Review: The Inconvenient Countess by Kristin Vayden


Print Length: 336 pages total (this is a three-book anthology)
Publisher: Kensington Books (January 28, 2020)

From Goodreads.com: As the eldest in a poverty-stricken family of daughters, Miss Diana Katherine Lambson's only option is a marriage of convenience. Her only prospect is a rogue with a miserable reputation. Her only true desire: freedom. And that is exactly what Charles Brook, Earl of Barrington, is willing to offer, in return for the respectability their union will give him. He will even provide Diana with a contract. But does she dare entrust her future to a scoundrel? Does she dare not to? 

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DISCLAIMER #1: This story is part of an anthology of stories from three best selling authors. I have decided instead of reviewing them all at once which may be confusing to some of my readers, I am reviewing each one separately. 

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Finally. A novella in this anthology that manages to balance just the right amount of story-line with the sex AND tie up all the loose ends as well. This was by far, my favorite of the three stories. I enjoyed watching this two interact with each other. Diana offers Brook something he has never before been given - true friendship. Without strings or expectations. 


This was the one story that I could not put down, curious as I was to see how things would play out. Even when the "villain" of this story shows his true colors, it added to the plot instead of coming across as drama just for the sake of having it (although THANK YOU to this author for actually telling us how this one was resolved). 

Sadly, I think this novella would have done better as a stand-alone instead of being the last in an anthology, but I am also just as sure that more people will enjoy the other stories more than I did. I would definitely read more from this author, however (and I hope to see more of these characters, her sisters perhaps? In other novels if they are not already published).

DISCLAIMER #2: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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The Inconvenient Countess is currently only available as part of The Arrangement now available from Amazon.com

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Review: The Duke's Treasure by Minerva Spencer


Print Length: 336 pages total (this is a three-book anthology)
Publisher: Kensington Books (January 28, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  Plain, prickly Josephine Loman has loved Beaumont Halliwell, the Fifth Duke of Wroxton, since the first time she saw him. But the most beautiful man she's ever met had eyes only for Jo's erstwhile friend, who betrayed Beau's trust by marrying his brother. Beau hasn't been home in years, but when his brother dies in an accident, he must marry to save the impoverished dukedom. And Jo is the overlooked heiress who will turn his world upside down...

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DISCLAIMER #1: This story is part of an anthology of stories from three best selling authors. I have decided instead of reviewing them all at once which may be confusing to some of my readers, I am reviewing each one separately. 

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Much like with the first novel, this one focuses too much on the sex between the characters instead of building up their relationship and tying up loose ends. Yes, I get it, they are sexually compatible, but that shouldn't be the focus on the relationship. How did he win over his wife? As a matter of fact, it's not until the epilogue that we even learn that he in fact not only fell in love with her, but told her as much. These are the little details I enjoy reading about. 


Victoria was an easy character to dislike, but even that seemed to be a wasted opportunity. With the exception of a couple of encounters, she wasn't used to build the relationship, she wasn't even there to cast doubt on their marriage, or to cause trouble (although she tried, it was all easily brushed aside). It would have been more believable (especially with what Josie knew about Victora's prior relationship with her husband), if the woman managed to cast doubt in her mind, leading to more of a confrontation than just Beau saying "Oh that don't worry about that", and them tumbling back into bed.  

Also, what was the point of Josie and Beau's visit to her dying father? It started as a tragically beautiful encounter, and we are later told that was the moment that Beau started to realize his feelings for his wife, but it just stops in mid-sentence and then picks up again at the epilogue. Again, missing an opportunity to make more of this novel. 

Perhaps it is simply because this story, as the other was, and the next will be are novellas the authors have been trying to cram as much into a short span as they can? Whatever the reason, the writing itself was strong and flowed well, so I would read a full-length novel of this author's in the future to see how it compares.

DISCLAIMER #2: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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The Duke's Treasure  is currently only available as part of 
The Arrangement now available from Amazon.com

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Review: Mischief and the Marquess by Sylvia Day


Print Length: 336 pages total (this is a three-book anthology)
Publisher: Kensington Books (January 28, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  Justin, the Marquess of Fontaine, and Lady Sophie Milton-Riley, are completely ill-suited to one another. But they will have to prove it in order to end to their mothers' insistence that they should marry. Yet the more they attempt to demonstrate how wrong their union would be, the more surprisingly, irresistibly right things feel...

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DISCLAIMER #1: This story is part of an anthology of stories from three best selling authors. I have decided instead of reviewing them all at once which may be confusing to some of my readers, I am reviewing each one separately. 

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Based on just this novella alone, I am hesitant to continue on. 

On one hand, the writing was strong, and the characters were interesting. But honestly? This story focused entirely way too much on these characters having sex than it did actually giving the reader a solid story. 

We are given to believe that these two had a history together, so why not show us a bit more of that? We are told her husband died, but yet her son is called a bastard, why? What happened to her husband? There is a dinner party in which she becomes an "eccentric collector", and yet instead of watching this unfold, we are merely told before, and after the fact. Somehow, Justin manages to win over Sophie's son Thomas, but other than one little glimpse into their first meeting, we see none of this. Nor do we learn of any potential scandal or questions that they were so worried would come about when they married. There was so much potential here for a strong story, but sadly, I don't feel like we got out of the bedroom long enough to see any of it.

I'm sure there are those that will enjoy this story, but for me? I need a little plot to go with my sex, thanks. 

DISCLAIMER #2: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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Mischief and the Marquess is currently only available as part of The Arrangement now available from Amazon.com

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Review: Her Scandalous Pursuit (The Mad Morelands 0) by Candace Camp


Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN (January 28, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  The long-awaited prequel to the Mad Morelands series—the story of Thisbe, the oldest Moreland daughter.

Thisbe Moreland is used to men not taking her seriously. As a scientist, she’s accustomed to being the only woman at lectures and meetings, her presence met with scorn and derision. So it comes as a pleasant surprise when she sits next to a handsome young man who is actually interested in having a conversation about science.

Desmond Harrison cannot believe his good fortune when he sits next to Thisbe—she’s intelligent and incredibly beautiful. He longs to see her again—but he’s ashamed of his low birth. Not to mention his employment with the infamous Professor Gordon, a formerly respected scientist who turned to spiritualism and is now deeply scorned.

When Professor Gordon demands that Desmond recover an artifact for him—an ancient object reputed to have terrible power, known as the Eye of Annie Blue—Desmond realizes that only Thisbe holds the key. Desmond must choose between his love for Thisbe and his loyalty to his mentor…but humanity’s very future will depend on his choice.


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this one the way I have the others of this series that I've read. One good thing is that this book is a prequel to the others, so you needn't have read them in order to enjoy this one. In fact, having read a couple of the others, I was a little confused while reading this one as I didn't realize it was a prequel when I requested it. 

I enjoyed Thisbe and Desmond. Quite a lot actually. I relished in watching them get to know each other, I enjoyed the way he took her family in stride. But there was just so much going on that it became muddled in parts. When you added into it the overwhelming paranormal aspect of this one? I just found it increasingly hard to get into. 

Had it been kept to wild ghost stories and suppositions? I might have found it more interesting. But when you add into it the dreams, or visions or whatever the heck Thisbe was supposed to be experiencing? It took away from the plot, in my opinion,  instead of adding to it.  

All things considered, what bothered me probably won't bother other readers. And what I couldn't get into? Others will probably not be able to put this one down. I would definitely read more from this author, and especially if she's got more to say about those Mad Morelands! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                        Her Scandalous Pursuit is available from Amazon.com

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Review: Vendetta in Death (In Death #49) by J.D. Robb


Print Length: 356 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Press (September 3, 2019)

From Goodreads.com:  
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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I have mixed feelings about this story. It seems like something I've read before, in another one of Eve Dallas' adventures, only with a slightly altered storyline. 

The dynamic between Eve and her husband Roarke has shifted as well. Now instead of her griping and complaining every time he offers his help, she seems to have come to depend on it. And for the number of times that he accompanied her to crime scenes and to interview witnesses in this book, it didn't seem like the same power couple from prior novels. 

And while the writing was strong as always, it kind of annoyed me that Eve seemed to know who the killer was immediately just because of a "gut" feeling. Yes, she's been a cop long enough that she knows to trust herself, but damn. "She grieved too much, too hard, and for no reason" is not a valid excuse in my book. And while I don't necessarily have a problem with knowing who it is ahead of time, I do when it happens without a valid reason. 

Overall, for being book forty-nine this series is still going, although losing steam in areas. I will continue on with this series. 


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                             Vendetta in Death is available from Amazon.com

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Review: A December with a Duke (Seductive Scoundrels #3) by Collette Cameron


Print Length: 125 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (December 18, 2018)

From Goodreads.com:  He’s entirely the wrong sort of man. That’s what makes him so utterly right.

After a horrific marriage, widow Everleigh Chatterton is cynical and leery of men. She rarely ventures into society, and when she must, she barely speaks to them. As a favor to a friend, she reluctantly agrees to attend a Christmas house-party. Unfortunately, Griffin, Duke of Sheffield is also in attendance. Even though Everleigh has previously snubbed him, she can’t deny her attraction to the confident, darkly handsome duke.

For almost a year, Griffin has searched for the perfect duchess to help care for the orphan he’s taken on. He sets his sights on the exquisite, but unapproachable Everleigh Chatterton after her sweet interactions with the child impress him. He is convinced he can thaw her icy exterior and free the warm, passionate woman lurking behind the arctic facade. Only, as Griffin pursues her, it’s his heart that’s transformed.

Can Everleigh learn to trust and love again? Will Griffin get his Christmas wish and make her his bride? Or, has he underestimated her wounds and fears and be forced to let her go?


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was the perfect way to spend a rainy day.

I enjoyed watching Griffin slowly gain Everleigh's trust and win her over. It was understandable why she would be leery of men, and especially marriage after what had happened to her. I also enjoyed the way he stood up for her, not only to his friends, but to her horrid shrew of a former daughter-in-law as well. The addition of his adopted ward Sarah was an unexpected delight as well. Usually in novels such as this, children seem more like pawns than anything else, but thankfully that was not the case here. There was genuine affection between Griffin and the little girl, even if I don't remember my three-year-olds speaking in full sentences that were easily understood.

I do wish this was a full-length novel instead of a novella so we could have gotten more of those sweet moments before the two, but even with its shorter length, it definitely didn't feel like a case of "insta-love" between these two. I do think, however, that if anything their one love scene seemed a bit rushed. 

Overall, this novella will be perfect for those who enjoy historical romances (with the added bonus of taking place at Christmastime). I would read more from this author! 

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                          A December with a Duke is available from Amazon.com

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Review: My Darling Duke (Sinful Wallflowers #1) by Stacy Reid


Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Entangled Amara (December 31, 2019)

From Goodreads.com:  Miss Katherine Danvers is a desperate wallflower. Her family is on the brink of financial ruin, and it is up her to save her mother and sisters from a life of indignities. So she transforms herself into the incomparable Kitty Danvers, the fiancée of the enigmatic and reclusive Alexander Masters, Duke of Thornton—once dubbed the mad, bad, and dangerous catch of the Season.

Ten years ago, society and the woman Alexander Masters loved called him a monster, after a tragic accident left him scarred and confined to a wheelchair. His heart exists in cold, lonely exile, until he learns he has a fiancée—a deceptive, clever, and utterly intriguing woman he's never met. Miss Danvers will now learn the consequences of engaging herself to the beast, for Alexander is determined to make her his. Soon, they are involved in a chase, a clash of wills, and though he once vowed to never love again, he burns for the enchanting Miss Danvers. And denying his heart may cost him an exquisite love that happens only once in a lifetime.


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I had a hard time connecting to these characters. Separately? I liked them. Katherine isn't your typical well-bred young miss. She has moxie and a certain imprudence that makes her stand out from the crowd. It was easy to see why Alexander was curious about her. And even easier to see why he was taken with her. 


It was also understandable why he stayed away from society, and why he was reluctant to allow Katherine to get close to him. After the horrors that he had endured, and the resulting pain and disfigurement, not to mention believing himself impotent, it was easy to understand. However, it was hard to root for a couple where the man is so hot and cold towards the female. 

There were times where to story felt stilted. It seemed like they covered the same ground again and again without ever having accomplished anything. They fall a little more in love with the other, he says or does something hurtful, or just plain backs off, she comes back for more. I feel with a little less angst, and a little more of the playful interactions between these two, it would have been a more enjoyable story. 

However, with this being the first in a new series, I will say that I enjoyed it, and the author's style enough that I would continue on to see what happens next.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                 My Darling Duke is available from Amazon.com

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Review: The Setup (A Bro Code Standalone) by Rachel Van Dyken


Print Length:  pages
Publisher: Van Dyken Enterprises INC (December 28, 2019)

From Goodreads.com:  The first day she was sitting by herself — I felt sorry for her. After all, it couldn't be easy wrangling all the testosterone at Wingman Inc as one of the only female office managers.

The second day she literally counted her carrots during break — she had seven by the way, right along with seven sips of her drink in between taking seven tiny little bites of the first carrot.

Now I'm not one to brag, or maybe I am, but math and science fascinate me, so do problems. And this woman screamed puzzle from the way she ducked her head every time anyone looked at her, to the way she counted food and tapped the table when she didn't think anyone was watching.

I'd like to think I took pity on her that day when, in fact, she was the one that took pity on me and asked if I needed a friend. She assumed I had a learning disability since I'd been staring so damn hard.

Things would have ended there, except, my bosses need someone to test the new Wingman App and since I was the only single guy on the floor — I was nominated, right along with the only single woman, the same one who thinks I need to use my fingers to count.

Apparently rumors of my sexcapades throughout college reached even her ears, because she wants nothing to do with me, which makes beta testing a bitch. I have thirty days to win her over and prove myself to my bosses.

One thing's for certain, I'm going to have to buy a hell of a lot of carrots.

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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This. This was the ending that I had hoped for. And while I wish the story had been longer so it didn't have that rushed feeling that novellas often do (especially where the romance aspect is concerned), there was enough tension in this one to make it not seem like "insta-love". 

I knew from the way Finn acted in the last book that he was going to be getting his comeuppance in this one, and boy did he. Not only is Jillian just the kind of feisty woman that he needs, but she is also probably the first woman in history to ever tell him no. It was fascinating watching these two characters interact with each other (even if there were times when I had trouble following their logic). The addition of the others from this series (and featuring the OG Wingmen Ian and Lex) were full of laugh out loud moments. The kind that speaks to true friendship and the desire to see your friends as happy as you are. 

ALSO -  GRANDMA NADINE. Need I say more? You know where she is involved hilarity is going to ensure - and I was not disappointed. 

My one gripe with this story is the way it ended. I have questions that I need answers to! I feel like an epilogue would have finished this series nicely, but the way the author did choose to end this one was cute all the same. I would read more from this author!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                    The Set Up is available from Amazon.com

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