Genre: Historical Romance

Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Posted August 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly
Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3) by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #3
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...

Devil in Spring is the third book in the Ravenels series. I didn’t read the previous two books in the series, and I don’t feel I suffered for it. This stands alone well.

Pandora has no intention of ever marrying. She knows she’s considered peculiar by the Ton, but she doesn’t mind. She’s biding her time through the season while she works on designing board games. So no one is more shocked – and angry- than she when she inadvertently gets caught in a compromising position with none other than Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, and he’s forced to offer for her. She’d rather suffer the scandal than be tied to a man, especially a rake like Gabriel.

Gabriel knows his duty is to settle down and marry the right kind of woman. One who will be an asset to him in every way as he will eventually inherit a Dukedom. She must be poised and proper, able to run a large household without trouble, and maintain dignity and decorum at all times. Unfortunately, the woman he’s about to be shackled to is the exact opposite in all ways. She’s loud, runs off at the mouth, has the strangest notions and can’t seem to keep a thought in her head. She’s also fascinating, and more passionate than any other woman he’s ever met.

As they try to navigate a betrothal together, they learn neither is exactly what they first thought, but they may have found the exact thing they needed all along.

It was lovely to revisit Evie and Sebastian, yet the real draw here is the unlikely romance between Gabriel and the wallflower Pandora. I loved what a free-thinker Pandora was, and how Gabriel came to love her for her unconventional thinking. Kleypas is a fabulous storyteller. Even after all these years, her stories remain fresh and entertaining.

4.25 out of 5

The Ravenels

four-stars


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Guest Review: More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley

Posted August 6, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: More or Less a Countess by Anna BradleyReviewer: Tracy
More or Less a Countess (The Somerset Sisters #2) by Anna Bradley
Series: The Somerset Sisters #2
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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.

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare hates England. He’s been in Italy for years, since his brother died, and he never wanted to return.  Now his father is dead and he returns to England to assume the title.  Unfortunately his aunt holds all of the purse strings and she’s demanding he stay in England, find a bride, and get an heir.  Nicholas hates that he has to comply in order to live the life he wants but he agrees.  He decides he’ll find a woman, propose, get a baby in her and get back to Italy and his mistress within a few months.

Nick is at a dinner party with an old friend when he hears Hyacinth Somerset play the pianoforte.  He’s entranced and immediately thinks to court her.  He even thinks she’s pretty.  He approaches her, even though they’ve not been introduced and asks to call on her the following day. She refuses.  He’s shocked but not too put off and returns the next day.  When he finds that Hyacinth’s grandmother is gone he asks for Miss Somerset, not realizing that he’s asking for Hyacinth’s sister, Violet – the woman he was actually speaking with the night before.  He couldn’t tell Violet and Hyacinth apart (even though they’re not twins) and since Violet would do anything to protect her incredibly shy younger sister she went along with acting like Hyacinth.

Violet is a bluestocking.  She is writing a book and sketching pictures of the famous places in London. Her grandmother says that some of the places she wants to go to aren’t ladylike, so she won’t allow her to go.  Violet wants nothing to do with Nick.  He’s a rake and she wants him gone.  He keeps asking if he can call and she keeps refusing and he keeps showing up.  She finally realizes that she can use him to her advantage.  She agrees to go driving with him but directs him to the places that she wants to go.  Nick is horrified at first but then the longer he gets to know Hyacinth, the more he likes her.  In fact he starts to fall in love, which was never in his plans.  When he finds out that he’s been courting Violet, however, he’s not sure love will be enough.

This was a really cute story.  I really liked Nick even though he was a rake.  Yes, he wasn’t nice at first, only thinking of himself, but he was so kind to Violet.  I loved how he started to appreciate her quirks and even planned outings that he would never have taken another lady on.  Yes, he started out being an ass but then I started to feel bad for him because Violet wasn’t coming clean about her identity.

Violet was interesting. Like most bluestockings in romance novels she was single-minded in her endeavors. I really didn’t like her pulling the wool over Nick’s eyes and wanted her to come clean, but we don’t always get what we want. Lol.  Despite those issues I really liked her.  She had a great personality and I liked her a lot.

This was a good story and while I didn’t read book one in this series I’m positive I’ll be reading the next one when it comes out.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Somerset Sisters

three-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Lynsay Sands Giveaway)

Posted August 3, 2018 by Rowena in Giveaways, Reviews | 9 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I am currently reading Dark Sentinel by Christine Feehan. This book is different from the others in this series in good ways and not-so-good ways. I always wonder if it’s just going to be the same old thing since this is something like the 147th book in this series, but I’m usually surprised. I have some really good books waiting in the wings. I hope to finish Dark Sentinel tonight so I can move on.

Holly: I finished my reread of the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews with White Hot and Wildfire. I finally got to read The Kiss Quotient, which was wonderful. Rowena was right. That book was so freaking good. Then I read Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley. I enjoyed the romance, but the rest of the story was meh. I’m pretty much over the overreaching story arc from the last 5 books. I listened to Duke Most Wanted by Celeste Bradley. I really liked it. There was a plot twist at the end I did not see coming. For those of you who know me, that’s a huge thing. I always figure it out.

I’m not sure what I’m going to read next. I’ll be honest, I’m putting off reading the next two books in the Summer Reading Challenge. I might suck it up and try one, but neither sounds very good to me. Sigh.

Rowena: I finally finished A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole and it was such an enjoyable romance that I am pretty anxious for the next book in the series, Johan’s book. I also want to go back and read Ledi & Thabiso’s book because they were adorable in this one. Portia and Tav were the bomb! After I finished that book, I started my second Summer Reading Challenge book, Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard. I’m still reading that (so far, so good) but I plan to finish that today so I’ll be jumping into The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby next.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Lynsay Sands Giveaway)The Highlander's Promise (Highland Brides #6) by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highland Brides #6
Also in this series: His Bonnie Bride, Highland Wedding
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

In a spellbinding new Highlands story from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, the laird of the Buchanans finds the one woman who is his equal in passion and courage...

Aulay Buchanan has retreated to his clan’s hunting lodge for a few days of relaxation. But the raven-haired beauty he pulls from the ocean puts an end to any chance of rest. Though he christens her Jetta, she knows nothing of her real identity, save that someone is trying to kill her. As she recovers, it will not be easy for Aulay to protect her and keep her honor intact when she mistakenly believes they are man and wife.

Jetta sees beyond Aulay’s scars to the brave, loyal warrior she’s proud to call her own. But as the attempts on her life grow more brazen, Jetta realizes that not all is as she believes. And if Aulay is not her husband, can she trust the desire flaring in his eyes, or his promise to defend her with his life?

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

What Are You Reading: The Highlander’s Promise


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Review: The Hellion by Christi Caldwell

Posted July 31, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Hellion by Christi CaldwellReviewer: Holly
The Hellion (Wicked Wallflowers, #1) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Wicked Wallflowers #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 295
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflowers series burns hot as two rivals meet in the flesh and feel the heat…

Adair Thorne has just watched his gaming-hell dream disappear into a blaze of fire and ash, and he’s certain that his competitors, the Killorans, are behind it. His fury and passion burn even hotter when he meets Cleopatra Killoran, a tart-mouthed vixen who mocks him at every turn. If she were anyone else but the enemy, she’d ignite a desire in him that would be impossible to control.

No one can make Cleopatra do anything. That said, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her siblings―even if that means being sponsored by their rivals for a season in order to land a noble husband. But she will not allow her head to be turned by the infuriating and darkly handsome Adair Thorne.

There’s only one thing that threatens the rules of the game: Cleopatra’s secret. It could unravel the families’ tenuous truce and shatter the unpredictably sinful romance mounting between the hellion…and a scoundrel who could pass for the devil himself.

The Hellion is book 1 of the Wicked Wallflowers series by Christi Caldwell. It’s the first book in the Wicked Wallflowers series, but it’s a spin-off of another series I didn’t read. I felt like I missed out on quite a bit by not reading the first series. Especially the way the brothers interacted with each other and their rivals, the Killorans. I missed the backstory so their motivations didn’t always make sense. Despite that, it was a pretty solid story. I listened to the audio.

I really liked the premise of this. A sort of Romeo-and-Juliet scenario. They’re from opposing families who have formed a wary truce, and that aspect was well done. Both the hero and heroine were mistrustful of each other, which made their attraction interesting. I didn’t engage with the story, however. I wasn’t ever really invested in either character.

Part of my problem may have stemmed from the narrator. He didn’t do a very good job of separating spoken words and thoughts, so I ended up confused for much of the book. I may re-read it at some point to see if my feelings are different.

I may read the next book when it comes out. I’m curious about the heroine.

3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen Hawkins

Posted July 26, 2018 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen HawkinsReviewer: Isabel
How to Abduct a Highland Lord (MacLean Curse, #1) by Karen Hawkins
Series: MacLean Curse #1
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2007
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 313
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

It's hardly the type of wedding Fiona MacLean dreamed of. No family, no guests, just a groom who's been dragged -- literally -- to the altar. But if marriage to Black Jack Kincaid, the handsome wastrel she'd sworn never to see again, will avert a bloody war between their clans, so be it. Surely she can share his bed without losing her heart....

Known throughout Scotland and London as a wild rogue, Jack is accustomed to waking in dire situations, but...married? Long ago, he and Fiona reveled in a youthful passion. Now, the fiery, sensual lass is his once more. And though their marriage is in name only, Jack is determined to win her forever -- body and soul....

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

Rowena: Man, it’s crazy how long we’ve been blogging. I forget that it wasn’t always just Holly, myself and Casee. We’ve had a whole team here that has changed over the years and when I came across this review from our old friend, Isabel, I knew that I had to post it up again. Man, I miss our old friends!

This review was originally posted on July 27, 2007.

The Plot: Hoping to end the feud between their families, Fiona kidnaps Jack Kincaid and marries him while he is drunk. Will Fiona be able to tame his wild ways?

What I Liked: Fiona’s family is cursed. They can control the weather. Actually, they can make it stormy and rain. Kind of like Storm from the X-Men however, it only turns to bad weather when they are upset/mad/annoyed. So if someone is annoyed, there might be a little wind. If someone is downright pissed, you get a full-blown storm. When Fiona is upset, her stormy weather bears the faint smell of lilacs.

There is one scene where Jack’s former mistress confronts Fiona. Fiona tries to control her anger but to no avail. She doesn’t make it completely storm but jack remarks he thought he heard thunder and smelled lilacs. She ends up pouring a vase full of water on the mistress’s head. The next day, Jack learns there is a storm cloud over his former mistress’s residence.

I also like when Fiona gave Jack a dose of his own medicine. Jack was very upset with how Fiona married him. He made it clear he would not give up his freedom. He would continue to go out and have fun. Minus the mistresses. Well to teach him a lesson, Fiona decides to do the same thing which Jack doesn’t like.

What I Disliked: The ending was just too fast. I was reading along expecting more and it was done.

I’m guessing the brother’s will have a book and the last book will be the one where they break the curse. (To break the curse Fiona and her brothers have to do a good deed.) The brothers wonder if Fiona marrying Jack to end the feud between their families is her good deed.

I thought this book was set in Scotland. It’s not. They get married in Scotland and then they move to England. Towards the end of the book, Jack decides to move back to Scotland. Bummer, I wanted a Scottish highland story.

Would I recommend it: If you have nothing else to read. It does look like a promising series so I plan on reading the others later. Maybe the rest of books will be better.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

MacLean Curse

three-half-stars


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