDEAD DATING SERVICE

Silver Harris is over clingy men—maybe men altogether. But when she shares a toe-curling kiss with a sexy Irish vampire on New Year’s Eve, she wonders if maybe it’s human men she’s done with. Silver turns to the popular vampire dating site, V-Date, but soon she’s in over her head and her mysterious hottie is nowhere to be found…

Logan Byrne can’t get that sassy redhead out of his head—or that kiss! When his boss assigns him to spy on V-Date members, he meets Silver again. Turns out, the police are recruiting humans to snitch on vampires through the dating site. As the snark and sparks fly, feelings between Silver and Logan grow deep and suddenly Logan isn’t so sure he can betray her, no matter how dangerous the consequences might be.

***

Silver Harris is a shopgirl with a yen for a vampire that gave her a New Year’s Eve kiss. She goes on the dating site for vampire-human dating hoping she can get the same tingles or even find that hot vampire. The police find her, enlist her to spy on the vampires on the site, and make her an offer she can’t refuse.  Meanwhile Logan Byrne is sent to glamour her so she doesn’t remember anything about vampires. But he can’t bring himself to glamour the woman he is falling for. Silver and Logan have combustible chemistry together and embark on a torrid love affair that could mean the end of both of them.

Oh Goody! Here we have a Paranormal Romance chock full of steamy sex and torrid action all wrapped up in a terrific story line, relatable characters, evil villainous vampires and a few loveable ones (but don’t tell them that, they get miffed). These vampires don’t need blood to survive but like a bite, they can’t fly but can do giant leaps, and they are all gorgeous.   I thoroughly enjoyed this well written introduction to a new series.  I look forward to the next, Romancing The Undead, book #2, about Vincent a vampire we met in this book.

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