Tag Archives: Valerie Bowman

Recent Release Review- No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman

No Other Duke But You

Title: No Other Duke But You(Playful Brides Series #11)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, April 2019

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 312

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon.com:

SINGLE LADY SEEKS DUKE
Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…
Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…
Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?

**
This is number eleven in the Playful Brides Series and this is the end of the series. To wind things up for this grand finale Ms. Bowman has given us a book that has many characters participating from earlier books in the series. But being the accomplished author that she is this is still a delightful standalone book.

I can count on this author for laugh out loud moments that populate the pages. While the characters are readying themselves for a charity production of A MIDSUMMERS NIGHT DREAM their lives are remarkably resembling that Shakespearean play. There is mistaken identity and various delightful couple switches. The friends to lovers trope is well done.

I highly recommend this book and this author to all Historical Romance fans.

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Advance Review- Kiss Me At Christmas by Valerie Bowman

Kiss Me At Christmas

Title: Kiss Me At Christmas: Playful Brides (book#10)
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Author: Valerie Bowman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, October 30, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 320
Rating: 4
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Description from Amazon.com:

A spirited lady facing spinsterhood. A common man with a noble mission. And a surprise that just might be waiting for them under the mistletoe in Kiss Me At Christmas by Valerie Bowman.
Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf abhors Christmas. Carol singing and holiday cheer only remind him of a dark time. When a close friend calls on him for help, Daffin is happy to capitalize on the distraction. But when he learns the lovely Lady Regina is the one in danger, he’s to become bodyguard to the captivating woman…
Regina has one mission: to find a night of passion in the arms of a gentleman. Considered firmly on the shelf, Regina has given up on marriage—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be denied the pleasure married ladies experience. Daffin has long captured her attention…and when a threat calls him to her side, the sparks between them ignite. But how can a hired bodyguard find his way into Regina’s noble heart?

**
When someone wants to hurt Regina, her cousin the Marquess hires Daffin to protect her. That means that Daffin will be spending the holidays with the Marquess and his family. Not a prospect Daffin relishes but he is fond of his good friend the Marquess. Being together with Regina is another problem since Regina has made untoward advances and Daffin tries to keep his presence on a professional Bow Street basis. But this is an HEA so we know that love will win out, that is if Daffin can find out who wants to hurt Regina.

This is a romance wrapped up in a mystery and actually a better romance than mystery. There was a bit too much coincidence involved with the mystery. It takes place during the December holidays and there is a bit of Christmassy fun. I enjoyed both the Hero and heroine, they were well developed with interesting back stories, especially for Daffin. Side characters have appeared in previous books in this series but this is a standalone novel.

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Advance Review- Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman

Never Trust A Pirate

Title: Never Trust A Pirate (Playful Brides Series)

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Valerie Bowman

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

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 304

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:         

The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

***

If you like novels that give you some twists and surprises then I’m sure you will like this one.  There are secrets that both Danielle and Cade are hiding.  This novel is about the business of spies and also revenge and falling in love.  The side characters we have met before in previous novels of the series but in no way will you be lost if this is your first time.  Some characters, like Grim, are particularly mysterious and I hope their story is on the horizon. There is action, adventure and steamy, sexy times.  Our hero is handsome and totally HOT and our heroine is feisty and full of surprises. I highly recommend this book and Valerie Bowman’s entire Playful Brides series.

 

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Recent Release Review- The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

the-legendary-lord

Title: The Legendary Lord (The Playful Brides Series, book #6)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Valerie bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Nov. 1, 2016)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 318

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

When Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride…

 

As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the luckless lord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?

The Legendary Lord is the sixth installment of Valerie Bowman’s Regency-set Playful Brides series.

**

Christian Forester arrives at his hunting lodge in rough clothes and sporting a beard.  Sarah Highgate has sought shelter from the winter prior to his arrival in the lodge.  After some tense first moments they become sociable and she agrees to tutor him in the ways to become the most sought after bachelor in the London Season.  He agrees to get her back to London, her fiancé and strict parents without a breath of scandal.  They both succeed and then the trouble starts.

Ms. Bowman has given us characters with personality, some flaws and much likability.  There is some angst about their outcome and I turned pages quickly to find out how these two people would be brought together. There are some very sexy scenes and I always question if a sweet sheltered Regency Miss would have been such a willing participant. But since those scenes are expected in Romance novels today, I encourage readers, who do object, to just skip the parts that offend you instead of missing out on superb storytelling.

I have loved every one of the books in the Playful Brides Series.  I confess I did miss book #2 but I still intend to right that wrong.  This is a standalone book but Characters from past books in the series do make appearances and they do make for interesting reading here as well as in their own previous books.  Also side characters here, Meg and Hart, definitely need their story told in a future volume. I usually hope that a series ends about this number of books but in the case of Playful Brides, I never want it to end.  Too much fun is anticipated with each new book.

I encourage you to read Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides series:

  1. The Unexpected Duchess, Lucy and Derek’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  2. The Accidental Countess, Cass and Julian’s story
  3. The Unlikely Lady, Jane and Garrett’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  4. The Irresistible Rogue, Daphne and Rafe’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  5. The Untamed Earl, Alex and Owen’s story (Deet’s rating 5-stars)

Here are excerpts from my reviews of the books in the series:

What a delight to find an author who is so accomplished at bringing forth stunning characterization and a plot filled with good writing and humorous moments. (The Unexpected Duchess, book#1)

Jane and Garrett are two of the most likeable protagonists in romance. She is a deep intellectual who discovers her passionate side and he is the thoughtful pseudo-rake who suddenly is captivated by a woman he thought he didn’t like. (The Unlikely Lady, book#3)

There is some fast and loose playing with actual Regency Era language and actions of a virgin young lady.  Sometimes this bothers me, but in this book I was laughing too hard to care. (The Irresistible Rogue, book#4)

Are you looking for a feel good book.  This is the one.  Valerie Bowman has given us a wonderfully witty love story of a young woman who knows what she wants and an older man who has to be taught what he wants. (The Untamed Earl, book #5)

 

 

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Giveaway-Last Day- Valerie Bowman’s The Untamed Earl

This giveaway ends tonight at midnight EST.  To enter, comment below by clicking on the “comments”.  Winners will be announced tomorrow Monday, May 9, on this blog and have 3 days to respond to me at deetda2@yahoo.com. Good Luck! (open to USA commenters only)

The Untamed Earl

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New Book Review and Giveaway- The Untamed Earl by Valerie Bowman

Title: The Untamed Earl  (Playful Brides)

The Untamed Earl

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 2016

Pages: 302

Source: Free For review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

Lady Alexandra Hobbs, the daughter of the Duke of Huntley, has intended to marry Lord Owen Monroe since she first glimpsed him from the window of her bedchamber, back when she was just a girl. But the duke has already chosen Alex’s infamously spoiled elder sister, Lavinia, for Owen. And now there’s no turning back.

Owen has spent most of his bachelor years drinking, gambling, and skirt-chasing. He won’t see another pound from his parents, however, until he’s engaged to Lavinia. Desperate, he accepts an offer from her innocent and spirited—and absolutely beautiful—sister Alex: She will turn him into a perfectly tamed suitor, and show him how to woo the shrew. But when Alex’s true motives come to light, will their bargain lead to recriminations—or to a romance that defies everyone’s expectations?

**

Are you looking for a feel good book.  This is the one.  Valerie Bowman has given us a wonderfully witty love story of a young woman who knows what she wants and an older man who has to be taught what he wants.

Alex is smart enough to know that if she wants Owen then she is going to have to make him fall in love with her and not her sister.  Therefore she starts on a plan that actually is making headway but of course runs into obstacles.  Owen has been cowed by his father the Duke for so long that he really doesn’t have a mind of his own anymore.  It takes all of Alex’s wiles and some help from his friends to set him straight. Lavinia, Alex’s sister, is the villain here and she is truly a shrew.  She doesn’t want Owen but she doesn’t want Alex to have him either.

I really enjoyed this book.  It had me laughing and rooting for Alex in her quest of her true love.  Characters from Ms. Bowman’s Playful Brides series were on hand to help in the matchmaking but this is a standalone book.

I encourage you to read Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides series:

  1. The Unexpected Duchess, Lucy and Derek’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  2. The Accidental Countess, Cass and Julian’s story
  3. The Unlikely Lady, Jane and Garrett’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  4. The Irresistible Rogue, Daphne and Rafe’s story (Deet’s rating 4-stars)
  5. The Untamed Earl, Alex and Owen’s story (Deet’s rating 5-stars)

 Now the Giveaway

YAY !!!

I have two copies of this book (complments of St. Martin’s Press)in paperback to giveaway to two commenters from the USA.  All you have to do is comment here on this post today Friday May 6th, Saturday May 7th or May 8th until midnight.  I will draw from those comments (add your e-mail) and pick the winner to announce on Monday May 9th. ( No rafflecopter, only my scientific selection, which is putting names in a hat and having hubby draw the winner.  the winner will have three days to respond with their snail mail address or I will pick another name. Be sure my email address is in your  contacts list, deetda2@yahoo.com.Your odds of winning are determined by the number of entries.)

Next week I will have more GIVEAWAYS!

Yes, I have a big blogaversary on the horizon.

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Recent Release Review- The Unforgettable Hero by Valerie Bowman

Title:  The Unforgettable Hero: A Playful brides Story

The unforgetable Hero

Genre: Historical Romance Novella

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: Swerve, Feb. 2016

Pages: 100

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

To escape a forced marriage to her loathsome, social-climbing cousin, Cecelia Harcourt banks on selling a romantic novel. But when she’s hit by a coach on the way home from meeting a potential publisher and loses her memory, the accident leads to an encounter with a fascinating man. . . who she’s convinced is the hero of her novel.

Due to his brother’s influence, Lieutenant Adam Hunt finds himself honorably discharged from the army. Adam intends to make his way in the world without the help of a war-hero duke, brother or no. He finds his plans for independence sidetracked by a chance encounter with a lady whose memory has gone. She believes he’s a hero. Can Adam become the man he was meant to be and fill that lofty role?

**

This is a funny, amnesia story with heroine Cecilia convinced that Adam is her fiancé and that he is a Duke.  Told to play along with her delusion by the doctor, Adam, his brother (the real duke), and his sister-in-law all do their humorous best to help Cecilia recover her memory.

A quick read, only 100 pages, this was a delightful way to spend an evening curled up by the fire.  Obviously Cecelia had a concussion when she was in the accident so it was a bit odd that she would go out to a ball the following night.  But I’m willing to suspend some disbelief because the story was so delightful.

 

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Advance review- The Irresistible Rogue by Valerie Bowman

Title:  The Irresistible Rogue (Playful Brides, #4)

The Irresistable Rogue

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Nov. 3, 2015 (pre-order available)

Pages: 351

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

A PROPOSAL FROM A SCOUNDREL Daphne Swift has not laid eyes on her devilishly charming husband, Captain Rafferty Cavendish, in quite some time. As a matter of fact, she wants the rogue to annul their brief marriage so that she can marry the reliable and estimable Lord Fitzwell. But the breathtakingly handsome Rafe is not interested in letting Daphne go-at least not without paying his scandalous price…

THE SEDUCTION OF HIS WIFE Rafe prefers to face the dangers of spying alone, but this time he needs his innocent, fiery wife to uncover the information he seeks. He has even agreed to release her from their marriage if she submits completely to his plan. However, Daphne’s alluring combination of courage and curves makes her a dangerous distraction, and it is not long before Rafe is trading subterfuge for seduction in order to prove that Daphne is meant to be his and his alone…

**

This is the fourth book in the Playful Brides Series.  It is a standalone although it has characters from previous books peppering the plot.  I think you will enjoy this one more if you read the preceding books but this is a delight even if it is the first you pick up.

Daphne is married in name only to Rafe.  She wants to make a good match with Lord Fitzwell but Rafe needs her help with another spy mission.  Of course throwing the two together on a mission means adventure, action, near death and way too much time together. One thing leads to another and there are hilarious moments as well as sexy encounters.  Daphne’s young cousin, Delilah, is a precocious twelve year old who adds delightful humor to the story.

There is some fast and loose playing with actual Regency Era language and actions of a virgin young lady.  Sometimes this bothers me, but in this book I was laughing too hard to care.

I can recommend this book to those who like a sexy story with lots of humor.

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Recent Release Review- The Unlikely Lady by Valerie Bowman

Title: The Unlikely Lady

The Unlikely Lady

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 5, 2015

Pages: 350

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

FOR THE BACHELOR AND THE BLUESTOCKING…

Certain that no man wants a bluestocking for a wife, Miss Jane Lowndes is careful to wield her books and her spectacles as weapons against matrimony. Convincing her ambitious mama that she’s content to stay a spinster is easier said than done, however. It’s a good thing Jane is not above a bit of manufactured scandal if it will keep her from the altar, and the argumentative, contrary Lord Garrett Upton… ROMANCE IS NEVER BY THE BOOK With the war over, Garrett is determined to enjoy his bachelor’s life while he can, even when it means attending a house party in celebration of a friend’s wedding–and suffering Jane’s notorious disdain. But when a masquerade ball leads to a mistaken kiss, he’s surprised to learn that Jane’s bookish exterior hides a truly passionate soul. When two such headstrong people are determined to remain unattached, can love lead to a happy ending?

**

If you are looking for a lighthearted romance with some steamy kisses and more than you have come to the right book. Jane and Garrett are two of the most likeable protagonists in romance. She is a deep intellectual who discovers her passionate side and he is the thoughtful pseudo-rake who suddenly is captivated by a woman he thought he didn’t like.

Ms Bowman has given us delightful characters all around. Jane’s two friends, Lucy and Cass, are fun to watch in action as they devise plans to bring our hero and heroine together. The dialog between Jane and friends rings true to close friendship and between Jane and Garett the bantering is humorous.

This is the third book featuring the same cast of characters; THE UNEXPECTED DUCHESS, Lucy’s story, THE ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS, Cass’ story. This book can be read as a standalone.

I recommend this book to those who like warm hearted, humorous romance.

 

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7 Thursdays ‘Til christmas Review-Christmas Brides by Enoch, Hawkins, Essex and Bowman

 

Title: Christmas Brides

Christmas Brides

Genre: Holiday Historical Romance Anthology

Author: Suzanne Enoch, Alexandra Hawkins, Elizabeth Essex, Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St Martin’s Press, Sept 30, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling:4.5

Descriptions from Amazon.com:

One Hot Scot by Suzanne Enoch

Duncan Lenox lives surrounded by enemies, a MacLawry in a land of Campbells. But when an English beauty has nowhere else to turn, he feels obligated to help. Now that they must spend a night together in an abandoned cottage while a storm rages on, will their mutual passion save—or doom—them both? **

Heiress, Julia Prentiss is blindly running away from a kidnapper bent on forcing her to marry him. He wants her money. She stumbles upon Duncan Lennox when she is thrown by her horse. Duncan brings her to his hunting cabin and listens to her story. He reluctantly agrees to help her. This is all taking place just before Christmas. But that is the only taste of Christmas in this well written story.

Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 0

 

Once Upon a Christmas Scandal by Alexandra Hawkins

Lady Ellen is outraged when she learns her dowry’s been increased by her dad, eager to draw every bachelor in England to her front door. So when Lord Swainsbury comes knocking, Ellen assumes he’s another dreadful fortune hunter. Little does she know that Swainsbury has completely fallen for her—body, heart, and soul…

**

Derrick Martin, Earl of Swainsbury, is on a mission and it is not to marry Ellen Courtland. But that being neither here nor there he falls in love with Ellen. Will the villain be found out at the Christmas Festivities? And who is this cad? A delight of a mystery story as well as a delightful romance and filled with holiday cheer.

Rating: 4.5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea. Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, so she accepts Ian’s hasty offer only for the security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm rolls in, things start to heat up between them…and they might just find true, honest-to-goodness love…

**

Ian doesn’t want to marry but his older brother has fallen from a horse and injured himself to the degree that Ian’s noble father feels he will be unable to recover and produce an heir. Ian is directed to marry immediately and produce an heir. Anne is not a beauty, she is rather plain and her prospects for marriage are not good. When these two meet, chaperoned by Anne’s mother and father, at Ian’s seaside home at Christmas time, Anne thinks she may be able to tolerate a marriage to the handsome officer because she loves his home and he will be off to sea for months at a time. Neither expects love to figure into their relationship. A sweet story of falling in love when not expected. Very christmasy.

Rating: 4.5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

 

It Happened Under the Mistletoe by Valerie Bowman

Oliver Townsende intends to avoid the hordes of marriage-minded misses at a friend’s holiday party. When he meets Miss Cerian Blake, who’s dodging her own unwanted set of admirers, the two decide to join forces and fake an infatuation to keep their suitors at bay. But when mistletoe becomes involved, will their Christmastime prank turn into a love to last all seasons?

**

Oh those Mistletoe kisses! Oliver meets Cerian in a closet while both are running and hiding from unwanted suitors at a holiday houseparty. They are attracted but eventually find out that they are from different levels in society and are unsuitable. Still…they both have a problem ducking the advances of those who are relentless in their pursuit: Cerian because she is beautiful and wealthy, Oliver because he is handsome and ultimately eligible. A fluffy gray cat plays a role of matchmaker. This is a totally absorbing and delightful story. Plenty of Christmas cheer.

Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Deet’s over view:

This is precisely the kind of anthology I like to read during the holidays. It has loads of holiday cheer all wrapped up in superb writing by these four wonderful authors. So curl up with this book and a cup of hot cocoa and watch the snow come down.

This post starts Deet’s “Thursdays ‘Til Christmas” Event.  Each Thursday I will post a holiday related post up until the week of Christmas. I’m hoping this count-down will get us all in the spirit of the season.

sexy_santa_4-257x400

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