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: The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, Book 1) by Sarah MacLean

rogue not takenLADY SOPHIE’S SOCIETY SPLASH

The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.

ROYAL ROGUE’S REIGN OF RAVISHMENT!

The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.

WAR? OR MORE?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…

Top Ten Hero Alert!! King is one of my favorite heroes. I LOVED HIM! He doesn’t want to be a good guy, he doesn’t want to help Sophie, and he wants to push her away. He sticks his foot in his mouth multiple times and then berates himself for being horrible. He’s dragged into his emotions one moment at a time.

Top Ten Heroine Alert !! I rarely say I love a heroine the way I love a hero. Sophie is witty, strong, and self-sufficient. I love how she can match the hero in wits.

One of my favorite moments in the book:

“You left my Hessian in a hedge.”

“You left me in a hedge.”

“I had no use for you.”

“Well, I had no use for your boot.”

[Rating:5]

Buy: The Rogue Not Taken: Scandal & Scoundrel, Book I

Review: Bedding the Wrong Brother (Bedding the Bachelors, Book 1) by Virna DePaul

bedding the wrong brotherSummary: Melina Parker has been dumped again for being the opposite of what a man desires in the bedroom. She doesn’t understand what she’s doing wrong. Enlisting the help of one of her close friends, a trusted playboy with a heart of gold, she plans to get practical hands-on experience to improve her future performances. Little does she know that Max Dalton plans to substitute his twin brother Rhys for the sexual teaching/awakening.

Review: Max got in the way of Melina and Rhys when they were in high school and has felt bad ever since. Rhys hasn’t ever really moved on, so when Max is propositioned by Melina to turn her into a sex diva he jumps on board in hopes of making amends. It’s little work to convince Melina to drop the spectacles and push his brother into the hotel room. Once the door is shut the rest is on them. This story starts off very sexy but derails a bit as the story progresses. I found future scenes between the two lacking that initial heat and passion. A lot of time is devoted to unraveling the threads of the past, getting over hurt feelings, and then figuring out if the relationship is worth it. (Max and Rhys are traveling magicians; Melina wants 2.5 kids and a white picket fence.)

[Rating:2.5]

Buy: Bedding The Wrong Brother (Bedding the Bachelors, Book 1)

Audio Review: To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield (Wicked Wagers, Book 1) by Bronwen Evans

dare the duke of dangerfieldSummary: Harlow Telford, the Duke of Dangerfield, has won his neighbor’s estate. He plans to give it to his younger half-brother as revenge on the man who took advantage of his mother’s grief. Harlow isn’t expecting the man’s hellion daughter on his doorstep demanding he return the property. It wasn’t her father’s to wager. It was her property left to her through her mother’s estate. Even though his conscience demands he return it, Harlow chooses another route. If he marries the chit, she won’t need the estate. So he wagers her. The stakes are steep – if she wins, he returns the property; if he wins, she joins him in his bed.

Review: This book is my favorite in the trilogy. I love how tenacious Lady Caitlin “Cate” Southall is to see her future secure. She is also smart to demand the contests be fair. There’s horse racing (her pick), a bake-off (a bystander’s pick), and a game of cards (his pick). Who will win? Because the stakes aren’t what they appear – the true thing at stake is love. Fast, fun, and fabulous.

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. I’d listen to her again.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield (Wicked Wagers Trilogy)

Audio Review: How to Marry a Duke (How To, Book 1) by Vicky Dreiling

how to marry a dukeHero: Some think the Duke of Shelbourne is too picky. He wants to find the perfect wife – someone who is a darling in the ballroom and a temptress in bed. He’s perfectly bored with the ladies he’s met so far and is sure he doesn’t want to court a girl just out of the schoolroom. When he stumbles into a matchmaker he believes he’s found the perfect solution. Have her find him a bride and then he’ll court for a day or two, maybe a week, propose, marry, and that will be it. Back to life as normal.

Heroine: Normal? What man could marry without knowing his bride first? Tessa Mansfield can not believe what she’s hearing from the Duke. She knows his plan is abysmal so she goes ahead with her own. He doesn’t want word to get out? She ensures two dozen ladies and their mamas attend the first round of his courtship. He wants each candidate to have the full list of charms he says are important to him? She’s positive each girl lacks one or two. She and the duke bicker and flirt the whole time and somewhere along the way she wishes she’d placed herself on his candidate list.

Review: It’s like a dating reality TV show! I liked that aspect immensely. I wish some of the dating schemes in the beginning were longer, but understand that going into detail on two dozen candidates would be a bit heavy handed. I might be one of the few who really liked the play of a contemporary theme in a historical setting. So, if you don’t think a dating contest is even remotely legit in a Regency historical setting don’t pick up the book. Otherwise if you’re looking for something light, sweet, and sexy go right on ahead.

“We must talk.”

An arrested expression crossed her face. “I do not think that is a good idea.”

“Tess, we’ve no time to argue now.”

She inhaled sharply. “I am deeply sorry for seducing you. It did not occur to me that you would become so distraught.”

“What?” Had she forgotten to pack her brains?

“You must not worry, for I will still respect you tomorrow.” She paused. “But…”

Tristan gaped at her.He must have pleasured her senseless. A knock sounded at the door. They both turned to stare at it.

Then she glanced at him and said in a rush, “I hope you will forgive me, but I cannot make an honest man out of you.”

Narrator: Elizabeth Jasicki has a nice voice. She narrates convincingly for both sexes. I chose to listen to her at a slightly faster than normal rate of reading. Overall I would listen to her again. She did a good job!

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: How to Marry a Duke, How to Marry a Duke (Audio Book)