Tag Archives: 4.5 stars

Advance Review- Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer


Nothing Ventured

Title: Nothing Ventured (A William Warwick Novel book #1)

Genre: General fiction/Mystery

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Sept. 3, 2019

Pages: 326

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5 (behind closed doors)

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Nothing Ventured heralds the start of a brand new series in the style of Jeffrey Archer’s #1 New York Times bestselling Clifton Chronicles: introducing Detective William Warwick. But this is not a detective story, this is a story about the making of a detective . . .
William Warwick has always wanted to be a detective, and decides, much to his father’s dismay, that rather than become a lawyer like his father, Sir Julian Warwick QC, and his sister Grace, he will join London’s Metropolitan Police Force.
After graduating from university, William begins a career that will define his life: from his early months on the beat under the watchful eye of his first mentor, Constable Fred Yates, to his first high-stakes case as a fledgling detective in Scotland Yard’s arts and antiquities squad. Investigating the theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum, he meets Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the gallery who he falls hopelessly in love with, even as Beth guards a secret of her own that she’s terrified will come to light.
While William follows the trail of the missing masterpiece, he comes up against suave art collector Miles Faulkner and his brilliant lawyer, Booth Watson QC, who are willing to bend the law to breaking point to stay one step ahead of William. Meanwhile, Miles Faulkner’s wife, Christina, befriends William, but whose side is she really on?
This new series introduces William Warwick, a family man and a detective who will battle throughout his career against a powerful criminal nemesis. Through twists, triumph and tragedy, this series will show that William Warwick is destined to become one of Jeffrey Archer’s most enduring legacies.

**
I haven’t read a Jeffrey Archer book since KANE AND ABEL back in the 80’s. My husband is an avid fan of the author and has been encouraging me to read THE CLIFTON CHRONICLES. It’s not that I didn’t want to read Archer’s novels, I just had other books ahead of his on my TBR pile. When this, a new series came along I thought it time that I give in and read a Jeffrey Archer novel.

I’m so glad I did pick this one up. William Warwick’s character is fully realized. We are given a complete background in his wanting to be a detective and his involvement with his family, his early years on the “beat” and his sharp mind that propels him forward in his profession. William is often naïve but he doesn’t let set-backs hold him back, he can take a joke when pranks are played on him. Archer has given us a well rounded human who we can root for. Side characters are many in this book, from involved family members to mentoring superiors to clever criminals and a like minded love interest. I look forward to the next book to see where William goes from here.

I highly recommend this book to readers of all genres. There is something for everyone; action, adventure, mystery, legal court scenes and a love story. You’re gonna like this one.

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Release Day Review- How To Love A Duke In Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

How to love a duke in ten days

Title: How to Love A Duke In Ten Days

Genre: Historical romance/Victorian

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, August 27, 2019

Pages: 448

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…
Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.
LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.
**
Yay, a new Kerrigan Byrne series! We have a feisty archeologist, Lady Alexandra who along with her two best friends is hiding a secret from their school days. But someone has discovered the secret and is blackmailing her. Her family is destitute and she can no longer pay the blackmailer. That is when the idea of marrying the Terror of Torcliff becomes a good one. Evil follows Alex and Piers.
This is a great start to a new series. The meeting of Alex and Piers is a perfect start to this original plot. Ms Byrne once again kept me glued to the book, only getting up to refresh my coffee. I wanted Piers to be a bit more terrifying. He was just too easy to love. I loved the independent, accomplished Alexandra. The action and adventure was pitch perfect. Highly recommended.

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Recent Release Review- Marry In Secret by Anne Gracie

Marry In Secret

Title: Marry In Secret (Marriage of Convenience,book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Anne Gracie

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Berkley, July 2019

Pages: 336

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Lady Rose Rutherford—rebel, heiress, and exasperated target of the town’s hungry bachelors—has a plan to gain the freedom she so desperately desires: she will enter into a marriage of convenience with the biggest prize on the London marriage mart.

There’s just one problem: the fierce-looking man who crashes her wedding to the Duke of Everingham — Thomas Beresford, the young naval officer she fell in love with and secretly married when she was still a schoolgirl. Thought to have died four years ago he’s returned, a cold, hard stranger with one driving purpose—revenge.

Embittered by betrayal and hungry for vengeance, Thomas will stop at nothing to reclaim his rightful place, even if that means using Rose—and her fortune—to do it. But Rose never did follow the rules, and as she takes matters into her own unpredictable hands, Thomas finds himself in an unexpected and infuriating predicament: he’s falling in love with his wife….

**
This is a very good read. It starts off with a real shocker and then takes us on a steady ride to an HEA. Rose has never forgotten Thomas and how she loved him. Thomas is a broken man trying to find his footing in a world he left behind. We truly hope for their reunion. There are twists and surprises. I can highly recommend this well written Historical Romance.

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Release Day Review- Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor

Rogue Most Wanted

Title: Rogue Most Wanted (Cavensham Heiresses Book #5)

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Author: Janna MacGregor

Publisher: St Martin’s Paperbacks, June 25, 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 380

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Wanted: an engagement of convenience. Found: A noble suitor.
Raised on a remote Scottish estate by her adoring grandfather, Lady Theodora Worth has inherited an earldom as well as the land itself. But when an upstart duke challenges her claim to the title and the Ladykyrk estate, Thea is suddenly in need of a husband—in name, at least. An elderly neighbor with a thoroughly modern sensibility and a dashing great-nephew just might be the answer to Thea’s prayers. Except she has no intention of marrying the first man she meets. That would be utterly ridiculous.
It just can’t be him. . .
Lord William Cavensham is entirely too devoted to his family’s estate—ever since he was jilted as a lad–to wed, but he agrees to meet the woman his aunt has taken under her wing—and introduce her to possible suitors. But after just one meeting with beautiful, spirited Thea, Will is determined to help her reclaim her title. And even moreso, he can’t stop thinking that perhaps marriage to this bold, passionate woman may be the one thing he’s been missing all along?
**
What a lovely family, those Cavenshams. They remind me of J. Quinn’s fabulous Bridgford family. William is the second son who manages the estates of his family, he is the doted upon nephew to his Great Aunt Stella and he keeps his emotions in check by being a workaholic. He is by no means a “rogue” so I don’t understand the book’s title. Thea has been managing the estates of her grandfather for years since he slipped into senility. She is completely attached both physically and emotionally to her estate. A cousin challenges her rights to the estate and William pledges to help her win the challenge.
I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It has Tear jerking scenes as well as heartwarming scenes. The romance is slow budding but so sensual. William is a new book boyfriend and Thea is a woman ahead of her time.

P.S. I love that cover!

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Recent Release Review- When A Duchess Says I Do by Grace Burrowes

When A Duchess Says I Do

Title: When A Duchess Says I Do (Rogues to Riches book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Forever, April 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 385

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:
Duncan Wentworth once tried his hand at rescuing a damsel in distress long ago, and he’s vowed he’ll never make that mistake again. Yet when he comes across a stranger in the poacher-infested woods of his estate, decency compels him to offer the lady aid. Matilda is whip-smart, she can read Duncan’s horrible penmanship, and when she wears his reading glasses all Duncan can think about is naughty Latin poetry.

Widowed duchess Matilda Wakefield can’t entrust her secrets to Duncan without embroiling him in the problems that sent her fleeing from London, but neither can she ignore a man who’s honorable, a brilliant chess player, and maddeningly kissable. She needs to stay one step ahead of the enemies pursuing her, and falling into Duncan’s arms is a distraction she can’t afford-or they’ll both pay the price.

**
I do love the way Grace Burrowes brings characters to life with individual personalities, foibles and interesting pasts. There is mystery and suspense in this romance. We keep turning pages to find out what is keeping Matilda from following her heart and why is she being searched for. Duncan is a really kind man, not the usual Alpha hero. He is thoughtful, handsome and smitten for the first time since he lost his wife.

I am a true fan of this author and highly recommend this and all her Historical Romances to fans of the genre.

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General Fiction Review- The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

the 100 year old man who

Title: The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared

Genre: General Fiction

Author: Jonas Jonasson

Publisher: Hachette, Sept. 2012

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 402

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over . . .

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world….

**
And it has charmed this reader also. the book starts out in the present day (actually around 2005) and as Allan’s adventures continue there are flashback chapters chronicling his life. He meets quirky side characters in the present-day as well as in the past. One thing is certain, Allan always manages to get out of dire predicaments with few consequences…except for the few times he landed in jail.

This is a very enjoyable book filled with humor and so very well written. If I have any complaint at all it is that some chapters were a bit too wordy, but only a bit. If you are looking for a feel good read then look no further than this gem.

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Holiday Anthology- How the Dukes Stole Christmas by T. Dare, S. MacLean, S. Jordan & J. Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas

Title: How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance /Holiday/Anthology
Author: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Schupe
Publisher: Amazon Digital, Oct. 15, 2018
Source: Purchase for Kindle
Pages: 392
Rating: 4.5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Descriptions from Amazon.com:
Christmas magic is in the air… From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors whip up some unforgettable romance…with a little help from some enchanted shortbread.

“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless—and unexpectedly handsome—Thorndale himself. Now the duke’s holding her future in his hands…and he’s not letting go.
Deet’s review: Delightful! This is Regency romance how we like it: desperate heroine, clueless Duke, magic shortbread, witty repartee and even a romp in the snow. Tessa Dare at her best. 5-stars, very sexy Christmasy feeling: 4

“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm—the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped loving…or the future they’d once been promised. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…

Deet’s review: This is the most emotional of the four novellas. We ache for Eben’s heartache and we try to figure out if Jack is in it for revenge or something else. Maclean is the mistress of perfect prose and the long awaited HEA. 5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

“Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister’s family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss … until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

Deet’s review: The romance felt a bit rushed. There is no denying that this novella was based on the movie HOME ALONE. There is a breath holding action scene. This one needed a bit more emotional feeling. 3.5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy Feeling: 2

“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column’s author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing—especially when Duke’s attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?

Deet’s review: This novella is based on the movie CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. This novella is so well done I wish it had been a full length novel. I wanted more romance between Duke and Rose although this was very sexy, but the romance was rushed.
4.5- stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

Deet’s Over All Opinion: You can’t go wrong with this anthology. Every story is a page turner. I finished it in two nights and wanted more. Highly recommended!!

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Release Day Review- The Matrimonial Advertisement by Mimi Matthews

The Matrimonial Advertisement

Title: The Matrimonial Advertisement (Parish Orphans of Devon, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian
Author: Mimi Matthews
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Perfectly Proper Press, Sept 4, 2018
Pages: 317
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:

She Wanted Sanctuary…

Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill–though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome–is anything but a romantic hero.

He Needed Redemption…

Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household–and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.

Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?

**
Well written with wonderful prose. Helena is desperate for someone to protect her from her greedy uncle. Justin is taken with Helena when they first meet and will “go to the ends of the earth” for her. But they are worlds apart in social standing, she an Earl’s daughter and he is an orphan bastard. There are many obstacles to overcome and scandal will follow.

I truly enjoyed reading this very original story. I do look forward to future books in this series. (Some of the orphans were introduced; Finchely and Nevelle.) I also hope the future books will explain why Mr. Oswald was so reviled. I was disappointed in this feature not being concluded satisfactorily. There is interesting information about the horrors of the Private Mental Asylums in the Victorian era.

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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.

 

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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.

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