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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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review 2018-02-20 13:32
Surprise Me
Surprise Me: A Novel - Sophie Kinsella

Meh. Annoyed that I didn't just wait for this one via the library. I decided to buy this instead of the new Michael Connelly (shakes head). Surprise Me sounded interesting which is why I got it. A married couple (Sylvie and Dan) are told they have more than 60 plus years to go after their health assessment freak out since they don't know what they are going to do with all that time together. Yeah I know, I would be happy, but these two have no common sense. They decide to surprise each other so that they have something to look forward to since they know each other so well. Well, Sylvie thinks she knows Dan very well, instead she founds out she doesn't know everything. We also get a total tone shift towards the second half of the book and it did not work at all. I honestly worried at one point maybe I was misreading things.


I wish I could have liked this one better. I just didn't gel with the main character Sylvie. I think if Kinsella had told the chapters in alternate POVs with Sylvie and Dan it would have worked better. I was more intrigued by him. And I honestly think that Kinsella tried to hand wave away too much stuff that was going on with Sylvie with her blaming Dan for being overprotective.


Sylvie is in a bubble and doesn't really want to accept most things around her. She keeps her hair long cause her late father loved it long. She thinks her husband is good and all, but was totally outshone by her awesome and handsome father. I seriously rolled my eyes the many times we had to read about how great/fantastic Sylvie's father was and how people flocked to him like he was the Piped Piper. The fact she didn't even see how things were going in her marriage and kept doing things that she knew was hurting her husband (like constantly showing their wedding DVD that barely featured them and instead featured her father) just got on my last nerves.


There is some chances for levity here and there. We have Sylvie and Dan going through the whole surprise me motions and I chuckled a few times. But honestly the whole book dragged. When we get a reveal I wasn't expecting, it just made the whole book go sideways. Things got too rushed for a resolution and I honestly don't think Sylvie learned much of anything really.



Image result for lame surprise gif

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review 2018-02-18 16:19
Atlic by Sophie Davis
Atlic - Sophie Davis

Thankfully the angsty romantic uncertainty with the MC, Stassi, that was annoying me cleared up around the 20% mark, and I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Not quite as much as the first one, but still liked it and went on to read book three.


One thing I really like about Stassi is that she has a lot of empathy. Even when she was doubtful of wanting a relationship with the LI (though clearly attracted to him, and vice versa), she was able to put herself in his shoes, and snapped herself out of being unfairly cold to him, treated him as a friend, and had understanding for his situation.


And again, this story contains a romantic angle, but it's not a huge focus, which I also appreciated.


This book covers an interesting heist that takes place in their current day, the future. No time travel then, but a lot of fun and imaginative high tech to play with. Overall a satisfying read. Although, dang it, it ends in a bit of a cliff hanger. Main present plot is resolved, but then there's a bit more that occurs that is of the "To Be Continued" type.

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review 2018-02-18 02:00
Legends Untold by Sophie Davis
Legends Untold: Timewaves #3 - Sophie Davis

I need the next one right now.


Couple quibbles: They go back to the time of Lady Jane Grey, London 1500-whatever. Language used by the contemporaries isn't really true to the time, but not too jarring to someone not expecting historical accuracy, except a few times. Once, when Lady Jane says, "okay". Um, yeah, that's so anachronistic it's jarring. Another time another contemporary says it, and our MC says it to a contemporary - when she's a time traveler trying to, you know, fit in with the time.


In one scene Lady Jane is wearing silk pajamas. I'm not an expert but I'm pretty darn sure women didn't wear pajamas in the 1500's. Pants of any sort were a big NO, even for sleeping attire.


But with the story it's really pretty minor. I don't expect anyone reading this, particularly after reading the first two and knowing what to expect, is going to be displeased. A thoroughly enjoyable time travel adventure. Sadly ending, again, in a cliff-hanger.


I NEED the next one!

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review 2018-02-12 05:36
Surprise Me
Surprise Me: A Novel - Sophie Kinsella Fast-paced, witty, and entertaining. After reading the blurb, I'll admit that I went into this one expecting more fluff than substance, but the prologue had me rethinking that assumption. Then I get to the first chapter and was worried again - Sylvie and Dan are just a bit too perfect. And then the story takes an interesting turn. As this couple is faced with what should be good news from a physician, they react differently than what most would expect. They freak completely out. They then set about on a mission to surprise each other in order to keep things interesting in their marriage, but these surprises don't turn out quite like they planned. Ranging from the simple and sweet to outright hilarious bungles, these surprises lead to some miscommunication and suspicion. That's when the story takes a more serious turn. While the last part of the book is more serious, that same sharp wit is still present to keep things from getting too heavy. All in all, the story is a bit over the top at times, but it's well written and a surprisingly entertaining and at times compelling read.
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