Category Archives: Romance

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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Mystery, Romance

Release Day Review- Consumed by J.R. Ward

Consumed

Title: Consumed (Firefighters Series, book#1)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: J.R. Ward
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Gallery Books, Oct. 2, 2018
Pages: 416
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

**

Ward certainly can get the reader’s adrenaline pumping from page one and keep it going for the rest of the book. I could not put this book down. There is plenty of action, plenty of romantic angst and bad guys, but who is the arsonist? Although we know that Anne is a strong capable woman we readers worry that those against her will prevail. I can highly recommend this book for a truly enjoyable read.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense

Recent Release Review- An Affair With A Spare by Shana Galen

An Affair With A Spare

Title: An Affair With A Spare (The Survivors, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Shana Galen
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, July 3, 2018
Pages: 416
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

He’s turned seduction into an art form…
Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he’s putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She’s entirely immune to Rafe’s flattery.
Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father’s life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined…
The Survivors Series:
Third Son’s a Charm (Book 1)
No Earls Allowed (Book 2)
An Affair With a Spare (Book 3)

**
I am completely enjoying this series. The Survivors Club is a group of men who fought together during the Napoleonic Wars in a platoon(?) that was basically a suicide squad. Only 12 members survived and bonded like brothers on their return home to Regency England. Each member was especially skilled at a task. Rafe Beaumont was skilled at seduction and was a spy for the group.

When Rafe’s former commanding officer requests his help in ferreting out a French spy for the Foreign Office, Rafe accepts and is tasked with meeting and seducing Collette Fortier the daughter of a known French assassin. Collette is in England to seek out secret codes that will free her father from prison.

Shana Galen has added another swoon worthy hero to this wonderful series. Each book is a standalone but I encourage you to read this delightful, intelligent, humorous series. I would have liked more from the Survivor Club members in this book and I hope Ms. Galen will give us more as the series progresses. The Survivors are all so full of personality that I really missed more interaction.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Romance

Review- A Man of Character by Margaret Locke

A Man of Character

Title: A Man of Character: A Magical Romantic Comedy (book #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Fantasy
Author: Margaret Locke
Source: Purchase, Kindle $.99
Publisher: Locked On Love Publishing, May 2015
Pages: 336
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you’d created long ago?

Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do … especially since something about them seems eerily familiar.

A startling revelation — that these men are fictional characters she’d created and forgotten years ago — forces Cat to reevaluate her world and the people in it. Because these characters are alive. Here. Now. And most definitely in the flesh.

Her best friend, Eliza, a romance novel junkie craving her own Happily Ever After, is thrilled by the possibilities. The power to create Mr. Perfect — who could pass that up? But can a relationship be real if it’s fiction? Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which — or whom — she wants more.

**
This one will keep you up turning pages into the wee hours. All of Cat Schreiber’s conjured boyfriends are swoon worthy but are they for real? Do they want Cat because THEY want her or because she has made them to want her? Then there is Ben, another swoon worthy man who Cat didn’t invent. Is he the ONE or is the One really another?

I really enjoyed all the men that Cat conjured from her stories of years past. I also liked her interaction with her best friend Eliza (Lizzie). The premise was delightful and the execution was good. My only complaint was that Cat should not have complained about her failing business when most days she was closing the bookstore to go have coffee at the café across the street. She and roommate Eliza seemed unable to make coffee or hot Chocolate for themselves.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Romance

Review- In Bed With The Beast by Tara Sivec

In Bed With the Beast

Title: In Bed With The Beast (Naughty Princess Club, book#2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tara Sivec
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, June 5, 2018
Pages: 239
Rating: 3.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he’s a grump with a secret and an extra room…can love find a way?
Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.
Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places – the local library.
But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.
Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?

**
This book just missed the mark for me. I did like Belle and all her nerdy, little trivia. Vincent (Beast) was a bit difficult to figure out but Belle was initially attracted because he is a handsome hunk. He does evolve into someone with whom Belle can relate. Why this intelligent librarian wants to save her library by becoming a stripper was a bit too over the top for me. Couldn’t she have pursued fundraisers or even a more acceptable job? That her overprotective father just accepted and attended her first stripper show was too much to believe. The writing is good; Ms. Sivec can turn a phrase and give us some funny witty scenes. I give it a 3.5–star rating. It was a bit better than “okay” but I really think this one wasn’t in my wheelhouse.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Romance

Recent Release Review- House of Cads by Elizabeth Kingston

House of Cads

Title: House of Cads (Ladies of Scandal, book #2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Elizabeth Kingston
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, April 2018
Pages: 338
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Vivez la vie pleinement…Live life to the fullest.

That’s always been Marie-Anne de Vauteuil’s motto. As a Frenchwoman of highly questionable upbringing, she was shunned by genteel society when her fiancé died years ago, leaving her a penniless, fallen woman. Almost married, almost a widow…She retreated to an isolated village where no one knows or cares about her sordid past. And with no one to answer to, she will do as she pleases, including eating cake until her corset strings pop if she so chooses. But then, an invitation to London on a mission of mercy from the very family that cast her aside lands Marie-Anne back in society—and into the arms of a man who can be nothing but trouble.

When life gives you lemons…Make petit fours.

Wealthy American businessman Mason is a) accidentally engaged, b) desperate to get out of it, and c) neither wealthy nor a businessman. Marriage is the last thing on his mind. Money, however, is always of utmost importance. He’s only in London to gather material for the gossip pamphlets he illustrates, his scheme to make as much money as he can before he’s found out and skips town. But when he meets the irresistible Marie-Anne, she makes him rethink his life as a fraud, and for once consider his true talent as an artist. Her carefree attitude about life in general—and sex in particular—has Mason hoping for something he never believed possible: A proper life with a not-so-proper wife.
**
I confess to liking Kingston’s Fallen Lady (book #1 in this series) a bit more than this offering but this is still a not-to-be-missed book. The author’s lyrical prose, perfectly nuanced characterization and wit bring to life the Regency era as well as a rapscallion hero and a French free thinker. There are a few slow bits but the sexual tension is just ramped up in those times. This is a standalone book. Savor this one.

1 Comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance, Romance

AAR Top 100 Romance Books 2018

Every 5 years or so, All About Romance conducts a reader survey of the top 100 romance novels of all time. They are listed alphabetically but they do rank the top ten also. You can see the list and print it out, go here:

https://allaboutromance.com/aars-top-100-romances/

I have read 41 out of the 100. How many have you read?

5 Comments

Filed under Books, News, Romance

Advance Review- Matchmaking For Beginners: A Novel by Maddie Dawson

Matchmaking for beginners

Title: Matchmaking For Beginners: a novel
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Author: Maddie Dawson
Source: Free from “Amazon First Reads” for Prime members, otherwise $4.99 on Kindle
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing, June 1, 2018
Pages: 378
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5 (behind closed doors)
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

**
There is a bit of magic in the way Blix and Marnie can see auras and “sparkles” that lets them know what couples belong together and those that should get out of the relationship. Maneuvering those that should be together has been elderly Blix’s life work and now that she is at the end of her life she wants to pass on her “projects” to the only person she has ever met who is qualified for the task, Marnie. Reluctant Marnie finds that she is manipulated into a life that she didn’t expect.

Oh my! This is a gem of a book and an absolute delight to read. I was smiling most of the way through, unable to put it down and so sorry to see it end. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can read this book for free now. If you are not a Prime member, at $4.99 it is still a steal but you will have to wait for its release on June 1st. Don’t wait! Go ahead and preorder if you must, I’m guaranteeing one of your best reads of 2018.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, General Fiction & Literature, Romance, Women's Fiction

Advance Review- The Hellion by Christi Caldwell

The Hellion

Title: The Hellion (Wicked Wallflowers, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Christi Caldwell
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Montlake, April 3, 2018
Pages: 295
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

 

Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series burns hot as two rivals meet in the flesh and feel the heat…
Adair Thorne has just watched his gaming-hell dream disappear into a blaze of fire and ash, and he’s certain that his competitors, the Killorans, are behind it. His fury and passion burn even hotter when he meets Cleopatra Killoran, a tart-mouthed vixen who mocks him at every turn. If she were anyone else but the enemy, she’d ignite a desire in him that would be impossible to control.
No one can make Cleopatra do anything. That said, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her siblings―even if that means being sponsored by their rivals for a season in order to land a noble husband. But she will not allow her head to be turned by the infuriating and darkly handsome Adair Thorne.
There’s only one thing that threatens the rules of the game: Cleopatra’s secret. It could unravel the families’ tenuous truce and shatter the unpredictably sinful romance mounting between the hellion…and a scoundrel who could pass for the devil himself.

**
What happens when a wild-child is thrown together with a hard-as-nails alpha? Sparks fly, venom is spit and the vitriol of hatred is unleashed. That is until the two protagonists get together and turn all of that into lust . We have met Cleopatra Killoran and Adair Thorne in THE SINFUL BRIDES series, previous to this one. They are both products of the London slums, raised by the evil Diggory until they made an escape. Cleo is the sister of Adair’s rival gambling hell owner and there is only mistrust and antipathy between the H/h and also between the gaming hells. It seems that a love match is insurmountable Until the thrilling climax.

I enjoyed this look at Cleopatra, her sisters (heroines of the next books in the series), the seamier side of London and Adair Thorne partner in the Hell and Sin gaming hell. As usual Christi Caldwell has created characters we care about and who jump off the page. The book is infused with adventure, dialog that evokes Cleo and Adair’s cockney origins and sizzling sexual tension. My only dislike is that the antipathy between the H/h went on too long for my taste. I highly recommend this standalone book but encourage you to read the SINFUL BRIDES series to get even a more in depth feel for the St.Giles, London and the world of the gaming hells.

The Vixen (Wicked Wallflowers, book #2) coming in August.

The Vixen

3 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Romance

RWA RITA Award Nominees 2018

Below find the nominees for Historical Romance & Paranormal Romance and a few others.

The RITA, the highest award of distinction in romance fiction, recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts.
Go to RWA for a complete list: https://www.rwa.org/p/bl/et/blogid=20&blogaid=2148

Award winners will be announced on July 19 at the 2018 RWA Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Congratulations to the finalists! 
 
2018 RITA Finalists
 

Historical Romance: Long
Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Alex Logan, editor

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Carrie Feron, editor

Mad for the Marquess by Jess Russell
The Wild Rose Press, Tea Rose
Nicole D’Arienzio, editor

The Scandalous Flirt by Olivia Drake
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Enderlin, editor

The Scoundrel’s Honor by Christi Caldwell
Amazon, Montlake Publishing
Alison Dasho, editor

Historical Romance: Short
Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell
HarperCollins, Avon Books
Carrie Feron, editor

The Demon Duke by Margaret Locke
Self-Published
Tessa Shapcott, editor

The Rogue’s Conquest by Lily Maxton
Entangled Publishing, Scandalous
Alycia Tornetta, editor

The Scandal of It All by Sophie Jordan
HarperCollins, Avon Books
May Chen, editor

A Scottish Lord for Christmas by Lauren Smith
Grand Central Publishing, Forever Yours
Madeleine Colavita, editor
Waltzing with the Earl by Catherine Tinley
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Julia Williams, editor

Within a Captain’s Soul by Lisa Olech
Kensington Publishing Corp., Lyrical Press
Amanda Siemen, editor

Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance
The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin, Mira
Susan Swinwood, editor

Now that You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Harlequin, HQN
Susan Swinwood, editor

Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan
Self-Published
Sasha Knight, editor

Unloved, a Love Story by Katy Regnery
Self-Published
Chris Belden and Melissa DeMeo, editors

Paranormal Romance
Bishop by Marie Johnston
Self-Published
Razor Sharp Editing, editor

The Druid Next Door by E. J. Russell
Riptide Publishing
Rachel Haimowitz, editor

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s Press
Jennifer Enderlin, editor

Hunt the Darkness by Stephanie Rowe
Self-Published

Song of the Nightpiper by Hannah Meredith
Self-Published
Anna D. Allen, editor

Spectred Isle by K. J. Charles
Self-Published
To Enthrall the Demon Lord by Nadine Mutas
Self-Published
Faith Freewoman, editor

Wanted and Wired by Vivien Jackson
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
Cat Clyne, editor

Romance Novella
“Dancing with the Duke’s Heir” by Bronwyn Scott
in Scandal at the Christmas Ball
Harlequin Mills & Boon, Historical
Nicola Caws, editor

Forbidden River by Brynn Kelly
Harlequin, HQN
Allison Carroll, editor

Her Duke at Daybreak by Wendy LaCapra
Self-Published
The Killion Group, editor

“In His Arms” by Jules Dixon
in Falling: Small Town Love Anthology
Self-Published
Michelle Josett, editor

“The Pursuit Of…” by Courtney Milan
in Hamilton’s Battalion: A Trio of Romances
Self-Published
Lindsey Faber, editor

The Secret of My Seduction by Caroline Linden
Self-Published
Martha Trachtenberg, editor

“Sweet Home Highlands” by May McGoldrick
in Christmas in Kilts: A Highland Holiday Box Set
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Eileen Rothschild, editor

Until the Sun Sets by Tara Wyatt
St. Martin’s Press, Swerve
Holly Ingraham, editor
 

3 Comments

Filed under Awards, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance, News, Paranormal Romance, Romance