Audio Review: Sylvester by Georgette Heyer

sylvesterHeroine: Phoebe Marlow has a good head on her shoulders and sees the ton’s foibles for what they are. She’s also an aspiring writer who just finished penning a marvelous Gothic romance with cameos of different persons in the ton. She makes her bad guy the insufferable Duke of Salford and unwittingly creates his fictional character with a background very close to the real Sylvester. When Sylvester makes a good impression on her after the book is sent to the publishers, she’s desperate to change it but it’s too late!

Hero: Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, doesn’t remember meeting Phoebe the first time. He’s always prided himself on upholding the title with pride and dignity. To treat anyone ill is beneath him and his station. He decides the best way to get back at Phoebe for her slander is to marry the girl, but he goes about it all wrong and botches everything.

Review: In some respects you could say Sylvester is like Mr. Darcy, but they are not exact copies. Loved Sylvester’s nickname for Phoebe, “sparrow.” Super cute. I love a great nickname. I also liked the dynamics of the story. You have several side characters who add to the story’s tapestry and orchestrate all kinds of shenanigans from an ill-behaved nephew, a spoiled woman who wants the attention from being a pitiable mother without having to mother, a man as pompous as he is wealthy, and a platonic male friend who tries to do right but ends up making a mess of things because he lacks the savvy Sylvester was born with. Overall very enjoyable.

Narrator: Nicholas Rowe has a nice smooth voice. The recording is a little soft and I had to listen to it at higher volume than I normally would, but Rowe himself was great. He had a good cadence with the book and made Heyer’s novel entertaining and engaging.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Sylvester: or The Wicked Uncle, Sylvester: Or, the Wicked Uncle (audio book)

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: ★★★★½

Buy: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights)

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Review: Fired by Her Fling by Christy McKellen

fired by her flingHero: Tristan Bamfield arrives in London to settle a personnel dispute at his father’s radio station. Cleaning up messes for his dad is something Tristan is used to, having taken over the family kitchen cabinet business years ago. He has a fabulous evening with a sexy woman only to find out the next day that she’s one half of the dispute he has to resolve. He’s been played a fool — again!

Heroine: Tallulah (Lula) Lazenby gets tongue-tied around people which may sound odd as her job is as a radio DJ. Sleeping with her boss at the station was a huge mistake. Jez is a major sleazeball; and the promotion he promised her? Nowhere in sight. Imagine her surprise when her one night stand ends up firing her and calls her on the carpet for unethical behavior and manipulation.

Review: Lula’s celebrity personality (the confident side of herself) I felt had better chemistry with Tristan than her “real” timid personality. Tristan has some serious family issues with his brother stealing his fiancée and his dad serially marrying women. My favorite sequences in this story included the night these two hooked up the first time, when they realized who the other one was and the subsequent firing, and Tristan’s later groveling where he wins her back to the studio with gifts (not all appropriate, but all right, cute anyway).

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Fired by Her Fling

Review: A Rake by Any Other Name (Somerfield Park, Book 1) by Mia Marlowe

rake by any other nameHero: Richard Barrett (Lord Hartley) was enjoying his Grand Tour when he is called home to take his rightful place as the head of the household. His father fell from the roof and while alive, is no longer fit to run the estate. Richard soon discovers the financial situation is only going to be fix by wedding an heiress… which sucks because he was ready to offer marriage to Lady Antonia Pruett.

Heroine: Miss Sophie Goodnight and her parents are newly arrived from India where her father made his fortunes. Her dad is looking to sell her and his fortune to ensure his grandkids are aristocrats. Since she’s not too keen on that idea she partners up with Richard to foil their parents attempts at a match.

Review: This book sets up a love triangle between Sophie, Richard, and Antonia. As with most love triangles in romance between two females and a male, Lady Antonia was not an ideal match for Richard (or really any man) due to her duplicitous nature. All we had to do was wait for Richard to figure that out. I liked Sophie as a heroine. She was smart, capable, and put Richard in his place a time or two which left him all agog. Richard was a good hero too. He wanted to do right by his family and the estate, even when his family was using him to ensure their own comforts (a fun twist on the usual scenario where the heroine is sacrificed at the altar of marriage to ensure her family’s well-being.) The romance is sweet and lively and was one of my favorites to read this year. I devoured it quite quickly waiting to see what happened next.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: A Rake by Any Other Name (Somerfield Park)

Review: Reckless Games by M.J. Lowell

reckless gamesReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is told in the first person.

Lucy Flannigan is mourning the loss of someone very special to her.  And then she overhears something she shouldn’t have.  Rhys Carlyle is a man who has quite the appetite for the ladies.  These two have a very interesting first meeting.  Rhys is one cocky man who is very sure of himself.  He’s a man of mystery and is hard to figure out but he certainly knows how to take care of a woman.

The situation surrounding them is very serious but there are times that you just can’t help chuckling.  As you read the scene where they are having tea, you’ll understand how smooth and cocky Rhys can be.  He’s also a man who knows what he wants sexually so this isn’t for the shy or who like things missionary or vanilla.

Tarot cards become a part of self-discovery for Lucy.  She’s given some choices that she needs to decide if she’s going to take.  My question to you – “Would you take the chance and listen to what the cards are telling you?”  Would you even go to a fortuneteller?  Are you willing to push you comfort zone boundaries?  You may even get some pleasurable ideas.

There are scenes that are going to be graphic and push sexual boundaries, but that just expresses the need between our two main characters.  This is not just a book where two people get together and have sex.  There’s also mystery and suspense that pulls this book together and then there’s the war that goes on between the head and the heart.  Music plays a small part and an excellent way to set the mood so if you like classical get your favorites playing in the background.  I found that this is a book that you can put down but the problem was trying to find just the right place to stop.  But when you get to the end, be prepared…  I look forward to see how our author does with the sequel.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Reckless Games

Review: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, Book 11) by Lauren Willig

mark of the midnight manzanillaReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Make sure to read the Prologue because it prepares the reader for the first chapter.

Sally Fitzhugh is at an evening soirée and she has an interesting discussion with friends.  Lucien, the Duke of Belliston, has a late night visitor and they have an interesting discussion – there’s no way you can stop reading now.  Believe me, if you like to read historical, paranormal, and time travel romances by the end of chapter two this author will have you hooked.

Sally has an interesting personality and she’s a woman who doesn’t mind trying to figure things out.  This author could have left that story at that and just let things unfold from there but she took it a step further- she’s added in a mystery to be solved.  And don’t worry about wondering if you’ll be lost between the past and present – the author lets you know so there’s no confusion.

This was a book that looks to be part of a great series.  My only disappointment was that I didn’t start reading this author’s work before now.  I found that this book could be read as a stand-alone so you don’t need to read any of the other books to understand what is going on here.  My only hope is that if you liked this book as much as I did, and you haven’t read this series before, you will want to go back and read more about the ladies of the Pink Carnation.  If you’re patient, book twelve is scheduled to come out next August.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: A Pink Carnation Novel

Audio Review: Her Secondhand Groom (The Grooms, Book 3) by Rose Gordon

secondhand groomHero: Patrick Ramsey, needs a woman. She must like children, be good with children, and able to teach children. And Viscount Drakely will get what he needs – a motherness – or a mother and a governess for his three girls (Celia, Helena and Kate), all rolled up into one female. He knows the perfect woman to fill the position – Juliet Hughes, because her family borrowed money to send her to school and to give her a London Season and are indebted to him.

Heroine: Miss Juliet Hughes, was educated at London’s finishing school for young ladies. She’s plain. She’s common. Not at all like her sister, Henrietta, who Patrick thinks is her and the one he wants. He doesn’t bargain for Juliet to be confident, determined, and strong-willed. She is his match and equal in every way and she won’t let him look down on her.

Review: If you like mistaken identities and big misunderstandings, you’ll love Her Secondhand Groom. Juliet tries to tell Patrick he’s wrong but he won’t listen now that he has a plan to put in motion. I liked Juliet’s nickname for Patrick – Lord Presumptuous. She’s a heroine who can call her hero out on his idiocy and pigheadedness. She does it so charmingly too. I liked her relationship with the girls and how they all interacted. About the only thing that doesn’t work is Patrick’s devotion to his dead wife who he later calls manipulative.

Narrator: Louisa Murray has a very nice voice and I enjoyed listening to her narrate the story. She was very lively in her recitations between Juliet and Patrick. I would listen to Louisa again.
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Her Secondhand Groom (Groom Series Book 3), Her Secondhand Groom (Audio Book)

Review: Love Potions (Warlocks MacGregor Series, Book 3) by Michelle M. Pillow

love potionsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Lydia Barratt is walking through town but something doesn’t feel right. During her walk she meets Erik MacGregor – and it’s an interesting first meeting. You will see that they have a connection almost from the minute they meet. Erik is moving into the area and that is what’s going to make this an interesting read. Our author does not waste any time in fueling the fire between these two. You will get so lost in this book that you will lose track of time. It’s a book that you will not want to put down.

And who wouldn’t love to have a sexy highlander living next door – me, me, me (I don’t even have one in the neighborhood). Mine would most certainly wear a kilt and have nice smooth skin. And when he speaks he’d have that signature burr. How about you? This author certainly knows how to stimulate the reader’s imagination.

Erik has a scene with his brother Euann that will leave you chuckling and also give you some nice visuals. Lydia also has a great friend Charlotte that will keep you in stitches. I look forward to seeing if our secondary characters make another appearance. This is another reason that this is a great book – we want to know more about the other characters and not just the main ones.

It’s a great romance that has a little paranormal suspense and has an ending that will leave you smiling. And that ending will leave you wanting more and this is what makes a great author. She knows her readers very well.

During this time of year, we spend our time outdoors and on vacation. Why not take this book with you? If you’ve never read this author before, this story may give you the incentive to change that. Michelle has plenty of other books you can check out over at her web site, http://www.michellepillow.com/index.html.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Love Potions (Entangled Covet)