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★5 Star Review ★ Finding Miss McFarland by Vivienne Lorret ★


August 26, 2014

Note to readers, Samantha, the reviewer of this book, rarely if ever gives 5 star reviews. I looked back, and I can’t see that sees given any and barely gives even 4 1/2 stars. This is truly a first. Which means of course I’m going to have to go out and buy this one myself. ;)

findingmissmcfarland

Delaney McFarland is on the hunt for a husband—preferably one who needs her embarrassingly large dowry more than a dutiful wife. After the unspeakable incident at her debut, Delaney knows marrying for love is off the table, but a marriage of
convenience—one that leaves her free to live the life she chooses—is the next best thing, never mind what that arrogant, devilishly handsome Mr. Croft thinks. Delaney plans to marry for money … or not at all.

Ever since the fiery redhead burst into his life—in a most memorable way—Griffin Croft hasn’t been able to get Miss McFarland out of his mind. Now, with the maddening woman determined to hand over her fortune to a rake, Griffin knows he must step in. He must help her. He must not kiss her. But when Griffin’s noble intentions flee in a moment of unexpected passion, his true course becomes clear: tame Delaney’s wild heart and save her from a fate worse than death … a life without love.

Other books in the series:

daringmissdanvers  winningmisswakefield

 

reviews

 

Ms. Lorret delivers the ultimate cat and mouse fairy tale. So I’m a lover of all romances. I can take them all! From historical, suspense, contemporary, etc. I haven’t read a good solid historical romance in a long time and Finding Miss McFarland wt my appetite. I have never heard of Ms. Lorret so I didn’t have any expectations. I went in blind and found gold! I loved every single thing in this book.

There is nothing graceful about Delaney McFarland. She is stubborn and headstrong. She knows the life she wants to live and having a husband solely for love would only interfere with her plans (Crazy!). Her family has other plans for her though. Her father is determined to marry her off. On the night of her debut into the season, a disastrous “incident” occurs, leaving Delaney’s reputation in scandal.

The incident caused Griffin Croft to be associated with the outspoken Miss McFarland. Delaney avoids Griffin at all cost. She doesn’t want her name speared across the Post. Delaney can’t escape the unavoidable and she finds herself in the path of Griffin on more than one occasion.

Griffin is feeling the pressure from his family to have an heir. He wants a woman that can render him speechless. A woman that he can’t get out of his system. Delaney is not the woman or so he thinks but when they are together strange things happen and he finds himself amused by her. She is not the woman she appears to be. Once he realizes that she is trying to dodge him, he sets out on the hunt. Let the games begin!

The banter between Delaney and Griffin is witty and charming. The two have the most amazing chemistry though they are both in denial. Throw into the mix is Delaney and Griffin’s sisters who have teamed up to help the two figure out that they are meant to be together and you have a book full of humor.

I’m slightly disappointed in myself for not reading the first two books in this series. Despite this, I was not lost one bit. My fingers did the one click purchase and I look forward to devouring Ms. Lorret’s other two books. She has a fan in me!

Reviewed by Samantha

Heat Level: Hot

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Review ★★★ Truly by Ruthie Knox


August 24, 2014

trulyMay Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
 
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.

 

reviews

 

May Fredericks is having a crap day. Her NFL superstar boyfriend just gave her a crappy proposal in front of the world and she stabs him with a fork. The video is viral and the reporters are chasing her. She escapes but only to be mugged. Hiding out in a NYC bar, she tries to come up with a plan for what is next in her life. She tries to coax the guy in the bar into a conversation but he is the most standoffish man she has ever met.

Ben Hausman is waiting for his friend and the girl in the bar next to him is trying so hard to strike up a conversation. It’s not on his list of things to do this that day. His friend convinces him to stop being mean and strike up a conversation with May. She is going through a lot and he offers to help her against his better judgment.

The two start a weird friendship that leads to something so much more. Two people with some serious baggage find their way together in the big apple. I liked the premise and the unconventional story. Ben’s background as a chef turn beekeeper is interesting since I can’t imagine being a lucrative one in NYC.

I’m truly amazed at the author’s ability to take a surly character like Ben and make me like him. Gosh, he is such a downer but I liked his realism. He is a bitter divorcee trying to figure out how he got himself in a jam where he can’t open another restaurant for another year and spill the beans that he is the chef behind his ex-wife’s famous cookbook. He lost a piece of himself and May’s kindness brings back memories of the guy he used to be.

I found it harder to relate to May since she is on a path of self discovery. She doesn’t know who she wants to be. She does what is expected of her except when she denies her fiancé’s proposal. She can’t stand up to her parents. She wonders around New York like a lost puppy but Ben forces her to deal with her emotions head on.

I’m biased but I love books about New York City but I have to admit that the sightseeing scenes were my least favorite. I got nothing out of them and wanted to skim them. I wondered why Ben wasn’t taking his apartment search so serious. I thought they should have hit the pavement in an apartment search.

I loved when May finally went home and I got the chance to understand her as a real person. She finally learned how to stand on her own and accept who she really is. I want to know about her sister Allie and Matt. I look forward to the next book.

Reviewed by Samantha

Heat Level: Hot

3.5_star_blog

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★ Top Pick Review ★ Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan★


August 22, 2014

talksweetlytome_tpNobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much. 

All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination. 

Talk Sweetly to Me is the final novella in The Brothers Sinister series.

The other books in the series are: 

governessaffair  duchesswar  akissformidwinter

heiresseffect  countessconspiracy  suffragettescandal

 

reviews

You know you thoroughly enjoyed a book when you don’t want it to end.

That’s how I felt about Courtney Milan’s novella, Talk Sweetly To Me. I wanted to follow them headlong into their HEA. I wanted the wedding, the babies; I wanted it all.

And honestly, there’s simply nothing to not love about this book. The heroine, Rose Sweetly, is nothing short of brilliant. Her brain is a veritable calculator and she works as a “computer” (one who computes) for an astronomer. Not only is her talent rare in a woman in 1882, but it’s even rarer in a beautiful, twenty-year-old black woman, which Rose is.

Rose is also terribly sweet and innocent (no pun intended) and the hero, Stephen Shaughnessy is a dyed in the wool ladies man. He’s a writer, and honestly, what’s not to like about that. But as an Irish man in England during this time, he was not held in the greatest esteem by the Brits. Ladies adored his handsome face, his laid-back charm, but to many he was only good enough to bed and that’s all.

I can only say I was utterly charmed by Stephen. And it’s easy to see why Rose is so smitten with him. But their differences are many, so she keeps her distance. Until she doesn’t anymore. Through Stephen machinations, she finds herself spending a great deal of her working hours with him, which Stephen uses to his advantage. He doesn’t necessarily set out to seduce us, but he does.

And what a sweet seduction it was. I loved every single word of it. One of the things I really loved about Stephen was that he could be humorously self-deprecating

“Are you trying to intrigue me by hinting at hidden depths, Mr Shaughnessy?”

He shrugged. “Why would I? I don’t even have hidden shallows.”

 

And I laughed every time he’d say, “Talk sweetly to me.” In my head all I could hear was the song, Talk Dirty to Me.

This is a novella, so I didn’t expect the kind of love scenes I’d usually find in a full-length novel. But I must say I thought their love scenes were perfectly appropriate for the story; a nice mixture of sweetness, passion and heat. And even then, Stephen managed to amuse me again.

“We need more astronomical events,” he said. “Because I am not waiting until the year 2004 to do this again.”

 

Seriously, I wanted an entire novel devoted to their courtship, that’s how much I enjoyed the two of them together and apart.

But while there are many light moments in scenes including Stephen, there is subplot that deals with the prejudices that were widespread during the time.

Rose’s sister, Patricia, is pregnant with her first child. Rose is staying with her while her brother-in-law is away. The doctor attending her sister is… Let’s just say I wanted to take a couple of swings at him myself.

I really loved the way Courtney handled the whole situation with the doctor. In dealing with the issue of racism, she doesn’t bang you over the head with it and make it overwhelm the story. There’s no way she can’t not acknowledge its existence, especially during this time. But the story is a romance to the very core, and she’s careful to keep the story focused on Rose’s inner turmoil regarding a relationship with Stephen.

When I got to the end of this novella all I could do was smile. That’s how it made me feel. Hopeful. Happy. Pleased. So what else can I say but, Go right now and buy this book. The writing is top-notch, the story beautiful, and the characters fully developed. And at .99, this novella is a steal. A steal. My only gripe is I wish it were longer.

Reviewed by Bev

Heat Level: Sensual

4.5_star_blog

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Review ★★★★ How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries


August 21, 2014

howthescoundrelseducesThe third deliciously sexy novel in the New York Times bestselling Duke’s Men historical romance series, featuring an investigator who sets out to find gypsies—and unexpectedly finds love.

Investigator Tristan Bonnaud has one aim in life—to make sure that his half-brother George can’t ever ruin his life again. So when the pesky Lady Zoe Keane, the daughter of the Earl of Olivier, shows up demanding that the Duke’s Men find a mysterious gypsy woman, he seizes the opportunity to also hunt for a gypsy friend who knows secrets about George. Tristan doesn’t expect to uncover Lady Zoe’s family secrets, as well…or end up falling for the woman who will risk all to discover the truth.

Other books in the series:

whatthedukedesires  whentheroguereturns

 

reviews

 

Lady Zoe Keane’s world is turned topsy-turvy when her aunt tells her that she is not the biological child of her parents.  Zoe’s father is an earl, and the title is a rare one that can pass to a female child if there is no male heir.  Since she has no siblings, she’s in line to inherit, and is very afraid that, if her aunt’s claim is true, a scandal could occur if the knowledge is made public.  In order to get a definitive answer, Zoe hires the discreet investigators known as the Duke’s Men to find the truth.

Tristan Bonnard is the investigator assigned to her case, much to Zoe’s dismay, as the two had a previous, somewhat antagonistic encounter.  However, the trail leads to gypsies, who were friends with Tristan as a child, so he is the logical man to handle the questioning.  Tristan is the illegitimate son of a deceased viscount.  Years ago, at his father’s deathbed, his legitimate half-brother destroyed a document bequeathing him some valuables, and tossed him and his mother and sister off the property where they had been living.  This forced Tristan, at the tender age of seventeen, to be responsible for the welfare of his family.  So, now, he has no love for the noble class, and has become somewhat of a scoundrel.

Right from the start, sparks are flying between Zoe and Tristan.  They each battle the attraction in their own way – Zoe doesn’t show Tristan much respect at the beginning, and acts the part of the snooty countess.  He, in turn, refuses to acknowledge her superior social status, and constantly baits her.  Soon, whenever they stop bickering long enough, they are stealing kisses.  I liked these two characters very much, as it’s clear they are both wearing masks, and just trying to protect themselves.

I found myself totally engrossed in this book, hating to put it down.  There is a lot more that turns up in the search for the truth about Zoe’s birth, and it has ties to Tristan’s own childhood.  Sabrina Jeffries has crafted a very well written story, where the unanswered questions keep you on the edge of your seat.  There is also an odious villain, who finally gets his due.  The main focus, though, is the romance.  The scoundrel, Tristan, became a different man as he fell in love, and he turned into a true hero.  The resolution was particularly satisfying because of the hard knocks he endured earlier in life.

This is the third book in the Duke’s Men series, and it can be read as a standalone, but there are related characters in the first two books.  In particular, reading book one, What the Duke Desires, will provide more insight into this story.  I found this to be one of Sabrina Jeffries’ most enjoyable books – and I recommend it for her fans, as well as all historical romance lovers who enjoy a well plotted, exciting and romantic read.

Reviewed by Rose

Heat Level: Sensual

4_star_blog

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Review ★★★ The Man Plan by Tracy Anne Warren


August 21, 2014

themanplanWhat’s a girl to do when the man she’s loved her entire life thinks of her as a little sister? Worse, her own big sister was the one who broke his heart years earlier. For Ivy Grayson, the chance to get him to see her in a different light comes when she receives an unexpected invitation to move into his luxury New York apartment building. Manhattan also just happens to be the perfect place to pursue her wish to become a successful artist. But how many dreams can one woman expect to come true?

Billionaire financier James Jordon has everything a man could want—except love. When Ivy’s family asks him to keep an eye on their “little girl” in the big city, he agrees. But the innocent girl he knew is now a dynamic woman who knows what she wants, and how to get it. He may have promised himself to keep things platonic, but ignoring the game of love isn’t an option. Especially when Ivy is so eager to play. 

 

reviews

 

Reader Beware: This book contains a May-December Trope.

It’s been a long time— well, not so long if you count Historicals, since I read a contemporary romance with a May-December Trope. This is also a friends to lover’s tale as well.

That being said I loved it! There’s hilarity, the laugh out loud variety, for our hero, James. He gets the royal of all-hell-breaking-loose in this story. For those who read Warren’s first book in the series James is the fiancé left at the altar, by beauty Madelyn. In this book you find out Madelyn’s much-younger sister, Ivy, has loved James for years and wants him to see her as more than just a friend or little sister.

One of my hesitations in this whole story is that Ivy feels like an enigma to me. I related to James, his fears and inhibitions as well as his coming realization that Ivy means more to him beyond the boundaries he put in place before. Yet, with Ivy I didn’t grasp her as well. I felt like I was always skimming the surface of her subconscious versus swimming in it.

That being said, this is my second Warren novel and I find that this author writes fun romances with some conflict, but her characters are definitely not tortured souls with issues or the need for redemption. Meaning: reading this book won’t rip your heart out, but it should put a smile on your face.

As for pacing, the book clips along pretty quick from the beginning to mid-way through. From there though it tapers off, there’s also some external events added in that I found it difficult to understand their purpose. If only to side track the main characters from their original conflicts momentarily. After a certain point these added events were barely mentioned.

Overall, this is another story that I liked, and enjoyed the giggles, but there was something lacking for me. I think if you enjoy stories that won’t emotionally drain you or require a deep commitment then this is a book you should pick up. The hot sexy, Billionaire hero doesn’t hurt either.

Reviewed by Landra

Heat Level: Hot

3_star_blog

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✥ Cover Reveal ✥ Up All Night Boxed Set ✥


August 19, 2014

Grab this limited-time bundle of ten hot New Adult books, each #1 in their series.

 upallnight-large

 

 

 

boxset-transparent-large

 

UP ALL NIGHT will keep you up ‘til dawn with romantic stories featuring whip-smart college guys, bad boy rock stars, heroic marines, a sexy teacher, and a smokin’ hot snowboarder.

Together, these books have earned more than 1,600 five-star ratings and usually sell for over $30. Each book is a standalone, first in its series, and the set includes two NYT and USA Today bestselling authors.

You Make Me, Blurred Lines #1

New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy 
Caitlyn’s perfect world with fiancé Ethan is shattered when her first love Heath returns to Maine after a mysterious four-year absence. Heath wants her back, but Ethan doesn’t want to let her go. And when one love allows her to breathe, but the other feels as essential to her life as air, how does she choose between them?

One and Only, Canton #1
Viv Daniels
Tess lives her life according to the secrets she’s sworn to keep: the father who won’t acknowledge her, the sister who doesn’t know she exists, and the mother who’s content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. But when she transfers to her dream college and reunites with her first love, she begins to break the rules.

Tattoo Thief, Tattoo Thief #1
Heidi Joy Tretheway
Beryl doesn’t know why Gavin Slater trashed his apartment, abandoned his dog and fled the country. But as his house sitter, she must pick up the pieces for the white-hot rock star to find out why he’s running–and what can bring him back.

One Broke Girl, Edgewood Falls #1
Rhonda Helms
When Anna’s mother disappears with the family fortune, Anna and her father must return to their small Ohio hometown–a temporary situation, she vows. But finding work, caring for her depressed father and locating her mom are harder than Anna anticipated. Not to mention a sexy male kindergarten teacher who makes Anna question everything she thought she wanted…

Random, Going the Distance #1
Lark O’Neal
Jess Donovan wants a better life than the one she was born to, but how do you figure how what you want when life has never been anything but a series of hurdles? When mysterious, sexy snowboarder Tyler Smith shows up in her life, Jess doesn’t know if he’s an opportunity for love–or her downfall.

Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc., Butterman Travel, Inc. #1
PK Hrezo
A futuristic romance along the winding path of time. It’s the year 2069 and even though eighteen-year-old Bianca Butterman is heir to the family time travel biz, she never expected to be earning her official time-craft license with golden boy pop superstar, Tristan Helms, in tote. Her life is about to get a lot more complicated … and exciting.

Come Back To Texas, Twelve Beats in a Bar #1
KK Hendin
Hayley and Nate had the perfect love story before life crashed through it. Now, three years, one deployment, and a few YouTube videos later, everything’s about to change.

The Opposite of Nothing, Copeland College #1
Shari Slade
When socially-awkward campus DJ Callie Evans falls for her bad boy BFF, she doesn’t tell him. Instead, she creates a fake online profile and “catfishes” him. The closer they get, online and off, the more she realizes she has to confess. And risk losing him forever.

The Long Game, American Gypsy #1
J.L. Fynn
When gypsy con artist Shay Reilly meets co-ed Spencer, sparks fly. Problem: Shay’s plans of revenge against Spencer’s father stands between them and their budding romance.

Undeclared, Woodlands #1
USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick
Grace Sullivan exchanged letters with a deployed Marine most of her teen years. She fell in love with him but was devastated to learn her feelings weren’t reciprocated. Two years later when he shows up at her posh Midwest college claiming they belong together, she is wary and worried … and falling in love again?

Review ★★★★ I Adored A Lord by Katharine Ashe


August 19, 2014

iadoredalord

Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?

All that clever, passionate Ravenna Caulfield wants is to stay far away from high society’s mean girls.

All that handsome, heroic Lord Vitor Courtenay wants is to dash from dangerous adventure to adventure.

Now, snowbound in a castle with a bevy of the ton’s scheming maidens all competing for a prince’s hand in marriage, Ravenna’s worst nightmare has come true.

Now, playing babysitter to his spoiled prince of a half-brother and potential brides, Vitor is champing at the bit to be gone.

When a stolen kiss in a stable leads to a corpse in a suit of armor, a canine kidnapping, and any number of scandalous liaisons, Ravenna and Vitor find themselves wrapped in a mystery they’re perfectly paired to solve. But as for the mysteries of love and sex, Vitor’s not about to let Ravenna escape until he’s gotten what he desires . . .

Other books in the series:

imarriedtheduke   kissesshewrote

 

reviews

In the second chapter of Ashe’s Prince Catchers series we get the tale of the youngest sister, Ravenna. She’s been roped into a house party that results with a dead body and a million theories to who killed him. Think of the movie Clue, but far more entertaining and a bit dangerous.

The cast of characters provide plenty of hilarity and suspicion, much like their movie counterparts. Along with a hero and heroine determined to solve a mystery. There’s danger, tearful confessions, plots upon plots, and plenty of angst-y moments behind screens and closed doors. Note: There is also an accosting event in a stable—my second opportunity to read of one this month.

In fact, our heroine is desperate for something to grab her attention. She’s not typical miss, I don’t think any of the heroines I read in historical releases for August are, and an animal lover. Her powers of deduction, medicinal care, and practical knowledge grant her unique perspective on life and are heightened when the whole house is under suspicion of a killer(s).

The hero, the half-brother to a prince and a lord, is back from an adventure simply to fulfill family duty. Once completed, Lord Victor plans to leave on another adventure posthaste. Yet, the mysterious death during his half-brother’s house party definitely puts his plans on hold. Attempting to employ his own talents he’s continuously thwarted by Ravenna’s meddling advice and opinions. She plans to assist in the investigation regardless.

I enjoyed Victor nearly as much as Ravenna. Again, I like intelligent females and males who submit to that intelligence are a definite turn-on. The hero also makes a few blunders, which nearly get him killed and a little bruised with no one to rescue him except… well, you’ll need to read the book for that tidbit.

Overall, this book is just a fun read with plenty of twists and turns. If you enjoy historical romance with a suspense twist and some wacky character profiles then this is a book for you. I, for one, am anxious for the last book in this trilogy now, but I’ll put on my patience hat.

Reviewed by Landra

Heat Level: Hot

4_star_blog

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