Tag Archives: 5 stars

Romantic Suspense Review-King’s Captive by Amber Bardan

kings-captive

Title: King’s Captive

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Author: Amber Bardan

Publisher: Carina Press, Feb. 2017

Source: Purchase, Kindle $3.99

Pages: 252

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

For three years, I’ve belonged to Julius King. Some people would think being stuck on a private island is heaven, but this is my hell.   Because I’m not here as a guest. Not even close. I’m a prisoner. I’m his. Julius King. Powerful. Wealthy. Dangerous. There are parts of me he wants that I can’t give him. When he looks at me, there are times I swear he sees someone else. And the scary part is that sometimes, when he touches me, I think he may be someone else, too. Though my body might be tempted, and he might control everything else, I can’t let him have any piece of my heart. I won’t. But every day, the fight gets harder, and Julius manages to slip past my defenses in the most unexpected ways.  I have to find out the truth about Julius King. Even if it destroys me.  

***

Wow! Hang on to your hat for a wild ride.  At the start this book seems to be a fairly adequate description of Stockholm Syndrome.  But that’s only the start.  We readers are privy to Sarah’s view of events and we learn along the way of Julius’ version which doesn’t always match. There are twists and surprises that I absolutely, positively guarantee will keep you from putting the book down. The sex is sizzling. Truly a very good read by an author who is new to me. I look forward to more adventures in her books.

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Rereading The Bridgertons book #2 Review- The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn

 

the-viscount-who-loved-me

Title: The Viscouint Who Loved Me (The Bridgerton Series, book #2)

Genre: Historical romance/Regency

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Avon, 2000

Source: My Keeper Shelf

Pages: 352

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

My review from 2011 (it would still be the same today):

( last week I mentioned in my review of book#1 in this series, THE DUKE AND I, that I thought Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, was a bit overbearing and actually quite stuffy.  Well he is certainly redeemed in this book where he becomes a truly wonderful Hero.)

For me, there is no romance more delicious than the kind where the H/h are truly disliking each other and then fall in love.  It is wonderful to see them transform from antagonists to lovers and Julia Quinn has written the perfect story in this theme with her delightful THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME.

Kate Sheffield is the older, plainer of two sisters at their first London Season.  It is imperative that the sisters find marriage partners who are, if not wealthy then at least well off since they cannot afford to come to London for another season.  Edwina the younger sister is considered the beauty and most likely to attract a proposal.  Because of this Kate is devoting her attention to her sister’s cause and screening likely suitors.

Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, has a reputation as a rogue and a rake of the first order.  He is the head of a large family that relies on him for their protection and wealth.  He is 29 and he feels it is his duty to marry and produce an heir and this is the Season he intends to do just that.  Edwina Sheffield seems to be the ideal candidate.  For him it will be a marriage of convenience and certainly not love.

The fun of this book starts with Kate’s determined attempts to thwart Bridgerton’s pursuit of her sister since she does not want Edwina marrying a man with his reputation. They are like cats and dogs and of course they are both strongly attracted to the other but refuse to acknowledge the attraction.

There is humor and pathos in this book which makes for a totally satisfying read.  This book was rated by readers of www.likesbooks.com as # 9 out of 100 (2013)all-time top romance novels in print.  It is truly deserving of the distinction.

(This book is now available for purchase with a second Epilogue that was not in my keeper-shelf book)

The Bridgerton Series ( H or h)

1.The Duke and I (Daphne) reviewed on Monday July 25,2011 & Wed., March 1, 2017

  1. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony)
  2. An Offer From A Gentleman (Benedict)
  3. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin) ]
  4. To Sir Phillip With Love (Eloise)
  5. When He was wicked (Francesca)]
  6. It’s IN His Kiss (Hyacinth)
  7. On The Way To The Wedding (Gregory)

 

 

 

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Recent Release Review-A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

a-ladys-code-of-misconduct

Title: A Lady’s Code of Misconduct (Rules For The Reckless, book#5)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Meredith Duran

Publisher: Pocket Books, Feb 28, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 400

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL… Trapped in the countryside, facing an unwanted marriage and the theft of her fortune, Jane Mason is done behaving nicely. To win her freedom, she’ll strike a deal with the most dangerous man she knows—a rising star in politics, whose dark good looks mask an even darker heart. …NEVER GOES TO PLAN. The bitter past has taught Crispin Burke to trust no one. He’ll gladly help a lovely young heiress, provided she pays a price. Yet when a single mistake shatters his life, it is Jane who holds the key to his salvation. And in a world that no longer makes sense, Crispin slowly realizes that she may be the only thing worth fighting for…

***

That description really doesn’t give you an idea about this book, and I’m not about to take away from you any of the delight in finding out.  This is a most unique plot, there is amnesia, bribery, greed and sensual delights.  Our heroine, Jane, is an orphan in the care of her greedy, overbearing uncle. She strikes a bargain with a villain, Crispin, and from there uses her wits to outwit those after her fortune. Of course there are twists and turns ahead.  We long for some hero redemption and heroine comfort.  What we are given is a page turning, can’t-put-it-down story of action and love. The backdrop of political machinations gives this plot a timely appeal.

This book is number five in the series but don’t let that deter you.  You can read this as a standalone without any problems.  But it will make you want to read more from this wonderful author.

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Advance Review- If The Duke Demands by Anna Harrington

if-the-duke-demands

Title: If The Duke Demands (Capturing The Carlisles, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Anna Harrington

Publisher: Forever, Feb. 28, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . . Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent-Robert’s formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.

**

Humorous….no ….it is absolutely hysterical at times.  There is sexual tension, hijinks and confusion all adding up to a delightful read.  Sebastian knows that the orphaned ward of his tenant farmer, Miranda, is not the woman of society standing that he needs for his Duchess but he can’t seem to help himself in his obsessive lusting after her.  Miranda, wants Robert but there is something compelling her toward Sebastian.  This is a fun book that is witty without being silly and dramatic without ever being maudlin.  Anna Harrington has given us a terrific start to her new series and I can’t wait to read the books about Sebastian’s brothers Quinton and Robert Carlisle. I highly recommend this book.

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Advance Review-On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

on-second-thought

Title: On Second thought

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: HQN books, Feb. 1, 2017 (Preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 480

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5 behind closed doors

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

**

Does the description above make you think you’ve read this book before?  Well the description may lead you to that belief, but this is a fresh and fabulous book. Not one you are likely to have encountered before this. Kristan Higgins is a master of bringing on the readers tears as well as laughter.  I was so totally invested in these characters that I couldn’t put this book down. Kate is so close to 40 and to have her first chance at happiness stolen makes us want to take her hurt upon ourselves.  Ainsley is majorly clueless about Eric but she does come into her own. That they each have a chance of overcoming their sadness is beautiful.

Yes, you definitely need to read this book. You’re welcome.

 

 

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Advance Review- The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

the-duke-kerrigan-byrne

Title: The Duke (Victorian Rebels, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian/Mystery

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: At. Martin’s Paperbacks, Feb. 7, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

He is noble, notorious, and takes no prisoners… Strong as a Viking.  Handsome as Adonis.  Rich as Midas. Collin “Cole” Talmage, Duke of Trenwyth, is the stuff that legends are made of.  He’s the English Empire’s golden son–until fate has its way with him. Cole’s family is killed and his closest comrade betrays him on the battlefield, leaving him gravely injured. But Cole is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is a man of duty, honor–and desire. And now he’s ready for the fight of his lifetime… Imogen Pritchard is a beautiful lass who works in a hospital by day and as a serving maid at night. Years ago, when she was young and penniless, she ended up spending a scandalous night with Cole, whose tormented soul was matched only by his earth-shattering passion. Imogen entered a marriage of convenience–one that left her a wealthy widow–but she never forgot Cole. Now that her long-lost lover has turned up in her hospital, injured and with no memory of her, Imogen is torn: Is it a blessing or a curse that their past remains a secret to Cole, even as his new passion for her leaves him wanting to protect and possess her…at all costs?

***

When it comes to Historical Romance, Kerrigan Byrne is right up at the top of the list of best of the best.  This her fourth novel in the Victorian Rebels Series is as mesmerizing and filled with heart pounding action as the other gems in this series.  We are treated to characters we cheer for, villains that make us hold our breath and love scenes that are filled with sizzling passion.  In this book we also have the mystery of a serial killer who seems to be fixated on our heroine, Imogen.  The Duke, Collen Talmage, is a shadow of the man Imogen once knew.  He has suffered extreme torture but is bent on fighting back to his former strength.  All of the other “Rebels” from the previous books in the series play important roles in this book. This is a standalone book but I feel you will enjoy it even more if you read the previous books in the series. This is what is now referred to as a “dark historical romance”; filled with violence and characters that are not always moral or even polite.  There are scenes of sex that border on violence and I mention this since some may find this difficult to read.  That said, this is a well written book filled with description that will have you underlining passages.  You will not be able to put this book down until you reach the last page.

The Victorian Rebels Series:

  1. The Highwayman (Dorian and Farah)
  2. The Highlander (Liam and Mena)
  3. The Hunter (Christopher and Millie)
  4. The Duke (Collin [Cole] and Imogen)

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Advance Review- Between The Devil And The Duke by Kelly Bowen

between-the-devil-and-the-duke

Title: Between The Devil and The Duke (A Season For Scandal, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kelly Bowen

Publisher: Forever, Jan. 31, 2017(preorder available)

Source: Free for Review from the Publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Their love was always in the cards. He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he’s more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he’ll have to devise a proposition she can’t turn down. Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie’s club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . .

**

This book is suspenseful and sexy from the beginning. Angelique is in dire needs of funds because of money that seemed to just disappear from the family coffers when her father died.  Her dissolute brother is a drunk and he spends whatever money Angelique manages to win at the gaming tables on drinking.  Alex knows that Angelique’s astute ability with numbers will be an asset to his gaming club but he is also in lust with her.

There is a terrific mystery woven throughout this story.  It will keep you guessing and a few surprises will be thrown into the mix. This book is a page turner, full of sexual tension, dangerous villains and a handsome hero who has all the right connections to help a damsel in distress.  But wait, the damsel is quite capable also of aiding in solving her problems. There are heated encounters and sizzling chemistry between the Hero and Heroine.

This book is splendidly entertaining. I highly recommend this the latest installment in “The Season For Scandal” series.  It is a standalone book with characters from previous books in the series making an appearance.

 

 

 

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Last Friday ‘Til Christmas Review- I Will by Lisa Kleypas

i-will

Title: I Will

Genre: Historical romance/Holiday/Novella

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Publisher: Avon Impulse, Dec. 2016

Source: Purchase

Pages: 96

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 3

Description from Amazon.com:         

Andrew, Lord Drake, has been cut out of his father’s will because of his dissolute manner of living. To be reinstated, Andrew decides to pretend that he has changed his wicked ways.

As part of his plan, he wants to convince his father that he is courting a respectable woman with the intention of marrying her. The problem is, he doesn’t know any decent women, except for his friend’s spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. He blackmails the reluctant Caroline into helping him, and so the charade begins . . .

***

This is a novella previously published in a 2001 anthology, Wishlist.wishlist

It has been reissued in this current e-book.

I did not read this in the anthology so I was looking forward to this novella.  It certainly did not disappoint me.  It is classic romance from classic Kleypas. Nobody does it better!

Andrew is rude, sarcastic and in general quite obnoxious. Caroline is trying to protect her brother from this dissolute rogue.  However Andrew makes her a proposition that she cannot refuse. She agrees to help him in return for him leaving her brother alone and covering her brother’s debts. All should be good for both parties except they never factored in their growing attraction for each other.

There is a predictable story here but there are also some very clever twists that keep us turning pages to discover the results. This was a terrific holiday read and I highly recommend it.

It looks like the real Santa has finally paid us a visit.

santa-claus-old-guy

 

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Holiday Novella Review- A Match Made In Mistletoe by Anna Campbell

a-match-made-in-mistletoe

Title: A Match Made In Mistletoe

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Anna Campbell

Publisher: Amazon Digital, Nov. 2016

Source: purchase for Kindle

Pages: 153

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

A mistletoe wish… All her life, Serena Talbot has been in love with the handsome boy next door, Sir Paul Garside. She always eagerly looks forward to Paul’s visit to her family over the Festive Season, even if he usually brings along his dark, sardonic friend Lord Hallam. This year, Serena is determined that Paul’s kiss under the mistletoe will lead to a proposal. Even if she has to enlist every ounce of Christmas magic she can get her hands on to make that happen. But the mistletoe gets it wrong! When Serena slips a sprig of mistletoe from the village kissing bough under her pillow, it’s not Paul who turns up in her dreams as the man she’s going to marry, but brooding, intense, annoying Giles Farraday, Marquess of Hallam. Still more annoying, once everyone arrives for the annual Christmas house party, she can’t stop watching Giles, and thinking about Giles. And kissing Giles, whether there’s mistletoe about or not. Now Paul wants to marry her, and Giles wants to seduce her–and Serena has a bone to pick with the old wives who came up with all this superstitious nonsense in the first place. A Christmas of confusion lies ahead! Will mistletoe magic lead the way to a happy ending?

***

You should not miss this absolutely delightful Christmas romance.  Serena is confused, Paul is ready to propose and Giles is no longer holding back his feelings for Serena. She can’t stay away from Giles and she is trying to avoid Paul. It is very obvious to us, the readers, that she should be with Giles but will she see it that way.  Anna Campbell has given us another well written, deeply romantic Christmas novella filled with sexual tension.

This one is perfect for reading by the fire, with your hot toddy (or cocoa) and just enjoying the holiday spirit.

Oh No! I think this is Bad Santa invading my blog.

santa-dangerous

 

 

 

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Recent Release Review- Twas The Night Before Scandal by Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

twas-the-night-before-scandal

 

Title: Twas The Night Before Scandal (Two Novellas)

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday/E-Reader

Author: Christi Caldwell and Eva Devon

Publisher: Christi Caldwell Inc., Nov. 2016

Source: won in a contest

Pages: 168/E-Reader

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:       

“Only For Their Love” by Christi Caldwell Miss Carol Cresswall bore witness to her parents’ loveless union and is determined to avoid that same miserable fate. Her mother has altogether different plans—plans that include a match between Carol and Lord Gregory Renshaw. Despite his wealth and power, Carol has no interest in marrying a pompous man who goes out of his way to ignore her. Now, with their families coming together for the Christmastide season it’s her mother’s last-ditch effort to get them together. And Carol plans to avoid Gregory at all costs. Lord Gregory Renshaw has no intentions of falling prey to his mother’s schemes to marry him off to a proper debutante she’s picked out. Over the years, he has carefully sidestepped all endeavors to be matched with any of the grasping ladies. But a sudden Christmastide Scandal has the potential show Carol and Gregory that they’ve spent years running from the one thing they’ve always needed.

***

The more I read from Christi Caldwell the more I like.  This novella is just packed with romance, Christmas feeling and even a surly Dowager Duchess and unrelenting matchmaking mother.  It is an enemies to sweethearts trope that is well developed considering the brevity of the format of the novella. Carol and Gregory are not exactly enemies they just have avoided each other for the past four years because of their mother’s matchmaking. Having never actually been thrown together where they could develop a relationship they are quite overcome with liking each other when they do get to know each other. But, of course,  there is a serious problem that arises.

Deet’s Rating: 5-stars    Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

“A Kiss From a Rogue” by Eva Devon Bah and a hum bug: Sebatian Rutherford, the new Earl of Gray, has no desire to settle down. Ever. The only thing he dislikes more than the idea of taking over his recently inherited earldom, and all it’s responsibilities, is Christmas. So, when he agrees to an arranged marriage to the former earl’s daughter, he plans on a quick wedding and a quicker return to his adventures abroad. Surely, even a hint of Christmas cheer won’t need to be shared? But when his clever new wife, Lady Marabelle begins to thaw his heart, he finds that not only is family a joy, but Christmas may be the best season to lose one’s heart. Deck the Halls: Lady Marabelle loves Christmas. She loves everything about it. So, when she faces her first Christmas since the death of her beloved father, married to a man she’s never met, she decides to make sure that the Christmas hating new Earl must be taught the spirit of the season. But with each day toward Christmas that comes her way, she begins to find that perhaps a marriage of convenience can be a marriage of the heart and a veritable Christmas miracle.

**

Oh this is truly a yummy romance.  A handsome, adventurous, troubled man is about to marry a very astute, lovely woman whom he has never met.  They speak only a few words before they become man and wife.  Through the magic of her sweet personality she transforms this “Grinch” into a most enjoyable, loving person. All it takes is love.

Deet’s rating: 5-stars   Christmasy Feeling: 5-stars

Uh huh, another shirtless elf snuck in here.

santa-elf-2

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Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, E-Book, Holiday, Kindle, Novella