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review 2018-07-17 22:41
Lord of Secrets (Rogues to Riches #5) by Erica Ridley
Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley 

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley 

~3.5 stars ~

As an heir to a barony, Heath knows he must choose the right woman to marry. She’ll have to be a proper lady of a good family, and will never, ever give motive for scandal or gossip. So what if he’s not in love with the lady, right?

Heath in a way reminded of Mr. Darcy although not as brooding or surly. Honor bound to a fault, his first priority was always his family and his duty to the title. As the problem-solver of the ton, he considered his responsibility to keep his peers out of the gossip columns and pursue those that dared taint their “good” name. This attitude of him grated me because how could anyone be so honorable yet try to cover up other people’s mistakes. To me that was hypocritical. Fortunately, love outweighed any preconceived notions of honor and he found his true calling.
Nora had a secret of her own that if uncovered it could not only ruin her but also ruin her chances at love. I thought she was sweet, smart, and witty however I could totally see why she didn’t think highly of herself. It made me a happy reader when Heath saw past all of her shortcomings and focused on what mattered most. Their romance was engaging and slow-burning with the right amount of tension which made it feel believable.

Although there weren’t any tug-at-your-heart moments it was definitely enjoyable and a good continuation to the series. I recommend this series to anyone that likes endearing yet complex characters, funny moments, and good romance. 

Thanks to Negalley for providing a copy of this story for review.

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review 2018-07-11 01:40
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 

When his godfather leaves his house to him, Hartley's reputation gets banded about in less than complimentary terms. Feeling shunned, Hartley finds himself losing servants and becoming a bit of a shut-in. 
Sam just wants to see his brother and his friend Kate finally get married and when he learns Kate fears a scandalous painting of her becoming public knowledge, he sets out to find it for her. 
When Hartley and Sam meet, the spark is instant but circumstances, emotions, and life are going to give them a bumpy road. 
 
Hartley went utterly still as he contemplated how thoroughly ruinous this was going to be for both of them. 
 
Second in the Seducing the Sedgwicks, a series following along the Sedgwick brothers, this book focuses on Hartley, the brother who is deeply conflicted about how he sees trading sexual favors with his godfather for money to help his family. He doesn’t like to be touched and has a little bit of a prickly personality. Maybe because Sam was such a strong character but Hartley didn't leap off the pages for me. He's pretty self-contained and we do get a couple scenes with two of his brothers that highlight his personality but overall, he didn't grab me. 
 
There was no reason for Sam to be thinking of Sedgwick at all, in fact. He wasn’t even that handsome unless you had a liking for fragile-looking men with fussy clothes. 
 
Sam was the character that shone the brightest to me, he's a strong character but in the most gentle of ways. He has a similar shy, hidden aspect of his personality like Hartley, which due to their sexuality in their place and time is a necessity, but he also has rise to the front proclivity for, simply, caring. It is not an overdone martyr syndrome but no thought, generous, and loving way he makes his choices. The way he acts, responds, and encourages Hartley, is what make this story shine and will fill your heart. 
 
And while only a fool would believe that a kitchen table supper between a rich man, a black boxer, and a three-legged dog could be the beginning of something good, maybe Sam was more foolish than he thought. 
 
The writing showcased here is good and the ease of conversations and interactions between the main couple and secondary characters is the escape into fictional worlds above average quality that will suck you into the world. The first in the series, It Takes Two Tumble, I thought did a great job with the emotional growth in the lead's relationship, here I found that aspect lacking in the beginning. Hartley and Sam's sexual relationship develops pretty quickly, the emotional layers were a ways behind and as a consequence, I found their romance lacking. The sexual play scenes start very early and then when they do have a more solid emotional connection, I thought their sex scene was a bit short and abrupt and didn't deliver the impact (Hartley overcoming his touch issues) I was wanting to feel. The ending did provide some wonderful simple talking between Sam and Hartley that I wish had replaced some of the earlier sex scenes as I felt this showed their attraction and closeness more. 
 
Nobody should have that kind of power over anyone, no matter how much money they had or if they had a title in front their name. 
 
This story is heavily about relationships, the outer story and catalyst for getting Sam and Hartley together involving paintings is made to seem important only to be casually pushed to the background for most of the story and then a little rushed importance at the end. The secondary characters are superb (love Alf, Hartley's sort of valet) and add immensely to the story and world. This is one of the more realistic fiction romances with social issues realistically playing a role. If you're looking for a lot of action or adventure, this wouldn't be it but if you want sweet and aching emotion, you'll want to dive in.

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review 2018-07-03 00:52
ARC review: The Risk of Rogues (The Sinful Suitors, #5.5) by Sabrina Jeffries
The Risk of Rogues - Sabrina Jeffries

The Risk of Rogues - Sabrina Jeffries 

Release date: July 2nd, 2018

 

Last installment in the series, this second chance story was entertaining and sweet. Anne and Hart were young and very much in love when they decided to take the next step. Unfortunately life happened and they had to part ways before that came to fruition. Now that they’ve met again and Anne’s circumstances are different, it’s up to Hart to prove to her he’s the man she deserves and not just the woman he needs. 
To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting such a short read as the last of the series but even so it was still enjoyable. I particularly liked the fact that both Anne and Hart were well-defined characters and I as a reader was able to connect with them and understand their struggles. Although more than struggles it was a tangle of misunderstandings and misinformation that was preventing them to reach their HEA. I don’t want to give anything away but I had an issue with Hart though. In his attempt to regain Anne’s love, he was willing to trap her into marriage by seducing her. That might be something we see a lot in historicals because it actually tended to happen quite often but it still sounds wrong in my book, historical or not. I know, I know, I’m too modern for my own good but that’s the way I prefer my stories, or not, as is the case here. Overall a good read that most people will be able to tackle in one evening. 
As a side note, that cover is so pretty and I think it’s the perfection depiction of our heroine. I just loved it! 

**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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text 2018-06-24 22:44
A Baroness of Honor - a dishonorable compilation - DNF, no stars
A Baroness of Honor - Emily Meier

Disclosure: I obtained the Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon.  I do not know the author nor have I had any communication with her about this book or any other matter.  I am an author of historical and contemporary romances and non-fiction.

 

The lead story, A Baroness of Honor, is but one of fifteen or so stories stuffed into this Kindle edition.  It ends at around 8% of the pages.

 

The rest of the book is recycled stories of similar or even shorter length, and none of those I sampled are Regencies.  Most, in fact, are Amish romances, which I have no interest at all in reading.  Many of these stories are set up as the featured lead title for other compilations by this author, and most are shuffled through the compilations as filler.

 

I have reported this book and several of the author's other titles to Amazon's "Content Quality" department as they appear to be in violation of Kindle Direct Publishing's Terms of Service regarding "Disappointing Content."

 

On top of all that, it's not even well written.  There's a summary provided that makes almost no sense at all.  Our baroness is the middle daughter of a earl -- so how did she get this baroness title?  The earl is killed in battle -- peers didn't usually join the military. So her widowed mother marries her off -- were there no sons to inherit the title? -- and then her new husband and HIS father are killed, leaving our baroness to handle a huge estate.  Um, where are all the male heirs???

 

The book is written in the form of a diary, and there are huge sections without paragraphs.  It's very difficult to get past the first few pages, which is about as far as I got.  It begins when Lavinia, the future(?) baroness is fourteen years old in 1809. On the day after her fourteenth birthday she is informed that she will be attending a ball in London.  Um, no.  That was the point at which I stopped reading completely.

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text 2018-06-24 02:41
The Baron's Blunder by Susan M. Baganz -- a blunder indeed
The Baron's Blunder (Black Diamond) - Susan M. Baganz

Disclosure:  I obtained the Kindle edition of this book when it was offered free on Amazon.  I do not know the author nor have I ever communicated with her about this book or any other matter.  I am an author of historical and contemporary romance novels and nonfiction.

 

 

That said, I am old.  And my memory is good.  And I'm originally from the Chicago area.

 

I will never be able to read this book.

 

Spring, 1808

Great Britain

 

The sun blinded him, yet a flash in the distance caught his attention. Sure enough, another robbery of a coach by some land pirate. Not again. Disgusted, Lord Charles Percy urged his mount into a gallop as he drew his pistol and cocked it. Slowing his mount and aiming true, he shot the gun out of the ruffian’s hand. The thief’s horse tossed the rider to the ground before racing away. Charles drew

Baganz, Susan M.. The Baron's Blunder (Black Diamond) (Kindle Locations 46-49). Pelican Book Group. Kindle Edition.

 

The writing isn't anything spectacular, but I will always equate the name Charles Percy with the Senator from Illinois. 

 

Names matter.

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