Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Brazen Bargain by Laura Trentham

Lady Minerva Bellingham's younger brother is a spoiled brat.  He became the Duke of Bellingham at a young age and they only had a tutor to raise them.  Simon has gotten himself in with the wrong type of friends.  Viscount Hampton is all too willing to find gambling parlors for Simon to loose his fortune.  Unfortunately for Hampton, Lord Rafe Drummond figures out what is going on.  When Simon looses Minerva's dowry to him, Rafe intends to teach him a lesson.  However, Minerva is the one that visits Rafe the next day.  Rafe dislikes Minerva.  She is his sister's best friend and the one that he felt was a bad influence.  Rafe feels that Simon just needs somebody to give him the guidence he never and and Simon will make a wonderful Duke.  Rafe proposes that Simon and Minerva work for him for three months at his estate.

Minerva not only quickly learns how to be a housemaid, she excels at it.  Every time Rafe finds her in his room, he realizes that after his years of service to the Crown, no decent woman would ever want him.  Minerva slowly starts to fall in love with Rafe even as he attempts to keep her at arms length  When Hampton attempts to destroy everything that Simon has worked for by destroying Minerva, Rafe can no longer remain impartial.

This was the first book by Laura Trentham that I have read.  I was intrigued by the plot synopsis and it did not disappoint from page one to the end.  Rafe is wonderful as the tortured hero.  Minerva is extremely intelligent, witty and not afraid of Rafe.  She actually hates him in the beginning of the novel.  There were points in the novel that I just wanted to smack Simon for being stupid and not seeing Hampton for what he was.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank You.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Her Wicked Proposal by Lauren Smith

Last year, Cedric, Viscount Sheridan courted Anne Chessley, daughter of Baron Chessley.  Cedric did everything in his power to charm her.  She left him cold until he admitted defeat.  Baron Chessley has just died and Anne is getting inundated with fortune hunters.  She turns to the one man that she can trust and proposes marriage to Cedric.

In that past year, Cedric has lost his eyesight in a tragic accident.  Once Cedric agrees to marry Anne, he begins a slow, sensual assault on the ice walls she has built around her heart.  Just when they think they can find their HEA, Cedric discovers why Anne was so frosty to him and almost throws away their marriage.  He is being targeted by two powerful enemies.  Can this member of The League of Rogues escape his doom and find his HEA with the woman he now loves?

I was left breathless.  There was excitement throughout the entire novel.  Cedric has been in the other "A League of Rogues" novels as a supporting character.  While Anne and Cedric are the main characters, the other characters from the previous two books are supporting characters and make the book a very lively read.  I loved how Anne and Cedric slowly fell in love and he discovered that Anne meant the world to him.  This was an enjoyable read.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans

Lady Marissa Hawkestone is at a ball where she is expecting Lord Rutherford to propose.  Marissa wants to marry for love and has made that well known in the ton.  So, good old Rutherford has told Marissa he loves her, except he only loves her dowry because his dad has cut him off until he changes.  Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton is attending the ball to guard Marissa.  Marissa's brother is one of his best friends and a fellow Libertine Scholars.  The Libertine Scholars are being stalked by a woman that is out of revenge for something their father's did and she is also attacking their families.

Maitland is outside to smoke when he hears Rutherford and his mistress in the bushes.  He is appalled and does not want Marissa to marry Rutherford.  He flirts with Marissa and all but compromises her in the ball room.

The next morning, Marissa wakes up in a strange bed, naked, with Maitland.  They have been drugged and locked in the room by the stalker.  Maitland does what is expected and proposes.  Marissa initally refuses him because she loves Rutherford, until Maitland tells her what he heard through the bushes at the ball.

Once Maitland and Marissa marry, she discovers that the only place that he shows passion is the bedroom.  He has been nicknamed "the Cold Duke" because of his childhood and he is trying not to be the horn-dog that his father was.

I was on the fence with this novel.  I liked Maitland and understood why he was "the Cold Duke".  I thought Marissa was too wild for the period this is set in.  A good Regency girl would have known she had to marry Maitland when they were compromised.  I was also having problems with the "stalker".  All of the Libertine Scholar's fathers are dead.  To go to this extreme for revenge, wow.  Then I got to the point that I reached a plot twist that was so huge, I just stopped reading.  I wasn't expecting it and it changed the whole tone of the novel for me.  It was jaw dropping.  I wanted to yell at Marissa that she should have listened to Maitland or she wouldn't be in that situation.


I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

In Search of Scandal by Susanne Lord

Charlotte Baker wants to meet Will Repton.  She has read all of the articles on his trip to Tibet that her brother will allow her to read.  She is beside herself when Will visits her brothers house in search of sponsorship.  She feels that he is the one man for her and will do anything to have him.  While Wll wants Charlotte, he also is compelled to find the survivors of the massacre he survived.  Will he trust himself to make the right decision.

This was a novel that got my attention from the first page.  I loved the romance between Charlotte and Will.  It was like Will needed Charlotte to be whole.  I always like books that aren't the typical "girl meets Duke" book and this was one of the best.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

The Duke and Miss Christmas be Amelia Grey

Gwen Prim sees a man attempting to abduct her younger sister and rushes to her rescue.  The man was helping her sister who hurt her leg.  Her Sir Orge turns out to be Crispin, the Duke of Hurst.  Crispin has not met a woman that instantly fell for him until he meets Gwen, and is hit over the head by her basket of Christmas greenery.  Gwen is embarrassed that she attacked and wounded a Duke but she is also attracted to him.

This was a sweet novella and a great Christmas romance.  I liked the characters though I wish that Gwen's suitor, Mr. Tweedy would have gotten mad or just done something.  After all, he had been showing interest in Gwen for six months and had monopolized her at the dinner party.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Billionaire Heartbreaker by Mandy Baxter

Hockey bad-boy Travis Christensen's behavior has earned his own PR rep.  He either takes advantage of the PR rep or he is benched during the Stanley cup and cut from the team.  After working with Reily Martin, he soon finds that he wants to change his image if only for her.  Reily is determined that her image consulting business succeed.  So far, she hasn't met a client that sh can't handle . . . until now.  Travis does everything to make it impossible to say no.

This novel is more of the Harlequin length, so there isn't a lot of character development.  I did enjoy reading the book.  The chase between Travis and Reily was fun and hot.

In an aside, I am one of those people that checks out an authors website.  I visit author's websites to read first chapters, see if a book is part of a series or if I like the author, what other books the author has written that I have missed.  What amazes me is Mandy Baxter's website isn't updated.  This is the third in a series and the books aren't on the website.  The newest book on the website was published in February, 2015.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

How to Seduce a Scot by Christy English

Catherine Middlebrook is in London to find a husband to save her family from her mother's spendthrift ways.  She meets Mary Elizabeth Waters at Almak's and they become fast friends.  Mary Elizabeth is in England from the Highlands to also find a husband under the watchful eye of her brother Alex.  Alex does everything to fight his attraction to Catherine, but can he win her over or will duty guide her choice of husbands.

This was a sweet romance.  I loved the banter between Catherine and Alex.  The supporting characters of Mary Elizabeth and Mrs. Middlebrook helped make the novel.

The one thing I was confused about was the changing of names.  There were places that Catherine was referred to as Miss Angel and her mother Mrs. Angel.  I can understand Catherine being referred to as Angel but not her mother being called Mrs. Angel.  Catherine's other suitor is referred to as Lord What's-It, Lord NambyPamby and Lord Namby.  If these were intended to be literary devices, they failed.  The references to Angel & Mrs. Angel seemed more like someone didn't catch a name change in final editing.

Overall, I did enjoy the novel and loved that the author used the word varlet.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.

The Pirate's Tempting Stowaway by Erica Ridley

Clara Halton had sent her daughter, Grace, to England to claim her dowry.  Grace's fiancée, the Earl of Carlisle hired former privateer Captain Blackheart to bring Clara to England.  Blackheart arrives in Clara's village and is told by the postmaster that she has consumption.  When he finds her house, he discovers that the elderly lady he was expecting is closer in age to himself and she doesn't have consumption.  Eventhiugh Clara is sick, she still has gumption and threatens Blackheart with a pistol until he convinces her that he is going to take her to England.  Over the voyage to England, Clara and Blackheart fight their attraction.  After Clara is reunited with her daughter and parents, she realizes that she needs the adventure she had with Blackheart.

This was a delightful addition to the "Dukes of War" series.  I had been hoping that Blakheart would get his own novel and I was not disappointed.  I liked the older hero and heroine and the pure romance of this novel.  The crew of the Dark Crystal were wonderful to Clara.  Blackheart is a true Duke of War and deserved his own HEA.

I received this ARC from Erica Ridley via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you very much.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Calling the Play by Samantha Kane

Tyler Oakes is the quarterback for the Birmingham Rebels, the NFL's last chance football team.  He is attempting to resurrect his career.  Something that is difficult given his reputation as an openly bi-sexual football player.  He meets Randi McInish during an undercover drug bust when he is in the wrong place at what turns out to be the right time.  Randi is just looking for a one-night stand and thinks she found it in Tyler.

Brian Mason is a new coach for the Rebels.  Tyler and Brian have known each other since college.  Brian took control on and off the field once he was introduced to Tyler.  Brian had run from a relationship with Tyler back then, but now he isn't afraid of his feelings. When Tyler introduces Brian and Randi, can they find the one woman they want to share.

Samantha Kane is one author that I will drop everything else and read immediately.  I have had this ARC sitting on the shelf for a while and I have re-read it twice.  I love the characters and the dynamics between them.  Randi has a troubled past and has been using sex as an escape.  Once she meets Tyler, everything bad in her past seems to evaporate.  I just love this series and can't wait for the next book.

I received his ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

The Christmas Wager by Delilah Marvelle

Felicity Annabell Sanders had been raised in the Foundling Hospital since birth as 95428.  At age 16, her uncle discovered clues to her existence and claimed her.  Her uncle, Cederic Barrington, is a wealthy owner of railroads.  Felicitiy's only regret is having to leave her best friend, Marigold.  Marigold is part gypsy and has the gift of seeing the future and has foretold that Felicity will marry a Duke with three lions as his emblem.  At her uncle's house, she meets American millionaire, Maxwell  Redstone.  Maxwell and Felicity meet and almost immediately, sparks fly.

Four years later, the Duke of Ainsley has been courting Felicity and has declared that he will marry by Chrstmas.  Maxwell returns to England after two years in China and still desires Felicity.  Can a rich American win her heart over a Duke?  Throw in a missing key to an attic that can't be found and a ghost that only appears every six years for a wonderful romance.

This wasn't the typical Delilah Marvelle novel.  It was quite a delightful change.  There were plot twists that I didn't see coming.  From when Maxwell and Felicity meet, the banter is non-stop.  There were characters that you loved and one that you loved to hate.  Again, another wonderful cover from Jenn LeBlanc.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you.