Tag Archives: 2018

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.

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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.

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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?

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Recent Release Review- I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

I Flipping love you

Title: I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up Series, book #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, May 29, 2018
Pages: 320
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:
From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes I Flipping Love You, a love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready.
Rian Sutter doesn’t usually get hit on in the grocery store, but when she notices a sexy man in a suit checking her out, she thinks maybe it’s her lucky day. Either that or the suit has a thing for sweaty, yoga-pant wearing women with excellent price matching skills.
Turns out it’s neither.
Pierce Whitfield can’t believe his luck when he’s able to track down the woman who scratched up the paint job on his car at the scene of the crime. But when he confronts the hit and run hottie, he discovers there’s not just one, but two of them, and he’s been throwing accusations at the wrong twin.
As repair costs are negotiated, and the chemistry between them flares, Rian and Pierce find out they have more than mutual attraction in common. They’re both vying for the same pieces of prime real estate in The Hamptons and neither one plans to give up without a fight.
Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?

**
The answer to that last question is absolutely “No”. Another sexy, smoldering book from the talented Helena Hunting. Rian Sutter and her twin sister, Marley, are real-estate agents looking to flip some beachfront property so they can earn enough to purchase the ramshackle Mission Mansion and turn it into a B&B. But coincidentally, Pierce and his brother Lawson are also doing the same beachfront flipping in the same area as the Sutter sisters. I really enjoyed the back and forth of these two lovers. They had many tiffs but still couldn’t keep their hands off each other with Rian always afraid Pierce would find out the family secret.

Totally a standalone book in the series with cameos by previous characters.

This is a perfect beach read. Not much angst but loads of steam and humor.

 

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Release Day Review-Never Deceive A Viscount by Renee Anne Miller

Never Decieve A Viscount

Title: Never Deceive A Viscount ( The Infamous Lords, book#2)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Renee Anne Miller
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Zebra Shout, May 29, 2018
Pages: 336
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Clearly, Emma Trafford’s new neighbor is a lady killer—but is the scoundrel with the scar capable of murder? Emma can barely contain her precocious younger sister, Lily—the child swears she spied their neighbor engaged in foul play in his Bloomsbury love nest. But when Lily goes too far searching for “evidence,” Emma must save the imp by distracting Simon—with an all-consuming kiss rife with danger and desire . . .

Simon Marlton, Viscount Adler doesn’t know which is more infuriating: that an anonymous intruder set his soul on fire and left a deep longing in her wake . . . or that during their encounter his signet ring, a token of his painful past, went missing. With the memory of a faint scent of paint spirits and the knowledge that his neighbor Emma is a portraitist, Simon sets out to capture his thief. He draws Emma into a flirtatious game, commissioning the talented lass to paint him—and enticing them both to reveal their whispered suspicions and deepest
secrets . . .

**
Lily is a child with a vivid imagination and she doesn’t obey her older sister, Emma, so all manner of hijinks ensues. Simon wants his signet ring back so he is following clues that lead him to Emma and Lily. Emma has his ring that Lily took, but doesn’t want Simon to know. Can she return it without his finding out?

A Viscount is falling for his portraitist and she for him. This is a fun and comfy book to curl up with.

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Review- The Battered Body by Ellery Adams

The Battered Body

Title: The Battered Body (Supper Club Mysteries book #5)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Author: Ellery Adams
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Beyond The Page, May 2018
Pages: 328
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 0
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

Librarian James Henry and the supper club will have more than enough food for thought trying to count calories and catch a killer . . .

Reluctantly visiting humble Quincy’s Gap to create a special wedding cake, celebrity chef the “Diva of Dough” is not nearly as sweet as her delectable confections, and it’s just a matter of time before she alienates everyone she meets. When her corpse is discovered, covered in cake batter no less, there are more than a few locals who think she got her just desserts. And despite their own distaste for the woman, James and his friends know they have to rise to the occasion and solve the murder.

With clues and suspects few and far between, the supper club members realize that catching the culprit will be anything but a cake walk. And when a second victim turns up dead, they’ll have to quickly discard any half-baked notions about the killer . . . before they all get iced.

**
This is my first book by this author. I really like to read a good whodunit especially in the “Cozy Mystery” genre because although there is usually a murder there is not an abundance of gore. This was book #5 in the series and it did standalone. We do meet characters from previous books and there seems to be an ongoing storyline. At times I did want to know more about characters from previous books so my recommendation is to start this series from book one for a more immersive experience. But you will not be lost if you start with this book.

You will like James and his friends who help local police deputy, Lucy, solve crimes. Lucy is also James’ on-again-off-again girlfriend. The victim had many enemies so figuring out the murderer is some work but saying that, I did wish for an earlier and more detailed introduction to the criminal. I thought the 24 year-old twins who worked at the library were rather immature and I didn’t understand that immaturity. Perhaps that was explained in a previous book.

I recommend this book with some reservations. I think it can be enjoyed more fully if the series is started from the beginning. For me coming in at book #5 it was only just “okay”.

 

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Advance Review- It’s All About The Duke by Amelia Grey

It's All about the Duke

Title: It’s All About The Duke: The Rakes of St. James, book #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Amelia Grey
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 29, 2018
Pages: 352
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal—but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…
Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?
**
Cute and coincidental, that is how I view this book. I enjoyed Marlena and her BFF Eugenia and even some of Eugenia’s fainting whenever she saw the duke. That this consummate Rake had an epiphany and became an honorable gentleman who could sponsor a ward who is in her twenties…well, that was a stretch. Okay, now you think I didn’t like the book but that is not true. Ms. Amelia Grey can write circles around most others and give you laughs one minute and have you tearing-up the next. This was a most enjoyable Historical Romance, cute and coincidental.

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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.

 

 

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Recent Release Review- The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

The Luck of the Bride

Title: The Luck of The Bride (Cavensham Heiresses Series, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Janna MacGregor
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 1, 2018
Pages: 384
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

She’s leaving nothing up to chance. Not even love…
March Lawson is an orphan who, for the past eight years, has struggled to raise her siblings on a meager allowance. Most women March’s age would be picking out ball gowns for the upcoming season. But March’s focus is not on finding a husband. First, she must devote her energies to just one man: the coldhearted skinflint who refuses to release her inheritance.
Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, is not a heartless man. When he learns that Miss Lawson has been forging his name to procure funds, he can’t bring himself to have her arrested—not when the bold-faced embezzler is so enchantingly beautiful. Instead, McCalpin agrees to visit her home to assess the situation more closely. March has no choice but to accept. But how can she manage the handsome trustee who controls her purse strings—when he tugs at her heart strings as well?

**
Filled to over flowing with heartwarming characters we settle in for a feel good novel of a certain Happily Ever After. That is, as long as the H & h prove that they are not their own worst enemy. But there is an enemy, cousin Rupert is villain enough for them and causes a rift that may tear them apart.

This is a heartwarming story that will give the reader feel-good vibes. I enjoyed it but I did think that the impact of scandal in the 19th century was given little credence. I do recommend it for the delightful story and characters.

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Recent Release Review- Someone To Care by Mary Balogh

Someone to Care

Title: Someone To Care (A Westcott Novel, book #4)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency
Author: Mary Balogh
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Berkley, May 1, 2018
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune–except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness–until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.

Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.

When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it. . . .

**

I love how Ms. Balogh can bring the Regency period to life and give us such superb characterizations. We sympathize with Viola’s anxiety and choices, and we understand Marcel even if we disagree with his choices. We become totally invested in both the H & h.
We are given cameo appearances by Viola’s extended family that brings us up to date on their lives. In depth looks at Marcel’s children and family round out a very large cast of characters. At times so many characters can be a bit overwhelming but their appearance in the novel is necessary to understand Viola and Marcel’s dealings.

This is the fourth book in the A Westcott Novel series and can standalone but I do encourage you to read the previous books in the series for a more complete understanding of Viola and her family.

(Isn’t that a beautiful cover? So classy, just like the author.)

 

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