Audio Review: The Tattooed Duke (The Writing Girls, Book 3) by Maya Rodale

tattoed dukeHero: Sebastian Digby, the Duke of Wycliff, is in need of a wealthy bride. His newly inherited dukedom is full of responsibilities and short on cash. All he wants to do is travel and discover Timbuktu. Unfortunately for him, all his dirty laundry is being aired by The London Weekly negating any chance he has at finding a suitable bride. He can’t prove who it is, but he suspects either his cousin or an employee.

Heroine: Eliza Fielding hasn’t had much to write about for her boss at The London Weekly. She’s about to be fired unless she can produce some scandalously meaty prose. Her undercover disguise as a housemaid in the duke’s household is perfect for getting close to the duke… in more ways than one. But as she gets to know this tattooed duke, Eliza has to wonder if getting her own dream – a column of her very own — is worth more than helping Sebastian obtain his dreams.

Review: This historical romance has a very modern edge. It worked for me where it might not work for others. I bought this book as an audiobook and I enjoyed the narrator, Carolyn Morris, immensely. Her accent work really placed me in the story and gave a sense of sophistication and Regency glamor. Sebastian Digby (whose last name, I must have missed… ha!) is a different duke than you’re used to meeting. He doesn’t want the duchy if it means curtailing his own desires for adventure, but it’s not exactly something you can just pretend isn’t yours. The scene where Eliza sees his tattoos for the first time was deliciously steamy (pun intended.) Eliza is a feisty heroine, who because she’s not gentry, can do things most well-bred young ladies can’t… like hide in plain sight of the hero she’s covering for her newspaper. Sebestian thinks the leak in his household is Eliza, but refuses to really give it credence because he doesn’t want it to be true. Overall a great listen!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Tattooed Duke

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Review: Make Mine a Bad Boy by Katie Lane

Reviewed by Aggie S.

Do you like to read a cowboy romance? Yes? Well this is the book for you!

Hope, is the town’s former head cheerleader and homecoming queen. She finally decides to return home after sowing her wild oats in Hollywood, only to find that a twin sister she didn’t know existed has stepped into her shoes… or should I say love life? Hope’s dreams were shattered when Slade married her twin sister.

Colt, the town’s bad boy is late for the wedding and figures the only thing he can do is kiss the bride. Hope yells for him to take his hands off her sister, but Slade has already gotten there and punched him for grabbing his new wife. Colt comes up swinging and punches Hope out.

It’s a classic – he pursues, she evades, cat and mouse, tit for tat romance.

I’m going to classify this romance as enemies to lovers because Colt has pulled so many pranks on Hope that she feels he hates her. But is that really true? Shirlene, Colt’s sister, tells her he does it because he is so hung up on her and he feels he needs to torment her to get her attention.

You really need to read this captivating story to find out why Colt had a snarling hog with a tiara tattooed on his arm. And, why is there all of a sudden a shot-gun wedding and for who! This book is such an interesting read, with what a plot so realistic it could be an actually true story for many homecoming queens and town bad boys.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Make Mine a Bad Boy (A Deep in the Heart of Texas novel)

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Review: Runes by Em Petrova

by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer

Will Cochrane finds a woman, Evangeline laid on a floor bleeding, just as he was and he could not allow her to see his face, as recognizing him would be more than he could take. Drugged and asleep, the woman bears runic tattoos on her arm running all the way up to her neck that mark her as an immortal, his concern for her is that she has another existence, another life away from him and all that was in the past. As someone who cares for her is waiting outside, he can only be an observer in this part of her life as he knows things that no other person should find out about.

Will has a girlfriend, Jessa but he has trouble dealing with her needing him around as he does when he dates mortal women, and has to tell her he must go away for a while, though he reluctantly tells her plenty of lies so she doesn’t worry too much when he is gone. The reason he attracts so many lovely women to him is due to a phenomenon known as ‘the calling’ where a female mate would call out to him subconsciously without realizing it. He understands that he can never tell these women he dates what or who he really is due to his immortal status, but he can’t stand being single either and not having a mate who he can love. Will’s weaknesses are his constant dating, and sharing his heart with other women. He is an emotional type who can get himself into a whole host of problems with his inner nature.

Evangeline is a former cocaine addict and lover of Will who wakes up after being drugged. She has faint memories of having slept with Will, and more importantly that she had cheated on another man, Sean who she felt more in tune with. She has a dark past with drugs and indulgence, and sleeping with plenty of men, but no one has made her feel the way she has with Will – though Evangeline goes through periods of uncertainty about both men throughout the novel.

This is a perfect fantasy in modern day type of novel with a believable and in-depth story readers can get into very easily. Will’s reason for what he did to Evangeline come out in the story a bit later, and it was a nice surprise when I found out the truth to what he had done. The question is, is he really that tired of getting with mortal women? He says he is, but the sentiment doesn’t seem to come from the heart. The only way to really find out is to read the novel – I did and thought it was well worth the experience.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Runes

Review: The Mists of Time by Susan Squires

The Mists of Time is part of the DaVinci Time Travel Series by Susan Squires. The DaVinci Series is an offshoot of the Companion Series, starting with One with the Darkness. The second DaVinci time travel romance, Time For Eternity, also fits into both series. After that they seem to be separated. I haven’t read enough of either series to know with absolute certainty that this is the case. I saw a few minor references to Time For Eternity in The Mists of Time, but not knowing the full background didn’t detract. You can jump into The Mists of Time as it is a stand alone. Anything you really need to know is explained.

Diana Dearborn is an orphan once more after her father, the last of her adoptive parents’ is dead. She had no idea who she really is because thirteen years of her past are missing. All she knows is that she feels different than everybody else. Diana can find things without thinking about it and hears what people will say before they actually say it. Both are pretty useless talents as far as she’s concerned.

She writes romances for her day job and is suffering from writer’s block on her latest. It’s a story about Gawain, the perfect knight, from King Arthur’s time. If only she could go to Camelot and meet the man she was writing about, then she could bring him to life on the page. A book in her possession leads her to believe that Leonardo DaVinci’s design for a time travel machine might actually exist and so one night she takes that chance and goes in search of a past to become her future.

Gawain was too late to stop Diana from going back in time and now she’s brought one of the most evil megalomaniacs back to the future. He’s haunted by all his failures and is far from the perfect knight history has made him out to be. His latest mission seems to be going to the dogs faster than he can say Mordred.

I found the flaws of the characters got on my nerves after a while. Gawain’s insecurities are a big road block. He’s always worrying. He worries about his attraction to Diana. He worries about lies of omissions. He worries about Mordred. He worries about fulfilling his mission, of pleasing his long dead father, etc, etc.

Diana isn’t much better. She’s afraid of a lot. She’s afraid to make friends, because who’d want to be around someone as freaky as her? She’s afraid of a relationship because she doesn’t believe she’s attractive. She views Gawain as an Adonis among men and herself as something the cat dragged in. And she’s afraid she’s not a very good writer because she hasn’t experienced the kind of love she writes about – or the sex.

Good thing time and space isn’t linear because by the end, both manage to change these parts of their personalities around due to actions and words done in the past. It’s very refreshing. :) Maybe now they can admit to each other how they feel? You’ll have to read and find out!

Rating: 3 Stars

Buy: The Mists of Time

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Guess the Chest #22-26

The last 5 chests… are you ready? Are you sure? Okay then!

#22

This man has played so many roles recently, I’m not sure which one to allude to for a clue.

chest22

#23

Saved by the hunky life guard!

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#24

His bright blue eyes and shy sexy smile gets me every time.

chest24

#25

1, 2 love triangles…

chest25

#26

Do his tattoos give him away?

chest26