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Review- Midnight Kiss by Nancy Gideon

Title:  Midnight Kiss (Touched by Midnight, book #1)

Midnight Kiss

 

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance/Gothic

Author: Nancy Gideon

Publisher: ImaJinn (July 2015)

Pages: 262

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A DARK CURSE Miss Arabella Howland is content to forgo the London marriage mill to assist her father in his research, especially when it comes to his intriguing patient, Louis Radman. But it’s not long before Bella’s curiosity alerts her to the danger of her father’s work . . . and to the fact that Louis is not who or what he seems. A BRIGHT PROMISE After centuries struggling with his vile existence, Louis Radman will soon be free of his affliction, thanks to his very capable physician. Unfortunately, his heart is less secure around the man’s tempting daughter. His yearning to walk in the light once more is complicated by his desire for the delightful Bella, who is as intelligent as she is fearless. But if history has taught him anything, it’s not to tempt fate. AN UNFORGIVING PAST Still, happiness has a price and Louis is soon reminded that mortality comes with unfortunate limitations. To protect his new bride, he must face the demons from his past who wish to pull him back into their vampiric fold. Yet, if he’s forced to return to his midnight world, will he lose his beloved Bella forever?

**

Louis has had enough of being a vampire and wants noted London physician, Dr. Howland, to “cure” him.  But the cure is always very temporary and requires blood and medications frequently.  Arabella is fascinated with Louis before she knows that he is a vampire and falls for him.  She is in love and swears to stand by him once she finds out. There are dangers surrounding their alliance and nothing is simple or easy.

This is a compelling romance between a vampire and a human.  It is in the vein of Dracula or perhaps an Anne Rice novel.  It is dark, violent and not all that much romantic unless you like your romance bloody and quite dangerous.  Personally this is not in my wheel-house.  However this book is well written and is sure to appeal to those who do like Gothic Vampire stories.

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Recent Release Review- A Radical Arrangement by Jane Ashford

Title: A Radical Arrangement

A Radical Arrangement

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jane Ashford

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Aug 4, 2015

Pages: 288

Source: Free for review frim the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

Brash and Handsome Sir Justin Keighley is all wrong for a proper young lady like Margaret Mayfield. Everyone knows he is shocking in his opinions, arrogant in his manner, and completely without respect for the common decencies of civilized society. Margaret absolutely will not marry him-no matter what her parents say.

Beautiful and Shy Margaret was everything Sir Justin detested in a woman-timid, sheltered, and obedient to a fault. It’s not until she runs away from him that he finds he must give chase. Margaret is discovering she can be bold and rebellious-intrepid enough to do what she must, and more exciting than Justin ever imagined possible. She’s the last woman he would have expected to lead them both into uncharted territory…

**

This is a very delicious from dislike to love, story. Margaret and Justin are so overwhelmingly mismatched that it is hard to believe that they could ever find love. But throw two people together for long enough and perhaps they will find the soft spots under all the rough edges.

I enjoyed seeing Margaret go from a naïve, overprotected debutante to a person who could stand on her own two feet. Justin was a bit too Alpha but I liked how he came around to appreciating Margaret.

This is not a sexy romance but it is very romantic.

(this book is a reprint of a book previously published )

 

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Free on Kindle and NOOK- Gabriel: Lord of Regrets by Grace Burrowes

Free now through July 31, 2015.  You all know by now that I’m a huge Grace Burrowes fan and here is your chance to try one of her goodies for free.  Snap it up!!  (I know this is free in the USA and UK)

Gabriel Lord of Regrets (lonely Lords 5)

Here is the blurb from Amazon:

A man with a dangerous future
After two years in hiding to protect his family, Gabriel Wendover, Marquess of Hesketh, leaves behind the woman he loves and returns home to untangle the plots against him. When the lady turns up on his doorstep to paint portraits of Gabriel’s brother and sister-in-law, he’s not sure whether it’s by accident or by design. And now she could be in harm’s way too…

A lady with a dangerous past
Polonaise Hunt is an accomplished artist who is determined to paint the prestigious Wendover family portraits, but coming upon Gabriel in his new situation changes everything. Despite their mutual passion, trusting Gabriel could cost Polly everything she holds dear…

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Recent release Review-What A Lady Needs For Christmas by Grace Burrowes

Title: What a Lady Needs For Christmas

What a lady needs for Christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Oct. 7, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The Best Gifts are the Unexpected Ones...

To escape a scandal, Lady Joan Flynn flees her family’s estate in the Scottish Highlands. She needs a husband by Christmas, or the holidays will ring in nothing but ruin.

Practical, ambitious mill owner Dante Hartwell offers to marry Joan, because a wellborn wife is his best chance of gaining access to aristocratic investors.

As Christmas—and trouble—draw nearer, Dante and Joan’s marriage of convenience blossoms into unexpected intimacy, for true love often hides beneath the most unassuming holiday wrapping…

**

Yes, all you romance lovers, Grace Burrowes has done it again. She has given us a damsel in distress, a hunky, hot hero to come to her rescue, a smarmy, evil villain and some adorable children that this reader hopes for more of in future books. So well composed and written you will lose yourself in the chill of the Victorian Scottish winter. You will have your senses assaulted by the smell of the coal fired Steam Engine trains. You will be seduced along with the heroine by a hero who is kind, good and tough when he needs to be. The romance here is slow developing but ultimately superbly sensual. This couple does not have instant sexual rapport which is unusual for the genre. The story is taking place at the holidays but that is really incidental to the plot. I highly recommend this book. I highly recommend this author.

( I’ve been reading some new release holiday romances and saving my reviews for closer to the holidays but this one I couldn’t wait to post.  Go and pick it up, read it now, you won’t be sorry.)

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Review- The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp

Title: The Next Breath

the next breath

Genre: General Fiction/Romance

Author: Laurel Osterkamp

Publisher: PMI Books, Sept. 2014

Source: Free for Review From the Author

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5, not explicit

Description from Amazon.com:

“I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…”

Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?

Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

**

This is a profound study of love and loss. We met Robin in Osterkamp’s book HIDDEN. This book is a continuation of Robin’s search to find herself and put her past to rest. Resting the past is not easy for Robin since it means letting go of a man she loved and embracing the man she now loves. Laurel Osterkamp delves into the subject of Cystic Fibrosis and how it affects family and friends. There are moments of heartbreaking sorrow along with moments of joy and renewal. This is not a light hearted book but a wonderful study of love, grief, survival and perserverance.

 

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Recent Release Review-How The Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jefferies

Title:  How The Scoundrel Seduces (The Dukes Men, book#3)

How The Scoundrel Seduces

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sabrina Jefferies

Publisher: Pocket Books, August 19,2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life—to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well…or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.

**

This was action packed and it brought a conclusion to the problems of Dominick and Tristan as well as Zoe. Zoe was a bit headstrong and Tristan seemed incapable of saying “no” and meaning it.  But if all works out then we have to be happy for her stubbornness.  There were some surprises that added to the enjoyment of the story.  Side characters from the previous books made cameo appearances and tied the series together.  While this is book#3, it is a standalone novel. There were hints that Dom might find love in a future book.

Ms. Jefferies brought her usual lusciously romantic, well constructed plot along with characters that speak realistic dialog.  Always true to the time period, she brings it alive with her prose.

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Recent Release Review- Fast Track by Julie Garwood

Title:  Fast Track

Fast Track

 Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author:  Julie Garwood

Publisher:  Dutton, July 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother. Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them. Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he’s unwittingly drawn into a volatile family drama. Aiden wants to help Cordelia get answers about her mother, but threats from her wealthy, high-powered family are quickly becoming dangerous. Sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but after multiple attempts are made on Cordelia’s life, Aiden realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.

**

This book felt like a book two or three in a series but when I went to Ms Garwood’s website I could only find that some of the characters had possibly appeared in another book but I was not directed to what book that might be.  The side characters were intricate to the plot of this book with what appeared to be a long history that was adequately explained but felt like a previous book.  This is a standalone plot, so the “previous stories” were not distracting but actually interesting and I wanted more.

The fact that Cordelia was curious and angry about the mother who abandoned her was understandable.  Her tactics did come across as a bit childish and prankster-like.  Her determination to get away from Aiden and start a new life was doomed.

Aiden, male model handsome and a tremendously wealthy workaholic, was the alpha male that Cordelia could not resist.

Ms. Garwood brings us a well written, page turner; an easy read.  The romance is predictable but still entertaining. The suspense was nearly nonexistent because we knew Cordelia had a cadre of good-guys on her side.

 

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Recent Release- The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

Title:  The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot

 Genre:  Erotic Romance

Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Publisher: Harper Collins, July 2014

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

A sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from amazing Stephanie Evanovich’s New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda.

When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.

But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.

Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punchline. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?

**

Chase Walker is an Alpha of the first order. He wants total control and Amanda won’t allow it, so it is inevitable that they fall in love. But Amanda is a sweet, sassy, good girl and Chase has the reputation of an all American boy next door but he is really into some kink in the bedroom. How this all plays out between them and the media is the heart of this well written book.

There is consensual spanking throughout this story. That is the way these two enjoy their relationship. It is only later on toward the end that some of Chase’s actions call into question if at some point he might go beyond the fun and games. That is disturbing to me and I wonder at Amanda’s total disregard of the incident.

I thought this book very well written. I was hoping for some of the humor of her first book, BIG GIRL PANTIES, but I was totally enthralled with the relationship of these two characters. I recommend this book.

 

 

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Recent Release Review- Once Upon A Duke by Eva Devon

Title:  Once Upon A Duke

Once Upon A Duke

 Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Eva Devon (Maire Claremont)

Publisher: Bard Productions

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Book Description :

What a Widow Wants:

Everything is going swimmingly for Kathryn Darrell. She’s got an annuity of a hundred thousand a year, her lecherous-heart breaking husband has had the good graces to pop off, and best of all, she has her freedom– Something she has every intention of reveling in to the fullest. And who better to revel with than Ryder Blake, the infamous Duke of Darkwell?

A Duke’s Desire:

Ryder Blake, Duke of Darkwell, known as the Duke of Debauchery, is certain he will never love again. His heart lies buried with his wife and he has vowed to never give more than his body to a woman. But when Kathryn shows up on his doorstep, quite literally, demanding he show her the ways of London, he finds that his heart longs to love once again.

**

Okay, Maybe the duke doesn’t “long to love once again” right away. But he is certainly, uncomfortably smitten with the woman who just barges into his home demanding he live up to his reputation as a great lover. He puts her off at first thinking she is an innocent miss, but when he learns that she is a widow who is practically stalking him he gives in to the liaison and his lust. But in a public hallway at the Opera???!!! Really? Surprise, it creates a scandal when they are caught.

This is a sexy, raunchy romp from a very good writer and if you are up for somewhat disbelieving antics then this is certainly where you will find them. It is a romance and you will get everything that that title implies and so much more. Enjoy!

 

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Time Travel Review- Love Once In Passing by Jo Ann Simon

Title: Love Once In Passing

Love Once in Passing

 Genre:  Time Travel Romance

Author:  Jo Ann Simon

Publisher: ImaJinn, 2011

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5+ (sexual  violence)

Description from Amazon.com:

This is book one in Jo Ann Simon’s acclaimed time travel romance from the early 1980s. Christopher Dunlap, a man of title and privilege in early nineteenth century England, and Jessica Lund, a thoroughly modern woman, suddenly find their lives mysterious entwined in Jessica’s late twentieth century world. Neither understand how Christopher, a man who had been living a happy life nearly two hundred years in the past, is now flesh and blood in Jessica’s present. They soon share a love for each other as deep as it is dangerous, for whatever has brought them together can just as easily tear them apart.

**

With all the current rants against “bodice ripper” tags on romance novels, this novel proves that actual bodice rippers do exist and they were supported and encouraged in publishing back in the 70’s & 80’s.  Whatever prompted ImaJinn to reissue this book, which was originally an Avon publication, can only be conjecture on my part.  For there is an actual bodice ripping, forced sex scene in this book.

Christopher starts out in this book as a kind, sensitive sort of guy but when his wife, Jessica, has amnesia from an accident he becomes a real tyrant, not to mention a marital rapist.  As if tumbling through time is not plot vechicle enough, we have an amnesia plot also.  On top of all this there is a cliffhanger ending.

The dialog is often stilted and both the hero and heroine seemed to speak with the same “voice” which was, at times, confusing.  The story is written in first person which I confess is not my favorite and this may have colored some of my opinion.  I can only recommend this book to those who might like to have a glimpse of how romance books were written back in the day.

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