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review 2019-07-10 06:12
Married to the Rake (The Wallflower Brides Book 1) by Samantha Holt
Married to the Rake (The Wallflower Brides #1) - Samantha Holt

 

 

I love Samantha Holt. She gives suspense a sense of humor by giving heartache a heart. Chloe and Waverly have a situation on their hands. How do they end a feud between the families they both love? Could LOVE have been the answer all along? Married to the Rake is an uphill battle that proves to be worth the climb.

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review 2019-07-04 21:30
Secrets lead to misunderstandings
Letter From a Rake: Destiny Romance - Sasha Cottman

Through all the misunderstandings and secrets, this was quite a journey for Millie and Alex. With the help of family with gentle and not so gentle pushes, these two figure out what their hearts truly want, despite their flaws. I enjoyed this story as well as all the characters. It was interesting with all the little tidbits of Indian culture thrown in. I loved how Janine Haynes brought the characters to life.

I received this audio as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2019-06-13 10:29
An American-Latina Cinderella story and a whirlwind soap opera
The Perfect Date - Holly L Lorincz,Evelyn Lozada

I thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s (MacMillan) for providing me an early ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

Although I don’t normally look at the reviews of a book in detail before I read it (I do to decide if I’m interested in reading the book or not, but I don’t want to spoil my enjoyment), because I update my current reading on several book sites, I can’t help but see what the general ratings for the book I’m about to start reading look like. Let me tell you I was alarmed when I saw how many 1 star reviews this book had. I was even more concerned because, based on the description, I had agreed to participate in a Blog tour, and I was worried about having made a serious mistake and having to vow out of it. Luckily, I enjoyed the book (yes, it’s far from perfect, but I wasn’t expecting perfection), and I wonder if having read the reviews and getting a clear idea of what had upset other readers didn’t prepare me for what was to come and helped me not go into it with false expectations.

The cover, I think, can make people expect a “sweet” or “cute” romance. Well, that, it is not. The description hints at the personality of Angel (perhaps more accurately than that of Duke, whom many readers didn’t like at all), but readers might have expected a more standard romance, where the romantic side of things is the main story. I agree with the readers who said this novel has a lot of “drama”. Oh, yes, it does. It is like a melodrama on steroids, rough around the edges, and it feels like a fairly extreme soap opera. People wear their hearts (and rage) on their sleeves, they don’t do stiff-upper-lip or measured emotions, and they throw themselves headlong into life. It might be because I’m Spanish and we are supposed to be “red-blooded” (what other colour our blood would be, I have no idea), “passionate”, and “hot tempered” and those attributes (I don’t think they are always helpful, but I refuse to call them defects) are also expected of Latinos in general, and because I’ve watched and enjoyed Central and South-American soap operas, but I did like the oomph of Angel, the main character, even if she was not always consistent (but hey, I’ve never found characters in romantic novels or chick-lit entirely consistent). In some ways, her part of the story has strong elements of women’s fiction, even if the style of writing is different. A young Puerto-Rican woman, a single mother from a young age, she’s had to fight against the odds to try to make a living for herself and her little boy, Jose, who unfortunately suffers from asthma. Working two jobs at the same time, studying all hours to get her nursing qualification, and relying on her friend Gabriela, the hairdresser with a heart of gold (the interaction between the women sometimes made me think of Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes, minus the Southern gentility), being subject to a #metoo kind of situation (well, more than one), she is pushed and pulled in all directions but tries to remain strong and keep her moral compass. Yes, she loses her cool every so often, but I cheered her on more than once.

Hers is a Cinderella story, indeed, one in a more soap operatic style than a gentle fairy tale (not that fairy tales are truly gentle), with over the top villains who seem to be villains just because they are (no justification or exploration of the baddies. In olden times, I’m sure one of them would have worn a big moustache he’d twirl, and the other one would have been a proper witch), and where Cinderella is far from the passive and pretty young girl just waiting for the prince to come rescue her (she actually kicks him out more than once). The love interest, Caleb, “The Duke”, has his own Cinderella story, as they share in their humble origins (although he is African-American rather than Puerto-Rican), but he’s now living the aftermath of the Cinderella story, and realising that the people who surround him are not true friends, and money cannot buy the really important things. Many readers say he is not likeable because he thinks only of himself (well, yes, mostly, although he shows concern for Angel’s boy, puts his own career at risk for him, and he is also outraged when he reads about the lack of appropriate asthma treatment for children from diverse ethnic background). We do learn about his circumstances, he is put through the wringer in the novel, and his character bears some resemblance to the rakes readers of Georgian and Victorian literature are so fond of. (Perhaps he lacks some of the charm, but that might be in part because we see him from his own point of view at times, rather than what tends to happens with the rogues, who tend to remain attractive, mysterious and dangerous men, whose motivations we know little about). He helps save the day in the end, and, although he will not rate among my favourite male protagonists, he isn’t the worst either.

The book includes many side-stories —I’ve mentioned the issue of the lack of treatments for Jose, and the novel makes a serious point about the lack of investment in research, by the pharmaceutical companies, of appropriate treatment for diverse populations. Yes, we are not all young white males and our bodies do not respond the same as theirs to the medication; and we also have difficult family relations, grief, sexual harassment, alcohol and drug abuse… — and it is set in the world of sports (baseball), and of celebrity culture. Considering Lozada’s credentials, I am not surprised she has a lot to say on the subject, and the baseball players’ wives (a bit like the footballers’ wives in other countries) interactions rang true. There are comedic moments, although they are far from subtle and some people might not find them funny, but if you let yourself go along for the ride and get into the spirit of it, this is a fun read, touching and inspiring as well.

The book is narrated in the third-person, alternating the points of view of Angel and The Duke. As I said, I read an early ARC copy of the novel, and I noticed readers complained about there not being a clear distinction between the one point of view and the other, but expect this will have been corrected in the final version of the novel, as will, I hope, some awkward Spanish phrasing at the beginning of the book.

Although this is not a standard romantic novel, the ending does live up to the genre (wish-fulfilment and all) and yes, I enjoyed it. If you’re easily offended or are looking for a genteel and/or gentle romance, this is not the book for you. I’d recommend reading through the sample and being prepared for a full-on whirlwind soap, that stretches the limits of credibility (and for some, perhaps, of good taste), and mixes a lot of other genres. If all that doesn’t scare you, give it a go! It will be a wild ride!

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review 2019-05-21 00:42
Have you ever read a Harlequin romance...
My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3) - J.L. Langley,Joseph Morton

well me neither, but I remember when I was a kid my mom loved them and so did the mom's of a few of my friends. I had a friend who also loved reading Harlequin romance novels and I remember her reading some of the novels from their regency romance collection and I imagine that those stories bore a strong resemblance to the stories of Ms. Langley's 'Sci-Regency' series and while I still have no interest in Harlequin's regency collection I am unapologetically a fan of this series.

 

For me each story has consistently gotten better. When I first read 'My Regelence Rake' several years ago I thoroughly enjoyed the game of chase played by Prince Colton and rake extraordinaire...Captain of the Guard, Sebastian Hastings are playing with one another and when it came across my radar that it was on audio well...you guessed it I was all in. Joseph Morton has narrated the first 3 books in this series and so far I've thoroughly enjoyed his narrations and the life he's breathed into these absolutely delightful Sci-fi Romance Adventure stories.

 

As Captain of the Guard Sebastian is responsible for the safety of the entire royal family and as things move forward in the mystery plot of this series between the planets Regelence, Englor and the IN (Interglactic Navy) the danger to the Regelence's royal family grows but too many questions are remain for anyone to be sure where the next threat will come from and one thing Sebastian knows for sure is that he takes his duties very seriously and none of the royal family will come to harm on his watch but especially not Prince Colton.

 

Meanwhile Colton's decided that the crush that he's nurtured for so many years is pointless because Sebastian's never going to notice him...but Colton's wrong because Sebastian's biggest problem is just how much he's noticed the young Prince and how much more he wants to notice.

 

I loved the relationship between these two it was nothing if not challenging for both of them but when you throw in a little interference from the royal parents it was also inevitable. 

 

The 'Sci-Regency' series is a light and enjoyable read. These are not the deep and complex plots of many sci-fi stories but stories meant to entertain and capture the readers imagination as the author takes you to new and unusual places such as Regelence and Englor.

 

Admittedly there are probably a number of inconsistencies and errors in these stories but for me these are stories that I read to enjoy, their what I would call a light read...maybe even a summer read or beach read or in this case a light listen. So when all is said and done if I'm looking to simply enjoy the story why would I go looking for mistakes and inconsistencies; it kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

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review 2019-05-10 22:31
Fantastic Historical Romance
Twice a Rake - Catherine Gayle

Twice A Rake is a fantastic historical romance by Catherine Gayle.  Ms. Gayle has delivered a book that is well-written and populated with a fantastic cast of characters.  Aurora loses her journal and hopes it is washed down the river and nobody can ever read it.  Niles has to marry and produce an heir.  When he finds Aurora's journal and reads the things she's written he keeps it.  Aurora and Niles' story is loaded with drama, humor, sizzle, action and suspense.  I enjoyed reading Twice A Rake and look forward to reading more from Catherine Gayle in the future.  

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