Tag Archives: 4 stars

Audiobook Review- Duchess of My Heart by Maya Banks

Duchess of My Heart

Title: Duchess of My Heart (The Vault collection, book #1)

Genre: Historical Regency Romance Audiobook

Author: Maya  Banks

Narrator: Tim Campbell

Source: Audible.com

Publisher: Tantor Audio, 2019

Length: 7hrs 46 min

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5+ (violence against women)

Description from Audible:

Jillian’s marriage was a nightmare, the news of her husband’s death an answered prayer. She refuses to bow to the ton and pretend to mourn. And her best friend, Case, will be by her side as she defies society’s rules and has her first taste of freedom.  

Justin, eighth Duke of Whittington, is determined to save his family name from the scandal his brother Case is creating, but the lovely Jillian is not the foe he expected. Both vulnerable and vexing, he’s never met another woman like her. But as sparks fly between them, Justin realizes he must help save Jillian from her past before they can ever have a future.  

Contains mature themes.

**

This is a very violent Historical romance so be prepared. If that does not put you off then you are treated to a very well written book. The characters are well developed and even though I felt sorry for Case I was so pleased with the HEA. The narration is by one of my favorites,Tim Campbell, who does a fabulous job with the voices of all the characters.

Leave a comment

Filed under Audio books, Book review, Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- Always The Wallflower by Emily EK Murdoch

Always The Wallflower

Title: Always the Wallflower (Never The Bride book#5)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Emily EK Murdoch

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Dragonblade, Aug 6, 2020

Pages: 164

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Always the wallflower and never the bride – imprisoned by fear to watch life at the sidelines…

Lady Letitia Cavendish is a Cavendish, but only a cousin of the current Duke so even her name isn’t enough for potential suitors to court her. She’s a wallflower, terrified of putting herself forward, and so life continues on without her.
But at two and twenty, things are getting desperate.

The most confident rake in town, Edward Wynn, is a handsome devil – and being the Viscount of Stulsemere doesn’t hurt. When, despite his best efforts, he’s partnered with the most boring lady at Almack’s, he resigns himself to twenty minutes of silence.

And is astonished. Lady Letitia is nothing like what he expected, and after she storms off and leaves him standing, Edward has to know more.

He’s determined to understand her. She’s torn between remaining invisible and finally making a good match. Personalities collide and compromise seems out of reach as the unexpected happens.

What will society say as the biggest rake courts the wallflower of the season? Can Letitia ever take a step towards a happily ever after?

This full length novel is a steamy Regency romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhangers, and is part of a series that can be read in any order. Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

**

This is a novella, only 164 pages so it is easily read in an evening and if you are a Regency Romance fan than that makes for a satisfying evening. Letitia is so painfully shy when meeting new people that there seems little hope of her ever making a match. But in spite of their first meeting Edward observes her vibrant interaction with those she is familiar with. This intrigues him to know her better.

I truly enjoyed this book and though the novella format often makes it too difficult to develop the characters Ms. Murdoch did an exceptional job in helping us to see Letitia and Edward for who they really are. I recommend this book to all romance fans.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- How Lulu Lost Her Mind by Rachel Gibson

How Lulu Lost Her Mind

Title: How Lulu Lost Her Mind

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Author: Rachel Gibson

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery Books, July 21, 2020

Pages:337

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Lou Ann Hunter’s mother, Patricia, has always had a passionate nature, which explains why she’s been married and divorced five times and spooned enough male patients to be ousted from three elderly care facilities. She also has Alzheimer’s, which is why she wants to spend the rest of her life surrounded by childhood memories at Sutton Hall, her family’s decrepit plantation home in Louisiana.

Lou Ann, a.k.a. Lulu the Love Guru, has built an empire preaching sex, love, and relationship advice to the women of America—mostly by defying the example her mother has set for her. But with Patricia suddenly in need of a fulltime caretaker, Lou Ann reluctantly agrees to step out of the spotlight and indulge her mother’s wishes, even if it means trading in her Louboutins and Chanel N°5 for boots and mosquito repellant.

Upon her arrival at Sutton Hall, Lou Ann discovers that very little functions as it should—least of all Patricia’s mind. And as she adjusts to this new and inevitably temporary dynamic with the help of a local handyman and a live-in nurse, she is forced to confront the reality that neither her nor her mother’s future is going according to plan.

**

This is an especially useful story for readers who are interested in a further understanding of what a caregiver must cope with when a loved one has Alzheimer’s. It is at turns heartrending, uplifting and funny. There is the suggestion of attraction between Lulu and the hunky handyman but it doesn’t really go anywhere which was disappointing. However we do see how Lulu makes life changing decisions.

I can’t say I enjoyed this book although it is certainly well written. I’m just not in a place to like a book that elicits so much sadness, for despite the humor, Alzheimer’s is very sad. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a very worthwhile read. Expect to feel sad, to laugh, to cry and to understand a bit better.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Women's Fiction

Advance Review- About A Rogue by Caroline Linden

About A Rogue

Title: About A Rogue: Desperately Seeking Duke, book #1

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Caroline Linden

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, June 30, 2020

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

It’s no love match…
Bianca Tate is horrified when her sister Cathy is obliged to accept an offer of marriage from Maximilian St. James, notorious rake. Defiantly she helps Cathy elope with her true love, and takes her sister’s place at the altar.
It’s not even the match that was made…
Perched on the lowest branch of his family tree, Max has relied on charm and cunning to survive. But an unexpected stroke of luck gives him an outside chance at a dukedom—and which Tate sister he weds hardly seems to matter.

But could it be the perfect match?

Married or not, Bianca is determined to protect her family’s prosperous ceramics business, even when Max shows an affinity for it—not to mention a dangerous ability to intrigue and tempt Bianca herself. And when Max realizes how beautiful and intelligent and desirable Bianca is, he’ll have to prove he’s no rogue, but the passionately devoted husband she craves…

**
This book is very much like The Taming of The Shrew. We have a very shrewish heroine and a a hero who seems willing to put up with her for the reward of being able to continue developing her father’s ceramics business. He also has to prove to his distant cousin, the dowager duchess, that he can be responsible and respectable since he is the second-in-line heir to the dukedom.

This was a most enjoyable premise. I do like a different plot that is thrown into the Regency Romance mix and this book does just that. I liked that Max was trying to make something of himself. I found Bianca to be a bit annoying with all her ranting. Max has a secret that could bring everything tumbling down around his ears so I kept turning pages to find out what it was. You will also keep the pages turning in this very delightful first book in Ms. Linden’s new series.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review-To Catch An Earl by Kate Bateman

To Catch an Earl

Title: To Catch an Earl (Bow Street Bachelors, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kate Bateman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback, June 30, 2020

Pages: 336

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Working undercover for London’s first official police force, the Bow Street Bachelors have an obligation to serve the city’s best interests—even while they’re falling for the city’s most alluring women…
SHE KNOWS HOW TO STEAL A KISS.

Alex Harland, Earl of Melton and dedicated rake, never pictured himself as an agent of inquiry. But the thrill of investigation is a challenge he now embraces. When he’s asked to pursue the Nightjar, a notorious thief who is reclaiming France’s crown jewels, the case throws him into the path of the beautiful and equally elusive Emmy Danvers, reminding him of the only puzzle he’s never solved: the identity of the mysterious woman who once stole a kiss from him—and left him wanting so much more…

WILL HE SURRENDER HIS HEART?

The daughter of a thief, Emmy learned long ago how to keep her secrets safeguarded—and, as the notorious Nightjar, her love for Alex Harland is one of them. With the determined earl hot on her trail—and making her hot under the collar—Emmy has no choice but to keep her distance. But when a moment’s danger threatens Emmy’s life as well as her name, will Alex finally discover that he’s followed every clue…to true love?
**
This is another goodie from the talented Kate Bateman. Emmy is devoted to her father’s memory and his ideal of returning the French Royal Jewels to France. Her Grandmother and brother also support this effort and encourage Emmy to continue although Emmy often has reservations about each theft.
Alex Harland fell in love at first kiss with Emmy at a masquerade ball and has been searching for four years for the elusive woman. Now that he has found her will he find out about her theivery?

I liked Alex, he was especially good at his Bow Street investigations. Emmy and her family were very likeable also. The blackmailing villain was ruthless but didn’t make sense to me. It just seemed that he could have been dispatched easily enough. All together this was a riveting read. Try it you’ll like the unique plot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Recipe For Persuasion

Title: Recipe For Persuasion (The Raje’s book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Sonali Dev

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, May 26, 2020

Pages: 448

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen?
Rico Silva, that’s what.
Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.
FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn’t too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he’s definitely over her.
But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…?
**
I enjoyed this take on a Food Network cooking show but was also a bit frustrated with how much cat and mouse went on between the protagonists. Ashna was an emotional mess and needed therapy, Rico seemed the most normal of all the characters. Ashna’s mother was tenacious and I think we were to admire her, although if she were my mother I (like Ashna) would have found her overbearing. Not being Indian, I found some of the references to Indian culture going over my head. I did like this book just not as much as Dev’s Bollywood Bride.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance

Recent Release- The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The two Lives of Lydia Bird

Title: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Author: Josie Silver

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine, March 2020

Pages: 432

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

**
This is a tearjerker. Be prepared with a full tissue box at your side. It is about grief and how it envelopes a life. Lydia is so distraught she cannot sleep. Her mother talks the doctor into giving Lydia a prescription for sleeping pills. Lydia takes the pink pill and finds herself asleep and waking in another dimension where Freddie is still alive and they are living their life together. But when she awakes from the sleep she is thrust back into the grief filled life without Freddie. This back and forth plays out over the next year. Lydia makes some independent strides and finds a way to live again. What didn’t ring true was Lydia’s job. She was away for months at a time and they still kept her on. Don’t we all want jobs like that.
I recommend this book only to those who won’t be pulled under by the sadness, it is a sad but eventually uplifting read.

Leave a comment

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

Recent Release- The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

The Boy From the Woods

Title: The Boy From The Woods

Genre: Thriller

Author: Harlan Coben

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Grand Central Pub., March 2020

Pages: 385

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

**
Another up-all-night read! I look forward to every Harlan Coben book and he does not disappoint. This book is full of twists and turns, surprises and me saying “I didn’t see that coming.”. This feels like the start of a series because we are left wondering about “the boy” and his past. Wilde is the perfect mysterious hero. Hester is a force to be reckoned with. I hope to see them in another book . I gave it only 4-stars because there were a couple of too convenient issues which I won’t elaborate; so no spoilers. This would make a fun Netflix series.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Suspense, Thriller

Recent Release- In Bed With The Earl by Christi Caldwell

In bed with the Earl

Title: In Bed With The Earl (Lost Lords of London, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, March 2020

Pages: 383

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcolm North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?
Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.
The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

**
Christi Caldwell never gives us a “bad” book. This enemies to lovers trope doesn’t disappoint. Although Ms. Caldwell has done the seedy side of London in past books, this time we really find the deep dark and very dirty sewers of London and the criminals that inhabit them for profit and power.

Verity is not a typical woman of her time. She is desperately trying to become a news reporter and meeting all kinds of male imposed obstacles. But she needs the job to support her teen sister and her childhood nursemaid. Finding the Lost Heir would be her door to a job at the newspaper.

Malcolm has no memory of his early childhood when he was kidnapped. He has fought his way to become the king of the sewers attaining a fortune in the process. He has no desire to enter polite society as the Earl, but it is being forced upon him. He doesn’t want to be found by any reporter including Verity.

I enjoyed the way the author brings to life the grittier side of London in the Regency time period. As usual with Ms. Caldwell we get superbly nuanced characters that leap off the page. Although not one of my favorites of this author it certainly was a unique, entertaining read.

Leave a comment

Filed under Audio books, Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Recent Release, Romance, sexy

Review- Elevation by Stephen King

Elevation

Title: Elevation

Genre: General Fiction/Fantasy

Author: Stephen King

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 161

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face—including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

**
I got this book because I love Stephen King but not all his horror/thriller writings. After reading his semi-memoir, ON WRITING, I was a converted King groupy.. I want you to know up front that this is a novella, only 161 pages and I tossed it off in a casual 3 hours.

Scott Carey is lightening up weight-wise at a rapid pace and he begins to understand that this is a phenomenon that he can’t stop or control. He tries to make friends with the Lesbian neighbors but Deidre has a gigantic chip on her shoulder and Missy is open to friendship but rather demure. Scott participates in a 12k race with Deidre and he manages to make a break through in their relationship. Doc Ellis, a friend, is also part of Scott’s support.

This is a book about prejudice and overcoming that. It is also a fantasy. It is heartwarming and sad.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Book review