Publisher: Avon

Throwback Thursday Review: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean.

Posted May 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah MacLean.Reviewer: Rowena
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love by Numbers #3
Also in this series: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 367
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Goodreads
four-stars

There is no telling where a scandal might lead...

She lives for passion.

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips... and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening—risking everything he holds dear—he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.

She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on April 12, 2011.

Sarah MacLean is fast becoming one of my go to authors for wonderful historical romances. She writes the kind of romances that never fail to make me laugh, tear up and sigh all throughout the story. This story is no different. I was first introduced to MacLean’s work back when she released her first romance, Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake. I read and adored that book and was anxious for the next installment in this series, Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord. I enjoyed Nick’s story and was even more anxious for Juliana’s story and finally, we have it.

This book wasn’t as funny as the first two but it still a wonderful romance novel. The chemistry between Simon and Juliana is undeniable and I totally fell right in with all of it. The fighting, the making up, the confusion- all of it made for one helluva ride.

This book starts up not too long after the last book left off. Gabriel and Callie are happily married as are Nicholas and Isabel. Nicholas and Isabel still have their girls over at Minerva House and Georgeanne is still over there, pregnant and still trucking along. Simon, brother to Georgeanne is back in London, pretending that his world is not going to come crawling down because his sister went and got herself pregnant and is hiding away at his friend’s house in the country. He’s also trying to stay far away from that damn scandal a minute maker, Juliana Fiori who he secretly has the hots for.

Juliana is living with Gabriel and Callie, suffering through more of the same dull balls and gossip that is nearly always about her. She knows that she’ll never fit in with these dull English folks and she’s at the point where she doesn’t care if she does either. She hates the English, well with the exception of her English family members and she most definitely hates the uptight, Duke of disdain, the Duke of Leighton.

These two rub each other the wrong way and it was only a matter of time before they’d be rubbing each other in a totally different way. Simon spends much of this book, saving Juliana from yet another almost-scandal and he also spends a good chunk of the book fighting his feelings for her. Juliana bets Leighton that she could bring him to his knees in two weeks because she thinks that nobody can live their lives without passion and Simon is like, do your worst. Reputation matters most in the end and he’s going to be standing firmly on his feet at the end of the two weeks.

Now throughout the book, there were plenty of times that I wanted to strangle both Simon and Juliana. Simon mostly because everything with Penelope and then with his sister, it all just made me want to give him a swift kick in the nuts but not once in all the times that I was annoyed with him, did I hate him. MacLean did a good job of making me anxious for him to get it right without making me lose interest in him as a hero. I should have hated him right along with Juliana but like Juliana, I couldn’t.

I liked Simon. When things finally come together for him and Juliana, my heart did a little happy dance inside my chest. I was so happy for the both of them and that’s why I love reading books by Sarah MacLean. She makes me come to love her characters a little more with each book.

I loved Juliana from the jump. From the time we meet her in the previous books and Callie is trying to teach her how to become a lady with manners, I loved her. She always got everything wrong and yet, she was so charming that I couldn’t help but love her. Want to be her friend, want what’s best for her. I hated when those stupid cows at the balls were mean to her and I loved the friendships that blossomed between her and Marianna and then later, Georgeanne. Her character really came into her own in this book and I enjoyed watching her grow into the woman she was in this book.

I can’t help but want books for both Benedick and Georgeann…hell, it would be totally awesome if they were to meet and then fall in love with each other. They were both wonderful characters in this book and my greedy ass wants more!

All in all, this book was another wonderfully written story about two people who take the long road to their happy ending. They fought, they laughed and they got to know each other and then in the end, they fell in love with each other. You can’t ask for more and I definitely recommend this book to historical lovers and to fans of Sarah MacLean, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Love By Numbers

four-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Contemporary Giveaway)

Posted April 27, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 10 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I finished The Thief by JRW this week. My favorite part of the book was most definitely V and Jane. I adore those two. My review should be up next week. I’ve barely started Order of Protection by Lexi Blake. It’s the first book in a new series called Courting Justice. I’m really hoping I love it. I only read about three sentences in before one of my kids had a crisis. I’m looking forward to getting in some quality reading time this weekend.

Holly: I’m out of town this week with very little reading time. I’ve been lazily reading Prince in Leather by Holley Trent. It’s slow going and I’m not sure if it’s because of my reading mood or the book. I might set it aside in favor of The Viking Queen’s Men, which I’ve heard great things about.

Rowena: It was a slow reading week for me but I did manage to get a book read. I read Hot Asset by Lauren Layne, the first book in her upcoming 21 Wall Street series and this book featured a hotshot Wall Street broker who is under investigation for insider trading. It was another winner for me and I’m super excited to continue this series. Lauren Layne is the bomb. I really love her stuff. Right now, I’m finishing up The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo and it’s just as cute as I hoped it would be. After this, I’m jumping into Rumor Has It by Jessica Lemmon, which I hope to get read before the week is completely up. Wish me luck.

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? (+ Contemporary Giveaway)Indecent Exposure by Tessa Bailey
Series: The Academy #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 353
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads


Is there a problem, Officer?

Jack Garrett isn’t a police officer yet, but there’s already an emergency. His new firearms instructor—the one who just dropped every jaw in the academy gym—is the same sexy Irish stranger Jack locked lips with last night. The Olympic gold medalist and expert markswoman is now officially off-limits, but Jack’s never cared much for rules . . .

Katie McCoy’s been cooped up in a shooting range for too long. A wild love affair is just what she needs to let loose, though she never imagined it would be with her smokin’ hot trainee. She cannot get involved with Jack—but a quick fling? Perfect. Falling hard for a charismatic recruit with an equal amount of sex appeal and secrets? Bloody stupid.

Jack’s charmed the pants off plenty of women (literally), yet few have ever looked beyond his perfect surface. Until Katie. He’ll do anything to keep her in his life . . . except tell her about his past. But a tiny lie of omission never hurt anyone, right?

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


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Guest Review: A Match Made in Bed by Cathy Maxwell

Posted April 20, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Match Made in Bed by Cathy MaxwellReviewer: Tracy
A Match Made in Bed (Spinster Heiresses #2) by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #2
Also in this series: If Ever I Should Love You
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 17th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as “the Spinster Heiresses” . . .

Miss Cassandra Howell is too tall, too bookish, and too smart—but she does have money and a father who wants a grand title for her. Cassandra hasn’t felt a desire to marry until she meets the sinfully handsome Duke of Camberly, who captures her imagination . . . until Soren York, Earl of Dewsberry and her family’s sworn enemy, steps in the way.

The Holwells ruined Soren’s family, and he’s lived on the knife’s edge trying to resurrect their fortunes . . . until he considers marrying the Holwell Heiress. Not only would her dowry give him the funds he needs, he has secretly had an eye on the independent-minded bluestocking since they both first realized the differences between men and women.

She likes to read; he has no patience for books. She knows little of sex; he is a man of the world and willing to school her. Her family destroyed his; his offer of marriage may be her only salvation.

Now Cassandra and Soren must learn to love each other for who they are, not what they are—and the lessons are becoming an exercise in absolute pleasure.

Cassandra is a woman who will inherit a ton of money when she gets married.  Soren, the Earl of Dewsberry needs money so he thinks to marry her.  She doesn’t want to marry a fortune hunter, she wants to marry for love. On top of that, Soren and Cassandra’s families have been enemies for many years so there’s really no chance that her father will let her marry.

Though Cassandra says she doesn’t want to marry Soren she can’t help but be attracted to him.  Despite her thoughts on love she decides that maybe Soren is the man for her.  Unfortunately the life that the two plan together may be very different from the one they end up with.

This was a cute book.  It was a good story, but unfortunately I thought it lacked a certain spark between the H/h.  IDK, maybe it was because Cassandra nay-sayed Soren so often that I didn’t really see the connection between them when she finally capitulated.  Whatever it was it wasn’t good.  That’s not to say that I didn’t like the book.  It was a decent read and an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

This also gave us a view into the Duke of Camberly, who Cassandra had had her eye one.  It’s pretty obvious that her friend and the Duke will have their book next but frankly I really didn’t like the guy.  He was not the type of man I want as a hero in a romance novel so I’m not at all sure I’ll be reading the next book in the series.

Spinster Heiresses Series

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

What a Difference a Duke Makes starts Lenora Bell’s School for Dukes series off with a bang. I have enjoyed every single book that I’ve read by Lenora Bell and after finishing this book, my enjoyment of her books hasn’t stopped.

Edgar Rochester is the Duke of Banksford and he has two kids out of wedlock that he just found out about and is now caring for. But he’s much too busy building a steam engine empire to care for them so he needs a governess to teach and care for them when he’s not around. The problem with that is his children have run off more governesses than he’d care to admit so finding one that will stick is proving to be difficult.

Miss Mari Perkins is out on her ear with no references and in desperate need of a job. She was promised a governess job but when that falls through, she hears about another job and uses her wiles to steal that job right from under her would be employer’s nose. Her plan is to dazzle her new employer, the Duke of Banksford with her awesome governessing skills that he’ll want to keep her on when the other shoe drops.

Neither Edgar or Mari was expecting the fierce attraction that bursts between them but when Mari starts proving herself to be a capable governess that the children have warmed up to, Edgar can’t turn her away. Keeping their space from each other seems to be the only way to go about this but the heart will always want what the heart wants and theirs want each other.

I really enjoy Lenora Bell’s writing style and this book was more proof that she can write the heck out of a story. Being a part of Edgar and Mari’s (rhymes with starry, hehe) romance was great fun. Their chemistry was strong and the other characters were pretty fabulous, too. I thoroughly enjoyed the shenanigans that the twins got into and I loved seeing their relationship blossom with their father but also with Mari. Their actions in the end melted me and I loved seeing Mari really grow into her own over the course of the story. I was super thrilled when she found out all about her family.

Overall, this was a wonderful historical romance that made me happy. I cannot wait to read India and Ravenwood’s book because I’m confident that they’ll keep the party going. Kudos to Lenora Bell on winning me over with yet another fabulous historical romance. What a Difference a Duke Makes is not to be missed.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Historical Giveaway)

Posted April 6, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 14 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I am just finishing up Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan. It isn’t my favorite in this series and I can’t quite pinpoint why. I’m not sure what to read next. I have quite a few choices. I’m not sure if I want to stick with paranormal or go back to contemporary. Or if I should be really wild and read a historical. Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas is quietly calling to me. I am told that I need to read the entire series, which I’m not sure I want to commit to.

Holly: This week I tried to focus on reading new books rather than re-reading. I finished Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh, which was good. I have the second book and plan to start it shortly. I started listening to A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot, but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and traded it for Wildfire by Ilona Andrews instead. Then I read Snowfall and Secrets by Kimberly Loth. The story was just okay. Something about the writing didn’t really work for me. And the hero said asshat stuff the heroine didn’t call him out for. I might try the next book in the series, but I’m not sure yet. I started Shadow Wings by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare, but I set it aside after a few chapters when I realized it was book 2 in the series and I was pretty lost. The premise was good so I may go back to book 1 next.

Right now I’m reading Dragon’s Oath by Sophie Steg. I’m about 7 chapters in and enjoying it.

Rowena: I haven’t read a hot damn thing all week. I can’t concentrate on the book that I’m reading, which is If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales and I have been trying to read this book for the last week. I don’t know if I should give it up and try something else or what but I need to do something. Maybe I’ll jump out of this book and start The Hookup by Erin McCarthy. Yeah, that’s what I’m going to do. Wish me luck.

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? (+ Historical Giveaway)Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #4
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger
Published by Avon
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett's skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he's ever known.

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


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