Review: Texas Mail Order Bride

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BOOK: TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE

AUTHOR: LINDA BRODAY

PUBLISHER: SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA

5 BREATHTAKING STARS!

Oh my, my! I cannot sing this book’s praises enough. I simply fell in love with Ms. Broday’s writing. It’s superb and magical. I really felt as though I were in Texas right smack in Battle Creek. I loved the characters, all of them. The richness of their personalities drew me in quickly. The banter between Cooper and Delta is fabulous. I even laughed out loud in some parts. I say, what good is a story without some humor thrown in?? This story has a bit of everything: passion, action, adventure, mystery… you name it, it probably has it. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, western, or just loves a stellar story to get wrapped up in for a few hours.

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This is one of my favorite parts of the book:

Delta covered the space between them so quickly Bandit (the dog) scurried for safer territory. She glared up into eyes that reminded her of a cold winter’s day. “I can’t believe this. You have a lot of gall, Mr. Thorne. The way I see it, you have up your right to meddle in my affairs when you told me in no uncertain terms that you weren’t looking for a wife. Therefore, what I do is none of your concern. if I want to-”
“Do what?” Live in sin with Rand?” Cooper brushed her cheek with a fingertip. “You won’t. Women like you won’t throw your reputation to the wind. You want it all or nothing.”
She glared. “You’re awful sure of yourself.”
“I know more than you think.” His words were soft. “I see the yearning for permanence in your eyes. Dear God, you’re a difficult woman to forget.”
Cooper tugged her against his lean body, lowered his head, and pressed his sensual lips firmly on hers. The long kiss held passion and promise and warmth. Delta’s breath got caught somewhere between the need for more and wishing she’d stayed in town, far away from men who indulged in contradictory behavior.
Her knees grew weak and she clutched the shirt covering his broad chest to keep from falling as the world tilted on its axis.
As the kiss deepened, their breaths mingled in a heated flurry while blood pounded in her ears. She heard a low moan and realized it came from her. Strange how it sounded so very far away.
Her stomach whirled and dipped as though she ‘d fallen from a great height. Tingle raced up her spine in some kind of mindless confusion. The anger that had propelled her into dangerous territory melted away and left a strange desire in its wake. She shouldn’t have let this happen. Before she could unclench her hands from his shirt to take a step back, he released her.
The kiss ended suddenly, leaving her wanting more.
Cooper’s sinful half smile turned her knees to jelly. “And that, Miss Delta, is how we do things here in Texas.”

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REVIEW: THE FAIREST BEAUTY

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BOOK: THE FAIREST BEAUTY

AUTHOR: MELANIE DICKERSON

PUBLISHER: ZONDERVAN

 

5 enchanting stars for this one!

 

 

BOOK BLURB:

 

A daring rescue.

A difficult choice.

 

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy and believes escape is her only chance to be happy.  Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down.  This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom–but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents, Rose and Wilhelm, by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry; the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible–she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else–he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help–but also find their feelings for each other have grown.  Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them–they must also protect their hearts.

 

Not all books are all unicorns and rainbows.  Some, more than most, have cruel villains that you absolutely loathe. Some have characters that you fall in love with and cannot stop thinking about.  This book was a pure delight to read. It has it all… action, adventure, torment, villains, love, an irresistible hero, a heroine that you find yourself cheering on, and so many wonderful secondary characters too many to name.

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The book blurb basically covers all the story so I’ll try my best not to repeat what it says.  This book is Teen Fiction but I’m in my thirties and thoroughly  enjoyed it. This is the kind of book you wouldn’t mind your teenage kids reading or would be perfect to give as a gift.

And I love the fact that it has the whole Snow White vibe to it! I love, love, love it.

The story starts off with Sophie being sent to the dungeon for disobeying the duchess.  The duchess is extremely jealous of Sophie  (who is really her stepdaughter but Sophie isn’t aware of that fact until later on) and means to kill her in due time.

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“You wanted to see me?”

“Yes. I need you to do something.”

“Anything, Your Grace.”

…”I want you to kill someone for me.”

Lorencz did not look away from her direct gaze, a quality she admired in a man.  

“I have just sent the scullery maid, Sophie, to the dungeon.  I want you to gain her trust. Then, when she gets out, I want you to take her somewhere in the woods and kill her.”

There, the look on his face…. was that disgust? Or merely distaste? Her huntsman wasn’t going soft on her, was he?

“You will have to bury her afterward. I don’t want anyone finding her body. We’ll say she ran away, and no one will be the wiser.” And no one will ever know who she truly is.

Unless she was mistaken, Lorencz had turned a shade paler.

“It shall be done as you say, Duchess Ermengard.”

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Gabe, the second son of Duke Wilhemlm, listens patiently as an old woman arrives at their doorstep and  tells them tale that Duke Baldewin’s daughter is alive but will soon die at the hands of her stepmother if someone doesn’t rescue her. The poor girl had been subjected to the horrors of living underneath the duchess’s thumb her whole life. Gabe shouldn’t have been concerned about this situation, except that the girl, Sophie, was his brother’s betrothed….but Valten was in bed with a broken leg and couldn’t rescue her.  It was up to Gabe to rescue Sophie and bring her back safely to his brother. So, defying his parents, he snuck away and set out to find Sophie. When he finally does find her and makes sure that she is indeed his brother’s betrothed he thinks of a plan for them to flee. Except Duchess Ermengard has other plans.  

With the help of an unlikely source (Lorencz, Duchess Ermengard’s huntsman), Gabe and Sophie escape.  Traveling for days until they reach the Cottage of the Seven.  This would be the part where they meet seven men of all shapes and sizes.  Outcasts. Misfits. And completely perfect to befriend.  It doesn’t take Sophie long to love the Seven… and she finds it hard not to have feelings for another certain person.

No matter how hard they try not to be attracted to each other, the harder it is to resist these feelings… And even something simple as washing and drying dishes together becomes difficult.

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His upper arm was rock solid against her shoulder.  His face hovered just above hers and his warm breath brushed her temple.  Her knees were like pottage.  His nearness made her want to press her closer, but if Bartel were to walk in now, she’d be even more embarrassed than when Siggy and Heinric had walked in on them before the midday meal.  But Gabe’s arm pressing hers was so exhilarating, and the gentleness of his hands sent pleasant shivers all through her, and when he started rubbing his fingertips inside the cocoon of the towel…

His warm breath loosed a strand of her hair and it brushed her cheek.  She desperately  wanted him to kiss her.

“Someone needs to take out the dishwater.” Sophie’s voice sounded strained and breathless, betraying just how his touch was affecting her.  She stood still as a stone, afraid to move, her head bent, as he took the towel off her hands and threw it to the counter. 

“I’ll take it out in a moment.” His voice sounded gruff.

She waited for him to move away.  Instead, with slow and deliberate movements, he placed one hand on her shoulder and he cupped her cheek with the other as he turned her body to face him.

She placed her palms against his chest, feeling as if she were in a slow-moving dream.  She couldn’t avoid looking up at him any longer.  She met his smoldering eyes, the golden flecks all but swallowed up in the dark irises.  In their depths, there was only a solemn tenderness as he drew her nearer.  He bent his head and pressed his lips to hers.

The world vanished.  She was engulfed in warmth and exhilaration and strength–and guilt.  But she pushed the guilt away. Her hands slid up his chest and around his neck.  he pulled away slightly, then kissed her again. 

The events of the last few days flitted through her mind. Gabe, looking so noble and sure of himself when he’d lifted her onto his horse the day they left Hohendorf. Gabe, so sweet and vulnerable when he’d stared into her eyes after taking the arrow in his shoulder to save her. Now he was kissing her.

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This story does have verses of the Bible quoted throughout the book and thoughts such as: 

God, protect us today.

Thank you, God, for freeing us and keeping us safe.

I found the whole thing to be refreshing. I love that this story doesn’t have sex, curse words, or anything else I would have to worry about with my daughter about to read it.  

I love that Sophie doesn’t throw herself at Gabe like most romances would have the heroine do, and that Gabe is respectful of Sophie.  You just don’t find good romances like this anymore. Seriously. 

 

The secondary characters are a real treat.  The author created them with unique personalities and emotions and you cannot help but fall in love with them. All the Seven will have you smiling.

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I highly recommend this book if you love fairytale stories or if you just want to read a good wholesome book that will have your heart smiling in the end. 

Brava, Ms. Dickerson! I’m hooked.

Review: ROMANCING THE DUKE

BOOK: ROMANCING THE DUKE

AUTHOR: TESSA DARE

PUBLISHER: AVON

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 I give this book 4 stars! ****

BOOK BLURB:

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens.  She never doubted romance would be in her future, too.  The storybooks offered endless possibilities. 

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?

Abducted by handsome highwayman?

Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up on yearning for romance.  She’ll settle for a roof over her head.  What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished  twenty-six-year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

This one.

 

The story begins when Isolde Ophelia Goodnight (Izzy) receives a letter stating that her godfather died and has left her a bequest. She is to meet Lord Archer at Gostley Castle for the particulars.

When Izzy arrives at Gostley Castle, she meets a handsome stranger. 

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He leaned one shoulder against the archway. “Aren’t we going to continue”

“Continue what?”

“This game.” His voice was so low it seemed to crawl to her over  the flagstones, then shiver up through the soles of her feet.  “Am I a Russian prince? No.  Is my favorite color yellow? No. Would I object if you were to come inside and remove ever stitch of your damp clothing?” His voice did the impossible.  It sank lower. “No.”

He was just making sport of her now.

Izzy clutched her valise to her chest.  She didn’t want Snowdrop getting wet.  “Do you treat all your visitors this way?”

Idiot. She cursed herself and braced for another low, mocking “no.”

He said, “Only the pretty ones.”

She thinks that she might be hallucinating because she had never considered herself pretty or beautiful.  She was just plain.  Her hair was dark and so unruly that she couldn’t begin to tame it.  She simply thought he must be daft.  But she faints right in front of him.

This is the part where I’m hooked.  And as soon as Lord Archer arrives and tells her that she’s now the proud owner of the castle, Gostley Castle, she can scarce believe it.  What luck! A home of her very own! Property always belongs to fathers, brothers, husbands, son. Never women.  Nothing like this ever happens to Izzy. And she’s absolutely thrilled. 

The Duke of Rothbury is dumbfounded. There is no way Izzy is stealing the property out from under him.  He never sold it to her godfather and now he’s beginning to question how this could have happened.  It seems, perhaps, that the answer may lie with in the stacks of mail that he hasn’t looked through…. hasn’t been able to look through.  He’s blind. Well, partly.  Sometimes he can make out shapes or colors or certain things (and that happens usually in the mornings) but most of the time he just simply cannot see anything.  And he’ll be damned if this little chit snatches his castle out from under him.

Does this story not sound good so far?  I enjoyed it so very much.  Especially when both the hero and heroine refused to leave the castle.  They both claimed it as their own.

“This isn’t such a quandary as it seems,” she said.  “You want to stay.  I want to stay. Until the legal matters are settled, we’ll share.”

“Share?”

“Yes, share. This is a vast castle, built to house hundreds of people.  I’ll just take a spare tower or wing for my own. You won’t even notice me.”

He leaned close. “Oh, I’d notice you, Miss Goodnight. I’d notice you.  There’s no castle big enough to keep a man like me from being aware, every moment, of a woman like you. You don’t have to speak a word. I can hear the rustle of your petticoats.  I can smell the scent of your skin. I can feel your heat.”

Heavens. If he could sense her heat, he must feel it right now.  She was hot everywhere.

…”Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” he asked.

“Yes,” she breathed. “and you’re mad if you think I’ll back down from this now.”

They stood in tense silence.

“That’s it,” he said, at length.  “You’re leaving this place the same way you came in.”

He ducked, caught her by the legs, and threw her over his shoulder–with ease of a man who’d tossed many a woman over his shoulder.  This was definitely not his first go at lady-tossing. 

But it was definitely Izzy’s first time being tossed, and she had no idea how to respond.  Beat her fists against his back? Kick and scream? Later, she’d think of a dozen things.  Witty retorts and clever rejoinders.  Right now, all the blood was rushing to her head, and her mind was a hot, throbbing blank.

He bounced her weight, plumping her backside with his forearm. “There’s so little to you.”

The dismissive words jarred her tongue loose.

“You’re wrong,” she said.  “There’s a great deal to me, Your Grace. More than you know.  More than anyone supposes.  You can carry me outside, if you like. I’ll come back in. Again, and again. As many times as it takes. Because this is my castle now. And I’m not leaving.”

 

Oh, and the banter is simply marvelous.  He’s sarcastic and she’s stubborn.  It’s a wonderful setting for disaster and all things off limits.  Try as they might, they cannot stop the growing feeling they have for one another.

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He grabbed her by the shoulders and kissed her again.  Harder this time.  mainly just to quiet her prattling, but also to underscore the original meaning.  If she wanted tender starlight interludes, Ransom was not her man.  When it came to physical pleasure, he was aggressive, bold and unashamed of it. If he had to make the point twice, so be it.

But as he kissed her, something went horribly, horribly wrong.

This time, she kissed him back. Not with mere curiosity or artless enthusiasm but with a sweet, unfettered passion that made his ribs ache.

His eyes flew open in shock–not that it made a damn bit of difference.  He still couldn’t see, only feel.

Sweet God above, did he feel.

This was… this was not supposed to happen.

 

Ransom and Izzy absolutely came alive with passion in this story.  It was so much fun to read about.

 

She said, “But that’s what I like most, you see.  No one ever talks that way to me.  You’re so crude and profane.  I… I know it’s absurd, but I can’t help it.  I find it perversely delightful.”

She liked crude? She wanted profane?

Very well, then.  Crude and profane he could give her.

“Listen to me. When a man wakes up, he wakes wanting.  He wakes hard and rude and aching with need.” He shifted, pressing his massive erection against her hip. “Do you feel that?”

She gasped. “Yes.”

“It wants in you.” he said.

“In… in me.”

“Yes. In you. Hard, deep, fast and completely.  Now don’t you wake me at this hour again unless you found the perfect retort to that.”

 

Ransom is a likable hero.  He’s rough around the edges but begins to soften a bit.  He’s blunt and to the point and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.  

It really is enjoyable to read how they straighten out the problem of who’s castle it is.  As with most stories, you’ll find out in the end but don’t skip to the back to read just yet.  Enjoy the story.  It has humorous parts in it, the love scenes are marvelous, and the characters are wonderful.

 

And I love when an author has an animal that’s apart of the story.  This one would be an ermine named Snowdrop.  She doesn’t have a huge role in the story but the parts she’s in are hilarious.

 

I simply love Tessa Dare! You can hardly go wrong with one of her novels.

REVIEW: THE SCANDAL IN KISSING AN HEIR

BOOK: THE SCANDAL IN KISSING AN HEIR

AUTHOR: SOPHIE BARNES 

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I give this book 3 to 3.5 stars

 

He shook his head with disbelief.  What a remarkable woman.  It wasn’t the first time he allowed himself to analyze his feelings for her, and he was stunned to discover that what he felt didn’t terrify him nearly as much as the thought of never being able to tell her did.

He loved her.

Such a simple and uncomplicated thing, really.  He shook his head in amazement and wondered how long he’d loved her. The answer surprised him more than the acknowledgment itself.  It had happened quite suddenly really on their way to Scotland, when they’d sung that silly song together.

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 I really liked the idea that the hero and heroine met at a masquerade ball.  Although the story turned out to be the opposite of what I thought it would be, it was still a nice read. 

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Lady Rebecca wants to find her a husband on her own but her aunt and uncle have different plans.  They want to basically sell her to the highest bidder. Determined to choose a husband in order to escape her aunt and uncles grasp, she sneaks into the Kingsborough Ball where she captures the hero’s (Daniel) interest.  

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Daniel Neville is a well known rake and is the heir to the Marquess of Wolvington.  So when his rakish ways get him into trouble with his aunt and uncle and they tell him he is to marry within a month or be cut off. Not only marry but to cease his gaming, stop associating with loose women, engaging in haphazard carriage races or anything that would continue to embarrass the family name. So when he sees a beautiful woman across the ballroom dressed in red, he is determined to claim her.  Everything goes fine until she is shot later on.

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Did I mention he is determined to marry her? Yeah, he visits her the following day in hopes of asking her uncle for her hand in marriage but is quickly told that he must have a certain amount of money to basically buy her hand.  A few days later when he returns with said money, Rebecca’s uncle has decided she is to marry a duke (named Grover) instead.  

 

The couple decide to elope at Gretna Green before Rebecca is to marry the duke.  And so, right smack in the middle of her and Grover’s engagement ball, Daniel and Rebecca flee to Scotland and marry.  This causes a huge scandal. The unthinkable happens… Daniel’s uncle cuts him off because of how much of a scandal it was.

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He and Rebecca are determined to make it without anyone’s help.  Through this process, they fall in love.  

 

Lots of twists and turns in this romance.  Like I said before, the story wasn’t quite what I envisioned it would be but it was still a nice romance.  I give it 3 to 3.5 stars.

 

 

“I love you,” she said, and then she blinked, realizing that he’d spoken at the exact same time as her, his words mirroring her own. “Did you just say… I mean, it sounded like you–“

“I love you, Becky,” he repeated, and reaching for her hand, he clasped it with his own before bringing it to his lips for a kiss.

 

 

REVIEW: THE ROGUE’S PROPOSAL

BOOK: THE ROGUE’S PROPOSAL 

AUTHOR: JENNIFER HAYMORE

PUBLISHER: GRAND CENTRAL PUBLISHING

 

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“Do you like to be bound, Mrs. Curtis?”

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This is Fifty Shades meets the 1800’s. Or rather, what Fifty Shades would have possibly been like back then.

“I am bad, Emma,” he said softly. “Bad, wicked, and depraved.”

Something released in her, and she finally let out the long breath she’d been holding.  She grazed evenly into his eyes.  “You are not evil, Luke.  Everyone has those kinds of desires.  They are human.”

…”If you don’t believe my depraved fantasies to be evil, then what about what I will invariably do to you afterward?”

Oh, Lord, it was an enormous risk.  But she wanted him badly enough, she was willing to take it.  “What if I told you I didn’t want to think about afterward? That I don’t care if you were to walk away? That I am a grown woman who can make her own choices, and I choose you?”  She pressed closer to him. “I want to exist in the present, Luke. I want to stop worrying about the future.”

 

Emma is a likable heroine.  She’s smart, determined, and depends on the Duke of Trent’s brother, Luke, to help her find her husband’s murderer.  She forms a friendship with Luke and eventually becomes his mistress.  Their hunt in finding Robert Morton takes them both on an adventure and creates a passion that nothing can destroy.

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Lukas ‘Luke’ Hawkins is the bad boy kinda hero.  He’s a notorious rogue and he has certain tastes in the bedroom that are very wicked indeed.  He lives in constant torment when he falls asleep and awakens from nightmares.  Nightmares that he remembers from his childhood and cannot seem to overcome.  His interest in finding Roger Morton is simple.  His mother is missing and Mr. Morton is the last person to have been seen with her.

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There is just the right amount of kink in the sex scenes. If you love a bad boy, mystery, action, and plenty of sex then this is the book for you.

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“I know I am difficult.  I am changeable and moody and temperamental. I am not an easy man to live with. You know this—you’ve seen all of my darkness. But you have pushed me toward the light.  You make me want to be a better man.  Moreover, you make me believe I can be that man. 

“I will never stop loving you, Em.  Since the first moment I saw you, you have been the only woman for me. That will never change. You bring me peace. You bring me light…. Be mine, Emma. I want you. For the rest of my life, and yours. Be my wife.”

“Yes,” she whispered. There was no hesitation, no second thought, no concern, no insecurity.

…”I love you so much, Luke. I want nothing more in this world than to be your wife.”

 

Two wounded people–one physically, one emotionally–brought together by fate to work out their healing. I think Ms. Haywood does a splendid job writing this book.  The storyline is fast paced and enjoyable.  The romance sizzles, there is mystery, and there are tormented dreams.  The many twists and unexpected turns will keep you guessing throughout.

I give this historical romance 4 stars 🙂

Review: ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH RACE

 

 

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BOOK: ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH RACE

AUTHOR: KAREN HALL

A BOOKS TO GO NOW PUBLICATION

 

Book Blurb:

Amanda Fleming’s outspokeness has cost her clergyman twin brother Stephen his last two positions. Now after his receiving the best one ever, she vows to be the perfect helpmate-even if it means keeping silent. But the ladies of the church test her at every turn and she prays that Cameron Hunt, the man who gave Stephen his living, will understand not send them packing. 

But as her friendship with Hunt’s younger sister grows, she finds herself falling in love with him, even knowing he is about to marry the perfect lady and all she can do is watch. 

Cameron Hunt, ninth earl of St. Martin firmly believes in following tradition, including being engaged by his thirtieth birthday. With only weeks to spare, he plans to propose to a woman he considers the most suitable candidate by Christmas. But then Amanda Fleming comes crashing into his life, challenging everything he thought he wanted in a countess and turning his life upside down. With Christmas and the village’s traditional sleigh race approaching, will he follow tradition and marry the “right” woman, or follow his heart?

 

 

MY REVIEW:

“I suppose I should wait and do this privately,” he said in a voice that carried out over the heads of the spectators. “Or at least until I’ve spoken to your brother. But I will have no rumors or talk about us.  Amanda Fleming, I love you with all my heart. Will you marry me?”

A love he prayed he would deserve answered in her eyes, giving them a brilliance that was almost blinding.  She placed her beloved hands on either side of his face. “Of course,” she said in a much softer voice. “Of course.”

 

Ms. Hall will keep you glued to the pages just waiting to see what the heroine will do next. I found myself laughing aloud at the end of Chapter Two.  A moving historical romance with heart, soul, and holiday spirit.

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Amanda Fleming is a delightful heroine.  She is known for speaking her mind and for also having a good heart.  She is a wonderful character to read about.

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Cam is one of those heroes that knows he must marry but isn’t in much of a hurry to do so. He isn’t rakish at all and is, in fact, a gentleman.  I love how he tries very hard not to fall for the spirited Miss Fleming.

 

The secondary characters rock.  I’m not even kidding.  They’re splendid!  I loved reading about them and especially Amanda’s dog, Hamish (yes, I count him as a secondary character because he has a major part in the story). Hamish is adorable and  he grabbed my heartstrings first thing.  Who says Labradors have all the fun?  A Scottish terrier steals the spotlight in this book.

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Perdita (Cam’s sister) is a sweetheart.  I enjoyed reading about her and Amanda’s friendship.  Ms. Hall really wrote stellar personalities for all these characters.

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This author keeps everything clean between the pages. That’s right. There are no bodice-ripping scenes or filthy talk.  It’s really refreshing to read a romance that’s just pure, clean fun without all the extra.

 

The story ended perfectly; I wouldn’t have changed a single word. It’s the perfect historical romance to fall in love with.

 

 It’s also lendable.  I borrowed mine from booklending.com

 

Review: IN LOVE WITH A WICKED MAN

BOOK: IN LOVE WITH A WICKED MAN

AUTHOR: LIZ CARLYLE

PUBLISHER: AVON 

 

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BOOK BLURB:

 

What does it matter if Kate, Lady d’Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects?  She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless.  until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest’s wicked kisses.

 

Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival.  Feared and vilified as proprietor of London’s most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering–and more.

 

But when Edward’s memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.

 My Review: 

4 Wicked Stars!

Whee… that was fun! This book left me quite pleased, albeit a little breathless, at the end.  Such a witty, wicked, sexy, and enjoyable read with a splendid HEA.

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The only problem I have with the book–don’t judge me but I look at covers–is that the Edward is BLONDE headed in this story, not dark brown or black like the inside cover suggests. 

 Ah, yes. Blonde like this gorgeous hunk of a man. This is Edward. Ladies, you can thank me later.

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Now, as I was saying…

The hero and heroine are so well written. Kate and Edward have a chemistry that sizzles off the pages. Yes, the intense attraction between the couple is just buttercream icing on the cake. Chemistry and an intriguing plot, to boot! 

“Kate, love, are you sure?”

She nodded, and reached for him.  “Oh, Edward,” she whispered, “I am so sure.”

It was the sound of his name on her lips that nearly broke him.

“I am sure of you,” she went on.  “I am sure this is right.”

God help him, but he was sure, too.

And even then, Edward knew that a part of him was holding the truth at bay.  he felt in that moment as if he could have remained by her side forever, lost in the sweetness of her.  Lost in the solitude of this place, and the steady warmth of Kate’s gaze.

And he knew, just as surely, that it would never be.  That he was taking what he did not deserve. Tainting, perhaps,  a pure innocence.  And for an instant, he felt the hot press of tears behind his eyes again. 

“Make love to me,” she murmured.  “Pleasure me. Please.”

He hadn’t the strength to say the word that honor required. Perhaps he hadn’t any honor at all. He did not know.

“I will, love,” he assured her. “In time. But you’re the sort of woman a man should love slowly.”

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Kate is written as not very pretty, or rather, just plain.  I came to think of her as beautiful.  Her personality shines.  I loved this heroine.

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Edward…. ah, dear Edward.  Yes, he’s one hunky hero.  I would be wicked with him any day. I adore bad boys.

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There’s depth here, and Ms. Carlyle  peels through the layers until we’ve unknowingly invest ourselves in the characters.  I simply adore the secondary characters as well and there’s even a pug in this story.  Who doesn’t love an adorable dog that brings a little laughter to the story? Loved little Filou… um, fat Filou.

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 But it was not just a friendship, was it? It had become far more the moment he kissed her that afternoon by her parlor window.  He hadn’t even known who the hell he was, but the moment Kate had opened beneath him, sighing so sweetly into his mouth, he had known that he was lost.

He had claimed her in that moment–in his heart if not his head–and she had been his ever after.  Except that he had never told her so.  He had never told her that he loved her.  Never confessed to her that something inside him had altered; had torn from its moorings and flown to her, and that she now held his heart, bitter and scarred as it was, in her slender but capable hands. 

It was such a fun read that I zipped through it in just 2 days. 

 Hurry, hurry, Ms. Carlyle! I’m ready for more.

 “Kate, I love you so,” he said. “Do you love me?”

“Desperately, damn you,” she said impatiently. “I confessed as much some days ago.”

“I love it when you curse,” he said, the words muffled against her throat.

“I never did so before,” she said. “I wonder why the tendency has so lately come upon me?”

He laughed again, and let his lips slide down the long, pale turn of her neck. “Kate, my beautiful seductress, I will give up all my wicked ways and quit London and gaming both if–”

“Good,” she interjected.  “You should. Wickedness is never rewarded, no matter what Aurelie says.”

 Read this book and you’ll continue to smile to the end. 😉

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Review: The Many Sins Of Lord Cameron

BOOK: THE MANY SINS OF LORD CAMERON

AUTHOR: JENNIFER ASHLEY

PUBLISHER: BERKLEY SENSATION (HISTORICAL ROMANCE)

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Book Blurb:

 He is a man of simple tastes—and complex pleasures…

 

Cameron Mackenzie is a man who loves only horses and women—in that order—or so his mistresses say.

 

Ainsley Douglas is a woman with a strong sense of justice and the desire to help others—even if that means sneaking around a rakish man’s bedchamber.

 

Which is exactly where Cam finds her—six years after he caught her the first time. Only then, she convinced Cam she was seeking a liaison, but couldn’t go through with it because of her husband. Now a widow, she’s on a mission to retrieve letters that could prove embarrassing to the queen. Cam has no interest in Ainsley’s subterfuge, but he vows to finish what they started those many years ago. One game, one kiss at a time, he plans to seduce her. And what starts out as a lusty diversion may break Cam’s own rules—and heal the scars of a dark and damaging past..

 

My Review: 

 

4 sinful stars!

 

Oh my, my.  Where to begin?

 

I’ve been reading this series from the beginning and found this book to be riveting. Jennifer Ashley has created some of the best Scottish heroes I’ve ever read.  Every single one of the Mackenzie men are yummy and such a absolute delight to read about.

 

And the covers on the books? HAWT!  

 

There’s something about a man in a kilt that will make me swoon. Kilts are sexy anyway you cut it.  Add in a little Scottish brogue and I’m a goner! Need I say more? 

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“I am a bad man, very bad, but in a different way. I want to ravish you until we’re both senseless with it, and then I want to do it all over again.”

 

Two wounded people… one physically, one emotionally… brought together six years ago. There is also Cameron’s son, Daniel, intertwined throughout the story and the dialogue between all of them flows nicely.  The relationships are wonderfully conflicted and are satisfying.

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Reading about any Mackenzie can only compare to sipping on whiskey. The  experience as you sip and savor, the aroma and the burn that makes the senses come to life… complications and dysfunction that is the Mackenzie way of life.  

 

As always with a Jennifer Ashley romance — the beginning will intrigue you and the ending will please you…

Review: Rimfire Bride

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BOOK: RIMFIRE BRIDE

AUTHOR: SARA LUCK

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

 

On the golden plains of a new frontier, a smart young schoolteacher teaches a single father a lesson–in the power of love.

 

A scandalous newcomer…

 

Only the boldest of women would set off for the Dakota Territory without a man by her side.  But schoolteacher Jana Hartmann is determined to build a new life for herself and her frail sister, Greta.  True to her courageous spirit, Jana takes the only job she can find in the town of Bismarck–modeling dresses in a shop window–which has every man staring and every woman gossiping.  Adding fuel  to the fire, she’s agreed to help raise money in the annual kissing booth, where one handsome cowboy wants to buy every kiss for himself.

 

A scorching attraction…

 

Drew Malone is  a lawyer, rancher, and father of two little boys.  Although Jana is immediately attracted to the handsome and helpful Drew, she fights it, torn between a budding romance and her responsibility to Greta.  But Drew persists and sweeps her away for a romantic Christmas at Rimfire Ranch in the Badlands, where Jana finds herself having to win over the toughest critics of all– Drew’s young sons.  As Greta becomes more independent, Jana lets down her guard and opens her heart to the three Malone men.  But when the boys are kidnapped on her watch, Jana blames herself and flees to the frontier.  Drew must race against the clock to get back his sons…. and make Jana his Rimfire bride. 

 

 

 

My review: 

Ms. Luck writes an enjoyable romance set back in Dakota territory in the 1800’s.  There’s substance to her writing.  Although this is my first time reading a book by this author, it will not be my last.

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I closed this book with a satisfied sigh. Now I admit this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I had a splendid time tearing through this book and falling in love with the characters. Even the secondary characters are memorable. The two boys that are throughout this book are adorable and funny.  They will grab at your heartstrings and not let go!

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The hero and heroine are an absolute delight. Ms. Luck patiently guides us through a clever maze of characters and will have you emotionally invested in them. Best of all, there’s no nasty cruelness that so often manifests itself in most stories of this tone. 

Drew is a wonderful hero.  Tall, dark, and handsome.  What’s not to love, ladies?  He’s a gentleman to an extent but he is, after all, human.  He has his weaknesses.  *wink*

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Jana is a fabulous heroine. She’s independent (which I love all my heroines to be) and she takes care of her sister.   She is appealing and likable. AND she doesn’t cry much! Yay! I’m so tired of heroine’s who cry all the time.

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 Overall, it’s warm, witty, and loving… and human.  Sara Luck is an author not to be missed!

Review: Forged In Dreams and Magick (Highland Legends #1)

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Book: Forged In Dreams and Magick (Highland Legends #1)

Author: Kat Bastion

Pages: 338

Pub: 2013 

Blurb: 

 

The award-winning debut in the Highland Legend Series:

 

Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate…

 

Found in the arms of her second soul mate…

 

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia…

 

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history… of everything.

 

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning… or permission.  Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her.  Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

 

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men — a laird in the thirteenth century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland.  Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately… into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

 

***Scorching (explicit) sex scenes.***

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4.5 stars!

 

What a completely fun and exciting page turner! Very few authors portray the Scottish Highlands as colorfully as Kat Bastion. Her stellar debut is a complete triumph!

 

I cannot believe how fortunate I was to get ahold of this jewel.  A time travel that is set back in Scotland & two different heroes??? Yes, please!

 

The characters are fabulous. Iain and Velloc are the two heroes in this book and they are completely irresistible.  I found myself loving Velloc a lot more than I did Iain. I couldn’t help it. Velloc stole my heart. 

The secondary characters are awesome as well and I cannot wait to read their stories. 

 

My most favorite books to read are about Highlanders but after reading “Forged In Dreams and Magick”  I can only hope that Ms. Bastion writes a series with just Picts! Oh my, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed Velloc and all the history she wrote into his part of the story.

 

This is a book not to be missed! 

 

 

***ARC graciously provided for by Kat Bastion via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***