Publisher: Entangled

Guest Review: Marrying the Wrong Earl by Callie Hutton

Posted April 21, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Marrying the Wrong Earl by Callie HuttonReviewer: Tracy
Marrying the Wrong Earl by Callie Hutton
Series: Lords and Ladies in Love #2
Published by Entangled, Scandalous
Publication Date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-stars

Lady Arabella Danvers is happy with her life just the way it is. She is free to be herself and take care of broken and abandoned animals. Her mother is desperate for her to marry, and has decided to take things into her own hands. There is just one little problem with her plan.

Nash, the Earl of Clarendon has determined it is time to take a wife. He has selected a woman to whom he intends to propose. However, the annoying Lady Arabella has stumbled into his life at the wrong time, and in the wrong place. But he of all people should know if Lady Arabella is involved, plans will go awry.

Arabella is the daughter of an Earl.  After her father died the new Earl had stated that Arabella and her mother could stay put but her mother is determined to be nowhere near the new Earl when he returns from his travels.  Arabella’s mother decides that the best way to do this is to marry Arabella off but the men that she’s putting in front of her daughter are all old and Arabella has no desire to marry any of them.  Arabella wants to be left alone to care for the sick animals that she rescues.  Unfortunately her mother has other plans and ends up planning for Arabella to be caught in a room with one of her mother’s husband choices.  That doesn’t exactly work out for the mom as she hadn’t realized that there was already someone in the room when she sent Arabella in there.

Because of the possible scandal Nash, the Earl of Clarendon, insists on marrying Arabella and to save her reputation.  He doesn’t particularly like Arabella but he thinks her beautiful and wants her in his bed.  He hates that she rescue’s animals and wants her to be a “regular” wife who does needlepoint and watercolors and hosts dinner parties and well, he wants her to be boring.  Arabella is having none of it.  She continues to rescue animals after she’s married but Nash insists she stops.  Arabella tries to be everything that Nash wants her to be, but she is who she is and that causes friction in the marriage.

The plot of this book and the writing were good, I must say, but the story itself drove me batshit crazy.  Arabella was a kind soul who just wanted to live her life, be a kind person, and help her animals.  When she’s forced to marry Nash she’s not happy about it but decides to do her best.  That said, she’s not giving up her animals.  I admired Arabella for her kindness and her willingness to help those animals in need.  She tried to best to be what Nash needed but he wanted her to act like someone she wasn’t and it was too much.

Nash wants the perfect society wife.  He was about to offer for an 18-year-old deb but that was put to pasture when he’s caught with Arabella in the same room at a party.  Total coincidence. He decides to make the best of it but she frustrates the hell out of him with doing surgery on animals and not acting as a proper wife should. How do I put this kindly…Nash was an ass.  And I don’t mean he was an ass for half of the book and then redeemed himself.  No, he was an ass for 95% of the book and I disliked him intensely.  He was constantly berating Arabella and telling her what to do.  When there were callers at the house he would pull her aside and tell her how to act as if she’d never received anyone before marrying him.  She tried to get out of marrying him but he insisted and then was frustrated that she didn’t act like he wanted.  He wanted a piece of clay he could mold and he certainly didn’t get that.  Yes, I’m happy he figured shit out before the end of the book but it was a close one and frankly a little too late.

Frankly I couldn’t understand how Arabella even fell in love with the man.  He only treated her well when they were about to go to bed together or were in bed.  I think she was more in lust than anything but that’s just my opinion of course.  I personally think the writing saved this book for me because otherwise it would have gotten a lower rating. As it is I can only recommend this book if you like men who act like complete jerks otherwise you may throw your ereader across the room and I can’t have ereader destruction on my conscience.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

Guest Review: The Gentleman’s Promise by Frances Fowlkes

Posted April 20, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Gentleman’s Promise by Frances FowlkesReviewer: Tracy
The Gentleman's Promise by Frances Fowlkes
Series: The Daughters of Amhurst #3
Also in this series: The Earl's New Bride, To Win a Viscount
Published by Entangled, Scandalous
Publication Date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-stars

A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.

Offering a gentleman's promise to help his sister's friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he's well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah's ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society's weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…

Two years ago Sarah tried to help her sister out with a man by trying to get the competition out of the way.  She concocted some herbs and voila, it worked.  Unfortunately her other sister took such a liking to Sarah’s tea that she drank too much and almost killed herself.  Since that time Sarah has been in social exile.  No one wants anything to do with her as they believe that she poisoned people with nefarious intentions.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Her two sisters are married now and she feels like they’ve almost pushed her out of their lives as she can’t relate when they talk about marriage and children.

She does have her best friend, Olivia, and her family who she is staying with.   When they get an invitation to a hunt Olivia’s older brother Jonathon invites Sarah along and states that since he’s well regarded he can get people to change their minds about her.  He really had no idea how bad things were.  Nothing he says or does gets people to judge Sarah fairly.  Of course spending so much time with Sarah makes him realize he’s in love with her but his political aspirations make it so that he can’t marry her as his judgement would then be called into question and all the reform he’s been campaigning for would be an impossibility.

This was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading.  The concept of people looking down on women who are well read and smart makes my blood boil even though I know that it was historically common.  In the case of Sarah she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and talk about things that interested her, especially if it could help someone else.  This didn’t do her any favors as she just couldn’t play the role of a no-brain debutante.  Jonathon did his best to play up Sarah and her beauty but people just couldn’t get past the “poisoning.”  Even when she helped a Marquess with a cold/flu people believed that she had poisoned him so that she could save him to make herself look better.  Ugh!  So frustrating.

I liked Jonathon and Sarah together.  It was a slow, sweet build-up to the romance and it was well written.  I liked their characters and Olivia’s as well.  We got to see Lord Satterfield again, who played a role in the first two books.  He was an ass in this book, imho, contradicting himself left and right.   Overall I thought the book was well done.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells

Posted April 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa WellsReviewer: Tracy
The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells
Series: Off-the-Wall Proposal #2
Published by Entangled, Lovestruck
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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three-half-stars

The Proposal: Adeline Rigby will live with Accountant Jack Foster and pretend to be his fake fiancée for one month in order for him to seal a promotion to partner. In return, Accountant Jack Foster will intimately tutor Adeline Rigby in French before she leaves for Paris where she will fulfill her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu.

The Terms:

1. Maintain distance. Three get-to-know-you dates before announcing their engagement will be tempting enough.

2. No kissing. Okay, fine. Three kisses. Maybe four. And neck kisses don’t count.

3. No touchy feely stuff. Or at least not too many public displays of touchy-feely stuff.

4. No sex.

5. All right, all right. One night of sex in order to be a believable engaged couple.

6. Two nights of mind-blowing sex to make sure first night wasn’t a fluke.

7. Absolutely, positively, no falling in love.

Adeline’s best friend introduces her to her brother, Jack.  Adeline falls and hits her head and has a mild concussion so Jack stays with her to make sure things are all good.  While they’re together they talk and Adeline finds out that Jack is up for a promotion. Jack says he probably won’t get it as his boss is really old-fashioned and believes that any partner needs to be married.  Jack is single so that counts him out.  Jack really wants that promotion as he’s a hard worker so he ends up asking Adeline to be his fake fiancé.  When her landlord decides to sell her condo she moves in with Jack and it’s the perfect time to try and sell their fake engagement to his boss and co-workers.

Adeline has agreed to be the fake fiancé but has no desire to go any further with it…at first. She immediately takes sex off of the table but is soon changing her tune.  Jack was left at the altar at one point in his life and has no desire to ever get married.  That’s until he gets to know Adeline better and ends up falling in love with her.  Soon Jack is saying things that are supposed to be fake but are he really means them.  Adeline thinks that Jack is incredibly hot but she has plans for her future and none of those include a man.

This book was part fun and funny and part heart-breaking.  The fun and funny part were when Jack and Adeline were together.  I loved that they could laugh at each other and have a good time.  Adeline was a bit of a stick in the mud but she was so fearful of getting off of her life track that she couldn’t bend.  The heart-breaking part was Adeline’s life.  She had been put into foster care at the age of 5 and had had 6 foster families until finally the 7th family stuck.  She loved her foster mother, Dottie, but Dottie not only had Alzheimers but breast cancer and was dying.  The cancer treatments were making her Alzheimers worse and she seemed to be stuck in one memory and unfortunately that memory of Adelilne was not a good one.  Adeline would go to Dottie’s house every Saturday night but Dottie wouldn’t let her in or even be nice to her.  In the end things were worked out between them but it was very sad and I definitely cried when Dottie was dying.

Overall I thought the book was a good one and will most likely pick up another Lisa Wells book in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton

Posted April 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de WintonReviewer: Tracy
Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton
Published by Entangled, Lovestruck
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-stars

Aspiring blogger Janie Milan is finally on her dream trip to Thailand. But when an unfortunate piña colada incident lands her in the path of a hot Scotsman, Janie finds herself dying to find out what's under his kilt. Only the frustratingly sexy man isn't who he's pretending to be…

After cutting a deal to keep his brother safe, Scottish heartthrob Blaine Galloway is hiding from the press. But his secret identity starts to slip the second he meets small-town blogger, Janie. Now the press is hot on their heels and Blaine’s life is tumbling into a tabloid-sponsored hell. Coincidence? He’s not so sure.

Janie is on the trip of her life in Thailand.  She needed to get away from her small town in Texas where her cheating ex was getting married to her ex-best friend.  Soon after she arrives she accidentally spills her piña colada onto a man who happens to be incredibly good looking.  She helps him clean up and they go their separate ways.  When they meet each other at breakfast the other day and find out at the same time that they’ve each been booked into a couples resort they take advantage and book a day trip together.  They get closer as they spend the days together and start to fall in love.

Blaine Calloway is a Scottish actor who needed to get away from his life and the press.  He’s taken a trip to Thailand because he figures it’s as far from the UK as he can get.  He ends up having a great time with Janie as he loves how down to earth she is.  She treats him like a real person, not an actor, even after he comes clean about who he is.

Unfortunately the press get wind of his getaway and come after him.  Blaine blames Janie and the shit hits the fan.  Can these two people be together when they feel they can’t trust each other?

This was an interesting little romance.  The idea of small town meeting foreign actor was a cute one and seemed to work at times during the book.  Unfortunately I didn’t feel like the H/h were suited to each other and had a hard time reading about them falling in love.  It wasn’t so much that they were different but that the way they were written I couldn’t feel it. Even when they were fighting with each other I didn’t feel the emotion between them and that was my biggest issue with the book.  If you can’t feel the love between characters how can you truly love their romance? You can’t.

Despite the lack of emotion I felt I thought that the Thai scenery was written really well.  I almost felt like I was there and I loved that.  It seemed like Blaine and Janie were going to wonderfully romantic destinations that were incredibly described.

The story is about not only two people falling in love but finding out where they belong in the lives they live.  Blaine needed to find out what he was doing with his acting career and Janie needed to find her place in her little town of Little Acre as it seemed as if she’d be stuck there the rest of her life.  She loved her family but she wanted to do more.  I thought this part of the book was well done as well and I liked seeing Janie with her little family that was a bit dysfunctional.

Overall it was a decent read but again, didn’t feel the love/romance at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

Guest Review: Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley

Posted July 29, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Defying Gravity by Kendra C. HighleyReviewer: Tracy
Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley
Series: Finding Perfect #2
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: July 25th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
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three-half-stars

Zoey Miller lives for her holidays in Aspen. Her time up on the mountain with the Madison brothers, Parker and Luke, is everything. But for the first time, it’s not enough. This time, she’s determined to win one of the brothers’ hearts.

But the brother she has in mind is a renowned player, with hordes of snow-bunnies following him around Snowmass resort. And the other…well, he’s her best friend and knows she deserves better. Namely him. And he’s going to win her heart.

Parker is in love with his best friend. They are both seniors and they grew up together but now Zoey only spends holidays in Aspen where Parker is a permanent resident. He wants to tell her how he feels but he’s just not found a good time. He’s also afraid that he’ll jeopardize their friendship if she doesn’t feel the same way.
Luke is Parker’s older brother by two years and attends college in Arizona. He’s home for the winter break as well. There’s always been a bit of a competition with them but when it comes to Zoey they’ve all just been good friends – until now.

Zoey shows up from Texas thinking that she’s finally going to make a move on Luke, who she’s had a crush on for a couple of years. She even does her hair and make-up – which she never does while on vacation – to impress him. Luke’s got a following of groupies because of his skiing and Zoey’s not sure that she can measure up to them.

Parker sees how Zoey is looking at Luke and it’s pissing him off and breaking his heart. Luke is reacting to her and Parker confronts Luke. Of course Luke decides to make it a bet about who could “win” her first. Parker’s not really thinking about the bet, he just wants Zoey and he wants Luke to leave her alone.

This was a cute story. It was pretty light and airy for the most part and a quick easy read. Parker seemed like such a good guy and it amazed me that Zoey hadn’t seen him for the wonderful man he was – not just a friend – until she saw him killing it at the Terrain Park. I mean, I get it, the girl is confused because she thought she wanted Luke and then realizes that he’s a bit of an ass when it comes to women. She sees Parker in another light and it meshes everything together. Unfortunately, that also made her seem pretty shallow. Yeah, he’s my friend and I love everything about him but now that I see him at the terrain park and see how good he is then now I want him in other ways. Luckily the author worked around that issue pretty well and in the end I was satisfied with the outcome of it all.

I didn’t read the first book in this story and didn’t feel like I needed to in order to read this one. Yes, the couple from book one was mentioned and Zoey talks to her friend Paige (who I guess was one of the MC’s from book one). To me, however, it just seemed like she was talking to a friend and frankly I didn’t feel the need to know more about Paige and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. So overall a pretty cute YA story I enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars