His Mistletoe Bride (Stantons) by Vanessa Kelly

His Mistletoe Bride

RATING:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

After a long journey to England to finally meet and live with grandfather, Phoebe Linville is sad to learn that her grandfather died a little before the journey started. When Major Lucas Stanton, the new Lord Merritt, delivers the unfortunate news he also gives Phoebe a letter to her from her grandfather she learns that his last denying wish was for Lucas to marry her and her remain in England and away from her miserable life in America. And though she finds Lucas insanely attractive, she doesn’t want to become a burden to him and declines his offer…
Lucas Stanton,the new Earl of Merritt, never met anyone like Phoebe. When her grandfather ask Lucas to make a promise to take her as his wife, he wasn’t really excited about it. Not only did he inherit a home that was crumbling down around him and become Lord of a town that have had it rough, he also made an honor bound promise to the old Earl to marry Phoebe that she in turns declines. But as he gets to know her, he realizes that she his the one he wants to be his wife…

I have read a few books about Vanessa Kelly that I really enjoyed. So when I came across this one and it being Christmas, I thought I would give a try. It turned out to be somewhat difficult for me to get through the book. For the first half of the book it was all about there courtship, which most of the time I don’t mind since I like it when the hero and heroine usually get to know each other. But in this instance it seemed to take for ever for them to get together and get married. The next part was of them trying to return their home, Mistletoe Manor, into it’s original splendor. Then I guess to add a dash of suspense they become aware of a smuggling ring in their town, which everyone that has lived their knew of it and turned a blind eye or was apart of it.
I didn’t much for the heroine, Phoebe. Their were one or two instances that your like “okay she is not too bad”, then she does something that negates it. She seems to always misunderstands the situation and at times seems a bit spoiled when Lucas doesn’t take her side. And at times she acts a bit dense and a lack of trust which turn some situations for the worse.
I did like Lucas. Though he went form being just a soldier to an Earl, you find how difficult it was for him to being just a mere soldier to one with all the responsibilities that come with becoming the new Earl of Merritt. It was interesting to read how his character develops to his new status.
The return of characters from the authors previous books was a nice addition and it was fun to read how they contribute to the story.
All in all, it was interesting to read once so you know Lucas and Phoebe’s story when they are later mentioned in one of Ms. Vanessa Kelly’s later books and see how they grow from this book to when they are later mentioned in another.

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How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings #1) by Manda Collins

How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)
RATING:

4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

RATING: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Miss Cecily Hurston is trying to gain access her father’s club, the Egyptian Club. She is trying to locate he father’s journals of his last expedition, because she believes the hold the answer’s to what happened during that expedition. Not only does her father return very ill, but there our rumors circulating that about a curse circulating him and even more distressing that he may be responsible for the disappearance of his secretary, William Dalton. So, she is desperate to find her father’s coded journals, that only she can decipher. Just as she was leaving mad for being denied she happens to see a very attractive man, that happened to see most if not everything that happened…
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson on a search to find clues about the disappearance of his brother, William Dalton. When he went to the Egyptian Club in hopes of finding some clues her runs into Cecily, not knowing at first that she is the daughter of the man who is said to be responsible for his brother’s disappearance. After clearing the air, they decide to help each other out in finding clues to there questions of, where is the location of her father’s journals and what happened to William Dalton. During the process however, they both seem unable to deny the sparks of attraction between them….

This was a really fun book to read and a great start to the “Ugly Ducklings” series. Lucas and Cecily were fantastic partners. I liked how they new each other strengths and were able to help each other in finding clues to solving their dilemmas.
The side characters were a great addition and makes you look forward to Cecily’s cousins and Lucas’ friends stories which are, Miss Juliet Shelby and Lord Alec Deveril story (How to Romance a Rake) and Lady Madeline Essex and Christian Monteith book (How to Entice an Earl).
I really enjoyed reading this book and was one of those that I could have read without putting down. The story was written really well and kept me interested until the end. They only thing that I didn’t much care for was how long it took for Cecily to get over her past heartbreak and admit that she loved Lucas. So other then that it was an absolutely delightful story.

Mountain Fire by Brenda Margriet

Mountain Fire

RATING:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

When June Brandt is taking a little time off and goes hiking, she meets Alex Weaver when he drops by the cabin that she is staying at. When Alex informs her that he is there to investigate a the death of a grizzly bear and asks her to show him the location, she goes a long and helps him out. After finding the grizzly’s body and investigating it, they determine its the work of a poacher…
After the investigation and having no leads to follow Alex and June go there separate ways. But Alex can’t keep June out of his mind and he finds ways to get to know her. When another bear is reported being dead, he asks June to come along and help them. Which in turn has them being targeted by the poachers. So now they have to find a way to get the poachers captured… And figure out where the feelings they have developed for each other will led them…

This was an interesting book to read. I like how Alex and June’s relationship develops, and how it wasn’t rushed into it. Though they both have different opinions about love and marriage they were able to overcome it and come to an understanding about their future. I really enjoyed June’s family members and they were fun side characters.
The story plot flowed really well. There wasn’t any added storyline that distracts you from the main story and everything comes together by the end. To me it become a little obvious who the villain was towards the beginning, so I wasn’t kept in suspense on who it could be. So, I did look forward to how the ones responsible got their come-up-ping’s.

Haunted Spouse by Heather MacAllister

Haunted Spouse

RATING:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

Lizzie is an architect that designs her favorite thing, Haunted Houses. Its that time of the year where she is in really high demand, and her entire schedule is filled to the brim. She is really surprised one day when she receives a call from Jared Rutledge, an architect that designs really classy establishments. He is creating a Haunted House to gain funds for a physical therapy center and really needs her help. Though her schedule is really full, she can’t help want to do the job to prove that haunted houses are not “frivolous structures” as he used to call them… Because a few years ago they weren’t only business partners, they were also married…
Jared Rutledge was not happy with the way the Haunted House he designed. It is not turning out they way he wanted it to and he is really in need of help to make it a hit, so he breaks down and decides to call his ex-wife for her help. When they reunite, they are off to a bad start when Jake mentions that Lizzie is wasn’t her talent on haunted houses and that she should design more classic type buildings, but as soon as they call it a truce and start to work together to get the haunted house completed, they soon realize the sparks between them never died…

I never read a book about Halloween that didn’t have the usual vampires, werewolves, etc. involved. When I came across this one at Amazon for a Kindle e-book for free I figured I would give it a try, and I am happy that I did. It was a fun story about two people who were total opposites in many ways, but were able to figure out away to be together. When they reunited and they finally were able to talk to each other and was able to discuss about way their marriage didn’t work out before, they were able to resolve it so that they can have a fresh start.
The story was a little short and I was kind-of hoping that their would be an epilogue that was set a year or two later to show the readers how the relationship progressed, but I guess it didn’t end on a bad note.

Hunk for the Holidays by Katie Lane

Hunk for the Holidays
RATING:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

Cassie McPherson is an absolute workaholic, and Christmas is just around the corner. Cassie works for her company, M & M Construction, as a Vice president or more accurately an accountant. Its the day of the company party and her friend takes it into her own hands to help Cassie actually live a little and enjoy the party with Cassie’s hired escort for the evening. So instead of Cassie usually sedate dress she usually wears, that seems to mysteriously gone missing, Cassie is stuck with the skimpy red dress and accessories that Amy got for her that day. When she tests the clutch purse, out falls a whole lot of condoms. As she starts to retrieve them, all of a sudden she hers a cough and looks up into the eyes of the hottest guy she ever met, who she believes is her escort of the evening…
James Sutton is surprised to walk into M & M Construction to see a woman in a smoking hot dress picking up a purse full of condoms… And is even more surprised when she confuses him for the escort she hired… When he escorts her to her companies Christmas party and gets to know her and her rowdy family, he can’t help being attracted to her and has a difficult time telling her the truth of about who he is, even after spending a few days with her. It becomes even harder when he hears that his company, Sutton Construction, is the McPherson’s biggest rival and he is their number one enemy…

This was a fun book to read. I love reading books about the holidays, especially with the upcoming holidays coming up. It really put me in the Christmas mood. I loved the entire McPherson clan, especially Aunt Wheezie and her matchmaker, or as she prefers to call it Soul Mating for her niece and nephews, schemes. I enjoyed how protective Cassie’s brothers were of her and how they look out for her, and how they all got along with each other. The side story of Cassie’s brother Rory and her best friend Amy, was a nice addition to the book and didn’t take away the main focus of Cassie and James’ story.
When I started reading it and saw it had themes of mistaken identity, I was worried it would be one of those stories that when the other party found out and is extremely angry, that it would be dragged out until almost the end. It was a nice change that both Cassie and James were able to get their emotions and their feelings for each other figured out, without too much animosity occurring between them. Cassie and James’ story was a fun book to read and one I will probably read again. I do look forward to Patrick’s and Matthew’s story to see what girl will turn out to be their Soul Mates…