Edeilweiss Reviewer

Edeilweiss Reviewer

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare

Title: THE WALLFLOWER WAGER
Author: Tessa Dare

ISBN: 9780062672162
Price: $7.99
On-Sale Date: 8/13/19



Cover Copy:
They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.
Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.
Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.
When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.
Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?
And a two-legged dog.
And a foul-mouthed parrot.
And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .
Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.
Not if he ruins her first.
Author Bio:
Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.
A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.
Excerpt:
She circled back, standing before him. “There now. Better?”
He gave a reluctant nod.
“Can you move your arm in all directions?”
He rolled his shoulder to prove it. “Yes.”
“What about your grip?
“My grip is strong.”
“Perhaps I should wrap the arm in a sling.”
“I do not need a sling.”
“Wait here. I’ll dash upstairs to fetch some linen and—”
“For the love of God, woman. My shoulder is fine.” He took her by the waist and lifted her straight off the floor, until they were eye to eye. “There. Believe me now?”
She nodded, wide-eyed.
“Good.”
In his hands, she was delicate, breakable. Her hair was a golden treasure he should never, ever touch. And oh, how he hungered for those soft, pink lips.
The familiar voice echoed in his ears.
Don’t touch, boy. She’s not for the likes of you.
Put. Her. Down.
But before Gabe could lower those beribboned pink slippers to the floor, she captured his sooty, sweaty face in her hands—
And kissed him on the lips.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean


Title: Brazen and the Beast
Author: Sarah MacLean

ISBN:   9780062692078
Price: $7.99
On-Sale Date: 7/30/19

Cover Copy:

New York Times Bestselling Author Sarah MacLean returns with the next book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series about three brothers bound by a secret that they cannot escapeand the women who bring them to their knees.
The Lady’s Plan
When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.
The Bastard’s Proposal
When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.
An Unexpected Passion
Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.
Author Bio:
A life-long romance reader, Sarah MacLean wrote her first romance novel on a dare, and never looked back. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances and a columnist for The Washington Post, where she writes about the romance genre. She lives in New York City. Visit her at www.sarahmaclean.net.
Excerpt:
Chapter One

September 1837
Mayfair

In twenty-eight years and three hundred sixty-four days, Lady Henrietta Sedley liked to think that she’d learned a few things.
She’d learned, for example, that if a lady could not get away with wearing trousers (an unfortunate reality for the daughter of an earl, even one who had begun life without title or fortune), then she should absolutely ensure that her skirts included pockets. A woman never knew when she might require a bit of rope, or a knife to cut it, after all.
She’d also learned that any decent escape from her Mayfair home required the cover of darkness and a carriage driven by an ally. Coachmen tended to talk a fine game when it came to keeping secrets, but were ultimately beholden to those who paid their salaries. An important addendum to that particular lesson was this: The best of allies was often the best of friends.
And perhaps first on the list of things she had learned in her lifetime was how to tie a Bosun knot. She’d been able to do that for as long as she could remember.
With such an obscure and uncommon collection of knowledge, one might imagine that Henrietta Sedley would have known precisely what to do in the likelihood she discovered a human male bound and unconscious in her carriage.
One would be incorrect.
In point of fact, Henrietta Sedley would never have described such a scenario as a likelihood. After all, she might have been more comfortable on London’s docks than in its ballrooms, but Hattie’s impressive collection of life experience lacked anything close to a criminal element.
And yet, here she was, pockets full, dearest friend at her side, standing in the pitch dark on the night before her twenty-ninth birthday, about to steal away from Mayfair for a night of best-laid plans, and…
Lady Eleanora Madewell whistled, low and unladylike at Hattie’s ear. Daughter of a duke and the Irish actress he loved so much he’d made her a duchess, Nora had the kind of brashness that was allowed in those with impervious titles and scads of money. “There’s a bloke in the gig, Hattie.”
Hattie did not look away from the bloke in question. “Yes, I see that.”
“There wasn’t a bloke in the gig when we hitched the horses.”
“No, there wasn’t.” They’d left the hitched—and most definitely empty—carriage in the dark rear drive of Sedley House not three-quarters of an hour earlier, before hiking upstairs to exchange carriage-hitching dresses for attire more appropriate for their evening plans.
At some point between corset and kohl, someone had left her an extraordinarily unwelcome package.
“Seems we would’ve noticed a bloke in the gig,”
“I should think we would have,” came Hattie’s distracted reply. “This is really just awful timing.”
Nora cut her a look. “Is there a good time for a man to be bound in one’s carriage?”
Hattie imagined there wasn’t, but, “He could have selected a different evening. What a terrible birthday gift.” She squinted into the dark interior of the carriage. “Do you think he’s dead?”
Please, don’t let him be dead.
Silence. Then, a thoughtful, “Does one store dead men in carriages?” Nora reached forward, her coachman’s coat pulling tight over her shoulders, and poked the dead man in question. He did not move. “He’s not moving,” she added. “Could be dead.”
Hattie sighed, removing a glove and leaning into the carriage to place two fingers to the man’s neck. “I’m sure he’s not dead.”
“What are you doing?” Nora whispered, urgently. “If he’s not dead, you’ll wake him!”
“That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Hattie pointed out. “Then we could ask him to kindly exit our conveyance and we could be on our way.”
“Oh, yes. This brute seems like precisely the kind of man who would immediately do just that and not immediately take his revenge. He’d no doubt doff his cap and wish us a fine good evening.”
“He’s not wearing a cap,” Hattie pointed out, unable to refute any of the rest of the assessment of the mysterious, possibly dead man. He was very broad, and very solid, and even in the darkness she could tell that this wasn’t a man with whom one took a turn about a ballroom.
This was the kind of man who ransacked a ballroom.
“What do you feel?” Nora pressed.
“No pulse.” Though she wasn’t precisely certain of the location one would find a pulse. “But he’s—”
Warm.
Dead men were not warm, and this man was very warm. Like a fire in winter. The kind of warm that made someone realize how cold she might be.
Ignoring the silly thought, Hattie moved her fingers down the column of his neck, to the place where it disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt, where the curve of his shoulder and the slope of…the rest of him… met in a fascinating indentation.
“Anything now?”
“Quiet.” Hattie held her breath. Nothing. She shook her head.
“Christ.” It wasn’t a prayer.
Hattie couldn’t have agreed more. But then…
There. A small flutter. She pressed a touch more firmly. The flutter became firm. Slow. Even. “I feel it. She said. “He’s alive.” She repeated herself. “He’s alive.” She exhaled, long and relieved. “He’s not dead.”
“Excellent. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s unconscious in the carriage, and you have somewhere to be.” She paused. “We should leave him and take the curricle.”
Hattie had been planning for this particular excursion on this particular night for a full three months. This was the night that would begin her twenty-ninth year. The year her life would become her own. The year she would become her own. And she had a very specific plan for a very specific location at a very specific hour, for which she had donned a very specific frock. And yet, as she stared at the man in her carriage, specifics seemed not at all important.
What seemed important was seeing his face.
Clinging to the handle at the edge of the door, Hattie collected the lantern from the upper rear corner of the carriage before swinging back out to face Nora, whose gaze flickered immediately to the unlit container.
Nora tilted her head. “Hattie. Leave him. Let’s take the curricle.”
“Just a peek,” Hattie replied.
The tilt became a shake. “If you peek, you’ll regret it.”
“I have to peek,” Hattie insisted, casting about for a decent reason—ignoring the odd fact that she was unable to tell her friend the truth. “I have to untie him.”
“Not necessarily,” Nora pointed out. “Someone thought he was best left tied up, and who are we to disagree?” Hattie was already reaching into the pocket of the carriage door for a flint. “What of your plans?”
There was plenty of time for her plans. “Just a peek,” she repeated, the oil in the lantern catching fire. She closed the door and turned to face the carriage, lifting the light high, casting a lovely golden glow over—
“Oh, my,” she said.
Nora choked back a laugh. “Not such a bad gift after all, perhaps.”
The man had the most beautiful face Hattie had ever seen. The most beautiful face anyone had ever seen, she imagined. She leaned closer, taking in his warm, bronze skin, the high cheekbones, the long, straight nose, the dark slashes of his brows and the impossibly long lashes that lay like feathers against his cheeks.
“What kind of man…” she trailed off. Shook her head.
What kind of man looked like this?
What kind of man looked like this and somehow landed in the carriage of Hattie

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Title: One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell

Title: One Fine Duke
Author: Lenora Bell

ISBN: 9780062692504
Price: $7.99
On-Sale Date: 7/23/19

Cover Copy:

USA Today bestselling author Lenora Bell returns with her third book in the sexy School for Dukes series.

Ready.
Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny’s dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There’s only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe’s brother Drew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.
Aim.
This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.
Desire!
But Mina is no damsel in distress. She’s daring, intuitive, passionate…and halfway to melting Drew’s cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?
Author Bio:
Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. A teacher with an MFA in Creative Writing, Lenora has lived and worked on five continents. She currently lives in New Zealand with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. She loves hearing from readers! Sign up for her mailing list to hear about new books, sales, and giveaways.
Excerpt:
“There he is, Wilhelmina,” Grizzy whispered, staring reverently across the crowded ballroom. “The Duke of Thorndon.”
Holy hell he’s handsome, thought Mina.
Jaw-dropping-on-the-floor handsome. Drool-on-your-lace-fichu handsome.
Distract her from her plan with his brother, handsome.
Her uncle had been right. Thorndon was a fine figure of a man. Objectively speaking, the finest she’d ever beheld.
Tall as a doorframe, with a face hewn from the same granite as the rugged Cornish coastline.
A face rendered seductive by contrasts: sharp cheekbones and curved, sensuous lips. Gleaming ebony hair brushed his collar. His eyes were a light, gold-tinged brown—the only warm thing about him.
He owned this ballroom. Literally. And he owned everyone in it by dint of his oversized presence and the cold, unsmiling arrogance scrawled across his face.
He didn’t even follow the dictates of fashion, preferring plain black attire to the white pantaloons and gaily-colored waistcoats of the other gentlemen.
Why should he follow the dictates of fashion? Everyone should follow him.
“When you’re introduced to Thorndon, pray speak as seldom as possible,” Grizzy whispered. “Attempt to appear biddable and do try to recall my decorum lessons. Remember, no one in London knows anything about you, thank the Lord.”
Mina had seen several polished, elegant young ladies staring at her, nudging each other and whispering. She was an outsider, a usurper, her proper place in the social hierarchy not yet established.
They needn’t worry. She had no designs upon their prize duke. And she was about as unpolished as a debutante could be—as rough as an un-sanded plank. If anyone touched her they might get splinters.
She longed to shed her country skin swiftly and emerge as the sophisticated social butterfly her mother had been. But she knew that it would take time, observation, and experimentation.
Her first flirtatious conversation, first kiss, first taste of brandy, first adventure…it was all ahead of her.
She couldn’t wait to taste it all.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Carpool by Noelle Adams




Four Stars


I was first introduced to Noelle Adams when she wrote under the name Claire Kent. I love
d her book “Escort.” Even though “Carpool” is not an erotica like Escort, Adams still had me captivated by the main characters and I wanted to see how they would resolve their conflict.  Marcus Greene and Jennifer are opposites. Where she was the good girl, Marcus was the legendary bad boy.  They always had a bit of conflict between them.  Jennifer always saw Marcus as unnecessarily difficult although very attractive.  When Jennifer needs a ride to work he becomes her only option.  Jennifer hates to ask Marcus for the help but other than moving out of town and closer to their common place of employment she has few other options.

During their shared commute they slowly start to peel back their layers.  During the 45 minute commute back and forth they begin to get to know each other. Marcus confesses that his reputation sometimes frustrated him but he stuck around his hometown to help his parents. In a similar situation, Jennifer is in a similar situation. She is also taking care of her grandma who is in a nursing home and facing health issue. Although Jennifer is attracted to Marcus she is not aware of his attraction to her.  Marcus takes it slow until he is sure that Jennifer is open to taking their friendship to the next level.
Overall, this was a short and fun read. Adams provided enough tension and chemistry between the main characters. She also added enough substance to their personalities to make them likable. The conflict that arises is small but enough to help them see that they both have strong feelings for each other. Another aspect that I really like is that even though this is a short read, I am already looking forward to the next story in the series, “Office Mate”.  “Office Mate” is about her friend Becky and her new office mate, the new English Professor. The immediately dislike one another and I immediately wanted to read the story! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

SAY NO TO THE DUKE by: Eloisa James


Title: SAY NO TO THE DUKE
Author: Eloisa James




ISBN: 9780062877826
Price: $7.99
On-Sale Date: 6/25/19

Cover Copy:
Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?
Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.
No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.
If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.
But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.
Author Bio:
 Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at www.eloisajames.com.
Excerpt:
They moved toward each other as if they were following the steps of a very slow, very grand country dance. One that was danced by kings and queens and countryfolk alike.
When they were  beside  each  other, she  squared her shoulders and met his eyes. “I decided to come to you. I hope that is all right.”
“I do believe that you are the bravest woman I’ve ever met,” he replied.
He couldn’t have said anything better; Betsy felt herself begin to glow. “I haven’t been brave to this point, but I have made up my mind to change. I outlawed being nervous, but now I need to outlaw being afraid.” She hesitated. “I have chosen courage, and now I choose happiness.”
“I love you as you are,” he whispered, and then his mouth came down on hers.
Her breath caught in her throat because their tongues met as if they kissed every day, every night. He tasted right, which sent a shiver through her whole  body,  and  pushed  her  against him gently, the way a pebble might roll up a beach when the tide comes in.
One doesn’t fight the tide.


ARC Review: The Governess by Christi Caldwell

Christi Caldwell has been on my to-read list for a long time. “The Governess” caught my eye and I dove right in. This is part of a series, Wicked Wallflowers. “The Governess” is book is the third book in the series so many of the characters from the previous books appear. I didn’t feel lost but there is a very critical events that build up in this story and those events start in the previous books, so I would recommend that before you fall down the Caldwell rabbit hole like I did you have those on reserve at the library.

The heroine, Regina-or as the hero fondly calls her Reggie, has been Broderick Killoran’s right hand women. Broderick runs a gaming hall and is very successful. He depends on Reggie for everything but has never seen her as anything other than his confidant. Now that Reggie is ready to leave Broderick he starts to realize that he not only grew accustomed to Reggie but he has very deep feelings for her. Everyone around Broderick can tell that Reggie is in love with him but Broderick had never thought of Reggie that way. As Broderick’s family and gaming hall is threatened, he slowly comes to realize that he can’t control everything and despite his best efforts, he can’t always protect the ones he loves. Reggie feels that Broderick will never see her as the women she has become. She feels that if she doesn’t move on her life will always be the same. With the help from a friend she dares to separate from Broderick and the family that has slowly become hers as well.

I loved everything about this story. Once I started to read it, I could not put it down. I loved the chemistry between Reggie and Broderick. I loved their friendship and their history together. I loved the back stories which were all interesting and I could not help but feel for the characters. Once I finished this story I quickly looked for the first two books in the series:” The Hellion” and also “The Vixen”. The back stories are interesting and add to the characters but I still loved “The Governess.” I am making my way for “The Bluestocking” which already is a great story even though I have not finished it. Review to come soon!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Escorted (Escorted #1) by Claire Kent

I have to confess I fell down the Claire Kent hole! Wow! I first heard about Escort by Claire Kent from listening to Sarah MacLean podcast. She recommended it so highly that although I don’t usually gravitate towards escort storylines I was intrigued.  Well let me tell you, Sarah MacLean was right, this book was amazing. Claire Kent added so many layers to her characters that I was intrigued and I wanted to know more and more about them.

Our heroine, Lori is an author. She is twenty-six and has had it with being a virgin. She spent many of her younger years in love with a guy that did not return her love and now self-doubt has set in. She feels like she has missed out on a big part of life and she wants to do away with her pesky virginity.  It should be noted that Lori is also a very successful romance writer!  A friend of her cousin recommends an escort that is very popular and in high demand.

Ander is an absolute professional. He knows his trade and is a very knowledgeable about how to please a woman.  When he meets Lori they come to an agreement on the type of services that she is requesting and the kind he can give.  When Lori and Ander first get together Lori is very nervous and can’t complete the task that she has been trying to complete so they have to set up another meeting. The more times they meet the more Lori wants to see Ander.  She is discovering a part of herself and is gaining confidence.

First, this book is very sensual- no doubt about it.  Kent portrays Ander as such a detached and difficult to read person that as the reader I found myself wondering what he was thinking and I was intrigued by his past. So was Lori! She can’t help but snoop about Ander and the more time they spend together the more she wants to know. Because of his work this causes a lot of difficulties and some instances of hurt and confusion.  Because the story is told from Lori’s point of view Ander is harder to read but still so intriguing.  As Lori starts to develop feelings for Ander she realizes that she has to end the relationship.

Wow! First, I have to say this book is not my usual read and I could not put this book down! I was up late and even after I finally finished the book I was still captivated by the characters. I immediately started to look by other books by this author. She wrote such complicated, intriguing characters that I missed Ander and Lori after I finished the book-serious book hanger over! For anyone interested Claire Kent also writes under the name Noelle Adams and personally I cannot wait to read more!  Sarah MacLean was right this was a fascinating book with great emotional writing and written with such integrity for those in this line of work. I absolutely loved!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Thursday, April 4, 2019

ARC Review: You’re the Earl That I Want by Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen has been on my to-read list for such a long time, I was really excited to read one of her books. I read the reviews for her previous book, A Good Rogue is Hard to Find (The Lords of Worth, #2) and I was really excited to read her story.

I liked “You’re the Earl that I Want” because, for me, the heroine really carried the story. I really liked her and found her to be very refreshing. Lady Josephine Somerhall is unique and her own person. She grew up making her own rules. She is very intelligent, out-spoken and in control of herself. She is not a typical lady in want of a husband although Heath Hextall is a gentleman in search of a wife. Mostly he needs a wife to take care of the mediocre things that he does not want to be bothered with, like running a household. The list of characteristics that he has are pretty much a summary of Joss. Joss and Heath grew up together as children so they share a history and when they reunite at a ball they share some barbs back and forth.

I liked how the author included Joss in Heath’s adventure/ mystery. Heath needed Joss’ help and this gave them the opportunity to come together. I have to confess that I really did not care for Heath. Although I generally love when the hero and heroine do not like each other or learn to like each other, Heath seemed very superficial as stuck up for me. I couldn’t really form an opinion about him. To me, it seemed like he was always undermining Joss or annoyed by her just because she didn’t follow in everyone else’s footsteps. As their time together progresses he not only learns to appreciate her but champions her individuality.

Overall, this was a cute and interesting story. The author provided some original traits that I have not seen in other historical romances. I liked that the hero was a self -made man I just thought this would have made him more down to earth and less of a snob. Despite my lukewarm feelings toward the hero I plan to read more books by this author and really enjoyed her unique storytelling.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

ARC Review: Only a Duke Will Do by Tamara Gill

“Only a Duke Will Do” is the second book in the “To Marry a Rogue” series. This book was a two time first for me. It’s my first Tamara Gill story and also my first second chance at romance. I liked both.

When the story begins, Lady Isolde Worthingham and the Merrick Mountshaw,Duke of Moore are madly in love. Both are very young but it was love at first sight for both of them. Merrick asked Isolde to dance at a country dance and both knew they were made for each other! On the eve of their wedding they are ready to embark on a live of love and bliss together but it’s not long until all that shatters. Isolde’s life is shattered when she wakes up to screams and her fiancé in bed with one she thought to be a good friend.

Five years later Isolde is ready to come back to society. After that the disastrous night when Merrick married another she left for Scotland and has stayed away from London society. Now she is ready to reclaim her life and finally open her heart to another. It’s not long before Isolde and Merrick come face to face after five years and their feelings for each other have not changed.

I’m not usually interested in second chance romances but I was instantly invested in “Only a Duke Will Do.” The author provided a cliffhanger type plot at the beginning as we try to understand why Merrick, so much in love with Isolde and so ready to marry her and start a new life together beds her best friend. I think that “the cheating” storyline is very hard to redeem but Gill provided us with a very sad and miserable Merrick and as the plot unfolded, it became clear that he was simply a pawn in his now wife’s plans. Merrick is a devoted father and his only consolation is that his son has a good life. For Merrick being stuck in a loveless marriage is difficult but seeing Isolde having a season and ready to marry another was the true test of his strength. Isolde was equally as endearing. She was young and naive but also a pawn and the struggles that she faced with trying to move on but not able to deny her love for Merrick was heartbreaking. I wanted to know how they would both find their way out of this mess. I have to confess that they only reason I gave this three stars instead of four is because the last part of the book dragged on. I understand why the author did it but I would have liked the book more if the overly dramatic last part of the book would have been more straightforward. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable read and I plan to read more books by Gill. Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I found out how these two would finally find their way back to each other.

**ARC provided by Publisher**
Only a Duke Will Do (To Marry a Rogue Book 2) by [Gill, Tamara]

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Ride Wild (Raven Riders #3) by Laura Kaye


I first heard of Laura Kaye when I read her historical fiction story “America’s First Daughter” whom she writes under the name  Laura Kamoie.  I personally love discovering when authors write different genres. Because I really enjoyed “America’s First Daughter” I was anxious to try her contemporary romance.  A few things attracted me to the story. First, I love motorcycle club books, if anyone has not read Joanna Wylde, I definitely recommend her books!  Second, I loved the idea of a lonely widower taking care of his sons and falling for the babysitter. And finally, I loved that the heroine, Cora Campbell was trying to find herself. 
Cora was an interesting enough character except that really “everything”  happened to her.  She was kidnapped and raped, it all become a little too much.  These events happened in the previous book, which I have not read, but her history helps us to understand that Cora is really just starting over and trying to figure out where she wants her life to go.  I was expecting the house to fall on top of her head at one point.  Slider is giving her a chance by offering her work as his babysitter.  He is a widower and needs someone to watch the kids while he is at work.  His kids absolutely love Cora because she always come to the rescue and knows just what to do with his sons.  The obvious attraction takes place and they finally confess their real feelings for each other and give into their longing for each other. But they also promise that it will only be one time and that is it.  Mind you, this is only half way through the book.
I have to admit that I wanted to love this story more than I actually did.  I was about 50 % of the way through the book and I was ready for the story to be done.  If this had been a novella I would have enjoyed it more but half way through the book the romance between Cora and Sam “Slider” Evans started to become flat.  I felt like the author added secondary characters to help the story pick up momentum but it really just dragged the story down.  It was hard for me to be interested in the secondary characters even when they became the focal point.
 The story felt forced and I struggled to keep interested.  The dialogue also felt overly dramatic as did many of the scenes.  Aside from my lackluster opinion about the story, I will pick up another book by the author and see if the next book in the series catches my interest better.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Seducing the Defendant by Chantal Fernando

 was immediately drawn to “Seducing the Defendant” by Chantal Fernando because of the storyline. I love the idea of a stuff and top-of-his-game attorney taking on a defendant charged with killing her husband. The evidence was pretty strong against the heroine, Scarlett Reyes. I personally love courtroom romances so I immediately jumped into the story when it became available and I was interested to read Chantal Fernando, whom I have never read before.

When the story begins, our hero, Jaxon Bentley is a grieving man. He lost his sister and he is very much into his grief. Even though he is on leave he is pulled back into his job when he hears of Scarlett Reyes, a very wealthy woman who is accused of killing her husband. Jaxon has earned a reputation as a hardworking defense attorney and one of the best. He runs a small firm with one of his good friends. Scarlett was a battered woman. She was charmed by her now dead husband and really thought he was a good guy. By all accounts he was not only a crooked cop but also involved with a motorcycle gang and heavily involved in selling and using drugs. He was also emotionally abusive to Scarlett and ended up controlling all aspects of her life until Scarlett was free of him. Scarlett trying to free herself from her husband’s abusive control fled to France to take care of her sick aunt.

When Jaxon meets Scarlett she is defensive, scared and closed off. Because he recently lost his sister Scarlett’s hurt and pain is endearing to him. Because Jaxon quickly realizes that Scarlett has suffered at the hands of her husband and is caught up in the media storm, he is kind, compassionate, caring and sweet. Everything that Scarlett needs and has craved for so long. Because of their client and attorney relationship they fight their attraction for each other and try to maintain everything strictly professional, even though, both really need a friend.

So as I mentioned before I really wanted to like this story because of the plot. A few things fell flat for me. First, I did not think that there was much chemistry between Jaxon and Scarlett. Most of their conversation felt forced and even their slowly forming friendship felt very stiff. Yes, they were attracted to each other but I knew this because the author told me not because of the chemistry between them. Also, some parts of the story were so over the top I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes a few time. This is one of those stories where if it were a novella I would have enjoyed more. Finishing the story was sheer determination and effort because most of the story felt long and drawn out. I’ve seen some great reviews online, so some readers really enjoyed the story. For me, I expected more.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Gambling on a Scoundrel by Sheridan Jeane

When I heard of “Gambling on a Scoundrel” I was instantly interested because I really enjoy Victorian era stories. I had never read Sheridan Jeane and wanted to see what the story would be like. I also love hero’s and heroine’s that are outcasts and go against the tide.

The heroine is Tempy Bliss. I really liked her and the way she conducted herself. Tempy is an outsider. She comes from money not breed, in the era of the ton that made her an outcast. Her father made quite a lot of money off railroads but he was never much of a father to her. Tempy always longed for a connection with her father and although an outsider, she accepted that she would never fit in. Tempy made herself even more of an outcast when she decided to earn a living as a reporter. Although an heiress she doesn’t need the money but researching and writing are her passions. When she finds out that her fiancé-Ernest, now ex-fiancé, is engaged to a French woman, Tempy decides she needs to win him back.

Enter our hero, Lucien Hamlin. Lucien also is not of British society, but he has a lot of money. Money he made when he opened his own gambling house. Lucien is more than comfortable with his position but is ready for a new venture. When, as a favor, he allows Tempy to come to his gambling house, things start to become more complicated. Lucien doesn’t need press, least of all bad press. Tempy has been asked by Charles Dickens himself to write an article. Tempy refuses to disappoint Mr. Dickens. Against his better judgement, Lucien allows Tempy to do her research, but more is involved. He also tries to help her win her ex-fiancé back-again-against his better judgement. As Lucien and Tempy start to spend more and more time together they begin to have feelings for each other but both try to fight those feelings. Tempy is determined to win her ex-fiancé back because she thinks that she will also lose his family, which was in part the only family she ever had.

This was a really cute story and I really liked it. I also love to learn about the progressive time of Victorian England. I also really liked the hero and heroine. I have to say that the only parts that irked me were when Tempy seemed to go against her own characteristics. She is constantly tripping over things and needing rescue- I think this is done for comedic affect and its cute- but I really wanted her to have a stronger back bone, especially when it comes to her obsession with her ex-fiancé. Tempy really reflected the struggle that woman faced when they were trying to be taken seriously. I really didn’t like that she was so determined to validate herself by winning him back. Aside from these little tidbits, I really enjoyed the romance and plan to read more by this author.

**Copy provided by Author**

Saturday, March 30, 2019

ARC Review: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Ever since I started this series “Scandal & Scoundrel” I have been waiting for Seraphina and Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven’s story. When I read “The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1) I thought “there is no way that Sera and Mal will end up together.” There is just no way. Needless to say I was wrong. However! MacLean really had a huge obstacle to accomplish. Throughout the series, the infamous Sera is known for her scandal and most importantly because she is missing. No one knows where the Duke of Haven’s Duchess can be found. When Sera re-emerges she has changed! Three years have gone by since Sophie Talbot dumped the cheating Duke in the pond and Sera is ready to take charge of her life. Everything is against her, but she is determined.

When we first hear of Sera and Mal’s story, it is filled with hurt, anger and pain. Much of that sentiment carries through the story. Sera and Mal have a lot of baggage. From the very beginning, their love is tainted with rumors, distrust and betrayal. It seems that one wound just opens and festers another. Sera is done with that. She wants a divorce and wants to be the boss of her own life. Women during that time could not petition for a divorce even if they were subject to cruelty at the hands of their husbands. Kudos to MacLean for bringing up the history of women during this time period and really how little they had in terms of rights! Well, Sera is done with her marriage, cheating husband and is ready to open her own tavern where she can fulfill her dream of singing to her hearts content. Sera has no way of knowing that throughout the last three years Mal has traveled all over the world trying to find his wife. He never gave up looking for her and he is determined to make their marriage work. Sera wants nothing to do with Mal and the past hurts and sorrows haunt their every conversation. Mal tries one last time to keep his wife. He makes a wager with her. If she can find him a replacement Duchess he will agree to the divorce. What Mal doesn’t anticipate is that Sera’s infamous sisters will come along and that Sera has a friend, a male one at that. Mal is more determined than ever.

First, I have to say how much I enjoyed Sera and my heart broke for her. She was young and naïve, inexperience in many ways and many of her choices were not the best. Malcolm pretty much followed the same path. It would seem that both were destined for disaster-which they both experienced. Sera fought so hard to win her independence and it was admirable considering nothing was really in her favor. I was lukewarm about Mal until the end when he finally comes to realize that Sera is not his to keep… and I have to confess I put the story down and wiped away my tears. Even though they do finally get their much deserved happily-ever-after it was far from easy. There are many funny and sweet moments. There is one scene that is both sweet and real for me-when the sisters are crammed in the carriage. I just thought that MacLean really captured their bond as sisters and in many ways the figurative distance that covered them emotionally. Physically the sisters are together, but Sera has not emotionally shared with her sisters the baggage she has been carrying. This story did not disappoint and I need to know more about Secily and her American. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that this is not the last time we hear about the “Dangerous Daughters.”

**ARC provided by Publisher**