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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Review: Scandal with a Sinful Scot (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #2) by Karyn Gerrard


Print Length: 230 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 5, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: “You must lock away your heart at all costs.”

Falling in love was the darkest moment of Garrett Wollstonecraft’s privileged youth, even as he and Abigail Hughes shared a blissful summer of passionate promise. Sworn to keep Abigail safe from the curse plaguing generations of Wollstonecraft men, Garrett sacrificed his future happiness. Now, fourteen years after he lost his heart, Abigail reenters his life. But the woman who arrives unannounced at his ancestral manor is very different from the sheltered girl Garrett once knew.

The widow of a country doctor, Abigail can’t forgive Garrett for his cruel rejection. Yet she can no longer keep the truth from him—a secret that could have resulted in her ruin. But as the embers of desire reignite, and Abigail and Garrett slowly rebuild trust, a malicious enemy plots against them. Is their love strong enough to break free from the sins of the past—and to end the tragic cycle that consigns Garrett to a life of loneliness?



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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

The premise of this story was so interesting that I couldn't wait to jump right in. I was expecting a second-chance love story between two people who find their way back to one another after over a decade of being apart. What I got was two people so immature that it was hard to believe they were supposed to be in their thirties. I get it. Really I do. You loved him, and he broke your heart and cast you aside. You loved her, and she didn't tell you the secret she carried. Mistakes were made on both sides, and harsh words spoken. I do NOT need to be reminded of this every other sentence. Seriously. They agree to leave the past in the past, they agree they harbor scars from what was said and done, and they agree to move forward slowly. And the very next second they are at each others throats once again for the words and actions taken fourteen years ago. It got tiring quickly. 

In fact, it was so tiring there were times I nearly gave up on reading. It got to the point where I didn't care if they got their happily-ever-after, nor did I really care the outcome of any of the other sub-plots. When I finished, there was just  great sense of relief. It was over. I can move on. 

However, when I look at this entire story as a whole, I am certain it may still appeal to readers of the first novel (especially if they are fans of this author) as well as others who don't mind a constant rehashing of the past. I would probably give this author 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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                      Scandal with a Sinful Scot is available from Amazon.com

Friday, June 22, 2018

Review: Autumn of Fear (Fearless series) by Glede Browne Kabongo


Print Length: 391 pages
Publisher: Brownestar Publishing (March 27, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: An ambitious girl with a promising future, a charming manipulator with a diabolical secret—the truth will destroy them both 

When college student Abbie Cooper wakes up in a hospital bed barely alive after a violent assault, her world comes crashing down. She has no memory of the attack or her assailant, and no idea how she ended up in the Emergency Room. 

As she grapples with the horrific aftermath, Abbie is determined to uncover the truth about what happened that night. But to catch a monster, she must piece together the events in the weeks leading up to the assault. Why did charming senior Spencer Rossdale take a sudden interest in her, and why did her quiet study group partner Justin Tate want to meet with her alone? 

The deeper Abbie digs into the events leading up to that fateful night, the more she unravels a stunning web of lies that stretch back decades. Revealing them will change everything but the truth is the least of Abbie’s problems. A vicious predator is watching her, and he’s willing to kill to protect his secret. 


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let me begin by saying that this is the first time I have read anything by this author, so you do not need to have read the first book in her Fearless series to enjoy this one. While there are references made to things that happened to Abbie prior, it doesn't take anything away from this story. 

At first, I was a little leery of the set up of this story. There is a bit of back and forth between "before" the attack and "after", and it occasionally became confusing. However, once this story begins to get moving, it takes off - fast. There were so many occasions where I thought I knew who was behind the attack, or I had figured out some other part of the plot only to be (pleasantly) surprised when the author suddenly went in a different direction entirely. 

If you enjoy well written and engaging psychological thrillers, then I am sure you will enjoy this story as well! I would read more from this author (and in fact have already added the first book to my to-be-read pile). 

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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                                Autumn of Fear is available from Amazon.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review: Perfect Dead (DI Frank Farrell #2) by Jackie Baldwin



Print Length: 
Publisher: Killer Reads (June 15, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Sometimes perfection is worth killing for…
The second gripping crime novel in an exciting new series. Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell finds himself on the trail of a vicious killer in rural Scotland. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.
Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.
Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?
The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.
And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…
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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is the first book in this series that I have read - but it will certainly not be the last! I found this novel to be extremely well executed (and very thought out in even the smallest of details). To be honest, I was a little concerned that with so many seemingly connected threads that there would be too much happening at once making it easy to get lost. However, with the way this was laid out it was easy to keep track not only of all the players and their parts in this, but also in what was going on and how it connected to the next thread. 

Each character in Perfect Dead is unique and integral to the overall plot. DI Frank Farrell is one of the more interesting characters I've read in awhile. Obviously, I don't know the details from the first story (a fact I am hoping to remedy soon), but the fact that he was at one time a Catholic Priest speaks volumes. I loved his inner turmoil between his past, his present and where he wanted to go in the future. However, as I mentioned, he was merely one of many. 

I found the plot of this novel to move along a a steady pace, but the details were added in such a way that it was easy to become lost within this world, working alongside these people as they diligently tried to solve these crimes. In fact, there were a few times where I did not expect the twists and outcomes that happened. 

I do believe this is a solid police/thriller/whodunit novel that will appeal to fans of all those genres.

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 Dead is available from Amazon.com

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Only Seduction Will Do (House of Pleasure #4) by Jenna Jaxon


Print Length: 257 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (June 5, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: In a vulnerable moment, Alethea Forsythe allows herself to be seduced by a married peer. Now she is with child—and without recourse. Her reputation will soon be in tatters and she will be forced to wed a stranger—unless she takes matters into her own hands.

When Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, is summoned from the House of Pleasure on a matter of importance, he hardly expects to receive a marriage proposal. He’s long been aware of Alethea’s infatuation with him, but at twenty-three, taking on an expectant bride is not in his plans. Yet the desperation in the lady’s lovely eyes overrides his misgivings.

Alethea would not have believed it possible for a man to be too chivalrous. But though her new husband is perfectly amicable in public, he insists they maintain separate quarters. Desperate to possess his heart and prove herself a wife in every way, she boldly reaches out to Jack. And as their unexpected connection between silken sheets is tested by jealousy and misfortune, Jack must decide where honor ends…and true passion begins.

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This book is a clever conundrum. 

On one hand, the author has a strong writing style, and she is able to create complex characters and backgrounds. 

On the other (from what I've read of her thus far), her story-lines are a lot alike. To begin, this story made reference to characters and events that happened in the prior novel, which if unlike me you haven't read may seem a bit confusing at first.  However, if you have read the prior novel you will notice not only is much of the "opening drama" the same story already played out, although admittedly from a different point of view, this story is much the same as well. Characters have a problem. Characters get married to "solve" said problem, a lot of drama ensues that could have been avoided if they characters were open and honest with each other from the start, etc. There is also one major plot at play here, that while I cannot divulge it without giving away a major spoiler, it is nearly identical to a plot line that took place in book number three. To me, that seemed to be the author taking the "easy" way out which is a shame as otherwise this is a decent story. 

However, when I look at this entire story as a whole, I am certain it may still appeal to readers of the first novels (especially if they are fans of this author), but I believe this may also appeal to those who like a more "modern" twist on historical romances.

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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                              Only Seduction Will Do is available from Amazon.com


Friday, June 15, 2018

Review: The Earl, the Vow, and the Plain Jane (The Lords of Eton Book 2) by Cheryl Bolen


Print Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Harper & Appleton (June 12, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Bereft of beauty as well as fortune, the exceedingly plain Miss Jane Featherstone has failed to attract any suitor during her three Seasons. Rather than be a burden to her brother and his obnoxious wife, Miss Featherstone vows to accept the first man who asks—even though she's always worshiped a lord who's far above her touch. 

Lord Slade must marry an heiress in order to honor the deathbed vow he made to his father, and he needs Miss Featherstone's help in wooing her beautiful cousin. After her initial anger, Miss Featherstone agrees to his scheme, telling him she's doing so because she admires his Parliamentary record of humanitarian legislation and his reverence for truth. But the more he's with the two cousins, the more attracted he becomes to Miss Featherstone. What's a man of his word to do? Break a vow to a beloved father—or follow his heart with Miss Featherstone?
 


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

First off all, I feel obliged to point out (as I did not see anything in the description regarding this), but this story is an edited (and slightly expanded upon) version of her original short story; His Lordship's Vow.

Now, I had previously read His Lordship's Vow and had expressed in my review then how I wished the story had been longer, so when I saw this one and noticed it was approximately 113 pages longer, I was eager to give it a re-read! 

Unfortunately, it didn't seem like anything had changed. There was still no romantic buildup between the two leads even though it seemed everyone else thought they would be perfect for one another. In fact the entire "romance" between them seemed entirely too rushed, and the "solution" presented one that was so obvious it defies logic that someone as intelligent as Slade was didn't see it well before the last five minutes of the book.

Don't get me wrong, I adored these characters (as well as Slade's brother and Lady Sarah), but I don't feel this book did them justice. There was just as much attention paid to Lord Alex and his campaign than there was any sort of romance. 

I am sure there will be many other people who will enjoy this one more than I did. I have read other works by this author and enjoyed them, so I will continue to read more from them!

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, the Vow, and the Plain Jane is available from Amazon.com


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review: Wargasm (Payne Brothers #3) by Sosie Frost


Print Length: 
Publisher:  (May 28, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Marius Payne is the kind of soldier who makes me go commando.

He’s the only man I’ve let invade my foxhole, but now he’s occupying my heart.

And that’s when he drops a bombshell.

Marius is arrogant. He’s broody. And he’s wounded in more ways than one. The only way he can secure a cushy job in DC is if he softens his image and transforms from a rogue Navy SEAL into a family man.

So, of course, I agree to have his baby.

Make love, not war.

Then make war.



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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This is the first novel by this author I have read, so I can speak from experience that you do not have to read the other novels in this series to enjoy this one. 

And don't get me wrong, there is something to be enjoyed about this novel. To be frank, I think they did a phenomenal job with the inner demons faced by a lot of military members when they come home from war. 

The rest of this... this whatever it was? Hahahahah NO. 

I thought I was getting a story where two friends agree to have a child. What I got? Was two people we were literal STRANGERS who if they only had better communication would not have found themselves in the predicament they were in. And still this may have been salvageable, if the approach had been better. I feel like for strangers, there should have been a more rational discussion before he just takes her virginity and spends the rest of the book banging her every chance he gets in an attempt to get her pregnant. 

The final complaints are the constant instances where the wrong words are used (although, I am hoping this will be resolved before the final print), and the overuse of the word tummy. Yes, I will fully admit that the last part is a personal pet peeve of mind, but when you read passages like "I am going to put a baby in your tummy" and "the alcohol choose that moment to swirl in my tummy" it makes it hard to stay invested. These are adults. They should be speaking like it.

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. I do not believe I will continue on with the other stories in 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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                                      Wargasm is available from Amazon.com

Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: Wagering for Miss Blake (Lords and Ladies in Love #4) by Callie Hutton


Print Length: 
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (June 11, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: Mr. Giles Templeton, third son of the Earl of Wexford, is a rake of the highest order and a confirmed bachelor. Yet, marriage-minded-mamas continue to drag their daughters to his attention. He's everything a young lady of the ton could want—handsome, wealthy, charming, and kind. For Miss Suzanna Blake, though, Giles is missing the one thing her parents require in a potential son-in-law—a title. 
 
Giles has a golden touch—investments, horses, connections but when he falls…hard for Suzanna, she turns him away, despite the passion sparking between them. At wit’s end, Giles wagers her that not only will she marry him but he’ll make her fall in love with him. If Suzanna wins, she gains a sizable fortune for her favorite charity but she faces a loveless marriage to a titled man. Though her heart yearns for a true love-match with Giles, she has never gone against her parent’s wishes. All bets are off when happiness lies in losing a wager.
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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is both the third book in the series that I have read (I missed book #2), as well as the third book I have ever read from this author. And in keeping with the theme of three, I'm starting to think that when it comes to this author three is the highest I will be able to rate her work. 

And its actually very disappointing as I believe this author has more potential that I have seen thus far. She has a solid writing style, and often intriguing story-lines. The problem is it because repetitive to the point of tediousness.  Giles takes one look at Suzanna and decides she is the woman he is going to marry. Despite her telling him she will only marry a gentleman with a title, despite her best efforts to actively AVOID him, he continues to pursue her. Now Suzanna really isn't as shallow as all that, in fact it is her mother that wants her to marry into a title, but for all she supposedly loves Giles, she is unwilling and unable to stand up to her mother and argue for her love. 

This is another one of those unfortunate cases where our Hero and herione seem stuck in a perpetual loop. They keep repeating the same thing over and over and .. well you get the idea. Just once I would like to see this author break away from this (as it is something I have noticed in all the books I have read), and take more time to explore these characters. Who they are is important, but so is who they will become. And while watching these two "court" each other (although that's not really the word I would use), was fun, I would have like to have seen more of Giles and his family winning over Suzanna's family (her mother especially). I would have like to have seen her aunt stand up for her, and heaven help me, I would have loved to have seen more of their married life than just the honeymoon.

But that is just me, and I'm sure that on the whole this story will appeal to a lot of those who enjoy historical romance novels. 

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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                          Wagering for Miss Blake is available from Amazon.com