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review 2018-10-16 00:28
My review of How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan & Joanna Shupe
How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sophie Jordan,Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe,sophie jordan 

 

For starters, DUKES! I don’t care how many make-believe dukes have been created, I’ll read them for as long as they keep writing them. Secondly, Christmas! I’ll admit that I prefer to read dark, scary, paranormal stories during the month of October, but c’mon, who can say no to Christmas stories, specially when they are written by some of your favorite authors and they all come together in one pretty package!
And that actually brings me to say that thirdly, it’s freaking Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe, what?! If you haven’t read books by them then let me tell you, you are missing out on some serious awesomeness. And in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a super fan of all of these ladies so forgive me if I gush too much.

 

Tessa Dare’s Meet Me in Mayfair was clever, funny, and oh, so romantic. It probably is one of the most charming and memorable “date” nights I have ever read.

Sarah MacLean’s The Duke of Christmas Present is a second-chance love story. There were some serious tug-at-your-heart scenes, specially when the heroine returns “home.” It was kind of hard for me to understand the reasoning behind both the hero and heroine’s actions but once I got to the end, everything made complete sense.

 

Sophie Jordan’s Heiress Alone was another great example of how chemistry between hero and heroine affects a story, even if it’s a short one and even if the romance happens rather quickly.

 

Joanna Shupe’s Christmas in Central Park had me worrying and suffering along with the poor heroine, and had me wanting to slap the hero upside the head for acting like a spoiled brat that just had to have his way. Their love story may had been full of funny and cringe-worthy moments but the way their forgive and reach their HEA made it all worth it.

 

In short, four different settings, four different kinds of delicious dukes, four great Christmas stories, and one happy reader that recommends this set to all historical romance lovers. Even if Christmas is not your cup of tea, the romance alone make this a perfect read. 4.5 stars.

 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

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review 2018-10-10 13:13
One Wild Winter's Eve by Anne Barton
One Wild Winter's Eve - Anne Barton

Lady Rose Sherbourne is quiet, proper and following the rules of the ton. No one would suspect there's anything remotely similar to passion under her placid exterior, but as she embarks on a quest to find out what happened to her mother, she discovers there's nothing more liberating than following one's heart...


I must confess, I much preferred the Honeycote portion of this series than the Sherbourne one. I simply felt there were things missing in the last two installments. Like spunk, spark, humor and passion.

Unlike her sister Rose was much more sedate and proper, but she was too placid, downright vapid at the beginning of the story. She captured my interest once she went rogue and sprung her boyfriend out of jail, but then almost immediately went back to huddling in on herself, fretting and feeling sorry for herself. She didn't appear to have much agency, most of her decisions were based on Charles, the hero.
Who was rather bland himself. I never got to really know him, beside in context of his puppy-like devotion to Rose and he also failed to have anything to do that would make him an individual instead of part of the couple with Rose.

The story only came alive once they were in the company either of Lady Boneville or Rose's family who at least brought some spark to the proceedings.

I liked the suspense sub-plot and would've appreciated it if it was developed a little further and more fully instead of only serving as catalyst to bring Charles and Rose together.

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review 2018-10-08 17:56
Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton
Once She Was Tempted - Anne Barton

Benjamin Elliot, Earl of Foxburn, will do anything to prevent his best friend's younger brother from falling into the clutches of a fortune huntress. Which is what Miss Daphne Honeycote seems to be. Because Ben knows she's not the ethereal, innocent beauty everybody sees. Nope, Ben knows very well, what she hides underneath her clothes, because proof of it hangs in his study.

When her mother was ill, Daphne made a choice. She chose to pose for two rather scandalous portraits in order to get the money for her mother's medicine. Now that choice has come back to bite her in the form of the Earl of Foxburn and his blackmailing scheme; leave his friend's brother be or he'd reveal the truth.

But soon Ben becomes her ally, since Daphne has no idea what has happened to the other portrait, and Ben realizes his altruism toward his friend's brother was rather bogus. He wants Daphne for himself.


Yet another wonderfully told story. A little bit darker than the first book, mostly thanks to the hero and his broody, ornery, stubborn self, yet still packing quite a punch, even without the star-crossed lovers theme.

I loved Daphne. She might look all fragile and carefree, but inside, where it counts the most, she hid her worries and her pain, not letting anyone see it, until Ben came along.
Ben became rather annoying toward the middle, with his whining and feeling sorry for himself. I'm all for wounded, brooding heroes, I even adored his brutal honesty, but I couldn't stand his self-pity and pushing people away. And he almost succeeded in pushing the most important person away for good, only to pull his head out of his ass at just the right moment for everything to work out just fine. I wouldn't have minded a little bit more grovelling on his part, though.

The baddie was your regular spiteful asshole with a grudge, the bitch from the first book returned with a vengeance and once again failed to do any lasting damage, the supporting cast was perfectly placed and "proportioned", I was glad for Belle and Owen, I loved the character of Lady Bonneville and I hope to see more of her in the next two books, although I'm dreading the next installment a little, since it features more of Olivia, Huntford's slightly too self-centered sister (I'm growing tired of her droning on an on about her James).

This was a lovely story about self-discovery, courage and changes one is capable of under the right motivation.

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review 2018-10-04 18:21
A Notorious Vow (The Four Hundred #3) by Joanna Shupe (4.5 stars out of 5)
A Notorious Vow: The Four Hundred Series - Joanna Shupe

After a series of tragic events, Oliver becomes reclusive and apathetic. His only concerns are his sweet sister and his work. That all changes though after an unexpected encounter with caring and bashful Christina.
I had always thought that opposites make the best couples but Christina and Oliver proved me wrong. Christina was one of the most timid, introverted, fearful heroines I’ve ever read. Although I prefer my heroines to be more witty, self-assured, and even proactive, her tender heart and innocence made up for whatever traits I might have thought were lacking, not to mention her steel determination when it came to protecting Oliver made her a well-rounded character. 

The story kept the perfect pace. I was particularly happy that the budding romance between the main characters didn’t feel rushed or forced and I loved the way Oliver went from a grumpy recluse to a more pleasant man. And his world! It was fascinating to say the least, but unfortunately it was also ignorant and unjust. The treatment of “unorthodox” people in those days was truly appalling and if someone thinks otherwise needs to open a history book and educate themselves – At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it ¯_(ツ)_/¯

It was such a wonderful story and definitely my favorite in the series so far. If you love stories with plenty of heart, a troubled yet swoon-worthy hero, and a heroine that may seem meekly at first but proves to be a worthy opponent when she sets a mind to it, then this is the book for you. 




I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. 

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review 2018-10-04 14:48
Hero of the Month! (DC Super Hero Girls) (Pictureback(R)) - Mona Miller,Random House
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

For an introduction to the characters in the DC Super Hero Girls show, this is actually a pretty entertaining book. The book tells about the Hero of the Month award, which students at Super Hero High can earn for being helpful or doing good deeds. Then it goes through some of the past winners such as Katana, Bumblebee, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl. There is a brief blurb about each student as well as place of origin, powers, and specialty. 

There are also tons of cool pictures throughout the book. This definitely makes me want to watch the show. The movies have been on My List on Netflix since they were first added. Maybe I'll finally get to them this weekend.
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