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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 - Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe,sophie jordan

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 2018-10-06 19:48
If you’ve a fan of and have read ‘The Harrisburg Railers’ series...
Ryker - F. Scott Fitzgerald,V.L. Locey

than you know who Ryker is and at the very least can probably skip the rest of this paragraph. If you’re not you can probably still read this book and not feel lost but honestly, I think you’ll enjoy it even more if you’ve read the series or at least the first book which has Ryker’s father, Jared Madsen as one of the MC’s along with Jared’s partner Tennant Rowe. We’ve gotten glimpses of Ryker here and there throughout the series but nowhere more than ‘Changing Lines’, book 1 of the Harrisburg Railers and now here in his own book.

 

Not only is Ryker the son of a well-known hockey player turned coach who’s living openly with his partner and hockey’s golden boy Tennant Rowe, the youngest of hockey’s Rowe brothers. He’s also the grandson of a well-known old timer and all he’s ever wanted is to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and make them proud, so relationships are not something that factor into his life there’s no time not when you want to be one of the best.

 

Jacob Benson’s had a very different life growing up in a small rural farming community where he’s struggled alongside of his family to keep their dairy farm going. For Jacob hockey has become a means to an end…college hockey means scholarships and a chance at an agricultural science degree…a chance to learn things that could help him save his family’s farm. It’s not that he doesn’t like or want to play hockey…it’s just that for Jacob, hockey’s not the end game, but a means to an end and between his studies, hockey and working 2 jobs to pay for the things that his scholarship doesn’t. Jacob has even less time than Ryker for a relationship but try as they might neither one of these young men can bring themselves to truly walk away and really it’s just a summer fling right?

 

I loved Jacob and Ryker together, sure there were moment of immaturity and at times I found Jacob to be a bit judgey but he’s young…they’re both young and I don’t know about anyone else but some of my finer moments happened at this age, when I was young and silly enough to think I knew everything unlike now when I’m happy to realize that with any luck I know something…any little thing!!!

 

There are events from Goal Line book #6 of the Harrisburg Railers that get revisited in this story but it’s relevant and if you haven’t read that series it’s very helpful background information to have.

 

When Jacob and Ryker first meet there’s a bit of animosity between them, but as they get to know each other both men realize that if they’re ever going to get to know each other they’ll need to set aside their preconceived notions.

 

Ryker may be dedicated to being the best hockey player he can, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t understand that sometimes a person just needs to relax and unwind a bit something that Jacob doesn’t see as a priority or seem to have the time for. While Jacob helps Ryker look at things from a different and more personal perspective and not just as abstract concepts.

 

Ultimately when all is said and done together Jacob and Ryker help each other to grow and mature as they discover that even though they both have full and busy lives when it comes to love there’s always room for more.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next in this series we’ve been introduced to some of the Owatonna Eagles and I definitely want more about Ben and Scott and I won’t deny it I’m also on the lookout for more about the Harrisburg Railers should the occasion arise.

 

After all I am Canadian and R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey have become two of my favorite ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ announcers.

 

***************************

 

An ARC of ‘Ryker’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-10-06 17:33
Reading progress update: I've read 332 out of 332 pages.
Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett

One of those Discworld books that only get better with every single reread.  Pratchett absolutely hit his stride with this ... one of my all-time favorites, by far not for the Shakespeare references alone.

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review 2018-09-27 14:02
One Eyed Royals (Seven of Spades #4)
One-Eyed Royals - Cordelia Kingsbridge

What a ride!  And honestly one of the best written crime series and couples I have read. Cordelia has developed an absolutely beautiful, real and perfectly imperfect couple that will be sticking with me for quite some time.  Just this passage alone enhanced for me the depth to which a writer can create emotional connection without words and without touch.

 

Dominic unwrapped his sandwich and separated the halves. Nudging one half in Levi’s direction, he raised an inquiring eyebrow.

Levi hesitated. Unlike most people in his life, Dominic never pressured him to eat. If he turned down the offer, Dominic would let it go at that. But it had been a while since he’d last eaten, and though he wasn’t hungry, it was a good idea to get some fuel in his system that wasn’t caffeine.

Nodding his thanks, he sat across the table and accepted half the sandwich. When he bit into it, he was surprised to find it was roast beef, his favorite.

Dominic didn’t even like roast beef.

Levi swallowed his mouthful and looked up. Dominic was chewing in silence, watching the infomercial on the TV across the room like it was the most fascinating thing he’d ever seen. Levi fiddled with the crust of the sandwich for a moment, then took another bite.

They ate without talking for a few minutes.

 

Yes...I got teared up reading this.  Just wow!

 

Eagerly await a reread of this series as well as the final book in the series.  

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review 2018-09-24 04:29
Cash Plays (Seven of Spades #3)
Cash Plays - Cordelia Kingsbridge

And these get better and better. Absolutely in love with this couple and continued mindfuck of a mystery. 

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