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Search tags: sweet-but-not-clean
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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 2017-10-05 22:50
Book review: Hot Winter Nights: A Racy Regency Christmas Collection
Hot Winter Nights - Tammy Andresen,Amy Rose Bennett,Heather Boyd,Dawn Brower,Amanda Mariel,Nina Mason,Christina McKnight,Lauren Smith

Lovely Christmastide stories from start to finish! I loved how each story described the Holidays in its own unique way and yet they shared one unique trait. It was like partaking of one grand feast only at different locations. 
I think what’s best about reading collections is that even if you don’t love one story you can always jump to the next one without breaking pace (or your budget) but always ending up feeling satisfied with your read. 
I read all the stories in this set and I’ll be honest, some had a much more complete storyline as well as complex plot and characters for such short stories I had to rate them higher than others; however that Christmasy and romantic feeling was consistent through and through each one of them. So in short, if you are in the mood for a spicy Christmas read that will get you ready for the Holidays, then this set is your fix. 

** I received this book from one of the authors 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. ** 

 

 

To celebrate the release of this must-read anthology, the authors are holding a giveaway. The grand prize is an e-book of Hot Winter Nights, plus one other book by each of the eight authors (that’s nine free books, romance fans!). Two copies of Hot Winter Nights as second and third prizes.

The giveaway ends Oct. 10, so enter now so you don’t miss out.

 

Check out the Release Day Blitz and Giveaway link here: 

http://joread.booklikes.com/post/1604951/hot-winter-nights-a-racy-regency-christmas-collection-release-day-blitz-and-giveaway

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review 2017-06-12 23:09
ARC Review and Goodreads Giveaway: Blackmailing the Bad Girl by Nina Croft
Blackmailing the Bad Girl - Nina Croft

Set in England, billionaire Nik Masterton is out to get the woman that took not only his money but also a piece of his heart. Summer Delaney has learned her lesson and promises to lead a better. Unfortunately the man she stole from wants has re-entered her life and it appears the new life she envisioned will have to wait.

This was a sweet and charming, yet totally hot and sexy second chance story. I loved the way Nik and Summer got to get reacquainted with each other because even though they got really, really close *wink wink* to get each other out of the other’s system –you can imagine how well that worked- they took their sweet time to start with the actual “romance.” They were both funny, witty, hard-headed, and protective of family and friends. Loved the chemistry and the dynamic they each had with secondary characters. I haven't read the first one in the series but I will soon remedy that and of course I'll continue the series and will read more by this author.

*** 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.***

 

 

Enter the Goodreads* giveaway here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/239366-blackmailing-the-bad-girl

 

*Must be a Goodreads member to enter

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review 2017-05-24 07:41
Review 4/5 stars: Lord of Chance (Rogues to Riches, #1) by Erica Ridley
Lord of Chance (Rogues to Riches Book 1) - Erica Ridley

This is sort of a re-release since it first appeared in the Scandal’s Daughters Anthology, but fret not as this “is an expanded ‘Author Edition.’"

Charming and complex characters, well-told story, and not your usual rags to riches plot make this a delightful and engaging story. Anthony was a gambler down on his luck and up to his neck in debt when he met Charlotte. They were both fleeing from a dark past at the same time that they were looking for a different, brighter future. Unfortunately a play of words in a foreign place bound them together into marriage and their hopes at a brighter future just tumbled down.

The romance itself was emotive and believable. They grew to care for each other over a feasible amount of time to the point of willing to sacrifice their love for the sake of each other’s happiness. If anything, the only thing I didn’t find plausible is that they spent a lot of time together, alone, in a bedchamber, and there was no mention of any kind of sexual frustration. There were plenty of good reasons why the deed wasn’t done but I would have thought some tension would have been more palpable. Other than that, I loved their relationship because more than anything they were friends and they supported each other, even when they could become pariahs in society.

The settings were rich in detail and the story had that fluidity that I love because it keeps me engrossed in the story. I also loved that it dealt with deep themes such as addiction and prejudice yet it kept a light side and didn’t turn into a sob-inducing story. I do believe addiction is a tough subject and even harder to overcome however I’ve also witnessed that given the right circumstances and for the right reasons a person can actually beat it. That’s one of the reason I don’t think Anthony’s recovery was that far-fetched and it could very much have happened quickly indeed.

Twists and turns and the fact the story definitely did not have the ending I expected make this a most delightful and entertaining read and I definitely recommend it to those looking for a well-told, unique, 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 2017-05-16 23:09
Arc Review: Jane Grey: A Homage to the Brontë Classics (The Brontë Brothers #1) by Nina Mason
Jane Grey (The Brontë Brothers Book 1) - Nina Mason

 

I’ll start by saying that Jane Eyre happens to be my least favorite classic historical romance. So when offered the chance to read this story I was truly intrigued and couldn’t pass the opportunity to read it.

 

Well, Jane Grey was a great romance story indeed! I don’t want anyone to think it wasn’t based on my rating. I did enjoy it from start to finish, true, however I also did have a few issues with the story itself. At any rate, I still recommend it to any fan of the original and to those looking for a worthwhile happy ending.

 

Matthew and Jane have a lot in common and that’s obviously what drew them together. They were both hopeless romantics to the point they could both recite poems by heart and Matthew was a painter hoping to revive his then-dormant muse.

At the start of the story, Matthew was hurt and vulnerable, thus he gave me the impression of just having fallen in love with the idea of the perfect woman that could possibly be Jane as opposed to the woman herself. As the story progressed and they got to know each other better, his attitude left no doubt in my mind that he had in fact fallen for Jane as a woman so I was happy on that end.

 

Their relationship was endearing and heart-warming. The story was heart-wrenching at times and hopeful at others. The descriptive settings made me feel I was part of the story itself and the writing was as beautiful as ever when it comes to this author.

 

As for Jane, she was sweet and considerate, but to an almost maddening point in my opinion. Most of the time she showed strength of character and common sense but when it came to trusting unworthy people or when it came to continue on the path she had already set her mind to follow she was inconstant and mutable. That whiplash attitude was one of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy the story more.

Also, the story is set in a place where propriety is not as strict as it would have been in England at the time but I still thought Jane didn’t come up to scratch as a governess to some extent. I’m not going to give specific examples because I don’t want to give spoilers but suffice to say her pupil would act incredibly unlady-like and Ms. Gray would just stand there and do nothing. I know, I’ve been told I need to let go of certain things when it comes to historicals but I just can’t!

 

As I said earlier dear reader, it IS a lovely story, full of passion, regrets, ambition, and true love. If this sounds like your cup of tea then I’m sure you are going to love it. 

 

*** 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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