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Friday, October 19, 2018

Review: The Elusive Earl by Maddison Michaels


Print Length: 470 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing: Amara (August 27, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Brianna Penderley has a knack for getting into precarious situations, especially when it comes to her love for archaeology. In the heart of Naples, her terrible Italian has her accidentally becoming engaged to two men at the same time. Of course, Daniel Wolcott—the Earl of Thornton and the only man ever able to vex her—shows up to rescue her.

Daniel has spent the majority of his life exercising rigid control over his emotions, determined never to become the rake his father was. But when he goes to aid his mentor’s danger-prone niece once again, he finds himself struggling to control his attraction to a woman who is his complete opposite.

When their situation goes from bad to worse, Daniel and Brianna find themselves swept up into a perilous adventure, and they must work together to set things right. Now, if they can just avoid killing each other in the process.
 


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I have to admit, this one wasn't badly done, and will in all likelihood appeal to a lot of people who enjoy historical romances, however I found it very hard to get interested in (and stay interested in). 

The characters were strong when independent of one another, and there is no doubt that they had chemistry, but the constant back and forth between acting on that chemistry, then calling it a mistake, swearing it would never happen again, and then going back to sniping at each other killed the vibe for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good friemies to lovers story as much as the next person, but this boarded on tedious.  I also feel as though the ending seemed rushed considering the build up. From the way the story began, I expected more - even though as stated previously - I do think this book will be well received. 

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 Elusive Earl is available from Amazon.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Review: Who Cares if They Die by Wendy Dranfield


Print Length: 289 pages
Publisher: Ruby Fiction (September 25, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Did she jump or was she pushed? 

It starts with the hanging woman in the Maple Valley woods; the woman with no shoes, no car, and no name. On paper, it’s an obvious case of suicide – but to Officer Dean Matheson, something doesn’t add up. 

Then there are the other deaths, deaths that also look like suicides – but are they? The victims are all women living on the fringes of society, addicts, and criminals. Who will miss them? Does anyone really care if they die? 

Dean Matheson is making it his business to care, even if it means he becomes a target...


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This book was interesting to say the least. The author has a solid writing style (as well as a solid grip on small town life), and she certainly knows how to create complex characters. Even the fact that we as the reader know early on who is behind things (although we don't know why until later), was a refreshing change and something I enjoyed. To me, the why is just as important (if not more important) than the who. So on those aspects I very much enjoyed this story. 

Where it lost it for me was in some of the actions and reactions Dean had. I can understand his affair. What I can't understand is how he was so completely blind were Beth was concerned. Suddenly his earlier decision to try and make things work out with Linda were forgotten. Even though he senses something is off about Beth, he doesn't look too deeply into it. He's a cop for crying out loud, and yet he makes some seriously flawed choices. I can't go into everything without there being major spoilers, lets just say that there were times when he seriously should have known better. 

Overall, I will read more from this author (including more of this series as this is apparently book one in a new series featuring Dean and his dog - which surprised me. I would have expected it to be at least book 2) and I do believe this novel will appeal to those who enjoy a well written thriller.

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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                        Who Cares if They Die is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: The Marquess and the Maiden (Lords of Vice #2) by Robyn DeHart



Print Length: 231 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (September 10, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Harriet Wheatley is the mastermind behind the Ladies of Virtue's quest to rehabilitate the gentlemen of the ton. So when it comes to selecting her own target, she knows who to choose: Oliver Weeks, Marquess of Davenport—the most extravagant wastrel in all of London.

Known for his opulent lifestyle, Oliver isn't surprised by Harriet's confrontation. It's obvious Harriet longs for any way to take him down a notch. She says she'll help him find a bride, but he knows it's only because it gives her the excuse to chastise his indulgent ways. 

Oliver has good reason for his flagrant overspending, but Harriet will hear nothing of it. So he has no choice but to teach the lady a lesson, even if it means risking his heart to the hard-headed and fiery woman.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

While this story was for me - an OK read, I don't think the synopsis really personifies the story. Yes, elements of the synopsis do come into play - but its not what you think. In fact although Harriet does bring it up to "reform" him, nothing is ever really done. You see, Harriet and Oliver were supposed to be married six years prior (an arrangement between their mothers), yet he made it perfectly clear that he did not want her, nor would he ever. So years later, Harriet is trying to find him an acceptable wife, while he is trying to prove to her that he wants her as his wife. 

The romance between them was ok - it was obvious they desired each other, but I think Harriet's firm belief that he was merely trying to torment her went on so often it became boring. When they were fighting they were interesting. When he was trying to court her, they were boring. 

The real kicker for me is the fact that an entire sub-plot revolving around Lady X and the Women of Virtue was left utterly unresolved. I'm sure that was done in order to set up the next book in this series, but I am sure the cliff-hanger ending of this particular plot will upset some readers. 

Overall, I think people who enjoy historical romances will still enjoy it and 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 Marquess and the Maiden is available from Amazon.com

Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords #2) by Bronwen Evans



Print Length: 223 pages
Publisher: Loveswept (September 4, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.

Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Let me begin by saying that this book can be read as a stand alone if you have not already read Addicted to the Duke. And while Alex and Hestia do make an appearance in this story, there will be nothing lost by not having read it beforehand. 

There is much to be enjoyed by this story. Pen is a strong willed woman who knows what she wants (and more importantly what she doesn't want). The fact that Stephen had a genetic condition gave him a depth that isn't often seen in historical romances (usually its a war injury or a carriage accident, etc). 

What kept me from fully enjoying this story however is the fact that there were just some things that did not make sense. Stephen worked for the crown - he was one of the best at what he did - and yet Pen didn't think to entrust him with the entire story? Instead she allowed herself to be made to look like she had a part in it. I also feel like there were too many loose threads left hanging (take the magistrate for instance - why was his inquiry missing so much important information? How could they turn a blind eye to what was happening)?

However, on the whole I do believe this story will be well received by those who enjoy this author as well as those who enjoy stories where things are not always as they appear to be.

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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                            Drawn to the Marquess is available from Amazon.com

*9/kg fx

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review: Lies by T. M. Logan


Print Length: 
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 26, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?
When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she's supposed to be at work, he's intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe's young son has an asthma attack - and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that's when Joe receives the first message . . .
 

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My Rating: 1 star out of 5

The first chapter or so of this story started off with intense story-telling and an engaging story. And then.... it all fell apart. And rather quickly at that. To begin with, there is very little even likable about these characters. Ben comes across as a pompous jerk, Mel is just fake and unbelievable, and maybe, just maybe, if Joe actually put his brains to good use he would have figured things out a lot sooner. For Pete's sake the answer to one question was literally glaring him in the face and it took him until the end of the story to put two and two together. For someone who was supposedly a teacher, it was easy to see why (as Mel pointed out), he hadn't been promoted. 

There were certain parts of this story that showed potential, but they were often quickly overshadowed by other elements that just seemed completely unfeasible. I am all for suspending reality to an extent - after all isn't that what fiction is all about? But even the police force in this story seemed more bumbling than actually efficient. 

The ending I'm sure will not come as a surprise to anyone that reads this story and actually follows the clues. However, I'm sure their eyes will get a good work out from all the rolling they will likely do - if they even make it this far. Also, let me point out that for two people who were so intelligent and tech savvy as these two were purported to be, the fact that they didn't notice things going on with their own electronics (and that of those around them) was just too far-fetched. 

I do believe there are people who will enjoy this novel (as evidenced by the 4 and 5 star reviews it has already accumulated), however this one was just 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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                                      Lies is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review: Perfect Silence (D.I. Callanach #4) by Helen Sarah Fields



Print Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Avon (August 23, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: When silence falls, who will hear their screams?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. And when a macabre ragdoll is found nestled beside an abandoned baby, DI Luc Callanch learns the killer’s horrifying game plan – cutting out dolls from the flesh of his victims.

When a series of drug-users are brutally branded with the letter Z slashed into their foreheads, Luc and his partner Ava must risk both their jobs and their lives to unearth the truth. Is this the merciless work of the same assailant?

As the killer’s twisted games persist, Luc knows it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Let me begin by saying that I have NOT read the prior three novels in this series. And while I had no trouble following this one, I do feel as though I missed out on some key points from the prior novels in terms of character development and relationships. 

This is one of those novels that I feel sticks very close to actual police work. There is a lot of butt kissing (especially to those in charge), a lot of late nights, and a lot of boring details in between the good stuff. And while this story was engaging enough that I often had trouble putting it down, I do believe there are ways that would have been able to cut out the useless parts and still keep the story intact. There were just enough loose ends character wise that I want to know what comes next! Although I am slightly unhappy at the way certain things ended (without giving full closure), I feel like this author set up the next book(s) in the series rather well. The religious aspect to the dolls was something I also something that I had not seen before, and I am wondering if the missing aspects of this story will somehow tie into the next.

Overall, I feel that the way the author delivered this story is sure to appeal to those who enjoy thriller novels and police procedural fiction novels. I would definitely read more from this author (and from this series)!

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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                                Perfect Silence is available from Amazon.com

Monday, September 3, 2018

Review: Lord of Vice (Rogues to Riches #6) by Erica Ridley


Print Length: 243 pages
Publisher: Webmotion (August 31, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Appearances can be deceiving… 

Vice merchant Maxwell Gideon is wickedly handsome, sinfully arrogant, and devilishly ruthless. Rumor has it, his gaming hell has the power to steal souls and grant miracles. Truth is, Max only owns half of The Cloven Hoof. He’d buy out his silent partner if he knew the man’s identity. But it’s hard to focus on business matters when a fallen angel tumbles right into one’s lap… 

Miss Bryony Grenville has a well-earned reputation as an unrepentant hoyden. But even the gossipiest of the pinch-faced matrons ruling High Society could never imagine the daughter of a baronet secretly financing the ton’s most infamous gambling parlor. Its maddening, sexy proprietor doesn’t suspect a thing… and two can play at temptation! 


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

What an absolutely perfect end to this series! I have read each of the novels in this series (although, don't be mislead, you do NOT have to have done so yourself in order to understand and enjoy this one), and they never fail to disappoint! 

Max and Bryony were evenly matched both in their stubbornness and in their feelings for each other (and about society as a whole). I loved the way these two verbally sparred with each other, and watching their bemusement turn into affection was truly a joy to watch. I also very much enjoy the way the author doesn't hold back from the realities of the time, they were very unevenly matched in terms of how society viewed them, and there was no shortage of people waiting to point this out. However, despite the odds being stacked against them, they still found a way to make things work. 

There were a couple times where I did worry about their reaching a happily ever after due to the stubborn nature these two possessed. And while I understand a lot of their reasoning for what and why they did things (or why and how they reacted to other things), and while there were times I wanted to smack them both, I'm glad the author kept them true to themselves. 

I do wish her mother hadn't been such a dragon, but again, its understandable why. The thing I am most sadden by is the fact that I do believe this is the last book in this particular series, and I have enjoyed getting to know all of these characters and getting to spend time in their world. I look forward to what is coming from this author 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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                               Lord of Vice is available from Amazon.com