Audio Review: Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers, Book 4) by Loretta Chase

dukes

Heroine: Lady Clara Fairfax receives too many proposals. (If only we all had this problem.) Men from the ton all seem to be proposing, but none of them interest her. She’s smart and she wants a man she can hold a true conversation with and discuss important matters.

Hero: Oliver Radford is a barrister that is too smart for his own good because he often sticks his foot in it. Although he normally doesn’t care, because he knows he’s right. He can’t afford to let Clara overrule his judgement, but he can’t seem to help it.

Review: I didn’t like this one very much at all. It was hard to like the hero. He’s too condescending, gives back-handed compliments, and renders apologies that are negated by the next words out of his mouth. I don’t think I would feel so antagonistic toward him if it wasn’t for the fact that it was an audio book. I don’t really fault the narrator, it’s just the difference between being able to skim read and having to listen to every word. At least the heroine repeatedly tosses his words back into his face. I did enjoy how he had to argue for her hand with her parents, that was fun.

Narrator: Kate Reading has some great lower London voices. I like her children voices quite a lot for the side characters like Squirrel.

[Rating:2.5]

Buy: Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers Series)

Sensually Snowbound with Lindsay Evans

Sex and snow have always seemed to belong together. Not necessarily two or more people rolling around in the cold white stuff (although I’ve written about that before) but being snug and warm behind closed doors with snow falling outside the windows, a fire getting the room nice and hot while an equally hot man tended to fires of an entirely different kind. That image was the catalyst for my latest novel, Snowy Mountain Nights. The story is hot, its hero even hotter, and the heroine overdue for a nice long blast of heat. Intrigued? Come with me on this journey.

9780373863952_SMPSnowy Mountain Nights by Lindsay Evans

On a much-needed ski getaway with her girlfriends, the last person Reyna Allen wants to run into is the lawyer who ruined her life. The tattoo artist’s bitter divorce left her with nothing, and she blames her ex-husband’s attorney, Garrison Richards. Now firelight dinners, winter walks in the Adirondacks, and toe-curling chemistry are daring her to give in to the one man she refuses to ever trust.

Garrison is good at his job—and where Reyna’s concerned, he may have been a little too good. He regrets the role he played in her divorce, and intends to show Reyna that he’s found his moral compass since then. But as their mutual heat thaws her resolve, will doubts put the freeze on their relationship—before he can convince her that they’re the ones meant for happily ever after?

Buy: Snowy Mountain Nights (Harlequin Kimani Romance)

5538_1382030788676096_1777985550_nBio:

Born in Jamaica, Lindsay Evans currently lives and writes in Atlanta, GA. She loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both. She writes sensual love stories for Harlequin Kimani. Find out more at www.LindsayEvansWrites.com.

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Snowy Mountain Nights Excerpt: 

Garrison stared after the woman while his secretary’s words on the other end of the line fell away from him in a garble of sound. She was the same one he had been watching from before. Now that he’d seen her face, she was breathtaking; an Amazon with a hauntingly beautiful face and body. He drew a quiet breath, hypnotized by the sway of her hips under the green dress as she walked away. Halfway down the train, she sat down with her three friends, never once glancing back at him.

“Garrison, are you still there?”

It took him a few seconds to realize Anthea was trying to get his attention. He mentally shook himself.

“My apologies, Anthea. I’m right here.”

He finished going over the particulars of the Reichman divorce, yet another rich client with children who didn’t want to financially support his offspring, then went back to his seat. He could hear the muted strains of the woman and her friends’ conversation from where he sat. And he wasn’t the only man glancing in their direction. Annoyed with himself for his uncharacteristic fascination, Garrison opened a folder for a case still in arbitration, but couldn’t concentrate on a single word.

The woman’s eyes haunted him. They were black and intense, her gaze as regal and unflinching as a queen. He drew a swift breath of surprise as he abruptly recalled who she was and how he knew her.

Reyna. Reyna Barbieri.

He’d handled her divorce from her actor husband nearly five years before. From the look on her face, she had undoubtedly known who he was on sight. And she hadn’t been happy to see him.

Garrison remembered the first time he saw her. Ian Barbieri, a client of his whose ship had come in the form of a syndicated crime drama, was a few years into the TV show when he filed for divorce. Every fall, his face was up on billboards all over New York City, advertising the new installment of his show.

With his star burning bright through the network TV sky, Barbieri had breezed into Garrison’s office wanting a quick and surgical separation from his wife of nearly nine years. Garrison hadn’t been surprised. Although Ian Barbieri was a relatively small fish in the show business pond in New York, the rumor had been going around for months (with pictures included) that he was cheating on his high school sweetheart. That he left her to keep the home fires burning while he had sex with nearly every wannabe starlet and groupie in the city. What had surprised Garrison was that Barbieri’s wife hadn’t hired a lawyer of her own. Neither had she objected to any of the terms of the divorce that her ex proposed.

Garrison drafted the documents with the stipulations Barbieri wanted and arranged a meeting with the wife thinking that, since the divorce was uncontested, it would be an easy and quick process. Barbieri wanted to keep just about everything he’d made and acquired since the marriage, leaving his wife with nothing but her wedding ring. She hadn’t protested.

Then Reyna Barbieri walked into the conference room. Given Barbieri’s movie star looks, Garrison had been prepared for a similar creature, perfectly quaffed and artificial, the New York version of Hollywood. But Reyna had that wholesome loveliness that came from a life lived apart from show business. The air in his lungs stuttered at her natural, long-legged beauty. And the misery in her face.

Her shoulders were slumped. The floral, summer dress and light sweater were too insubstantial for the fall weather and too big for her body. The wounded and defenseless look of her made him want to protect her. Garrison wanted to pull her into his arms and shelter her from everything that he knew was to come.

His heart thumped viciously at the unusual wave of feeling. He sat in his chair staring at Reyna as if she was the only person in the room. Garrison was surprised that everyone else hadn’t stared at him for his blatantly fatuous and unprofessional behavior.

He realized then that despite her husband’s flagrant cheating, she had not wanted to end the marriage. And that her husband had hurt her in ways that she had never expected and would probably never recover from. Garrison remembered pulling out a chair for Reyna. He also remembered her flinching from him. Her reaction had hurt, twisted him with guilt even though he knew he’d done nothing wrong. At least not technically.

In hindsight, Garrison should have insisted that Barbieri provide for her even though she had pressed for nothing on her own behalf and seemed to be waiting on the man she’d spent nearly half her life with to treat her fairly. Garrison’s inaction, and Reyna’s sadness, had haunted him ever since.

But the Reyna who had confronted him outside the bathrooms was not the same sad woman he’d met five years before. Not at all. This Reyna Barbieri was stunning for a completely different reason.

She wore her confidence like a royal cloak. And her snapping black eyes had challenged him the moment she realized who he was. Her chin-length curls were tight and thick, inviting him to sink his hands into them and pull her closer. And her body. Christ almighty…

The long and tight sweater hugged a figure that came straight from his dreams, a slender but curvaceous body he could easily imagine taking into his arms and making love to all night. Because of her, he was powerfully aware of every masculine part of him, aware that he wanted to be intimately joined to every feminine part of her.

Buy: Snowy Mountain Nights (Harlequin Kimani Romance)

Review: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights, Book 1) by Victoria Vane

Slow Hand-300Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nicole “Nikki” Powell has some regrets.  And with the way her story starts off you have to feel sorry for her.  And the author does a great job at showing all the emotions that Nikki is feeling.  Wade Knowlton has a soft heart but that doesn’t mean that he’s a pushover.  The author did a great job in showing how seductive or sweet he could be.  Their first real interaction will have you chuckling.  Our couple’s second conversation shows what a great read this is going to be.  You will have to read in order to find out who won the “tug of wills”.

This book is also a great incentive to check out Montana if you’ve never been.  Another suggestion would be to check out those vacations that you could spend your time on a working ranch.  But in both instances you will want to make sure to bring this book with you.  There is tons of steam heat and you can’t blame it on the humidity – just sayin’.  There’s graphic language and some graphic sex scenes so that you will need plenty of ice or a big fan handy.  It may even spice up your love life a little.

Some authors include a character that you just seem to hate – one step above a jerk.  This is one more incentive to grab your own copy of this great book – to learn more about Wade’s brother.  And this author goes one step further and includes a real bitch that has you hoping that she gets what she deserves.

Victoria will give you your HEA ending and this book will also get you ready for Rough Rider that comes out in February.  If I have one disappointment is that I wasn’t able to get to a ranch in order to set the tone while reading this book – but never say never.  And if you would like to read a Christmas novella starring our couple, Slowly Unwrapped can be found at Victoria’s web site.  (http://www.victoriavane.com/free-reads/).

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights)

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Review: Urbino, Unexpectedly by Maria Chiara Marsciani

urbino unexpectedlyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Twenty-two year old Clara is a student in Milan and wants a future as a lawyer, but is that all she wants in life? Even though the backdrop of everything that is beautiful about Italy, its alps, romantic hamlets, Rome and Milan, she soon discovers she hates everything about Italy due to her parents expecting too much of her. For her, meeting Leonardo is the best thing that has happened to her even though her parents do not approve of her wanting to marry him later on.

Review: Though Clara is from an upper class background she feels she doesn’t fit in wherever she goes. Her father is someone who is also influential and to be feared, while her mother tries to organise her life from the start. For her, her grandma is the only one who she can talk to, that is until she meets Leonardo who shows her she can enjoy herself without being trapped in her parents’ morals, and lifestyle. You would think that Leonardo being a doctor would make her parents approve, but for her parents, no one she chooses to be with is ever good enough for their high standards. In order to be her own person, Clara knows she has to break away from the parents she soon realises are stifling her creativity and general life, and it will be a big problem for her to do this as her parents have been controlling her for so long.

Good Bits:

  • Leonardo – he sounds very attractive in this book
  • Readers get to appreciate Clara’s cramped life and can come to the conclusion that having money and connections isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Bad Bits:

  • It can be dull at times

Summary: As everything crumbles around her parents’ lives and their control is lessened due to Leonardo’s influence, the story changes from being one of depression and doom to being a more positive outlook on her life, but the depression element has to be ground in so that the changes can show later in the story. There is a lot of romance in this story, and it is one not to be missed.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: Urbino, Unexpectedly: a story of love and self-discovery

Review: Lingerie and Felons by Ros Baxter

9780857991393Summary: Lola is always wearing the wrong underwear at the worse times… like upon arrest. Wait! Let’s back up a minute!

Lola’s parents repeatedly told her she could make a difference growing-up. Lola wants that. She wants to have purpose and be a force of change… The trouble for Lola is that she’s not sure what force of change she wants to be. As she tries to help she slips into and out of tricky legal situations such as the aforementioned arrest.

Along the way Lola meets a handsome Australian broker and a sexy lawyer with Superman tendencies. Her heart is torn and the choice should be easy, but there isn’t a pair of undies to tell a girl what to do and who to be with… Lola will have to figure that out on her own.

Review: I really enjoyed Wayne. When he’s first introduced he’s clearly the opposite of the heroine. They butt heads on a lot of issues. I loved that he switched Lola’s nickname on the first date and started to call her Rocket. That was really cute.

Wayne gets Lola on a level that she’s terrified of because on the surface Wayne is all wrong. She’s hardcore save the planet, hippy, libertarian, democrat and he’s a “heartless” and “soulless” suit, except he isn’t. Wayne is greatly amused by Lola and her passion for making a difference. It changes him throughout the novel. I really felt for him and wanted him to find someone special who loved him and wanted to be with him.

The greatness that is Wayne aside, I do not like Lola, and since the story is from her point of view (POV) that puts me in a predicament. I liked her fine in the beginning of the story, but actions she takes reveals that Lola is narrow-minded and shallow about what is right and what is wrong, and she argues instead of debates. Wayne gets in a really good point about money when she’s on her high horse and it makes her very uncomfortable.

Then there is Lola’s emotional immaturity. She ends her and Wayne’s relationship when it gets to be “too real” and hides her emotions in another relationship because the man is a safe choice. He’s rebound all the way and she uses this other man, who is equally great (but not great for her), to hide. This is perfectly acceptable in the beginning of the novel when she’s younger and a grad student. Everybody needs some time to figure out what they want and who they want.

But, as the years go by, she should have a better grip on what she wants/needs and not face a panic attack every time she and Wayne cross paths. Lola pushes Wayne away at all of their encounters, tells him lies when she’s scared she might fall back into a relationship with him, and misdirects him (regarding her daughter, Eve). She feels that wanting Wayne means being untrue to herself and punishes him for it. I’m honestly surprised he wanted her after all the years apart and all her crazy. And she hurts another in her endeavor to protect herself from what loving Wayne might mean.

[Rating:2]

Buy: Lingerie For Felons