Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Guest Review: Nobody’s Lady by Annabelle Anders

Posted May 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Nobody’s Lady by Annabelle AndersReviewer: Tracy
Nobody's Lady by Annabelle Anders
Series: Lord Love a Lady #1
Published by The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: May 2, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 300
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Dukes don’t need help, or do they?

Michael Redmond, the Duke of Cortland, needs to be in London—most expeditiously—but a band of highway robbers have thwarted his plans. Purse-pinched, coachless, and mired in mud, he stumbles on Lilly Beauchamp, the woman who betrayed him years ago.

Ladies can’t be heroes, or can they?

Michael was her first love, her first lover, but he abandoned her when she needed him most. She’d trusted him, and then he failed to meet with her father as promised. A widowed stepmother now, Lilly loves her country and will do her part for the Good of England—even if that means aiding this hobbled and pathetic duke.

They lost their chance at love, or did they?

A betrothal, a scandal, and a kidnapping stand between them now. Can honor emerge from the ashes of their love?

Michael, the Duke of Cortland, is set upon by highwaymen while on his way to London.  He and his coachman and outriders set out, barefoot, for the nearest inn but that takes most of the day.  When they finally arrive at an inn, they are soaked from the rain and covered in mud.  Of course the innkeeper doesn’t believe Michael’s a duke, but a voice from Michael’s past pipes up and vouches for him.  The voice belongs to Lilly Bridge, the woman he fell in love with and the woman who left him to marry another man.  He tells himself he’s over her but he’s not sure that’s true.  He’s engaged to another woman, however, and despite what his deep-down feelings for Lilly are, he can do nothing about them.

Lilly hasn’t had a great life since leaving Michael at the house party.  She felt betrayed by him and felt that he didn’t truly love her – he just abandoned her after they had made love!  Lilly had spent years married to Baron Beauchamp – her dead sister’s widower – and he’d made her life miserable.  Now he’s dead and Lilly is trying to secure a good match for her niece/step-daughter, Glenda.  They are on their way to London for the Season when they run into Michael.  Lilly never got over the man but when she finds out he’s engaged she determines that she’ll stay as far away from him as she can.  Things don’t always work as planned.

Lilly and Michel, despite the extended separation, never stopped being in love.  Now Michael is trying to do the honorable thing by keeping his promise to marry Lady Natalie but he wants no one but Lilly.  Lilly just wants to be free from the pain of her life and figures once she marries Glenda off she’ll get a small cottage and live in peace, on her own terms.  Of course life has its ups and downs and, as Lilly knows, life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it.

This was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading.  I loved reading about Michael and Lilly when they were younger. For about half of the book it has alternating chapters in the present and the past.  This did get a little old but once the whole past story was out the book stayed firmly in the present.

Both Lilly and Michael felt betrayed by the other but neither had the full story about what happened.  Michael had a very good reason for not contacting Lilly but I also understood Lilly capitulating to her father as he insisted that she be well taken care of.  He was dying and wanted her secure – too bad he didn’t know what a bastard Baron Beauchamp would be to his daughter.

While I loved reading this story and about how much Michael and Lilly loved each other, there were times when their declarations of love got a little too cheesy for my liking.  It was heart-warming, but I found myself laughing as well when it got to be a bit too much. When the “villain” in the book does something near the end of the story it was a little over the top and contrived.  The villain had been mostly silent during the book so for him to make the move he did made me roll my eyes a little.

Overall it was a nice historical romance.

Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: To Tame a Wolf by Joann Black

Posted February 19, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: To Tame a Wolf by Joann BlackReviewer: Tracy
To Tame a Wolf by Joann Black
Published by The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: September 27th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Summoned from her contemplative life in the abbey, Alexandra Ashford finds herself at the mercy of her malicious guardian, a cousin she fears and despises. He plans to force her to marry his crony and so forfeit her estate. Her only chance of escape is to trust the wounded man imprisoned by her cousin.

Taken captive and chained to his torturer's floor, clan laird Ian McGregor is left for dead after a brutal beating. He has little hope of escape. But when his enemy's betrothed offers him freedom and asks for his help, he realizes revenge could be sweet indeed.

Facing seemingly unbeatable odds to escape and reach the McGregor stronghold, their greatest challenge is fighting their growing attraction. How will Alexandra react when she realizes she’s the prisoner of the McGregor laird who considers her the “betrothed” of his enemy?

Alexandra wants nothing to do with her guardian and hopes to spend the rest of her life at the Abbey.  Unfortunately he calls for her and tells her that he plans to marry her off to a man who’s just as vile as her guardian.  She hatches a plan to get out of dodge.  She sets the man free who’s chained up in the main hall and asks him to take her to the McGregor clan, hoping that their laird will allow her sanctuary.  She has no idea that the man she frees is the laird and he become quite smitten with Alexandra.

This was a great little historical.  It was a quick read and just kind of hit in all of the right places for me.  Alexandra setting Ian free, their flight to freedom and everything that entailed and of course their attraction to each other.  The author did a fine job of giving us simmering tension between Ian and Alexandra, I loved it.

If you want a simple yet entertaining historical romance to read then this is the book for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5

I do have to say that the cover of the book is absolutely ridiculous.  Why in heaven’s name are they staring at his pec?  I just don’t get it!  You can see my thoughts on it here (and Holly’s too!).

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Cream Puff by Demaree Iles

Posted November 21, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Cream Puff  by Demaree IlesReviewer: Tina
Cream Puff by Demaree Iles
Published by The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: June 15, 2016
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 136
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

On the surface, Charlie LaRue is a nice guy with a pretty sweet life. He has a great home, a lasting marriage, and owns the best bakery in Ransom, Louisiana. But Charlie's not happy. When you've been pushed around your whole life, you either learn to deal with it or you don't; Charlie accepted that long ago as the cost of living. His acceptance, however, had a larger price than expected.

With his seventieth birthday fast approaching, a series of debilitating headaches have Charlie questioning his choices. He hardly sleeps anymore and hallucinates while struggling to make a wedding cake worthy of his daughter's lavish third wedding. Meanwhile his golden anniversary looms, and his insatiable wife and daughter continue to make more demands than ever.

A shadowy secret even Charlie is unaware of, however, is about to be revealed. Once unleashed—for good or evil—there will be consequences.

With a title like Cream Puff you would normally expect some lighthearted chick lit read that provides us with a predictable happily- ever- after kind of thing. This is not to say that this is a bad thing by any means, but if that is what you’re looking for you will be in for a shock because this is NOT that kind of story.

Our protagonist is Charlie LaRue, a good guy who is living a relatively ordinary life and runs a popular bakery in Louisiana. He is just about to turn 70 yrs old when he begins to have crippling migraines. He is also battling insomnia and finds himself hallucinating while hard at work on a wedding cake for his coddled daughter’s third wedding. He feels like he is going crazy.

Now you would think this man would be a cherished individual to his family, but quite the contrary. He is unjustly devalued by them and basically considered mainly a source of income to them.

By now I see you picturing a heart-wrenching tale of a mistreated soul, but believe me, this book is much more than that. It is actually a murder mystery. The book is an extremely short offering with only 136 pages and can easily be read in an hour or two. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book is so exquisitely written. I found myself drawn to Charlie and filled with empathy for him. The content will stick with me for a long time I’m sure. So please don’t let the title fool you – you will definitely be missing out if you do.

I would like to thank the author for this touching story. I also have to thank the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Compromisng Positions by Dara Edmondson

Posted January 11, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Compromisng Positions by Dara EdmondsonReviewer: Holly
Compromising Positions by Dara Edmondson
Published by Triskelion Publishing, The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: February 1st 2007
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Meet Crystal, Patsy and Maureen - three friends in their forties trying to run the obstacle course of mid-life.

Crystal thinks she has the perfect marriage until she starts fantasizing about a handsome coworker. But when she suspects her husband is having more than fantasies about another woman, she digs in her heels and fights for what's hers.

Patsy discovers her Neanderthal husband Bud having sex with his bowling buddy and wearing women's underwear. When Bud tries to take more than his fair share in the divorce, Patsy sets out to humiliate him into submission.

Maureen has enough trouble trying to survive life with her rebellious tennaged daughter Rhianna. When she starts dating the teacher Rhianna has a secret crush on, the fur flies.

This review was originally posted at Sanctuary’s Finest, our old book blog. Since today is the digital release date, I decided to unearth it and re-post it here. I didn’t do a full re-read, but skimmed through my copy, and felt pretty much exactly the same way about it after just shy of a year since it’s original release. Oh, and I really like the new cover!

I truly enjoyed watching these three women struggle and grow through everyday life. The characters were believable and winning, and had me rooting for them right from the beginning. When I first started reading, I was dismayed to realize the women were all in their 40’s. Not that I have anything against older woman in romance novels, but it’s not my preferred reading choice. Before long, however, I was wrapped up in the story and anxious to see how it ended.

Compromising Positions is engaging and heartwarming. I found myself emotionally invested in Crystal’s marriage, Patsy’s fight for her self-confidence and Maureen’s struggle to connect with her daughter. To be honest, I was sorry it ended. I wanted just a bit more from each story, just a bit longer with each character. That doesn’t happen often to me these days, so it’s something for DE to be proud of.

There was quite a bit of humor wrapped up in the story as well. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. And though I realize it was devastating for Patsy, the image I had in my head of her husband in a peach teddy with his best friend in front of him will have me snickering for a week. Not that it was funny at the time, but looking back on it….you get what I mean.

Though the story itself turned out to be good, and I found myself enjoying it, there were times when I was pulled out of it, because something seemed off. I’m not sure if it was the writing style, or the pacing itself, but I had a hard time focusing on it, especially in the beginning.

There were a few other things that bothered me, but they’re of a more personal nature. For example, the characters had a habit of saying, “Alright? Okay.” Who does that? No one says, “Alright? Okay.” Without waiting for a response from the other party. Unless their confirming something, which wasn’t the case. And Maureen’s nickname was Mo, something else I didn’t like. But again, these are personal issues and not a reflection of the story. Just my personal pet peeves.

Overall, I enjoyed the characters and storyline very much. I’ll definitely be looking for more work from DE in the future.

3.75 out of 5 (mostly for the pacing)

You can buy it here in eBook format for the Kindle.

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,