Publisher: Avon

Guest Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Posted July 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie JordanReviewer: Tracy
The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Also in this series: While the Duke Was Sleeping
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, has gotten out of London and he’s more or less wandering the countryside trying to escape his woes. (I’m assuming his woes occurred in previous books but I didn’t read the previous books so I’m not sure.) He comes upon a village green one day and sees that there is an auction – of a woman!  He’s disgusted by the proceedings and when it looks like a disgusting man might get the girl, he bids a ridiculous amount and wins her for himself.  He doesn’t realize that this is a bride auction.  By buying her he is now her husband.  Of course he denies that with everything he is and sets off with the girl to his estate in the Highlands.  He says he’ll make her his housekeeper and pay her well.

Alyse’s dad died when she was just 14 years old – seven years ago.  He made an arrangement with a man with a ton of children for Alyse to marry him and take care of his kids in exchange for taking care of Alyse.  While she’s technically been his wife for years she’s really been a servant, raising his kids and taking care of his house.  The bride auction is a way to “divorce” her current husband and marry her long-time friend, Yardley.  Only when they arrive at the auction they find that Yardley high-tailed it out of town first thing that morning.  Alyse is devastated and tries to stop the auction but her husband has his eye on another woman so she’s out of luck.  When this man, Marcus, buys her she’s not sure what will happen but she figures she’ll take him up on his offer of a living as a housekeeper, save money and then become an independent woman.

As Alyse and Marcus travel they talk and find out more about each other, although Alyse doesn’t know he’s a duke.  Despite Marcus’s determination to stay away from Alyse he finds that he can’t manage it.  He’s desperately attracted to her.  Of course this causes him to be hot and cold with her and that’s frustrating for both of them.

This was a good story.  I liked so much of it and the whole premise grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  I had no idea when I started reading that wife selling was actually a thing back in the late 17th century and continued on until the 19th century.  I understand only the extremely wealthy could get an actual divorce, but I had no idea this was a way of going about getting rid of your wife.  Yikes.  From what I read this was actually a mutual agreement between husband and wife, and the wife had a final say in who purchased her (it was also illegal).  In this book, she didn’t have a choice so therein lies our story.

Marcus was a bit of an ass at times but I liked him anyway.  Alyse was pretty fierce for being sold like chattel but she held her own and I liked her inner strength.  There was a time when a clan interfered in the story and I thought that Alyse acted ridiculously but there you have it.

I thought the story had some occasions where it dragged but overall I enjoyed the story and recommend it.

Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5

The Rogue Files

three-half-stars


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Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Posted July 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Rowena
Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 396
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Goodreads
four-stars

When Wicked Comes Calling...

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She's seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won't accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain...

Bastard son of a duke and king of London's dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion...

But there's nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she'd rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil's carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted...and the only thing he's ever desired.

Sarah MacLean has a new series out and Wicked and the Wallflower is the first book from the The Bareknuckled Bastards series. The series follows a family of siblings that have one thing in common. They’re all linked to a Duke and they’re all bastards. Devon, aka Devil is the eldest of the bunch and this story features him and Felicity Faircloth.

If you read The Day of the Duchess, you’ll remember Felicity as one of the debutantes who was competing to become the next Duchess of Haven. I was hoping that she’d get her story told and I was thrilled to hear that she was the heroine in this book. She was just as wonderful as I hoped she’d be and her hero was one for the books. Their story was a memorable one and I’ll be thinking of that scene where Devil puts everyone on Covent Garden on notice where Felicity Faircloth is concerned. The way that he clicks his cane on the ground and just announces how things are to the dark and everyone in the dark was thrilling at the same time that it was freaking sexy.

Sarah MacLean worked her magic on me with this book because I thought the entire thing was engaging, the characters were compelling and I was thoroughly charmed throughout the entire book. I’m mighty intrigued with Whit but I’m also looking forward to more Ewan and Grace…because damn, drama much? I’m so here for it.

There were a few times when I wanted to junk punch Devil because the lengths that he went through to stop Ewan put Felicity in harm’s way and even though it all ends well, that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth but still, this book was great. Felicity’s family was something else but I remember the Mom from Sera and Malcolm’s book so I wasn’t that surprised that the rest of her family were low key shady to her.

Overall, I really enjoyed getting to know both Devil and Felicity. I loved seeing Devil fall deeper and deeper in love with Felicity as the story wore on, much to his chagrin because he couldn’t do what he needed to do to keep his promises from the past if he cared so much about Felicity but dude, how can you not care about Felicity? She freaking rocks. I loved that they loved each other exactly how they are and I adored how good Felicity was at picking locks and how Devil just seemed to roll with whatever Felicity threw his way.

This was a great book with great characters and a story that you’ll fall in love with. I’m sure of it. There is so much goodness in this one that you won’t want to miss it. I promise.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Bareknuckle Bastards

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands

Posted July 3, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander's Promise (Highlanders Series #6) by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlanders Series #6
Also in this series: Spell of the Highlander (Highlanders #7), An English Bride In Scotland, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), The Highlander Takes a Bride, Falling for the Highlander, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), Surrender to the Highlander
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
four-stars

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?

Aulay Buchanan was wounded in battle and his face severely scarred – the same battle that killed his twin brother.  Aulay’s betrothed at the time screamed in horror after looking at him and his facial scar and refused to marry him.  It’s been years since then, but Aulay is still effected by the thought of his ex-betrothed and the averted eyes he sees in his own keep from the female servants.

Aulay goes away for a couple of weeks each year to his hunting lodge because his mood gets black around the time his brother died.  This year his brother Alick goes with him, despite his wishes, and they go out fishing in the ocean.  They quickly come across a mast from a ship and there’s actually a woman tied to it!  She’s alive and they take her back and try to heal her with help from others.  She’s out for about three weeks but when she awakens she doesn’t know who she is.  She sees Aulay beside her bed and when she asks if he’s her brother, he tells her no.  She surmises that the only other people who would be in her room would be a father and a husband and since he was too young to be her father, he was her husband!  Aulay’s brother, Rory tells Aulay that it’s better for him to let her think that she’s married to him as it will ease her mind.

When Jetta (the name they give the mysterious woman because she has jet black hair) had awoken when first found she mentioned that someone was trying to kill her.  Because of this Aulay makes it his duty to protect her, but when she doesn’t cringe from him and tells him how handsome he is, Aulay starts falling hard and fast for the unknown woman.

We read about Aulay in the previous books with the Buchanan’s and my heart always went out to him because of his scar and his feelings about the way he looked.  It had to be hard on him, but the scar had improved over the years and by the time Jetta “meets” him, it’s much improved. She looks beyond the scar to the man inside and she likes what she sees.  I loved that Sands paired Aulay with a woman who didn’t just put up with his scar but found the beauty in him as well.  I had no doubt that’s what she’d do, but she did it in a really great way and I found myself liking Jetta’s a lot.

The romance was good and the small suspense plot had me guessing, which was good.  I enjoyed getting to meet all the Buchanans again and seeing what they were up to.

Overall this was a great book and one I really enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Highlanders

four-stars


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Release Day Spotlight: Dark Challenge by Christine Feehan

Posted June 26, 2018 by Rowena in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments

Christine Feehan is re-releasing the fifth book in her Dark series and Dark Challenge is out today! The Dark series is wildly popular and has over 20+ books in the series.

Release Day Spotlight: Dark Challenge by Christine FeehanDark Challenge (Dark Series #5) by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark Series #5
Also in this series: Dark Wolf, Dark Promises, Dark Carousel, Dark Legacy
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads

Julian Savage was golden. Powerful. But tormented. For the brooding hunter walked alone. Always alone, far from his Carpathian kind, alien to even his twin. Like his name, his existence was savage. Until he met the woman he was sworn to protect…. When Julian heard Desari sing, rainbows swamped his starving senses. Emotions bombarded his hardened heart. And a dark hunger to possess her flooded his loins, blinding him to the danger stalking him. And even as Desari enflamed him, she dared to defy him - with mysterious, unparalleled feminine powers. Was Desari more than his perfect mate? Julian had met his match in this woman, but would she drive him to madness…or save his soul?

We have a couple of paperback copies to give away to two lucky readers. Please use the Gleam giveaway widget below to enter.

Good luck!

 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE

Dark Series

Giveaway Alert

Re-Release Day Spotlight: Dark Challenge

About the Author

Christine Feehan

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 70 published novels, including five series; Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Leopard Series, Drake Sisters Series, the Sisters of the Heart Series and Torpedo Ink. All of her series have hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.


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Sunday Spotlight: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Posted June 17, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 9 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sarah MacLean is an auto-buy author for me. I really love her stuff and am super excited for the release of this book. The last book of hers that I read got 5 stars so I’m really looking forward to digging into this new series. I have every faith that I’m going to love it just as much as her other series.

Sunday Spotlight: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLeanWicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1
Also in this series: Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

When Wicked Comes Calling...

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She's seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won't accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain...

Bastard son of a duke and king of London's dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion...

But there's nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she'd rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil's carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted...and the only thing he's ever desired.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

His scar went white and a muscle pounded in his cheek. “He touched you. Your hair.” His gaze was locked on it where it fell around her shoulders, unpinned.

She shook her head. “Yes, but not much. It’s only down because I gave the women my hairpins.”

“Not much?” he said, drawing closer to her. “I saw him with a lock of it in his filthy paw. I heard him describe it. Like silk. And I heard you cry out when he pulled it.” He paused, his throat working to keep words back. Words that came anyway. “He touched it. And I haven’t.”

An echo came from earlier, from inside his bedchamber, the words he used to describe her hair. Hair that I imagine falls in rich, mahogany waves when it is pulled from its severe moorings.

Her eyes went wide. “I didn’t know you wished to—”

He lifted his hand, then, and for a moment, she thought he would do it. Touch her. For a moment, she imagined what it would be like for him to slide his strong fingers into her hair and run them along her scalp, now free from the tight binds of hairpins and coifs. She imagined leaning into that touch. Leaning up to him.

Him leaning down to her.

“I should take it,” he whispered. “My payment. I should touch it.”

She blinked up at him. “Yes.”

The decision warred in him. She could see it. And she saw him make it, too, saw him give in to the desire and reach for her. Thank God.

His touch was barely there, and the most powerful thing she’d ever experienced. Her breath caught in her throat as he sifted her hair through his fingers. Would his hand be warm? Would he let himself touch her? Would he kiss her?

“I should have killed him for touching it,” he said, softly. “It wasn’t . . .” She hesitated, then whispered, “It wasn’t like this.”

His gaze found hers in the darkness. “What does that mean?”

“I won’t remember him,” she said. “Not when you are here now.”

He shook his head. “Felicity Faircloth, you are very dan- gerous.” Devil’s fingers—work-rough and warm—moved to her cheek, traced down the curve of it, to her jaw. Lin- gered there.

She shivered. “Being here . . . with you . . . it makes me feel like I could be dangerous.”

He tilted her face up to his glittering eyes, to the Covent Garden mist. “And if you were? What would you do?”

I would stay, she thought, madly. I would explore this terrifying, magnificent world. She didn’t say those things, however. Instead, she focused on the third answer—the shocking one. The one that came on a flood of want. “I would kiss you.”

For a moment he did not move, and then he took a deep breath and raised his other hand, cradling her face in his warm grasp before repeating, “You are very dangerous.”

She did not know where the words came from when she said, softly, “Would you let me?”

He shook his head once, his gaze on hers. “I wouldn’t be able to resist.”

Later, she would blame the darkness for her actions. The rain on the cobblestone streets. The fear and the wonder. She would blame his warm hands and his beautiful lips and that scar on the side of his face that made him somehow impossibly handsome. She had to blame something for it, you see, as Felicity Faircloth, aging spinster wallflower, did not kiss men.

What’s more, she absolutely did not kiss men who lived in Covent Garden and carried cane swords and were named Devil.

Except in that moment, when she rose up on her toes and did just that, pressing her lips to his full, soft ones. He was so warm, the heat of him coming through his linen shirt and waistcoat—the waistcoat she grabbed instantly and without thought, as though he might be able to keep her steady in the wild moment.

As though he weren’t the reason it felt so wild, with the way he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight against him, the movement making her gasp her surprise. He growled—a deep, delicious sound, and his teeth nipped at her lower lip before he whispered, like darkness, “Take it then. Like you mean it.”

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Gleam widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Sarah MacLean

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

“Romance novelist Sarah MacLean has reignited the genre with a bolder edge.” – The New Yorker

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

A columnist for The Washington Post, Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.


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