Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

how to catch a wild viscountPreviously titled The Legend of the Werestag. Not a paranormal.

Hero: Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, is beastly in appearance and temperament. War stripped him of his civility and hardened his heart. He feels like he has nothing to offer the girl who looks at him with stars in her eyes. He wants her to get over him as he knows she will and move on so he can too.

Heroine: Cecily Hale has loved Luke for a while and treasures the kiss they shared before he left for war. When he came home from war and didn’t seek her out she was hurt. She hopes the house party they are both at will be just the setting to win his heart. A local legend of a werestag catches her attention and she convinces the party to go in search of it… but her real hunt is not a wild deer but a wild viscount!

Review: An exceptional novella. I loved the hero and heroine so much I could have read an expanded version of this story. Luke is a deliciously aloof stubborn cad. He rejects her after she pledges her love to him which humiliates and wounds Cecily. Our heroine doesn’t take this too kindly and focuses her attention on the stag hunt instead of the man. At one point she needs rescuing because of a wild boar attack and the mysterious stranger who protects her and things start to develop and get steamy from there on out. Very enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: How to Catch a Wild Viscount

Review: Twisted (Eternal Guardians, Book 7) by Elisabeth Naughton

Tempted.inddReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Cynna is a spectator of an interesting fight.  Nick is fighting for his survival without losing who he is.  Almost right away this author shows how ugly the beast of sexual and mental abuse is.  I found that even though this is part of a series, you could read this book by itself.  But if you want to know more about the Guardians, you’ll want to stay true to the series.

If you’re someone that likes Mythology (one of my favorites in English class) you’ll see that it’s combined with a group trying to protect us humans and half-breeds.  You might even recognize some of your favorite gods and those you loved to hate.  If you like some action in your read then this book will be perfect for you.  On top of that, Elisabeth adds a mystery into the mix that will heighten your reading experience – who doesn’t love a good mystery.

An interesting character to watch out for is Ari – you’ll understand when you meet him.  But he also makes me curious – what’s his story.  Nick gives the readers hints but I still found myself wanting to know more.  Both of the main characters are strong willed but for different reasons but that doesn’t stop them from realizing how much they need each other.  Once you get involved in the story, you will find it hard to put down – there’s just no good stopping point because something else will come up that will grab your attention.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

Review: Secrets of Seduction (Legendary Lovers, Book 3) by Nicole Jordan

secrets of seductionHero: The Earl of Hawkhurst loved and lost his first wife and child in a fire that also left him scarred. He buried his grief by working for the government in an elite group known as Guardians of the Sword. Hawk has returned to England to fulfill the honor-pact required by the group’s charter in order to lead Guardians. To do this he must wed his mentor’s niece… a woman he’s never met.

Heroine: Skye believes in her cousin’s idea about legendary lovers. In fact, she’s knows just which fairy tale hers is going to be… Beauty and the Beast. When she finds out the man she’s loved since childhood is back in England, but looking for a bride elsewhere, she brazenly enters his life under the threatening clouds of a convenient storm. If he’s going to be beastly about it, well… she’d prepared with a clever rouse to get his help solving a mystery of her uncle’s lost love.

Review: Secrets of Seduction is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I loved it. Skye is a brilliant heroine – not only clever and determined to win the heart of a man she’s loved from afar, but patient enough to see his pain and understand him. You’ll be rooting for her before she’s through uttering her greetings to the hero for the first time. Hawk is very funny – first knowing she’s a virgin, then convincing himself otherwise. Skye’s aunt is very talkative about these things and has prepared Skye for what to expect. It leads to a very sexy scene with some sponges. A classic feel good romance, you’ll love to read!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Secrets of Seduction (Legendary Lovers)

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Review: Tapestry by Karen Ranney

tapestryHero: Alex, the Earl of Cardiff, never planned to be the earl. He had a father and older brother and so went off to war to make his mark. When he returns, he is severely wounded and hides his ravage face and body and heart in the castle of Heddon Hall. His servants are terrified of him. His stepmother despises him. He can’t tell if his estate manager is swindling him because he can’t read due to the loss of one eye and the headaches that come from trying to focus the other. When an uppity little maid arrives, bold as you please, on his doorstep, he’s intrigued despite his attempts to distance himself from her.

Heroine: Lady Laura Blake has had enough of being rebuffed. If Alex won’t return her letters and tell her what is going on she will figure it out on her own. She shows up at his estate in disguise, wearing her maid’s clothes and using her maid’s name. Once inside his household, she’s put to work in the kitchen. Being a scullery maid was not quite what she had in mind! Soon she’s elevated to be his personal secretary and that suits her so much better. Now she can spend her days with Alex… and nights.

Review: The first half of the novel is the best part of the story. If you want a happy ending that’s truly happy end at book one/part one. I enjoyed the setup with the heroine breaking into the hero’s lair as a servant (though how she managed it is a mystery because she’s a family friend, you’d think she’d be recognized by someone – Alex!!) I like Laura’s bumbling in the kitchen, her determination to reach Alex and break down his walls. I loved his elation at recapturing humanity and love.

However, after they come together the story goes downhill as they are separated, when the hero returns to his wartime duties for one last assignment. Laura doesn’t want him to go, but for his masculine and national pride, Alex must. Their separation leads to misfortune as Alex is captured and assumed dead. Laura experiences a miscarriage because of the news and also faces the doubly incapacitating grief of losing Alex and the babe. When Alex gets out of prison, he allows his evil stepmother’s cruel words to sway him from finding the truth of what is going on with Laura which causes a big misunderstanding. My friends, you know me, and you know I love angst, but holy moly this is too much. I also like more time together with the main characters and less time apart.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Tapestry

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Review: Once She Was Tempted (Honeycote, Book 2) by Anne Barton

once she was temptedReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Benjamin Elliot meets Miss Daphne Honeycote at a dinner party that ends on an interesting note. They are two people who don’t seem to have anything in common. But they both have issues and their working together is what will hold your attention. You’ve got to love a grumpy hero who’s not looking for love.

Ben has a butler names Flemings and the minute I read about him he reminded me of a British actor named Arthur Treacher. If you can still find the movie, you may want to watch a Shirley Temple favorite named “Curly Top”. If I had one disappointment it would be that after a while I felt he disappeared.

My bravo moment was when Ben’s friends called him out about his attitude. Daphne reminded me of Jo from “Little Women” – she just seemed to have that type of personality – I enjoyed reading her story. Even though she was going through personal issues, she still thought of others before herself. She also doesn’t make decisions based on what the person looks like on the outside.

Anne made it very hard for me to put this story down. By giving Ben and Daphne something that they had to work at together, was for me the page-turner. The romance was nice but I would have liked this book even if she had written her storyline without it. Daphne loved helping out at the local orphanage. One other disappointment I had was that there was one little girl I was hoping would end up as part of a family. But this is what’s good about a reader’s imagination, even though the author hasn’t made that happen, I can turn around and make it happen.

If you enjoy Regency stories where the hero finally realizes what’s good for him, you will love this one. It’s a series so if you haven’t read the other titles, you may want to check out Anabelle’s story titled When She Was Wicked that came out this past January. Or there’s a novella that came out this past September titled To All the Rakes I’ve Loved Before. And what’s great is that these are stand alone books but if you like Daphne’s story as much as I did you will want to read every book of this series that comes out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Once She Was Tempted (A Honeycote Novel)

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Fall in Love with these Beastly Heroes

when beauty tamed the beastI don’t know about you, but I grew up on Beauty and the Beast, and to-date it is still my favorite Disney cartoon. I love Belle’s quiet grace and inherent sweetness, not to mention she doesn’t flinch at the unexpected, like talking objects. She knows when her imagination is caught up in a book and when reality can inspire the imagination to take flight.

But let me be honest, as much as I love Belle, I love the Beast more. I’m tempted to say I like him best in his beastly form, but he’s a pretty hot French prince too. Some think his name is Adam, but this distinction comes from another source, not the Disney cartoon. To Disney and little girls everywhere, he is simply the Beast.

My love for this particular movie has translated to my romance novels. In the romance genre, a beastly hero is not actually a beast (unless we are talking paranormal romances, and then that’s a whole other ball of wax.) Instead, he’s a man who is either naturally ugly (think big noses, harsh features, black eyes… hawk-like) or horrifically wounded (heroes with aching heads fit here too.) Generally speaking, the hero is scarred on his face and/or torso and has a beastly temper to match his beastly looks. He is almost always a (rich) recluse, locked away in a mansion or castle.

His heroine, like Belle, is usually a beauty who sees beneath the surface of his gruff exterior to the aching heart within the man. As she tries to crack the protection around his heart and scale the walls to the softie lurking within — he’s trying to build more barriers. A beastly hero constantly pulls away and tries to hide from his feelings. Every extrication attempt fails, until suddenly he yields to the love he feels. When he does, it’s extremely hot. No wonder this is one of my favorite plot tropes!

Here are some of my particular favorite romances, featuring beastly heroes:

Tell me about the beastly heroes with whom you fell in love. Share in the comments, because I am always looking out for the next diamond in the rough!

Review: Real (Real, Book 1) by Katy Evans

real katy evansReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This book is told in the first person – Brooke is the one telling us her story until we get to the Epilogue. Then it’s Remy who talks to us. But it leaves me wondering if book two — Mine — will start with Remy telling the story.

If you love to listen to music as you read, you will be happy to know that there is a playlist at the beginning of this book. It starts off with Brooke Dumas and her best friend at an underground fighting match. Melanie goes to look – as she puts it – at the “eye candy”. Brooke’s not impressed until she gets a look at Remington Tate. From this point on, Kate grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the last word.

If you’ve never seen a boxing, or MMA, match you may want to watch one on TV so you know something about Remy’s profession. I’m going to date myself here – I used to watch Mohammed Ali. I loved his banter, his poems, and his interactions with Howard Cosell.

It’s hot right from the beginning. One example is when Brooke and Remy have near sex. I had the chance to read the paperback version and I’m surprised the pages didn’t catch on fire – it was that hot (and is very graphic). You get so involved in what’s going on that you don’t realize how many pages you’ve actually read. It’s also one of those books that you will not want to put down.

Katy has picked a very good title for this book. She deals with the real subject of the disorder known as bipolar. The only thing I want to say on that subject is that don’t take it as how “real” people should deal with the disorder – please make sure to seek professional help. Our author also shows her readers that when love is there, friends and loved ones can support and love them for whom they are.

My favorite scene has to be where Melanie and Brooke are having a discussion about a certain someone. You can almost hear their conversation. Melanie will crack you up – you just won’t be able to help yourself. So you know which scene to look for (and no cheating) – one word, gum. This is a must read series that you can get either in paperback or e-book.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Real

Review: Getting Rowdy (Love Undercover Series, Book 3) by Lori Foster

getting rowdyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Avery Mullins is head bartender at a bar owned by Rowdy Yates. The mystery in this book seems to revolve around Avery. Since we can only use our imagination, Lori does a great job of showing the tension between the two. She also shows the reader what Rowdy had to deal with while he was growing up – what made him the adult he is today.

This is a story that will tug at your heartstrings. We have two people that have some personal demons but it doesn’t stop them from getting close – they may fight it but you just can’t stop love.

Lori has introduced a character by the name of Cannon. She has me curious to find out if he’s going to have his own book. I went to Lori’s web site, http://lorifoster.com, but can’t find anything for him yet. She had me hooked on him, from the time he stepped into the pages, and I’ll just have to keep my eyes open to see what she has in store for the Love Undercover Series.

Our author also shows the reader how hot near sex can be – pass around the fan or crank up the air conditioning. My favorite sentence that describes Rowdy is “…he’s outrageous and downright sinful”. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lori creates a character that you will just hate. Rowdy gives him the perfect nickname – “Fish”.

I loved the suspense in this story – it kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see that everything was going to be all right. And yes, Lori does give you your happy ending (you’ll actually get more than one). She also reminds you that family is important – cherish them while you have them.

This is a series where I’ve loved all the books so far and I would suggest that you read them in order. You could read this one as a stand-alone but you will miss out in learning about some of the characters if you don’t read books one and two first. If you’re a fan of Lori Foster’s, you’ll be happy to know to know that the next book titled Dash of Peril will be coming out in March 2014.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Getting Rowdy

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