Audio Review: Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, Book 1) by Lisa Kleypas

cold heartedHeroine: Lady Kathleen Trenear didn’t know the man she’d married. She thought she had because of their courtship, but her husband’s true likeness was revealed after the I Do’s. Still, despite that, she loves his younger sisters and wants to protect them from the likes of our unsavory hero, the new heir, a scoundrel more likely to toss them out then be familial.

Hero: Devon Ravenel did not, I repeat, did not want the earldom. So of course he plans to sell it once it’s revealed the estate is up for renewal of it’s entailment. This surprises his lawyers, but not the late earl’s (his despicable cousin) widow.

Review: Much of the romance was apparently fielded through acerbic and tongue-in-cheek letters, which the reader only gets a small glimpse of. There’s a lot of page time in place for the next book in the series delivering readers a proud cit and a “poor” gentry girl in what I am sure is to be a Beauty and the Beast spin. I wasn’t too thrilled about this because I felt that Kathleen and Devon needed more screen time to develop their bond, but by the end I was digging the other pair. I also like the brother and how he goes from an unsavory sort to a better man, changing his habits, appearance, and laziness.

Narrator: I enjoyed listening to Mary Jane Wells. She had a good range of voices. I liked how she was able to portray one character in two ways as he himself changed in character.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: Cold-Hearted Rake

Audio Review: To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood (Wicked Wagers, Book 3) by Bronwen Evans

challenge earl of cravenswoodSummary: Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood, was in love with his mistress, but she left him for another protector. He would have married her if he could, but the ton would never allow it. Miserable among his blissfully wedded friends, Henry misses his perfect match who is right before his eyes. His friends conspire to get the two together, but little do they know that Henry and Lady Amy Shipton had already shared a secret and passionate embrace. (Not that Henry remembers who of course… but he’s determined to find her.)

Review: I loved the secret encounter in the garden, which leads to a lost earring. Henry guesses and then doubts that the woman in his arms had been Amy due to her clever thinking. You have to enjoy a heroine who can trick a hero and get him to look for a fake lost pet for an hour. As Amy and Henry fall for each other you have many things that get in their way – mostly misunderstandings. Amy wants someone who can love her and her alone, something she doesn’t think Henry is capable of. In Henry’s search for the woman missing the earring he uncovers what he thinks is his friend’s adultery. Overall, a very cute and sweet read.

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.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood (Wicked Wagers Trilogy)

Review: The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras

Christos ToulourasReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Leo decides to take a trip to Lima, Peru after his marriage has failed. In leaving for a far off place he has left behind all his pain, loss and depression, yet Leo does not expect to find a new love interest there in Marisol.

Review: The Love of Marisol is separated into four chapters; One Night in Bahia, The Smell of Lima, Nena and The House on White Beach. As Leo had been separated from his wife for nine months ad feels the pain of being apart from her for so long. You get to feel the extent of his depression and differs from the first few pages as he feels how his life has taken a wrong turn he does not feel he can escape from. You share his pain, the loss of his wife he spent ten years with who was his first love. We have all had our first love; the one we want to spend our whole lives with, his other regret is his son who he knows he will miss even though they are getting a divorce. Though he had three affairs with other women, he still misses his ex-wife. He tortures himself for having not been a positive person, believing if he had been, he might not have lost Rafaela. For most of the novel, he spends time with new and old friends in Lima, it is only by the third chapter that we get to meet Marisol, so Christos spends a lot of time keeping us waiting for the moment where he might become happier.

Good Bits:

  • Leo’s puffs of marijuana – naughty boy!
  • The love he has for his son and the fact he misses him so much. The sentiment is truly touching.
  • Marisol is a captivating woman he falls for almost instantly.

Summary: The Love of Marisol is a slow moving story of a man who has lost love, gone through the depression stage of a divorce and decided to change his life by going on holiday only to meet a woman he feels he has fallen for. You can sense how relieved Leo is to have another woman he can relate to and we all hope that we can find the same in our lives.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: The Love of Marisol

Review: The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, Book 4) by Jessica Sorensen

Jessica SorensenReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Ella has dreamed of the day when she will marry Micha, her dear beloved. It’s due to be the best Christmas she’s to have, but Ella receives a package that becomes a reminder of her past. This makes her wonder if she will ever be able to settle down with Micha when her life keeps on delivering such awful problems. Problems don’t just come from Ella’s side of the romance, Micha has an offer of touring with his famous band for a stretch of three months, but how can he expect her to drop everything and come with him?

Review: From the writer of Breaking Nova, The Secret of Ella and Micha, The Forever of Ella and Micha, and the Ever After of Ella and Micha. Build as being perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, Jessica Sorenson’s new novel in the Ella and Micha series has the two of them finally becoming a couple, if only the past did not keep coming back to haunt her. Chapter one sees Micha wondering why Ella had not come to the wedding, finding out when he gets back home she has left. The chapters are written from Ella and Micha’s own viewpoints and the build up to the time they were expected to get married. Lots of angst ensues with the both of them expressing their worries and feelings as if through diary entries. At first Micha thinks Ella handles the arrival of the package well, but the reality is Ella is keeping all her troubles inside as she does not want to cause even more problems. Finding who wrote the journal is quite a shock as it is the reason Ella decides it isn’t a good idea getting married.

Good Bits:

  • The arrival of the package from Gary!
  • Further reading of the journal prove interesting, and harrowing at the same time.
  • Reading about the both of them and their views on life is intriguing.

Summary: All that Micha wants is to make Ella happy and he sees it as his goal to do that. They have deep feelings for each other but Ella doesn’t want to disappoint him with her choices and what her mother felt if she opens up to him. This is a story that has gone from strength to strength with every novel.

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret Book 4)

Review: An Affair Downstairs by (Thornbrook Park, Book 2) by Sherri Browning

an affair downstairsHero: Logan Winthrop is an estate manager with a past. He was once gentry but was linked with the murder of his lover’s husband. To keep his brother’s family free of gossip he hid from polite society. But he can’t keep hiding around Alice.

Heroine: Lady Alice Emerson has no intention of ever marrying. She has a bucket list and she plans to pursue the completion of every adventure on it and a husband would get in the way. Alice wants to see India, shoot a pistol, and have an affair to name a few things on her list.

Review: Logan is a hero who will do what it takes to protect those around him, even if it is from himself. He has desired Alice for a while but saw the differences in their circumstances as insurmountable. He’s relatively easy to seduce when Alice chooses him as her first sexual experience. Don’t let Alice fool you, she thinks he’s a good choice for all the wrong reasons. Another man enters the picture and he says all the right things, pays all the right attention to Alice, and yet there’s something off about him. Will Logan step aside to give Alice a chance at the perfect match or will he claim her as his own? One nice thing about this book is that the sister isn’t evil (and there will be a time when you wonder, but she’s mostly shallow and clueless which are forgivable because she loves Alice).

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: An Affair Downstairs (A Thornbrook Park Romance Book 2)