Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows #1) by Manda Collins

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RATING: 4.5 Out 5 Stars

Lady Isabella Wharton has many secrets that she shares with her sister, Perdita, and their good friend Mrs. Georgina Mowbary. One in particular that the Dowager Duchess Of Ormonde is aware of, helps her cause in having Isabella leave London to the country side of Yorkshire to bring home the grandson she never met, as well as threatening to ruin her sister’s  possible marriage prospects if she doesn’t. Seeming to have no choice in the matter she packs her bags and leaves for Yorkshire…
On his way home after an exhausting day, Trevor Carey, the new Duke Of Ormonde comes across a broken carriage, only to discover that the occupant inside was on her way to his home. Once their identities are known to each other, Trevor discovers that Isabella has been sent by is estranged grandmother to bring him to London and finally take care of the responsibilities that come with the dukedom. Now the only thing he wishes for right now, is for her to leave immediately since he has no interest of leaving Yorkshire or meeting his grandmother that he believes had a part for cutting off his father for marrying beneath him, but is unable to until her carriage is repaired…
After Trevor discovers that Isabella’s carriage was tampered with intentionally he feels the need to protect her. And as time goes by the attraction they have for each other grows…
But after Isabella’s first marriage experience will she be willing to open her heart to him…
And when Trevor discovers their is more to Isabella then what he first believed will he do what it takes to keep her with him..

I became a big fan of Manda Collins after reading her “Ugly Duckling” series, and when I discovered that she had a new series I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to be able to read it. And I am thrilled that after reading the first book of the “Wicked Widows” series that I wasn’t disappointed.
Trevor and Isabella’s sweet romance was fun for me to read. I adored how Trevor and Isabella first met and their banter at the beginning of their relationship. It was enjoyable to read as their relationship grew by every page I turned. And after Isabella’s disastrous first marriage, I enjoyed reading how she started opening up to Trevor and trusting him.
I enjoyed that I wasn’t able to guess the one who had been terrorizing Isabella right off the bat and I was astonished when they were revealed, and only to find out that they were just taking orders from someone else, and making me wonder who the main bad guy was. It made me look forward to reading the next  two books in the series to discover who it turns out to be.
There was one that left me hanging that I wished was revealed, and that was the clash between the Dowager and Trevor and Isabella. After it was revealed that Trevor and Isabella were married and the Dowager fainted in outrage… I made me wonder how there next conversation would turn out, especially when the Dowager stated… “Do you know what you’ve had done?”. And it made me wonder what has she done? The only thing I can guess is that the Dowager had someone with more ties in the ton in mind for his wife…

One More Kiss (Pennistan #5) By Mary Blayney

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RATING: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Beatrice Brent and her twin sister, Cecilia, is attending a house party that their godmother is hosting for their benefit, at their father’s behest. Because he would love nothing more, but to have them snag a titled gentlemen.  Beatrice doesn’t care if she gets married and is only attending to support Cecilia. But when the eligible gentleman start showing up, their is one that grabs her attention, Lord Jessup Pennistan…
Lord Jessup Pennistan, known is Jess to friends and family, is a gambler and has scandal attached to his name. After losing his land that was left to him from his mother to his arch-nemesis, Lord Crenshaw, he attends the house party fully intending to when his land back from. But he never thought he would be distracted by Miss Beatrice Brent, whose curiosity knows no bonds…
Even though Beatrice’s father told her to stay away from Jess, she can’t help flirting with him when the opportunity strikes. And when Jess saw his arch-nemesis Lord Crenshaw seems to have an interest in Beatrice, he only wanted to make sure it was one sided. But after their first kiss, they both can’t seem to stay away from each other, even though Jess tries to keep a distance, he can’t help having “One More Kiss”…

When I first read the synopsis of this book it looked like the hero and heroine of the book was Jess and Beatrice, so I will admit to some confusion when it the author transitioned to the secondary hero and heroine, Lord Destry and Cecilia. For me it was like reading 2 books in one. But after reading a few chapters in the book I was able to get into the story and enjoyed reading how each of the couples are able to get closer or overcome whatever obstacle turns up.
I enjoyed most of the characters. They each had a singular quality that made them likeable, but I will admit that I adored the what I will call the main hero and heroine of the story, Jess and Beatrice. They follow the phrase that opposites attract, and were opposites in every way. I liked how even though everyone told Beatrice that she shouldn’t get close to Jess, because of his reputation, she didn’t and was able to get to know the real man behind  the name and he in likewise was able to get to know Beatrice. And I enjoyed reading their sweet romance. Destry’s and Cecilia’s story was cute, but their were times when I thought the Cecilia’s views of why they shouldn’t be together were nonsensical, but I was happy when whe started viewing the probability of their relationship differently and was delighted that they had their own happy ending.
I did appreciate this book was a clean romance, with just the right touch of incalescence in the book. And the author did a good job in linking Jess and Beatrice’s story with Destry’s and Cecilia’s story. And was pleased that it didn’t stop the flow of the story as I read. This was the first book I read in the Pennistan series and when I have an opportunity I plan to go read the ones I have missed.

Sweet Madness (Veiled Seduction, #3) by Heather Snow

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RATING: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

After the death of her husband, Lady Penelope Bridgeman delved into the task of treating traumatized soldiers that returned home with battle fatigue. She studied the afflictions of the mind and found ways to treat all the soldiers that came her away. When Lady Bromwich approached her to treat her son, Gabriel, she accepted…
Gabriel Devereaux, Marquess of Bromwich, has had feelings for Penelope since meeting her at hers and his cousins engagement ball. So when she shows up at the asylum he is staying at, he wants her to leave immediately, so she doesn’t witness his episodes. But when she tells him that she is his last chance before his family has him publicly announced as insane, he reluctantly agrees to let her help him…
But they didn’t expect during the time they spent together, they were actually helping each other heal their deepest wounds. And they didn’t expect their feelings would grow each day that passes…

This book turned out to be an unexpected surprise. The story kept me intrigued in how it will turn out until the end. The characters were really developed well and I loved the relationship development between Gabriel and Penelope. I have read many historical romances so I am sure that I may have actually read something similar before, but I really enjoyed how Gabriel had special feelings for Penelope from the moment he met her and that they kept growing with every encounter, and the author did a really good job in making it stand out against all other historical romances that I have so far. So, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing their relationship grow with each passing encounter.
Though they were only in this book here and there the author did a superb job in bringing my attention to Penelope’s cousin Liliana and her husband, Geoffrey, and made me want to read their story soon, to see if their story was just as fun as this one was. And other books she has released or will release in the future.

Spirit of the Knight By Debbie Peterson

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RATING: 5 Out 5 Stars

Mariah Jennings has been hired to paint a thirteenth century castle for an upcoming showcase. After reaching her new home for the next 6 months, she never expected it to be already occupied by a ghostly knight by the name of Sir Cailen Braithnoch and his entire fiefdom… But what is even stranger then meeting a castle of ghostly knights, is that she has seen Sir Cailen Braithnoch before, ever since childhood….
Sir Cailen Braithnoch has never been so entranced by a woman like he is with Mariah Jennings… And Mariah Jennings has been in love with him since the first time she sketched his form on paper… And after their first encounter their feelings just keep getting stronger. And as time goes by, Mariah discovers that Cailen and his fiefdom aren’t your ordinary ghosts… And that dark magic may have been involved….
Will Mariah and Cailen be able to find the clues to figure out the events that transpired when they died? And will they have their Happily Ever After?
I had the privilege of reading an ARC copy of this book and I wasn’t disappointed. I truly enjoyed reading this book. The story was well thought out, leaving no holes or leaving any unanswered questions by the end of the book. It was a fun storyline and I enjoyed every minute I read and wished I didn’t have to put it down to go to work, run errands, and etc..
I liked every last one of the characters. Mariah is one of my favorite heroines I have read in a book. She never backed down even when her fears played with her emotions, and she saw things through until the end. Cailen was an absolutely dreamy character, and makes me want pack a bag and go visit a thirteenth century castle to find him!!! And I loved how their relationship kept budding from page to page.
The knights of Cailen’s fiefdom were really fun, and it is shame that only few were able to make their presence really known in the book, because they were a bunch of fun and mischievous boys. But who knows maybe some of them will have their own story told?
I think Evan was really written well and the saying goes “never judge a book by its cover”.
This was really a fun book for me to read. I enjoyed it a lot more, because it didn’t have all the swearing and graphic sexual content that many books have nowadays, but I did enjoy the few steamy kiss scenes between our hero and heroine!!

 

**And On A Special Note:

The Wild Rose Press has released “Spirit of the Knight,” exclusively to Kindle Select, with an expected world-wide release date of July 9, 2014, in all ebook formats as well as print.

Get it @ Amazon

 

Moonbeam & Roses By Stephanie Payne Hurt

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sara knew Wes since they were kids, but they didn’t become very good friends until they reconnected at a neighborhood social event when they were older, especially since Wes is a cowboy and he follows the horse shows. So he wasn’t around for a few years, but after they reconnected they got reacquainted and become closer, and Sara has secretly been in love with him most of her life. When their relationship was about to embark at a turning point and become something more, Wes decided to take a job working on a ranch in Montana…
After hearing that Wes moved on with someone else after he left, Sara was heartbroken. So she wrapped herself in her art work, and eventually Brooke, her agent and best friend, decided to set her up on a blind date, and after meeting Quinn, they hit off quite nicely, though she was still in love with Wes. When things with Quinn started getting serious, a tragic accident happened, and Wes drives down to be with the one woman he loves and couldn’t forget. But when Sara wakes up, and discovers she is blind it will take fate to bring Sara and Wes together…

This book was written in a different format then I am used to, but fortunately it didn’t distract me from the story. The book was a fun read, I liked that it didn’t have any swearing and that the sexual content was just suggestive and didn’t go into details. I liked that Wes and Sara knew each other when they were kids and when they got older that they got to know each other and build their relationship, instead of diving head first into it. Wes’ character is every girls dream come true, in the way he treated Sara and took care of her, as well as doing everything in his power to help her get through this obstacle in her life. I enjoyed that they were different, him being a cowboy, and Sara being an artist, and being able to involve themselves in each others life without the characters getting frustrated or having it tear them apart. Sara was an admirable character. I like that she was true to her feelings for Wes, and though she tried to move on, she did it only because she thought Wes moved on and wasn’t going to come back to her. And when she lost her sight she tried to stay strong and to get the help she needed just in case she didn’t get her eyesight back.

This book was an enjoyable read and was just the right length. It wasn’t long and drawn out, and it had a great pace to it. I look forward in reading more from Stephanie Payne Hurt if her others are like this cute western romance.

The Wicked Wallflower (Bad Boys & Wallflowers, #1) by Maya Rodale

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Lady Emma Avery had high hopes in her first season. She was hopeful that she will have a whirlwind romance and find a husband that loves her, and one she loves just as much. After meeting Mr. Benedict Chase, she thought all her wishes have come true… But now she is in her fourth season and though she loves Benedict, and is sure that he feels the same, he still hasn’t proposed. After the opening season’s ball her friends, Lady Olivia Archer and Miss Prudence Payton went to her room with a bottle of Sherry, and after a couple of glasses Olivia and Prudence put it into there heads to send a proposal announcement to the newspaper, but if they were going to do it, why should they settle for Benedict and decided that they might as well make it a proposal announcement of Emma with the most eligable bachelor….

Blake William Peregrine Auden, the ninth Duke Of Ashbrooke never thought of getting married. He has women falling at his feet, and some have dubbed it the Ashbrooke Effect. But when he sees the notice in the paper, he decides to play along with it, so he can better is reputation among the ton and his Aunt Agatha, who is the most important family member to him, and decides to go meet his future, if not-real bride, Lady Emma Avery. After he meets her and finds that his charms don’t work on her, he sets out to seduce her…

But what neither one expected was the attraction they had for each other or the growing camaderie they gain. It makes Blake wonder if he is ready to marry for real, and it makes Emma question who she truely loves, Benedict the man she has been in love with for the past three seasons, or Blake, the one that makes her want to be the woman he sees in her…

This was a great start in the “Bad Boys & Wallfowers” series. I enjoyed Blake and Emma’s story. I liked how they got to know each other throughout the book, even though they had an unorthodoxed start. Blake was an absolutely fun, dreamy character. I especially liked when Blake realized he was falling for Emma, and thought it was utterly romantic how he tried to make their whirlwind romance real, by what they had written in the letters they fabericated. And though at the beggining of the book, Emma didn’t hold a strong impression with me (after all who falls in love with someone they just met, unless your one of Disney’s heriones), as the story drew on her character grew on me and I was able to see how she evolved from the influences of Blake and Aunt Agatha, into a fun character. I especially liked how she took matters into her own hand to prove to Blake that she loved him and wanted to be with him.

I am looking forward to Olivia and Prudence’s stories. We didn’t really get to know their characters since they were breifly mentioned and when they were mentioned it was only when they were helping Emma with this or that, so I am looking forward to see what their personalities are like and who the gentlemen are that will when each of them.

Charming The Shrew (The Legacy Of MacLeod) By Laurin Wittig

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*Rating 4.5 Stars

Tayg Munroe of Culrain just returned home after years of fighting for the king. He returns home with a heroes welcome and many songs sung by bards of his exploits. But now that he is heir to the Chiefdom, after the death of his older brother Robbie, his mother has given him an ultimatum – choose a bride by the end of the month or she will choose one for him. His father on the other hand has given him an opportunity to search for a bride outside Culrain and help king as well. So after coming up with the idea to be a bard to remain incognito and go about his business in helping the king…
Catriona MacLeod, is known as the Shrew of Assynt, for speaking her mind, her sharp tongue and her temper. When her ill-mannered brother, Broc breaks the news that she is to wed, Duff “Dogface” MacDonnell, and tells all that she will not marry him and if they make she will kill him. After cooling off and having a conversation with her brother Ailig, she comes up with a plan to get out of this marriage… go to the king and ask him to find a husband for her. During her escape of Assynt she gets thrown off her horse and crosses path with a Bard…
When Tayg meets Catriona and discovers she is the infamous Shrew of Assynt, all he wants is to take her back home, but after discovering a plot against the king between her brother Broc, and her betrothed Dogface, he decides to take her as hostage to the king and take care of this plot forming against him. But as time goes by during their travels he begins to see that Catriona’s shrewdness is her armor against those that could hurt her. And their attraction for each other increases as each day goes by….

This was the first book I have read by Lauren Wittig and I must say that I really enjoyed it. The characters were so well written and I enjoyed how Tayg and Catriona’s characters grew as you turned each page. The author did a very good job in developing their relationship, it wasn’t one of those where it seemed like love at first sight. They both started off not really liking each other, but after each change of events, you could see them really getting to know the person under their exterior, and it was absolutely fun to see them get know each other, gain a mutual respect, and then fall in love with each other.
Though the author didn’t delve in to much about Ailig’s character, she just gave you enough to know that he is mysterious and clever in his own way, that it makes me interested in reading his story in “Daring The Highlander”. I look forward to see how the author develops his character in the book. I am also hoping that Tayg and Catriona somehow have a part in the next book so I can see how their relationship holds and how she is doing in her new clan. I am also looking forward to seeing how Ailig’s and Catriona’s brothers AKA the sheep fare, and see if their characters have developed for the better. After all, though they weren’t really mentioned, you take it that they were just Broc’s followers who didn’t really do what they want, so it would be interesting to see if they gain their own independence.
All in all this was a fun book to read and I am looking forward to reading the authors other books. If I had an opportunity I would have been able to read this book without putting it down.

The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister 0.5) by Courtney Milan

The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5)

RATING:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

Miss Serena Barton has been dismissed from her position as a governess from her former household. Now she is seeking compensation from the one responsible for her dismissal, The Duke of Clermont. Because now that her future is ruined, she wants the Duke to take responsibility for her. She has no fear of the Duke, but the one that she is afraid of is the Duke’s right hand man, the one they call the Wolf Of Clermont…
Hugo Marshall, known to all as the Wolf of Clermont, has just been given a task, take care of the governess that has taken to camping outside his door, until she gets her dos. Getting the Dukes version of the story, which Hugo doesn’t take as matter of factually, he tries to take care of the problem at hand, while the Duke tries to woo his Duchess that upped and left him. After all he is someone that takes care of things with any means necessary, because he has a lot riding on things going well, for his future ambitions, but what he didn’t expected after some verbal bantering was to really starting to care for her…

This was a good start to the upcoming “Brothers Sinister” ‘series. I really enjoyed Hugo’s and Serena’s story. Even though they met under the most pressing circumstances, it was enjoyable to see there relationship grow. From what started as Hugo wanting to get rid of Serena, turned into relationship that helped them overcome their past difficulties. It was enjoyable to read the banter between the too of them. They even had some amusing back and fourths. Hugo became Serena’s safe haven, after experiencing an unpleasant situation. I really liked how Hugo was able to overcome his ambitions and in trying to prove his father’s last words to him wrong, and went to Serena in the end to be with her and help with her dream.
I was thankful that the author didn’t elaborate with what the Duke did to Serena. The author just gave you the hints and enough information to know what had happened. I couldn’t wait until the Duke got his comeuppance.
I am interested to read the upcoming “Brothers Sinister” series, to see who are the main heroes of each book, from what I read in the epilogue its about the characters in this prequel children and I look forward to see how they grew up and how things were worked out after the end of this story.

Christmas at Ravencrest, A Dark Hero Christmas Short by Lily Silver

Christmas at Ravencrest, A Dark Hero Christmas Short

RATING:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

Set after the events of “Dark Hero”, everyone is recuperating, and Elizabeth is getting Ravencrest ready for Christmas. Since she has a lot to celebrate this coming holiday such as, no one being killed, the return of her older brother; whom she thought was dead, and now the beginnings of her happy marriage to Donovan. And though she won’t be able to make it a Christmas, like she would have if they were in England, but being located in the West Indies she tries to make her first Christmas together with everyone really special. And she can’t wait to give Donovan his special Christmas present…
This was a fun short story. It made me want to read the book “Dark Hero”, so I knew Donovan’s and Elizabeth’s story, because I didn’t realize it was a short sequel until I started reading it and it mentioned the events that took place for this stories predecessor. The relationship between Donovan and Elizabeth was absolutely adorable and when Elizabeth said they had a rocky start at the beginning of their marriage it made me want to read their story even more to see how they overcame the obstacles that made it difficult at the beginning of their marriage.
All the additional characters were fun, and when Elizabeth’s brother Kieran was mentioned and the slight information about his gifts, it made me really hope that in the main story the author elaborated more on them, also gives us more details about the other characters that came or were already there at Ravencrest, because they seemed like they were great additions to the story; even though they weren’t mentioned a lot during this novella. As a side note, I really hope that the author has a story for Kieran and the lady that he will fall in love with; I am really curious what her character would be like.
I really hope that Captain Jack Rawlings has his own story. Though his character wasn’t touched upon much, the author did great job in making me wonder what girl will be the one to tie him down.
I really look forward in reading “Dark Hero”, so I can read Donovan’s and Elizabeth’s story, as well as seeing and if there is, reading the book for Captain Jack Rawlings and Kieran. I really hope that they are as enjoyable and have the same feeling as I got from this novella.

Loving the Marquess (Landing a Lord #1) by Suzanna Medeiros

Loving the Marquess (Landing a Lord, #1)

RATING:

4 Out Of 5

REVIEW:

When Louisa Evan’s starts crawling into bed after a long day, she is stopped when she hears a knock at the door. After dragging herself away and opens the door to a man that is leaning against the door who says, “I require your assistance…”, as he is swaying and she manages to steady’s before he collapses…
When Nicholas Manning, The Marquess of Overlea, wakes the next morning with a pounding headache and is in an unfamiliar place, he can’t seem to remember where he was and realizes that he had an attack from is illness, the same one that killed his father and his older brother. After clearing the misunderstanding of what happened the night before with the woman the nursed him and introductions were made, he found out that she and her family are the ones that tricked their father out of there money and home, which left them in ruin…
Though Louisa doesn’t like to ask for help, she is in a difficult situation, she is about to lose her home, when her new landlord, Edward Manning, ups the rent or offers her an unscrupulous deal. But unable to figure out a solution, she goes and asks help from Nicholas…
Nicholas needs an heir, before the illness that runs through is family kills him. So when Louisa comes to ask for her help, he offers her to marry her and have her give him an heir. Though he waits until after they are married to tell her his plan that he is going to have another man father his heir…

When I read the synopsis for this book, I wasn’t sure what I to except. The concept of this Historical Romance was different and I got interested on how it would turn out. I enjoyed how there was a strong attraction between Louisa and Nicholas when they first met, though they didn’t act on it. I liked how Louisa was able to take the next step in going to Nicholas for help when she is used to doing and figuring out things for herself. I liked how Nicholas was able to overcome his plans and start getting to know Louisa, though there weren’t a lot of scenes, the ones they had was a great start to the development of their relationship.
Nicholas’ grandma was a great addition to the story. Though she was a little bit manipulative, it lead Nicholas to the decision to get married. And after he tells her he is marrying Louisa, she accepts her and her siblings with open arms and gets along with them.
Though they didn’t in depth about Catherine, Louisa’s baby sister, you do learn that she blames herself for her mother’s death after she died in child birth and then their fathers incident and is willing to do anything for Louisa and her brother John, though they don’t blame her at all. They did mention an attraction between her and Nicholas’ best friend, Lord Kerrick and it kind-of make me hopeful that they are the next main couple in the next book for the “Landing A Lord” series and if this is the case I look forward to see how their relationship grows.
After the wedding Louisa’s brother John leaves. Since his sisters were going to be taken care of and protected he decided he would do what he really wanted to do, but couldn’t since he was put in the position of man of the house. I really was hoping the author had put some mention of John by a letter to his sisters or something along those lines by the end of the book so you know how he was fairing , since after he left he is not mentioned anymore after that. All in all I really enjoyed the book. It had romance, suspense, and mystery.