Sunday, January 18, 2015

Filthy Rich by Dawn Ryder

Celeste Connor has been seriously victimized by her ex husband, Caspian, who is currently in prison for abusing her.  Celeste is in Alaska for her best friend Sabra's wedding to Tarak.  The best man is Nartan Lupan.  There is an immediate attraction between Celeste and Nartan, but Celeste has been so abused by her ex that she can't let Nartan past her emotional set of baggage.  (Heck, Celeste has the full set of Amelia Earhart luggage including train case!)  Nartan wants her bad and will do whatever it takes to get her.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  That being said, I could not complete this book.   By far, this isn't the first book from the "erotica" genre that I have read.  I will admit that I have quite a collection on my e-reader.   The norm is that the female lead character has some sort of conflict that needs to be resolved, be it a nasty ex husband or weird stalker.  Normally is hanging in the background of the plot, resolved toward the end, then the HEA.  However, I have not read a book where the heroine's abusive background (and crazy ex) consumed the ENTIRE plot from beginning to end.  Celeste was so messed up,and rightfully so, that she can't move beyond what she suffered in the past (even though she is in therapy and is now a black belt) and enjoy the hot male lead character.  This made the novel really difficult to read.

I had a hard time getting started with the book from the beginning.  The author's website even has this listed in her "single titles" section.  NO WAY.  The book "Out of Bounds" is about Sabra and Tarak, the couple that Celeste is in Alaska to attend their wedding. The first part of the book is so wound in the wedding and the details of it that I felt like I needed to read "Out of Bounds" first and this is not a "single title".

I kept  hoping that Celeste would loosen up and realize that Nartan isn't her ex husband and move on, yet all she kept talking about was how damaged she was.  That made it very hard to get into the novel and even enjoy it.

I did like that the male characters were Apache and the second half of the wedding was an Apache ceremony.  I adored Nartan.  He was the perfect dominant hero for what could have been the perfect book.

As said before, I received this novel as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Never Surrender to a Scoundrel by Lily Dalton

For almost two years, Dominic Blackmer has posed at Mr. Kincraig, the heir to the Earl of Wolverton because of a threat to Wolverton and his family.  Now that the threat is over, Dominic is able to resume his career as a spy and has gotten the assignment he has waited for in Europe.  Clarissa Bevington is the granddaughter of the Earl of Wolverton.  She is set to have her debutante ball and after her beloved Lord Quinn will approach her grandfather for her hand in marriage.  But, at her ball, Quinn in absent and Clarissa discovers that he just got married that afternoon.  She faints and Dominic is the one that rescues her and consoles her.  When she Clarissa confesses to Dominic that she is pregnant, her mother and grandfather overhear and assume Dominic is the father.  That leads to a forced marriage between Dominic and Clarissa.  Of course, Clarissa tells her grandfather the truth, but he knows who Dominic really is and knows that this will be the best marriage for her.

I thought the opening of the novel was quite unique.  Actually, I was glad that Clarissa had to marry Dominic because Lord Quinn was just a nasty man.  Dominic was quite a mystery man.  Clarissa had to peel back the layers to discover the wonderful man that he was and to fall in love with him.  Dominic seems to be tortured by the memory of his first wife Tryphena and what happened.  Even after her death, she is still causing problems and this adds a layer of mystery to the novel.  There was quite a bit of humor in some of the situations Dominic and Clarissa find themselves in.

Clarissa matured as the novel progressed and it was brilliantly done.  She was sheltered and trusting of a scoundrel in the beginning and as the novel progressed, she gained strength and maturity in her character.  

This is the third in a series and while they are linked, it is a great stand alone.  I give it five out of five stars.

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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Deputy's Bride by Anita Philmar

Texas Deputy Bo Kildare does not want a virgin for a wife.  He has managed to avoid more mothers than he could count introducing their daughters.  Bo's friend, Madeline Cowden introduces him to Sarah LaFever.  Sara's deceased husband had gained her a reputation as a wild woman and she wants to escape that.  Bo is the ideal husband because his ranch is away from the public eye.  Once Bo and Sara meet, the sparks fly.  They just have to get past a murder and everything will be fine.  Oh, and throw in Bo's brother Chase to add to the erotic mix.

I liked the quick pace of the novel and thought the book was well written.  I thought Sarah was a strong character and Bo and Chase were great.  This is part of a series, and now that I have read this book, I will red the others.  The only thing I didn't like was the usage of the "T" word.  For some reason, seeing that word in print, being used by the heroine makes me cringe.  Because of that, I can only give the book four stars.

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

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Midnight Rake by Anabelle Bryant

Penelope Rosebery and her sister, Aubry, are headed to London when the mail coach they are riding in breaks an axle.   Penelope had fallen in love with a scoundrel.  He had convinced her to invest her father's money and her dowry in an investment scheme he had.  Not only was there no investment, he looted their house while Penelope was at the church waiting to marry him.  Her father died in anguish and now the girls have nothing. Penelope is planning on tracking down the scoundrel and getting back her mother's heirloom cameo.  Victoria Betcham, Countess of Fenhurst is traveling to London after dropping her daughter off at their country estate to mend her broken heart.  The Countess meets the girls and offers them a ride to London.  On the way, Penelope falls asleep while Aubry and the Countess plot.  The Countess uses them as surrogate daughters and arranges for lessons for Aubry and wardrobes for both girls.  Phineas Bechtam, Viscount Fenhurst arrives at his London home to find his mother and the Rosebery girls.  He is an honorable man, though a rake, and insists on helping Penelope with her problem, though she won't disclose it.  There is an immediate attraction between Phin and Penelope when they literally run into each other at their first meeting.  Phin is disappointed to find out that Penelope is attempting to locate a man.

As Phin escorts Penelope around London society and is searching for the man that he thinks stole her heart, he slowly realizes that he loves her.  He figures out that her scoundrel is the rogue that he is searching for that cheated him out of a horse (then stole it when he couldn't pay).  Phin challenges the rogue and the rogue kidnaps Penelope after Phin discloses that he now has the cameo.  When Phin rescues her, they finally get their HEA.  

It wasn't far into this novel that I knew that I had to suspend any reality because the premise of the Countess lavishing attention and money on two young women that were strangers was a bit far fetched.  Another pet peeve of mine is if an author is going to write about the nobility, be it historical or contemporary, they need to understand that the son of an Earl would use their father's most senior subsidiary title and the "last name" of the title wouldn't be the same.  Pain should not be "Viscount Fenhurst" if his father is the Earl of Fenhurst.  I was confused whenearly in the novel, the butler refers to Victoria as "Her Grace". Was Phin's father originally supposed to be a Duke?

So, once I got past that, I LOVED the novel.   If I was able (gotta go to work), this was a book that I would have started reading and not put down until I was done.  At one point, I wanted to BE Penelope because Phin was the perfect hero.  Penelope was the right heroine for him.  She was strong and fought for what was hers.  I liked the suspense surrounding the scoundrel (I can't call him fiance because he never intended to marry Penelope).   I wish there was more with the neglectful aunt, the cousin that wanted Phin for herself,  and the creepy cousin that wanted to marry Penelope.  This is a novel that I will read again and again when I need something happy.

I give this novel a five out of five because it did make me happy.

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mastering a Sinner by Kate Pearce

Kate Pearce is the queen of erotic historical romance.  Mastering a Sinner is part of "The Sinners Club".  Alistair Maclean is the secretary at the Sinners Club.  The Sinners Club is unique in that it allows women to be members.  The women have decided that they need a secretary to take care of them and hire Lady Diana Theale.  Alistair now is trying to figure out where his brother is and how he is not going to pay his brother's debt at the Demon Club.  Lady Diana is trying to figure out the mystery of her birth and thinks it is connected to the Sinners Club.  She needs Alistair to help her.

Kate Pearce is one of my favorite authors.  I love the depth of her characters.  Diana isn't afraid of her sexual nature and Alistair isn't afraid  to submit to her.  I like how the characters are interwoven in not only the books in the series, but the books from the House of Pleasure series.  Yet, each one could be read separately.

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

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Rebecca by Celia Kyle

Rebecca Twynham is on a bad date when she is hauled to the annual werewolf Gathering by reading the last line in the last letter she has received about said Gathering.  Aiden immediately recognizes her as his mate and sets out to claim her.  However, as part of an Alpha Pair, she will also be claimed by Carson.

I enjoyed reading this novella.  I thought it was hot and very fun.  What annoyed me was spending $2.99 for a book that was only EIGHTY THREE pages on my e-reader.  It was the fourth out of six in this series.  My advice is to package all six as a boxed set.  

If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries

 Dominic Manton is the second son of the Viscount Rathmoor.  When his father dies, his older brother, George, becomes the Viscount.  Immediately, George burns the codicil that includes their half-siblings and their mother. George then cuts off Dom's allowance and stops paying for his education as a barrister.  Dom has to get a job as a Bow Street runner and can't support his fiance, Jane Vernon.  Dom gets Jane to break up with him by kissing her cousin Nancy.  Thirteen years later, George has died and Dom is now the Viscount.  Nancy was married to George and is living in the dowager house when she disappears.  Jane (who is finally getting married) is convinced that something bad has happened to Nancy.  Dom had an agency called Manton's Investigations, AKA the Duke's Men, so Jane convinces him to help

This is the fourth in "The Duke's Men" series. I loved how it tied in to the other novels but was able to stand by itself.  The characters of Dom and Jane and well written.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

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

Friday, January 2, 2015

How to Plan a Wedding For a Royal Spy by Vanessa Kelly

Captain William Endicott and his friend/cousin Captain Alasdair Gilbide have returned to London after war to receive a summons from Will's father, the Duke of York.  Both Will and Alasdair are spies and royal bastards.  Now, they have been recruited to stop a royal assassination attempt that his first love, Evelyn Whitney, daughter of Lord and Lady Reese, is suspected of being involved in via her fiance.

Will and Evie were neighbors growing up and Evie had fallen in love with him.  Four years go, he joined the army and abandoned her.  Now, as Evie is finally starting to think about marriage after Will abandoned he, Will has to get himself back in her good graces to make sure she isn't involved in the plot and at the same time figure out who is involved and stop the plot.

I have read other books in the Renegade Royals series and found this one to be as well written and whitty as the othes.  I loved the opening interview between the Duke of York and Will and Alasdair.  There was humor and it quickly established the plot.   Evie was a heroine that the reader could cheer on.  She was always in her twin Eden's shadow because Eden excelled at every activity she engaged in.  Evie was the twin that got yelled at by their mother and Eden got called a "naughty puss".  I liked seeing Evie's confidence grow as the novel progresses.

Another great "Royal" novel from Vanessa Kelly.

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Letters to Emily by Stacy Reid

I have loved Stacy Reid's books since I received "The Duke's Shotgun Wedding" as an ARC.  (I will admit that I thought that "The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell" should have been published first.)  When I got Stacy's newsletter, I immediately purchased "Letters to Emily"

This novel is set at the end of WWI.  Lady Emmeline Isabella Langford has to get over the death of her fiance Maxwell Wynwood.  When they received the news of Maxwell's death, Emmeline was devistated, but Marcellus knew Max wasn't dead because of the bond between the twins.  Marcellus is the Marquess of Blackthorn, heir to the Duke of Harcourt.  For the title, Marcellus needs to be the one to marry Emmeline.  Now, it is up to him to convince Emmeline to marry him and accept the relationship the twins want to have with her.

This novel is so darn hot that I was waiting for my e-reader to melt!  I loved how the relationship between Emmeline and Marcellus developed as the reader is being shown the romance between Maxwell and Emmeline through the letters Max wrote her. I just wish that it was longer than 74 pages!  There is just so much more that could have been in the novel.  Also, Maxwell and Marcellus's parents have the same type of relationship (the Duke, his brother and the Duchess). Yet it isn't talked about much in the novel.

I loved the setting.  It isn't hard to imagine that Emmeline and Marcellus could be guests of the Crawley/Downton Abbey family at a garden party.  I can almost see them strolling across the lawn.  Let's see this added to Season Six!

Again, Stacy Reid has written a wonderful novel.

The Duke In My Bed by Amelia Grey

Bray Drakestone, Marquis of Lockington, heir to the dukedom of Drakestone and member of the Heir's Club is racking down Rotten Row in the misty fog with Nathan Prim, Viscount Waybury when Prim's carriage overturns severely injuring him.  Prim extracts a vow from Bray that he will marry his sister Louisa because his uncle will inherit and his uncle won't take care of his six sisters.

Two years later, Louisa and her sisters have been dumped in London by her uncle.  He has given guardianship to Bray, now the Duke of Drakestone and fled to Europe with his young wife.  Bray visits Louisa and makes a half-hearted proposal.  When she rejects him (duh!) he says that she will have to be the one to propose next.

I loved the characters in this book.  There was so much depth.  Poor Bray was the only child of an only child and suddenly, he is thrown into a family of five girls.  As the story progresses, Bray learns how to feel.  Louisa was happy in the country with her family until her brother died.  Now, she has to keep her sisters together because her uncle only wants to be responsible for her and her sister Gwen, who is being prepared for a season.  Louisa has had to be strong and as the story progresses, she has to learn how to let Bray take care of her and her sisters.  I loved how Bray referred to her as Miss Prim and Proper as he was denying his feelings.

This was a wonderful novel.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGlley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.