Review: How to Catch a Wild Viscount by Tessa Dare

how to catch a wild viscountPreviously titled The Legend of the Werestag. Not a paranormal.

Hero: Luke Trenton, Viscount Merritt, is beastly in appearance and temperament. War stripped him of his civility and hardened his heart. He feels like he has nothing to offer the girl who looks at him with stars in her eyes. He wants her to get over him as he knows she will and move on so he can too.

Heroine: Cecily Hale has loved Luke for a while and treasures the kiss they shared before he left for war. When he came home from war and didn’t seek her out she was hurt. She hopes the house party they are both at will be just the setting to win his heart. A local legend of a werestag catches her attention and she convinces the party to go in search of it… but her real hunt is not a wild deer but a wild viscount!

Review: An exceptional novella. I loved the hero and heroine so much I could have read an expanded version of this story. Luke is a deliciously aloof stubborn cad. He rejects her after she pledges her love to him which humiliates and wounds Cecily. Our heroine doesn’t take this too kindly and focuses her attention on the stag hunt instead of the man. At one point she needs rescuing because of a wild boar attack and the mysterious stranger who protects her and things start to develop and get steamy from there on out. Very enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: How to Catch a Wild Viscount

Audio Review: The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys and Wallflowers, Book 1) by Maya Rodale

wicked wallflowerHeroine: Lady Emma Avery is a respectable wallflower with the nickname the Buxom Bluestocking from finishing school. She is one of London’s Least Likely (to Misbehave) and in her own opinion least likely to be married by the next finishing school graduate ball, which marks the end of her fourth Season. Her long-time “beau” has yet to come up to scratch. Her friends, Olivia and Prudence, propose a wild idea of announcing their engagement. It was risky, but surely a gentleman could not refuse once it was so publically announced. While composing the letter, one of them said if Emma was going to risk scandal then they should go big or go home.

It’s all fun and games until someone actually sends the letter to the newspaper. Then it’s too late — and instead of a financially strapped second son of a viscount, the most eligible bachelor is declared the groom-to-be, and not just any bachelor, but a duke! Emma just knows she is ruined!

Hero: Blake, the Duke of Ashbrooke, is about to find out his past behavior can and will catch up to him. His charmed life of being the toast of a party, London’s most desirable rake and duke, and participating wild dares are not going to help him now. His backers desert him on his difference engine project and stress that it’s because of the man leading the project not the idea. They can’t trust him. Suddenly he needs a respectable wife… or at least the appearance of one until the financing is secure.

When the London Weekly posts his engagement announcement to a women he’s never met, he has the solution to his problem. He arrives at her drawing room to make it official – or failing that official long enough for them to try their hand at winning his aunt’s fortune in this year’s annual Fortune Games. Ashbrooke always likes a challenge so when the lady says no – he takes matters into his own hands.

Review: I loved this book from the main characters to the side characters to the romance. It checked all my boxes. My favorite parts were the love-letter writing on Emma’s bed and then Blake’s fulfillment of their fake courtship. He created a rundown gazebo, built a trellis, and said some of the prettiest proposals. Le sigh. He kind of goofs it all up at the end and could have come around a little quicker, but overall he’s one dreamy duke. The story ends as it begins with a potential scandal in the making. I wholly recommend to anyone looking for a fun and silly romp.

Narrator: I very much enjoyed listening to Carolyn Morris narrate. She pronounced clearly, naturally, and was easy to understand. I loved her portrayal of the hero and heroine and her accent and acting really pulled the story together cohesively. She had a very good presence and gave the story life. I’d listen to her again.

Rating: ★★★★½

The Wicked Wallflower (Wallflower Trilogy Book 1), Wicked Wallflower (Audiobook)

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Audio Review: The Naked Earl (Naked Nobility, Book 4) by Sally Mackenzie

naked earlHero: The Earl of Westbrooke, Robert “Robbie” Hamilton, has no trouble getting “it” up. No, the problem lies in keeping “it” up. This road block is tied to a humiliating moment in his youth and he’s unable to let the incident go. Just when things begin to heat up — like seeing the inebriated and naked Lizzie in her room — the memory will crop up and the excitement turns to frustration.

Heroine: Lady Elizabeth “Lizzie” Runyon, is the younger sister of Robbie’s best friend, James. She has been in love with Robbie most of her life and would like nothing better than to marry him. When he falls through her window (escaping across the rooftop from a calculating marriage-minded spinster), during a house party, she takes advantage of his naked state and her own, by stealing innocently passionate kisses.

Review: When the guests come running to her door, he begs her for silence and so while she could have kept him all to herself, she does as he asks, which I think takes guts. Of course, Lizzie feels Robbie will come around properly to ask for her hand and is flummoxed when he does not. There was a lot of potential with the book and where it fell flat for me was the passion fizzled at its highest points (and I don’t mean when it fizzled for Robbie as those were some of the better moments in the book because you could really feel his anxiety and frustration over his reactions or lack thereof). Robbie really wanted to be the man he felt Lizzie deserved and needed/wanted. The best-friend’s-sister or brother’s-best-friend trope is a tough one for me to warm up to, but I found myself rooting for the two quite early in the novel. The momentum just didn’t keep up with my expectations.

Narrator: The narrator was exceptional and one of the reasons it was so easy for me to get involved in the romance. I would recommend listening to Terry Donnelly if you get the chance. She’s very good at the intimate moments and keeping characters straight and reads very lively and with emotion. (4.5 of 5 Stars)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Sally MacKenzie Bundle: The Naked Earl, The Naked Gentleman, The Naked Marquis, The Naked Baron, The Naked Duke, The Naked Viscount, The Naked King

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Review: The Lady Most Likely (Lady Most, Book 1) by Julia Quinn

ladymostlikelyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly is in need of a wife and his sister is only too happy to give him a list of all the women she thinks could make him a wonderful wife and invites them plus some gentlemen to her country house for the best event of the year. Hugh has the chance to snatch a lady that is before any of the other gentlemen get to her first.

Guest List:

  • Horse mad and handsome Earl of Briarly
  • Outspoken Miss Katherine Peyton
  • Dashing war hero Captain Neill Oakes
  • Beautiful & shy Miss Gwendolyn Passmore
  • Awfully eligible new Earl of Charters
  • Widowed Lady Georgina Sorrell who doesn’t ever want to marry – ever!

Funny bits:

  • Hugh wants an older woman – not one who is sixteen!
  • Hugh never worrying about anything that’s not equine.

Review: The Lady Most Likely is written by three of the most prominent authors from Avon Historical Romance; Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway. They got together to provide us with a tale of three parts. Julia Quinn is famous for writing Ten Things I Love About You, Eloisa James has When Beauty Tamed the Beast, and Connie Brockway has The Golden Season.

Hugh has finally shown up and wants to wed a woman after his own heart – everyone else is too concerned about the time when his Arab horse kicked him in the head, leaving him in a coma for a week, but Hugh insists he is alright. Hugh has no idea how to talk to women but he is great with horses. In fact, they are all he cares about until he thinks someone else might snatch Gwen, and with all those men around her, she has the pick and choose of the noblemen, but who will she choose?

Gwendolyn Passmore broke her leg before her first season, and was in bed for weeks. Her mother feels distraught that she missed it, and has sent her in for her second season hoping she will find an eligible man, but Gwen doesn’t like the idea of putting herself out there, and isn’t too keen on marriage either.

Summary: The Lady Most Likely is a delightfully comical look at Regency England with all the niceties and decorum parodied to perfection.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Lady Most Likely…: A Novel in Three Parts

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Review: The Lady Most Willing (Lady Most, Book 2) by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway

lady most willingWhat happened:  Laird Taran Ferguson and some of his clansmen kidnap four ladies, one by mistake, and carry them back to Finovair castle. Along the way the men accidentally kidnap a duke and everybody gets snowed-in. Will there be hell to pay or marriages at the end of this debacle? Whatever the case this is guaranteed to be the most talked about scandal all season!

Why was it done? Taran wanted to provide wealthy matches for his reluctant nephews to wed.

The players:

  • John Shevington, Duke of Bretton – He wasn’t meant to be in the carriage, but since it was his, it shouldn’t have surprised the laird and his men to find him in it.
  • Byron Wotton, Earl of Oakley – A proper gentlemen who’s horrified by his uncle’s actions.
  • Robert (Robin) Parles, Comte de Rocheforte – A rake of the first order whose reputation may or may not be deserved.
  • Lady Cecily Tarleton – She knows who she wants and she refuses to let him get away.
  • Catriona Burns – The lady kidnapped by mistake all because she wore blue. Cat is not an heiress and is therefore out of the running according to Taran for his nephews. Good thing the Duke doesn’t care what Taran thinks.
  • Fiona Chisholm – Bespectacled and respectable heiress usually overlooked when her lively, younger, and prettier sister is around…. But somebody notices her!
  • Marilla Chisholm – A gorgeous female who knows it. This is one hellcat whose claws you don’t want to sink into you!

Favorite match: The Duke and Cat.

Most surprising match: Marilla’s.

Review: I loved the house part games and kind of wish we had house parties like it now! A must read if you love humor, Regency house parties, and love at first sight!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Lady Most Willing

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Audio Review: The Lady Most Likely (Lady Most, Book 1) by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway

ladymostlikelyQuick Synopsis: Horse fanatic, Hugh Dunne, the Earl of Briarly, had a recent scare with a horse and decided he needs a wife and heir. To get both, he drafts his sister, Caroline, into throwing a house party and lets her pick the guest list.

Choice 1: Gwendolyn Passmore is the top girl of the season, but she could care less that all the men and their mamas are trying to snag her. She just wants out of London and back to her quiet country life. She is uncomfortable around crowds and people she doesn’t know. Small talk is the worst!

Choice 2: Katherine Peyton has already given her heart to another, but the cad ran off and hasn’t been seen since. Perhaps this outspoken lady is just the ticket to get Hugh out of the stables…

Choice 3: Georgiana Sorrell is a widow. She loved her husband, but he had his flaws. She is not looking to get married again. Georgie is friends with Hugh’s sister and is at the party for moral support… though Caroline might have a match in store for her yet.

Review: Three ladies, three gentlemen, three part story. It’s quick and easy, and different from most anthologies because the three stories are more intricately entwined. It’s important to read in order as events happen and are linked from story to story. My favorite pairing is Gwendolyn and her love match. I like shy heroines and it’s fun to see how that shyness coupled with her popularity in the ton has made one person think her a snob. I also enjoyed the party games, especially the “do you love your neighbor.”

Narrator: Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators. It’s pretty much a guarantee that if she’s read a romance novel, I’m picking it up.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Lady Most Likely

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Review: Ten Things I Love About You (Bevelstoke, Book 3) by Julia Quinn

Heroine: Annabel Winslow, eldest sister of 8 siblings, is soon to be engaged to an overweight, short-tempered nobleman as old as her grandmother. She must agree or risk her family’s future happiness. If she does, she loses her own. But she still has time before the Earl of Newbury asks, perhaps there is another way?

Hero: Sebastian Grey firsts hears of Annabel as a woman ‘…so fertile that birds sing when she draws near.’ He knows his uncle, the Earl of Newbury, wants an heir so that he does not inherit the estate. His uncle hates him and the feeling is mutual. He does not care if he inherits or not, he just wished he knew one way or the other.

Meet Cute: A chance meeting outside in the moors at an annual house party when Annabel literally trips over Sebastian. He was just waiting for his female partner to slip back into the house party before he went in again. She was escaping his cruel, odious, groping uncle. (That lecher!  Shudder.) They flirt and then kiss. (Seb and Annabel.) Hawt.

Review: Rosalyn Landor is a wonderful narrator. She brought the characters fully to life and if you combine her talent with the author’s you have an amazing story. I loved it. Capitalize that—I LOVED IT! I was utterly charmed, just like Sebastian was with Annabel. The story is sweet, the sexual tension sizzling, the romance was just perfect. Sebastian is making it to my favorite hero list (which shouldn’t surprise him, he loves lists… and so does the heroine). (Now I have more than one Seb to love, bwuahahaha!)

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Ten Things I Love About You

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Review: The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton (The Burgundy Club, Book 3) by Miranda Neville

Heroine: Kidnapped, Celia Seaton is no passive miss. At the first opportunity she gets out of the attic of a two story cottage wearing only her under clothes. Stumbling upon her worst enemy (who doesn’t even know he’s her enemy because she doesn’t register on his radar) conked out across the threshold of the house, Celia hesitates on what to do. When he wakes and doesn’t know who he is a brilliant idea takes shape.

Hero: Tarquin Compton is a rich fashionable dandy (but not gentry) who collects erotic books and books on poetry. When he gets lost in the moors he stops at a cottage for directions and gets knocked out by Celia’s kidnapper. When he wakes he suffers from amnesia and buys Celia’s story that he’s her fiance. Well he buys some of it anyway, there’s no way his name is Terence Fish, which makes him wonder if he tricked Celia about who he was in order to seduce her.

Favorite Moments: When she gives him her web of lies about who he is and what he means to her, the cauliflower incident, and when she gives herself to him.

Missed Opportunity: Tarquin immediately confronts Celia about her ill use of him after the return of his memories, instead of actively trying to be the man she created for him. I thought he was really falling for her at the time and would rather go undercover to discover if she really loved him or was just using him before his confrontation. But apparently he needed to get his head on straight before he could regret his harsh actions/words.

And heroine should have said once when he was still suffering from amnesia that she loved him… all of him even the parts he couldn’t remember, because she was darn near thinking it and that would have been sweet. It would also force Tarquin to come to terms with his idiocy sooner. Luckily she rejects his reluctant and insulting proposal to patch up her now ruined reputation.

Mystery: Why is an ex-fiance/governess who has been tossed aside/dismissed for moral turpitude kidnapped? Terence Fish wants to know and so should you!

Review: A fun romp with witty banter, a plucky heroine, an amnesiac hero, and cauliflower! You won’t regret running out to get this book for your collection.

Rating: ★★★★½

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