Review- Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

marrying-winterborne

Title: Marrying Winterborne (the Ravenels, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon, May 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 416

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

A ruthless tycoon

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . .

A sheltered beauty

Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…

Marrying Mr. Winterborne

***

This is the second book in the Ravenel Series and although you will follow along with this one easily I feel you will enjoy it so much more if you read COLD HEARTED RAKE first. 

Helen discovers a secret that may ruin her chances of happiness.  Rhys is a wonderful hero who will let nothing deter him from marrying Helen.  This is all typical, delicious Kleypas.  There is some angst but also plenty of sensuous, love scenes.  We are treated to side characters we met in book #1 of the series and who will continue on in book#3.  The writing is eloquent, the characters well drawn and the story delightful.

The Ravenel Series:

  1. Cold Hearted Rake (Devon and Kathleen)
  2. Marrying Winterborne (Rhys and Helen)
  3. Devil In Spring (Gabriel and Pandora)

 

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Advance Review- Madly by Ruthie Knox

madly

Title: Madly (The New York Trilogy Series, book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Ruthie Knox

Publisher: Loveswept, March 14, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: ?

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.

Allie Fredericks isn’t supposed to be in Manhattan, hiding in the darkest corner of a hip bar, spying on her own mother—who’s flirting with a man who’s definitely not Allie’s father. Allie’s supposed to be in Wisconsin, planning her parents’ milestone anniversary party. Then Winston Chamberlain walks through the door, with his tailored suit, British accent, and gorgeous eyes, and Allie’s strange mission goes truly sideways. Winston doesn’t do messy. But after a pretty stranger ropes him into her ridiculous family drama with a fake kiss that gets a little too real, he finds out that messy can be fun. Maybe even a little addicting. And as the night grows longer, Allie and Winston make a list of other wild things they could do together—and what seems like a mismatch leads to a genuine connection. But can their relationship survive as their real lives implode just outside the bedroom door?

**

This book had me laughing at Allie’s “Meet Cute” with Winston.  She is in a bar spying on her mother and she might be recognized so she ropes in a stranger, Winston, for a fake kiss as her mother passes on her way to the Ladies’ room.  From there Winston becomes her aide de camp in her spying mission when he discovers he may have a key to her quest.

This story starts off with lots of promise.  It is rather a convoluted plot that sometimes left me scratching my head wondering “Why” or “What” it was always interesting and very well written.  There are some sexy, steamy downright kinky bits. Allie’s sister May and her boyfriend Ben play important roles.  Their story was in the first book of this series, TRULY. Also Nev, Winston’s brother, and Cath show up which is a definite treat since they were the H/h of Knox’s ABOUT LAST NIGHT a 5-star joy of a book. Winston had a role in that book also which is not billed as part of this current trilogy but worth a read.  Back to this book; it slows down a bit in the middle and really has some over the top drama.  Can this many characters all have this much angst? Yes, yes they can, and it is a bit exhausting.

You don’t need to read any of the aforementioned books, in and out of this series, to enjoy this book. But I do encourage you to delve into a Ruthie Knox book.  She writes fun, intelligent, sensuous contemporary romance that can be topped by no other.

The New York Trilogy Series:

  1. Truly (May and Ben)
  2. Madly (Allie and Winston)

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Advance Review- Last Night With A Duke by Amelia Grey

lastnightwiththeduke-2

Title: Last Night With A Duke: The Rakes of St. James (book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Amelia Grey

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, March 7, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 304

Rating:4

Sexy Rating: 5- not explicit

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?

The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling around London that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind–until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.

Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride.

Last Night with the Duke, the first novel in the brand-new Regency Rakes of St. James series by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.

**

Esmeralda and Griffin are attracted to each other the minute he is caught eavesdropping on her scolding her employee at the Employment agency she manages. Immediately he decides that no one else will do to help chaperone his twin sisters during their debut season.  Esmeralda hesitates until he offers a huge salary and says she can bring along her sister, Josephine, and their dog, Napoleon. Of course the attraction escalates but there are secrets that Esmeralda hides and a misunderstanding that may tear them apart.

I was captivated by the handsome Duke and by his fellow rakish friends, both dukes, Rath and Hawk. (Their stories to come in future books in the series) The chemistry between Esmeralda and Griffin was hot, no matter how much they tried to douse the flames it always flared up. Napoleon, the dog, was a comical side character.  Griffin’s twin sisters Sara and Vera were typical rival siblings, so much fun to watch them try to outdo each other in their romantic debut season.  Although a bit predictable it was a very entertaining read and a delightful first book in a series.

 

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Deet

valentine-bookmarks-etsy

Happy Valentine’s Day

You can find these bookmarks and more as a downloadable printable at Esty.

Here is the URL.

Printable Bookmarks

 

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Advance Review- Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London

sinful-scottish-laird

Title: Sinful Scottish Laird: A Historical Romance Novel (The Highland Grooms, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlands

Author: Julia London

Publisher: HQN, Feb. 28, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand…and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly—though unwillingly—bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy’s brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.

**

In the first book of this series, Wild Wicked Scot, we are introduced to Arren and Margot.  In this the second book of the series some years have passed and this is the story of their oldest son, Cailean and his falling in love with Sassenach, Daisy. Cailean has fought against his attraction to the flirty Daisy because he knows she must marry an Englishman to protect her son’s inheritance. There are reasons he feels he could never reside in England and he determines to encourage her to marry someone else.  Daisy knows that she must marry by year’s end.  She thinks that Robert her love of her teen years will suit, but she can’t reconcile her attraction to Cailean.

Once again I have enjoyed the well-developed characters in this series.  The story is page-turning interesting. I liked both Daisy, who knew what she wanted but also knew her duty to her son, and Cailean who knew he had to let her go.  The problems were tied up a bit too conveniently but the addition of a character from book one was welcome at the end. I hope Knox gets his own book.

This is a standalone novel with cameos by characters from the first book in the series.  You can pick up this one without having read the first and you will not be lost although I encourage you to enjoy the first book.

The Higland Grooms Series by Julia London:

  1. Wild Wicked Scot (Arren and Margot)
  2. Sinful Scottish Laird (Cailean and Daisy)
  3. Hard-Hearted Highlander (Robbie and ?)April 2017

 

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Advance Review- Royal Affair by Parker Swift

royal-affair

Title: Royal Affair (Royal Scandal, book #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic

Author: Parker Swift

Publisher: Forever Yours, Feb. 14, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

One seriously sexy son-of-a-duke . . .

Behind the posh British accent, Dylan Hale possesses a down-and-dirty sexiness. Off-the-charts gorgeous, a ruthless architect . . . and did I mention he’s a future duke? Every time we touch, it’s wildfire. All need and lust and heat. But Dylan has rules: just sex, no one can know, and in the bedroom he gets complete control. All I have to do is follow the rules, because falling in love with Dylan Hale is all it would take to screw everything up . . . royally. Dylan and Lydia’s story continues!

Royal Scandal Series Book 2: Royal Disaster Book 3: Royal Treatment

***

Lydia is a sweet college grad about to start her dream job when she meets Dylan.  At first she doesn’t know he’s 1) a Marquess, 2) a paparazzi magnet and 3) a world renowned architect.  All Lydia knows is that she is in instant lust with this super-hot man. Dylan is all about seducing Lydia but only on his terms; which means no public appearances and he calls the shots.

This is very Fifty Shades meets Sweet filthy boy.  The sex is hot and kinky.  The attraction and sexual tension is off the charts.  The main characters are very believable but the side characters are a bit sketchy.  We have an Alpha man and a naïve younger woman.  There is some BDSM and spanking. I enjoyed this book but couldn’t help comparing it to those other books I mentioned. There is little that is original.

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Advance Review- If The Duke Demands by Anna Harrington

if-the-duke-demands

Title: If The Duke Demands (Capturing The Carlisles, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Anna Harrington

Publisher: Forever, Feb. 28, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . . Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent-Robert’s formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.

**

Humorous….no ….it is absolutely hysterical at times.  There is sexual tension, hijinks and confusion all adding up to a delightful read.  Sebastian knows that the orphaned ward of his tenant farmer, Miranda, is not the woman of society standing that he needs for his Duchess but he can’t seem to help himself in his obsessive lusting after her.  Miranda, wants Robert but there is something compelling her toward Sebastian.  This is a fun book that is witty without being silly and dramatic without ever being maudlin.  Anna Harrington has given us a terrific start to her new series and I can’t wait to read the books about Sebastian’s brothers Quinton and Robert Carlisle. I highly recommend this book.

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Release Day Review- Schooling The Viscount by Maggie Robinson

schooling-the-viscount

Title: Schooling The Viscount (Cotswold Confidential, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Maggie Robinson

Publisher: Lyrical Press, Kensington, Jan. 31, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 254

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

Welcome to Puddling‑on‑the‑Wold, where the sons and daughters of Victorian nobility come for a little rest, recuperation, and “rehab,” in this brand-new series of rebellious romance from Maggie Robinson.

After a harrowing tour of duty abroad, Captain Lord Henry Challoner fought to keep his memories at bay with two of his preferred vices: liquor and ladies. But the gin did more harm than good–as did Henry’s romantic entanglements, since he was supposed to be finding a suitable bride. Next stop: The tiny village in Gloucestershire, where Henry can finally sober up without distraction or temptation. Or so he thinks…

A simple country schoolteacher, Rachel Everett was never meant to cross paths with a gentleman such as Henry. What could such a worldly man ever see in her? As it turns out, everything. Beautiful, fiercely intelligent Rachel is Henry’s dream woman–and wife. Such a match would be scandalous for his family of course, and Rachel has no business meddling with a resident at the famed, rather draconian, Puddling Rehabilitation Foundation. All the better, for two lost souls with nothing to lose–and oh so very much to gain.

***

Let me confess that Victorian Chic-Lit is not my fave.  That said this book really has a unique take on the Victorian era, actually I think we can call it rather a fantasy of Victorian England. Rachel is probably one of the most normal characters in this book.  She is a school teacher and is instructed by the towns leaders to not interact with the “Guests” as the patients are called who come to the village. She accidentally meets Henry, Henry is smitten with the town’s lovely school teacher and from that time on, no matter how many times he is hit on the head(and he is hit quite often), he is all about winning over Rachel.

This is a book for those who love the slapstick, light fluff romance books.  I’ve often claimed not to like silly humor. I’m more in favor of the witty type, but if you do love this kind of book then this one is perfect. You may have to shelve your disbelief but you also will have a good laugh.

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Advance Review-On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

on-second-thought

Title: On Second thought

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: HQN books, Feb. 1, 2017 (Preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 480

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5 behind closed doors

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

**

Does the description above make you think you’ve read this book before?  Well the description may lead you to that belief, but this is a fresh and fabulous book. Not one you are likely to have encountered before this. Kristan Higgins is a master of bringing on the readers tears as well as laughter.  I was so totally invested in these characters that I couldn’t put this book down. Kate is so close to 40 and to have her first chance at happiness stolen makes us want to take her hurt upon ourselves.  Ainsley is majorly clueless about Eric but she does come into her own. That they each have a chance of overcoming their sadness is beautiful.

Yes, you definitely need to read this book. You’re welcome.

 

 

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Advance Review- The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

the-duke-kerrigan-byrne

Title: The Duke (Victorian Rebels, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian/Mystery

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: At. Martin’s Paperbacks, Feb. 7, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

He is noble, notorious, and takes no prisoners… Strong as a Viking.  Handsome as Adonis.  Rich as Midas. Collin “Cole” Talmage, Duke of Trenwyth, is the stuff that legends are made of.  He’s the English Empire’s golden son–until fate has its way with him. Cole’s family is killed and his closest comrade betrays him on the battlefield, leaving him gravely injured. But Cole is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is a man of duty, honor–and desire. And now he’s ready for the fight of his lifetime… Imogen Pritchard is a beautiful lass who works in a hospital by day and as a serving maid at night. Years ago, when she was young and penniless, she ended up spending a scandalous night with Cole, whose tormented soul was matched only by his earth-shattering passion. Imogen entered a marriage of convenience–one that left her a wealthy widow–but she never forgot Cole. Now that her long-lost lover has turned up in her hospital, injured and with no memory of her, Imogen is torn: Is it a blessing or a curse that their past remains a secret to Cole, even as his new passion for her leaves him wanting to protect and possess her…at all costs?

***

When it comes to Historical Romance, Kerrigan Byrne is right up at the top of the list of best of the best.  This her fourth novel in the Victorian Rebels Series is as mesmerizing and filled with heart pounding action as the other gems in this series.  We are treated to characters we cheer for, villains that make us hold our breath and love scenes that are filled with sizzling passion.  In this book we also have the mystery of a serial killer who seems to be fixated on our heroine, Imogen.  The Duke, Collen Talmage, is a shadow of the man Imogen once knew.  He has suffered extreme torture but is bent on fighting back to his former strength.  All of the other “Rebels” from the previous books in the series play important roles in this book. This is a standalone book but I feel you will enjoy it even more if you read the previous books in the series. This is what is now referred to as a “dark historical romance”; filled with violence and characters that are not always moral or even polite.  There are scenes of sex that border on violence and I mention this since some may find this difficult to read.  That said, this is a well written book filled with description that will have you underlining passages.  You will not be able to put this book down until you reach the last page.

The Victorian Rebels Series:

  1. The Highwayman (Dorian and Farah)
  2. The Highlander (Liam and Mena)
  3. The Hunter (Christopher and Millie)
  4. The Duke (Collin [Cole] and Imogen)

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