Tag Archives: 5 stars

Advance Review- The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

The Importance of Being Scandalous

Title: The Importance of Being Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance/ Victorian
Author: Kimberly Bell
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Entangled, July 25, 2017 preorder available
Pages: 250
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:
A horse race in trousers on Rotten Row. Visiting a gaming hall in a dress that would make her mother faint. Sneaking an invitation to a masquerade ball attended by only the wickedest, most debauched members of society…
None of these things are scaring off bookish but strong-willed Amelia Bishop’s stuffy, egotistical fiancé.
The only thing left is to entice childhood friend Nicholas Wakefield into a truly engagement-ending scandal. The Wakefields are the height of propriety, and Nicholas’s parents have made it clear a wife from the neighboring Bishop family would be unacceptable…
But Nicholas would give up his family and his fortune if Amelia would ever see him as more than just a childhood friend. He’ll go along with her scheme, even if it means ruining them both, because he’s got a plan that will change her mind about him being merely the boy next door.
**
Sometimes I just get lucky. I pick a book with an author I have never heard of and all turns out to be fabulous. This isn’t always my luck but it was this time. Kimberly Bell is a fairly new author. She has a 3 book series and this book that I hope will have at least a sequel because there were characters to whom I was not ready to say “good-bye”.
Nicholas and Amelia are meant for each other but Nick was away on the continent for two years and Lord Montrose proposed so Amelia said “yes”. Nick hadn’t written in over a year so he must have forgotten her. Nick returned and he still loves her, but how to end it with Lord Montrose whose overbearing and controlling attitude made him a pitiful villain? Why pitiful? He is so sure of himself and totally discredits Amelia’s attempts at ending the engagement and tells her he will bankrupt her family if she doesn’t marry him. Hilarity ensues as Amelia creates one scandal after another to rid herself of the impossible man. She has help from her invalid sister Julia and Nick’s best friend Jasper. I’m hoping that Julia and Jasper get together in the next book although they never meet in this book.

There are laugh out loud hijinks and Jasper is a fabulously funny character.
If a book can push my funny buttons then this one did for me. I love witty repartee and every word from Jasper is a gem. Julia also is wise and pushes Amelia to do what is right but not always proper. Nick is a besotted lover and Amelia needs Julia, Nick and Jasper to help her. Lord Montrose and Amelia’s mother are delightful in their villainous machinations.
I highly recommend this book. This one is going on my yearly “best of” list.

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Advance Review- The Red by Tiffany Reisz

The Red

Title: The Red: An Erotic Fantasy
Genre: Contemporary Erotica Romance/Fantasy
Author: Tiffany Reiz
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: 8th Circle Press, July 11, 2017 (preorder available for Kindle)
Pages: 212
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5++
Violence rating: 4 (all sex is consensual but very often rough)
Description from Amazon:

** Paperback Not Available for Pre-Order, But Will Be For Sale on Release Day (July 11, 2017) **

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

**
This is labeled a “Fantasy” but Mona isn’t sure if her involvement with Malcolm is reality or fantasy. She will do what it takes to save her mother’s art gallery and if that means submitting to Malcolm then how hard could it be when he is devastatingly handsome.

There is constant suspense and mystery that is intertwined with all of the extremely erotic encounters of Mona and Malcolm. I initially thought Malcolm was real, then a fantasy, then real and I kept going back and forth wondering. That kept me turning pages to find out what was the outcome of this mystery.

I am a fan of Tiffany Reisz’ books ever since I read the wonderful THE HEADMASTER. She is a wonderful storyteller and there is no one better at writing erotic sex scenes. This is a romance even if not the usual vanilla type. If you are at all squeamish about BDSM, then you will want to skip this one. However the story is compelling enough so that you will like it anyway.

 

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Review- The Stone Warriors: Kato by D.B. Reynolds

The Stone Warriors Kato

Title: The Stone Warriors: Kato (book #2)
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Author: D.B. Reynolds
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: ImaJinn, June 23, 2017
Pages: 254
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5+
Description from Amazon:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Kato Amadi . . . born of darkest sorcery, unstoppable on the battlefield, his magic is as deadly as his blade. But not even magic could save him from vicious betrayal. Trapped for millennia in darkness and silence, he is freed at last, only to find himself in the middle of a battle against the very beasts of hell he was created to destroy.

Grace Van Allen is a scholar of ancient languages who toils in the dim recesses of a museum basement with only a beautiful stone warrior to keep her company. But when Grace calls upon her silent warrior to help her translate an obscure new language, she breaks the ancient curse holding him prisoner . . . and frees three deadly demons to rampage through her city.

Tracking demons is what Kato was born to do, but he’ll need Grace’s help. And when they discover that Kato’s enemy is still alive and still plotting against him, their hunt takes a dangerous turn, one that might just prove fatal for both of them . . .

**

Hold on to your bloomers, the studliness of Warrior Kato is going to melt them right off. Grace can’t resist him so how are we supposed to resist, and who would want to? If we have to go up against deadly blood-dripping demons I want this guy covering for me. We also get to see Nick, Damien and Cassey from book one but this is truly Kato’s show. Grace who works at the museum at first appears rather sedate but as the story unfolds we are treated to Grace the female warrior. Here’s a hint, she falls for Kato just as much as the reader but she gets dessert and we get to sigh. There are lots of bloody battles fought, so be forewarned. There is magic in this book both Dark and Light and I am once again totally in love with Nick. I did want more of Ryan the mathematician because that was a bit of a mystery not completely resolved. (perhaps D.B. will treat us to more of him in future books).

Here’s a riddle for you; what’s hotter than a summer heat wave? I thought you would be way ahead of me on this one. Correct, this absolutely mind bending, mind boggling, vicious, sexy down right dirty, delightful novel from Ms. Reynolds. This is number two in her Stone warriors series and she has once again come through with an original plot that kept me riveted. You can start with this book since there is sufficient back-story incorporated and you won’t be lost but reading the first book , the Stone Warriors: Damien, along with this one will make it more enjoyable. Then like me you will wait impatiently for the next in the series, The Stone warriors: Gabriel, to which we are given a peek at the end of this book.

 

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Release Day Review- Say Yes To The Scot by Cornwall, Harrington, McGoldrick and York

Say yes to the scot

Title: Say Yes to The Scot
Genre: Historical Romance/ Highlanders/ Anthology
Authors: Lecia Cornwall, May McGoldrick, Anna Harrington and Sabrina York
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Swerve, June 20, 2017
Pages: 410
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon/ Review From Deet:
HOW A LASS WED A HIGHLANDER by Lecia Cornwall
In this retelling of The Princess and The Pea, Laird Alex Munro of Culmore has just five weeks to find a bride and marry her…or else the clan will be cursed with ill luck. Cait MacLeod finds herself caught in a clan feud, and when she tries to stop a deadly raid, she ends up as Alex Munro’s prisoner. With timing running out, is this couple meant to be?

This is a fairytale complete with the expectation of fairy help or interference. It is a true Highland story with clan hostilities, good Lairds and bad and bonnie lasses who are looking for romance. Side characters seem so much wiser than the protagonists. Deets rating: 4.5

A MATCH MADE IN HEATHER by Anna Harrington
She was the laird’s daughter. He was nothing more than a penniless, nameless Scot with nothing to offer but his heart. Fate tore them apart, but now he’s back in her life with status, money and a title. Can they let go of past hurts and find love?
Whatever Anna Harrington writes turns out to be page turning and beautifully written and this story is no exception. There are revenge, longing, lust and dark secrets. Deet’s rating: 5

A MIDSUMMER WEDDING by May McGoldrick
Their marriage was two decades in the making. The young, educated woman and her highland, pirate husband, betrothed when they were still children. But on the day of their wedding, Elizabeth Hay and Alexander Macpherson are in for a surprise.

Another luscious addition to this anthology. Be prepared to put on a sweater because the chill of these characters in the rain for two days will give you trembles. Deets rating: 4.5

THE SCOT SAYS I DO by Sabrina York
Catherine Ross’s world is turned upside down when her brother gambles away every penny they own. But to make matters worse? He’s lost everything to none other than Duncan Mackay, the rugged Scot who Catherine loved for years–but he never noticed her, and now she positively loathes him. But her brother’s in danger of going to Newgate, and the despicable Duncan has a plan– she can claim back the money and save her brother. If she marries him…

This one is so yummy! Sabrina York knows her Highlanders and she can make us fall in love with the tough, brawny, yet tenderhearted Duncan just as Catherine did all those years ago. Deet‘s rating: 5

This Anthology is really a cut above the usual in that every novella was a winner. I’m used to finding stories in anthologies that are good and not so good and in this one they are all better than good. They are excellent. There is beautiful romance, suspense and sexy times. This is one for the keeper shelf.

 

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Rereading Sarah MacLean- Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake

 

Nine Rules to Break

I originally posted this review  when this book was first published.  This week I reread it and liked it just as much as the first time.  I’m reposting in the hope that you will read this terrific book, the first by Sarah MacLean.

Title: Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Author: Sarah MacLean
Publisher: ?
Source: Purchase
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Description from the author’s website:
A lady does not smoke cheroot.
She does not ride astride.
She does not fence or attend duels.
She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen’s club.
Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she’s vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she’s been missing.
But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.
If she’s not careful, she’ll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love
**
There is nothing I love more in a Historical Romance then fabulous writing and a yummy plot. Well…perhaps a good dose of humor, too. This book has all those and it made for a can’t-put-it-down read.
Callie is the all too respectable young woman who sees her chance for marriage and children fading into the land of lost dreams. She decides if she can’t have what she wants then she will have adventures like the men have. She makes her version of a Regency bucket-list and decides passionate kissing should top the list. Once she starts on the slippery slope of checking off her list, all manner of compromising situations ensue.
This delightful romance is laugh out loud in some scenes and also brought tears to my eyes in other scenes. The author weaves a spell that makes the reader care deeply about Callie and her happiness.
If you trust me, you cannot but delight in this book.
P.S. Lord Ralston, the hero, is the rake in question and don’t we love the bad boys?

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Advance Review- Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Shacking Up

Title: Shacking Up

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

Author: Helena Hunting

Publisher: Swerve, May 30, 2017(pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: N/A (Kindle)

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

***

You will turn pages and not put this book down until you can see how the author unravels the issues, the many issues that are hampering Bane & Ruby’s HEA. The sexual tension is off the charts but circumstances just keep ratcheting up the heat. Yes, this book kept me laughing and swooning all night long.  If you are a fan of movie romantic comedies, as I am, then I guarantee you will love this book.  The characters seemed like real people you might know.  We have Bancroft, Bane, who is a born protector/caregiver/caretaker/hot-as-hell former pro athlete and Ruby, an aspiring actress with a serious cash flow problem.  They meet in a rather awkward way but there is an instant attraction

This is my first reading of a book by Ms. Hunting and I am so impressed with her wit and character development.  This is going on my list of Best-of-2017. Terrific writing and dialog.

 

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Recent Release Review- The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

The Best of Adam Sharp

Title: The Best of Adam Sharp

Genre: Literary Fiction

Author: Graeme Simsion

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 2, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 320

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Two decades ago, Adam Sharp’s piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, an intelligent and strong-willed actress. They had a chance at something more—but Adam didn’t take it.

Now, on the cusp of turning fifty, Adam likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been.

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

Set to the soundtrack of our lives, The Best of Adam Sharp follows along with emotion and humor as one man looks back on his past and decides if having a second chance is worth the risk.

***

It would be very easy to give spoilers for this terrific book so I’m going to be very careful with what I say.  It is a book about love, regret, long term relationships and also if we can let go of the past or get a second chance.  There is a theme of classic pop songs that runs through the story and makes us wonder at the emotional manipulation of music. We are at times rooting for Adam and at other times wondering what he was thinking.  Angelina is selfish, self-centered and we wonder if she is truly a match for our hero.  Claire is not as well developed a character and Charlie and Richard are no match for Adam’s intelligence, although they think themselves superior.

I read this book straight through. Getting out of my reading chair only for snacks, coffee and potty breaks. I loved the author’s THE ROSIE PROJECT and although this one doesn’t have the same humorous intent, it is still a 5-star read.  It is provocative and so intensely sensual you will either admire, dislike or relate to the characters, or perhaps all three.

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Rereading the Bridgertons – Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (book #4)by Julia Quinn

Romancing Mr Bridgerton

Title: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (the Bridgertons, book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Avon, reissue 2015

Source: Purchase

Pages: 384

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com

Everyone knows that Colin Bridgerton is the most charming man in London . . .

Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for . . . well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret . . . and fears she doesn’t know him at all.

Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought of as nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same—especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply there is suddenly the girl haunting his dreams. When he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide . . . is she his biggest threat— or his promise of a happy ending?

***

Yes, in this book you will learn the identity of Lady Whistledown.  That alone is reason to read #4 in the Bridgerton series.  Of course, the other reasons are that it is superbly plotted and full of romance and laughs and just all around happiness. I was a bit miffed at Colin’s stubbornness and jealousy. Penelope was a delight as she has been right along in this series. That they are both getting their HEA is just the cream on the sundae with a cherry on top.

Each offering in this series is not to be missed.  I hope by now that I have convinced you to read Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons, or perhaps I’m preaching to the choir and you have already read them. I’m on to the next, Eloise’s story in TO SIR WITH LOVE. The one thing I am discovering is that if I haven’t read a book in 4 or 5 years it is like a new book.  It must be my age.

( my keeper shelf copy did not contain the 2nd Epilogue that is available in newer additions.)

 

 

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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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