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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 2017-10-20 17:14
Cold as Ice
The Hunter - Kerrigan Byrne

I hate that I am so late writing this review. It's in no way a reflection on this book, because I loved it. Christopher Argent is the real deal. He is in every way a lethal assassin. Yes he really does almost kill Millie. But he can't do it. Something about her, he just can't. They form a bond that is terribly inconvenient to Christopher, he's a damaged soul who has vowed not to love anyone or anything since he lost his mother in such a horrible way. He is rich beyond calculation, has a fearsome reputation, is at the top of his game as an assassin, but inside he's a prisoner. He is truly a tortured hero in every way. I love tortured heroes. I love dangerous heroes. I love assassins. And he's a redhead. Bingo! It's Christmas.

Millie is a great heroine. She's strong and intelligent and loving and determined. She's able to work past her fears or rejection and rightfully fear of being with a cold, ruthless man like Christopher, to try to reach his heart. He's the man for her and she knows it very quickly. The question is how to conquer his arctic heart and soul.

Kerrigan Byrne knows how to write a spicy romance that will burn the pages up. She doesn't disappoint in this book. However, because Christopher is so damaged, it takes a while for them to get intimate and even longer before it's truly satisfying. I liked how she shows the ice melting around his heart, and how it's a painful process, much like when one has frostbite and hypothermia and must be warmed slowly. Millie is so good about giving Christopher space, but not giving up on him. She also has some wounds of the soul, but in contrast, she has gotten healing for her wounds. And she has her adorable son who anchors her and gives her a reason for being.

The action is very good and the villains are very evil. There are some quite violent moments. Nothing gory, but it's done in a way that cements the authenticity of the dangerous world that Argent lives in, and the seriousness of the thread that Millie is facing. I loved seeing Farah and Dorian from The Highwayman, and we get to meet the heroine for the next book The Highlander. I confess I read that one first, so I'm excited to look back and see where Mena came from. Her story is very sad. I'm glad she gets her happy ending in the next book.

If you're a historical romance fan and you're not reading this series, you need to rectify that immediately. This is a great series. I've loved every book I've read. Dangerous heroes and strong, intelligence, loving heroines in an authentic historical setting with plenty of action and intrigue. Oh and some hot loving. What more can you ask for?

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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 2017-10-18 05:55
Review: Wed to a Spy (All the Queen's Spies #1) by Sharon Cullen
Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel - Sharon Cullen

Simon and Aimee are pretty much set to spy on each other and before they knew it, they are married. I am a super fan of the marriage of convenience and forced marriage genre so I was happy that I had the chance to read this story. Sadly it was not what I expected, not in the romance sense anyway. 

The romance between Aimee and Simon was too forced. I get that they had to marry because it was an order by the queen but their relationship was only beginning to simmer when the story was over. Clearly, there was a mutual attraction at the start of their marriage and what supposedly was a fondness for each other but where was that fondness even coming from as they were strangers? Simon sounded like a real character with personal commitments and frustrations. Aimee in comparison sounded like a lost puppy looking for a new owner. 

There are lost of intrigue since the story takes place at court so there is suspense and drama. If anything that intrigue was the most engrossing aspect of the story. When one of the characters at court is murdered, Simon and Aimee had to learn to trust each other in order to survive the rebellion that takes place at the castle. All of this happens in a relative short period of time and while interesting it still lacked that WOW effect that I would have loved to find in a novel about spies. It wasn’t a terrible read but it definitely needed more, specially in the romantic department.

** 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 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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