Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Distracting the Duke by Elizabeth Keysian


Print Length:
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (February 20, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Devonshire, England, 1820

Determined to avoid the strife-filled marriage of his parents, Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe, wants an amenable, biddable wife, and has set his cap for a certain pretty miss. Unfortunately, her vastly opinionated, frustrating, and lamentably beautiful guardian, Lady Clara Tinniswood, keeps distracting him, tempting him to consider a far more tempestuous—and passionate—union. 

Recently widowed Lady Clara Tinniswood wants only to organize a quiet new life for herself, beyond the control of any man. But one shockingly unguarded moment while confronted by Marcus’s gloriously naked body catapults her headlong into a forbidden passion and threatens to undermine all her well-laid plans. 

Even if Marcus abandons his sweet ideal and surrenders to his growing desire for Clara, there's one unalterable issue which could destroy their hopes forever...


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was one of those stories that pulls you in from the very beginning. Filled with well developed and interesting characters, this is definitely worth a read! I absolutely loved the banter between Clara and Marcus, it kept things interesting, especially when they tried to ignore their obvious chemistry for so long. 

Clara was one of the more complex characters that I have read in awhile. It was obvious that her first husband was cruel to her, and betrayed her in one of the worst ways, yet she still was an active part in trying to secure a proper match for her ward. She still felt that there were good men out there despite what had been done to her, and was willing to settle for nothing less for Ellie. 

Marcus was a bit harder to like, although he did randomly give Clara and the rest of the family grand gestures, such as returning a statue that had been lost in a card game, little things that spoke more of his character than words alone could have done. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a well written historical romance. 

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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Distracting the Duke is available from Amazon.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: First Comes Desire by Tina Donahue


Print Length: 243 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (February 7, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: On a lush, secluded island, one passionate adventure leads to another….

Diana Fletcher means business. The beautiful, innocent, reverend’s daughter has traveled all the way to a tropical island off Madagascar on a mission: To find her brother—and to punish the man who drove him to a life of piracy. But when she comes face to face with the enemy in question, the handsome, powerfully seductive man is not at all what Diana expected…

Tristan Kent never intended to harm Diana’s brother. A man of humble origins, Tristan claims he tried to save him from another ruthless captain. Diana is desperate to believe he is telling the truth…and that the intoxicating desire that escalates between them is true as well. But can she trust him? Or is Tristan’s story—and his heart—nothing more than fool’s gold? Amid the haze of sensual delights and soaring ecstasy Tristan has in store for her, all will be revealed…
 


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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5
There was so much potential for this story that I'm actually quite sad at the way it turned out. A spurned ex-mistress hell bent on revenge? A ruthless band of pirates looking for the person who wronged them? Reunited siblings? Why with all of these wonderful story-lines did the author spend more time focusing on Tristan and Diana having sex repeatedly than exploring one of those? Especially when Diana has taken the time to go to such lengths to save her brother as she did. Shouldn't we have gotten to see their relationship blossom? 
Anyone that knows me knows that sex doesn't bother me. When it is used to progress the story-line. And unfortunately this time it did not. In fact, Diana lost much of what made her a strong character by willfully bending to his will. In fact, I felt she completely lost her character and what made her likable by doing whatever, and I do mean whatever, Tristan wanted. 

Even when the story came to a head, with all the intriguing story-lines merging into one, I felt that it still fell short. There didn't seem to be any real punishment for anyone, and except for a mention or two here and there, the man who funded Diana's whole excursion, a man she promised herself to, isn't involved. I find it extremely hard to believe he wouldn't be out there searching, or at the very least have people out looking for her. 

Overall, I am sure this story may still appeal to those who enjoy a lot of steamy sexual scenes, however it just was not for me. 

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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                                 First Comes Desire 
is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: She's Far From Hollywood by Jo McNally


Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Super Romance (February 1, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: She's a former beauty queen, former reality TV star and the former wife of a former Sexiest Man Alive. And now Bree Mathews has been forced into hiding on this godforsaken farm in the middle of Nowhere, North Carolina...all because some deranged stalker wants her dead. That grumpy farmer next door isn't enough to chase her back to Malibu, even with his dark and scary PTSD episodes from his army days and his lack of respect for all things Hollywood. Always up to a challenge, she sets out to prove to Cole "Plowboy" Caldwell that you can never judge a celebrity on the lam by her cover!
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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This story would have been a five star read if there had been more about her stalker. If he had gotten close, or sent her threatening messages to her hide-out. Instead, as far as the stalker aspect goes, he was there in the background, and then he was caught. It was very anti-climatic in that respect. 

However the "slow burn" romance between Cole and Bree definitely made up for it! I loved they way they would fight at every turn, not only fighting with each other, but fighting the chemistry between them as well. I found both of these characters to be more complex than they seemed on the surface. The fact that Cole has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder isn't a new thing to stories, however I felt the author had a completely realistic take on it. Most people over look how even the simplest things (a thunderstorm for example) can affect a Veteran. I also enjoyed the way she gave Bree a backbone. This girl wasn't just a pretty face, she had a strong worth ethic, and refused to back down from a challenge. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy slow burn romance novels with complex characters. 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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                         She's Far From Hollywood 
is available from Amazon.com

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: Lying Blind: A Nan Vining Mystery #6 by Dianne Emley


Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Alibi (January 31, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: In a breathtaking infinity pool on a sprawling Pasadena estate, the naked body of a beautiful young woman floats facedown in a drift of rose petals blowing on the breeze. Police sergeant Jim Kissick responds instantly, pulling the dead victim from the water. When his longtime girlfriend, Detective Nan Vining, arrives on-scene, she’s full of questions, and not just about the Jane Doe. Why did the homeowner text Jim instead of calling 911? Jim’s explanation—that he’s simply an old friend of Teddy and Rebecca Sexton’s—doesn’t sit well with Nan. A survivor of a bizarre murder attempt herself, Nan’s instincts for deception are acute. She senses that they’re all hiding something—including Jim, which plunges a wedge deep into their once steadfast relationship.

Then a drought-ravaged lake in a bucolic Central California town reveals a grisly secret. Soon two local detectives arrive in Pasadena to interview Jim and his wealthy friends about a mysterious death from years back, and Nan realizes she has good reasons for her suspicions. Jim’s always been her rock, but suddenly he’s become a stranger. And once Nan identifies her Jane Doe, events careen out of control as darkness from the past threatens to consume the life that Nan has worked so hard to rebuild.


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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Let me begin my saying that although this is book number six in a series, you do not need to have read the previous books in order for this story to make sense. Yes, there are certain events from prior books mentioned, but that does not take away from the reader's ability to enjoy this story as a stand-alone.

Wow. What another phenomenal installment to this series! Every time I read one of her stories, I feel like it couldn't possibly be better than the last, and some how she manages to do just that. One of the great things about her stories is that they move at a steady pace, there are no little details thrown in that aren't needed to tie everything together. And her characters grow as each story continues (although in the case of this one, maybe not in a way long-time readers would prefer). 

I loved the way that the author was able to tie in a present day murder with a twenty-year old missing person's case. There were so many threads that interconnected everyone and everything to events of the past, and it was interesting to see how the author managed to tie them all together. There were many twists and surprises in this novel that kept me guessing right up until the shocking ending! 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy crime and thriller novels. 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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                                 Lying Blind 
is available from Amazon.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: A Lady’s Choice by Donna Lea Simpson


Print Length: 195 pages
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing (December 15, 2016)

From Goodreads.com:  For as long as she or anyone else can remember, the beautiful but cold Rachel Neville has always adhered strictly to society’s rules, and she is now reaping the rewards with an offer of marriage from an eminently suitable fiancĂ©. Yet despite the secure future that lies ahead, Rachel is suddenly questioning her acquiescence to the strictures of the ton—and her future husband. Stranger still, she is preoccupied with thoughts of Colin Varens, a wholly unsuitable man whose proposals she has rejected several times. 

Colin can’t remember a time when his heartfelt declarations for Rachel weren’t being rebuffed, but the rough-and-tumble country gentleman has finally come to terms with the rejection—and Rachel’s betrothal—and has made peace with her as friends. But as he and Rachel spend more time together, he finds her once-haughty manner thawing into the warmth and vivaciousness that attracted him so many years ago, just as he is finding a growing strength and confidence of his own. 


As Rachel finds comfort in Colin’s strong embraces and the unfamiliar emotions simmering within, Colin must struggle with feelings he thought stifled once and for all and admit the hope he still carries in his heart. And as Rachel’s marriage draws near and both of them confront the reality of a life without the other, they will discover that the habits of a lifetime are not carved in stone, because a lady’s change of heart can change everything. 


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Although this novel comes as part of a series, you do not need to have read the others (I didn't) in order for this story to make sense. 


I very much enjoyed watching Rachel's transformation unfold. From almost the beginning, I found fault with her fiance. I mean who invites their mother on their wedding trip? Who presents their fiance with a portrait of themselves and their mother as a gift? 

For a time, I was worried that this was going to turn into one of those stories where the lady ends up regretting her choice of husband, and takes a lover. Thankfully, that was not the case. Rachel very much came into her own in this novel, figuring out that what society thinks of a person is worth much less than what their heart wants. 

I also adored Colin's sister Andromeda (although I wish she would have gotten her own story to adequately explore her own love story), however, I felt her dedication to her brother admirable. The boxing aspect was something I hadn't experienced before, so it was interesting to me to have a character that engaged in such sport.


Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy historical romance novels. 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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                                 A Lady's Choice 
is available from Amazon.com

Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Wicked in His Arms (Wedded by Scandal #2) by Stacy Reid


Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Entangled (January 23, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Tobias Walcott, the Earl of Blade, has learned it is best to exercise rigid control over his passions and emotions in all that he does. Uncaring that it makes him seem cool and aloof to most in the ton, he is content with his desire to only woo agreeable and demur females. Then unforeseen circumstances see him trapped in a closet at a house party with the last woman he would ever make his countess.

Lady Olivia Sherwood is everything he should not desire in a female—unconventional, too decisive, and utterly without decorum. But passion ignites between them and they are discovered. Honor demands they wed, and while Tobias finds himself unwillingly drawn to the bewitching beauty, he must do everything not to tempt the passion that burns in him for her, lest it leads to disastrous consequences.


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Oh my what a delightful read this was! I enjoyed this story on so many levels, it is hard to figure out where to begin! 

The characters were strong, each set in their respective ways and completely unsuitable for one another. In fact, the banter between the two of them was easily my favorite part. I enjoyed watching them bicker just as much as I enjoyed watching them found in a compromosing way and the marriage that resulted. I also enjoyed the way that these characters grew as the story unfolded. Instead of just finding a way to "make the best of things', they found a way to grow together, with Tobias starting to care less and less about the opinion of the ton, and Olivia curbing some of her more outlandish behaviors, while still mainting the fire that made her such a likable character to begin with. 

The author has an easy flowing writing style that makes the story easy to follow while also providing just enough details to allow the reader to picture the story as they read. And although this is billed as the second story in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. 
Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a good historical romance 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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                                Wicked in His Arms 
is available from Amazon.com

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Review: The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite #4) by Robert Dugoni


Print Length: 378 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (January 21, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.


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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Let me begin my saying that although this is book number four in the series, you do not need to have read the previous books in order for this story to make sense. Each of the novels in this series can be read as stand alone stories.

Wow. What another incredible installment to this series!  One of my favorite things about this series (and this author) is the way that each installment is so completely different from the last that it always comes across as fresh and unique. No two murders are ever the same in real life, and this author has manged to convey that here. 

Speaking strictly of this story, I feel as thought it moved at a steady pace. There was a lot of information for the detectives to work through, some threads that weren't what they appeared to be, all culminating in one of the best and most surprise endings that I have read in a long time! I also enjoyed the way that the long time characters of these stories have grown from the first story to now. The author manages to give them the personal touch that make the stories more realistic. I also really enjoyed the parts of the story that were written in the point of view of Andrea Strickland. It was easy to sympathize with her, and it brought her story to center stage - what happened to her? 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy crime and thriller novels. 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 Trapped Girl 
is available from Amazon.com