Tag Archives: 2016

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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Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Recent Release Review- Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

breath-of-fire

Title: Breath of fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles, book /32)

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author: Amanda Bouchet

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Jan. 3, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 448

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD… BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a warrior queen to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they’ve fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or die trying.

The Kingmaker Chronicles: A Promise of Fire (Book 1) Breath of Fire (Book 2) Heart on Fire (Book 3, coming Fall 2017)

****

I could not wrap my mind around the disjointed way this book was written.  It starts off with Griffin trashing his bedroom with Cat there and stalking off.  Then she leaves to heal her broken heart in another room.  He comes back and says she got it all wrong.  I don’t think so. From there we go on one action packed adventure scene to the next full of violence and thrills. But it felt like just scenes linked together.  Certainly scenes that were interesting but really didn’t feel like a cohesive story. I kept setting this book aside because it just wasn’t holding my interest.  It took me forever to finish.

This book got a rating of 3 from me because if you are really into the Greek myths and like Game of Thrones then this book is “okay”.  But for me personally it rated a 2 “disappointing”.

 

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Advance Review- Between The Devil And The Duke by Kelly Bowen

between-the-devil-and-the-duke

Title: Between The Devil and The Duke (A Season For Scandal, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kelly Bowen

Publisher: Forever, Jan. 31, 2017(preorder available)

Source: Free for Review from the Publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Their love was always in the cards. He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he’s more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he’ll have to devise a proposition she can’t turn down. Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie’s club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . .

**

This book is suspenseful and sexy from the beginning. Angelique is in dire needs of funds because of money that seemed to just disappear from the family coffers when her father died.  Her dissolute brother is a drunk and he spends whatever money Angelique manages to win at the gaming tables on drinking.  Alex knows that Angelique’s astute ability with numbers will be an asset to his gaming club but he is also in lust with her.

There is a terrific mystery woven throughout this story.  It will keep you guessing and a few surprises will be thrown into the mix. This book is a page turner, full of sexual tension, dangerous villains and a handsome hero who has all the right connections to help a damsel in distress.  But wait, the damsel is quite capable also of aiding in solving her problems. There are heated encounters and sizzling chemistry between the Hero and Heroine.

This book is splendidly entertaining. I highly recommend this the latest installment in “The Season For Scandal” series.  It is a standalone book with characters from previous books in the series making an appearance.

 

 

 

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Advance Review- any time Any Place by Jennifer Probst

any-time-any-place

Title: Any Time, Any Place (The Billionaire Builders, book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance        

Author: Jennifer Probst

Publisher: Gallery Books, Jan. 24, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 400

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

When she was a teen, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind. Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future…

Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both…or finally mend two broken hearts.

***

This is the book for all of us sexy, banter lovers. The sexual tension just sizzles as Raven and Dalton flirt and lust for each other.  This second book in the Billionaire Builders series is about the youngest, Pierce Construction brother Dalton and Raven the local owner of “My Place” bar and restaurant. Together they have off the chart chemistry which Dalton wants to pursue and which Raven has all kinds of reasons to avoid not the least of which is the fact that Dalton’s mother and Raven’s father died running away together ten years prior. But it seems Dalton is unaware of their connection and Raven can’t bring herself to tell him.

This is a yummy, page turning, super sizzling read. Dalton is absolutely a wonderful hero. Raven and Dalton have so much in common that we really pull for their happily-ever-after.  My only negative is that the description of Raven’s looks was more like a description of Disney’s Malevolent, hardly flattering, at least in my opinion.

“…Her eyes slanted up at the sides like a cat’s; they were the color of soot with a tinge of smoke grey around the rims.  Her face was long and lean, with a sharp chin and nose and heavy brows.  Her lower lip plumped out; her upper one was defined.  She was wicked tall, with small breasts, long arms and legs, and narrow hips…”

This is a standalone read with side characters that were presented in the first book of this series. It is not necessary to have read that book to enjoy this one.

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Review-Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

cold-hearted-rake

Title: Cold Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon, 2015

Source: Purchase

Pages: 419

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

A twist of fate . . .

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills . . .

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?

***

I finally got around to reading this Lisa Kleypas book, her first historical romance in a very long while. I think the only thing that held me back from delving into this one sooner is that I read several reviews that told me I just might be disappointed in the book.  Now, Lisa Kleypas is a favorite author of mine so I should have realized that I would not be disappointed, and I wasn’t.

Kathleen was not a very likable character which might have irked some readers.  She was a real prude, at least until Devon wore down her resistance and after that she decided to run everyone else’s life. Devon was a true Alpha male and yes, that got a bit annoying too.  However….this is still a story written by an author who can bring even these flawed characters to life and make them seem very real.  We are given total understanding of the whys of their actions and attitudes as only an accomplished author can. The sisters, Pandora, Cassandra and Helen, are beautifully introduced and we look forward to their stories in the already released Marrying Winterbourne (Helen’s story) and the soon to be released Devil in Spring(Pandora’s story). This is a really good start to this series and as I go forward to read the rest of the series I’m glad I had this introduction to the characters.

I can recommend this book highly, it is classic Kleypas and, although not my very favorite of hers, still a beautifully wrought Historical Romance.

 

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Review- My American Duchess by Eloisa James

my-american-duchess

Title: My American Duchess

Genre: Historical romance/Regency

Author: Eloisa James

Publisher: Avon, Jan. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 436

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

***

Merry Pelford is engaged to Cedric but meets his twin brother, the Duke of Trent, and strikes up a conversation with neither knowing who the other actually is. But Trent decides right then that this is the woman he wants for his duchess.  Then they are formally introduced and it is clear to Trent that Merry would really be good for his brother if only he, Trent could set aside his feelings.

This is a really delightful story of an American trying to fit into a role that she feels unequipped to handle and two men who have always competed with each other.  There are humorous moments and also times when everything seems to go wrong. I’m giving this book 4.5 stars because I vacillated between 4 or 5.  It is certainly a page turner that brings a smile.  The main characters are well drawn and the side characters add a bit of sparkle.  The book is too long. That is my opinion.  It could have packed the same punch with a good 40 pages taken out. But I still highly recommend it as a terrific read.

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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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Last Friday ‘Til Christmas Review- I Will by Lisa Kleypas

i-will

Title: I Will

Genre: Historical romance/Holiday/Novella

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon Impulse, Dec. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 96

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:         

Andrew, Lord Drake, has been cut out of his father’s will because of his dissolute manner of living. To be reinstated, Andrew decides to pretend that he has changed his wicked ways.

As part of his plan, he wants to convince his father that he is courting a respectable woman with the intention of marrying her. The problem is, he doesn’t know any decent women, except for his friend’s spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. He blackmails the reluctant Caroline into helping him, and so the charade begins . . .

***

This is a novella previously published in a 2001 anthology, Wishlist.wishlist

It has been reissued in this current e-book.

I did not read this in the anthology so I was looking forward to this novella.  It certainly did not disappoint me.  It is classic romance from classic Kleypas. Nobody does it better!

Andrew is rude, sarcastic and in general quite obnoxious. Caroline is trying to protect her brother from this dissolute rogue.  However Andrew makes her a proposition that she cannot refuse. She agrees to help him in return for him leaving her brother alone and covering her brother’s debts. All should be good for both parties except they never factored in their growing attraction for each other.

There is a predictable story here but there are also some very clever twists that keep us turning pages to discover the results. This was a terrific holiday read and I highly recommend it.

It looks like the real Santa has finally paid us a visit.

santa-claus-old-guy

 

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Holiday Novella Review- A Match Made In Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

a-match-made-in-mistletoe

Title: A Match Made In Mistletoe

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Anna Campbell

Publisher: Amazon Digital, Nov. 2016

Source: purchase for Kindle

Pages: 153

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

A mistletoe wish… All her life, Serena Talbot has been in love with the handsome boy next door, Sir Paul Garside. She always eagerly looks forward to Paul’s visit to her family over the Festive Season, even if he usually brings along his dark, sardonic friend Lord Hallam. This year, Serena is determined that Paul’s kiss under the mistletoe will lead to a proposal. Even if she has to enlist every ounce of Christmas magic she can get her hands on to make that happen. But the mistletoe gets it wrong! When Serena slips a sprig of mistletoe from the village kissing bough under her pillow, it’s not Paul who turns up in her dreams as the man she’s going to marry, but brooding, intense, annoying Giles Farraday, Marquess of Hallam. Still more annoying, once everyone arrives for the annual Christmas house party, she can’t stop watching Giles, and thinking about Giles. And kissing Giles, whether there’s mistletoe about or not. Now Paul wants to marry her, and Giles wants to seduce her–and Serena has a bone to pick with the old wives who came up with all this superstitious nonsense in the first place. A Christmas of confusion lies ahead! Will mistletoe magic lead the way to a happy ending?

***

You should not miss this absolutely delightful Christmas romance.  Serena is confused, Paul is ready to propose and Giles is no longer holding back his feelings for Serena. She can’t stay away from Giles and she is trying to avoid Paul. It is very obvious to us, the readers, that she should be with Giles but will she see it that way.  Anna Campbell has given us another well written, deeply romantic Christmas novella filled with sexual tension.

This one is perfect for reading by the fire, with your hot toddy (or cocoa) and just enjoying the holiday spirit.

Oh No! I think this is Bad Santa invading my blog.

santa-dangerous

 

 

 

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E-Reader Bargain- Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

kiss-of-midnight

This is the first book in Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed Series and You can get it for e-reader for $1.99 for a limited time.  Also if you buy the e-book you can get the audio book for $3.99. Both prices a true bargain for a terrific series. (the regular price is e-book=$7.99 and audiobook=$24.99.) Filled with heart pounding action and heart stopping drama along with sizzling romance.

This series is one of my favorite vampire series.  It is right up there with Vampires In America by D.B. Reynolds and Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. Here is your chance to try it or add it to your keeper shelf.

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