Review: The Pretender to the Throne (Call of Duty, Book 3) by Maisey Yates

pretender to the throneHero: Xander Drakos is the rebel wastrel prince of Kyrnos. He left the country after his mother’s death. He blamed himself for her death as much as his father and brother did. He pushed his feelings away and drowned his sorrows in all the wrong places, never healing. Now he’s back in the country to finally do his duty as heir-apparent and take over the throne from his ailing father. Just one problem… nobody particularly wants him back.

Heroine: Layna Xenakos was permanently disfigured by acid in the unrest that occurred when Xander left the country. She’s hid herself in a nunnery, believing the lack of vanity makes her a better humanitarian. But, she does care deeply about her appearances—she just buries her feelings and locks them away. That is, until Xander walks back into her quiet life asking her to pick up their relationship as if he never left… to help him win the people over again. Well good luck, he’s going to have to win her over first.

Review: This was a different romance than your usual fare, because it is the heroine that is scarred and not the hero. Layna in a nunnery reminded me of Sound of Music (or maybe I’ve been looking for Sound of Music ever since I got the Blu-Ray and went to Salzburg.) I also thought it was interesting that both of the main characters had spent the time apart hiding from the world. Yes, I know Xander was out in it and living the wild life, but he wasn’t really active in it. He used the club scenes and gambling scenes to hide from himself. Overall, I liked it, but wanted to like the characters a little more than I did. I didn’t really connect with them.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Pretender to the Throne (The Call of Duty)

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Review: Doubting Thomas by Stephanie Taylor

by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer

One man finds what he doesn’t expect in a bar while he’s playing pool, a woman and not just any woman – she’s one of those men don’t normally find on a standard everyday night, and certainly not when he looks like he does, scarred from a car accident that could have claimed his life he leads his life as any man would considering his dire circumstances, and certainly doesn’t think he looks that good enough to attract any kind of female attention. He had an idea his life might never be the same again after what happened, and seeing her was one of the most unexpected things that could occur.

The woman, Alyssa doesn’t want to let him go, but has to – yet she thinks she knows who he might be as she has been searching the same places her missing man, Chris, would have visited as her man was in an accident too, and she hasn’t seen him since – not even after having put so much money into finding him. She is at a loss as to what to do, but has the strength and determination to try and seek him out, as for her, failure is not an option when faced with a life she can only spend with useless men who aren’t a patch on her former lover.

Alyssa is persistent to the point of annoyance with Thomas, but there is something else annoying her, her current man is unresponsive to her needs for finding her missing former love – he thinks she should let the past lie, and go on with her life with him, but nothing is as simple as that for her – she wants her former man back and will do anything in her power to make it possible.

She thinks the man she met that night in the bar could have the answers she needs, but she has to find him again, and as her friend reminds her, if he is Chris, he might not want to continue where they left off.

It is a deep story, comical in places with some endearing touches to it that the reader will like if they are into contemporary romance with a twist as this appears to be. Alyssa is a very strong woman who knows how to be pleased in bed, so it is little wonder that she will only respond to the one she really loves most, her Chris.

The entire story involves the two of them, Thomas and her insulting each other, and trading jibes that only he would know the meaning of, but the real question is, is he her true love and has just changed his name, or another man she is getting mixed up with who doesn’t really know her at all?

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Doubting Thomas

Review: Blackmailed into Marriage by Lucy Monroe

Rosalia (Lia) Chavez-Torres Kennedy has vaginismus and can’t have penetrative sex because of it. During her first marriage to Toby, it caused both of them a lot of stress and anxiety. On the night he died, Toby was leaving Lia because of their lousy sex life. Ever since she hasn’t felt much like a woman at all and her self-confidence is extremely low on that front.

Despite and probably because of Lia’s sexual problem, Blackmailed into Marriage has some melt-your-spine, extremely sexy lovemaking scenes with Damian, the hero. He takes great joy in teaching Lia to love her body and femininity and not to think of her condition as a defect but something that can bring pleasure. They wind up using dilation tubes that gradually widen her until sex is possible. Can I just say: Hot. Hot. HOT!

Damian Marquez is an illegitimate son of a well to do Spanish noble. Having never been recognized by either side of his parents’ families he’s determined to make them notice and deal with him. He agrees to a marriage merger with Lia’s grandfather, Benedicto Chavez-Torres, and gets all the respectability that he craves as well as a lesser title for himself – don and his children will inherit the full titles.

Kaylee, Lia’s daughter from her marriage to Toby, has a heart defect. When Lia goes to Benedicto for help, he doesn’t really see Kaylee as ill. In fact because she looks and acts so healthy, he uses her “supposed” health condition as a bargaining chip to get Lia to do as he wants which is to marry Damian (a man he apparently selected for her a while ago). Damian doesn’t know about Kaylee’s condition and is appalled when he finds out Benedicto played him too and put Lia through emotional blackmail. That said, now that he has her, Damian is not going to let Lia go… he just needs to convince her that they’re perfect for each other.

Rating: 4-4.5 Stars

Buy: Blackmailed Into Marriage

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Review: Lion of Darkness by Melinda Cross

bookreview

Lion of Darkness by Melinda Cross was the first romance novel that I read where one of the lovers was handicapped. The story is absolutely beautiful, filled with domineering masculinity and the helpless unyielding fall into love. It is far too short a tale in my opinion and could use another two hundred pages easily. Perhaps then I’ll be satisfied.

Cassandra Winters was blinded in the car accident that killed her mother. The doctors told her it was hysterical blindness and that she should receive her sight within a few days of the trauma, but it has been eighteen years and Cassie knows one thing for sure; they were wrong.

In the two weeks after her father’s death Cassie has had to face some hard truths. The first is that her wealthy lifestyle is going to change drastically. Her father had lived beyond his means and the only money left after the estate was settled was the small trust her mother set up for her. If she was going to have a future she would have to cope with being blind and learn useful skills that could win her a job, so she enrolls at Windrow, a school for the blind and the best of its kind.

Dr. Wyatt Field is a cynical, stoic man who is so reviled by his patients it’s a wonder that his success rate is so high. The moment he sees Cassie, he has her pegged as a pampered, spoiled, brat. Never mind that her looks are as pale and as beautiful as her last name implies. Never mind that when she touches him his blood pounds, his muscles tense, and that he can’t seem to tear his eyes from her. He is helpless before her and he doesn’t like it. Not one bit. But he’s determined to succeed, to help her see again. He won’t lose this case even if it means loses her love.

Rating: 4.5 – 5 Stars

Happy Readings!

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