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review 2018-12-12 22:05
Love with a Notorious Rake (Men of Wollstonecraft Hall #3) by Karyn Gerrard
Love with a Notorious Rake - Karyn Gerrard

Love with a Notorious Rake - Karyn Gerrard 

 

You now that feeling when you already like an author's work and then you read their newest and you're totally reminded of why you like it? This was a perfect example of it for me. 

With a course hovering over his head, Aidan has spent his entire adult life in debauchery. His last stint lands him in the care of Cristyn's father's sanatorium, where she acts as kind of a physician's aid to her father. He and Cristyn form a friendship that eventually transforms into more but because of Aiden's reservations they end up parting ways.

I loved Cristyn's openness and candor. She still behaved as a proper lady however that never stopped her from acknowledging her feelings, speaking her mind, and demanding the respect she knew she deserved. 
I found Aiden's true feelings touching and the perfect basis for his addictions. There was honesty in what he did and as a character he grew immensely, trying to make up for past mistakes, and by taking up on his family's radical ideas of helping those in need. He was frank about his mistakes and totally owned them. I particularly loved how he handled his association with an old paramour, which in the eyes of his society would have been total ruin, possibly even worse. 

Other characters from previous books make appearances here giving us glimpses of Aidan as part of a loving family. It also provided a sort of epilogue for the other men of Wollstonecraft stories, which I always consider a treat. Overall, I thought it was an endearing, charming, and unique story. I would recommend this series and author to anyone that enjoys history along with their romance.

* I received a copy of this story at no cost to me; this is my honest opinion and in no way was it influenced by the author or publisher. *

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review 2018-11-02 04:56
First Earl I See Tonight (Debutantes Diaries #1) by Anna Bennett
First Earl I See Tonight - Anna Bennett

First Earl I See Tonight - Anna Bennett 

 

Fiona seeks out the help of Grey, the Earl of Ravenport, because she can’t forget how he very gracefully “rescued” her after she made a fool of herself by tripping in the middle of a ballroom. In her mind he’s an honorable man that would at least listen to her plight and with any luck she could convince him to marry her. I had some trouble connecting to her in the beginning because more than trying to be in good terms with him (after all, SHE was asking HIM a huge favor) she tended to correct, challenge, and even berate him. And what did he do? He found her attitude “refreshing” ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I don’t know, I’ve never thought rudeness a refreshing trait but what do I know… Fiona was a romantic at heart so I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she acted that way because she thought she was going to marry for other reasons than love.


Gray was an honorable man that just happened to be cynical about love, and with good reasons. He was not exactly surly but I wouldn’t call him the life of the party either. His parents left his life and earldom in shambles and the few people he’d come to love and trust ended up betraying him. But even with all that baggage he was still considerate and caring. Once he realized Fiona and he made a good match he took upon himself to make her feel at the very least admired and protected. Of course it didn’t take long for either one of them to admit being in love and once they did I thought Gray did a wonderful job at declaring his love.


As far as the blackmail, I was glad Fiona was smart enough to open up to Gray and that he didn’t act like she had betrayed him as well. I think they both acted accordingly and to the best of their abilities given the situation. I didn’t like much how they took care of the blackmailer because to me his punishment was kind of vague and left me wondering if he’d come back after our couple in later books. All in all it was an enjoyable read and I recommend it for anyone in search of a light read.

 

*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 2018-10-16 00:28
My review of How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan & Joanna Shupe
How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sophie Jordan,Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe,sophie jordan 

 

For starters, DUKES! I don’t care how many make-believe dukes have been created, I’ll read them for as long as they keep writing them. Secondly, Christmas! I’ll admit that I prefer to read dark, scary, paranormal stories during the month of October, but c’mon, who can say no to Christmas stories, specially when they are written by some of your favorite authors and they all come together in one pretty package!
And that actually brings me to say that thirdly, it’s freaking Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe, what?! If you haven’t read books by them then let me tell you, you are missing out on some serious awesomeness. And in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a super fan of all of these ladies so forgive me if I gush too much.

 

Tessa Dare’s Meet Me in Mayfair was clever, funny, and oh, so romantic. It probably is one of the most charming and memorable “date” nights I have ever read.

Sarah MacLean’s The Duke of Christmas Present is a second-chance love story. There were some serious tug-at-your-heart scenes, specially when the heroine returns “home.” It was kind of hard for me to understand the reasoning behind both the hero and heroine’s actions but once I got to the end, everything made complete sense.

 

Sophie Jordan’s Heiress Alone was another great example of how chemistry between hero and heroine affects a story, even if it’s a short one and even if the romance happens rather quickly.

 

Joanna Shupe’s Christmas in Central Park had me worrying and suffering along with the poor heroine, and had me wanting to slap the hero upside the head for acting like a spoiled brat that just had to have his way. Their love story may had been full of funny and cringe-worthy moments but the way their forgive and reach their HEA made it all worth it.

 

In short, four different settings, four different kinds of delicious dukes, four great Christmas stories, and one happy reader that recommends this set to all historical romance lovers. Even if Christmas is not your cup of tea, the romance alone make this a perfect read. 4.5 stars.

 

*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 2018-09-19 02:16
Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies by Shana Galen & Theresa Romain
Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain

Mrs. Brodie's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - Shana Galen,Theresa Romain 

 

I'd describe this duo as one of those that give you an AWWWW! feeling and that feeling stays with you long after you put the book down. Both stories are about second chances. 

The Way to A Gentleman's Heart by Theresa Romain stars Marianne, a lady of society-turned cook, and James, a man with plenty to regret but willing to make amends and hoping for forgiveness. I always find this author’s stories kind of hard to understand in the sense that I don’t connect with the characters right away. At first I thought James had hurt Marianne too much and grueling for the rest of his life wouldn’t be enough to deserve forgiveness, however once Marianne’s musing put their relationship in a different light and she realized he was a worthy man I too realized just as much. 

Counterfeit Scandal by Shana Galen intertwines characters from No Earls Allowed, book 2 in her The Survivors series but you don’t need to read that book first in order to read this one. Bridget and Caleb were forced to part ways at a moment when Bridget needed him the most. Fast forward several years later and Caleb seems to be the only one to help her find what she once lost but loves the most. I liked this story a lot. The author was able to pack plenty of character development, emotions, action, and redemption in only a few pages. The fact that Caleb was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Bridget was kind of the cherry on top. 

I think this set perfectly represents what each author is about so if anyone's thought about trying something by either one I encourage you to give these novellas a go. 

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 2018-07-17 22:41
Lord of Secrets (Rogues to Riches #5) by Erica Ridley
Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley 

Lord of Secrets - Erica Ridley 

~3.5 stars ~

As an heir to a barony, Heath knows he must choose the right woman to marry. She’ll have to be a proper lady of a good family, and will never, ever give motive for scandal or gossip. So what if he’s not in love with the lady, right?

Heath in a way reminded of Mr. Darcy although not as brooding or surly. Honor bound to a fault, his first priority was always his family and his duty to the title. As the problem-solver of the ton, he considered his responsibility to keep his peers out of the gossip columns and pursue those that dared taint their “good” name. This attitude of him grated me because how could anyone be so honorable yet try to cover up other people’s mistakes. To me that was hypocritical. Fortunately, love outweighed any preconceived notions of honor and he found his true calling.
Nora had a secret of her own that if uncovered it could not only ruin her but also ruin her chances at love. I thought she was sweet, smart, and witty however I could totally see why she didn’t think highly of herself. It made me a happy reader when Heath saw past all of her shortcomings and focused on what mattered most. Their romance was engaging and slow-burning with the right amount of tension which made it feel believable.

Although there weren’t any tug-at-your-heart moments it was definitely enjoyable and a good continuation to the series. I recommend this series to anyone that likes endearing yet complex characters, funny moments, and good romance. 

Thanks to Negalley for providing a copy of this story for review.

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