Tag Archives: 4 stars

Release Day Review- Much Ado About A Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Much Ado About A Widow

Title: Much Ado About A Widow (The Widow’s Club, Book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jenna Jaxon

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zebra, Jan. 1, 2020

Pages: 320

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick defied her family, jilted her fiancé, and married the man she loved. But when her husband died at Waterloo, she was delivered right back into her father’s power . . .

Victory is sweet—but England’s triumph was Georgie’s rout. Now that she’s widowed, the loathsome marriage her father first arranged has simply been renegotiated. With neither money nor rights, and nowhere to flee, all she can do is cherish her last weeks of freedom. . . . Until a band of ruffians overtake her carriage and kidnap her. When she escapes in seaside Brighton and encounters her brother’s rather wild friend, Lord St. Just—whom she suspects aspires to be a pirate—she’s prepared to entertain more of his adventurous suggestions than usual . . .

St. Just knows his mind and his duty, and he loves a challenge. Helping a fair lady make her farewells to hoodlums suits his talents well. Within the hour he has Georgie, her lady’s maid—and her little dog too—sailing for his castle in Cornwall. Meanwhile, the lady’s entire family, her kidnappers, and her scheming intended are in pursuit. But as he and the indomitable Georgie grow closer, he begins to suspect that together they will prove a match for them all . . .

**
This is a fun read with lots of action, adventure and sexual tension. Georgie has resigned herself to this arranged marriage thinking that she will never love again. But the longer she is with Rob the more her heart begins to beat again. Now it is up to Rob and Georgie to find a way to be together. No small fete, since Lord Travers, her betrothed, and Georgie’s father are closing in.

I enjoyed this romp on land and sea. It was a fun read and kept me turning pages into the night. I liked the twists and turns of the story. There are references to other characters in the series but I can recommend this standalone in the series to all historical romance fans. The other books in the series are also worth a look.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Releasing tomorrow- Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Love Lettering

Title: Love Lettering

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kate Clayborn

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Kensington, Dec. 31, 2019

Pages: 320

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon:

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

**
Okay, I struggled a bit with this book. I had moments of confusion about all the walks to view lettering on signs. Yes, I got that it was to give Meg inspiration for her big corporate presentation and yes, she was attracted to Reid and this was a way to see him. But I wondered why Reid was always so secretive, and why wasn’t this a red flag for Meg? Well the answers to the former become evident but not the later. Yes, I kept turning pages to find out if these two very different people would actually get together. Reid’s long, long explanation was…well…too long. So now you think I didn’t like this book. You are wrong, I did like it I just have a few issues.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance

Advance Review- Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake

Forever My Duke

Title: Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchesses ,book 2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Olivia Drake

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Dec. 31, 2019

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Forever My Duke is the second novel in a brand new Regency romance series from Olivia Drake about rakish dukes and the governesses who steal their hearts.
“I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent
Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.
But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?

**
Oh how romantic! To meet in an Inn, during an ice storm and then to find out they are going to the same estate, each for a different reason. Natalie is going to Oaks Knoll to deliver the Earl’s grandson following the child’s parents death. Hadrian is going to Oaks Knoll to get to know Lady Ellen who he is expected to make an offer of marriage. Nothing turns out like they expected.

I enjoyed how this book had a different premise than most HR’s. An American who didn’t want an English Duke. Most unusual for the genre. It is a lovely love story and the author brings these two around to the HEA we expect but what fun getting there.

2 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Audio Book Review- A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vancy

A wicked Kind of Husband

Title: A Wicked Kind of Husband

Genre: Historical Romance/Marriage of Convenience

Author: Mia Vancy

Narrator: Kate Reading

Source: Purchase, Audible ($1.99) also available in print($3.99)

Publisher: Inner Ballad Press, Oct. 2018

Pages: 386

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

It was the ideal marriage of convenience…until they met

Cassandra DeWitt has seen her husband only once—on their wedding day two years earlier—and this arrangement suits her perfectly. She has no interest in the rude, badly behaved man she married only to secure her inheritance. She certainly has no interest in his ban on her going to London. Why, he’ll never even know she is there.

Until he shows up in London too, and Cassandra finds herself sharing a house with the most infuriating man in England.

Joshua DeWitt has his life exactly how he wants it. He has no need of a wife disrupting everything, especially a wife intent on reforming his behavior. He certainly has no need of a wife who is intolerably amiable, insufferably reasonable … and irresistibly kissable.

As the unlikely couple team up to battle a malicious lawsuit and launch Cassandra’s wayward sister, passion flares between them. Soon the day must come for them to part … but what if one of them wants their marriage to become real?

**
This would have been 5-stars if only Joshua had not come across as such a bully. Yes, he was redeemed by the love of a good woman but still he was rather annoyingly obstinate. Cassandra was a strong take-charge type because the tending of her late father’s estate fell to her and she also had to deal with her wild sister and a recalcitrant sister because her mother was a depressive and a drug addict. She was used to dealing with difficult people and situations so a husband who was also difficult was just one more problem. That Mia Vancy was deftly able to get these two opposite personalities to fall in love was sheer brilliance.
I listened to this audiobook narrated by the very capable Kate Reading. She is very good at changing voices for each character and does a wonderful job of the male voices. I can highly recommend this audio book for content and narration. At this writing the audiobook is priced at a very affordable $1.99.

Leave a comment

Filed under Audio books, Book review, Books Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- A Christmas Gathering by Anne Perry

A Christmas Gathering

Title: A Christmas Gathering

Genre: Holiday Mystery

Author: Anne Perry

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine, Nov. 5, 2019

Pages: 208

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon:

As beautiful as it may be, their friends’ country house is not where Lady Vespasia wishes to spend Christmas with her new husband, Victor Narraway. She’d have preferred a relaxing holiday at home with him—especially as Victor, former head of the London Special Branch, seems to be hiding undercover dealings with the other guests who have gathered at the spacious estate.

As tensions grow, the young and beautiful Iris Watson-Watt becomes the center of several men’s focus. Unbeknownst to Vespasia, Iris carries a sensitive package that she must pass to Victor in the hope of unmasking a British traitor. While Victor plots his moves, he is reminded of a similar case from twenty years before, when a young Frenchwoman also carried a clandestine message—one that resulted in her murder, unsolved to this day. Victor has always been tormented by his failure to protect her, and now, with all eyes on Iris, Victor must act fast before history repeats itself.

With the joy of Christmas at risk of being forgotten and Vespasia feeling alone with a distracted husband, Victor must ultimately learn to forgive himself in order to save both his country and the spirit of the holiday.

**
Sometimes the holidays are not so much fun, especially when there are spys and traitors in the mix. This book is a standalone mystery with some characters from previous books by the author. I found that there was some repetitive pages that took me out of the story at times but overall it is a good mystery. Vespasia is a a woman who notices details that others might miss and thus helps with the solving of the mystery. There is a surprise that makes sense but it is still very coincidental. For me this was a comfortable page turner on a chilly night.

You know if there is “Christmas” in a post then those elves will make an appearance.

sexy-santa

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Holiday, Mystery

Release Day Review- This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman

This Earl of Mine

Title: This earl of Mine (Bow street Bachelors, book #1)

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Kate Bateman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St Martins, Oct. 29, 2019

Pages: 336

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Introducing the Bow Street Bachelors—men who work undercover for London’s first official police force—and the women they serve to protect. . .and wed?
WILL A FALSE MARRIAGE

Shipping heiress Georgiana Caversteed is done with men who covet her purse more than her person. Even worse than the ton’s lecherous fortune hunters, however, is the cruel cousin determined to force Georgie into marriage. If only she could find a way to be . . . widowed? Georgie hatches a madcap scheme to wed a condemned criminal before he’s set to be executed. All she has to do is find an eligible bachelor in prison to marry her, and she’ll be free. What could possibly go wrong?
LEAD TO TRUE AND LASTING LOVE?
Benedict William Henry Wylde, scapegrace second son of the late Earl of Morcott and well-known rake, is in Newgate prison undercover, working for Bow Street. Georgie doesn’t realize who he is when she marries him—and she most certainly never expects to bump into her very-much-alive, and very handsome, husband of convenience at a society gathering weeks later. Soon Wylde finds himself courting his own wife, hoping to win her heart since he already has her hand. But how can this seductive rogue convince brazen, beautiful Georgie that he wants to be together…until actual death do they part?

**

What an enjoyable romp with Benedict and Georgie. He was recently returned from the war on the continent and she is trying to hold her family and fortune out of the hands of a conniving cousin. They join forces to solve an investigation into a sinister, treasonous plot. There is action and adventure as well as sizzling romance. This one is not too long so it is a welcome, easy read.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Advance Review- Child’s Play by Danielle Steel

Child's Play

Title: Child’s Play

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Author: Danielle Steel

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Dell, Oct. 8,2019

Pages: 288

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

The lessons our children teach us are the hardest ones. What do we do when our children don’t pursue our hopes for them? In this riveting new novel, Danielle Steel explores how families can evolve and grow in unexpected ways.

A senior partner at a prestigious New York law firm, Kate Morgan couldn’t be prouder of her three grown children. Tamara, Anthony, and Claire all went to great schools, chose wonderful career paths, and would have made their father proud. A single mother for years after the death of her husband, Kate keeps a tight rein on her family, her career, and even her own emotions, never once asking herself if she truly knows her children . . . or if her hopes for them are the right ones, and what they want. She is about to find out.

During one hectic summer in Manhattan, Kate’s world turns upside down. One child has been keeping an astonishing secret while another confesses to an equally shocking truth. A wonderful match and picture-book wedding are traded for a relationship that shakes Kate to her core. A totally inappropriate love affair and an out-of-wedlock baby complete the chaos. Challenged as a mother and as a successful independent woman herself, Kate struggles to keep up with a dizzying and escalating chain of events, and begins to realize that she has a part to play in the chaos. Because Kate too has kept secrets from her children.

Sometimes the surprising choices our children make are the right ones . . . better than what we wanted for them. More often than not, parenting is about letting go of our dreams and embracing theirs.

**
The book description gives you a good idea of what this book is about and I will not pretend I can do a better synopsis. I enjoyed this book and fell into the author’s trap of needing to find out how everything would turn out. I really liked the several surprises and I really admired the protagonist, Kate. Tamara, Anthony and Claire are all successful adults to make any mother proud. That they each have a crisis in their lives only makes them more relatable and Kate more relatable. There is also romance around every corner as well as the problems that arise with romantic involvements.

I have not read this author in a number of years but I’m delighted that I picked up this book. A good read!

P.S.- I really dislike it when a book cover has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the book.  Like this one.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, General Fiction & Literature, Women's Fiction

Release Day Review- Scandalous by Minerva Spencer

Scandalous

Title: Scandalous ( Outcasts, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Minerva Spencer

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zebra, Sept. 24, 2019

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Have you no decency?”

Straight-laced missionary Sarah Fisher has never met a man like Captain Martin Bouchard. He is the most beautiful person—male or female—she’s ever seen. Overwhelmingly masculine, elegantly attired despite months at sea, he is in complete command of everyone and everything around him: everyone, that is, except Sarah. But that’s about to change because Sarah has bought Bouchard’s mercy with the only thing she has to sell: her body.

“None at all . . .”

In spite of her outrageous offer, Martin has no doubt Sarah is a virgin, and a most delectable one at that. But instead of bedding her, he finds himself staring down the muzzle of his own pistol. Clearly, the longer she stays on his ship, the greater the chances that she’ll end up its damned captain! Most infuriating of all, she looks past his perfect exterior to the wounded man inside. Can Martin outrun his scandalous past in time to have a future with the first woman to find and capture his heart?

**
This is the third book in Minerva Spencer’s OUTCASTS series but it is a standalone novel if you haven’t read the first two books. But, go ahead, read the first two wonderful books in this series also. This book, and the series, is full of action, adventure, romance on the high seas and the London ballrooms.

Martin Bouchard is a privateer whose mission is to stop any ship that is transporting slaves from Africa. Martin was once a slave until he was rescued by another privateer and set to work on a ship. Now Martin has amassed a fortune working for the British. He is captain of his own ship. He is fastidious in his dress which is amusing to his crew but he is not to be trifled with for he is a dangerous man. A man with a secret.
Sarah Fisher, the orphaned daughter of missionaries in Africa, has been captured along with members of her village and thrown into the hold of a slave traders ship. She is summoned to help the ship’s ailing Captain Graff with her healing abilities when the ship is captured by Martin’s ship. Graff takes her to the meeting with Martin and they both become prisoners until Martin can turn Graff over to the authorities.

As much as I’ve enjoyed this entire series, this book was not my favorite. Perhaps because of the slave trading angle, Martin’s horror filled past and his constant bullying of Sarah. I could not find what the attraction was for Sarah. It was hardly romantic but then Martin spent a great deal of his time denying his attraction. It was also hard to believe that Sarah, after being raised in an African village, could so easily fit into the London Season with only a few dance lessons.

The writing is top notch and characterization spot on. Having been introduced to Martin in an earlier book, it was good to read his story. Yes, I can recommend this book, only not as highly as the others in the series.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Pirates

Recent Release review- The Spitfire by Christi Caldwell

Spitfire

Title: The Spitfire (Wicked Wallflowers, book #5)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake , Sept. 17, 2019

Pages: 327

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Her dream is to open a music hall. Only one thing stands in her way—the man she loves. The final Wicked Wallflowers novel from USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell.
Leaving behind her life as a courtesan and madam, Clara Winters is moving far from the sinful life to which she was accustomed in the gaming hell the Devil’s Den. Her more reputable and fulfilling endeavor is a music hall for the masses. One night, when she sees a man injured on the streets of East London, she rushes to his aid and brings him home. It’s then that she discovers he’s Henry March, Earl of Waterson, and a member of Parliament. No good can come from playing nursemaid to a nobleman.
When Henry rouses to meet his savior in blonde curls, he is dazzled. This smart and loving spitfire challenges his every notion of the lower classes—and every moment together is a thrill. But after Henry returns to his well-ordered existence, he strikes a political compromise that has unintended consequences. Will his vision for London mean dashing the dreams of his lovely guardian angel?

**
Another winner from Christi Caldwell, a standalone but it is enhanced by the beginning novels in the series.
I love how Ms. Caldwell brings secondary characters to life in their own novel. Clara is an obscure character who gradually makes her presence known in succeeding novels. And now we get her own HEA.

Clara and her dear friend, Regina Killoran, have joined together to open a music hall in a very dicey neighborhood. Henry’s life is saved by Clara in the streets of London and they are thrown together again when Henry’s parliamentary work threatens Clara’s music hall. There is plenty of action and suspense as well as a slow burn romance.

I love to read these books as well as listen to Tim Campbell narrate them on audio. I highly recommend this novel as well as the entire Wicked Wallflowers Series.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance

Release Day Review- Magic Under The Mistletoe- Lucy Coleman

Magic Under the Mistletoe

Title: Magic Under The Mistletoe

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author: Lucy Coleman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Aria, Sept. 5, 2019

Pages: 334

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:
Christmas and romance are in the air…
It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
**

I really enjoyed the slow build of this romance. Leesa has some tragic past issues and Cary has some present day issues. Both are self focused so they don’t even see that they are falling for each other. This is my first Lucy Coleman book and I like the way she develops her characters. Cary as a CEO was a bit of a stretch since he seemed to not be involved in his business except to badger Leesa about her video. I didn’t like that there was a plethora of “heart-to-heart” talks in the middle of the book. I thought it slowed things down and really one or two heart-to-heart’s would have sufficed. I liked Leesa’s character, she was determined to overcome her tragedies. The side characters were well drawn and added to my liking the story. But be prepared because all seem to have secrets. This book is set during the Christmas/New Year holidays and it is full of holiday cheer.

Whoa! That’s William Levy pretending to be an elf, sneaking onto my blog. Are those elves going to invade every Christmas book review?

santa-william-levy

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Contemporary Romance, Holiday