Tag Archives: 3-stars

Recent Release-Bakra Bride by N.J. Walters

Bakra Bride

Title: Bakra Bride ( Tapestries book #2)
Genre: Erotic Time Travel Romance
Author: N.J. Walters
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Beyond The Page, August 2018
Pages: 172
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5+
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

After witnessing a gruesome murder, Jane Smith has watched her life crumble around her. Her only solace is the stunning and mysterious tapestry she discovered at a thrift store. When the image stitched into the tapestry magically comes to life one night, Jane finds herself transported to a mystical Medieval world, where two massive warriors declare their intentions to cater to her every sensual desire.

Zaren and Bador are stunned to realize that the prophecy of the tapestry has come true and brought Jane to them. The brothers willingly accept their duty to indulge her in every possible form of passion. But Jane’s arrival has also attracted the attention of rival warriors, who will go to any lengths to steal her from the Bakra brothers and claim her as their own.

As Jane adjusts to this frightening but enthralling world, Zaren and Bador risk all to protect her—even as they use all their sexual skill, separately and together, to take her to unimagined sensual heights. Because the time for Jane to choose is drawing near, and the Bakra brothers must convince her to abandon her former life—and take one of them as her loving husband for all time . . .

**
Looking for a sexy, erotic romance without BDSM, this is your book. However if you want a good time-travel book then this one falls short. This is typical erotica in that there is a lot of sex in many variations, but it is cloaked in a bit of sappy romance. Zaren is over-the-top in his “love” for Jane. At least Bador seems to have a level head. Jane is having the time of her sexual life so it really leaves little doubt about her staying with the brothers or about which one she will choose for a husband. Little does it matter since she will still get to have sex with her brother-in-law also. This is a good erotic novel if you are tired of women being blindfolded and tied up, none of that here. Jane is a very active participant in all the bedroom romps. The writing is good, I just wish the time-travel part was explored further. The TT premise was a good one but it fell flat.

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Recent Release Review- More or Less A countess by Anna Bradley

More or less a Countess

Title: More or Less a Countess (The Somerset Sisters)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Anna Bradley
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Lyrical, August 7, 2018
Pages: 252
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 3
Description from Amazon:

Finding a worthy husband should be simple for three beautiful debutantes in Regency London. But the Somerset sisters have a way of making it delightfully complicated . . .

Violet Somerset has always preferred a library to a ballroom, but to please her grandmother she agreed to one London season. With nothing to show for it but heartbreak, she’s reconciled to spinsterhood. Until a notorious rogue known as the Devil of Dare requests an introduction to her timid, gentle youngest sister, Hyacinth. Violet will do anything to stop the match—even if it means posing as Hyacinth herself . . .

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare, is enjoying the life of a rake far too much to take a wife. But he must keep his promise to his grandmother. He’ll simply choose the meekest bride he can find, install her at his estate, then carry on as before. Hyacinth sounds perfect—until he discovers that her sweet demeanor hides the tongue of a viper and the mind of a bluestocking . . .

As Violet’s ruse threatens to unravel, however, she may find the tables turned. Soon she may have no choice but to tolerate her handsome fiancée—or fall in love with him . . .

**
Violet is a bluestocking and Nick is a rake, the combination is ripe for angst and witty repartee, which Ms. Bradley delivers. There are scenes that lead the reader to laugh out loud. Even though I did enjoy much of this book I could not help but think that every scene with Nick and Violet was a bit over-the-top. This is a stand alone book and #2 in the series. Not a badly written book just not my cuppa tea.

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Recent Release Review- Cottage By The Sea by Debbie Macomber

Cottage By The Sea

Title: Cottage By The Sea: A Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Debbie Macomber
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Ballentine Books, July 17, 2018
Pages: 352
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 3
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Annie Marlow has been through the worst. Rocked by tragedy, she heads to the one place that makes her happy: Oceanside in the Pacific Northwest, the destination of many family vacations when Annie was a teenager.

Once there, Annie begins to restore her broken spirit, thanks in part to the folks she meets: a local painter, Keaton, whose large frame is equal to his big heart—and who helps Annie fix up her rental cottage by the sea; Mellie, the reclusive, prickly landlord Annie is determined to befriend; and Britt, a teenager with a terrible secret. But it is Keaton to whom Annie feels most drawn. His quiet, peaceful nature offers her both comfort and reprieve from her grief, and the two begin to grow closer.

Then events threaten to undo the idyll Annie has come to enjoy. And when the opportunity of a lifetime lands in her lap, she is torn between the excitement of a new journey toward success and the safe and secure arms of the haven—and the man—she’s come to call home.

In this heartwarming tale, Annie finds that the surest way to fix what is damaged within is to help others rise above their pain and find a way to heal.

**
Since this is only the second book that I have read by this author, I hesitate to be too dismissive, but this book was not a good fit for me. That said I’m sure there are those readers who would genuinely like this story. The melodrama is a bit over the top with all of the characters having serious devastation in their backgrounds. There was little to be happy about in anyone’s life until the very pat ending. As expected the dialog was well written and the characters well developed. But this story was just “okay”, although I found it depressing.

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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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Recent Release Review- A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

A Duke like no other

Title: A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides Series, book#9)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Valerie Bowman
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martins Press, May 2018
Pages: 368
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the otherway around. . .
General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.
Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled.
**
I have been a huge fan of this series but this book was just all wrong for me. Now you might be okay with the background of the couple being told in flashbacks but those just annoy me and take me away from the interesting part of the story. I liked the way the book started off with Mark seeking his estranged wife so he could get the promotion of his dreams and Nicole agreeing to help him if he will give her the child she craves. We can deduce that these two really are fond of each other but because of a misunderstanding they remain estranged. That was a good start and then we are thrown into a murder mystery that affects Mark and the coincidence is rather in your face. It is like the first part of the book didn’t set well with the author so she started an entirely different story keeping Nicole in because she was hanging around waiting to be made enceinte.
Now the book is not a complete bust because the mystery is rather fun. So if You don’t mind flashbacks and abrupt changes in storyline then you are in for a good read.

 

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Advance Review- From Governess to Countess by Marguerite Kaye

From Governess to Countess

Title: From Governess To Countess (Matches Made in Scandal, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency/ Russian
Author: Marguerite Kaye
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Harlequin Historical, March 1, 2018 (preorder available)
Pages: 288
Rating: 3
Sexy rating:5
Description from Amazon:

The scandalous truth about the count’s new mistress!

Count Aleksei Derevenko has hired governess Allison Galbraith for her skills as a herbalist, not a mistress! But when rumors spread, Allison is more shocked by her wanton reaction to Aleksei—inscrutable and impossibly handsome, his icy blue eyes promise white-hot nights of sin. She knows too well how fragile her reputation is, but will the price of their passion be worth paying?

**
It is refreshing to read a Regency era historical romance set in the opulence of Russia. Ms. Kaye gives us a true introduction to the architecture and vast wealth that was controlled by the aristocracy in that country. There is a mystery to solve, was the death of the Duke murder or natural causes? Can Allison help with the determination since she is an herbalist?
There is an attraction immediately between Allison and Aleksei but will their differing social stations prevent their romance.

I found this book fascinating because of the setting and a good read because of the mystery and romance.

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Release Day Review- Completely by Ruthie Knox

Completly

Title: Completely (The New York Trilogy, book #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Ruthie Knox
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Loveswept
Pages: e-book
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Everest. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Maybe even New York, where Ruthie Knox takes her charming rom-com style to new heights.

Beneath her whole “classic English beauty” appearance is an indomitable spirit that has turned Rosemary Chamberlain into something of a celebrity mountain climber. But after an Everest excursion takes a deadly turn, Rosemary is rescued by her quick-thinking guide, New York native Kal Beckett. Rosemary’s brush with death brings out a primal need to celebrate life—and inspires a night of steamy sex with the rather gorgeous man who saved her.

The son of a famous female climber with a scandalous past, Kal Beckett is still trying to find himself. In the Zen state of mind where Kal spends most of his time, anything can happen—like making love to a fascinating stranger and setting off across the world with her the next morning. But as their lives collide in the whirlwind of passion that is New York City, the real adventure is clearly just beginning. . . .

**
I’m a fan of Ruthie Knox and this series, but this offering is one I didn’t like as well as the others. Completely is more depressing than either book that went before. I didn’t really like Rosemary. I thought her selfish and self centered. Kal was a nice guy but really not hero material in the romance area. He seemed unfocused in his life and was in love with a woman who bounced from one focus to another. Of course this was well written and the characters drawn very well because Ruthie Knox is a terrific author. You will learn a lot about Sherpas in Nepal and New York City and some about Mt. Everest. I just never could get behind this romantic couple.

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Review- Little White Lies by R.C.Matthews

Little White Lies

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Light

Author: RC Matthews

Source: Purchase for Kindle, $.99

Publisher: Crimson Romance, March 2014

Pages: 276

Rating: 3

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

When attorney Madalyn Russell dumps her fiancé at the altar, she temporarily escapes the scrutiny of her friends and family on her honeymoon cruise. Too bad she forgot she is assigned to dine at the “newlywed” table on the fully booked cruise. Goodbye exquisite cuisine, hello standard buffet fare. Nothing will tempt her to enter that lion’s den. Or so she thinks.

When the board of directors orders devilishly handsome Royce Spencer to seek rest alone on a cruise, he sets his sights on Madalyn and offers a deliciously indecent proposal to her dining room dilemma. He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. Royce is a gifted liar with a great sense of humor that has everyone at the newlywed table laughing and no one suspecting the truth.

Is the opportunity to enjoy all the ship has to offer worth the little white lies they’ll have to tell? What is it about Royce that makes Madalyn want to engage in a fling at the age of thirty for the first time in her life and toss her tightly held beliefs overboard? The whirlwind love affair catches them both by surprise. Is it possible that in the midst of all the little white lies, they will each discover their soul mate? And when Royce is accused of white-collar crime with Madalyn as his key witness, will Madalyn finally learn that life is not always as black and white as it seems?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

**

If you want a light, humorous, sexy romance this is it.  But be prepared for some head scratching disbelief along the way.  It is rather predictable but that’s okay, once in awhile we can handle a book that we know where it is headed. If when you get to the end and the predictability becomes overwhelming then you should take my advice and read this only for the fun of what is transpiring on the page and set aside deep thoughts for some other reads.

 Yes the title is accurate for this book; there are lots of lies, some of them not so little. Royce seems adept at spinning yarns and Madelyn, when she’s not gasping with anxiety over those lies, goes along for the ride. They do have very hot compatibility in the stateroom, lots of chemistry between the H & h.

 

 

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Recent Release Review-My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

My One True Highlander

Title: My One True Highlander: A No Ordinary Hero Novel, Book #2

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlands

Author: Suzanne Enoch

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, April 4, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 319

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

DARE TO FALL IN LOVE Scotland, 1812—Rugged Highlander Graeme’s loyalty to his clan means that their enemies are his own—even when that includes his neighbor, the Duke of Lattimer. It’s a fight he doesn’t relish, but when Graeme’s reckless younger brothers foolishly kidnap Lattimer’s younger sister, all bets are off…

Lady Marjorie Forrester may be aligned with the enemy, but capturing her puts Graeme squarely in the middle of a war. If he turns Marjorie over to his clan chief, she could be killed. If he lets her go, his brothers could face prison. In addition, the woman can’t stop trying to civilize the lot of them! What’s a Highlander to do, then, but keep the stubborn lass close…and explore the unexpected passion that develops between them? But how can Graeme protect Marjorie and his brothers when both Lattimer and his own clan are on the warpath—and will do whatever it takes to tear these two star-crossed lovers apart, in My One True Highlander, the next No Ordinary Hero Scottish romance from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Enoch.

***

The premise was a good one but I kept losing interest in this book.  Perhaps because so much of it was confined to the one setting of Graeme’s house.  That’s only speculation.  I would read a few pages and set the book aside.  This is not how I used to read a Suzanne Enoch book.  I’m a fan of this author but I found myself bored with this one. Not even the side characters of Graeme’s brothers or Marjorie’s companion could rouse me to be interested.  I take total responsibility for this attitude because I do think that those who love stories set in the Scottish Highlands will like this book, especially those who want to follow up on book one of this series. The writing is good and the characters are well developed. We met Marjorie in Book #1 and it was good to see her star in this story.

 

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Review- The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien

the-merchants-pearl

Title: The Merchant’s Pearl (The Merchant’s Pearl Saga, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Amie O’Brien

Publisher: Book Baby, July 2016

Source: Free for review from the author

Pages: 466

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5 not explicit

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

The opinionated, only daughter of a missionary, is enslaved and gifted to an Ottoman prince who has an inner vow to win her affection. Sarai was led to believe that the whole world could exchange their beliefs for hers. But when her parents are murdered, she quickly learns that the world never stops for just one person. The world takes, forgets, and swiftly moves on. By 1875, she isn’t even Sarai anymore. She had spent her teenage years repackaged as Leila, a palace concubine-in-waiting for the overly indulgent, Ottoman Sultan, Abdul’Aziz. Leila does her best to stay out of the eye of ‘Aziz as well as his son, Prince Emre. But when young and thoughtful Emre claims Leila for his own harem, she is forced out of her shell and thrown into a ring of competitive women. Here, she cannot hide from the attention her young master wishes to lavish upon her. Nor can she can avoid the ruthless retaliations of his prior favorite, Aster. But it’s the unexpected gift of sexual sanctuary and an inside look into his family’s struggles that really collides with Leila’s upbringing. Soon, despite her better judgment, she finds her heart becoming increasingly tied to him. But can she submit her faith and independent spirit to such a future—a future where to be loved means settling for the fact that she can only ever be his favorite? Will she be able to take turns sharing him among the four beautiful girls he had received before her, one being a jealous rival and another a closest friend? And what will happen to their love if Emre’s father can’t hold together his fragile kingdom, an empire that has grave threats encroaching from every side…including within?

**

I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing, while good, left me wondering too often about setting.  I really wanted to know more about the physical attributes of the palace.  We are forced, along with Leila, to confine ourselves to her room or Prince Emre’s rooms.  We are only briefly any other place in the entire 466 pages.  Written in the first person (I confess up-front that this is not my favorite style), the book is told almost entirely in dialog. An info dump at the end should have been given earlier so that the reader could understand what was going on politically. When at the ball we are told she is wearing a blue gown, but what is the style, is it like a Victorian English Ball? Is she wearing some harem garb? Told that the prince and his brothers are wearing black jackets, but what style?  The heroine was often truculent with her “master” even though he was a paragon of patience would a prince in these surroundings have tolerated her disrespect?

The language was often too modern for the Victorian and Turkish setting.

In acknowledgements the author thanks her several editors.  If these were professional editors then they could have done a better job of pointing the author in the right direction.

I conclude that there is some real talent with this author which is not fully realized in this book.

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