Review: An Unsuitable Match (The Duke of Strathmore, Book 2) by Sasha Cottman

cover52980-mediumHeroine: Lady Clarice Langham is in the unenviable position of watching the future Duke of Strathmore wed another woman. (She used to be engaged to the the man). Even being an heiress and a previous ton favorite doesn’t shelter her from vicious gossip and a waning society crown.

Hero: David Radley is the eldest son of the current Duke of Strathmore, but is alas illegitimate even if he is recognized by the duke. He’s loved Clarice for years and sees now as the perfect time to pledge his case.

Review: I think this book is better after having read the first in the series. Readers will have more background on Clarice and David. Clarice did not come across as a strong heroine, although I think she was meant to be because of her inner strength holding onto a secret. She felt drab and plain (she binds her body.) I could not connect with her. David was a good sort. He didn’t envy his younger brother the status of heir to the dukedom and he had a good relationship with his siblings.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: An Unsuitable Match: Destiny Romance

Review: The Trouble with Honor (Cabot Sisters, Book 1) by Julia London

9780373778454_prdHeroine: Honor Cabot, a favorite of the ton, knows she is in a pickle. Their stepbrother’s social-climbing fiancée is Honor’s once-friend turned nemesis. Honor doesn’t know who would make her an acceptable husband so she makes a bargain with a rogue in order to gain the time she needs. If he can successfully seduce the Monica so that her stepbrother’s wedding is stalled or canceled, she will have a chance to secure her ailing mother and younger sisters.

Hero: George Easton is the illegitimate son of a duke who is now dead. Like his father, his half-brother also refuses to acknowledge him. He might be reluctant to play charming seducer, but Honor knows his price. First things first though… he’s not considered acceptable. Somehow he’s got to be invited into polite society. The more time he spends with Honor the less he wishes to woo the fiancée.

Review: Honor is a mischievous devil-may-care young lady with an impeccable reputation she doesn’t deserve. She first meets George when she convinces her young male admirers to bring her and a few other young ladies to a gaming club. She sits down at George’s gaming table and challenges him to play… and ends up winning all his money before he knew what hit him. I quite liked her feistiness. I’m glad the George calls Honor on her horrible plan and labels it selfish and cruel to both parties… if only he could afford not to play along with it. His efforts are thankfully, minimal. On a personal level, I could have done without Honor’s mother steadily loosing her mind. There is one thing, I do question though… How come the earl’s death leads to Honor’s scheme in the first place? How can a loving stepfather/husband be unwilling or incapable of securing enough sums for his soon-to-be widow and stepdaughters? Especially if he didn’t fully trust his besotted son/fiancée?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Trouble with Honor

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Review: An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

offer from a gentlemanHeroine: Sophie Beckett might be the daughter of an earl, but she’s not legitimate. She’s lived as an unpaid maid to her stepmother and stepsisters since her father passed away. One evening, she dared to sneak into Lady Bridgerton′s masquerade ball and found “Prince Charming.” As charming as he may be, Sophie know not even a second son would never marry her… or would he?

Hero: Benedict Bridgerton’s society nickname ‘Second’ relegated him to a nonentity from a young age. It’s a state of being he’s determined to break even if society would rather keep him there. At a family ball he spies a gorgeous creature dressed in silver, but before the evening’s end she vanished. Years later, his mother gets a new housemaid who stirs him. But he’s still determined to find his silver beauty and wed her… even if his heart might be leaning elsewhere.

Review: Fancy a sweet Cinderella romance? Then you’ll want to pick this book up! We start at the ball almost immediately and boy is it an adorable sequence with a splash of sexy. Their story is part magic and part harsh reality. In the magic of the ball all seems possible. In the light of day, he’s a nobleman and she’s a maid. How could it ever work? In reality, it couldn’t, but lucky for Benedict he’s falling for the same woman twice. Sensual, charming, and full of life.

Fav Quote: “I can live with you hating me,” he said to the closed door. “I just can’t live without you” — Benedict to Sophie

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons)

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Review: A Venetian Affair by Dana Mitchell

Venetian AffairReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Helen Stoddart is a singer who has caught a gentleman’s attention. Gabriel Venier has come to listen to opera at a Venetian café. He also comes to the aid of a damsel in distress. The heat is combustible between the two of them. If my book was a paperback, the pages would burn.

If you like to listen to music while reading your books, you may want to try listening to Il Divo and Il Volo. Or if you prefer opera, you could try stopping down at your local library and see what they suggest. Me, I loved watching “The Pirates of Penzance” with Linda Rondstadt and Kevin Kline. You can catch a segment below:

This is a story about misunderstandings. Dana shows how misconceptions can hurt and how people can overcome other people’s attitudes. Helen is a passionate woman but she has a mask that she always wears when she is around others. Will she ever find someone who will look beyond that mask? The only way you can answer that question is if you read this book.

Besides having just the right amount of sex, Dana puts in just enough tension that will have you turning the page. She also reminds her readers that you can’t pick your family. But best of all we get our HEA ending. It will be interesting to see what she has in store for her readers next. But while you wait, try giving Dana’s book A Venetian Affair a chance.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: A Venetian Affair

Audio Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin, Book 1) by Anna Campbell

seven nights of sinHero: Jonas Merrick is the illegitimate son of the late Viscount Hillbrook. In his youth, his cousin, William Merrick, the new Lord Hillbrook, slashed his face deep leaving him permanently disfigured. His deepest desire to exact revenge on William and his plans are going smoothly right up until William’s wife, Roberta, sends her virgin spinster sister to pay of the debt she owes Jonas. What the hell! Intrigued by her gumption and her beauty, Jonas strikes a new deal – and might just wind up offering his heart in the bargain too.

Heroine: Sidonie Forsythe will not let Jonas ruin her sister, who is in a very difficult situation at home, so she takes Roberta’s place in the beast’s bed. When they meet, she is able to change the agreement a little bit. Instead of taking her virginity outright, Sidonie is allowed to resist, if she can, his charms. Seven nights in Jonas’ bed, sparks a desire in her heart to be with him for always and she wants to give into it, but the secret she holds could be her undoing.

Review: Despite the fact that Jonas is not quite beastly enough, and the Gothic atmosphere is not quite heavy enough, the story is undoubtedly a great retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was very drawn to both the hero and heroine. Their chemistry was off the charts. Like Sidonie, you will want to give into Jonas. His emotional scars are deep and you want to see them healed. If you are like me, you will be grabbed by the get go and be sad to see it end.

Narrator: Antony Ferguson has a wonderful voice. I loved to listen to him. He can read me a historical romance any time he wants.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin)

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Review: The Guy’s Guy Guide to Love by Robert Manni

ggg2loveReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Max Hallyday has a meeting with a client, Layla Korindopolos. He’s invited his best friend, Roger Fox, to join them. Max has a booking problem and Roger’s not helping. Max is showing us around the advertising business.

Cassidy Goodson and her friend, Serena de los Reyes, are discussing Max. They’re discussing someone that Max cares about, Veronica. We also find out that Cassidy and Veronica used to work together. Roger gives us the impression that he’s a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy. And he looks like he’s done something he may soon regret.

I get a sense, from Max, that his old job was a fun place to work. It makes you wonder about his motivation for leaving. It also gives us some indication of how much time and the amount of people it takes to advertise a product. To me it seems to be quite a cutthroat business – you must have a very thick skin to do that year after year.

Robert’s got me wanting to go to the zoo – I don’t think I’ve been very observant. He’ll also have you laughing through this scene. You’ll know it when you read it. Robert also shows us that men have fantasies just like women do. He adds reality to his book by showing that there are times when business and friendship don’t necessarily work.

Our author has also left me wanting to see the artwork for the ad campaign that Max is working on. My imagination is good but I still would have loved to have seen if it measured up to Robert’s. I think this is a book that both men and women will like.

It certainly tells men what they shouldn’t do. It also makes women aware of what to look for. There are lessons in the story if you are willing to look. I love how New York is the backdrop for this story. I don’t think the story would have worked as well if another city was used.

I was very glad that I had the chance to read this book. I have read two books by men before and was very disappointed and was not impressed with what I read. I’m glad that Robert has changed my mind. I will give male author’s work another chance. This book has some romance to it but it’s much more than that. If you are in a relationship this may be a book that you want to sit together and read. Then follow it up by taking a look around Robert’s web site, http://www.robertmanni.com/.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love

Review: Murder, Mayhem & Mama by Christie Craig

murder mayhem and mamaReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Calie McKay is in Hopeful, Texas. She’s a teacher and her mother recently passed away. Her boyfriend, Stan, isn’t very sympathetic. Detective Brit Lowell works in the Hopeful’s Homicide Division. He’s currently working the graveyard shift.

One night Cali comes home and Stan’s not there. When she goes to sleep her mother fits prominently in her dream. You would think with the title Christie used that it might be a little dark but it has some quirky moments – not to give too much away but “I hear dead people”.

I think that this book would make a great murder mystery movie. Christie gives us the dark side of murder. We get to see how the police department works to solve the murders that have occurred. And she makes us laugh a little when we see the ghostly side of the story. We would need actors that can be serious one moment, make us laugh the next, and then talk to people they cannot see. Who would you choose to play the parts?

There was one scene that just started getting to the interesting part and then we cut to another scene. You’re left wondering “what happened, what happened!” But this is what makes a great page turner. We have to keep reading so that we can see what’s going to happen next.

Christie shows her readers how officers feel, and act, after one of their own has been killed. This hit home for me after one of our area towns had an officer that was killed in the line of duty. And as I read this story, I’m reminded how my own mother passed away several years ago. I would like to think that she’s somewhere looking after me.

One thing that I found a little predictable, probably from watching too many cop shows on TV, was how the cops believe that somehow Cali is involved with what is going on. Brit surprised me too when there were times he could be romantic. He seemed like such a jerk. You’ll love the nickname that Cali gave him.

I have read some other of Christie’s work and this is another good one. Her story flows right from the beginning. She makes us think that guardian angels are possible. It also shows that our men, and women, in blue go through a lot to protect us. If you get this read within the next couple of months, you will be ready for her blog tour that starts toward the end of August. If you visit her web site, http://www.christie-craig.com/, you will find out what book will be involved with the tour.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Murder, Mayhem and Mama

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Review: Never Wager Against Love (Kellingtons, Book 3) by Maureen Driscoll

never wager against loveHero: When Arthur Kellington was younger he saved a Romany fortune teller from a terrible situation and got his fortune told in repayment. He was told his true love would be shot and he’d be too late to save her. With news like that, Arthur decided to never fall in love. But he doesn’t try very hard to stick to that resolution when he meets the heroine.

Heroine: Vanessa Gans, bastard daughter, and an agent of the Crown, is chasing after two criminals and potential spies. She steals Arthur’s horse, but soon discovers that Merlin is very obedient to his master. When he catches up with her and insists on helping her find these bad guys and pursue the treasure, she’s not sure it’s a good idea. He’s a civilian and could get hurt… or at least that is what she tells herself. In truth, she’s scared of her reaction to him.

Review: Like the previous novel, Never Miss a Chance, this one has overlapping parts. Occasionally within the story there is some POV changing to Kellingtons who are not the main character, as they have some significant cameo run-ins with their significant other. It’s worth reading the series in order not to miss them.

Strengths: Arthur – he believes in Vanessa, let’s her take the lead, and throws himself in front of a bullet for her.

Weaknesses: I figured out the bad guy during his initial scene in the story. It took some fun out of the treasure hunting aspect of the tale.

Sexiest sequence: Making love in a vault!

Last minute thoughts: Is it Liam’s romance yet? Pout! I am desperate to read his ducal romance!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Never Wager Against Love (Kellington Book Three)