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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-31 10:03
Duke of Desire
Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane) - Elizabeth Hoyt

My reviews are honest & they contain spoilers. For more, follow me:


All the good things must come to an end. :( Every year for the past 7yrs. I’ve eagerly waited for a new Maiden Lane book. It’ll be so difficult to not have to wait for another new installment, even if the storyline veered away from the original characters. Even if Ms. Hoyt is writing a new series out later this year; even if I’m really excited about it. Duke of Desire marks the 12th installment, the final one, bidding adieu to our much beloved series. Though I still have 2 short stories to read, this is the last full-length novel.

Before I get into my review, starting with quite a bit of discussion on the backstory and how the characters are connected—because trust me they are connected through each-other and through ongoing events—I need to talk about the following...

I came to learn about Ms. Hoyt’s books a few years after I discovered Romance as a genre and was binging through some popular authors’ backlists. I don’t exactly remember why I picked up her books but so glad I did! Ms. Hoyt was still a bit of newbie, with 2 short series under her belt but making quite the splash. The first installment of Maiden Lane, Wicked Intentions, was out and waiting for the second installment. But before I could finish the first two series of hers, second book, Notorious Pleasures was out as well. By then I was SO hooked in her writing style and her stories that I was more in the lines of ‘oh goodie! gimme gimme!’ LOL I promptly began the reading of book 1 of Maiden Lane, which also prompted my love affair with this series.

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review 2018-03-20 00:36
eARC: Toxic Desire (Released today)
Toxic Desire - Robin Lovett
Nem (Nemona) crash lands on a planet with Oten. That planet happens to be Fyrian. Oten has a history with humans and hates them. I thought with a good reason (they killed many of his kind/species). Together they have to survive on this planet. Except, this planet has an aphrodisiac atmosphere from the flora and fauna. I thought this sounded interesting.
I was disappointed. There's sex. Lots of it. It felt forced with two people who otherwise wouldn't be together. Or even want to be together. I didn't think there was much romance when it was all said and done. 

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley
Publishes on March 19th
 
 

 

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review 2018-03-08 00:53
Taudry Statue Gets Woman Laid in Desire of the Gods
Desire of the Gods: Apollo - Marianna Green

 

 

 

 

 

The last thing Paula needed was a blindfolded, glowing god in her bed, but that's exactly what she got.

 

Still reeling from her fiance, Nick, breaking up with her, Paula is desperate to try anything to get him back. So when her neighbor, Mrs. Stephanopolos gives her a magic statue that will give Paula her heart's desire, she's skeptical but does the required ritual anyway.

 

A split second later, Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, is standing in her bedroom, ready to help Paula, even though he thinks Paula can do so much better than Nick. Everything seems to be working out until Eros sneaks in and shoots one of his insta-love arrows at Apollo. Now the sun god needs to stay permanently blindfolded to avoid falling in love with the first woman he sees, especially when Paula is so not his type. Now Paula and Apollo are stuck with each other until Aphrodite can swoop in and reverse the spell. But with the two of them in such close proximity to each other, they might realize they're each other's types after all. 

 

 

I definitely enjoyed this book. A lot of little details were explained, like the history of the statue and why she and Apollo can understand each other, despite them speaking different languages. And even though this book has a lot of my usual pet peeves, like insta-love, arrogance, and even lack of regard for personal boundaries, I still didn't mind it. I think it's easier to accept because Apollo is a god and things work differently for him. His love for Paula doesn't have to be completely realistic because he's not human. 

 

However, the actual moment Apollo gets shot is incredibly anti-climactic. 

 

Suddenly, the golden god flinched, and he slapped at the side of his neck as if stung by a mosquito.

“No - Oh No! Not again!” He shut his eyes tight.

“What’s the matter?” Paula stared at him.

“Eros,” groaned the god, keeping his eyes tight shut, “He’s fired on me.”

 

That's it. It's a significant event in the book but it's as dramatic as a mosquito bite. You don't even meet Eros in this book. But aside from that unsatisfying scene, this was an excellent story. 

 

I really liked Paula as a character. She's a bit of a smartass and despite being insecure with her looks, she's not whiny or obsessive about it. Even though she needs to go along with Apollo's absurdity to get her heart's desire, she stays snarky instead of being resigned to taking his (unintentionally) hurtful comments about her appearance. The only thing I didn't really like about her was her attachment to Nick. I get the fact that he was her fiance and she's in love with him, but it got a little repetitive, even in this novella-length story. It was especially bad when:

 

Nick saw her with Apollo, jumped to conclusions, and called her a slut for moving on so quickly, even though he left her for another woman. 

(spoiler show)

 

However, for the most part, Paula rocked. 

 

 

Apollo is so absurd, he's adorable. Normally, arrogance turns me off, but Apollo is so over the top, it's impossible to take him seriously. 

 

"Turn away from me, and try not to think of my wonderfully developed upper arms or what you moderns call my six pack"

 

It's just so silly that it's funny. And Apollo genuinely does care for Paula. He warned her away from Nick from the start, telling her she could do better. He also offered to strike Nick dead for her and was in general very protective of her (but not in a controlling way). 

 

His lack of personal boundaries bothers me slightly. He has no concept of personal space and has no problem touching Paula randomly and without warning.

 

When sleeping in her bed, he used her breasts for a pillow, and while sleeping he dry-humped her.

(spoiler show)

 

While this sort of behavior would usually bother me, I don't really mind it because it's pretty clear he's not doing it to exert power over her or because he thinks he owns her. He's just pretty oblivious to how the world works. 

 

The second book in this trilogy explains that the gods are all pretty immature and careless like this because they do not have the ability to change and grow like humans do.

(spoiler show)

 

However, I really liked him for the most part. He's really sweet in general and has a great dynamic with Paula. 

 

 

This was definitely a short and sweet read worth checking out. People who love romance and Greek mythology will like this book, and the other two novellas in the trilogy. It's available for free on Smashwords.

 

Source: www.smashwords.com/books/view/671237
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review 2018-02-22 15:55
Burning with Desire (Men of Marietta Book 5) - Patricia W. Fischer

Burning with Desire by Patricia Fischer
Gabby and her teen daughter leave TX and arrive in Marietta, MT to start over again. She bought the diner and hopes to settle in.
Next door neighbor, Kyle is a firefighter among a lot of other jobs and he helps show them around.
Like how they fit in and help with community goals. She has special secret recipes and hopes the others in town will love them. She has some changes she wants to make to the diner but she wants all the waitresses to stay on.
She grows to like Kyle as he's just what she needs. Learn more about Trinity and how she's welcomed in town and with the other teens. They are not used to the weather but Kyle's pitch in for outside clothing.
She also buys food from local shops and farms. We also learn more about his family that he keeps hidden because they are not who he is.
Predictable and lots of steamy sex scenes.
Like also how the town descriptions are displyed-as they are in other books-they are where they are, in right order.
Love all the charity work, calendars, cooking etc and learning what new things are going on with others in town as I do follow some of the other characters via other books by other authors.
Loved the confrontation at the end-make all things come together. Twists and turns. Other works by the author and bio at the end.
Received this review copy from the author as a free download and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2018-02-22 12:47
The Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes
The Duke of Her Desire: Diamonds in the Rough - Sophie Barnes

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, A Most Unlikely Duke, so I was really excited to read more of the series. I didn't love it and I don't think I will remember much about it long term but it was a nice enough story. I thought that this was a pleasant read and am glad that I read it.

Thomas, the Duke of Coventry, agrees to watch over his friend's sisters while he is away. Amelia and Juliette are still trying to fit into society after living in poverty most of their lives. Amelia has other dreams and hopes to open a school for children where she used to live. Of course, she starts this process while her brother is away and Coventry jumps into to help. She is still keeping social commitments and considering potential husbands at the same time.

This was a really tame historical romance. I actually don't remember ever reading one quite this innocent. I don't need a lot of heat in this kind of story to find it enjoyable but I found it rather surprising. I really didn't feel a whole lot of chemistry between this pair and I do wonder if part of that could be because most of the book was rather chaste until the story got closer to the end. I don't think that you need sex in a story to have chemistry but it just seems that something was missing between this pair.

I did find both Amelia and Thomas to be interesting characters. Thomas has quite the story which I was very eager to learn more about as the story progressed. Amelia's quest to run a school was ambitious and really showed what kind of person she was. I was probably most entertained by everything that went wrong with the preparations for the school. I liked that they both seemed really committed to the cause.

This was a book that I liked in the end. It was a nice enough read and a nice way to spend a bit of time. It wasn't my favorite in the series but it was an acceptable installment. I am actually not sure if I will be picking up the next book in the series or not at this point but I would like to read more from Sophie Barnes in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This will end up either being a 3 or 4 star read. I am going with 3 for now but that may change. I liked the book but I didn't fall in love with it. I would have liked to see a little more between Thomas and Amelia. It seemed liked the book was nearing the end before things really started moving between them besides very tame interest. I did enjoy reading this one.

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