Review: Must Love Breeches (Must Love, Book 1) by Angela Quarles

22664678Heroine: Isabelle Rochon thought this reenactment ball would be spectacular. She did the research, came dressed in a period-correct gown, and finds the evening less than enchanting. The women are dressed slutty, the dancing is a boor, the lights too bright, and her coworker crush turns out to be an ass. Where’s the magic? Clearly her expectation for the evening were to high, but wouldn’t this ball have been just the thing in the past? Sigh.

Hero: Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount, espies the lovely Isabelle Rochon in her exquisitely French and modish attire and is intrigued. He’s in luck that she’s talking to his cousin so he can finagle an introduction. She’s a delightful distraction and he rues his growing reputation because he feels it precludes him from pursuing her… but then he strikes on just the thing… she can be part of his scheme for revenge on the men involved in his sister’s ruination.

Review: Lord Montagu is the kind of perfectly charming and sincere man Isabelle has been looking for – but when she finally realizes what happened and that she’s back in time she’s heartbroken because she can’t have him. She takes his cousin in her confidence and shows off her phone (and calculator app) to prove her story… but alas the battery dies before she can show him (when she’s ready to trust him… after all Bedlam is not a nice place she hears).

Pro: A focus on the progress of the times – it wasn’t all balls and parades in the park, there was also science and differential engines, and flying mechanical horses (that didn’t work).

Con: The heroine was too hesitant to snap the hero up… Lord Montagu would have been whisked off his feet before he had a chance to rise up from his bow. 😉

One of the best time travel romances I’ve read. Definitely recommend.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Must Love Breeches: A Time Travel Romance (Must Love Series Book 1)

Review: Wicked Designs (League of Rogues, Book 1) by Lauren Smith

wicked designsHeroine: Miss Emily Parr moved into her uncle’s home when her parents died. Her uncle sold everything she had of value because of his debts. His partner is a lecherous creep. She wants to get married and quickly to escape both men. Someone kind who will leave her alone to her books… but then she’s kidnapped.

Hero: The Duke of Essex, Godric St. Laurent, and his four best friends kidnap Miss Emily Parr in order to ruin her reputation or ransom her for the funds he’s owed (her uncle swindled money from Godric to pay his debts not invest.) To his consternation, Godric finds he likes the dauntless Miss Emily… and so do his friends.

Review:  You’ve got to love a heroine who’s unwilling to remained kidnapped. She lets her captors know that the person they ruined was her not her uncle and the ruination was unjust. She expects one of them to marry her. Several of the gentlemen would be willing to do so, Godric more than any other.

But here lies the problem, there’s too many men interested in pursuing her and it leads to many scenes where the gentlemen argue over hurting her feelings and taking undue advantage of her. She became a “magic hoo hoo” without the sex for these gents, which is a phenomenon only meant to effect the hero.

Her spunk faded and the hero’s bristling broodiness turned into puppy love (which let me be clear would have been fine if the heroine was still acting spunky with escape attempts and fighting back.) The gents can all speak Greek and so can she so the private conversations are not so private (convenient). Overall while this book wasn’t for me I would definitely give the author another go because the good parts were good and the author made me laugh.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: Wicked Designs (The League of Rogues)

Review: Reckless Games by M.J. Lowell

reckless gamesReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is told in the first person.

Lucy Flannigan is mourning the loss of someone very special to her.  And then she overhears something she shouldn’t have.  Rhys Carlyle is a man who has quite the appetite for the ladies.  These two have a very interesting first meeting.  Rhys is one cocky man who is very sure of himself.  He’s a man of mystery and is hard to figure out but he certainly knows how to take care of a woman.

The situation surrounding them is very serious but there are times that you just can’t help chuckling.  As you read the scene where they are having tea, you’ll understand how smooth and cocky Rhys can be.  He’s also a man who knows what he wants sexually so this isn’t for the shy or who like things missionary or vanilla.

Tarot cards become a part of self-discovery for Lucy.  She’s given some choices that she needs to decide if she’s going to take.  My question to you – “Would you take the chance and listen to what the cards are telling you?”  Would you even go to a fortuneteller?  Are you willing to push you comfort zone boundaries?  You may even get some pleasurable ideas.

There are scenes that are going to be graphic and push sexual boundaries, but that just expresses the need between our two main characters.  This is not just a book where two people get together and have sex.  There’s also mystery and suspense that pulls this book together and then there’s the war that goes on between the head and the heart.  Music plays a small part and an excellent way to set the mood so if you like classical get your favorites playing in the background.  I found that this is a book that you can put down but the problem was trying to find just the right place to stop.  But when you get to the end, be prepared…  I look forward to see how our author does with the sequel.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Reckless Games

Review: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, Book 11) by Lauren Willig

mark of the midnight manzanillaReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Make sure to read the Prologue because it prepares the reader for the first chapter.

Sally Fitzhugh is at an evening soirée and she has an interesting discussion with friends.  Lucien, the Duke of Belliston, has a late night visitor and they have an interesting discussion – there’s no way you can stop reading now.  Believe me, if you like to read historical, paranormal, and time travel romances by the end of chapter two this author will have you hooked.

Sally has an interesting personality and she’s a woman who doesn’t mind trying to figure things out.  This author could have left that story at that and just let things unfold from there but she took it a step further- she’s added in a mystery to be solved.  And don’t worry about wondering if you’ll be lost between the past and present – the author lets you know so there’s no confusion.

This was a book that looks to be part of a great series.  My only disappointment was that I didn’t start reading this author’s work before now.  I found that this book could be read as a stand-alone so you don’t need to read any of the other books to understand what is going on here.  My only hope is that if you liked this book as much as I did, and you haven’t read this series before, you will want to go back and read more about the ladies of the Pink Carnation.  If you’re patient, book twelve is scheduled to come out next August.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: A Pink Carnation Novel

Reviewed: Totlandia (The Onesies, Book 1-4) by Josie Brown

totlandia-the-onesies-book-1-websiteReview by Lynn Reynolds

This is one of those series that you can buy each book separately or read all four books that are available in this one volume. This is not a series that can be read out of order – each book follows the seasons so that makes it easy for you.

Book I: Fall

Lorna Connaught and her husband Matthew have a son named Dante. This story opens where Lorna is in the park with her son and this is one instance where I’m glad that my e-reader doesn’t come with smell-a-vision. They are one of our main couples. And one thing I loved was that they seem to be a very loving couple. That’s not to say that they don’t have their ups and downs.

Brady Pierce is another character that I found interesting. He’s a dad but his past time keeps him happy – sorta. And he’s also a jerk. You will find out early on how all the characters are connected. Our author shows her reader that status means everything – even for a baby. She also shows what it takes to make sure your child gets the best start in life.

Just because you may live in the most affluent part of town doesn’t mean that life isn’t hard. Situations, feelings, and problems don’t discriminate. But Josie puts a humorous twist to it all. At times, I felt like I was reading a comedy version of “The Stepford Wives”.

At the same time, you have to feel sorry for all these people that spend their time, money, and energy on what they think is best for their children. It makes me glad that I didn’t grow up with a lot of money and went to public school. And yet I still saw those people that thought they were better than others.

The woman you love to hate, Bettina, is the woman who runs the children’s group that everyone is so eager to be a part of. One thing that makes this series a page-turner is that you want to see if she gets her just desserts. You can almost picture how she treats those around her.

Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 1 (Fall)

Book II: Winter

This continues book one and shows how friendships have formed among the women who might not normally meet each other if not for the group. Drama doesn’t stop just because it’s the holidays. I also see how dull my holiday parties are compared to the one in this book.

This series is just like a soap opera – it hooks you into the story and you have your favorites that you just want to keep following. And just like soap, not all women are sweet and nice. Some are nasty and schemers.

Buy: Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 2 (Winter)

Book III: Spring

This book has me wondering if there are real people out there that act like Josie’s characters. She just makes them so believable. It made me wonder the amount of work involved to get all the characters developed as well as all the group scenes with the children. In this book of the series, our author starts to uncover a lot of the dirt that everyone is hiding – just like any good soap. The only difference, this would be a nightly soap. I don’t think the censors would let this be on during the daytime. The only disappointment I had was that I knew there was only one more book to read in this volume.

Buy: Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 3 (Spring)

Book IV: Summer

This starts off with Bettina and those close to her still being their nasty selves. If you ever wondered what happened to those girl bullies from high school – they don’t change. I found out early on that this is a guilty pleasure. I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to know what everyone is going to do next.

I was glad to see that one of our characters didn’t have the mother-in-law from hell. I don’t know if that would have made a difference on how I felt about the series – can’t have too many bitches. One thing I also loved about this series was that the children also had their own personalities.

Now the choice is up to you. You can either purchase each book separately: Fall came out on November 09, 2012 and Winter came out on November 19, 2012. The third book, Spring, came out on January 31, 2013 and number four came out on December 05, 2013. Or you can purchase the series as a volume. And if you liked this series as much as I did you may want to check out some of the author’s other work.

Buy: Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 4 (Summer)

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 1 (Fall), Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 2 (Winter),Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 3 (Spring), Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 4 (Summer)

Review: Gabriel (Secrets and Sins Series, Book 1) by Naima Simone

gabrielReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Gabriel Devlin is listening to Christmas music in his car. And then his life changed in an instant. Naima lets us know that this is a reoccurring dream. Leah Bannon is a good friend of Gabe’s and her day job is that of a private investigator. Then a mystery that hits home comes into the office. And somehow Gabriel and his friends are involved – let the intrigue begin.

This book held my interest right from the beginning. Once finished, I found that I needed to know if the mystery in this book is going to be carried through the rest of the series. If you read carefully, you will get a hint about the four men in this series – this means that if you read too fast you may miss it. The only part I hated was having to put the book down either to go to bed or go to work.

I applaud our author in the amount of research that must have been involved in order for the villain in this piece to be so evil. Plus, the story revolves around issues that are current today. If you are a person who is very sensitive about certain subjects, this story may not be for you. But if you really enjoy a great suspense, that has some great romance, and which shows that anyone can overcome atrocities then this story is for you. And you’ll be happy to know that book two is just as good. Malachim comes out September 23.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Secrets and Sins: Gabriel (A Secrets and Sins Novel) (Entangled Suspense)

Review: Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, Book 5) by Elizabeth Hoyt

lord of darknessHero: Godric St. John lost his wife to a terrible illness. In order to regain control on his life he heads out into the slums of London as the masked Ghost of St. Giles evading the police while stopping crime. Wrongly accused of the murder for a gent, Godric hasn’t let it bother him, until one night he comes face to face with his new wife and her pistol.

Heroine: Lady Margaret Reading wants a baby, so she’s decided to seduce her older husband, a man she hasn’t seen since her wedding day, into giving her one. The plan is a solid one that will also give her the chance to search for and kill her lover’s murderer, the Ghost of St. Giles.

What happened: Godric married a pregnant Margaret two years prior to the start of the novel when her brother cornered him with the knowledge that Godric was the Ghost. Godric didn’t mind so much installing a bastard babe in his nest because he knew he would never love again after the death of his first wife, but Margaret later miscarried. During the course of their marriage, Godric kept every missive Margaret wrote. She was life itself and Godric was drawn to her… but surely her idea of a babe while frankly stimulating, was an affront to his late wife’s memories? And then Margaret finds out Godric is the Ghost!

Review: This is a romance that brings together two people who have already loved and lost and never thought to love again. Godric is a hero with a lot of depth and I found it amusing that he was horrified at the prospect of bedding his wife…at first anyway, and then he grew to like the idea. 😉 A fast-paced, perky, pull-no-punches romp that is highly engaging! Lord of Darkness is a keeper!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lord of Darkness

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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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