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Review- The Opposite of Wild by Kylie Gilmore

Title: The Opposite of Wild (Clover Park Series, book #1)

The Opposite of Wild

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kylie Gilmore

Publisher: Extra Fancy books, Jan. 2014

Source: purchase

Pages: 266

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Ex-cop Ryan O’Hare takes one look at buttoned-up control freak Liz Garner and just itches to loosen the woman up. Not that he’s into her. Because a woman like that comes with way too many expectations. Not to mention, she practically works for him, and he didn’t hire Liz to watch after his beloved Harley-stealing Gran so he could turn Liz loose in his bed. Still, there’s something about her, a hidden wild side, that makes him wonder what it would take. Liz must be crazy to work for the insensitive, arrogant, horribly…hot man she’s avoided for years. Unfortunately, she needs the money and Ryan’s grandmother needs a keeper. (Midnight tango lessons and ziplines with Gran, anyone?) Ryan’s rare smile and swaggering confidence have Liz torn between throwing her favorite pinot grigio at his head or throwing herself at him. Can this control freak find a way to let loose with the tough, no-strings guy who once broke her heart?

**

First let me say the writing was good here.  But…Liz was really over the top annoying and I really don’t know what kept me into this book.  I did like the feisty granny although she was a bit dramatic also. Ryan must have really been hard up to keep trying to date the wacky Liz. Daisy did the right thing running away to Arizona. This definitely was not my cup of tea.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Each book in the Clover Park Series can be read as a stand-alone novel, or for more fun read them in order. Characters you’ve loved from past books frequently pop up in other books. The Clover Park Series Book 1: The Opposite of Wild Book 2: Daisy Does It All Book 3: Bad Taste in Men Book 4: Kissing Santa (a Novella) Book 5: Restless Harmony Book 6: Not My Romeo Book 7: Rev Me Up Book 8: An Ambitious Engagement Book 9: Clutch Player

 

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Release Day Review- A Taste of Seduction by Bronwen Evans

 

Title: A Taste of Seduction (The Disgraced Lords, book #5)

A taste of seduction

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Bronwen Evans

Publisher: Loveswept, Aug 16, 2016 for Kindle

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 249

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Lady Evangeline Stuart chose to wed a tyrant with a title, or so society believes. That was five years ago—five long years she could have spent with her first and only love: Lord Hadley Fullerton, the second son of the Duke of Claymore. Now Evangeline is a widow, and her soul cries out for Hadley. But when they see each other at last, everything has changed. The passion in his eyes has been corrupted by betrayal. Somehow Evangeline must regain Hadley’s trust—without revealing the secret that would spoil the seduction.

Hadley is determined not to be distracted by Evangeline. He and the other Libertine Scholars are in pursuit of an enemy who has been striking at them from the shadows, and Evangeline’s mere presence could be dangerous. But with one smile, one touch, one taste of Evangeline’s lips, Hadley’s resolve is overpowered by much more pleasant memories. As the two enter into a discreet affair, Hadley vows to give her his body, never his heart. That she will have to earn.

**

I have read a few of the books in this series about The Libertine Scholars. Their fathers were all rogues who debauched and reveled to a total disregard of proper comportment. Someone who was set upon by their fathers is looking to destroy the sons by murder or by ruination since the fathers are all dead now. For 5 books there has been the mystery of who is the person out for revenge. In this book we discover the culprit. The running mystery has been a very interesting side to the very steamy romances of the Libertine Scholars.

In this book Hadley Fullerton is a second son who has really taken over the reins of his brother, the Duke’s responsibilities of running the estate. But then Hadley has always protected and cared for his brother. Hadley was in love with Evangeline but just as they were to elope she married a Viscount. Hadley was broken hearted and seethed with anger at her betrayal.

Evangeline was forced into her marriage with the Viscount and lived in a brutal marriage for 5 years until his death. Following his demise she and her son come to London seeking out Hadley. But Hadley is angry and not forgiving.

As much as I have liked the other two books that I have read in this series, this book was just not as interesting for me. There was plenty of action, intrigue and sexy scenes but perhaps that was just what didn’t ring true. Having Evangeline go off and decide to “shack-up” with Hadley when he , up-front, says he may marry someone else just seemed too much to believe. Or perhaps, it just made me not like Evangeline for agreeing to this scenario.

I did like that we finally get to know who the person is behind the revenge attacks.

The Distinguished Lords Series:

  1. A Kiss of Lies
  2. A Promise of More (Deet’s rating 3.5 stars)
  3. A Touch of Passion
  4. A Whisper of Desire ( Deet’s rating 4 stars)
  5. A Taste of Seduction (Deet’s rating 3 stars)
  6. A Night of Forever ( pre-order available)

 

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Release Day Review- The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne

Title: The Highlander (Victorian Rebels, book #3)

The Highlander

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Aug. 2, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5 (this is a new rating I will add when a book contains violence. Rating from mild to strong, 1-5)

Description from Amazon.com:

They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As Laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated Marquess has vanquished his foes with all rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent. . . in the game of love.

Defying all expectations, Miss Philomena is no plain-faced spinster but a ravishing beauty with voluptuous curves and haughty full lips that rattle the Laird to his core. Unintimidated by her master’s raw masculinity and savage ways, the headstrong lass manages to tame not only his wild children but the beast in his soul. With each passing day, Liam grows fonder of Miss Mena—and more suspicious. What secret is she hiding behind those emerald eyes? What darkness brought her to his keep? And how can he conquer this magnificent woman’s heart . . . without surrendering his own?

**

This is the third book in Ms. Byrne’s Victorian Rebels Series. All books in this series are very dark romances and this one is very Gothic inspired.  There is intimation of demons or ghosts that may haunt Ravenscroft Keep. A specter with red veined eyes that springs from the shadows. Philomena is running away from London and needs a place to hide.  Her dear friends Millie and Faith (Heroines of the two previous books in this series) help her to find sanctuary in Laird Liam’s Scottish castle, Ravenscroft Keep.  Mena has secrets that must never be revealed for it could mean her death. Liam has his own dark secrets that he never wants to reveal.  The attraction between the two is instantaneous but Mena knows she must not give in to the allure because they are fated to never be together.  Liam is so besotted that he continually tries to seduce Mena, wanting a future that Mena knows is impossible.

I really enjoy Kerrigan Byrne’s novels in this series.  They are all very dark with heroes that are not easy to love or even like.  Yet, the heroines are so damaged that we cheer for these heroes to win them over and give them peace and happiness. That this author can redeem these criminals is amazing.  This book is filled with torture, murder and very scary scenes. That is a warning. It is also filled with longing, redemption and sizzling sexual chemistry. I was hoping for a future addition to the series featuring Gaven, Earl of Thorne but I’m not sure that is possible. Perhaps we can hope for more books featuring Liam’s children, Rhianna and Andrew. Characters from the first two books play important roles in this book but it is not necessary to have read those books to enjoy this one. Although they are wonderful reads.

I recommend this book and series to Historical Romance fans who don’t mind the darker side of Victorian drama.

Victorian Rebels Series:

  1. The Highwayman (Dorian and Faith)
  2. The Hunter(Christopher and Millie)
  3. The Highlander (Liam and Mena)

 

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Advance Review- Miss Frazer’s Adventure by Alexandra Ivy

Title: Miss Frazer’s Adventure

Miss Frazer's Adventure

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Alexandra Ivy (Debbie Raleigh)

Publisher: Lyrical Press, August 2, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 224

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Dear Reader,   Long before I wrote my sexy paranormal romances, I wrote traditional Regency romances as Debbie Raleigh. Now I’m thrilled to have them made available once more, as fresh and adventurous as ever…   To avoid the taint of her mother’s scandalous reputation, Miss Kate Frazer stifles her naturally high spirits to become a model of propriety. But when she is rewarded with a suitor who cares only for her dowry—and leaves her waiting at the altar on her wedding day—Kate determines that she will live as she chooses. Her first adventure will be a trip to London under an assumed name to enjoy the city’s delights. And woe to anyone who stands in her way—particularly her fiancé…   Lucius Calfield wasn’t looking forward to wedlock with the tediously suitable Kate Frazer. Still, he is chagrined when a violent storm makes him late for the ceremony. But embarrassment turns to astonishment when he finds that his fiancée has vanished entirely! And that is the least of the surprises his unaccountably changed—and unexpectedly irresistible bride—has in store…

**

This is not your current day Historical Romance.  There are no dastardly villains and not very much angst.  Oh sure, Kate’s decision to jilt Luce causes him angst, but it really doesn’t translate to the reader. I didn’t dislike this story but I did find it slow and a bit tedious. We are never quite sure of Lord Thorne’s intentions toward Kate so we don’t know if we should dislike him or champion him.  Perhaps he is a better match for our heroine.  Luce does need Kate’s dowry so there is no denying that aspect and perhaps she is correct in thinking he only wants her for her money.  That she agrees to go off with him to Brighton is a bit implausible since she has been adamant about having him leave her alone.  The falling-in-love is a bit too slick.

The dialog was believable and seemed to fit the period which is always a plus for me. I got a true feeling of regency London and the entertainments it afforded a young woman. So, yes, this read was just a little better than “okay”.

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Advance Review- A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Title: The Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, book #1)

A Promise of Fire

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author: Amanda Bouchet

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Aug. 2, 2016 preorder available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 448

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER… BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

Kingmaker Chronicles Trilogy: A Promise of Fire (Book 1) Breath of Fire (coming January 2017) Heart on Fire (coming Fall 2017)

**

This is a new book series by a new author.  If you like Fantasy like Game of Thrones then you will surely like this novel. It has magic, for Cat is of the Magoi and she has secrets that must be kept or she will die.  Griffin, not Magoi but Hoi Polloi, is able to discern some of her secrets and should have been able to figure out the rest but he doesn’t. For 90% of this book Cat is trying to get away from, avoid, or deny attraction to Griffin.  Together they encounter a dragon, a three headed dog, soldiers bent on killing them and more.  Cat is a kick-a&^ woman who saves not only Griffin but also his side kick guards Kato, Flynn and his brother Carver as well as Griffin’s royal family. There are Olympian Gods to deal with, especially Poseidon and Hades as well as Zeus.

I enjoyed this book, the action and adventure were first rate and Griffin made a sexy, steamy hero as well as Kato, Flynn and Carver who I’m sure we will see more of in future books in the series.  Cat was annoying in the extreme.  I understood her background made her cautious but it went on way too long with her denial of Griffin. That is the only negative I have about this book.

I recommend this book to Fantasy and Paranormal Romance fans. It’s a good read with plenty of adventure.

 

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Advance Review- As Rich As A Rogue by Jade Lee

Title: As Rich As A Rogue (Rakes and Rogues, book #3)

As Rich as a Rogue

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jade Lee

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, August 2, 2016 Pre-order available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 416

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Third in the saucy, vibrant Rakes & Rogues Regency romance series from USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee

A most unusual wager

Mari Powel’s fiery Welsh temper is up. Peter Norwood, Lord Whitly, is back in town after six years romping around India making his fortune. Mari blames him for her social downfall and has spent all this time clawing her way back into the ton’s good graces. How dare he show up on his first day back and publicly embroil her in a bet involving long-awaited apologies, illicit kisses, and Lady Illston’s unruly parakeet? Mari is outraged, and is going to show him-and everyone else-what she’s made of. Little does she know, the unrepentant Lord Whitly has been dreaming of her all this time. Now he’ll do anything to win the wager-along with Mari’s heart.

**

This starts off seeming a pretty straight forward enemies to lovers story and yes it starts that way, but along the way we have some surprises and upsets that seem to be unresolvable.  However in the hands of one of the masters of the romance genre, Ms. Jade Lee, all is worked out and accomplished with apparent ease. I can’t recall how many of Ms Lee’s novels I have read but they are many and every single time I am enthralled with the story and this book is no different.

We see Mari’s development from a wound-tight perfectionista to a woman that loosens her stays and states her mind.  Peter also makes some heartbreaking decisions because it is the right thing to do. Together they discover how they complement, need each other and fall in love. There are moments of danger and some villains. There are fun moments while they each try to teach the parakeet “Greenie” a new phrase to win a bet.  We know Mari’s phrase but we must wait to hear Peter’s phrase.  Can you guess? I didn’t.

This is a well written page turner. Highly recommended.

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Review- The Spring Bride by Anne Gracie

Title: The Spring Bride (The Chance Sisters, book #3)

Gracie spring bride

Genre: Historical Regency romance

Author: Anne Gracie

Publisher: Berkley, June 2015

Source: Public Library

Pages: 308

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

On the eve of the London Season, Jane Chance is about to make her entrance into high society. And after a childhood riddled with poverty and hardship, Jane intends to make a good, safe, sensible marriage. All goes according to plan until a dark, dangerous vagabond helps her rescue a dog. Zachary Black is all kinds of unsuitable—a former spy, now in disguise, he’s wanted for murder. His instructions: to lie low until his name is cleared. But Zach has never followed the rules, and he wants Jane Chance for his own. If that means blazing his way into London society, in whatever guise suits him, that’s what he’ll do. Jane knows she shouldn’t fall in love with this unreliable, if devastatingly attractive, rogue. But Zach is determined—and he‘s a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

**

Another yummy story of those delightful Chance sisters.  This time it is Jane, who wants a marriage of convenience to a wealthy titled gentleman so that she will never again be cold or hungry and feel unsafe and she wants the same for her children to come. She believes that she will grow to love whomever she marries, even her betrothed, chubby, balding, Lord Cambury.  That is until a dark, dangerous, gypsy looking man saves her from a gang of youthful thugs and keeps contriving ways to see her. Zach Black is not a gypsy but an Earl recently returned from the continent to claim his title but he discovers he is wanted for a murder he did not commit.  Meeting Jane was not on his list of priorities but she quickly becomes his number one priority.

Anne Gracie has a marvelous way of making a story come to life with strong personalities and unique plots.  Here we have a strong heroine who is bent on saving the man she has fallen in love with.  There is some deceit, some misunderstanding, some strong sexual tension, some action and adventure all adding up to a page turning delight.

Please read this series from the beginning but this is a standalone novel if you must.

(Now I have just the latest book to read.  I will be disappointed that this series will come to an end.)

The Chance Sisters Series:

 

  1. The Autumn Bride (Abby and Max)
  2. The Winter Bride (Demaris and Freddy)
  3. The Spring Bride (Jane and Zach)
  4. The Summer Bride (Daisy and Flynn)

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Review- The Winter Bride by Anne Gracie

Title: The Winter Bride ( Chance Sisters, book #2)

Gracie Winter Bride

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Anne Gracie

Publisher: Berkley

Source: borrowed from the public Library

Pages: 338

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Four young women face a life of destitution—until a daring act changes their fortune and turns them each into a beautiful bride.  In The Winter Bride, a compromising situation leads to an unexpected wedding and delicious temptation…. Damaris Chance’s unhappy past has turned her off the idea of marriage forever. But her guardian, Lady Beatrice Davenham, convinces her to make her coming out anyway—and have a season of carefree, uncomplicated fun.  When Damaris finds herself trapped in a compromising situation with the handsome rake Freddy Monkton-Coombes, she has no choice but to agree to wed him—as long as it’s in name only. Her new husband seems to accept her terms, but Freddy has a plan of his own: to seduce his reluctant winter bride.  Will Damaris’s secrets destroy her chance at true happiness? Or can Freddy help her cast off the shackles of the past, and yield to delicious temptation?

**

Last week I reviewed Anne Gracie’s THE AUTUMN BRIDE and I could not wait to read this the second book in the Chance Sisters series.  I was not disappointed.  Damaris and Freddy are truly two people who are determined to remain unwed.  Together they devise a scheme to help each other remain single.  Damaris will pose as Freddy’s fiancée to show his parents he is ready for marriage and for her help Freddy will buy Damaris a cottage of her very own.  Of course nothing goes along as it was planned.

Once again I delighted in more of those fascinating Chance Sisters.  We still get snippets of Jane, Daisy and Abby but this is Damaris’ story.  This is a standalone novel but you will enjoy it even more if you read THE AUTUMN BRIDE first.  Now I’m on to THE SPRING BRIDE which is Jane’s story.

The Chance Sisters Series:

  1. The Autumn Bride ( Abby and Max)
  2. The Winter Bride (Damaris and Freddy)
  3. The Spring Bride (Jane and Zach)
  4. The summer Bride (Daisy and Flynn) 

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Advance Review- A Duke To Remember by Kelly Bowen

Title: A Duke To Remember ( A Season For Scandal, book #2)

A Duke to Remember

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kelly Bowen

Publisher: Forever, July 26, 2016 preorder available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 386

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Elise deVries is not what she seems. By night, the actress captivates London theatergoers with her chameleon-like ability to slip inside her characters. By day, she uses her mastery of disguise to work undercover for Chegarre & Associates, an elite agency known for its discreet handling of indelicate scandals. But when Elise is tasked with locating the missing Duke of Ashland, she finds herself center stage in a real-life drama.

Noah Ellery left the glamour of the London aristocracy to pursue a simpler life in the country. He’s managed to avoid any complications or entanglements-that is, until he lays eyes on Elise and realizes there’s more to this beautiful woman than meets the eye. But when Elise reveals her real identity-and her true feelings for him-the runaway duke must confront the past he left behind . . . to keep the woman he loves forever.

***

This is an absolute delight of a romance novel.  We are treated to a heroine evocative of Annie Oakley.  Elise can shoot like a sniper and track through the forest like an Indian guide and dresses in disguises.  Noah is the reluctant Duke who does not want to assume his responsibilities and Elise is hired to find him and convince him to return to his duty and family.  Falling for him was not part of the job.  Noah experiences love-at-first-sight and tries to convince Elise that the difference in their social classes is not a problem.

Here we have a very original plot, written with fun banter and some dangerous action and adventure.  It also has steamy, sexual tension. (Keep your fan handy) If I thought that some of the dialog was a bit too modern and some scenes a bit too obvious that only kept me from giving another half star in the rating.  This was still a truly enjoyable book. Kelly Bowen is now on my must-buy list. Highly recommended.

 

 

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Review- The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

Title: The Autumn Bride (The Chance Sisters, book #1)

The Autumn Bride

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Author: Anne Gracie

Publisher: Berkley, Feb. 2013

Source: Library borrowed

Pages: 321

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Governess Abigail Chantry will do anything to save her sister and two dearest friends from destitution, even if it means breaking into an empty mansion in the hope of finding something to sell. Instead of treasures, though, she finds the owner, Lady Beatrice Davenham, bedridden and neglected. Appalled, Abby rousts Lady Beatrice’s predatory servants and—with Lady Beatrice’s eager cooperation—the four young ladies become her “nieces,” neatly eliminating the threat of disaster for all concerned! It’s the perfect situation, until Lady Beatrice’s dashing and arrogant nephew, Max, Lord Davenham, returns from the Orient—and discovers an impostor running his household… A romantic entanglement was never the plan for these stubborn, passionate opponents—but falling in love may be as inevitable as the falling of autumn leaves…

**

Once again Sonya (  https://sonyaheaneyblog.com/ )has led me to a terrific book and since all four books are now available in this series I don’t have to wait to read the next one. YAY!! Thanks Sonya!

Abby is the oldest of the four “sisters” and she assumes the leadership role.  Having been adopted as “nieces” by Lady Beatrice the four young women try to help Lady B. recover from abusive servants, but Lady B.’s nephew Lord Davenham is not so sure about the “nieces”.  He knows there must be a story that he is not privileged to know and he makes every effort to uncover the “nieces” history.  He is attracted to Abby but he has a betrothal of 9 years standing in the way of this overwhelming attraction.

The author develops the personalities and traits of each character beautifully.  There are some laugh out loud moments that make this book even more enchanting. Lady Beatrice is one of those feisty old ladies that nowadays we might call a clone of Katherine Hepburn.  She brooks no nonsense and will not be thwarted in pursuit of her desires and one of those desires is to see each “niece” married well.

Truly a lovely page turning read with just the right amount of angst, adventure, and sexual tension. I have the next two books in this series waiting for me to read them so I’ll close hear and get right on that.

The Chance Sisters series by Anne Gracie:

  1. The Autumn Bride ( Abby and Max)
  2. The Winter Bride (Damaris and Freddy)
  3. The Spring Bride (Jane and Zach)
  4. The summer Bride (Daisy and Flynn) 

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