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: ★★★★½

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

Review: Cinderella and the Sheikh by Teresa Morgan

cinderella sheikHero: Sheikh Rasyn (Ra-sin) Al Jabar has no interest in becoming the next ruler of his homeland, Abbas in North Africa. He decides a Western wife will surely raise the country’s hackles and get him out of the line for succession. When he spies Libby, he thinks he can fulfill his desire to leave the throne and get pleasure out of the arrangement too. He puts on his most charming face and goes in for the kill.

Heroine: Libby Fay is working as a waitress at Hotel Scheherazade in very posh upscale Manhattan. She earns big tips from the wealthy clientele. Waitressing for Libby allows her to wait on people who need a little tender loving care (TLC). She feels that she makes people’s days easier. Growing up, she and her mom would play restaurant, and that’s when she found her calling. This job is the best job she’s ever had and she’s not about to mess it up for a playboy sheikh… even if he’s devilishly handsome and charming to boot.

Review: Libby is no fool. She doesn’t feel Rasyn’s attentions are genuine. He’s only just met her – how can he be in love with her? When he proposes marriage on the first “date” she’s floored. She doesn’t love him, why would she marry him? She says “yes” to help him save face, but an inch given is a mile taken with Rasyn. Twice in the novel, Libby’s mom provides the push to allow Libby to open up to Rasyn. First, he looks at Libby like her father looked at her mother… and then later when her mom asks if she ever gave her heart a chance to love Rasyn. I liked Rasyn’s line about not marrying a man you love, but marrying a man who loves you. I thought that was great! I also like how his plan to bring in an uncultured Western woman backfires. She’s genuine and kind which draws people to her. So while she makes social gaffs like he expected, their results are anything but catastrophic. Poor Rasyn.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Cinderella and the Sheikh (Hot Contemporary Romance)

Review: Maid for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1) by Marie Force

Marie ForceHeroine: Maddie is a single mother, scraping to get by as a maid at the McCarthy’s hotel. She’s given all the crap jobs because of her reputation as a slut. The reputation is totally unearned. The one time she had sex she got pregnant. It’s all because of her endowments in certain areas. Boys in high school were cruel and the girls were jealous. Small town life and gossip sucks a big one, but what is a girl to do? She can’t save enough to leave.

Hero: The McCarthy golden boys are rich, sexy, athletic, and excel at all they touch. Mac is so successful he is stressing out and over-committing himself to his business interests. When his girlfriend dumps him, and his doctor tells him to take a vacation, Mac packs up and heads back to Gansett Island and his family’s hotel. Along the way he literally runs into the heroine and knocks her off her bike. As a gentleman he has to help, but she doesn’t want it! Why is she so stubborn?

Review: Love small town romances? Pick up this book! Wraps up happily into a HEA! A few negatives though… you’ll want to bitch-slap the hero’s mother. She can’t take a hint and is very small minded and petty. Also a negative is Maddie’s overreaction to Mac’s attempts to fix her reputation. He did well with that, I feel. Mac is a perfect hero. He rates very high!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Maid for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1)

Review: Fulfill Me by Victoria Blisse

Fulfill Me by Victoria BlisseReviewed by Sandra Scholes

The Steamy Synopsis:

Why is it when you want to go out with some gorgeous guy, there’s always someone who wants to get in your way? This time though, it isn’t another woman, but a man. It is PA hottie Mike who stands between her and Nick Casey the star of top soap Dobson’s Digs. She wants him, that’s for sure, but is she prepared for how much she has to do to get him to go out with her? Who knows, but Mike isn’t about to let her have her way so easy – not when he wants him too.

The Dream Characters:

Nick: He’s the star of Dobson’s Digs, and isn’t a diva, which is amazing, but he is kind and generous to his friends. When he meets Caitlyn by accident, he finds he likes her, and wants to share some of his time with her, but only if he can slip away from Mike’s clutches – he does tend to be a bit of a mother hen and it annoys him, but not as much as it does her.

Mike: He’s the PA and bodyguard that comes between Caitlyn, and she doesn’t like him one bit, but she has to tolerate him if she wants to get anywhere near talking distance to Nick. He doesn’t like her at first either as she doesn’t understand how much of a big star he is or the demands put on him by his acting career.

Caitlyn: At first Caitlyn/Katy strikes you as a star struck fan of Nick’s and it reads as a bit disturbing, as though she is a stalker. She wants to know where he is, and buys his underwear off of E-bay – that’s the sort of woman she is, but Blisse doesn’t let her stay that way, she gives her an extra dimension that works throughout the book.

The Hot Result: At the moment, BDSM erotica has been made famous by the hype got by Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, but this novel has the added bonus of having MMF style romance put into the mix, making it more interesting – it adds that extra spice Shades of Grey doesn’t have, and as a result, it will have universal appeal. Blisse shows the two of them lead very different lives; Caitlyn’s isn’t as rosy as she would like as hers is pretty normal, while she sees Nick’s as a celebrity lifestyle, which it is, but he isn’t as caught up in the bright lights as she is. He can still keep his head, his rational mind above all the glitz and glamour.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Fulfill Me (BBW Erotica)

Review: Great Aunt Sopia’s Lessons for Bombshells by Lisa Cach

lessons for bombshellsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story takes place in Pebble Beach, California. Grace Cavanaugh has come for the summer to take care of her great aunt. As she takes care of Sophia, she’ll also be working on her dissertation. Sophia was what used to be called a “B” actress. If you follow this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_movie, it will give you the definition of what a “B” movie and a “B” actor is.

With Grace going after her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies, I’m a little surprised at how she feels about herself. Her time with her aunt is starting off with a real bang – she meets her aunt’s personal assistant. Darlene has quite the personality. You will have to read in order to understand.

As Darlene takes Grace, and her friend Cat, up to see her aunt they meet Declan O’Brien. He’s Sophia’s financial advisor and “friend”. When they finally meet the aunt, two words come to mind – “hot ticket”. Their first “debate” is both intellectual and funny. Sophia shoots straight from the hip and takes no prisoners. She says what she feels no matter who gets hurt.

You will find that Lisa uses some big words with Grace’s character. If you don’t know what they mean, just keep a dictionary handy. Don’t let them put you off – they show you how intelligent Grace is. Declan is a plain spoken man but it will be interesting to watch his interactions with Grace.

Great aunt and niece make a bet and this is where the fun begins. Now make sure that you don’t miss a page otherwise you may miss something good. Lisa also has you chuckling especially when we see Grace hide some food. We also get to see some of Grace’s research. She could just make note of it in the story and move on but she gives the reader actual snippets of Grace’s research notes.

Lisa has made Declan a man who is full of himself. He seems to be someone that most women would stay away from – if you’re looking for a lasting relationship. He and Grace have a love/hate relationship. We’ll have to continue reading to find out who teaches who a lesson. This is what makes it tough to put this book down.

Lisa takes on a very hard subject in her book – women and their weight. Women just have so many issues and I was brought up in the age where there were two things about women that were off limits – a woman’s age and her weight. Lisa doesn’t get preachy but does show how family can be when one of their women is just a little too curvy.

If you have never read any of Lisa’s work, this is a great piece to cut your teeth on. You can also check out her web site, http://lisacach.com/, and see what else she has available. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Great-Aunt Sophia’s Lessons for Bombshells

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Review: The Rogue Pirate’s Bride by Shana Galen

Reviewed by Susan S.

Climb aboard The Shadow! And set sail upon the high seas with Shana Galen’s new novel, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. There’s plenty of adventure (narrowly escaping death by sword, dagger, pistols, and sinking ships), romance (hot cabin sex), and entertainment (whether imprisoned or freed-they’ll hate each other, save each other, and love each other).

Summary: The Conclusion to the Seas of the Revolution Trilogy, Book Three When Raeven Russell (heroine) finds Captain Cutlass (Bastien), she’s going to rip his black heart out! It was his ship The Shadow which battled the HMS Valor. And now, her fiancé is dead. For months, she’s entertained thoughts of avenging Timothy’s death. What Raeven never expected-was to be held captive aboard the privateer’s ship.

Bastien has just kidnapped the daughter of a British admiral; initiating events that’ll surely culminate with his death. Will Raeven find a way to escape her captivity? Can Cutlass outrun the British Navy? More important, will the traitor in their midsts change the course of their lives? Forever.

Review: My first thought was, there is no believable way the hero and heroine will fall in love. After all, the heroine’s always trying to kill the hero. And whenever there’s a respite in their sword fighting- it’s only because they’re battling other adversaries. And yet, Ms. Galen “does” have them fall in love-in a realistic manner. How? By keying in on their commonalities.

What impressed me the most, I think, was the author’s expert use of imagery. The scenes I mentally visualized were an effortless process. And the “reason” this novel earned a five-star review. I could see (in my mind) the ships moving into battle positions. I could envision the damage sustained by the ships. As well as picturing the injuries of the seamen.

Recommendations: My first recommendation is for readers who gravitate toward the enemies-to-lovers tropes. If you like them, then this novel is a must read that’s sure to please. Also for booklovers who enjoy: historical romance novels. And if you revel in stories of handsome buccaneers and fearless heroines-you’ll love Captain Cutlass and Raeven.

Disclaimer: I received this novel free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Others in the Series:

Review-O-Meter Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Rogue Pirate’s Bride

Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc., Copyright February 2012, Historical Regency Romance, Mass Market Paperback, Print Pages 340. ISBN-13# 9781402265556

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Review: Making It Real by Victoria Blisse

Making It RealReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is told in the first person.

Mary is seen posting in a forum called ThirtySomething. She finds someone that intrigues her, William Blake. We see that Mary is part of the wait staff at a local café and William is a young successful businessman. She’s also trying to write a novel.

While trying to write, and post to the forum, Mary has a fantasy about William – it’s very hot and sexy. We find that their “relationship” is long distance – she from England and him from America. They’ve been corresponding for a while and then she talks him into having some cyber-sex – don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. Victoria writes one very hot scene there. It gets your own imagination going. She also surprised me in how she ended the scene.

There are a couple of sentences in the story where Mary talks about being an author. I almost think that this is actually Victoria talking. As a reader, we always wonder about the author that we’re reading.

There is a spanking scene within the story. If spanking is not your scene, don’t let that stop you from reading this story. It is very tastefully done. It will not offend. In any story that I have read of Victoria’s, her sex scenes are never over the top and don’t leave you wondering if that is even possible.

You will be surprised by a lot of the cyber-sex scenes by William and Mary’s alter egos. They will feed your romantic and hidden erotic side. It’s also interesting to see a little role reversal – you’ll understand as you read exactly what I mean.

Victoria writes in a scene where Mary and William have a picnic on a bed. It’s a very decadent scene. What a way to have a romantic interlude. It also may enrich your love life. This is also something I love about Victoria’s work; she certainly knows how to feed her reader’s imaginations.

She’s a great storyteller. Most of her female characters are Rubenesque but they are written for the women that are currently out there. They are not the thin model types that none of us can aspire to. We all have to love our curves.

Even though this is a story set around Christmas time, you could definitely change the setting to Valentine’s Day. It’s a story that you could read at any time of the year. Victoria also gives us a very surprising ending – totally unexpected. You will definitely want to read this story.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Making It Real

Review: Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

Heroine: Annabel Winslow, eldest sister of 8 siblings, is soon to be engaged to an overweight, short-tempered nobleman as old as her grandmother. She must agree or risk her family’s future happiness. If she does, she loses her own. But she still has time before the Earl of Newbury asks, perhaps there is another way?

Hero: Sebastian Grey firsts hears of Annabel as a woman ‘…so fertile that birds sing when she draws near.’ He knows his uncle, the Earl of Newbury, wants an heir so that he does not inherit the estate. His uncle hates him and the feeling is mutual. He does not care if he inherits or not, he just wished he knew one way or the other.

Meet Cute: A chance meeting outside in the moors at an annual house party when Annabel literally trips over Sebastian. He was just waiting for his female partner to slip back into the house party before he went in again. She was escaping his cruel, odious, groping uncle. (That lecher!  Shudder.) They flirt and then kiss. (Seb and Annabel.) Hawt.

Review: Rosalyn Landor is a wonderful narrator. She brought the characters fully to life and if you combine her talent with the author’s you have an amazing story. I loved it. Capitalize that—I LOVED IT! I was utterly charmed, just like Sebastian was with Annabel. The story is sweet, the sexual tension sizzling, the romance was just perfect. Sebastian is making it to my favorite hero list (which shouldn’t surprise him, he loves lists… and so does the heroine). (Now I have more than one Seb to love, bwuahahaha!)

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Ten Things I Love About You

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