Publisher: Avon

Throwback Thursday Review: The Heiress by Lynsay Sands

Posted February 11, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Heiress by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Holly
The Heiress by Lynsay Sands
Series: Madison Sisters #2
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 382
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Desperately seeking a husband...

Suzette is not like other heiresses; she wants a poor husband, a gentleman who will be so grateful for her dowry that he will allow her access to it so that she can pay off her father's gambling debts. When this alluring beauty encounters Daniel Woodrow—handsome, titled, single . . . and even more impoverished than she could have hoped for—it seems Suzette's wildest dreams have come true.

But Daniel has not been truthful. Tired of being accosted by an endless stream of vapid coquettes and their fortune-hunting mothers, Daniel has decided to plead poverty to stop them in their tracks. Yet here is a most refreshing and delectable lady, who claims to be thrilled by his penury. Now all Daniel has to do to find true happiness is to keep a little white lie alive . . . while avoiding a villain who's determined to prevent this union by any means necessary.

This review was originally posted on February 15, 2011.

I confess I read these books out of order. Even though this is the second book in the series, I read it first not realizing it. Because it runs parallel to the first book, The Countess, I didn’t enjoy the first book nearly as much as I did this one, since I found it rather redundant. I think had I read The Countess first, I would have liked this one less than I did. Just a warning for those of you who want to read the series.

I’ve been referring to this book as a historical Weekend at Bernie’s. With a zany plot, silly antics, and a corpse that turns up in the most unfortunate places, this is a fun romp.

Suzette, Lady Madison is in a bind. Her father has gambled them to the edge of ruin – for the second time in a year – and she must marry in order to save the family. She’s only got two weeks before her father’s markers come due, which doesn’t leave much time to find someone. She isn’t interested in marriage in the least, so she devises a plan to give her as much power as possible in the union: In exchange for the bulk of her dowry (which is rather substantial) her new husband must agree to give her a portion and her freedom. She figures if she finds a titled gentleman desperately in need of funds she should be married in no time.

Daniel Woodrow is only trying to help his friend, Richard, reclaim his identity, so he’s shocked when Suzette proposes marriage to him. To put her off he claims to be poor, but that only seems to make him more perfect in his eyes. Determined to keep her from marrying for the wrong reasons, he agrees to consider the proposal while he and Richard investigate the death of Richard’s twin and the circumstances behind Suzette’s father gambling all their money away.

But there is more going on than meets the eye, and between corpses, murder attempts, family obligations and an overwhelming passion neither could have foreseen, they’ll need all their wits about them. This is rather unfortunate since good sense seems to disappear when they touch each other.

Suzette really made this story. She is honest and forthright and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, no matter how unflattering the truths she reveals. The word that kept coming to mind to describe her was termagant, and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Daniel is a stand-up kind of guy, the type many women dream about. Where others might have been horrified by the heroine, he adored her. Though he isn’t sure he wants to marry her, he does want to ensure her future is secure, one way or another. I thought it was hilarious that he wouldn’t let anyone tell her the truth about his financial state for fear she’d decide not to marry him, even when he wasn’t sure he wanted marriage.

Though I enjoyed it, this novel requires the reader to suspend a huge amount of disbelief in order to make it work. This was hard at times because the plot was so unbelievable. The basis of the plot is so flimsy I really struggled to accept it. The antics of the characters were amusing, but Sands pushed it too far on several occasions.

I will say, despite the lighthearted nature of the book, there’s enough depth to keep it from being over the top. The love story is shaded with flashes of the deep emotion that reel the reader in.

If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted comedy, I recommend this. Just remember to go into it expecting a plot on the unbelievable side.

3.75 out of 5

Madison Sisters

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch

Posted February 4, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Touch of Minx by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Casee
A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Samantha Jellicoe #5
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 380
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Who says crime doesn't pay?

A year ago, Samantha Jellicoe robbed from the rich and gave...to herself! Now, though, she's using her larcenous skills for good as a private security consultant, trying to walk the high road for her sexy billionaire boyfriend, Richard Addison, and asking herself if there's anything more torturous than tracking down priceless artifacts (only to give them back!).

So when the Metropolitan Museum of Art asks for her help, she's only too happy to leap into the fray again: If nothing else, this adventure will help her avoid that little (not!) sparkly item Rick's been hiding in his pocket, and postpone another kind of walk down the aisle. It's only when she's targeted by a deadly adversary after the same treasure that Sam starts to think that "till death do you part" is maybe the lesser of two evils...

This review was originally posted on October 1, 2007

Suzanne Enoch is one of the few historical-turned-contemp authors whose contemps I like more than her historicals. The characters of Samantha Jellicoe and Richard Addison have intrigued me from the beginning.

Though not many people in the world have more money than Rick Addison, Sam’s bank account is nothing to laugh about. It was really the difference in their lifestyles and the instant attraction between the two that just flew off the pages. Both of them being so used to going through life alone, to see them both have to compromise for the other was (and is) engrossing.

The 3rd installment finds Sam fighting boredom as the owner and operator of Jellicoe Security. Though she’s promised Rick that she’ll stay on the straight and narrow, Sam will take her adrenaline kicks where she can get them. When the Met again contacts her to find Japanese armor that went missing 10 years before, Sam knows that this will be her last chance to make a name for herself in the art world as something other than a cat-burglar. Given a mere week to find the armor, Sam must ask Rick for his help. With his contacts in Palm Beach, Sam soon narrows her search down to three people, one man and a married couple.

Determining who actually has the armor is another story entirely and will take a few of Sam’s “special skills” to figure out. Though she doesn’t want to outright lie to Rick, she doesn’t want him to worry, either. She also admits to herself that she doesn’t want him tagging along or trying to stop her. She’s sure that he’ll do one or the other. Breaking and Entering is harder when you have a novice tagging along.

In between Sam trying to find the armor, she’s also trying to help Tom Donner’s (Rick’s lawyer) daughter, Olivia, find something that went missing out of her 5th-grade classroom. Though it’s not her usual type of job, Sam finds that she can’t turn Livia down when she’s asked to locate “Anatomy Man”. A life-sized doll, Anatomy Man has removable organs and was going to be part of a class project that Livia’s class was really looking forward to. The interaction between Tom and Sam in this book is highly amusing, especially when Sam takes Tom’s Wife, Katie, on a little afternoon B&E.

All this going on and Sam can tell that there is something on Rick’s mind. Having just past their 1 year anniversary together, Sam can’t exactly figure out why Rick is so uptight. What she doesn’t know is that every day Rick still worries that Sam could easily take off. Though he’s sure of her feelings for him, she still has her emergency backpack in the closet so she can take off at a moment’s notice. When he decides to propose to Sam, he’s both elated and terrified. All he knows is that he’ll do anything to keep Samantha in his life.

What I love about these books is that I can laugh and find humor in them, but it doesn’t detract from the intensity of the emotion between the two characters. I also love the interaction between the secondary characters. Stoney and Sam’s relationship is at once heartwarming and humorous. Stoney’s reluctance to completely end his career as a fence is in direct contrast with Sam’s persistence to stay straight. When Stoney disappears, Sam can’t help but be worried, especially when shit starts hitting the fan with her armor deal. I think one of the funniest parts of the book was when Stoney kept referring to Rick as the “English muffin”. LOL. Sam’s receptionist, Audrey, also plays a more prominent role in this book. As an escort during the season, Audrey has ins into certain houses that Sam finds very useful.

The ending to the book was perfect. I highly anticipate the next book in the Sam/Rick series. Sam’s laid-back personality is a perfect compliment to Rick’s uptight British ways. I always know that I’ll be satisfied after I read about these two characters.

4 out of 5

Samantha Jellicoe

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted January 28, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Rowena
Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Abandoned at the Altar #2
Also in this series: Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, #3)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 372
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

ONE TRYST WAS ALL SHE WANTED ...

From their very first meeting, Julia knew that Aidan Carr, the oh-so-proper Duke of Trathen, had a bit of the devil in him, a devil who secretly yearned for what he could not have, a devil who harbored a desire for her. So when she needed to be caught in a compromising situation, Aidan was the answer to her prayers.

ONE TRYST JUST WASN'T ENOUGH ...

Aidan is supposed to be looking for a bride, yet his scandalous liaison with Julia is all he can think about. Hot, erotic memories of kissing her skin, falling into her bed, pulling her naked body on top of his own continue to torment and tempt him. What is it about this brazen seductress that he finds so hard to resist? And how can he stop himself from falling into her bed a second time?

This review was originally posted on January 25, 2011.

This is the second book in the Abandoned at the Altar series and I ate this book up. As much as I enjoyed the first book, Wedding of the Season, I enjoyed this book a little more. I knew that something was going on between Julia and Aidan in WotS and I knew that it was going to be a good story and boy was I not disappointed.

Julia wants a divorce and she’s desperate enough to go to any lengths to secure a divorce and when Aidan gets caught in the middle of it all, she’s sorry for it but she doesn’t regret it. Aidan, on the other hand, is furious but because he’s a gentleman, he doesn’t give Julia the cut direct like she was expecting.

After Julia finally gets her divorce, she’s faced with a freedom that she’s always craved and while she’s excited about that, she’s also trying to clear up the debt that she racked up while being married to Yardley. She got the divorce for herself but she’s turning her life around for her family. She’s put them through the wringer with her antics during her marriage and she’s determined to make things right for them. She’s starting with cleaning up her debt problems, only she has no idea what she’s going to do about it because the small allowance that Paul gives her won’t put a dent in it. So she goes to the one person who would know what to do but who probably wants nothing to do with her.

She goes to the Duke of Trathen, of course.

I loved how Julia was the one woman that Aidan could never have but the one woman that he always wanted. I loved how he disapproved of everything she did and judged her but deep down, he craved her like a pregnant lady craves cake. I enjoyed watching both of them fall for each other and I thought that Julia and Aidan were so perfect for each other.

This pairing is my favorite of the two books and I thoroughly enjoyed the romance, it was cute and steamy and I ate it up. I loved getting to know both Julia and Aidan separately and then getting to know them together. They were interesting characters and my heart went out to both of them. To Julia for what she went through with her first husband and to Aidan for feeling helpless to help her.

My one gripe with this story was Julia’s reasons for not wanting to marry Aidan. Ugh, that whole thing made me want to smack Julia upside her head because to put Aidan in the same catagory as Yardley made me want to smack some sense into her but in the end, it worked out so I wasn’t too unhappy with that part of the story.

I really enjoyed this story and am anxious for more from the other characters in this series. I’d love to see more from Paul as I am very fond of her character. I think the set up between him and his wife would make for a wonderful story. All in all, this was a great story and I thoroughly recommend it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Abandoned at the Altar

four-half-stars


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Review: The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath

Posted January 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath
Narrator: Kate Reading
Series: Sins for All Seasons #5
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed, The Earl Takes a Fancy, Beauty Tempts the Beast, Beauty Tempts the Beast , The Duchess in His Bed , The Scoundrel in Her Bed
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 403
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath pens another richly satisfying romance in her Sins for all Seasons series.

She’s looking for a nobleman to wed…

Though born out of wedlock, Fancy Trewlove is determined to fulfill her mother’s wish that she marry into nobility. Fancy’s keen intellect and finishing school manners make her the perfect wife for any gentleman—if he’s willing to overlook her scandalous lineage. But Fancy’s plans are thrown into chaos when an intriguing commoner begins visiting her bookshop—and she finds herself unable to stop thinking about him.

He’s looking to escape his title…

Widowed just a year ago, the reclusive Matthew Sommersby, Earl of Rosemont, has been besieged by women hoping to become his next wife. Desperate for anonymity, he sheds Society life to search for the peace that eludes him. Fancy’s shop is his one refuge, until the night their passion erupts into a kiss that nearly leads to her ruin—and leaves both longing for much more.

Together, they discover an unlikely love…

As Fancy finds herself torn between her family’s expectations and her growing feelings for Matthew, secrets are exposed—secrets that force Fancy to question if she can trust her heart’s desire...

I was looking for a new audiobook when Tracy suggested this one. I haven’t been reading a lot of historicals lately, so I’m behind in this series. I remember enjoying Fancy in the previous books and I was happy to fall into her story.

Fancy Trewlove is about to have her come-out in society. Her siblings have all raised themselves above their station, and as the youngest they have very high expectations for her. She’d rather run her bookshop and focus on teaching reading to both children and adults, but she doesn’t wish to disappoint them. When she meets Matthew Sommersby, they have an instant rapport. This is the type of gentleman she wishes she could marry – one who sees her for who she is, and wants her for more than her dowry.

Matthew was tricked into marrying a woman once, and now he has little respect for women who chase after a title. His late wife is even tormenting him from the grave, by having a letter published a year after her death begging the ladies of the ton to help him find love again. Love. Please. They barely tolerated each other in life…she’s only ensuring he feels misery long after her death, since now he can’t show his face in public without all the marriage-minded mamas and debutantes mobbing him. Fancy seems different. She’s well read and intelligent, kind and thoughtful, and….searching for a titled husband? Of course she is. His disappointment that she’s like all the other deceitful ladies out there is crushing, but he can’t seem to stay away from her.

I loved Fancy. She was willing to sacrifice her dreams for her family, but was determined to do it on her own terms. I liked the two sides to her – independent and loyal. I liked Fancy and Matthew together. They had wonderful chemistry and their banter was well done. I really liked the care he took with her, and how sweet he was despite his frustration over her hunt for a titled husband. Naturally I was annoyed at his poor assumptions about her later in the book, but even then I couldn’t help but root for them.

Beast is up next. I cannot wait!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

four-stars


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Guest Review: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase

Posted January 18, 2021 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #2
Also in this series: A Duke in Shining Armor, A Duke in Shining Armor
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

USA Today bestselling author Loretta Chase continues her Difficult Dukes series with this delightful spin on Shakespeare's classic, The Taming of the Shrew.

Cassandra Pomfret holds strong opinions she isn’t shy about voicing. But her extremely plain speaking has caused an uproar, and her exasperated father, hoping a husband will rein her in, has ruled that her beloved sister can’t marry until Cassandra does.

Now, thanks to a certain wild-living nobleman, the last shreds of Cassandra’s reputation are about to disintegrate, taking her sister’s future and her family’s good name along with them.

The Duke of Ashmont’s looks make women swoon. His character flaws are beyond counting. He’s lost a perfectly good bride through his own carelessness. He nearly killed one of his two best friends. Still, troublemaker that he is, he knows that damaging a lady’s good name isn’t sporting.

The only way to right the wrong is to marry her…and hope she doesn’t smother him in his sleep on their wedding night.

The second book in the Chase’s Difficult Dukes series has us seeing the man who almost married in book one.  The Duke of Ashmont, drunk at his own wedding hardly blinked in the first book when his bride took off on him and then eventually married one of his best friends.  He then duels with said friend and gets even drunker.  This is, of course, when he meets his heroine.  Of course it is!

Cassandra is an opinionated woman and does not keep her thoughts to herself.  If she thinks your being an idiot, she doesn’t hesitate to tell you so.  When she meets Ashmont he causes an accident that hurts one of her friends.  The whole village is poised to see what happens with Ashmont and Cassandra, but money talks, and Ashmont leaves without a trace.

The problem arises when Ashmont can’t get Cassandra out of his head.  He decides to woo her but he needs to change his spots before he can even think about that, and he’s not sure it can be done.

The story was a good one.  I didn’t like it quite as much as I liked book one in the series, probably because I didn’t like Ashmont and Cassandra as much as I liked Ripley and Olympia.  Despite that, I did like them and their independent thinking.

Cassandra was a bit brash about how she put things, but I really liked how she said what she meant and didn’t beat around the bush.  I also liked Ashmont and his dedication to winning Cassandra.  When the man put his mind to it, he was a force to be reckoned with.

I’m looking forward to book three in this series as we got a bit of a taste of it in this book.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another three years to get it.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

Difficult Dukes

four-stars


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