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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 2018-10-15 05:58
Chance
To Dare A SEAL - Sara Jane Stone

This book is #2 in the Sin City SEALs series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For more understanding of the series, and to avoid being spoiled, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Jack has been biding his time for the perfect time to try a relationship with Natalie.  She makes the first move.  It's a complete surprise - and one he wants to explore over the wedding weekend for her sister.

 

Natalie knows she should not have given into temptation.  How to resist a spectacular man, as well as a SEAL of all military?  Now she has to figure out if she can see herself long term with someone who is already planning to be gone.

 

I found this book to be a sexy and fun read.  Lots of humor, heat, and happy times to make the reader glad they keep turning the page.  This series is really such a great read.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2018-10-05 21:49
Love One Another
Marked by Love: A Dare to Walk Away from Judgment and Hypocrisy - Gareth Stevens Publishing

“Stop telling people they need Jesus, and instead show them they matter. Stop using fear or scare tactics and start loving. Stop talking and start showing. When the people God brings into your life begin to experience a truly giving, sacrificial, unconditional, authentic, and vulnerable love from you, it will have an impact.”

Not your typical Christian nonfiction book, “Marked by Love” truly stands out in the genre. I went into this expecting to glean information about how Jesus expressed His love for us and how we, in turn, are to demonstrate that love to others, but wow, this turned out to be so much more! Many of the points that Tim Stevens articulates are anticipated, and yet he takes them further and stretches them in a way that is honest and raw and, yes, sometimes uncomfortable. An apt description for this book would be eyebrow-raising. Stevens explains that we should move past using the title of “Christians” because it has taken on such a negative connotation over the centuries and is more often than not offensive and use instead a term such as “Christ follower.” At first I was taken aback at this; however, as with so much of this book, I found that when I put aside my initial reaction and considered what Stevens was saying, I understood his point.

The best aspect of “Marked by Love” was that it was thought-provoking. It was an immersive reading experience; it didn’t just reinforce my theological views and ideas but rather challenged me to look outside the box and consider aspects of my faith and life in general in ways I hadn’t before. Stevens doesn’t purport to have all the answers, and although I didn’t always completely agree with him 100%, he expressed and explained his views logically, reaching out to the reader and drawing them in instead of just preaching to them. Many of the Scriptures used throughout the book were taken from The Message, a translation which I have not used before and which offered a new perspective on otherwise very familiar passages. Overall, I found “Marked by Love” to be radically countercultural, especially for conservative, traditionalist Christians (I should say Christ followers!), and doesn’t that also describe Jesus’ ministry during His time here on earth? Breaking down barriers and meeting people where they were with compassion, shattering hypocrisy and judgment by extending love and leaving an example for us to follow so that we can choose to be marked by love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-09-30 21:16
Dare to Love Again (Decadence L.A., #3) by Maddie Taylor
Dare to Love Again - Maddie Taylor

 

Taylor has never been afraid to show her hand when it comes to risque, but there have been moments of lacking when it comes to emotion. Dare to Love Again is not one of those moments. Esme and Kieran's path to love is scattered with broken hearts, risky behavior, grief and fresh starts. Esme is learning to be whole again after a devastating loss shattered her world. The ghost of what was haunts her every waking moment even as it torments her dreams. Kieran is intrigued by the ice princess. He sees the pain that torments her and wants to be the light at the end of the tunnel for her. Can this brooding warrior melt the ice encasing her broken heart? Tempting.

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review 2018-09-10 16:03
A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare


This book left me feeling...confused I guess. Too much whimsy for a serious historical yet not really funny. Not light either.

 

The h - mid-late 20s, spinster - lives with her father in this tiny seaside town. It's become a haven for society's female misfits. Her father is an inventor, and being the absentminded sort, he essentially takes her for granted. She's his keeper IOW. His inventions are of the military sort, and his obsession has been to make a rifled cannon. They keep blowing up though and after the last time, she made him promise not to do any more field testing. He resents this.

 

The H - didn't actually catch an age - is recovering from a gunshot to the knee, and is determined to get back to the front line. He, his cousin, and one fellow soldier arrive to see if he can convince the h's dad to put in a word for him.

 

Dear old dad has machinations in mind - an excuse to test the latest prototype of the cannon, and well, he doesn't tell the H everything, and in fact, outright lies about things.

This...is the bones of the story, and it makes you want to punch the dad in the face (or at least, slap him with a glove). Because he manipulates the H, dismisses the h (really, the H/h were involved and he hands the H the approval to allow him to go back to his regimen, tells the h to get over herself or something like that). I guess in some ways, he was subconsciously trying to keep his housekeeper (the h).

 

And yet... at the beginning, when the H and his companions arrive, they're blocked by a flock of sheep, and they use gunpowder to run them off (a bit drastic, yes?). A lamb attaches itself to the H and becomes a pet. The blacksmith makes jewelry, the pub has become a tea shop, the women all are expert markswomen... The town has an unofficial name (amongst men in London) as Spinster Cove. There's the twin boys who remind me somewhat of Merry and Pippin. Not much out and out funny, but too tongue in cheek for the basic tale. Maybe that's the issue.

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