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review 2017-10-31 16:25
Review for A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred #1) by Joanna Shupe
A Daring Arrangement - Joanna Shupe

Lady Nora, daughter of an English Earl, is sent to New York by her father for committing an indiscretion and for humiliating him in front of his Parliament peers. Now in America, she believes the only way for her to return home and to the arms of her beloved Robert is to fake an engagement to a man so outrageously roguish that her father would have no other choice than to send for her as soon as he heard the news of the engagement. 

Impetuous and witty Nora sets everything in motion once she meets Julius, the man with exactly the kind of reputation she needs for her plans. The way these two meet was both funny and outrageous (there is a note by the author at the end of the book for those thinking nothing so oulandish could have been possible.) Just picturing Nora facing Julius for the first time in such circumstances was enough to keep turning the pages after such encounter. Julius agrees to Nora’s deceit only because he’s got a secret of his own and their engagement will grant him access to places he was denied before due to his notorious reputation. 
Their relationship evolves at a steady pace, easy banter and flirtatious moments. I liked that even though they liked each other physically, Robbie is never far from Nora’s thoughts and Julius knows that very well. So much so that I thought it was selfish of him to keep flirting with Nora when he knew their accord was only temporal. We learn about his past, which explains why he likes to live so ostentatiously (I mean, he lives in a castle with a moat) and about his family and friends however for some reason I didn’t connect with him until the very end. Even so, his relationship with Nora was both endearing and passionate and I loved how both understood their feelings and talked openly about them. One of my many peeves in romance is when the main characters decide to hide their feeling from each other for whatever reason, and so if I read about characters that are open with each other I just get really happy. 

The suspense aspect of the story left me a little displeased though. It wasn’t bad but I was disappointed when we get to find out there is a villain that I didn’t think needed to be and I ended up feeling bad for the poor guy. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read and I will definitely read more from this author. 

~3.5 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.***

 

 

Buy Links: 

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2gRf3uU 

B&N: http://bit.ly/2niLC6d

iBOOKS: http://apple.co/2mFcHU7

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review 2017-10-28 16:53
So this was marginally better...
Chevalier - Mary Calmes,Greg Tremblay

'Chevalier' is the sequel to the Mary Calmes story 'Romanus' and while I enjoyed it  a bit more than 'Romanus' and Greg Tremblay was again the narrator a definite saving grace for this one, in good conscience I still couldn't bring my self to give this more than 2.5 stars not when I compared this one to how much more I enjoyed books like 'Change of Heart',  'Old Loyalty, New Loves' & 'Fighting Instinct' other paranormal/shifter books by this author that I only gave 3 stars to and have enjoyed a lot more than I did this story.

 

Aside from Greg Tremblay's narration I also liked the fact that this made Mason and Luc's story feel more complete and Mason's history was filled in, but a lot of the secondary characters really felt like they were all over the map especially Mason's father...I'm not sure if he was confused, crazy, a bit psychotic, power hungry or all of the above, I just knew that by the end of it all I was sad that no one had ended him and very relieved that Mason basically chose to distance himself from the man...seriously Mason your daddy is cray, cray! and then there's the step-mom and the half sibs...I just didn't get any of them. 

 

So ultimately, I enjoyed the narration, came to like Mason and Luc a little more and the overall plot was ok, but I just wasn't able to get into this story the way I usually can with something by this author and it all just ended up being another blip on the radar.

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review 2017-10-27 19:11
'The Bone Orchard' it's a lovely ghost story or is that a ghostly love story...
The Bone Orchard - Greg Tremblay,Abigail Roux

I'm not a big fan of ghost stories but given that it's getting to that time of year...Halloween! Folks, it's just a few days away. I decided that it's good to have exceptions to every rule and besides this one's by Abigail Roux and seriously the woman knows how to write a story and Nick J. Russo was the narrator so it had strong possibilities and my guess-timate was correct.

 

At just over 3 hours this works well for an evenings entertainment. I loved this story of good vs evil as US Marsal Ambrose Shaw hunts down 'Missouri' Boone Jennings, there is no limit to what he'll do or sacrifice to catch this man and see him brought to justice. But it's up to Pinkerton Detective Ezra Johns to ensure that Ambrose's sacrifice isn't in vain. Ambrose and Ezra soon find out though that Jennings is an evil that even death can't stop leaving Ambrose and Ezra to spend eternity together...loving each other and keeping justice in the west.

 

'The Bone Orchard' was a fun way to recognize the time of year and Ambrose and Ezra were a pretty spooktacular pairing and while I enjoyed this story from start to finish it was the ending that I enjoyed the most but I'm not going to spoil it for anyone so I'm just going to say that the ending was definitely not what I was expecting and I really like how it brought things full circle. 

 

I really enjoyed this book as an audio story...it just worked for me in way that I'm not sure reading the story would have. Nick J. Russo's voices were very much in tune with how I imagined these characters to sound...especially Ambrose and when that happens it just makes the story experience that much more enjoyable for me. 

 

While I didn't find this to be a 'scary' story, I did find it to be interesting and as always the narration was spot on...taking this from a good story to something that's probably going to become a holiday tradition for me. I mean really cowboys or ghostly cowboys, evil psycho villains, haunted hotels and jail cells all rolled up into a story that's scary enough to be spooky but not enough to keep me up at night is just the type of Halloween story that I enjoy.

 

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An audio book of 'The Bone Orchard' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-26 20:01
So this was different...
Ink and Shadows - Greg Tremblay,Rhys Ford

Full Disclosure here...I listened to this audio book for 2 reasons and 2 reasons only...1. it was written by Rhys Ford & 2. it's narrated by Greg Tremblay because I'm telling you this is so much 'NOT' my type of book but...Rhys Ford? Really, there's no way I was going to never read/listen to this story. I admit I've owned the book for a while but...damn when I saw it on audio, well...willpower I has none. Thank heavens because I loved it...I really and seriously loved it.

 

This is a bit of urban fantasy with a dash of horror with a smidgen of romance and a solid dose of good vs evil...and don't be to hasty thinking you know who the bad guys are because you will probably be wrong...just sayin'.

 

The main characters in this story are 'The Four Horsemen'...

We have Death, War, Famine and Pestilence, otherwise known as Shi (only War can call Death by this name though), Ari (you guessed it...War), Min (short for Famine) and Mal (more commonly known as Pestilence) and a young heroin addicted, tattoo artist named 'Kismet' who happens to not only see ghost and other 'otherworldly' things but he comes complete with his own ghost...that of his little brother...and that's a story all on it's own.

 

While this is by no means a romance story that by no means is meant to imply that there is no romance here because War and Death...well let's just say there's some definite history there and Kismet and Mal have so much potential. Kismet's ironically far more street savvy than Mal and these two are adorable together even if Mal has yet to fully realize that his feelings go beyond friendship where Kismet's concerned. Mal is by far the most innocent and sweetly naive horseman ever! to attend an apocalypse...I'm not sure how he managed that one.  Add in the fact that much of what happens in this story is directly attributable to love and while it's not a romance story there's definitely a lot or romantic implications. 

 

While I can't say that this will be on my '10 Best Books'  for this year...mostly because I've been lucky and read a lot of good books this year. It is easily one of the most unusual and surprise books that I've read this year. 

 

I was honestly surprised at just how much of this story I enjoyed. I loved the spin that it gave to the concept of 'The Four Horsemen', I loved...seriously, I LOVED War...he hands down win's the award for book character with the driest sense of humor EVAH!!! I admit it my sense of humor is a little wonky at times and I clicked with War his comments were so spot on and in contrast to him...Death worked. He was the ideal contrast to War. Their personalities played off of each other to perfection. War's sense of humor was witty, sarcastic and often dryer than a James Bond martini.

 

Ok, enough about War...you get it, right? He was my fav. The other thing I liked about this story was the plot which I can't really say a lot about specifically because...pretty much anything beyond the blurb is going to spoil things so I loved the story line again it was filled with some twist and turns that gave a fresh touch to a whole lot of age old and traditional characters all done up in a modern day setting. 

 

So wrap up all of this in an audio book narrated by the incredibly talented Greg Tremblay and should I have been surprised that I loved this book a whole lot more than I was expecting to? No, but I was and the only thing I'm left wondering now is...when is the next book being released? And how soon can I get it on audio?

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review 2017-10-26 17:51
It's time to take a peek in 'The Vault'...
Late in the Day (Vault) - Mary Calmes

'Late in the Day' is the second book in the Mary Calmes series 'The Vault' and this story belongs to one man, known as...Conrad Harris...Darius Hawthorne...Terrence Moss...Gold Team Leader and more recently as 'The Vault'. He's answered to all of these names at one time or another in his life.

 

While this character isn't new to anyone who's a fan of this author this is the first time that we are given his story. Conrad's floated around the periphery of several books but for me...'Mine' is the story that really brought him to my attention and got me wondering 'who is this man? and please can we have more of him?' Ironically it's probably the oldest of the books that he's appeared in...so, Conrad's been around teasing us for a long time and now at last we are given his story.

 

I loved this character in 'Mine'. The interaction between Conrad and Trevan Bean as they went from colleagues to friends was intriguing and oft times tinged with sardonic humor. While I've enjoyed his random appearances in stories over the years...I was more than a little excited to find out that Ms Calmes was finally going to give us the story behind the enigma that was Conrad...Darius...Terrence...you get my drift...whatever identity he was using I wanted to know and now I do.

 

This story worked for me from start to finish. Ms Calmes has given us the answers to so many questions and I loved having those blanks filled in and more.  Although a lot of this story focused on Conrad's past with Efrem not all of it did and all those little gaps that are filled in were just a whole lot of happy moments for me and while I loved all the glimpses of Conrad's connections to characters we've met in previous stories it was equally as enjoyable getting to see some new characters and potential new stories. 

 

'Late in the Day' is a bit unique in that it's a story that is essentially set in the past, with the changes that have happened recently in Conrad's life it's become time for him to reclaim his past to create a life for himself that's real and permanent but in order to have the future that Conrad truly wants it's time for him to deal with his past...a past that he believed lost to him forever. A past that involved the one man that Conrad loved with all his heart...Efrem Lahm.

 

The focus in this book was more about filling in Conrad's background and giving us a more complete person to go forward with and while the romance took a bit of a back burner to this, I definitely wasn't disappointed with the glimpse we were given of Conrad and Efrem both in the past and the present and I absolutely loved the fact that these are two mature men...over 40 folks...45!!! Yeah, for life after 25!!!  

 

I have no problem with MC's under 25 or age gaps or both MCs being younger but sometimes it's just really nice to read a story were the MCs are mature. It's a really nice change of pace and I'm looking forward to more with these two. More of their life together, more smexy times and just more of whatever comes their way.

 

If you're new to this author than, at the bare minimum, I strongly suggest reading 'A Day Makes' the first book in this series and possibly 'Mine' but that's probably due in part to my personal bias of how much I love that book than anything else.

 

Once again Ms Calmes has created a series that's filled with interesting characters, unusual stories and a potential place for intriguing times and love and best of all another new happy place for readers to explore.

 

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An ARC of 'Late In the Day' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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