The Vixen by Christi Caldwell

July 24, 2018

The Vixen by Christi Caldwell

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My rating: 5 out of 5 Roses
Series: Wicked Wallflowers Book 2
Publication Date: August 7, 2018

USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell pits a fiercely independent beauty against a devilish investigator.

Set apart by her ethereal beauty and fearless demeanor, Ophelia Killoran has always been a mystery to those around her—and a woman they underestimated. No one would guess that she spends her nights protecting the street urchins of St. Giles. Ophelia knows what horrors these children face. As a young girl, she faced those horrors herself, and she would have died…if not for the orphan boy who saved her life.

A notorious investigator, Connor Steele never expected to encounter Ophelia Killoran on his latest case. It has been years since he sacrificed himself for her. Now, she hires orphans from the street to work in her brother’s gaming hell. But where does she find the children…and what are her intentions?

Ophelia and Connor are at odds. After all, Connor now serves the nobility, and that is a class of people Ophelia knows firsthand not to trust. But if they can set aside their misgivings and work together, they may discover that their purposes—and their hearts—are perfectly aligned.

 

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Christi Caldwell continues to amaze!

Ophelia Killoran – the tough street rat with a will to survive and no love for the peerage.

Connor Steele – the orphan who got away from the streets and given a better life.

Their lives took different paths, but fate has thrown them together again.

Ms. Caldwell puts a depth to her characters that is unparalleled. The Vixen is no exception. As she peeled away the layers of Ophelia and opened Connor’s eyes to reality, my heart ached. And the prison palm reading….I BAWLED! I don’t think a scene has ever affected me as much as this one. Throw in a few surprises, extraordinary secondary characters and you have a 5+ read.

I can’t wait to see how Ms. Caldwell tops this one.

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I received a arc copy from the author for an honest and unbiased review.

 

More or Less a Governess by Anna Bradley

July 24, 2018

More or Less a Governess by Anna Bradley

More or Less a Countess

My rating: 5 out of 5 Roses
Series: The Somerset Sisters Book 2
Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Finding a worthy husband should be simple for three beautiful debutantes in Regency London. But the Somerset sisters have a way of making it delightfully complicated . . .
 
Violet Somerset has always preferred a library to a ballroom, but to please her grandmother she agreed to one London season. With nothing to show for it but heartbreak, she’s reconciled to spinsterhood. Until a notorious rogue known as the Devil of Dare requests an introduction to her timid, gentle youngest sister, Hyacinth. Violet will do anything to stop the match—even if it means posing as Hyacinth herself . . .
 
Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare, is enjoying the life of a rake far too much to take a wife. But he must keep his promise to his grandmother. He’ll simply choose the meekest bride he can find, install her at his estate, then carry on as before. Hyacinth sounds perfect—until he discovers that her sweet demeanor hides the tongue of a viper and the mind of a bluestocking . . .
 
As Violet’s ruse threatens to unravel, however, she may find the tables turned. Soon she may have no choice but to tolerate her handsome fiancée—or fall in love with him . . .

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Watch out for promises to Grandmothers!

She’d rather be a spinster but promises she’ll attend one London season.

He enjoys the life of a rake but promises he will wed.

Nicholas Balfour, Earl of Dare, has found the perfect meek, mild miss to be his wife. He’ll marry her and place her in the country leaving him free to return to his rakish ways in London. Except his miss isn’t as mild and meek as he thinks.

A case of mistaken identity gives Violet Somerset the perfect opportunity to protect her sweet and innocent sister from the Devil of Dare. What she learns about the man goes against all she knows.

As Violet’s ruse and Nicholas’ pursuit continues, feelings start to change. When the truth comes out can love conquer all?

Delightful tale by Anna Bradley! A heroine with a spine of steel and the will to protect a loved one and a hero who’s tough on the outside with a deep sense of family love, loyalty, and enough compassion to forgive.

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I received a arc copy from the author for an honest and unbiased review.

 

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

July 23, 2018

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

The Bad Luck Bride

My rating: 5 out of 5 Roses
Series: The Cavensham Heiresses Book 1
Publication Date: May 2, 2017

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! ―Midnight Cryer

No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse…

Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper…

 

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“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” At least that’s what Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, thought as he sought to ruin the life of the man he thought responsible for his sister’s death. Caring little for those who would be hurt in the process. Oh, but he should have heeded Lord Somerton’s words – “I predict a bad ending.” And “Don’t fool yourself. You will fall.” And fall he did in so many ways.

Lady Claire Cavensham has lived with the “Witches Curse” through four broken engagements and a devastating childhood secret. Given little choice but to accept a fifth proposal by a complete stranger to save face, Claire must decide if she can truly go through with it or accept that the curse is real.

As secrets are revealed wounds are created. Scabs start to form only to be ripped off creating more heartache.

I loved this story by Janna MacGregor. The characters emotions jumped off the pages leaving me feeling each painful heartache and eventually love. There were many times I wanted to shake both characters, most especially Alex.

Ms. MacGregor has the ability to engage the reader in character’s emotions. Just when you think you have it figured out Ms. MacGregor puts in another twist that has you going “Wow”. Both signs of a great writer.

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The Unexpected Wife by Caroline Warfield

July 23, 2018

The Unexpected Wife by Caroline Warfield

NR Caroline Warfield

My rating: 5 out of 5 Roses
Series: Children of the Empire Book 3
Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Charles Wheatly, Duke of Murnane, accepts an unofficial fact-finding mission to the East India Company’s enclave in Canton, China, on behalf of the queen. He anticipates intrigue, international tensions, and an outlet for his grief over the death of his young son. He isn’t entirely surprised when he also encounters the troublesome offspring of his mentor, the Duke of Sudbury, but the profound love he discovers for the determined young woman is unforeseen and untimely. Charles certainly doesn’t expect to also face his troubled marriage in such an exotic locale. The appearance of his estranged wife in the company of their enemy throws the entire enterprise into conflict, and tensions boil over when the woman he loves is put at risk by his wife’s scheming—and the beginnings of the First Opium War.

Zambak Hayden seethes with frustration. A woman her age has occupied the throne for over a year, yet the Duke of Sudbury’s line of succession still passes over her—his eldest—to land on a son with neither spine nor character. She follows her brother, the East India Company’s newest and least competent clerk, to Macau to protect him and to safeguard the family honor—if she also escapes the gossip and intrigues of London and the marriage mart, so much the better. She has no intention of being forced into some sort of dynastic marriage, and she may just refuse to marry at all. The greed and corruption she finds horrifies her, especially when her brother succumbs to the lure of opium. She determines to document the truth. When an old family friend arrives, she assumes her father sent him. She isn’t about to bend to his dictates nor give up her quest. Her traitorous heart, however, can’t stop yearning for a man she can’t have.

As an epic historical drama unfolds around them, both Charles and Zambak must come to terms with a love that neither expected.

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A Duke deep in melancholy from the loss of his son, an intelligent woman determined to prove she’s as capable as any man while trying to keep her brother from destroying the family name, a confrontation with an estranged spouse, a feisty landlady, Chinese unrest, and the start of the Opium War gives Charles Wheatley, Duke of Murnane, the story he so richly deserves. Be prepared to see, feel, and smell the drama and adventure as the talented Caroline Warfield gives the last of the Wheatley boys his happily ever after.

I love Zambak’s determination and strength in standing up for what she believes in, even when it gets her in trouble, and boy does she find trouble. Charles and the strength he shows despite the loss he’s suffered make my heart flutter. Though at times I wanted to yell at him to forget his sense of honor and think of himself first. But then that wouldn’t be the Charles I adore.

Thank you, Ms. Warfield for another well written, entertaining story!

 

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I received a arc copy from the author for an honest and unbiased review.

 

Her Duke of Secrets by Christi Caldwell

July 23, 2018

Her Duke of Secrets by Christi Caldwell

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My rating: 5 out of 5 Roses
Series: Brethren of the Lords Book 2
Publication Date: June 27, 2018

Death was preferable…
Since his wife was killed in an accident that stole his happiness and left him injured, William Helling, the Duke of Aubrey, is a broken man. Neither strong drink and loose women nor the power he wields as leader of the Brethren of Lords can free him from the nightmares that haunt him. He prefers to be left alone, and has no desire to heal the wound his life has become. Then one day Miss Elsie Allenby, rumored to be a skilled healer, enters his household. He should send her away and yet he’s enthralled by the mysterious stranger.

Healing was her life…
But not a day passes when Elsie Allenby doesn’t miss her father nor remind herself where the blame for his death lies: The Brethren of Lords. Since that betrayal, she’s made a life for herself on the fringe of society, caring for wounded animals. Her peaceful life is turned upside down when her help is requested by the Brethren, and she finds herself in the presence last person she ever thought she would aide: William Helling, the leader of the Brethren.

With every exchange, passion grows between Elsie and William. Soon the protective walls they’ve built, begin to crumble. But when danger threatens them both, they’ll need to overcome the treachery around them. Will the past steal their passion or will love find a way?

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In her continuation of the lives of those in The Brethren (a secret order charged with protecting England) Christi Caldwell writes a heart-wrenching tale of a man’s who has lost love and a woman who has lost almost everything to The Brethren and how two different souls help each other heal.

Ms. Caldwell’s writing draws on every emotion known and Her Duke of Secrets is no exception.

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I received a arc copy from the author for an honest and unbiased review.

 

The Highland Chieftain by Amy Jarecki

June 14, 2018

The Highland Chieftain by Amy Jarecki

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My rating: 5 out of 5 Roses
Series: Lords of the Highlands Book 4
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
He is the last man she would ever marry…
After being unceremoniously jilted by her betrothed, Lady Mairi MacKenzie is humiliated and heartbroken – but she’s not desperate. As the daughter of an earl, she won’t give her hand to just anyone, and she definitely isn’t swayed by a last-minute proposal from Laird Duncan MacRae. The powerful clan chieftain may be disarmingly handsome and charming, but he’s not a nobleman. Mairi doesn’t want his pity or his charity – even though his dark smoldering gaze makes her melt with desire.
She is the only woman he could ever love…
Dunn may be a battle-hardened clansman, but he’s always had a soft spot for Mairi. For years, she tormented him with flirtation – only to reject him. But he’s not giving up. When Mairi is attacked by redcoats, Dunn goes after the woman he loves. Through brute strength and fierce action, he will protect her life at any cost. But to win her heart, he will have to show her the tenderness in his own.

 

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What is better than a brawny, sexy Highlander? A brawny, sexy Highlander with a soft heart and written by the talented Amy Jarecki!

Devastated at having what she thought her life would be torn from her, Lady Mairi MacKenzie wants nothing more than to remain in her home. Alas, her father will not have it and forces her to attend the Highland Games. Poor Mairi’s devastation clearly shows and becomes unbearable when her former intended shows with his new wife. Unable to bear it any longer Mairi makes a decision that will put her life in danger. What follows reveals lies, manipulation, and events that prove Mairi is stronger than she thinks.

Och, the last thing Laird Duncan, Dunn, MacRae needed was the spoiled chit that he once offered marriage to only have her and her father belittle his request. That alone should have hardened his heart to her but oh, how sad she looks. Dunn is determined to put her from his mind and heart and concentrate on winning the Highland Games. That is until the lady makes a hasty departure that could cost her her life. Without hesitation Dunn rides to her rescue and spirits her away to safety until he can safely return her home. Though good intentions can come at a cost and this may just cost him his head and his heart.

Oh, how Mairi’s devastation and sadness and Dunn’s heartache and love jump off the pages! Add in a villain, adventure, and anticipation and you have a love story for the ages. Definitely in my top stories of the year. Thank you, Ms. Jarecki!!

 

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I received a arc copy from the author for an honest and unbiased review.

 

Lord of Secrets by Erica Ridley

June 13, 2018

Lord of Secrets by Erica Ridley

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My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Roses
Series: Rogues to Riches #5
Publication Date: June 15, 2018

Some secrets should never be unveiled…

Heath Grenville is the problem-solver for London’s elite. Unmask the devious cretin skewering the ton with audacious caricatures? With pleasure. His success should keep the powerful happy. But when his work leads him to a young lady outside his class, surely he won’t do anything so scandalous as to fall in love…

By day, Miss Eleanora Winfield is a proper, unremarkable paid companion. By night, Nora’s skillful hands sketch the infamous penny caricatures rocking high society. Nora desperately needs the money…and her anonymity. But how can she keep them both, when she’s fallen for the one man whose livelihood and reputation requires him to expose her?

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Who knew that sketching caricatures of the haute ton would earn enough to support a destitute family? Miss Eleanora Winfield sure didn’t. Now if she can keep her conscious and the handsome problem solver to the ton at bay.

Problem solving the ton’s picadilloes is something Heath Granville is good at and enjoys. His greatest enjoyment will be unmasking the dastardly caricature artist poking fun at the ton; especially when his sister is portrayed in one. What he doesn’t count on is the beguiling lady’s companion who stirs his blood like no other.

While the story started slow it did eventually pick up steam, and along with Erica Ridley’s ability to make the character’s emotions jump off the page, it snowballed into a 4.5 star story.

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I received a arc copy from the author for an honest and unbiased review.