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review 2017-04-30 23:44
Review: Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman
Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides) - Valerie Bowman

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-never-trust-pirate-by-valerie.html

 

From the halls of an elegant Mayfair townhouse to the high seas, Never Trust a Pirate is a delightful Regency romp. Valerie Bowman has a fun, breezy writing style that never fails to entertain me and her characters are always jam-packed with wit and charm, so it was easy for me to fall into this seventh Playful Brides novel.

Cade Cavendish is the black sheep of his family. Having grown up poor with an abusive father, he’s much more at home on his ship or in a tavern than he is at a ball. Cade is fun, a shameless flirt with Danielle, and though he plays the rogue he’s got a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. Cade would run circles around your average society girl, which is why it’s a good thing Ms. Bowman pairs him with an unconventional heroine. Danielle has been on her own since she was thirteen. She’s been a smuggler and a spy, and she’s more at home on a ship than in her latest role as lady’s maid to Cade’s sister-in-law. I loved that both Cade and Danielle were spies, had secrets, and were able to throw one another off their strides. These two don’t fit in in the stuffy world of the ton and I loved that they never really tried to conform. Whether they’re trading secrets or hunting a common enemy, they make a good team and it was fun to watch Danielle shock Cade with her spy skills. Danielle is Cade’s equal in every way and that made their love story all the more interesting. I was well and truly hooked into their romance, which was sensual, energetic, and just plain fun to read.

Never Trust a Pirate is the seventh book in the Playful Brides series, but if you don’t mind spoilers for The Irresistible Rogue (Rafe Cavendish’s story) then it can be read as a standalone. I’ve been reading this series out of order, and though all of the books I’ve read so far have had a lighthearted feel, Never Trust a Pirate is definitely the most casual. The relationships and interactions between the characters in this book was a bit more informal than I’m used to in a historical romance (even taking into account Cade and Danielle’s upbringings), which did draw me out of the story a couple of times. As far as complaints go, it’s a fairly minor one as far as I’m concerned when there are such delightful characters to keep me entertained. I know I’ve used the word “fun” multiple times to describe Never Trust a Pirate, but that’s honestly the best word for Cade and Danielle’s story. It’s sexy, engaging, sparkling good fun and I cannot wait to read the next Playful Brides tale!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-never-trust-pirate-by-valerie.html
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review 2017-04-30 23:40
Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Because of Miss Bridgerton - Julia Quinn

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed.

 

Billie Bridgerton has long known she would likely marry a Rokesby brother.  After all, the Bridgertons and Rokesbys are more family than neighbors and she grew up running wild with Edward, Andrew, and Mary Rokesby.  But when a feral feline rescue goes wrong, it’s George Rokesby, the heir to the earldom, who Billie finds herself stranded with.  George is the one Rokesby Billie cannot abide.  And the feeling is mutual; the two of them are always sniping at each other.

 

Except…something strange seems to be happening.  Billie feels like she’s truly seeing George for the first time.  And he her.  She couldn’t possibly be falling in love with her favorite nemesis…could she?

 

Because of Miss Bridgerton is bright, engaging, and utterly charming.  As a longtime fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, I was delighted to get a chance to revisit the beloved family, even if in a prequel series.  The titular Miss Bridgerton in this tale is the aunt of the eight beloved siblings, and the clever, competitive, and endearing apples don’t fall too far from the tree.  Billie is the oldest of the Bridgerton siblings, and as there’s such an age gap between her and her younger brother, for a longtime she was raised almost like a boy.  At twenty-three she runs her family estate, taking an interest in agriculture that would surely scandalize society, and she has no interest in settling down.  Billie assumes she’ll one day marry Edward or Andrew Rokesby, and as they are more like brothers to her she’s in no rush to wed.  George is the one Rokesby who drives her mad.  He seems staid and serious and they constantly needle one another.  George complements Billie perfectly.  Yes, he’s quieter than the rest and has been raised never to forget he will inherit an earldom one day.  But George can match Billie jab-for-jab and when they’re not bickering things get surprisingly heated.

 

Billie and George have a wonderful slow-burn romance and it was fantastic to watch them unwittingly fall in love with one another.  I loved that George not only accepted Billie for the unusual woman that she was, but adored that about her.  And Billie never pressures George to change, but rather comes to admire and love him for his true nature.  They’re both fairly well-adjusted characters, but in falling in love they come fully into who they’re meant to be and it was lovely to watch.

 

As I previously mentioned, Because of Miss Bridgerton is a prequel of sorts to the beloved Bridgerton series.  It easily stands on its own, but there are some incredibly fun callbacks to the Bridgerton series.  From the Mallet of Death to the appearance of a couple of jovial (if slightly dim) Berbrookes to the behavior of the wonderful Bridgerton and Rokesby siblings, there’s enough in Because of Miss Bridgerton to satisfy Brigerton fans while not overtaking the story.  All in all, I had a blast reading Billie and George’s book – it’s bright, fun, and has all the charm I’ve come to expect from Ms. Quinn’s writing.  I devoured Because of Miss Bridgerton in one sitting and my only complaint is that I have to wait to read the next Rokesbys book, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband.

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text 2017-04-30 19:18
Reading progress update: I've read 22%.
The White Queen - Philippa Gregory
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review 2017-04-30 04:33
Beastly Bones: A Jackaby Novel - William Ritter

 

 

 

 

Back to New Fiddleham, New England with Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R.F. Jackaby, supernatural investigator. From shape shifters disguised as kitten-fish to a dig for dinosaurs and a great of suspicious deaths, this book has a lot going on. But, in the end, it all ties together.

 

I like Abigail, she is smart and strong and also a bit unsure of herself. Jackaby is a bit crazy, but still a good-hearted person. I listened to the audio of this book and enjoyed the narrator's voice. I noticed things about the writing that didn't stand out as much when I read the first book. Abigail speaks in alliteration often... very often. It is sort of funny, for instance, at one point she talks about another character having a "propensity for peddling pilfered goods." Once I noticed this, it made me smile every time she did it.

 

This is a fun series, and I will probably read the next one... eventually. :)

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review 2017-04-30 02:56
Pleasantly surprised
Heart of Deception - Taylor Chase
Anger rose to the fore, and he pulled away from her. "Nothing has changed. You still want to rule me."
Her eyes went black when he thwarted her, a darkness that could devour him. Then a small flame flickered in their depths. Silent laughter. "Maybe I want you so much because I can't rule you."
"That won't stop you from trying."
"Or you from resisting." Her lips curved, the small taunting smile mocking herself as well as him. "Are you afraid of losing?"
"No." A lie to add to all the other lies. Already too much had changed because of her.
"Then savor the struggle, my rebel." Viv laughed openly now. Her gleaming eyes invited him to join in the mockery.
 


This story reminded me that writing is a craft and when, it seems, authors are given time to research and develop their stories, they can transport you to different worlds. What a hidden gem this turned out to be. 

The suspense/mystery storyline is more the focus than the romance; in fact, our leads have an instant attraction and later use the word love a bit out of the blue. But what a mystery storyline it was, there is a plot to poison Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots. Christopher Marlowe makes an appearance along with others as the hero's family is jailed for suspected treason. Our hero leaves the war in Netherlands and meets up with his friend (epic bromance complete with watery eyes, hugs, and friendship flashbacks) to try and find out who set his family up. I'm not going to lie, the cast of characters is large, complete with code names, and the tangled weave is difficult to follow and unravel but dang if it didn't interest me. 

Even though the story starts off and initially seems to want to be from the hero, the heroine steals the spotlight and thunder. The backstories going on here, y'all! It almost felt like the heroine's part was first written for a male character and the author decided to switch it up and create one badass woman; one of the most real in her honesty, sexual desires, and sense of self. This was published 20yrs ago and it makes me want to weep with how many written heroines today fall very short of her. 

This story has a fair bit of violence and I kind of want to call this a medium erotic, it's not the focus of the story but the sex scenes are descriptive and naughtily hot but not in the tone of cheap porn. This had a very All Through the Night by Connie Brockway feel to me, probably why I liked it. 

Anyway, the focus in the mystery/suspense, the cast of characters gets a bit wide, fairly quick romantic relationship development, the end wraps up a bit quickly (the mystery was doled out fairly slowly only to have the players and explanations throw out in a rush), and a character with a paranormal (psychic) ability added very late in the game. However, this was very well written and the depth of the main characters, especially the heroine, was amazing. If you ever come across this book, snatch it up.

*I just saw that the author wrote a book featuring the character with a paranormal ability, so maybe not so randomly throw in as much as series bait.
 
 

 

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