Review: Her Wanton Wager (Mayhem in Mayfair, Book 2) by Grace Callaway

her wanton wagerHero: Gavin Hunt owns the Underworld, a premiere gambling hell in the heart of London. He has plans to enact revenge upon the man who scarred him and left him for dead while setting a house on fire. When Gavin survived, he was blamed for the fire and was imprisoned aboard ship anchored on the Thames for years. Clawing his way out and to the top wasn’t easy, and now the revenge he’s wanted for so long is finally in his grasp and nothing will stop him from taking it, not even his heart.

Heroine: When Persephone “Percy” Fines discovers her brother has gambled away all of his shares to the family business to Hades himself, she wants to save her brother from a terrible fate. Going toe-to-toe with the man she wagers her virginity against the shares. It is a wager she plans to win, because there is no other choice, but unfortunately she rolled the die and must resist seduction for six nights. Can she love the man who holds her family’s fate?

Review: I loved the Greek mythology overtones to this story, the heated seductions, the night in the Vauxhall Gardens (chase sequence too) and the snippets of Percy’s novel at the top of each chapter. I especially loved that while revenge was Gavin’s original goal, he became so smitten with Percy that he wanted to win the wager to have her not destroy her. He was constantly trying to figure out how to achieve both outcomes, but mostly how to win Percy. At the end in the epilogue, I thought their last hashing out of who won the bet to be very cute. Her Wanton Wager is a great read that is sexy, fun and very enjoyable!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Her Wanton Wager (Mayhem in Mayfair #2)

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Review: Sweet Madness (Veiled Seduction, Book 3) by Heather Snow

sweet madnessReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

The year is 1817 and then it jumps to 1820.

Gabriel Devereaux is watching Lady Penelope Bridgeman dance with her husband. He seems to be envious of what she and her husband have. Then Heather jumps ahead when we see that something may have happened to Gabe.

Heather covers a subject that you rarely see in a fiction book – especially a romance. As I read Gabe’s story, I start to compare what our soldiers of today must be going through. But we don’t seem to think that our soldiers in the past must have gone through the same thing. It must have taken a lot of research in order to be historically accurate.

We also get to see how people of that time period treated people that were different – it’s not something that they would be able to get away with today. And that is a blessing. It also makes me wonder what Lady Penelope would think of the medical help the soldiers receive today.

There’s a carriage scene that I just loved. It appeared to be a bit of role reversal. Penelope seemed to be the one with the strong compassionate personality and Gabe seemed to be the vulnerable one.

Heather gives you a sex fix if that is what you look for in your historical romances, but it’s not the main focus of the story. And then she gives us the perfect ending – she never disappoints her readers. You will also want to make sure to read the “Author’s Note”. I’m looking forward to seeing if there is a book four

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Sweet Madness

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Audio Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin, Book 1) by Anna Campbell

seven nights of sinHero: Jonas Merrick is the illegitimate son of the late Viscount Hillbrook. In his youth, his cousin, William Merrick, the new Lord Hillbrook, slashed his face deep leaving him permanently disfigured. His deepest desire to exact revenge on William and his plans are going smoothly right up until William’s wife, Roberta, sends her virgin spinster sister to pay of the debt she owes Jonas. What the hell! Intrigued by her gumption and her beauty, Jonas strikes a new deal – and might just wind up offering his heart in the bargain too.

Heroine: Sidonie Forsythe will not let Jonas ruin her sister, who is in a very difficult situation at home, so she takes Roberta’s place in the beast’s bed. When they meet, she is able to change the agreement a little bit. Instead of taking her virginity outright, Sidonie is allowed to resist, if she can, his charms. Seven nights in Jonas’ bed, sparks a desire in her heart to be with him for always and she wants to give into it, but the secret she holds could be her undoing.

Review: Despite the fact that Jonas is not quite beastly enough, and the Gothic atmosphere is not quite heavy enough, the story is undoubtedly a great retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I was very drawn to both the hero and heroine. Their chemistry was off the charts. Like Sidonie, you will want to give into Jonas. His emotional scars are deep and you want to see them healed. If you are like me, you will be grabbed by the get go and be sad to see it end.

Narrator: Antony Ferguson has a wonderful voice. I loved to listen to him. He can read me a historical romance any time he wants.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin)

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Review: Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune, Book 1) by Jenna Bennett

Fortune's HeroReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Quinn Conlan is attached to a very creepy machine. You can see right away that he is a soldier. Automatically, I thought of Han Solo of “Star Wars” fame. Elsa Brandeis works for the enemy but is she as bad-ass as Quinn thinks she is? Elsa does not remind me of any “Star Wars” character but she is an interesting choice for Quinn.

I grew up in the age of the original “Star Trek” series and the first “Star Wars” series. Just a few paragraphs in, and I was reliving the shows/movies that I loved growing up. Then I had to think that this would fit in perfectly and I could see this as a movie. I would pay to watch this or at the very least see it on the Sci Fi Channel.

This book was listed on Amazon as romantic suspense. I get the suspense part – especially at the end – but I don’t think romance was a major part of Jenna’s story. I found it more of a science fiction action adventure. The action, not the romance, is what held my attention throughout as each chapter went by – and that is not a bad thing.

Jenna shows her readers that sometimes we may not like one another but that if something needs to be accomplished it is going to take team work. When it comes to survival, egos and attitudes have no place in this type of situation – it’s a waste of energy.

For those of you looking for the romance, you will get your sex fix – just relax and enjoy the adventure. Jenna gives you the sex but at just the right time. A good author will not rush it but puts it in just the right spot. She also reminds you how people change when confined for any length of time.

I have two words for the ending – What? No!! I was not expecting it but what a great way to have the reader wanting to read book 2. The next title in this series is titled Fortune’s Honor. But if you go to Jenna’s web site, http://jennabennett.com/Home_Page.html, she doesn’t give you any hints as to what she has in store next for readers. I can’t even tell you when it will be coming out. In the meantime, you can’t go wrong in adding this book to your shelf.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Fortune’s Hero (Soldiers of Fortune)

Review: My Kind of Christmas (Virgin River, Book 20) by Robyn Carr

robyn carr my kind of christmasReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Angela LaCroix is celebrating Thanksgiving dinner with her family. And they’re arguing over what’s good for her. The following day finds her in Virgin River. She’s come to stay with family for a while. At the mini family reunion, she “meets” Patrick Riordan. Paddy is also visiting Virgin River. Just like Angie, he has issues he’s trying to deal with.

Angie gives us a look into her background. You almost have to feel sorry for her – reminds me of what gifted children, or childhood protégées, have to go through. Their aspirations are so much different from most people. Plus having to deal with the expectations of your parents – makes me glad I grew up “normal”.

I love how in every book of the Virgin River Series that I read, I feel as if I’m part of the town. It’s a place that makes everyone feel welcome. It also makes me remember my days growing up and visiting my Aunt and Uncle up in the town of Bethel Maine.

http://www.bethelmaine.com/index.php?page=country-christmas-in-bethel

I never got to enjoy the town around the holidays but I can just imagine that it would be similar to Virgin River. Another town that reminds me of Robyn’s town is a town not too far from where I live. It’s called Stockbridge. They had a famous resident and his name was Norman Rockwell. I’m sure that he would have loved to have visited Virgin River.

http://www.stockbridgechamber.org/christmas.html

These towns, like Virgin River, would not be commercialized – not like a big city like New York. They are quaint towns with an almost old fashioned feel to them. Those are the types of places that I would love to visit around the holidays.

Angie and Paddy remind the reader that our life is not set in stone. There are stops, curves, and things that come along and change our path. But do you follow that new path or do you ignore it and feel like that isn’t for you?

I love the way Robyn writes about the Riordan family – how much they all care about each other. Made me wish I had a family like that. You will also love the scene where the mothers came to town – one word, priceless! Robyn could have made it a time to be serious – parents ya know. But instead it’s more of a comic relief. But being mothers, they are also very wise.

This story may give you the idea of going back through the series and visit, or revisit, some of Robyn’s other characters. You can do that starting in January. Robyn is going to start doing reissues. She’s going to start with the first book titled most appropriately Virgin River. We all know how hectic the holiday season can be so if you’re looking for a read that will get you into the spirit but not take a lot out of your busy schedule this is a book that will fill the bill. I also can’t wait to start catching up on books from the series that I haven’t read yet. Happy Holidays everyone!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: My Kind of Christmas (A Virgin River Novel)

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Review: Can’t Buy Me Love (Crooked Creek, Book 1) by Molly O’Keefe

can't buy me loveReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Wayne “Luc” Baker is an NHL player with health issues. He also shares an apartment with his sister, Victoria Schulman, and his nephew Jacob. Lyle is his 89 year old father who is engaged to a much younger woman named Tara Jean Sweet. Lyle is also the owner of Crooked Creek Ranch.

Lyle is a man who is a puppet master that wants all his puppets in one place and that place is the ranch. Tara Jean is the means to get the puppets together. It will be interesting to see if the master gets his wish.

Tara Jean gives the reader a hint about a habit she can’t break. It’s one habit that you don’t mind having problems with. Wondering what her habit is? You’ll just have to read this story in order to have your question answered. Her addiction will have you laughing.

With the title you think it’s all about romance but Tara Jean’s past adds some suspense to the storyline. And this is where the trouble begins. This type of trouble always makes me uneasy. I just don’t see how it can ever come out good – a lot of people always get hurt. Molly does a great job of getting through the trouble and gets my interest back.

The only downside is I kept waiting for it to reappear and make me uneasy again. But Luc is there to make sure that the trouble goes away. We also see, toward the end, some interaction between Victoria and Eli. I was happy to see that their story will be a sequel. I’m definitely looking forward to reading book two of the “Crooked Creek” series titled “Can’t Hurry Love” coming out at the end of this month. You can also watch a short book trailer for this book on Amazon, Video: Can’t Buy Me Love.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Can’t Buy Me Love

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Review: The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine (Sydney Dovedale, Book 1) by Jayne Fresina

most improper miss sophie valentine

Wanted: one husband, not too particular. Small dowry, several books, sundry furnishings, and elderly aunt included. Idlers, time-wasters, and gentlemen with other attachments need not apply.

Herione: Sophie Valentine is a spinster by choice. She had an offer once but when she saw him make googly eyes at a maid after their indiscretion in the billiard room, well she knew she couldn’t accept. Sophie wanted someone to look at her the way her ex-lover looked at that maid. Could she ever find that? Impossible now that she is ruined! Scarred from the night, literally, her sister-in-law takes every opportunity to let her know that even if she wasn’t turning 30, was free from scandal, her scar would make her non-marriageable.

Hero: Lazarus Kane has been looking for Sophie since the night she jumped from the balcony and caught herself on his ladder, leaving her scarred. When he overhears someone discussing her ad, he knows where to find her and he makes haste to be the first applicant. Will she accept him? To further his suit he takes up residence down the driveway from her brother’s place and spends much time outdoors, shirtless (very scandalous, but the ladies loved it!) Time is ticking and Lazarus only has so much.

Review: Sophie was very immature for a thirty year old spinster. She climbed trees, read naughty books inside books on sermons, swapped kisses with a stranger, etc. (All this makes her very improper, but not very spinsterish.) She claims to want a solemn upright marriage but the girl is clearly looking for someone willing to break rules with her. Lazarus is the man for the job. He wants to break rules because he is socially beneath her in terms of class and education and has a time bomb over his head which could kill him or imprison him, whichever comes first.

I never really got why Sophie wasn’t jumping at the chance to be with Lazarus, considering her terrible home life with her sister-in-law and controlling pompous brother. The whole bait and switch with the ad seemed wrong. She’s not picky until the guy shows up at her doorstep. Me? I’d be relieved it is not some old guy, but apparently that was what Sophie was hoping to get.

Then Hartley shows up, the man that ruined her and then went on to have an affair with a maid, and he wants to marry her too. I was aggravated with Sophie for entertaining it. Why should she be okay with Hartley now when she wasn’t then?

My favorite scene was inside the schoolhouse when Lazarus gives Sophie his lessons in passion. Hot.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine

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Review: The Legend of Lady MacLaoch by Becky Banks

The Legend of Lady MacLaochReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story was written in the first person.

The action starts right from chapter one. Rowan is a fighter pilot whose luck has run out. Then it jumps to the present. Cole, Nicole Ransome Baker, is our narrator. She’s home from college to attend a family member’s funeral. She then starts to think about the family’s heritage.

How many of you have ever wondered about your ancestors? Have you looked at your family tree? Have you ever wanted to trace your roots back as far as they could go? Have you ever traveled to find out the answers?

Cole has arrived in Glentree Scotland to get some answers. There she meets some very interesting characters. Becky paints quite the picture – makes me want to travel to Scotland to see what I would find. But in a way the author is a travel agent – their story telling takes us to places that we may never visit except in our mind.

Cole’s on a walk to find Castle Laoch and whom should she come upon but Rowan. And it’s certainly a memorable meeting. They are both a force to be reckoned with. Becky has me hooked into the story and wondering what will happen between Rowan and Cole. I couldn’t put the book down – I kept saying “one more page” and then “one more chapter”.

Rowan seems to be a man with issues – can Cole help with those? There’s one scene where Rowan asks Cole to accompany him to the gardens. I could almost picture a different era and him all decked out in his kilt. There’s also a clan gala – I somehow missed my invitation in the mail.

In my area of the country, we have the Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival (http://www.glasgowlands.org/info.html). This is their 19th year and it will be held in Florence, Massachusetts. If you are in my neck of the woods on Saturday, July 21 you may want to check out the festival. I just may make it there myself this year.

I would love to see this book made into a movie so that I could see the book play out before my eyes. Rowan is the perfect hero – he’s a strong man that protects the woman character. I also love that Becky hasn’t filled the book with lots of sex.

There is sex in the book but it’s done at a point in time where our couple realizes what they mean to each other. I think if she had more than she did, it would have ruined the story for me. We also get to see how crazy some people will become when they think a family curse is involved.

If you love this book as much as I did, you will want to keep your eyes open for Becky’s newest book, “Forced”, it will be coming out this summer. She also spices up her story with a little mystery and intrigue which just makes it that much harder to put the book down.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Legend of Lady MacLaoch