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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Review: The Governess's Convenient Marriage by Amanda McCabe


Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (December 1, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: A lady turned governess…

A life-changing proposal!

When Lady Alexandra Mannerly last saw Malcolm Gordston, he was a poor crofter’s son—someone a sheltered duke’s daughter would never be allowed to marry. But scandal has rocked her arrogant family, and Alex now leads a quiet life as a governess in Paris—where she meets Malcolm again! Now he’s a wealthy, powerful department store owner…and determined to make her his bride!


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This book had some interesting characters, and a strong writing style, however it just didn't come together for me. I wish we would have seen Alexandra's parents moment of disgrace rather than hearing about it after the fact. I wish the author would have gone into more detail about why her father suddenly reappeared after she was settled and began pushing her to marry. It seemed like he had a pressing need in mind that was never brought to light. I understand parents wanting their children settled, but this seemed like he needed money. But once Alex married Malcolm, her dad was never seen or heard from again. There were a few other variations on story-lines that I didn't feel were completely developed and for me, that took away from the overall appeal of this story. 

However, I did enjoy these two characters together. The chemistry between them was believable and it was delightful watching them navigate the waters together. For two people who should have been worlds apart, they were remarkably alike in some ways. 

Overall, I do think this book will appeal to fans of historical romance novels as well as a sort of rags to riches type novel. 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 Governess's Convenient Marriage is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sneak Peek! The Duke That I Marry (Spinster Heiresses #3) by Cathy Maxwell



Title:The Duke That I Marry
Author: Cathy Maxwell
Genre: Historical Romance
Event organized byPure Textuality

Book Description: Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as "the Spinster Heiresses"...

Is it wrong for a woman to want more?


Not if she is a Spinster Heiress. They do not settle. Any young miss would be very lucky to find herself promised to a man like the Duke of Camberly. However, Miss Willa Reverly has watched her friends marry for love. Camberly may be the prize of the season, but she will not be "sold" to any man. She wants his devotion or she wants nothing at all.

When is a Marriage of Convenience inconvenient?

Newly named to the ducal title, Matthew Addison is determined to discover the secrets behind Mayfield, the bankrupt estate he has inherited. He doesn't have time to coddle a headstrong heiress who is determined to ditch him over something as silly as "love." Little does he know that his questions will place her in jeopardy. Now he must do what he must to save them both.

Could it be that in running from danger they might be racing headlong into a truly unexpected fate: falling in love?



Book Excerpt: Her arms came around his neck. She stood on her toes. He picked her up and carried
her to the bed. His fingers began working her lacings. Her hands slid inside his jacket, pushing it down over his shoulders.

Dear God, he wanted this. He’d had her warmth beside him in bed but it had taken all his willpower to give her the time she needed to heal.

Matt lowered his arms, and his jacket slid to the floor. He pulled Willa down onto the bed beside him. He kissed her chin, her cheek, her nose, and her sweet ears before finding her mouth again. She laughed as if it tickled, and the sound made his heart grow fuller, the beat stronger.

She loved him.

He’d always thought true love was full of drama and turmoil. It wasn’t. Love was the sense that he was right where he was supposed to be. That at last, he’d found his home.

You can purchase this book from AmazoniBooks, or many other online stores



GIVEAWAY! 

To celebrate the release of THE DUKE THAT I MARRY by Cathy Maxwell, we’re giving away one paperback copy of If ever I Should Love You!

ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN HERE


GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of If Ever I Should Love You by Cathy Maxwell. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 10/10/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.





About the Author: CATHY MAXWELL spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness.

You can learn more about this author by visiting: Her WebsiteTwitter, or Facebook







Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review: Boundless (The Shaws #3) by Lynne Connolly


Print Length: 235 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (December 4, 2018)

From Goodreads.com:  She’s the unlikely wallflower of the extraordinary Shaw family.  A woman who will never marry, but not for the reasons you might think . . . 
  
Attacked on the streets of London, Lady Livia Shaw is relieved when a gentleman comes to her aid—and startled to discover her rescuer is Adrian, the Duke of Preston, a notorious rogue. But their association—and instant attraction—does not end there, much to the Shaws’ distress. For Livia was robbed of a memento—one that is both her most precious possession and a reminder of a shameful secret. It is a secret she knows will cause her to lose Adrian forever, yet he is determined to track down the thief . . .
 
Adrian never wanted to be anyone’s hero, but now he’s finding the prospect as pleasing as he does Livia’s company, and her beauty. Certainly he wants her in his bed, but what surprises him is how much she comes to mean to him. Which is why the revelation of her scandalous past is nearly his undoing. Arrogantly, he had assumed only he had the power to shock. But it is too late to turn back, and now Adrian may have to risk everything for Livia, even his heart . . .


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I always know that I'm in for a treat when I pick up a book from this author. Even though they are all set within the same family, each one is not only a stand alone, but a unique treat.

As always, I enjoyed the chemistry the author creates between her two main characters, and you can never go wrong when the entire Shaw clan gets together. The characters (even the minor ones), were engaging, well written and deeply complex. 

I do think this story was  little "busier" than than others what with all the secrets and surprise twists that were included. There were times when it almost felt like the author went a little "overboard" with them (just there were some I feel that could have been used in a different book that I have no doubt she is planning for the future). 

However, even with that I found myself unable to put this story down until the very end. I would definitely read more from this author, and I do believe this story will appeal to those who enjoy strong characters that are given seemingly impossible odds.

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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                             Boundless (The Shaws #3) is available from Amazon.com

Monday, December 3, 2018

Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor


Print Length: 356 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Press (November 27, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied… 

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Like the other novels in this series (of which I have admittedly only read one other), this novel is a complete stand alone. There are characters from prior novels mentioned as well as the mention of prior story-lines, however it is done in such a way that it is easy to understand. 

Understanding is one thing, but unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this story and remain invested in it. I liked Paul - I feel like he went above and beyond for Daphne, who at times, didn't seem like she deserved it. Sometimes it is NOT a good thing to be an "independent miss". I feel like so much of the chaos was of her own making that I felt it hard to connect with her (much less feel sorry for her). When they were together, I did believe in the chemistry between them, even if Daphne comes across a bit.. strong at some points. 

There were times during this story I had to back up and re-read, mainly because they seemed a tad over the top, or in some cases down right implausible for a story taking place during this time period. On the plus side, the author does have a strong writing style, and this story moves at a steady pace, so I know that will appeal to some readers. 

Overall, this will be one of those stories that people either love or like. I don't see too many people outright disliking it. 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 Good, the Bad, and the Duke is available from Amazon.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Review: Wish Upon a Duke (12 Dukes of Christmas #3) by Erica Ridley


Print Length: 159 pages
Publisher: WebMotion (November 20, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Rumor has it, charming adventurer Christopher Pringle is finally ready to settle down. He’s searching for a free-spirited bride to join him on his travels. But when the matchmaker he hires turns out to be the woman he had a public spat with the day before, nothing goes as planned!

Miss Gloria Godwin loves exploring the world… from the safety of a book. She detests her dashing client’s attempts to force her from her comfort zone. It should be easy to marry off the handsome heir to a dukedom. But the more she tries to match him to other women, the harder it gets to say goodbye…



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The third book in this series was unfortunately, another one of those stories that while enjoyable, did leave some things to be desired. 

As always, the characters that Ms. Ridley brings to life definitely stand out. I loved the interaction between them, even if the suitor falls for the matchmaker troupe is a little over-played. I was almost hoping for once he might actually fall in love with someone else (and was more than a little curious about what Christopher and Mademoiselle de Luc talked about). Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed their romance, but it did seem like up until the end Christopher was the one changing himself, and giving up his dreams for Gloria instead of them meeting in the middle. I am glad we got to see them in the future so to speak as I was wondering just how they would make their relationship work without compromise.

It was nice to revisit the town of Christmas as it was dubbed, although I'm actually rather surprised that when Christopher first encounters Gloria and her little group, no one lets him in on what is really taking place (it seems like it would have solved so many problems). I also didn't really understand what her former suitor had to do with the death of her father as they seemed drastically different. 

Overall, this was a fun and rather quick read. I believe it will appeal to those who enjoy historical romances (even if they have not read the prior books). 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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                                Wish Upon a Duke is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Review: Close by Fen Wilde


Print Length: 292 pages
Publisher: Kaleido Text Media (December 21, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Clara Black isn't looking for love. Working by day as a therapist and by night as an exotic dancer, her world is thrown into disarray by the gorgeous stranger who keeps showing up in unexpected places. 

Lucas Evans is everything she doesn’t trust: oozing sex appeal, with women scattered in his wake, she is determined to resist him. But she’s drawn toward him despite her guarded heart.


Caught up in a web of secrets and lies, their pasts and present collide in this gripping, sexy stand-alone about love, courage and opening your heart. 



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

One of the things that surprised me about this book was how deep into the human psyche this book seemed willing to dive. Each and every one of these characters was deeply flawed, each without their own reasoning and beliefs. After finding out the author is a mental health clinician, I now understand why she decided to pursue it to the levels that she did. This story certainly forces you to take a step back and reevaluate some of the people you may encounter on a regular basis. One line that really stands out to me from this story is told from Clara's point of view. She thinks,

How hard that is for some of us. To believe that we are worthy, just as we are. That our need's are just as valid as the next person's. And the opposite of that: the things that we'll do to feel lovable. The masks we'll wear to convince others, as well as ourselves.

It was moments such as that that were just so utterly raw and human that kept me reading. That exploration of the lengths and depths some people are willing to go to just to feel worthy. 

And then, for me at least, it just started coming unraveled. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that no matter how much back and forth there was between Clara and Lucas it always seemed to go the same way. One of them would say or do something to anger or upset the other. They would argue and one would walk away. A few days later one of them (usually Lucas) would come back. One or both would begin to apologize. They would have sex. And nothing would change. Sometimes after the sex a different problem would rear its head and send them running away from each other again. I'm sorry, but when you write a book as deep as this one, it deserves better. Even if the characters are using sex as a quick fix, there needs to be as much depth to their relationship with each other as there is their feelings towards themselves.

Then there was the side-story of Aaron. Which to me both helped and hurt this novel. When he was an unknown element, it added a layer of mystery. When his identity was revealed, there was some shock value to it. And then as we neared the end, it seemed the author regretted certain choices and did a complete 180 - leading to confusion and irritation on my part. I felt her story stood enough on its own merit as it was that it did not need that last minute "plot twist". 

Based on the four and five star reviews this book has gotten it is obvious that I am in the minority, and that's ok. Books aren't meant to be for everyone. I do think that those who enjoy a darker look at human emotion will enjoy this. And if this author comes across my feed again with a new book and the synopsis catches my eye, I would give her another chance.

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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                                      Close is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Review: The Earl and the Reluctant Lady (Lords of Vice #3) by Robyn DeHart


Print Length: 249 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (November 12, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Rakish playboy, Fletcher Banks, Earl of Wakefield has wanted Agnes Watkins since the first time he saw her. But her older brother is his direct supervisor and makes it very clear that Agnes is off limits. Fletcher does his best to forget her and instead focuses on his spying assignments that have him seducing women for needed information. 

But when Agnes corners him at a ball and proclaims she’s going to reform his scoundrel ways, Fletcher knows he can ignore her no longer. Initially he considers this an opportunity to rid himself of his fascination with her. But the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes that what he feels for her isn’t a passing infatuation, but real love. He uses her goal as an excuse to pursue her full throttle despite warning glances from her brother. But can he convince her that he’s mended his scandalous ways?



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

While this is the third novel in the series (and there are overlapping story-lines and characters), each book is written as a stand-alone to the point where you do not need to have read the others in order to enjoy this one. 

This is the kind of novel that I have come to expect from this author. The characters are engaging and complex (to a point), who have an obvious attraction to each other, but fight it to the point that it becomes tedious. 

I fell in love with Fletcher and Agnes (although god what a name) during their first exchange. I loved them even more when it came out that he saved one dance with her each year (on the anniversary of their first). 

What I didn't love? 

Fletcher's unwillingness to stand up to her brother for one thing. If he had felt that strongly about her for that long, he should have been willing to fight for her. Instead he seemed content to do anything but until he figured out that she had feelings for him as well. He claims the men in his life "hurt women", but we never see any real examples of this. Was it simply because they were unfaithful? We know his Grandfather was a horrid old man, but his father simply seems a man in mourning. 

Once again, we are reminded of Lady X and her threat against the Ladies group of which Agnes is a part of, but we still do not know who she is. Only time will tell I suppose. 

Overall, I believe this novel will appeal to those who enjoy well written historical novels and I would read more from this author (in fact I am looking forward to completing this series because I need to know how it all ends).  

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 Earl and the Reluctant Lady is available from Amazon.com