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review 2017-10-21 07:43
Review: Tempted at Christmas by Kate Pearce, Jane Charles, and Elizabeth Essex
Tempted at Christmas - Kate Pearce,Elizabeth Essex,Jane Charles

I had the pleasure of reading the The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor series and I loved it so much that of course I couldn’t let the chance of reading these stories pass. Although the stories pretty much take place in the same setting they are not wholly intertwined so there is no specific order in which to read the books. 

The first story, Elizabeth Essex's A Merry Devil was a mix of a second-chance romance with a thrilling adventure. I particularly liked the way the relationship between the main couple developed and the little detail about the hero’s abilities was hidden until the end that also explained much about his past. 
The second story was And a Pigeon in a Pear Tree by Kate Pearce. A mistaken identity of sorts created the perfected setting for a romantic tale where the hero falls for the woman that sees the man and not the title for the first time ever. If only he could forget about the responsibilities that said title represented. This one had me laughing out loud and even though I kind of saw that end coming I was still hoping it ended the way it did. 
Last but not least was Jane Charles' His Mistletoe Miss. This was a sweet, clean story –no steamy or graphic sexy scenes- and the one with the most spirits and magical aspects. I thought the enchanted mistletoe was a lovely Christmas touch and the fact that it kept flourishing at the most unexpected times kept the story light. 

All in all in was great read and I absolutely recommend it. I will continue reading the series and will read more from each author. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book 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 2017-10-19 21:41
At the Christmas Wedding by Caroline Linden, Maya Rodale, and Katharine Ashe
At the Christmas Wedding - Caroline Linden,Maya Rodale,Katharine Ashe

Review for Snowy Night with a Duke by Katharine Ashe. ~ I will review for the other two as I finish them ~ 
Such a sweet tale! Horace and Charlotte haven’t seen each other in over two years. She knew her love for him wasn’t a good thing so she decided to run away to America. Now that’s she’s returned and is snowbound in a country inn with the man she’s tried to avoid for as long as she can remember, sparks start flying and romance is no longer denied. 
I loved the dialogue between the two. At times they argued like children but at the same time they sounded like a couple of old friends reacquainting themselves with each other. 
When the story started I couldn’t understand the reason Horace acted the way he did but as the story progressed and everything was explained I was able to sympathize with his predicaments. I also loved that Charlotte was sort of different in a way that I’ve never read before and in a way that was cleverly adapted to the romance aspect of the story. The ending had me having all the feels and I think it was the most endearing part of the book. If you’re looking for a charming, sweet, yet passionate and steamy story with a Christmas theme then this is the book for you. 

** This is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

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review 2017-10-19 06:41
The Bride Who Got Lucky by Janna MacGregor
The Bride Who Got Lucky (The Cavensham Heiresses) - Janna MacGregor

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

Ever since his father coldly rejected him in front of his peers, Nick has closed himself off from any semblance of love. He devotes himself to his business and stays clear from any marriage market shenanigans. 
Blaming herself for not helping her dear friend Lena, Emma is determined to never marry and provide women with an opportunity to be at least somewhat self-sufficient. 
Nick and Emma have danced around a friendship for years but when reputations are on the line, they find themselves forced into a situation they never wanted. Or so they thought.
 
Second in the Cavensham Heiresses series, The Bride Who Got Lucky stars Nick and Emma. They were introduced in the first and while the author starts us off from a situation that developed there, new readers would still have no problem starting here. You'd miss how Emma’s cousin and husband came together who are featured here but otherwise the author does a great job showing how Emma and Nick's friendship started to develop. 

With a deep sigh, he lay on his back and draped an arm across his forehead. His other rested beside hers.
She dared to slide her hand over his, and he wove their fingers together. Her fear gradually receded little by little like the outgoing tide.
 

 
What I loved the most about this story was the beginning friendship that Nick and Emma shared. Right off the bat they captured me with their sensual tension that blazed from their back and forth conversations and crackling physical closeness. They danced around each other beautifully in the beginning that had me highly anticipating their journey. The resolve came much too quickly for me as their relationship started full steam ahead at around the 30% mark and fairly soon rushed to a higher sexual degree. I was settled in for a more gradual build and was a bit disappointed in how the heroine became pretty sexual and drove the focus to bedroom scenes instead of teasing tension filled hesitant touches. The bedroom scenes were well written but they became the focus for too long and took away from their friendship and the plot that brings them together. 
 
"Sometimes, if you're lucky, a woman consumes you." 
 
Nick was a pretty great hero, he gives Emma a book!, and the opening prologue where his father crushes their relationship provided a solid base for his contained, bury the pain personality. He had moments of sexiness and caring but also paled a bit in comparison to the deeper flushed out Emma. Emma feels deep guilt over not being there for her bestfriend when her husband was abusing her. This leads to her having a fear of marrying (an often used trope but felt real and believable here) and wanting to open a lending bank to women. Her thoughts and feelings she relays and conversations she struggles to be understood in will have you joining in with her frustration. She's a believable regency feminist who is fearful and angry about what happened to her friend and how she doesn't really have any recourse for justice or protect herself from the same fate. 
 
While I liked all the themes and relationships happening here, there was also a bit of a disjointed feel to all the storylines. I couldn't help but feel that a feminist heroine box was being checked and the heavy sexual tone and number of sexual scenes not only disappointed me in the lack of time given to a more tension filled build-up, it also seemed to overly cover up the justice for the bestfriend thread. The heavy emotion from domestic violence and how it affected Emma and the women of the time doesn't get its due and the danger from the villain wasn't able to be fully felt because of how it is pushed to the side, in what seems to be, in favor of more sex scenes. 
 
The writing veered at times to flowery, I would have liked more tension build-up, and the ending was a bit too pat. However, the author's ability to write great chemistry between her leads and such wonderful multifaceted relationships between family members and friends will definitely have me continuing on in the series. She has introduced a couple secondary characters that I can't wait to see how their story unfolds. 
 
His darkness gave way to her, like the night to the day.
She had found him and brought him home.

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review 2017-10-18 04:58
Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
With This Christmas Ring - Manda Collins

Sweet yet emotional and passionate story. Tie-in for both of the author’s Studies in Scandal and Lords of Anarchy however it can definitely be read as a stand alone. 

The last person Merry wanted to see was her former fiancé however she was willing to do everything within her power to give her dead friend’s child the family she deserved. Alex never understood the reason Merry jilted him and when she appeared at his door seeking his cousin, he knew that was the perfect opportunity to find answers and perhaps ask for a second chance at love. 

I very much liked that the story started with Merry as a take-charge, brave, and intelligent woman however as the story progressed her attitude sort of changed and she started to sound meek, or perhaps insecure, and that gave me a"what-happened-to-her?" kind of sense. It wasn’t too bad but it still took away from the overall enjoyment of the story. 
Her chemistry with Alex was nonetheless well-balanced. He was sweet, honorable, and passionate. He was a man of his word who respected family and friends immensely, particularly his grandmother given that she was the one who had taken care of him since he was a child. He never pushed Merry to do anything she didn’t want and allowed her time to think and answer all of his questions. I think both their characters were well rounded in the sense that we get to understand what got them to be where they are and how much they deserved their HEA. 
I’m not so sure what to think about the villains, though. One of the arcs sounded inconclusive and even implausible and the other one, well, I’m still wondering about that one. Still, the main romantic arc was what made this story worth my time and I do recommend it to anyone looking for a Christmas romantic story. 

** I received this book from the author 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 2017-10-12 15:58
A Regency Christmas Treasury by Deborah Hale
A Regency Christmas Treasury: (Box Set) - Deborah Hale

 

The greatest of blessings happen when one isn't looking for them to appear.  A Regency Christmas Treasury is a fine example of such a gift.  Stories laced with emotions that overwhelm the heart and the beauty of a sentimental season make for a cool stocking stuffer.

 

Her Mistletoe Kiss takes two lonely hearts in need of care and provides the right setting for a surprising love affair.

 

Snowbound With The Baronet takes a journey into the past.  Where shared fates of regret and broken hearts are about to be brought to task.

 

Scandal Takes a Holiday is a tempting bundle of delight.  Humor, heart and match making lead to an emotional journey that ends up feeling just right. 

 

Deborah Hale has imagineered a wicked blend of tempting sentiment and heartwarming second chances with this magical bundle of holiday romance.(4.5 stars)

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