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review 2017-04-21 07:06
Arc Review: I Dared the Duke (The Wayward Wallflowers, #2) by Anna Bennett
I Dared the Duke - Anna Bennett

Second installment in The Wayward Wallflowers series but can easily be read as a standalone. Both Alex and Beth are unique characters in that he’s not what he’s allowed the ton to believe and she’s not the meek mouse he’s thought her to be. Although there is some sort of spark when they first meet there is no instant physical attraction, which I truly appreciated. I was glad to see their feelings blossomed from engaging in actual conversations and from daily interaction.

There was an easy and funny banter between the two that made their relationship feel real and believable. Even though the Duke behaved roguish and intimidating at times, Beth showed plenty of resolve and strength of character, both to resist his charms and later to help him overcome some personal issues.

There was however that little issue with the so-called “incidents”. The heart of the matter is that it appears someone was trying to hurt Alex. Instead of enlisting the help of professionals or at least gather more intelligence before jumping to conclusions he actually secluded himself into his old home with the person he said he loved the most. There is also Beth, who at the beginning of the story showed such wit and an agile mind but towards the end was pushing Ben to act recklessly and even use her as bait to uncover the villain. It was as if she was a completely different person than the woman at the beginning.


In short, I was hooked when the story started but not so much as the story progressed and quite frankly I was conflicted in how I felt when I finished it. I suppose it was still a good story but in my opinion it just didn’t deliver in the mystery aspect nor did it provide the ending I needed.
3.5 stars.

*** 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 2017-04-16 05:55
Gimme gimme that cracky fluff... aaahh!
Tall, Dark, and Deported (Dreamspun Desires) - Bru Baker

A tag team review with Sara

4.5 HEARTS--
And now I have another book to add to my top favorites Dreamspun Desires list!

I've been fluffed. Pour it all over my face, baby. Just watch me melt.



Mateus is a Portuguese botanist who is staying with his brother and pregnant sister-in-law on their orchard in Washington state. Mateus is helping with his family's failing orchard and wants to stay in America. Unfortunately, he has an expiring tourist visa and searched online for a scheme to stay in the country: go to Canada, get his visa stamped and reset and return to America for another 3 months. Sounds too good to be true?

It's because it is.

Luckily, older stoic boutique hotel auditor/ businessman Crawford is being forced to Canada for work. His boss is sending him to the chain's failing Vancouver hotel for the next two weeks... along with Crawford's ex-husband. The bitter divorce happened three years ago and he's still jaded from his cheating ex. He doesn't believe love exists.

Thanks to a plane delay in Seattle, love weary Crawford meets Mateus and the connection is imminent. They strike up a conversation and are just vibing off each other over Auntie Anne's pretzel nuggets out of all things. The delay becomes a cancelled flight and the new acquaintances are thrown together through a series of events. And events get crazier as an impromptu drive to the Canadian border becomes Mateus not being able to cross either side of the border.

Ring a ling ling, did someone call a knight in shining armor?

Crawford obviously heard the call and he rescues Mateus.

Older, jaded hero meets younger loyal family man who just wants to stay and help the orchard...

And then a fake marriage trope is added to help save the day.

Those tropes were a cracky fluff jackpot and I... ate... it... up!



Bru Baker wrote fleshed out main characters in Crawford and Mateus. She built a solid foundation by showcasing a glimpse of their daily lives. Crawford is a point where he's not exactly happy, his only family connection a brother and nephew he helped raise are going to move away. So there is nothing really holding him in Los Angeles. And Mateus wants to leave Portugal to help out with his only sibling's growing family. All the characters read like real people.

The cracky fluff button was engaged once the fake marriage to get a visa to stay in the USA came up. But reading how Crawford is, it worked. The two get married and thankfully the author showed the real side of marrying an immigrant...it's not as easy as they originally thought. The couple stays in Canada for two weeks due to Crawford's job. And we even get to experience his ex-husband, a good antagonist that didn't overtake the plot with obscene dramatics.

The bread and butter of the story is the undeniable, easy connection Crawford and Mateus have. The attraction is there and it's a slow burn. Crawford being a knight in shining armor tries to be noble and a gentleman. His heart is iced in the middle... good thing Mateus knows to make him melt.

There is only one sexy moment throughout the entire story. But the sexual tension was written strongly and was well paced. I lived for each kiss. Were there times that I wanted to knock Crawford in the back of the head? Yep... he's a stubborn one. And has bad Tim Hortons judgement. (I'm still trying not to hold it against him) Other than that, he's a dream guy, as is Mateus.

The story is split between Vancouver and Washington. And even when apart, they're still connected. And when the sexual tension finally comes to a melting point. Let's just say it was a swoon worthy moment.

And the last 5% of the story?

So damn romantic, I want to get drunk off the cracky fluff. *swoons* *gulps*




Recommended for fans of the Dreamspun Desires line, this is definitely not one to skip. Crawford and Mateus as a couple left a lasting impression from the Dreamspun Desires leading men I've read so far.

Not my first time reading this author, but I enjoy the way she writes her characters a lot. And if you're a fan of any of the tropes I mentioned, get ready for quality cracky fluff.

What a sweet treat!



A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-13 17:39
Review: Convenient Proposal to the Lady (Hadley's Hellions #3) by Julia Justiss
Convenient Proposal to the Lady - Julia Justiss

I’m in love with this series, not only because the so-called Hellions are more like gentlemen in disguise but because the author knows how to weave a solid and interesting plot with a good dose of romantic emotions.

The “Hellions” are labeled so because of some shenanigans of the past, but their life is different now and as politicians they are trying hard to better themselves and the society they live in. Ben for instance set out to warn Lady Alyssa as soon as he learned of the despicable plot that others planned to ruin her. He was an illegitimate son thus he knew what was like to be shunned in life and did not want that for her or anyone else.

I liked very much that Alyssa and Ben’s relationship was more than anything based on honesty and openness. That helped them learn each other’s fears, wants, dislikes, and dreams. So once it was time to move into the romantic spectrum of the relationship they both knew what they were walking into.

They both had demons to overcome, and in a way Alyssa’s approach to conquer them put me off. I also think it put a hinder in the romantic side of the story because it sounded as if she saw Ben as a savior rather than a lover. I suppose there was nothing wrong with that but I thought he deserved better. In the end I think they found common ground and they set out to find their own HEA, which is of course the point of it all.

*** 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 2017-04-06 16:53
Review: Courting Chaos (Dunaway's Daughters Book 2) by Lynne Barron
Courting Chaos (Dunaway's Daughters Book 2) - Lynne Barron

Second Installment in Dunaway’s Daughters series and set several years after the first one. It may be best to read the first one in order to fully enjoy and follow the pace of this one.
One thing I love about this author’s heroines is that they are all uniquely independent, astute, and unafraid to follow their own paths. There are so charismatic if not blindingly beautiful that even the most stubborn of men tend to fall prey to their captivating charms without a second thought about their physical appearance.
In the case of Phineas Griffith, the new Viscount Knighton, he was not only attracted to our heroine’s outward looks but also fascinated and even “terrified by her intelligence.” In the case of our heroine Harry O’Connell, I’m going to have to say so much intelligence hindered the romance and put a damper on the whole story.

I had some trouble following the fist half of the book. I believe there was too much talk, secrets, and misunderstandings that just made me keep frowning at the pages. Harry’s “oddities” made me wonder if she suffered from some kind of mental illness but that was never explained or even referred to in the story so I don’t think that was the case. The thing is that it was as if she suffered from some kind of OCD because she had a strict schedule and became extremely distressed if anyone disrupted it. Not only that, to me it was like she was using and hating Phineas for something he had yet done. On the other hand, it seemed the true purpose of her life was motivated by revenge and sentimentalism. I liked Harry’s street smarts and quick wit but I think it was that juxtaposition of being a stickler for doing things a certain way and then letting her emotions control her actions that got me confused and didn’t let me enjoy the story to the fullest.

Fast-forward to the second half and everything changes. Harry’s thoughts and actions become more aligned, and not because she grew as a character but because that’s where the arc got her. Either way, Phin and Harry start getting closer and the tone of the story moves to a more subtle yet exciting place. And of course the writing throughout was impeccable and the banter between H/h was nothing if not sexy and smart. I only wish the whole book would have focused more on both Phin and Harry as opposed to only one side of them.

3.5 stars.

*** 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 2017-03-30 06:30
Expect pure friends to lovers cowboy fluff and laughs with Two Cowboys and a Baby
Two Cowboys and a Baby (Dreamspun Desires Book 30) - BA Tortuga
Tag Team review with Sara

3.5 Hearts
--

"Wings?"
"Only if they don't make you poot. Buffalo sauce poots make the baby Jesus cry."
"Well sure, nothing rules out ass-fucking like buffalo poots. 'Cept maybe Taco Bell."

Expect pure friends to lovers cowboy fluff and laughs with Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga.

With a baby on the doorstep trope thrown on top!



No babies were harmed. Promise.


Set in Texas, this book features a little bull rider/cowboy with the nickname of Hoss (his real name is Wyatt Earp!) and his childhood best bud/digger/cowboy, Bradley. See Hoss is out of the closet and is painfully in love with straight best friend, even after his friend stopped talking to him after coming out to Bradley. After that year in high school, the two continued to go back to the way things were: being best friends.

Thing is all the time Hoss has pined for Bradley, if he looked a little closer, he might have noticed the same looks from Bradley.

Unrequited love fans out there? It's all fluffed out in the latest addition in the Dreamspun Desires line.



Giddy up the fluff!


The unrequited love with my straight best friend angle gets help from the unwanted baby plot. While the two cowboys share like feelings, they're two clueless to do anything about it. Thankfully, the little blonde baby girl on Hoss' doorstep helps bring them together.

The girl's mother just leaves her and Joanie, the adorable pet of Hoss, alerts her owner of the little bundle. Reading Hoss come to grips with his life changing as he knows it once the little girl arrives is hilarious. Hoss is a simple man whose only contact with babies are with baby farm animals.

So not the same.

But too funny.

Bradley, Hoss's #1, comes to the rescue as the two try to hunt down the little baby's birth mother. With the the help of the small town's Sheriff Pooter (I kid you not), Doc and Hoss's Momma and a whole slew of hilarious side characters. The country twang just oozes through this book's pores. I found myself charmed with it.




The romance doesn't happen immediately. And I definitely got the sense of the cowboys shared lives prior to the baby.

They sat together, arm to arm, not looking at each other. Then B reached out, twining their fingers together, holding on like they'd done this a thousand times.

Reading them slowly become a unit with the baby who Hoss didn't originally want, but now needs, is the magic for this title.

"Is this the way it normally happens with two guys, Hoss?"
"I'm usually the handjob in the barn type of guy, B. I've never been the type to be on love,so I don't know."
"I've been in love with you since high school. I don't know how the handjob in the barn even works."

It's not a smooth sailing; there is a big misunderstanding that provides a solid speed bump on their path to love. But the baby is the glue to making Hoss and Bradley stick.

And then there is the mega plot twist that took into into OTT-ville. Seriously, couldn't believe half of that happening in real life.

Thank goodness it's fiction, huh?

The crazy that gets twisted in, made for a fun read. Plus, it's why the Dreamspun line works for me. It's a good time that doesn't take itself too seriously while delivery cracky sweet romance.

The story isn't without minor issues but overall, the good outweighed the bad. It wasn't a life changing read, just something you can unplug your brain with.



Obligatory yeehaw!



A copy provided for an honest review.
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