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:4.5]

Buy: Once She Was Tempted (A Honeycote Novel)

[phpbay]once she was tempted anne barton, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

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:4]

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:4.5]

Buy: Getting Rowdy

[phpbay]getting rowdy lori foster, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]

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:5]

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

[phpbay]wanton wager grace callaway, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]