Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happy Book Birthday! Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

“I don’t suppose you’d be interested in a job?”
“A job?” Angelique was aware she was repeating him like a half-wit, but she couldn’t seem to wrap her head around the last minute of conversation.
 “Yes.” Lavoie leaned forward slightly.
“Ladies don’t have jobs.” Angelique tried to put some conviction into that statement, knowing it was what she was supposed to say. Such knowledge had been drilled into her since she was old enough to walk. Ladies grew up and married well and became wives who lived out their lives in genteel comfort. They did not partake in industry. Or gambling.
At least they didn’t until they did not marry at all, much less well, and their parents died, their family fortune went missing, and their newly titled brother couldn’t stay sober long enough to look for it. Then ladies did what they had to do to hold their families together.
She glanced up at him, but her sharp reply, like everything else, had only seemed to amuse him.
“A strange thing to say for a lady who already treats my vingt-et-un table as her personal place of business.” Lavoie’s lip had curled, his scar making it look more like a smirk than a smile.
She looked away, despising the truth in his assessment. “I do no such thing. Ladies don’t have jobs,” she repeated, though it was a pitiable attempt at her defense.
“Ladies don’t have jobs that people know about,” he countered.
“What? What does that mean?” Angelique’s eyes snapped back to his.
Lavoie moved out from behind his desk and leaned back against the front of it. He crossed his booted feet casually, never taking his eyes off her. “It means, my lady, that once you stop pretending to be aghast, and you understand that I offer the potential to earn more money in a single night than you will earn in three at the card tables, you might wish to reconsider. I wish you to deal a high-stakes vingt-et-un table that can accommodate at least six players who will be playing against the house and not each other. Who will be playing against you.
Angelique was at a loss for words.
“I don’t need to have your answer now,” he said, tipping his head. “You know where to find me. I will pay you for your time, of course, and you will also receive a percentage of whatever you—my club—wins. I promise that your identity will remain concealed. And unlike the men you have had to endure thus far at the tables, I promise that I won’t touch your breasts. And anyone else in my club who might attempt to do so in the future will answer to me.”
She felt her face heat all over again, even as another hail of unwanted thrills crackled through her like a summer storm.
“Tell me you’ll think about it,” Lavoie prompted.
“Very well.” The shock was wearing off, and Angelique was trying her best to collect her scattered thoughts. She’d be an idiot to deny him outright. She didn’t trust him entirely, but her current situation didn’t leave her many choices. And she couldn’t deny that his offer, like the man himself, was more than a little…intriguing. Exciting. Fascinating.
Lavoie pushed himself off the desk, coming to stand directly in front of her. His eyes skimmed over her hair, her mask, her gown, as if he was evaluating—admiring—what he saw. “With a mind such as yours, I think you would be brilliant,” he murmured. “I think that you and I would make splendid partners.”

Their love was always in the cards.

He should have thrown her out. But when club owner Alexander Lavoie catches a mysterious blonde counting cards at his vingt-et-un table, he's more intrigued than angry. He has to see more of this beauty-in his club, in his office, in his bed. But first he'll have to devise a proposition she can't turn down.

Gossip said he was an assassin. Common sense told her to stay away. But Angelique Archer was desperate, and Lavoie's club offered a surefire way to make quick money-until she got caught. Instead of throwing her out though, the devil offers her a deal: come work for him. Refusing him means facing starvation, but with a man so sinfully handsome and fiercely protective, keeping things professional might prove impossible . . .


Title: Between the Devil and the Duke
Author: Kelly Bowen
On Sale: January 31, 2017
Series: A Season for Scandal, #3
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.99 USD





 We’re giving away 10 copies of BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DUKE!

Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology. But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance.  When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.

Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process.  Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: The Governor's Daughter

The Governor's Daughter The Governor's Daughter by Jerri Hines
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read this for the insta-love square for Romance Bingo and it was also a Kindle Freebie selection.

To recap if you missed my 50% update:
Heroine falls in love w/ hero#1 by 30% and a few meetings.
Gets kidnapped and almost whipped to death by dude picked by grandparents to marry her.
Hero#1 offers what she considers a pity marriage.
Has sex with hero#1's bf who suddenly loves her.
Marries bf hero#2.
Now hero#2 is feeling faint/having night sweats

Second half:

Heroine gets pregnant
Hero#2 dies
Heroine kicked out by hero#2's family.
Hero#2 didn't want her to be able to leave England so somehow (completely unclear) makes a will that stipulates she can't have her own money if she leaves.
Heroine don't give a flying f and decides to go back to America, during the start of Revolutionary War.
Heroine has twins.
In one of the numerous side stories I haven't mentioned, her current maid had been raped by her step-father and he decides he wants her back.
Heroine kills step-father.
Heroine's bastard brother, who I think is around 30yrs old, gets maid pregnant, who I think is around 17-18yrs old.
2yrs go by in two chapters.
Heroine makes-out with married Hero#.5 (previously unmentioned because I didn't think we'd see him again. Imagine my surprise. But she initally was going to runaway and marry him in the beginning because she thought she wouldn't have to go to England for a season).
Hero#1 makes a surprise visit during their make-out session.
There's mentions of battles, Americans and English visit her place, she helps both. I...I think this is suppose to supply us with the feel of the times.
Hero#.5 feels extremely shafted by heroine and hires people to murder everyone.
Hero#1 saves heroine.
Heroine marries Hero#1.
She goes back to England for safety.
Reconciles with hero#2's family.
(It's going to go fast from this point on because I could barely make sense of anything)
Hero#1 presumed dead.
Children almost walk off a cliff to catch faires.
A I can't believe you're pulling this crap on the reader character betrayal.
Hero#1 makes miraculous return to save heroine from cliff.
Heroine gives birth while in a semi-coma.
Heroine's cousin who was trying to steal her money (I'm exhausted, I can't go into this storyline too and that's why you're just hearing about this) gets his due.
The end.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reading Update: 50%


Heroine falls in love w/hero#1 by 30% and a few meetings.
Gets kidnapped and almost whipped to death by dude picked by grandparents to marry her.
Hero#1 offers what she considers a pity marriage.
She refuses.
Has sex with hero#1's bf who suddenly loves her.
Marries bf, errr, hero#2.
Now hero#2 is feeling faint/having night sweats.

I'm only 50% in.

Review: Know Me Well

Know Me Well Know Me Well by Kait Nolan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this for the Guy/Girl Next Door square for Romance Bingo and it was also a Kindle Freebie selection.

"I feel like sending a message out to every teenage girl everywhere who ever had a crush on her best friend's big brother---don't give up."

There's a sweetness to this story that can't be denied. The hero enjoys hugs from his mom and never misses a chance to act the gentleman. The heroine's stubborn streak about not accepting help got run into the ground a bit but she's still likable.

The first half they are pretty cute with their desire but both a bit scared to make the first move. The middle and second half drags a bit but if you enjoy encompassing small town stories, you might enjoy the feel and characters here that provide that. The second half gets a bit racy for how the story starts off with shorter but sexy scenes.

This is a sweeter, a bit more slow moving Jill Shalvis equivalent small town romance. The couple is cute and sweet, the secondary characters range from darling to can't wait for their book, and the ending will have an An Officer and a Gentleman fan sighing happily.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reading Update: 15%


"Remember, I’m the librarian. I know your reading preferences. He pretty much fits your hero type to a T.” She gave Riley a knowing smirk.
Riley pointed a finger at her. “You know perfectly well that’s confidential. You’re supposed to be like a priest.”

Librarians, keepers of the secrets. 

Also, this adorable quote:

“Thanks Mom.” Liam slid his arms around her, thinking that for all she was half his size, she still gave the best bear hugs.


Review: Ultimate Vengeance

Ultimate Vengeance Ultimate Vengeance by Nancy Haviland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

I read this for the Second Chances square for Romance Bingo.

"You're my greatest weakness and my greatest strength."

Y'all. I'm so ridiculously entertained by this series and world the author has created. This is a second chance romance because the hero orchestrated a scene where the heroine thought he was cheating on her because he thought his world was too dangerous for her. I know, I know, Drama-lama but while there are a few romanclandia roll-eye tropes, I completely let them slide on by because of overall enjoyment of characters and story.

I think I mentioned this in a review for another in the series but there are times where the sheer amount of characters and connecting off-shoot storylines gets a bit overwhelming, you need to start at the beginning with this series, but man oh man, I am eating it up with a spoon.

We don't initially get to see Alek and Sacha fall in love or their first meetings, some reminiscing about it, and the romance has a different feel and structure from the usual romance step-by-step. I missed some aspects of the usual route, cheesy romance moments or excitement of firsts but the deeper, real, and dealing with hurts did a great job of making up for it.

With Russian mafia, Italian mafia, Romanian mafia, and MCs (see why I mention an overwhelming feeling sometimes) there is definitely something for everyone. The plethora of characters and storylines is crazy but the author does an amazing job of keeping a pretty tight rein on things. You may find some coincidences or situations a bit unbelievable but you'll go along with it because like I said, it's so gosh entertaining. I love the myriad things there are to keep track of.

The romance might suffer a bit for some because of all the plots going on I mentioned but only enough for me to take away half a star.


Safe to say I'll be sticking with this series and am dying for Lucian's story.
I guess I should also give a fair warning that this one is a little gory, let's just say Vlad the Impaler must be a relative of Lucian. I'm a horror movie lover who has watched more than my fair share of slashers, so I didn't mind the sometime descriptions of acts carried out in vengeance.
Give me MOAR of this series.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Between the Devil and the Duke

Between the Devil and the Duke Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Angelique's life has turned her from a pampered Lady of wealth to a masked card counting lady trying to keep the bill collectors at bay.
Alex has been a farmer soldier fighting for his homeland to now the owner of the wealthiest gaming hell in London.
They both have their secrets but the spark and burn between them won't be denied. Lies, betrayals, money, and sex, Angelique and Alex stand in the eye of it all.

Though Angelique didn't consider herself daring. She was simply desperate.

Third in the Season for Scandal series, this could be read as a standalone but a solid understanding of how secondary characters fit and of Alex's background would be slightly missed if done so. However, the romance and relationship between Angelique and Alex begins right here. Rarely, do I begin a review with talk of a secondary character but Angelique's brother brought out such a visceral reaction from me I can't help but start with a warning to be prepared to want to commit murder. It's a testament to the author's ability to write a character that brings out such a reaction but there was a moment when I thought Angelique's brother was possibly dumbed-down too much in favor of raising Angelique's pedestal.

You'll feel for Angelique, for her helplessness and her spine. She's a math genius that due to the time period must find creative ways to use her talents in hopes of making money for her family. Alex was our sexy, strong, and heroine enabling hero who had a fascinating background that was fully sketched out but I personally felt didn't get to visit enough. Considering his sister was the heroine of the previous book in the series, I would have liked more interaction between them and maybe a little more healing from their shared pain of fighting in a war and losing a brother. Also, while his propensity to exclaim "Mmmm" started off as a funny character trait, the overabundance started to limit him; I started to miss some feel for his character. I know the "Mmmm" was to represent his humor, bafflement, or sarcasm for the moment/discussion, but actually getting a turn of phrase for at least one out of three of these moments would have added much color to his personality.

"Nothing from the past can make me anything less than whoever it is I wish to be."

I thought this started off really strong with the attraction and interaction between Alex and Angelique. Their sexual tension enticed me to want to keep reading them but I was a bit disappointed on how quickly it was acted upon and I was left missing that anticipation. Angelique's family drama, the plot that drives the danger and mystery, was all laid out admirably but the middle sagged somewhat for me as the author dragged out some misdirection (regarding secondary characters) to, in my opinion, unnecessarily keep the reader guessing.

Angelique and Alex were both interesting characters in their own right and they did have the spark us readers all crave for our couples. I wanted my anticipation to be feed a little longer but this couple definitely had some heat to them. If you're looking for a 1800s historical with family drama, betrayals, and heat set in a world where you can't wait for secondary characters to get their own book, add this one to your list.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reading Update: 40%

"I can't afford pride at the moment, Gerald. And neither can you."

I want to strangle the heroine's brother. On the other hand, I'm really enjoying this one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: A Duke to Remember

A Duke to Remember A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

I read this for the Secret Billionaire square for Romance Bingo

I am with you, not against you.

Since this is historical my secret billionaire is a secret Duke living as a farmer but said to be one of the richest in the land. I'm guessing, if inflation was applied, he'd be considered a billionaire today :)

This story utilized one of my lesser favorite tropes of insta-love. When our hero helps to drag our heroine out of a river that she had jumped into to save a little boy, it's pretty much on from that point on. Get ready for my broken record of missed the sexual tension (you could say there is a little bit before they are able to hit the sack but because they had already fallen for each other, I put it down to lust more), missed the chase, and missed the journey.

How they met was mega coincidence and you're talking with a well seasoned romance reader, too easy. As with the other Bowen books I've read, the heroine was kick-butt awesome, if not putting out a completely jiving historical feel. I honestly could have just read the heroine's biography and been super pleased. The hero had a tragic background but I don't know, I still didn't feel like I really knew him.

Secondary characters: King. KingKingKingKingKing. I NEED his book. He seems just shady, heartless, and honorable to knock my socks off.


Haven't read the first in the series yet and too full of an arc schedule for July but how great is this promo pic?!

Want to read the story based on this alone, lol.

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Reading Update: 50%

It was a brief, gentle kiss, one that simply offered the things that she had already offered him. Understanding. Strength. Compassion. He felt some of the stiffness drain from her body, and he dropped his hands, gathering her close to him. She let herself be drawn into his embrace.
“Why did you do that?” she asked.
“Because you were looking back,” he whispered, resting his forehead against hers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Review: Nobody's Hero

Nobody's Hero Nobody's Hero by Bec McMaster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this for the Fairy Tale Retelling square for Romance Bingo.

If you want an updated Beauty and the Beast with a kick-butt heroine, then you would enjoy this one. I ran into the problem of, again, not being the biggest fan of some urban fantasy tropes. The hero kidnaps the heroine and they are immediately inexplicably drawn to each other. It was more sexual here and it sort of does show how they grow more emotionally together later on but I was still missing a deeper connection.

This story did a better job of bringing me into its world but I still can't help feeling too much is thrown at the reader. This world is set in the future, 2100ish, where it appears a government center was experimenting with splicing human and animal DNA had a breakout and a meteor struck the earth, which killed some of the environment and released a deadly disease. We have humans, wargs, revenants, and reivers. Along with introductions to explanations to why the world and these groups are the way they are, we are introduced to a our main couple, villains, and characters you know will be featured in future books; it's a lot to take in. The page count in these romance fantasy crossovers has got to get larger to make satisfactory room for everything.

Besides, she needed someone to argue with. Someone who challenged her to stand at his side, not just step in front of her to protect her. Someone who pushed her to be the woman she knew she could be, not just the type of woman he wanted.

If you've been looking for a self-sufficient, level-headed, and action star in her own right heroine, look no further. Riley was my favorite part of this story and I could read about her all day. The hero is a warg, human who turns into a beast, and had some trouble breaking out of the stoic, hard bitten, and wall-off hero. I can't say I ever completely believed in their romance due to insta-lust, world building interrupting, and a sort of other woman problem. Hero was married but had to leave his wife, he really loved her and thinks she is still alive. It made the situation with Riley very awkward for me, even though he hadn't seen his wife in years.

The characters and world building were interesting but the flow and intricacies of connecting threads didn't quite blend all the time. I'm going to plan on reading the next in the series because I'm interested in the characters, I hope the author gets more comfortable in the world she has created and things flow more natural and gain depth.

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Reading Update: 30%

"Fine. I'll let you share my pool. On the condition that you keep your hands to yourself." The pewter amulet gleamed against his tanned chest. Wade tugged his jeans open, enough for her to realize he was wearing no underwear. Arching a brow, he met her shocked gaze.
"Darlin', I ain't the one staring."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Review: Blood Magic

Blood Magic Blood Magic by Jennifer Lyon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 stars

I read this for the Urban Fantasy square for Romance Bingo and it was also my Kindle Freebie selection.

Staring at her, he said, "I'm here for you, Darcy."

Urban fantasy isn't usually a sub-genre I read in and I'm not sure if that was why I had a problem getting into this one or not. It seemed like the world rules were dealt out a bit randomly, making it feel incoherent at times. There were a lot of supernatural beings with earth and demon witches, witch hunters and rogue, and ancestors and gods. While I appreciated the lack of info dumps, I never felt like I could grasp the world fully because of all the moving parts.

The heroine is an earth witch but doesn't know it so when she is kidnapped by the hero who is a witch hunter to remove a death curse from his little sister, she has no idea how to. At first the hero has to control is "bloodlust" to want to kill the heroine:

"But you're one of them. How will you keep from killing me?"
He hit the very edge of his control. The hot lust seized his balls, while the compulsion screamed for her blood. Sweat beaded and ran down his back. "Sex," he said. "I want to screw you more than I want to kill you."

That's right, this kidnapped woman who has been thrown into a supernatural world is told my her captor that if she doesn't want him to kill her, she must have sex with him. Needless to say, this beginning to their relationship left a bad taste in my mouth. I know more leeway is given in fantasy/supernatural stories because of destined soulmates, magic, or whatever other supernatural elements but this thinking and element kept me from connecting with the hero and heroine's romantic relationship.

If you like urban fantasy stories, you might want to give this one a go, the world and supernatural elements seem interesting enough and with the introduction to everything already done, the next books in the series might make more sense. There's a slew of side male friends of the hero who were introduced who have hero potential written all over them.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: Duke of Pleasure

Duke of Pleasure Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this for the Virgin square (heroine is one) for Romance bingo.

3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hugh is the bastard son of the King but with the given title of Duke of Kyle, he finds himself existing in two worlds. Tasked with bringing down a secret society called The Lords of Chaos, he finds he'll need some help from an unexpected source.
Alf was born and bred in St. Giles and has masked her true identity as a woman since she was five years old. However, clashing with Hugh has brought desires and thoughts she never knew she could have.
To bring down The Lords of Chaos, Hugh and Alf are going to have to work together and become who they were meant to be all along.

Never let them see you cry, he'd said. Never show them your weakness.

If you've been a frequent Maiden Lane series reader, you'll remember Alf. We've had fleeting glimpses of her and how she has navigated and survived St. Giles. It's hard for me to get excited about the woman dressed as a man trope because of its past frequency but Alf's reasons weren't frivolous, done for comic relief, or scandal. Dressing as a boy was survival for Alf and Hoyt did a great job showing how this seemingly innocuous action emotionally shaped Alf; how it affected her thought processes and how it psychologically wore on her.

I've said it before but I miss how long romance books used to be and I think this particular story would have benefited greatly from a longer page count. The first 40% or so gave us a wonderful building up of Hugh and Alf; we got to know them separately. I cared about these characters and my anticipation for them to come together was only heightened because I had the solid foundation for how right their relationship was going to be. I miss this gradual weaving that seems to be left behind for instant lust and gratification.

Even though I was anxious to see them together, I was a little disappointed when it did happen. Not because I didn't feel they belonged together but because Hugh's love felt a bit instant. He doesn't know Alf is a woman until around the 40% mark and while he knew the Ghost of St. Giles was a woman and felt drawn to her, he didn't know it was Alf. I think he had 3 or 4 encounters with the Ghost, they are sexually attracted to one another but their conversations aren't lengthy or anything. It felt, to me, like a quick loving without knowing because Alf was basically unknown to him.

He admired her even as he feared for her.

I liked the bonus of Alf being the Ghost of St. Giles, even if I felt she didn't get to shine in the role as much as others. I would have liked to have seen more scenes with her and St. Godric. Hugh's support and belief in Alf as a competent being was one of his sexiest attributes and how it was obvious that he completely accepted Alf for who she was. Their star gazing scene was my favorite and I thought beautifully showcased the author's talent for creating two characters that felt so right for one another; even if I felt it was a bit rushed.

I like the villainous Lords of Chaos' storyline but they were somewhat regulated to naked men in animal masks here and I wanted a little more of their workings or stratagems. I hope there's more to their plot than occasional nighttime naked gatherings to unsuccessfully rape women. Don't misunderstand, I'm very glad they're unsuccessful, but there were rumblings about how they infect all of society, even the government; I'd like a new devious plot.

The ending felt a bit awkward to me with a misunderstanding you could see a mile away and a resolution that came super quick. The lack of building conversations between our leads before the love made it feel instant. I want to clarify though, that I felt this couple belonged together, I just wanted more scenes to prove and deepen what I was feeling.

I'll definitely be reading the next in the series because I liked Iris, the heroine of the next, right off the bat and am intrigued by the dark and scarred hero. Hoyt's talent in creating a world and characters can't be denied but I hope she's given more pages to really let them breathe and take off.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Reading Update: 55%


He leaned down, shoving his face into hers, and growled, "You can because I need a woman, Alf. Not a boy, not a girl disguised as a boy. Not a vigilante Ghost. Not an urchin informant. A woman. You. I need you. Become the woman you already are, Alf. Do it for me."

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Reading Update: Page 1

Copy a Romance Cover!

It's -11 windchill outside. This is all we got.

Review: Duke of Sin

Duke of Sin Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I read this for the Rogue square for Romance Bingo.

"So you see, I must have more power. It's the only way to survive them."

I struggled with my rating for this book because I loved how Hoyt portrayed Val. She provided an understanding for why Val is the way he is, almost excusing it but still kept him the unabashed rogue readers of the series have grown to know and almost against our will, love. Val doesn't really feel shame for his actions because his childhood was all about survival and nothing else makes sense to him. Hoyt kept him real. And naked, a lot of naked scenes ;)

She was making love to Val. Selfishly. Because she wanted to. Because he was everything she'd been denied in life---everything she'd denied herself: laughter and wit and books and adventure. Lust and sensuality. Silks and hot baths. Warm dogs and warmer bed linen. He was sin itself and if she was a sinner for a little while, she'd pay the price and gladly.

I also liked our heroine Bridget and her calmness and ability to accept and love Val for who he is. Her presence and reactions might help change Val for the better but she doesn't force anything. Her hidden pain but drive to continue on in life regarding how her mother never really brought her into her life was tender.

While I was a big fan of Val and Bridget separately, why I struggled with my rating was because I didn't fully feel the romance between the two. The lust seemed more prominent than deeper emotions. Towards the end I started to feel it a bit more with Val opening up but I missed more engaging talks, push, and pulls. This might have been because of Bridget's position as Val's housekeeper which sets up a power dynamic; she stood up to him at times but the power balance was uneven.

There were less former characters making appearances here, some of the Caires and Alf, and a few new introductions like the Lords of Chaos and the Duke of Kyle. The Duke of Kyle has caught my eye and as a not in your face dark guy, I'm a little shocked but there is something about him that draws me. Quite excited his book is next :)

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Reading Update: 20%

Perhaps he'd see to what depths a saint could fall.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Review: Ride Hard

Ride Hard Ride Hard by Laura Kaye
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1.5 stars

I read romance because, typically, it's written by women for women. For every time I throw my fist in the air and yell "Preach!" while reading a Dahl heroine and for every time I become a sobbing mess feeling the pain of a Milan heroine, I'll keep coming back because in some way my issues and emotions are laid bare, acknowledged, and discussed.

I want to call this a New Adult but with a hero who is 37yrs old, can I? The heroine is 22yrs old and she was definitely not written for me. There's reason for her to be shy and guarded but the whole lost little girl thing did not play well with my 33yrs old self. Haven loves to cook, is so sweetly shy, but wait, also craves sex. Now, of course, a woman can have these traits but the way it is written here, kind of shallow character depth with just these traits front and center and maybe you could see why I feel like this heroine was written for some shitty ideal for what men want? She's an angel, so pure, and sweet but, without a lot of interaction, emotional depth, and relationship building becomes some sort of highly driven sexual being with the hero. It just doesn't work without depth, building blocks, and growth. I felt like I was reading a play where a dude takes a Barbie doll and a Ken doll and smashes them together over and over and declares it a romance.

Maybe I'm just getting too old for these types of romance but dang it, give me emotion and depth.

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Kindle Freebies

I have not read these selections but they're free (at the time of my post).
So enjoy and partake at your own risk :)

*Click on the book cover to go to Amazon and Get Yourself Some!

Dare to Take (Dare to Love Book 6) by [Phillips, Carly]  In the Dark by [Burford, Pamela]  Craving (The Willow Creek Vampires Series Book 1) by [Summers, Stephanie]

The Complete Kathlyn Trent-Marcus Burton Adventure Romance Series: Trent-Burton Series Bundle by [Le Veque, Kathryn]  Fiona's Flame (A Cypress Hollow Yarn Book 5) by [Herron, Rachael]  If My Heart Could See You by [Ewing, Sherry]

Worth of a Duke: A Lords of Fate Novel by [Jackson, K.J.]  Forever Entangled: Forever Bluegrass #1 by [Brooks, Kathleen]  Star Dust (Fly Me to the Moon, Book One) by [Barry, Emma, Turner, Genevieve]

An Invitation to Scandal (The Sins & Scandals Series Book 1) by [Boyce, Kelly]  Deep Blue (Blue Series Book 1) by [Barnard, Jules]  Delay of Game (Portland Storm Book 5) by [Gayle, Catherine]

Know Me Well: A Small Town Southern Romance (Wishful Romance Book 3) by [Nolan, Kait]  Heat: Outlaw Romantic Suspense (A Hotter Than Hell Novel Book 1) by [Roberts, Holly S.]  A Christmas Code (The Code Breakers Series Book 2) by [Delecki, Jacki]

Highland Fire (Guardians of the Stone Book 1) by [Crosby, Tanya Anne]

Hope everyone finds a couple to pick up!
Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review: Law and Disorder

Law and Disorder Law and Disorder by Heather Graham
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kody Cameron is only at home helping at her family’s historical estate in Florida for a couple weeks before she returns to New York to continue working at a Pub and as a live actress. When masked men come in waving guns and demanding she tell them where a decades old treasure is hidden she thinks it's a joke, until the guns fire very real bullets.
Nick is undercover trying to capture a career criminal but he recognizes Kody right away as the woman in New York that he briefly saw but can't stop thinking about. With a little boy hidden away and new hostages to worry about, he can't put an immediate end to the criminal gang he's infiltrated plans.
Kody and Nick will have to fight criminals, the everglades, and their attraction if they want to stay alive.

First in the Finnegan Connection series, Law and Disorder starts us off with Kody and Nick. Kody works at Finnegan's pub and Nick is friends with Craig who dates Kieran Finnegan. The beginning thrusts many characters at you, a lot of side characters that only get their names mentioned and some that linger on; it was extremely overwhelming and gave the story a chaotic feel. While I very rarely mention editing mistakes in arc copies, from about 20-40%, our heroine's name frequently changed from Kody to Dakota and this made it even harder for me to keep everyone straight.

The plot has Nick working undercover trying to catch a career criminal. The gang wears masks and goes by old gangster names like Dillinger, Barrow, and Capone. I think there were 5 or 6 in the gang but the leader Dillinger and Barrow (Nick) are the only two really focused on while the rest weren't given enough life and more so clogged the story. Dillinger kidnaps a mayor's kid and hides him without telling his gang while they think they are just taking hostages at a historical site to look for a hidden treasure. Here is where the story is both interesting and overly convoluted. The author gives great history about this area in Florida and its mob background but kind of info dumps it before you have a chance to get to know the characters and become involved with the story. Dillinger's motivation and idea to have Kody find a hidden treasure that no one has found for decades and not even proven to exist was side-eye unbelievable and the shaky suspense foundation lead to disheveled and flaky actions by the characters.

Kody came off a bit foolish with her mouthing off and fighting a man with a gun; she was borderline TSTL. Nick's character came off more believable with trying to keep the situation under control and still work to capture the bad guys. With the author working in the mobster historical details, hostage situation, and treasure hunting, there was not a lot of room for romance. I never felt or saw why or how our couple fell in love; their connection was pretty non-existent for me.

This felt like a very rushed story where characters and fun historical snippets were thrown at me and story structure and character development were forgotten.

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Review: A Rake's Reward

A Rake's Reward A Rake's Reward by Meredith Bond
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1.5 stars

I read this for the Regency square for Romance Bingo and it was also my Kindle Freebie pick.

The beginning felt very scattered, I'm not sure reading the first in the series would help or not but I felt lost. The hero was a smiling grey-eyed villainous/virtuous/vexing/etc. viscount (oh yes, I did get tired of the v-words) and the heroine was a slightly TSTL oblivious American. As a beastly American myself, I usually enjoy the slight disdain and attitude American heroine's can throw towards their nobility heroes but this heroine acted so clueless and oblivious, I wound up finding it annoying.

I found myself kind of confused by the time placements. Apparently, the hero won the heroine's family estate from her grandfather in a card game, which I think was before the heroine was born. This disgraced the family, so the heroine's father moved to America and took his wife's last name instead and talked mad sh!t about the nobility forevermore. The hero went to the continent as badly behaving rich-y dudes are wont to do for 10? 4?yrs, I'm not sure, before he decided he wanted to give back the estate. Again, I'm not sure but he spent 2?yrs thinking about trying to give the estate back and another 2?yrs searching for the heroine's father to do so. In case it isn't clear, I have no idea the ages of the hero and heroine :/

Beau Brummell makes a couple villainous appearances and the hero from the first book and obvious future heroes also show up. It's supposed to be a little bit of Romeo and Juliet but the depth and characterization was sorely lacking; I felt no connection between the hero and heroine. You can see the general layout for the story but the substance was missing and most of the time I was wondering what the point was.

The writing is technically readable but if I didn't have to finish it for Romance bingo, I probably would have started skimming after 30%.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Romancies Wrap up and looking forward to 2017

Happy New Year everyone! With a final close to 2016, a quick recap of my Romancies Awards

*clicking on book cover brings you to the post with all the nominees

      Best Cover           Favorite Secondary Character         Best Scene    
26114184            Forevermore by Kristen Callihan                How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina

   Favorite Quote                            Best Heroine and Hero
When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz             Something Wicked by Jo Beverley  Heated Pursuit by April Hunt

     Best Couple                 Best Contemporary, Historical, and Book of 2016
Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy                Heated Pursuit by April Hunt  Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy

2015 Romanices Wrap-up

Now, on to 2017 and my top ten most anticipated reads
*clicking on cover brings you to their Goodreads page

30166573  29095429  30753719

30842424  24928834  31931749

32018237  31307650  32336121


Happy new reading year to you all :)