Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review ~ Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

Biweekly marriage proposals from men who can't see beyond her (admittedly breathtaking) looks are starting to get on Lady Clara Fairfax's nerves. Desperate to be something more than ornamental, she escapes to her favorite charity. When a child is in trouble, she turns to tall, dark, and annoying barrister Oliver Radford.

Though he's unexpectedly found himself in line to inherit a dukedom, Radford's never been part of fashionable society, and the blonde beauty, though not entirely bereft of brains, isn't part of his plans. But Clara overwhelms even his infallible logic, and when wedlock looms, all he can do is try not to lose his head over her.

It's an inconvenient marriage by ordinary standards, but these two are far from ordinary. Can the ton's most adored heiress and London's most difficult bachelor fall victim to their own unruly desires?

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Clara Fairfax


A wonderful woman pressured to be the "perfect' lady. She was a hellion when she was younger but now is the darling of the ton. She receives biweekly marriage proposals and is exceedingly gorgeous. She is entirely bored with society life

Oliver Radford


A brilliant Barrister who finds fashionable society a bore. He's in line for a Dukedom though which is not at all to his liking. He enjoys his life arguing trials in the courtroom. He's a very stiff character.

 

What I liked


The prologue! I love that they have just a little bit of a backstory. The barter between them is delightful. The fake "trial" for her hand in marriage. Radford's being in costume during it was grand. The fact that they marry halfway throw the book so we get to see what married life between them is like.

What I didn't like


Oliver's constant thinking that women weren't smart in general. Oliver was just a bit too stiff. The lack of closure with Oliver's cousin Bernard didn't sit well with me.

 

It was a quite enjoyable book. A nice spin-off of the Dressmaker books. Although it's listed as Dressmakers #4 because Clara was jilted in a prior Dressmaker book.

 

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review & Giveaway All I Want for Christmas is a Duke

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This was a cute anthology of Christmas stories. I just love short stories fill with holiday spirit and romance!


 

The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman [br] 

This first story is based off of "The Parent Trap". I was excited for this one as I loved both movie versions. I was expecting it ot have some creative differences but honestly other than trading the Grandfather for the Grandmother, I couldn't find anything different. It ended up being a rather boring rendition of "The Parent Trap", regency edition.

Sophie and the Duke by Tiffany Clare [br]

The second story was so much better! "Sophie and the Duke" This was more of a Cinderella story but Sophie and Adrian had been childhood friends. Adrian, Duke of Helmsworth was holding a masked ball so he could meet all the eligible ladies to fulfill his father's will and marry to obtain his inheritance. The banter and romance between them was just perfect! I felt that this one could be extended as there were several loose ends. I need to find more by Tiffany Clare as I really liked her writing style and her characters!

The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivienne Lorret 

The genius, Duke of Vale is hosting a house party in order to prove his Marriage Formula works. Ivy Sutherland is there with a friend to help her friend find a husband.

I saw disaster in the making when North put Ivy's name in the "Red book". The book that said " of No Consequence" because of her lineage or lack thereof. The sparks between Ivy and North flew almost instantly. I loved their interactions. I'm going to have to look for her friends story, as I want to know what happens next!

One Magic Season by Ashlyn Macnamara

Patience and Nathaniel were in love years ago. Nathaniel wasn't strong enough to buck his family's expectations and Patience married elsewhere. Both of them are free again as their spouses have passed on. They meet again on a snow road during Christmas.

This was a warm, cozy story of second chances and I loved how Nathaniel proves he's ready for that second chance.

Three out of four stories in an anthology is a great read! who knows you might like the rendition of the Parent Trap more than I did!
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Synopsis


Four popular romance novelists come together to bring readers delightful tales of Christmas Magic and the dukes that make us swoon… The holidays are a time for dining, dancing, and of course—dukes! Celebrate the Christmas season with this enchanting collection of historical romances featuring the most eligible bachelors of the ton…

The Duke and Duchess Trap by Valerie Bowman

A childish prank may have reunited the Duke of Hollingsworth with his estranged wife, but only the magic of Christmas will show this couple ‘tis the season of second chances…

Sophie and the Duke by Tiffany Clare

Sophie Kinsley planned to remain a wallflower at the Duke of Helmsworth’s ball. Yet when a dance with him leads to a stolen kiss, will the duke be willing to let her go? Or will Sophie’s Christmas wish be granted at last?

The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivienne Lorret 

To the Duke of Vale, science solves everything—even marriage. When the impulsive Ivy Sutherland makes him question all of his data, he realizes that he’s overlooked a vital component in his search for the perfect match: love.

One Magic Season by Ashlyn Macnamara

Patience Markham never forgot the fateful dance she had with the future Duke of Kingsbury. But when a twist of fate brings them together for Christmas Eve, will the stars finally align in their favor?

 

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Excerpt


from THE DUKE’S CHRISTMAS WISH by Vivienne Lorret
By the time he cleared his head, Miss Sutherland was taking a few hurried backward steps. When she turned around, she ran headlong into him with a surprised Oh! and then an oof!

North stumbled back into the ascending room. He did everything he could to remain upright. Planting his feet wide, he was forced to hold her against the sturdy column of his body. Forced to grasp her arms. Which, incidentally, were bare between her velvet-trimmed cap sleeves and elbow-length gloves. Bare beneath his hands. Bare, warm, and softer than goose down.

A shudder—that was more about untamed desire than preoccupation—quaked through him to his very core. Staring down into her almond-shaped eyes, he watched as they widened and swept over his features, from brow to chin. Her gaze lingered a fraction longer on his mouth, as if she was waiting for him to speak or, perhaps, waiting for him to kiss her.

He took a moment to speculate whether it was the former or the latter. In the seconds that passed, he catalogued how her hands were resting against his chest, not pressing as if she wanted to gain her freedom but curled slightly as if trying to capture the beat of his heart in the cup of her palms. Also, she made no movement to separate from him. Her breathing was rapid—though perhaps that was the result of running down the hall. When she wet her lips, however, she provided an irrefutable answer.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Review & Giveaway ~ A Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean


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Enter to Win a complete print set of 

the Rules of Scoundrels Series by Sarah MacLean

 

I've been waiting on this forever! Celebrity Gossip in the 1800's?! Road Trip Romance! Enemies to Lovers!



Sophie ~ Oh how I love her! I cheered when she pushed her philandering brother in law into the pond! The ass deserved it! I booed as the ton turned their backs on her! I laughed when she took on livery to escape the garden party from hell! She can't stand the gossip-filled ton and is a big contrast to her gossip-loving sisters! [br]

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King ~ From all the gossip I thought he was a rogue extreme! He is, but it's not as bad as you think, there is a purpose behind all those bedchamber fiasco's (He's actually a noble rogue) He's a jerk to Sophie even when he realizes that he likes her. He has a tragic past love life that effects his relationship with his father for 15 years! ( I love how that turns out, although it could have been solved a long time ago! [br]

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Sophie and King have a push-pull relationship. They start as enemies as turn into a love of a lifetime! It does take a bit but isn't that the fun of it?! They have many adventures on their way to the country. Sophie being shot protecting a small boy on the mail coach being just one of them. [br]

The reconciliation of King's father comes at a time when it brings more conflict to Sophie and King's relationship. His father reveals long-held secrets and then of course Sophies family steps in and mucks it all up! [br]

I really couldn't find a liking to her family. The only one who interested me overmuch was the oldest sister. The one married to the philandering Duke of Haven. I really want that relationship to work out! Either that or the Duke to have a deathly accident! If anyone can make us like the Duke of Haven it would be the remarkable Sarah MacLean!


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Synopsis


Lady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

 

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

 

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

 

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Excerpt


(Being shot on the Great North Road isn't exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)

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“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.

She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.

Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.

“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”

He raised a brow. “Clever. There's food when you’ve bathed." The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”

“It seems so,” she said.

“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”

She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”

“It’s a particular talent.”

“What with you being called King.”

“Name is destiny.”

She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.

King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.

If only someone would tell his body that.

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 (a Set of the Print editions of all books in the Rule of Scoundrels series (A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, and NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER) *U.S. ONLY)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Quote-tastic Review: My Kind of Wonderful by Jill Shalvis

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"Quote-Tastic" is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup. To participate you have to post a favorite quote from a current or past read.


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I love Jill Shalvis! She's one of my go to authors. This second chapter of her Cedar Ridge series kept me hooked!

First of all Hudson in the last book was scrumptious. Well, all of the brothers are, really. There is just something about brothers who have an ongoing dare to wear ladies panties that just... sigh...

Hudson was O.M.G. adorably sweet, so caring and had me in tears by the first quarter of the book. Definitely a New Book Boyfriend for me!

Bailey was just wonderful, such a fighter and very courageous. The sparks between these two were instantaneous! They both had things to work through, though.  Hudson is all business, all the time. He feels guilty for his twin leaving Cedar Ridge and never coming home. Bailey has her own troubles, including an ex-fiance that still cares desperately for her, just not as a lover, as a friend.

Their meet up was cute!!!
He pointed to a sign three feet away.

CAUTION: DOUBLE DIAMOND, EXPERTS ONLY!

"I saw that," she said. "Hence my thinking position because trust me, I wasn't about to be stupid on top of stupid."

Hudson's mother, Carrie, is the one who hired Bailey to paint a mural for the ski resort the Kincaids run. She also has Alzheimers and has for a while. She hired Carrie over the net under false pretenses to paint a mural. This one made me cry.
"I get that. It's a memory that can't be erased with time."

"Or a brain that has a hard time locating all its files." Eyes suddenly suspiciously shiny, she knocked on the side of her own head. "Like mine."

Sigh. The relationship between Hudson and his mother was so sweet! As you can see the predominant word here is SWEET! I think the next one with Jacob is not going to be so sweet... he's a bit of a hard ass. (There is an excerpt in the back of My Kind of Wonderful)

Jill Shalvis knows how to draw you into a book and not let go. Funny, sweet, and slightly serious, My Kind of Wonderful is one seriously good romance!

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Synopsis


Bailey Moore has an agenda: skiing in the Rockies, exploring castles in Europe, ballroom dancing in Argentina. Now that she has a second lease on life, she's determined not to miss a thing. What she doesn't realize is that item #1 comes with a six-foot-one ski god hot enough to melt a polar ice cap. She doesn't want to miss out on him either, but Hudson Kincaid isn't the type of guy to love and let go. And as gorgeous as Cedar Ridge is, she's not planning to stick around.

As head of ski patrol at his family's resort, Hud thinks he's seen it all. But never has he run into someone like Bailey. She might look delicate, but her attitude is all firecracker. And her infectious joy touches something deep within him that he's been missing far too long. Now he'll just have to convince Bailey to take a chance on her biggest adventure yet . . . something rare and all kinds of wonderful.

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Buy the Series!


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*books link to Amazon ~affiliate*

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering.

[space size=10] I've found some great new authors this year! I'm so happy to share them with you! Let me know if you've read them or if they are on your TBR list! Be sure to check out my "New to You" Reading challenge list, hosted by Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup,  for links directly to the first book I read from these wonderful authors.

ONE


[about-author name="Stacy Finz"]

I have read all of her books in the Nugget series! I started with Finding Hope the second in the series and have since devoured them all! Borrowing Trouble, the 6th in the series,  comes out February 6th, so you have time to catch up on the characters in Nugget, California.

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TWO


[about-author name="Sharon Cullen"]

I couldn't resist reading Sharon's, Reluctant Duchess. Murder mysteries in a historical setting are favorites of mine. A shy girl coming out of her shell to oppose and attract a big brawny Duke and yet still tries to resist becoming his Duchess, sigh, so good!

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THREE


[about-author name="Lily Everett"]

I stumbled onto Sanctuary Island in Heartbreak Cove, the 3rd in the series. It's a great small town island that is host to a Wild Mustang Sanctuary. My love of horses, small towns, and of course, the military hero, lead me to read Home for Christmas.

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Four


[about-author name="Kerrigan Byrne"]


My first Kerrigan Byrn was, The Highwayman, the first of her Victorian Rebel series. I am eagerly anticipating, The Hunter, the next in the series.


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Five


[about-author name="Debbie Mason"]


I started with Wedding Bells in Christmas and have since read Snowbound at Christmas. I've really enjoyed both novels. Wedding Bells was the 4th in the series though and I really want to start from the beginning.


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Six


[about-author name="Codi Gary"]


I picked up Codi Gary's novella, I Need a Hero. It's the prequel to her Men in Uniform series and I'm looking forward to more! And who wouldn't want to spend time with some cute rescue dogs and sexy military men?!


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Seven


[about-author name="Catherine Banks"]


I read The Pirate Princess for a book tour, the cover got me, it's so pretty! The writing was good, the story, even better! I believe it's classified as a Young Adult Paranormal so it's a little out of my normal genre of Adult Romance, but I haven't read any YA Paranormal since HON ended and was in need of some, this fit the bill perfectly. It has a little bit of a cliffhanger so I'll be picking up the next one, for sure!


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Eight


[about-author name="Jennifer Delamere"]


I read, A Bride For The Season, the last of her Love's Grace series and it was lovely! Unfortunately, it came out in November last year and I've not heard of anything new from her since.

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Nine


[about-author name="Anna Harrington"]


"In the tradition of Elizabeth Hoyt, Sabrina Jeffries, and Lisa Kleypas, Regency romance writer Anna
Harrington is thrilled to announce her sensual debut series, The Secret Life of Scoundrels...The Scarlet
Scoundrels of Wellington’s Dragoons--a new duke, a rake of the first order, and a spy set on hiding his
past have forged a brotherhood while under fire of Napoleon's finest that they never thought would be
called upon after they laid down their sabers. However, these three war heroes and society scoundrels will
need each other in order to navigate the perils of returning home and finding love in the most unexpected
places. The novels—Dukes are Forever, Along Came a Rogue, and How I Married a Marquess—will be
available beginning in November, 2015." ~ from her bio.


I've read Dukes are Forever, my review will be up soon, but I want to say I loved it! Can't wait for more!


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Ten


[about-author name="Elizabeth Harmon"]


"I did it because you are a beautiful, desirable woman, and a long time ago, someone made you think you weren’t. I’m not saying a few lessons from me can undo everything, but I want you to see a little bit of what I see when I look at you.” ~Vlad from Turning it On

I read Turning it On, the second in her Russian series. It was so different from anything I've read, I enjoyed it immensely.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Quote-tastic Review & Giveaway: I'll be There by Samantha Chase @Tastybooktours

quote-tastic final with green border"Quote-Tastic" is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup. To participate you have to post a favorite quote from a current or past read.

Close up on a man and a woman holding hands at a wooden table

Don't you just love when a man admits he needs you and that he's messed up? [br]


This is the sixth book in the Montgomery Brothers series and Zach is dealing with the aftermath of his near-death fall off a mountain. He's not recovering fast enough or so it seems to him. He's been a grouch and has gone through dozens of home aides. His uncle, William Montgomery, the notorious self-acclaimed matchmaker of the family has consulted with Zach's father and they decide to help things along a bit. They threaten his job as president of the company and manage to get Gabriella, his wonderful assistant to agree to help Zach get his head back in the office.

Zach and Gabriella have a mysterious history and a conflicted work relationship. The last time Gabriella saw him, he ordered her to leave the state. Yeah, he was a real asshole. You have to admit at the time he had just been rescued from his ill-fated mountain trip and he was broken in all kinds of places.
This is definitely a story of second chances, which is a recurring theme throughout this series. I like how we get to see the history of their relationship and it definitely wasn't what I was assuming. I liked William, got around the obvious matchmaking attempt by threatening Zach's job, even though it was a big bluff. It forced them two together and they seriously needed to hash out some misunderstandings! Overall, it was another enjoyable read by Samantha Chase.

Synopsis


This Montgomery Has a Head for Business

Working for Zach Montgomery is challenging on many levels, coming from a wealthy and powerful family, he lives by his own rules and doesn't answer to anyone. But Gabriella Martine has no intention of backing down. She's used to handling stubborn men, and it doesn't hurt that Zach is smart, charismatic… and gorgeous.

And a Heart for Adventure

Zach's perfect world is turned upside down when a climbing accident leaves him broken, angry, and maddeningly dependent. In his slow quest for recovery, Gabriella is always there to help… but as Zach comes to see his beautiful assistant in a new light, he is forced to re-evaluate what it really means to be a man worthy of Gabriella's love.

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Excerpt


Reaching across the table, Zach took one of Gabriella’s hands in his and just marveled at how soft it was. He always wondered what her skin felt like and now that he knew, he wanted to feel more. “Don’t leave me. Please.”

Her blue eyes filled with tears and she used her free hand to quickly wipe them away before they fell and then studied their hands on the table. “Zach,” she said softly, “we’ve been over this.”

“I know, I know,” he replied just as softly. “I need another chance, Gabriella. I need a chance to make things right.” He looked up, his gaze meeting hers. “I need you.”

Deciding to be bold, he turned her hand over and twined their fingers together and gently squeezed. He was surprised she didn’t pull away and thought maybe—just maybe—they were making progress. “I know I can’t erase the things I’ve said and done, but if you’ll give me one more chance, Gabs, I promise not to screw up. If I do anything to upset you, you can walk away. Hell, you can slap me in the face, kick me in the shin or throw something heavy at me and I’ll take it. I just…I can’t do this without you.”

Her eyes never left their joined hands.

“I don’t want to do this without you,” he said quietly.

“I’m afraid to…believe you.” He barely heard her words, they were uttered so softly.

Everything inside of him clenched with pain. His always confident, ever-efficient assistant was now distrusting and uncertain—because of him. “I don’t know what to say to make you believe me. Tell me. Tell me what I need to do. Anything. Anything you need from me to gain your confidence, and I’ll do it.”

She looked up at him. “It’s not that easy. Every day I walked into the office, I gave you another chance. Every time you berated me or made me feel like I screwed up and I came back, I gave you another chance. From my standpoint, you’ve had two years’ worth of second chances. I think I’ve been more than generous.”

His other hand reached out to cup her hand in both of his. “I know you have and you have no idea how much I appreciated it.” She looked at him with disbelief. “It’s true! I know I never said it but every morning you were there, I was thankful. Every time you walked into my office, I was thankful. Please. I’m begging here, Gabs.”

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(a complete signed set of the Montgomery Brother’s paperbacks & $50 Amazon Gift Card)
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The Montgomery Brothers
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