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: Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, Book 2) by Sherry Thomas

ravishing an heiressHero: Fitzhugh is an impoverished Earl, who recently inherited his earldom. If he doesn’t wed for money he and his family will be doomed to live in poverty forever. The idea of a loveless marriage does not appeal to him in the slightest as he is in love with a beautiful woman… but he can’t provide her with the life she deserves and she isn’t as wealthy as he needs. So, for the love of duty and England, he will marry Millie instead.

Heroine: Millicent (Millie) is a sardine-canning heiress. She’s not gentry, she’s not beautiful… and she isn’t Isabelle. She agrees to marry Fitz knowing that he doesn’t love her. She proposes that they abstain from consummating the marriage for a few years and then get together long enough for them to beget an heir. Fitz thinks that is a great idea because he can’t imagine wanting to sleep with his wife and proposes an extension of the abstinence plan.

So, of course, the beautiful Isabelle returns freshly widowed and ready to start an illicit affair with Fitz just when the married couple plans to consummate the marriage.

Review: My big issue with this book is the flaunting of adultery as the hero cheats and screws his way around London. He’s even willing to abandon his wife publically for a calculating harpy, just because his younger self thought he was in love with the woman. Ugh. I did however, like Millie, even if she took the role of doormat. I got her as a character. She loved Fitz at first site, is a young teenage girl, and believes she’s causing him more harm than good by being married to him. Sure it is a bit delusional, seeing as she’s bringing way more to the marriage with successful businesses and wealth while he’s only bringing a title and some land… but… that’s Millie. The hero has very few redeemable qualities and uses his broken heart as an excuse to behave awfully. What I didn’t understand was why Isabelle wasn’t given the cut-direct several times over? She’s clearly not “high society” even if she married well because she relentless pursues a scandal broth that would consume her, Fitz, and her children. In short, if Millie got a very determined admirer who honestly made her feel special and gave her the idea to run away from her loveless marriage, I might have enjoyed the story better.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Ravishing the Heiress

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Review: Matched to a Billionaire by Kat Cantrell

matched to a billionaireHero: Leo Reynolds is your typical venture capitalist married to his work. He can’t seem to keep a girlfriend… not that he tries too hard to keep one. His ideal match would be a woman who can stay in the background, never nag him about not paying enough attention to her, and can host stellar parties to help him woo clients. He’d be willing to pay a matchmaking service to hook him up with such a female.

Heroine: The matchmaker pairs him with Daniella White. She’s willing to marry for security and finances to pay for her mother’s medical care. Learning from her mother’s poor taste in men, Daniella believes it will be easy to be a convenient wife and let all expectation of a passionate romance go.

Review: Daniella doesn’t want to mess this up. She wants to be the perfect wife and tries to mind-read Leo as to what that is. She tries very hard to please him and succeeds… and fails… because she’s not a background kind of girl. Leo very much notices Daniella and he doesn’t like it. Leo is a passionate man disguised as an ice cold billionaire. His obsessive personality is not the flaw he thinks it is… he just needs to learn balance. I do love how it comes into play at the end when he draws and draws and draws for Daniella. That was incredibly sweet.
Final thoughts: A salty sweet romance – a perfect weekend snack.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Matched to a Billionaire (Happily Ever After, Inc.)

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Get into Bed with Dani Collins (Author Interview)

web-14Keira: An Heir to Bind Them is a marriage of convenience plot — what do you love best about them?

Dani Collins: I love the forced intimacy of a marriage of convenience. No matter what has happened between the hero and heroine, they have to share space and work it out. And, of course, when they’re in close proximity, they can’t resist the pull of physical attraction!

Keira: The hero, Theo, is newly the guardian of his niece and nephew and he needs a wife to help him take care of them. So why Jaya?

Dani: Theo is only a temporary guardian. The children are from previous books of mine. Evie is the daughter of Nic & Rowan from No Longer Forbidden? and Androu is the son of Adara & Gideon from More Than A Convenient Marriage? An emergency forces Theo to helicopter them off of Gideon’s ship for a few days.

Theo turns to Jaya on instinct, partly because he knows she is within fuel distance and that he can trust her discretion. This situation could be a media nightmare if it leaks out. But he also remembers her helping a lost little boy at one of his hotels and recognizes her as a natural with children where he feels completely inadequate.

Keira: From the blurb, it sounds like there might also be a secret baby twist! How will that affect the hero?

Dani: The last time Theo saw Jaya, she was leaving her employment with his family’s hotel chain. They both had reasons to seek solace in each other, but Theo had a brutal childhood. He has zero faith in his ability to be a good father and never wanted to be one so discovering he has a son is a huge shock.

Keira: What kept Jaya from sharing the baby information with Theo?

Dani: Jaya did try to tell him, but he never returned her calls. He had a family tragedy that distracted him, but he did warn her that their affair was only for one night. She only wanted to inform him, not trap him, so when he didn’t respond after her first couple of tries, she took the hint and left him alone.

Keira: If you were to cast the characters for a movie, who would play them?

Dani: I always struggle with these questions! I feel like I don’t watch enough tv to know who the hip actors are these days. I’ve had a terrible girl crush on Aishwarya Rai, the stunning Bollywood actress, since Bride and Prejudice came out.

For Theo, Ian Somerhalder has the right mix of handsome and vaguely wicked.

Keira: You started reading romances in high school, what do you love best about the genre?

Dani: The uplifting endings! I don’t think I’m alone in needing that promise that no matter how dark your days seem, there is a brighter day coming. Somehow, whatever you are facing, will work out in the end.

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it work? How do you recognize it?

Dani: Love is unconditional acceptance. Generosity of spirit makes it work. Love isn’t something you expect or hold back or only give if you get something. I think there’s a calm and a joy and a sense of security that helps you recognize it, but fear too. Fear of losing that person or pet or child. Not a jealous type of losing, but a need to protect and hold dear, support and, you know, love.

Keira: If you could travel any where on an unlimited budgeted, where would you go and what would you do?

Dani: I don’t think I’d stop traveling! And I’d do the high-end stuff in fancy-shmancy hotels with obscenely expensive food and views of beaches and gentle river cruises with drinks with umbrellas. My husband and I are keen on natural wonders, so I suspect there’d be more rock formations than rock concerts, but I like history too so castles and ruins would definitely feature as well.

Keira: What is your favorite office equipment for writing your stories?

Dani: Ha. I don’t think I’m alone in having a fetish for office equipment in general. I write on a Mac laptop, which I love. I recently bought a widescreen monitor, not expensive, but I love the extra real estate it offers. I write in Word, which I don’t love, but I’ve tried other things like Scrivner and they didn’t work for me so I make do with what’s familiar. I sit on a ball rather than a chair. I spent a long time trying different To Do and Calendar apps and finally went back to my spiral-bound business calendar to track deadlines and goals. I have a whiteboard—super love that along with my many colored dry-erase pens. (Neon pink, hello!) I also keep lots of colored post-it notes handy for my many genius moments. I prefer to write at my desk, but I do drag the laptop when I travel and usually manage to produce something edible.

Keira: What are you working on next?

Dani: My first Sheik! He’s half-English and I intended him to reside in England, but after some chats with my editor, we decided to move him into the desert and I’m both terrified and excited—which tells me I’m in a good space to write the story. Fern, the heroine, is a very shy red-head who is completely out of her element with Zafir. The story is still in early stages, but I have high hopes for it.

9780373132546BOOK BLURB:

Off the boss’s payroll…and into his bed

Jaya. Her name reverberates around Theo Makricosta’s head in time to the whirring blades of his private helicopter. He must find her; only Jaya can help with the care of his infant niece and nephew…. It’s not because he hasn’t stopped thinking about the single night of mind-blowing passion he shared with the exotic beauty.

Jaya Powers couldn’t refuse her gorgeous millionaire Greek boss when she worked for him, and she can’t refuse him now! Only this time she has a secret. Their night together had consequences that will change Theo’s perfectly ordered existence forever!

Buy: An Heir to Bind Them

EXCERPT:

“There’s not a woman in the world with enough training to fix me. Don’t try.” Another warning, his tone a little cooler.

She shook her head. This was about fixing herself, not him. “I just keep thinking that if I leave without kissing you, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like.”

That sounded too ingenuous, too needy, but his quietly loaded, “Yeah,” seemed to put them on the same page, which was remarkable. He stared at her mouth and hot tingles made her lips feel plump. She tried to lick the sensation away.

His breath rushed out in a ragged exhale. He loomed closer, so tall and broad, blocking out her vision, nearly overwhelming her. But when his fingers lightly caressed her jaw and his mouth came down, she was paralyzed with anticipation.

There’d been a few kisses in her life, none very memorable, but when his mouth settled on hers, unhurried and hot, she knew she’d remember this for the rest of her life.

The smooth texture of his lips sealed to hers. He didn’t force her mouth open. She softened and welcomed his confident possession, weakening despite the nervous flutters accosting her. He rocked the fit, deepening the kiss so she opened her mouth wider, bathed in delicious waves of heat. Their lips dampened and slid erotically. His tongue was almost there, then not, then—

He licked into her mouth and she moaned, lashed with exquisite delight. This was the kind of kiss she’d only read about and now she knew there was a reason they called it a soul kiss. Her hand went to his shoulder for balance. She lifted on her toes, wanting more pressure, more of him settling into her inner being.

With a groan he slid his arm around her and pulled her tight against him, softly crushing her mouth while digging his fingers into her bound hair. It was good, so good. She reached her arms around his neck, loving how it felt to be kissed and held so tightly against his hard chest and—

He was hard everywhere.

Like hitting a wall, she pushed back, perturbed by how intensely she had been responding and the dicey situation she’d put herself in.

He didn’t let her go right away, kind of steadied her first while staggering one step himself, then he ran a hand through his hair and swore under his breath. “Hellfire, Jaya. I suspected it’d be good, but I didn’t know it’d be that good. Are you sure you don’t want to spend the night?”

Buy: An Heir to Bind Them

BIO:

After a brilliant debut in the UK with No Longer Forbidden, a Mills & Boon Modern Book Of The Month January 2013, Dani’s first Harlequin Presents, Proof Of Their Sin, won the Reviewer’s Choice by Romantic Times Book Reviews for Best First In Series. While her focus is Harlequin Presents, Dani also writes romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, and coming August of 2014, erotic romance. Whatever the genre, she always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.

Enter Dani Collins’ Masked Desires Contest for a chance to express your secret desires from behind a masquerade mask.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her
here:

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Review: Her Prodigal Passion (Mayhem in Mayfair, Book 4) by Grace Callaway

her prodigal passionHero: Paul Fines would love to reclaim his fortune through prizefighting. He’s good at boxing and thinks he could make it work. But everybody remembers his disgrace through gambling and drinking over the loss of a girl. His family and friends doubt his skill and ability to stay out of trouble… all except Charity, his sister’s best friend.

Heroine: Charity Sparkler, the daughter of a jeweler, has loved her best friend’s brother for a long while. At his worst, she visited him in a dangerous part of London and provided some creature comforts… not that he noticed as drunk as he was. He thought she was someone else which hurt dreadfully.

A marriage of convenience: Paul is a ladies man and at the start of the novel slept with two married twin sisters. It bites him in the butt later when one tries to sneak into his bed again to publically humiliate her husband. Paul can’t kick her out so he climbs out a window and across the building… only to collapse on Charity in the drawing room and compromise her at a house party. The only proper thing to do is wed.

Never gild a lily: Charity’s father has led her to believe all her life that she is an ugly duckling. She might be a little plain, but she’s not ugly. Is his intention to be unkind or cruel? Whatever his intentions, Charity is meek and bookish and incline to home and shop.

Review: Charity was and will be Paul’s biggest supporter. He needs someone like that in his life. Paul finds Charity very pretty now that she is out of her spots stage. He can’t imagine a marriage with anyone else – but isn’t very good as assuaging Charity on this. Their marriage will be more than either can hope for… but not for Charity’s father who is heavily indebted to another man. How will the young couple be able to handle the heavy weight of a bitter man’s debt? I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Grace Callaway is a remarkable writer. I loved the scene in the prologue where Paul seduces Charity. Very sexy!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Her Prodigal Passion (Mayhem in Mayfair)

Review: To Buy a Bride by Roberta Leigh

to buy a bride roberta leighHero: Luke was once the stable boy on Philippa’s family estate, where his mother also worked. Now he’s grown into a powerful and wealthy businessman and he’s got his eye out for a bargain. He also has a secret which has nothing to do with bargains and everything to do with the heart.

Heroine: If Philippa doesn’t marry Luke, her twin brother will be ruined financially and thrown into jail for borrowing funds from the family’s struggling business. Luke can supply them the funds needed to stay afloat and keep the illegalities under wraps… for a price… control of the company and her hand in marriage.

Review: This is one of those stories where the persons involved could have saved themselves a lot of heartache and grief by talking it out. And if the siblings had been willing to sell the family estate, they would have been fine too… so naturally they don’t because the house is a symbol of happiness and family to them both, but especially to Philippa.

With a little time and space to absorb the consequences of the decision to not sell/marry, Philippa would have been better adjusted. She comes off a little bratty (and high-strung) because she wants the house, the money, and not have to give anything in return. Luke could have worked his charm on her a bit more, but then his ex-girlfriends shows up and he gets the brilliant idea to use Rose to make Philippa jealous. It works. She is jealous and is surprised by her emotions.

Overall, not my cup of tea.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: To Buy a Bride

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Review: The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh

temporary wifeHero: To say that the Marquess of Staunton does not have a good relationship with his father is an understatement. When summoned to return home after eight years of separation, he decides to thwart his father’s matrimonial plans by finding his own wife first. He wants to embarrass and wound and decides the lowest he is willing to go – a plain biddable working gentlewoman – and advertises to find her. But of course, advertising for a wife is out of the question so he advertises for a governess. After she has served her purpose, Anthony will pension her off and go back to his usual routine.

Heroine: Miss Charity Duncan saw her future spin out before her as a dull and bleak thing. She would be an aunt and a sister, but never a wife or mother. She would always need to support her family in one role or another. Too beautiful to gain work as a governess, she disguises her beauty and answers an ad that will change her life. Mr. Anthony Earheart’s proposal is outrageous and yet… it could be the answer to her family’s debt. She does not expect him to be a Marquess anymore than he expects her to beautiful and vivacious. They’re both in for a surprise.

Review: I hugged this book a couple of times while reading it because it was so good. This is definitely staying on my favorite’s shelf. I can’t believe I picked up The Temporary Wife from a community table at my condo. Mary Balogh’s writing pulled at my heart and reminded me why I loved to read romances. I’d rate six stars, if my rating system went up that high. What I liked best: Staunton discovering that his heart can be touched and transforming into a better man, their first time together at a hotel on the way to his father’s estate, and Charity’s ability to win over everyone determined to look down on her – including Anthony’s ducal father.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring

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Review: Marriage Made on Paper by Maisey Yates

marriage made on paperHeroine: Lily Ford runs her own public relations business. When a new deal demands exclusivity, she dumps the competition in a hot minute. Who knew the exclusivity also meant sacrificing her personal life? Being at a tycoon’s beck and call may sound sexy, but it means early mornings, late nights, and plenty of firefighting to keep the press at bay… and it also involves marriage? Not something easily palpable to a woman who’s resistant to love (at least her mother’s version of it).

Hero: Gage Forrester made his millions in property development. He’s a tough man to work for and demands every employee go above and beyond the call of duty… including his PR contractor. When an unexpected family fiasco erupts, Gage is determined to suppress the gossip and press by generating positive PR. His solution? Marriage. He proposes to Lily in the name of business, but Gage is determined to also make the marriage real.

Review: Gage is an interesting hero – he’s already been a father to his younger sister and did it well. He’s not ready to put his hat in the ring again for kids. It doesn’t appeal to him. Neither does marriage, well okay, maybe marriage to the right woman. Both Gage and Lily are aware of each other and their effect. They have great dialogue and great chemistry. What’s nice about this book is that Lily is not helpless. She’s a go-getter and at the top of her game, just like Gage. They’re equals. The paper marriage was a farce from the beginning though and not at all necessary other than to force the leads into matrimony.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Marriage Made on Paper

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