Category Archives: Recent Release

Recent Release- In Bed With The Earl by Christi Caldwell

In bed with the Earl

Title: In Bed With The Earl (Lost Lords of London, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, March 2020

Pages: 383

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcolm North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?
Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.
The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

**
Christi Caldwell never gives us a “bad” book. This enemies to lovers trope doesn’t disappoint. Although Ms. Caldwell has done the seedy side of London in past books, this time we really find the deep dark and very dirty sewers of London and the criminals that inhabit them for profit and power.

Verity is not a typical woman of her time. She is desperately trying to become a news reporter and meeting all kinds of male imposed obstacles. But she needs the job to support her teen sister and her childhood nursemaid. Finding the Lost Heir would be her door to a job at the newspaper.

Malcolm has no memory of his early childhood when he was kidnapped. He has fought his way to become the king of the sewers attaining a fortune in the process. He has no desire to enter polite society as the Earl, but it is being forced upon him. He doesn’t want to be found by any reporter including Verity.

I enjoyed the way the author brings to life the grittier side of London in the Regency time period. As usual with Ms. Caldwell we get superbly nuanced characters that leap off the page. Although not one of my favorites of this author it certainly was a unique, entertaining read.

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Recent Release- The Stone Warriors: Gabriel by D.B. Reynolds

Gabriel

Title: The Stone Warriors: Gabriel (book#3)

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn Books, Oct. 30, 2018

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages:292

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating:5+

Description from Amazon.com:

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. . . .

Gabriel Halldor. . . one of the fiercest warriors the world has ever seen, but his tremendous skill can’t save him from a sorcerer’s curse. Trapped in stone and left lying in darkness for thousands of years, he is, at long last, brought into the sunlight of a Japanese garden, where a young girl comes to sit at his feet and read him stories as she grows to womanhood.

Hana Himura. . . beloved granddaughter of a Japanese mob boss, raised to the life of a warrior. When death comes for her grandfather, he sends her to the one guardian courageous enough to protect her from a sorcerer who will stop at nothing to have her.

Raphael. . . the most powerful vampire lord on earth, and the only man who can save Gabriel and Hana from an enemy who would enslave them both.
Running from the certain death that awaits them in Japan, Hana and Gabriel flee to Malibu and the vampire lord her grandfather called friend. Raphael is magic and power combined, and Gabriel and Hana will need both if they’re going to survive long enough to defeat their enemy and light the flame of desire that’s been simmering between them for years.
**
Margaret Atwood on vampires, “You used to know where you stood with them-smelly, evil, undead-but now there are virtuous vampires and disreputable vampires, and sexy vampires and glittery vampires, and none of the old rules about them are true any more.”

That is Raphael’s cue to make an entrance; for he is not smelly (thank goodness), he is not disreputable, and he is definitely not glittery. He is sexy and powerful and totally capable of aiding Hana and Gabriel in their fight against evil sorcerer Sotiris. Sorcerer Nicodemus Katsaros is the warrior who led the others in battle in ancient times and has been searching for the four stone warriors since. Nico’s magic will aid Hana in developing her magic control. He will also fight Sotiris along with Raphael.

This offering in The Stone Warriors series starts off with Hana running for her life with Gabriel, newly released from his stone prison, and hardly gives the reader a breath as they fight their way to safety from Japan to Malibu where they hope Raphael can help vampire Gabriel. However no place is safe for Hana as long as the evil sorcerer Sotiris is after her.

Once you start with this series it becomes addictive. The action, suspense, the sensuous sex, the romance and love all add up to pure addiction. You can easily read this book as a standalone but I don’t recommend that. You need to start with THE STONE WARRIORS:DAMIEN and then KATO. I recommend this not because this book lacks sufficient background but because these two warriors appear in this book and I want you to be immersed in their stories as well as Gabriel’s. Then we can all wait anxiously for Stone Warrior Dragan. I also have it on good authority that my heart throb, book boyfriend Nick Katsaros will get his book also in this series.

If you are new to this author you will want to read more of Raphael and his mate Cyn in the Vampires in America Series. Start with RAPHAEL and enjoy sexy, powerful non-sparkly vampires and the women who bring them to their knees. ( search for my reviews of this series in the search box in the left column. Type in D.B. Reynolds.)

Another aside: This blog received a cover quote but let me assure my followers that it in no way influenced my review. It just made me very happy. 🙂

 

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Recent Release Review- I Dared The Duke by Anna Bennett

I Dared the Duke

Title: I Dared The Duke: A Wayward Wallflowers Novel

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Anna Bennett

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback, April, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 365

Rating:4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

DARE TO FALL IN LOVE

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.

Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?

I Dared the Duke continues Anna Bennett’s Regency-era romance series, The Wayward Wallflowers.

***

If you like your heroines feisty and your heroes handsome, if a bit difficult, then this is your book. Beth adores her employer who just happens to be Alex’s grandmother.  Alex thinks someone is trying to kill him and he worries for the safety of his grandmother and Beth.  He doesn’t want to tell them why he wants them out of his London house and into the country so Beth digs in her heels and will only go if Alex grants his grandmother’s wishes. There is a mystery to be solved and secrets to be discovered.

I enjoyed this fun and light novel.  At times Beth’s attitude was a bit present-day instead of Regency so if you are a stickler for authenticity then you may be disappointed. I found it to be charming. The romance is slow developing so it feels very natural.

(I love that book cover!!)

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Recent Release Review-House of Silence by Sarah Barthel

house-of-silence

Title: House of Silence

Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/Suspense (romantic elements)

Author: Sarah Barthel

Publisher: Kensington, Dec. 27, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 300

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 2

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin’s future—like that of every young woman—hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle’s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiancé commit a horrific crime—and no one believes her.   Gregory denies all, and Isabelle’s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband’s assassination.   In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.

***

Was this a good read? Well…it was just okay.  I kept reading to find out what would happen.  The plot was interesting.  But it didn’t flow and it left unanswered questions. Why was Gregory living a lie? Why was Isabelle’s mother not willing to give Isabelle the benefit of a doubt, when Isabelle never had told a lie? Another big question was, why is Mary Todd Lincoln in this book at all?  It added nothing to the story.

The book definitely was short on character development.  Side characters, like Isabelle’s friend Lucy, seemed to do things that made no sense.  Such as Lucy’s trip to Montana and back again without even telling her fiancé that she was leaving.  A sanitarium in the late 1800’s would not be a social spa like it is characterized here.  If you read this just for the story then it is just okay but be prepared to find fault with much of the action and characterization.

(This is the kind of book that drives people to say “I think I will write a book.  I can certainly improve on something like this.”)

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Recent Release Review- The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

the-rebel-of-clan-kincade

Title: The Rebel of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior, book#2)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Medieval

Author: Lily Blackwood

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Dec. 6 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 318

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD

Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird Kincaid, his life as he has always known it is shattered. Now, hiding his knowledge and his fury, he returns to Burnbryde Castle, awaiting the chance to strike against the man whose treachery robbed him of his legacy. His first act of rebellion: to steal a kiss from the redheaded beauty who’s betrothed to the Alwyn’s eldest son and heir.

Since her arrival at Burnbryde, Tara Iverach has been confined to a tower to guard her virtue before she marries. But after a surprise embrace with a lean, bare-chested Highlander who claims to be the Alwyn’s oldest son, she can’t contain her excitement over her good fate. Unfortunately, he is the wrong eldest son, and she is set to marry his cruel and lecherous half brother, Hugh. Can Magnus conquer his rivals and claim his Kincaid destiny before the woman who’s captured his heart becomes his sworn enemy’s bride?

**

This is an excellent book, as long as you haven’t read the first in this series.  I know that sounds harsh but it is so much like The Beast of Clan Kincaid the first book by Lily Blackwood.  Oh yes, the names of our hero and heroine are different and the location is a few hours from the location of the first book. But the basic vengeful son plans to seek revenge on the man who killed his parents and in his down time woo away the petulant heir’s betrothed, is very much the same, down to the same petulant heir.

I meant it when I said this is an excellent book, the writing is top-notch, the characters well developed and the action scenes well drawn. So if you are new to Ms. Blackwood’s series then I’m certain you will like this book.  However if you have read the first book than you may feel a bit of dejavu.

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Review-Faithful by Alice Hoffman

faithful

Title: Faithful

Genre: Literary Fiction

Author: Alice Hoffnman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Nov. 1, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 272

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5 (not explicit)

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

**

The book blurb pretty much says it all. This a story of the journey from the depths of despair to the realization of dreams and happiness. Shelby is nearly totally destroyed by the accident that left her best friend in a vegetative coma.  She struggles through that despair with drugs, time in the mental ward and self-hatred by shaving her head. She makes mistakes that cost her emotionally but at the same time encourage her growth as a mature person.  The prose in this book is superb, the characterization of every character true to each personality.  You will laugh and cry for Shelby and with her but you won’t forget this book.

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Recent Release Review- All The Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

all-the-little-liars

Title: All The Little Liars (An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, book #9)

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Author: Charlaine Harris

Publisher: Minotaur, October 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 240

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 2

Description from Amazon.com:

Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery—at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.

While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?

With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.

**

I am delighted that Charlaine Harris has written another Aurora Teagarden mystery.  I have read all of the Teagarden books and have enjoyed every one and this one is no exception.  These are “cozy mysteries” in that there may be violence but it is not graphic and gory.  These are more in the who-done-it variety.

In this addition we find Aurora newly married and expecting her first child. She and new husband Robin set out to solve the mystery of her missing half-brother, Phillip. It is not too difficult to figure out who the villain is in this book.  I wish we had a few more red-herrings thrown in, but it is still a page turner and also a standalone in the series.

If you like figuring out the bad guy and don’t want gore then I recommend this book for a very entertaining read.

 

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Recent Release review- Along Came A Rogue by Anna Harrington

Title:  Along Came A Rogue (The Secret Life of Scoundrels, book #2)

Along Came A rogue

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Anna Harrington

Publisher: Forever, Feb. 2016

Pages: 352

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

THE WICKEDEST SECRET . . .

Major Nathaniel Grey is free to bed whomever he wants, whenever he chooses, and that’s exactly how he likes it. His only loyalties are to country and the two friends he served with-brothers he’d do anything for. So when one of them is gravely injured and asking for his little sister, Grey will move heaven and earth to bring her home. He’s greeted not by the gangly girl he remembers, but a stunningly beautiful woman holding a loaded musket. And he’s utterly captivated by her . . .

IS A SECRET SEDUCTION

Once upon a time, Emily would have loved nothing more than a stolen hour with her brother’s best friend, the dashing officer who captured her heart and soul. But things are different now-and so is she. Gone is the eager young woman who believed in love. In her place is a widow weighed down with secrets who desperately needs to disappear before they’re revealed. But Grey’s sinfully sexy smile offers protection unlike anything she’s ever known, tempting her to risk everything . . . even her heart.

**

The wait for Nathaniel Grey’s story is over! He is the spy introduced in Ms. Harrington’s first book DUKES ARE FOREVER ( Deet’s review here: https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/recent-release-review-dukes-are-forever-by-anna-harrington/ ).  I am enjoying this new author and she didn’t disappoint with this the second entry in her, THE SECRET LIFE OF SCOUNDRELS SERIES .  This is a standalone novel but we are treated to glimpses of Kate and Edward from the first book.

This is a story of two lovers from different social classes who feel they have no hope of finding their Happily Ever After.  Emily feels that if she encourages Nathaniel to give up his dreams of adventure then he will eventually resent her.  Nathaniel comes to realize that his dreams mean nothing if they don’t include Emily.  But how to convince her? That is what keeps us turning pages along with the suspense of who is out to harm Emily.

We are fortunate in that the third book in the series, HOW I MARRIED A MARQUESS, is available for preorder and to be published April 26, 2016.  It is the story of Emily’s brother, Thomas, who is also Nathaniel’s best friend.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

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Recent Release Review- A Good Rogue Is Hard To Find by Kelly Bowen

Title: A Good Rogue is Hard to Find

A good rogue is hard to find

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Kelly Bowen

Publisher: Forever, April 28, 2015

Pages: 358

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

HE THOUGHT HE’D SEEN IT ALL . . . The rogue’s life has been good to William Somerhall: He has his fortune, his racehorses, and his freedom. Then he moves in with his mother. It seems the eccentric Dowager Duchess of Worth has been barely skirting social disaster-assisted by one Miss Jenna Hughes, who is far too bright and beautiful to be wasting her youth as a paid companion. Now home to keep his mother from ruin, William intends to learn what’s afoot by keeping his friends close-and the tempting Miss Hughes closer still. . . . UNTIL HE MEETS HER He’s tall, dark, and damnably intelligent-unfortunately for Jenna. She and the duchess are in the “redistribution business,” taking from the rich and giving to the poor, and it’s going great – until he shows up. But even as William plots to make an honest woman out of her, Jenna will use all her wiles to reveal just how bad a rogue he can be . . .

**

What if Robin Hood was a beautiful young woman (Jenna Hughes) or maybe a wiley old Dowager Duchess (Eleanor Sommerhill, Dowager Duchess of Worth)? What if the “Band of Merry Men” were stable hands, grooms and even a Butler? What if The Sheriff of Nottingham wasn’t the evil villain but the intelligent thoughtful William Sommerhill, Duke of Worth? To answer all those “what if’s”; then you would have this fantastic novel by Kelly Bowen.

This has been such a terrific reading experience. Ms. Bowen unfolds this story throughout the book with surprises coming when you least expect them. She keeps us guessing right along with our hero. And what a treat to have a hero who doesn’t make drastic mistakes and listens to those who try to make him understand. He is good hearted and handsome, what more could our heroine ask for? Jenna and the Dowager Duchess are in cahoots but they doubt William will condone their nefarious activities. Compounding Jenna’s lies is her attraction to William. “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

We are introduced to Heath, Earl of Boden, and his sisters Viola and Julia. Heath is the hero of Ms. Bowen’s next novel. All the side characters from stable staff to merchants appearing for only a page or two are well developed. Ms. Bowen’s knowledge of horses and Regency racing is impressive.

If you are looking for a reading experience with a swift pace, heated encounters, perfectly nuanced protagonists all wrapped up in spendidly entertaining prose, then look no further than this terrific book. Yup, I really liked this one.

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Recent Release Review- The Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle

Title: The Duke of Andelot (The School of Gallantry Series, book #7)

The Duke of Andelot

 

Genre: Historical Romance, E-Book

Author: Delilah Marvelle

Publisher: Delilah Marvelle Productions, April 10, 2015

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

History just got sexy as hell…

Long before becoming the flamboyant courtesan known to men as Madame de Maitenon, Thérèse Angelique Bouchard, dreamed of becoming an actress capable of commanding not only the stage but all of Paris. Until she meets an extraordinary aristocratic gentleman who sweeps her into his arms and the danger of his life, while offering her the sort of wealth she never imagined. What starts off as a seductive alliance, ends in her giving him the one thing she, as a mere bourgeoisie, cannot afford to give: her love. After the murder of his older brothers, Gérard Antoine Tolbert, becomes the last heir to the powerful dukedom of Andelot, leaving him to fight for not only his life, but the allegiance he holds for the crown. During the final rise of the French Revolution that whispers of the violent change about to shake the entire country, Gérard meets an aspiring actress who introduces him into wanting more out of himself and life. In trying to protect her from their overly passionate alliance and those that want him dead, he must decide what matters most: his life or his heart. Sensuality level: Will scorch your kindle. Strong language and graphic sex scenes.

Setting: France, 1792 and London, 1830

**

This is the most dramatic of the books in this outstanding series. With her superbly constructed plot, Ms. Marvelle has given us a book rife with powerful emotional conflict, vivid atmosphere and a sizzling romance. There is danger, betrayal and heartrending results from the violence of the French revolution. This book gives a nod to the often unheard voice of the aristocrats of the revolution. Showing us another side to the “Les Miserable” story.

Number 7 in the School of Gallantry Series, we get the story of Therese, Madame Maitenon, head of the school that has been in each of the books. It is a welcome and fitting end to a fine series.

**

This historical romance can be read as a stand-alone, but is part of a series.

SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY SERIES:

Book 1, Mistress of Pleasure

Book 2, Lord of Pleasure

Book 3, Lady of Pleasure

Book 4, Night of Pleasure

Book 5, Master of Pleasure

Book 6, Romancing Lady Stone

The FINALE, The Duke of Andelot

 

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