Audio Review: To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone (Wicked Wagers, Book 2) by Bronwen Evans

wager the marquis of wolverstoneSummary: Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is a great big rake. He has been since the love of his life ran off to marry an older titled man. Marcus knows without a doubt that the Contessa Sabine Orsini is trouble, but he can’t resist her when she waltzes back into his life demanding his help. He gives it in exchange for her presence in his bed. It’s a deal Sabine is more than willing to make in order to get her revenge on the man who ruined her parents and her only chance of happiness.

Review: I found it difficult to like either the hero or heroine. He was an entitled prig. She was a cold fish. Then, just when they started to get enjoyable, Sabine runs off to the villain in a classic TSTL move, which was painful to listen to so I sped that part up.

Narrator: The trilogy is narrated as a whole by Marian Hussey. I found her to be a pleasant narrator with good pacing. She can do a nice husky male voice which made the heroes all the more convincing.

Warning/Spoiler: Sabine was raped by the villain, her son is the result of this sad event.

[Rating:1.5]

Buy: To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone (Wicked Wagers)

Review: The Reluctant Elf by Michele Gorman

reluctant elfHeroine: Lottie and her daughter, Mabel, are planning to visit Aunt Kate this Christmas because Aunt Kate is starting a bed and breakfast (B&B) business. When Kate is hospitalized, Lottie and Mabel leave a day early for their Christmas vacation. The B&B is in dire straights, so are Aunt Kate’s finances, and the help just absconded for a break to recuperate. Everything hinges on getting a good rating from the reviewer. But Lottie hasn’t the foggiest clue what to do to run a successful B&B.

Hero: Danny, the taxi driver, is an unlikely but most definitely needed hero. When Lottie offers him enough money to fund a trip to see his young daughter in America, he agrees to aid her in anyway he can. He helps paint, fix, repair, clean, and cook. And along the way the two find they have an affinity for each other.

Review: The B&B reviewer and his family are seriously dysfunctional. I am very glad that the creepy brother/in-law doesn’t barge in on Lottie in the bath. He was a very ignorant self-absorbed cad. His wife was a hypochondriac and couldn’t stand her children. The two kids were terrors. I’d be afraid for Mabel to hang out with them. The only one sane was the reviewer. Are you up for some crazy hijinks involving scolding plumbing, falling down ceilings, holes patched with toothpaste? Then you’re in for a treat with this wifi-less Victorian-themed holiday chick-lit. Happy ending for all. There’s definitely room for continuation.

[Rating:3.25]

Buy: The Reluctant Elf

Review: Not Quite Dating (Not Quite, Book 1) by Catherine Bybee

not quite datingHero: Jack Morrison is ready to find a woman who will like him for himself and not for the family hotel chain. The point is made especially clear to him when he runs into an ex who is clearly delusional and thinks they will get married and mouths off when he informs her otherwise. He’s decided that the perfect woman for him will love his preference to be laid back – beat-up truck, cowboy hat, and all.

Heroine: Jessica “Jessie” Mann is a single parent trying to make ends meet while helping put her younger sister through college. No easy feat on a waitress’s tips. She’s decided to finally take her mother’s advice on love, namely that “loving a rich guy is as easy as loving a poor guy.” So while Jack is cute, his seasonal job at a fancy hotel and his dreams and goals combine to make him entirely unsuitable.

Review: A cute story that is light and fluffy and goes down easy. I enjoyed the big misunderstanding plot twists, yes plural. Good thing these two both had busybody sisters to step in and get their heads on straight. More sexy time would have been great.

[Rating:3]

Buy: Not Quite Dating (Not Quite series)

Review: Along Came Trouble (Camelot, Book 2) by Ruthie Knox

Along Came TroubleReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Ellen Callahan is having problems with photographers. Not surprising when you have a famous, or infamous, family member. Caleb Clark has come to help Ellen. But you will find that she is a very strong-willed woman. Ruthie shows the reader that it doesn’t matter where you live, the paparazzi will follow a story – they only see the dollar signs. It takes a certain type of person that can protect people from the vultures that carry a camera. But they are also human and still have feelings and we see how important family is to Caleb.

Ruthie goes on to show how vulnerable a single mother can be – especially when the woman is trying to kick start a love life. She also shows that just because a woman has a child doesn’t mean that her womanhood ceases to exist. There was a scene where there is a conversation going on between Ellen and Caleb that just had me laughing. Ruthie does a great job about always putting some comic relief in her work.

Even though Ellen’s brother is a secondary character, we can see how diametric our brother and sister are. And Ruthie feeds on the reader’s preconceived notions about how celebrities act. Especially with the amount of press some celebrities are getting lately. But even though Ellen’s brother is a celebrity, I love their interaction. I have three brothers and wish we had that type of camaraderie.

This is was a great follow-up to book one. If you go to Ruthie’s web site, http://www.ruthieknox.com/, you can get some information about the first book, which I hope you have read, and a sneak peek into her next book titled Flirting with Disaster. If you’ve liked the first two books in the Camelot series you will want to make sure to get book three.

Buy: Along Came Trouble

GIVEAWAY + Review: Big Sky Mountain (Swoon-Worthy Cowboys, Book 2) by Linda Lael Miller

big sky mountain linda lael millerHeroine: Kendra Shepherd is divorced and caring for her young adopted daughter. Once upon a time Hutch broke her heart and she’s now afraid he’s going to do it again, but this time it’s not only her heart in jeopardy, but her daughter’s too.

Hero: Hutch Carmody is about to get married to the wrong woman. Apparently the golden boy of Parable, Montana, can actually do wrong and does when he leaves her at the altar. The female populace is furious on his jilted bride’s behalf… and Kendra thinks this is a sign he is still a playboy.

Series: Big Sky Country is the first book in the trilogy and contains background information on the Carmody brothers: Hutch and Slade. In Big Sky Country, Slade inherits half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which is unexpected because Slade is the illegitimate half-brother of Hutch.

Review: Hutch was a bad-boy and a jerk in the first book, but in his book, Hutch is a really loveable hero. His interactions with four-year-old Madison were super cute. She calls him “Cowboy-man.” Who can resist a guy who buys a little girl a pony? Madison came across smarter than a four-year-old at times, which is probably my only caveat to the story. It was good to see the relationship between Slade and Hutch mend and heal.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Big Sky Mountain, Big Sky Country

Excerpt:

Except for bankers and lawyers, few men in rural Montana wore suits on a regular basis—such get-ups were reserved for Sunday services, funerals and…weddings, ill-fated or otherwise.

Opal, for her part, kept murmuring to herself and shaking her head as she began measuring out flour and lard for a batch of her world-class biscuits. “Landsakes,” she muttered repeatedly, along with, “Well, I never, in all my live-long days—”

Joslyn laid her hands on her bulging stomach and sighed. “I swear this baby is practicing to be a rodeo star. It feels as though he’s riding a bull in there.”

Kendra laughed softly, partly at the image her friend had painted and partly as a way to relieve the dizzying tension brought on by Shea’s breathless announcement. Hutch called the whole thing off. He stopped the wedding.

“The least you could do,” she teased Joslyn, trying to get a grip on her crazy emotions, “is go into labor already and let the little guy get a start on his cowboy career.”

Buy: Big Sky Mountain

GIVEAWAY: I have one paperback copy of Big Sky Mountain up for grabs. Open to US/Canada. Enter by leaving a comment about why you love cowboys, westerns, or why you love Linda Lael Miller! Last day to enter: August 25, 2012. good luck!

Follow along on the blog tour: http://booktrib.com/booktrib-blog-tour-nyt-bestselling-author-linda-lael-millers-big-sky-mountain/.

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