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review 2018-02-06 00:00
Rogues to Riches (Volume One) (Rogues to Riches Boxed Sets Book 1)
Rogues to Riches (Volume One) (Rogues to Riches Boxed Sets Book 1) - Erica Ridley Lord of Chance - From bad to worse to love. Anthony is no girl's dream man. He gambles, flirts and is in debt up to his eyeballs but his sexy charm reels in a woman that may just have him seeking to change his ways. Charlotte is a woman that just can't catch a break. The sins of her parents have become her constant companions as she seeks to have a chance at finding herself and mending her reputation. She's not looking for trouble, yet it finds her all the same. Scandalous, endearing and hard to resist, the adventures of this scrumptious duo are not to be missed. Lord of Chance is 5 star material. (5 star)

Lord of Pleasure - Eat your heart out Cinderella, you've just met your match. Camellia is a late bloomer, but when she breaks free her wallflower status quickly falls by the wayside. A masquerade ball, a sexy rake, a scandalous wager and liaison take her from the shadows to the spotlight. Her heart and reputation will never be the same. Lord of Pleasure dances it way into a classic as it scandalizes and romances as it succeeds in casting an enchanting spell. (5 star)

Lord of Night - Lord of Night felt like stepping into a Jane Austen novel. From the charming characters to the addictive dialogue and the heartwarming lessons delivered along the way. Ms. Ridley knows how to capture heart and grab attention all in one sitting. Dahlia is the kind of character I like to see. She listens to her heart and never lets fear factor into her choices. Humanity as a whole could learn a lesson from this woman. Simon is the perfect antagonist to Dahlia. He lives by the rules. When he meets Dahlia, Simon begins to question everything he is. They have much to teach each other about love, risk and optimism. The fearless Dahlia and the by the book Simon may just have met their match in each other. I have had the pleasure of experiencing this brave tale of hope and courage as an ebook and a audio book. The ebook inspires, but the audio version brings the story to life. Ms. Hussey gives personality to an already memorable set of characters. (4 star)

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review 2018-01-29 06:34
The Pirate & I (Devil's Duke #2.5) by Katharine Ashe
The Pirate and I: A Novella (Devil's Duke) - Katharine Ashe

Despite the name of the book there wasn’t really any swashbuckling or much presence of pirates yet the story included a bit of adventure and plenty of romance. 
I had trouble following the storyline when it started and it wasn’t until way past the middle part of the book that everything started to make sense. I think some of that had to do with the fact that this novella is part of a series and that to fully enjoy it other books in the series will need to be read first. 

All in all it was still entertaining and different what with Esme’s unique talent, the theft of a dog, and a rogue trying not to fall again for the woman he once thought lost to him. 

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review 2018-01-26 21:07
A Looming of Vultures by Richard Storry
A Looming of Vultures: Volume I (Ruritanian Rogues) (Volume 1) - Richard Storry

This was a fun listen! Rudolph (Rudy) enjoys relieving high society individuals of their valuables. I think he does it mostly out of boredom. His manservant, Wilhelm (Willy), has tried everything he can think of to break him of this bad habit. This situation provided plenty of humor throughout the story.

At a fancy dinner party, an expensive necklace goes missing and this newspaper reporter gets blamed but perceptive folks don’t truly believe he stole it. Rudy has a naughty laugh up his sleeve because he knows exactly who took that necklace. Meanwhile, Willy is trying really hard not to roll his eyes at this while others are around.

So this baron or count or some such decides to take extra precautions concerning his safe. He brings three others into the plan, including Rudy because he believes he is an honorable man. Of course, this just presents a challenging opportunity for Rudy to get rich. Willy once again tries to persuade him not to do so… including threatening to never, ever make Rudy his favorite chocolate tiffin ever again. Ha! This story had me chuckling at every turn.

So while I know I shouldn’t root for Rudy, I didn’t want him caught and punished either. Luckily, the story gives us a true villain. There’s murder and deception and politics! Rudy and Willy inadvertently get drawn into this and when pushed up against the wall, they have to decide where that moral line is.

My one criticism for this story is that the ladies don’t really get to do anything. They flutter about in expensive sparkly jewelry and tell their men how clever they are. Really, you could have left them out all together and the plot wouldn’t have been impacted at all. So I would have liked some real female characters.

Overall, this story was a delicious mix of humor and serious crime. The play between Willy and Rudy was great and often had me laughing. Rudy is a bit of a scoundrel but I can see him taking on greater things, especially if there’s a bit of silver or gold in it for him. I love that the author included a recipe for the chocolate tiffin. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Richard Urry was excellent in performing this book. He has distinct voices for all the characters and his lady voices are feminine. I loved his voice for Willy as I could just picture all the facial remarks this character made (rolling eyes, grimacing, etc.). Also, there’s a recipe at the end of the book and Urry proves that he’s delightful to listen to no matter what he’s reading. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake Urry. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2017-11-09 11:53
If you love Austen, Regency-period novels, and bad boys, you must read this
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues - Joana Starnes,Amy D'Orazio,Katie Oliver,Karen M Cox,Jenetta James,Beau North,J. Marie Croft,Christina Morland,Lona Manning,Brooke West

Thanks to Rosie Amber from Rosie’s Book Review Team for alerting me to this opportunity and to the editor Christina Boyd for providing me with an early ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

After reading many great reviews of The Darcy Monologues, when I had the opportunity to sign up for this blog tour I could not resist. My fondness for Jane Austen’s novels cannot compare to that of the authors of this anthology, but rest assure that you don’t need to have read several times all of Austen’s novels to enjoy this collection (although I don’t doubt you might enjoy it even more if you have).

Each story centers on one of the rakes or gentlemen rogues in one of Jane Austen’s novels (sometimes several from the same novel). As the editor explains in her note, after The Darcy Monologues she and some of the authors started looking for another project and noticed that there are many characters that are fundamental to Austen’s novels, but we don’t get to know much about, and on many occasions we are left wondering how they got to be how they are, and what happens to them later. All the stories retain the historical period of the novels, sometimes going back to give us information about the background of the characters, to their childhood, early youth, and on occasion we follow them for many years, getting a good sense of who they become when they exit the novel.

Each one of the stories is prefaced by a little snippet about the character chosen, and by one or several quotations (sometimes spread throughout the story) taken directly from Austen’s novel, where the character is mentioned. I must say the authors remain very faithful to Austen’s words although they use their imagination to build upon those snippets, always remaining faithful to the language and the spirit of the period, although the modern sensibility is evident in the stories.

We have stories with happy endings, stories that are dark and sad, stories of broken hearts, funny stories (sometimes thanks to the wit of the characters involved, others thanks to the wit of the writers who follow in Austen’s footsteps and poke fun at the most preposterous individuals), and some touching ones. There are very clean stories and some steamier ones (as it seems only appropriate to these “gentlemen”), but the editor includes a very detailed classification of the degree of heat of each one of the stories, and apart from one of the stories A Wicked Game, the rest are not scandalous (even by Regency standards).

Many of the stories are told in the first person, and that helps us share and understand better the characters (however much we might like them or not), but the few told in the third person also work well, especially as they tend to centre on characters that are perhaps particularly insightless and more preoccupied with appearances than by the truth.

I imagine each reader will have his or her favourite stories. I was a bit surprised because I thought I’d enjoy more the stories featuring characters of the novels I was more familiar with, but that was not always the case. (OK, I truly loved Fitzwilliam’s Folly about Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride and Prejudice, but not only because of the novel, but because the character is wonderful, witty, yes, Darcy makes an appearance so we get to see him from somebody else’s point of view and someone who knows him well at that, and I loved the female character in the story too). Some writers managed to create a sense of a small society, as it must have felt at the time, where characters from several novels kept meeting or just missing each other but are all connected or know of each other. I know this was a book about the gentlemen, but I was very taken by some of the female characters, that on many occasions were the perfect match for the men.

If you are curious to know which of the characters are featured, here is the list: John Willoughby (Willoughby’s Crossroads by Joanna Starnes), George Wickham (A Wicked Game by Katie Oliver. This is the hottest one and there are some similarities to the previous story but, if you’re a fan of the character, I think you’ll enjoy this one), Colonel Fitzwilliam (Fitzwilliam’s Folly by Beau North. I’ve already mentioned this one. I love Calliope Campbell too. Well, love everything about this story and the style and the repartee reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s plays), Thomas Bertram (The Address of a French Woman by Lona Manning. How blind can one be, or perhaps not!), Henry Crawford (Last Letter to Mansfield by Brooke West), Frank Churchill (An Honest Man by Karen M Cox. One of these characters enamoured of himself who tries to do the right thing but only if it is convenient and at little personal cost. I suffered for poor Miss Fairfax), Sir Walter Elliot (One Fair Claim by Christina Morland. This is one of the stories told in the third person that do follow the character for a long time. The song “You’re So Vain” might as well have been written about him. I really enjoyed this one, first because the comments about the character were funny, later, because the tone changes and I liked his wife, who, of course, loves to read), William Elliot (The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot by Jenetta James. This somewhat related to the previous story but is quite different and particularly interesting for the comments about life in the theatre), General Tilney (As Much As He Can by Sophia Rose. This story, that uses both third and first person, I found particularly touching. Appearances can be deceptive, indeed), John Thorpe (The Art of Sinking by J. Marie Croft. This is a farce, the character a buffoon and the story really funny, especially because the character is the butt of all jokes but remains full of his own importance), and Captain Frederick Tilney (For Mischief’s Sake by Amy D’Orazio. Another great story. The main character justifies his actions insisting that he is helping other men avoid mistakes, but eventually learns to see things from a female perspective. A great female character too, Miss Gibbs).

I highlighted many passages and lines, but I don’t want to make this a never-ending review. I’ll just say the language is perfectly in keeping with the period and the stories and I’ll be exploring the books of all these writers. (There is information included about each one of them after their respective stories).

I did not cry with any of the stories (although some were quite touching), but I did laugh out loud with quite a few. I recommend this book to readers of historical romance and romance of any kind, those who enjoy short-stories with fully-fledged character, and I’m sure anybody interested in Regency novels and Jane Austen’s, in particular, will love this book.

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review 2017-10-31 12:25
Review For: The Trouble with Love by Heather Boyd
The Trouble with Love (Distinguished Rogues Book 8) - Heather Boyd

The Trouble with Love by Heather Boyd is book 8 in the "Distinguished Rogues" series. This is the story of Whitney Crewe and Everett Dean the Earl of Acton.
Everett has settled on the ideal that it is time to marry and goes ahead and signs wedding contracts before meeting his future bride, Alice Quartermane. Everett knows she is young and hasn't come out yet and also that she does have the red hair that he used to love on his women. The night before he goes forward to propose to Alice he goes to a party where he meets Whitney.
Whitney is a free spirit that loves to paint and has no plans to every marry. Whitney would rather enjoy her freedom. When she sees Everett at the party she and him quickly connect and start to get passionless but she learns he is about to ask someone to marry him the next day. This proves to her why she would never marry and walks away from him. But they meet up again and they both try to stand their ground on how they feel about the other. But over time they start to learn more about the other and find it harder to fight their growing feelings. But they both have a lot to overcome before they can even be together.
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Source: www.amazon.com/Trouble-Love-Distinguished-Rogues-Book-ebook/dp/B074NR22GX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509914880&sr=8-1&keywords=the+trouble+with+love+by+heather+boyd&dpID=41v%252BGu-BffL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
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