Audio Review: To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone (Wicked Wagers, Book 2) by Bronwen Evans

wager the marquis of wolverstoneSummary: Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is a great big rake. He has been since the love of his life ran off to marry an older titled man. Marcus knows without a doubt that the Contessa Sabine Orsini is trouble, but he can’t resist her when she waltzes back into his life demanding his help. He gives it in exchange for her presence in his bed. It’s a deal Sabine is more than willing to make in order to get her revenge on the man who ruined her parents and her only chance of happiness.

Review: I found it difficult to like either the hero or heroine. He was an entitled prig. She was a cold fish. Then, just when they started to get enjoyable, Sabine runs off to the villain in a classic TSTL move, which was painful to listen to so I sped that part up.

Narrator: The trilogy is narrated as a whole by Marian Hussey. I found her to be a pleasant narrator with good pacing. She can do a nice husky male voice which made the heroes all the more convincing.

Warning/Spoiler: Sabine was raped by the villain, her son is the result of this sad event.

[Rating:1.5]

Buy: To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone (Wicked Wagers)

Beauty and the Best Man (The Lassiters, Book 0.5) by by Maureen Child

beauty best manSummary: Matt Hollis would never let a woman get between him and his first mistress, his career. Except there was one once that wanted to commit and he let her get away. He’s been thinking about her ever since. His best friend is marrying her best friend and they’re thrown together once again. Kayla is conflicted and unsure if she should open to hear to Matt again. Tables are turned as Matt tries to prove commitment is worth it.

Review: It’s a novella and very short. On one hand it felt long because of the constant circling of will they-won’t they arguments that generally felt the same, but then the romance falls into place much too quickly. Definitely a story for readers who’ve seen these two in action in another book.

Liked the tag line – May the Best Man Win……the Maid of Honor?

[Rating:1.5]

Buy: Beauty and the Best Man (Dynasties: The Lassiters)

Review: A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh

temporary wifeHero: Sir Peregrine “Perry” Lampman is a good guy and effortlessly charming. He’s the toast wherever he goes. He has many male friends and many female admirers. He’s the toast of most parties as everyone adores him and respects him. He’s a beta hero and is kind in a way more romance novel heroes are not depicted. He stands apart for that kindness and his gentleness. He’s unflappable, sturdy, and trustworthy.

Heroine: Grace Howard is a spinster living with her vicar brother, who is dead at the start of the novel. When Perry offers for her hand in marriage to save her from destitution she confesses that she is not a virgin and once had a child (now dead). She implies the father of the child is dead. He still wishes to marry her because of his friendship with her brother.

Review: The sex scenes in this book are very mild. Perry is invested in them, but Grace is absent. It’s the only word I can think of to describe it. She lies there and holds him but doesn’t actively participate in their intercourse. It made perfect sense in the beginning because of both character’s pasts and personalities. That said, it bugged me that she never allowed herself to be coaxed into a more active role. Was she really so broken? Could Perry’s love not heal her? The inner monologue for both characters was stuck on repeat. All could have changed if they overcame an unwillingness to voice their wants, needs, and desires either because they felt lacking or were too embarrassed or both. In short, this is a slow romance with a focus on renewal and reconciliation. It gets credit for being a different storyline than the usual fanfare.

[Rating:1.5]

Buy: The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring

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Review: Torch in the Forest by Marcie Kremer

torch in the forestHeroine: Eleanor of Strathcombe is a young widow, only 18, and managing her late husband’s estate. Poachers are running rampant and keep escaping into the neighboring Lord’s estate, where her forrestor cannot pursue. The poacher’s activity is creating a whole host of problems. Then the long absent Lord returns and blames her for the poachers. What’s a lady to do? Fight him of course.

Hero: Lord Hugh of Wykeham doesn’t trust any woman, and stands accused of murdering his faithless wife. Now he is back from crusading and finds his lands are being poached. If Eleanor were a better stewardess this wouldn’t be a problem. Demanding control of the forest boundaries is the only option… that and to marry Eleanor’s sister… which clearly won’t do at all because Eleanor likes the arrogant fellow.

Review: I wasn’t able to connect with the characters in this book and found myself trudging through by sheer force of will at times. The heroine is too strong and comes across anachronistic. A child bride who was married for two years and widowed for two more could be strong, no question, but I didn’t sense the buildup of this strength. The hero is a dunderhead and came across one-dimensional.

[Rating:1.5]

Buy: Torch in the Forest (Entangled Scandalous)

Review: Frosted by Wendy Sparrow

frosted wendy sparrowHero: In Jack Frost’s kingdom he is all powerful and he loves bringing winter to Earth. When a prophecy led him to a lake to wait for his future queen, he was calm and expectant. When Kate fell through the ice and into his world, he was pleased and excited, but he came on too strong, too fast and lost her.

Heroine: Kate Finley used to love the winter months and all the winter activities that came with it. But seven years ago that changed and now she lives in Florida and tries to never leave the sunny state for any reason. It’s too bad for her that her boss expects her to hop on a plane to cater to a new client interested in snow skies… and the client? Jack Frost, whose myth was larger than life, whose myth would eventually claim her life too.

Review: One word: underwhelming. I know, ouch, but I was excited to read this and the potential was there. The story didn’t meet expectations. The silent frost pixies, isolated world, what would be the draw to become the queen? Jack wasn’t enough of a reason. He didn’t make the heroine (or me) feel like he was everything, sun and moon, etc. Both characters could have been fleshed out more. I felt like I was reading a plot/character synopsis instead of the full story. Too much tell, not enough show. The cover, however, is simply gorgeous. Wow! Also, I really liked the explanation of global warming. That was really clever.

[Rating:1.5]

Buy: Frosted (Entangled Ever After)