Source: Edelweiss

Release Day Spotlight: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Posted August 13, 2019 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments

The third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series releases today and we are so excited to share an excerpt from the book to get you all excited for a brand spankin’ new historical romance adventure. The Wallflower Wager promises all of the romantic entanglements that you’d expect from a heroine who loves and cares for all of the animals and a grumpy hero who needs her help to sell the house he’s flipping next door.

Release Day Spotlight: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa DareThe Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #3
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal , The Duchess Deal, The Governess Game
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: five-stars

They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

NOTE: Content advisories are available for this book at http://tessadare.com/content-advisories/.

Penny and Gabe’s story is opening to some really great early praise and we couldn’t be more excited for everyone to grab their own copies of this book because it’s so good! Check out the excerpt below for a tiny glimpse into the awesomeness that is Lady Penelope Campion and Gabriel Duke.

Excerpt

She circled back, standing before him. “There now. Better?”

He gave a reluctant nod.

“Can you move your arm in all directions?”

He rolled his shoulder to prove it. “Yes.”

“What about your grip?

“My grip is strong.”

“Perhaps I should wrap the arm in a sling.”

“I do not need a sling.”

“Wait here. I’ll dash upstairs to fetch some linen and—”

“For the love of God, woman. My shoulder is fine.” He took her by the waist and lifted her straight off the floor, until they were eye to eye. “There. Believe me now?”

She nodded, wide-eyed.

“Good.”

In his hands, she was delicate, breakable. Her hair was a golden treasure he should never, ever touch. And oh, how he hungered for those soft, pink lips.

The familiar voice echoed in his ears.

Don’t touch, boy. She’s not for the likes of you.

Put. Her. Down.

But before Gabe could lower those beribboned pink slippers to the floor, she captured his sooty, sweaty face in her hands—

And kissed him on the lips.

About the Author

About Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice!) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.


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Guest Review: One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell

Posted July 22, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One Fine Duke by Lenora BellReviewer: Tracy
One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #3
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1), What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1), For the Duke's Eyes Only (School for Dukes, #2)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Ready.

Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny's dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There's only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe's brother Andrew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.

Aim.

This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.

Desire!

But Mina is no damsel in distress. She's daring, intuitive, passionate...and halfway to melting Drew's cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?

Mina wants nothing more than an adventure.  Her parents were spies but they were killed when she was just 10 years old.  She didn’t really know her parents as they were always gone, but she remembered how glamorous her mother was and wants to be like her. After her parents died Mina lived with her uncle who was incredibly protective.  Her uncle is a spy master and his nemesis had killed Mina’s parents as well as the uncle’s wife and daughter.  Because of this he was really over-protective.  When Mina finally talks her uncle into a Season in London Mina is very excited and wants an adventure.

While Mina just wants to have fun, her uncle has put together something called The Duke Dossier.  It’s info about every available duke currently in London. After talking it out, however, the uncle decides that the only duke that will do for Mina is the Duke of Thorndon.  He is a man who used to be a rake but is now a stodgy man who lives in the country, or so Mina thinks.  Mina is sick of the country and wants to live in London full time – to be a spy of course!  When she finally meets, and dances with, the duke she borders on rude because she wants to put him off as much as possible.  She has no idea it will only pique his interest.

Mina is actually interested in the duke’s brother.  She knows she can have a marriage of convenience with him and since he’s one of her uncle’s spies, she can share that part of his life as well. The duke isn’t thrilled with Mina being interested in his brother, as he wants her for himself.  When Drew, the duke, finds out that his brother is up to something, Mina and Drew decide to figure out what it is.  Drew to help his brother and Mina because she knows it has something to do with her uncle’s nemesis.  She wants the nemesis dead and plans to kill him herself.  As much time as the duke and Mina spend together, they couldn’t help but fall in love, but how can they be together when they want different things in life.

This was a cute book.  I thought at first that Mina was going to annoy me with all of her thoughts of adventure and spies and that she was going to be TSTL.  Fortunately that wasn’t the case.  While I didn’t adore Mina, I thought she was level-headed and intelligent.  I liked the romance between her and Drew and could definitely see them together.

I was a little put off by the author having Mina be ridiculously foolish when it came to facing the bad guy.  I mean there’s bravery and there’s sheer recklessness.  The author went too far in her rah-rah for girl-power. Don’t get me wrong, I would have rolled my eyes if it was a man being that reckless as well.

Overall I liked the book and thought it was cute.   A pleasant way to spend a bit of time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

School for Dukes

three-stars


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Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot

Posted June 10, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
Series: Little Bridge Island #0.5
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: First, Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 96
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the first story in her Little Bridge Island series—which also includes an excerpt from her forthcoming new full-length novel No Judgments!

Looking for a tropical escape?

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.

Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.

But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).

But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?

They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.

This was a really short story but I don’t even care because it’s a Meg Cabot and I will probably always read new Meg Cabot books (her adult books, anyway) until the day I die. I enjoy her books that much. I can’t say that I absolutely loved this book but that had more to do with there isn’t much of a romance here. Sure, there’s a story but I wanted so much more than what we got.

So in this book, Roberta James meets Ryan Martinez when he shows up for her bridal boot camp aerobics class. He’s there trying to join a yoga class because he needs to work on his anger issues. His boss thinks that yoga will do the trick but when Ryan shows up at Rob’s gym, he wasn’t expecting to enjoy the aerobics class so much…and he wasn’t expecting to like his instructor so much either.

So because this is such a short story, everything happens at warped speed and so much of that didn’t work for me. They fell too hard, too fast but even though this book had a lot of that insta love going on, I still enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to reading the bartender, Bree with the sad eyes, story in the first book in this series, No Judgments. If we had another 100 pages or so to fully appreciate Robbie and Ryan, I think I would have liked this one more but oh well. I’m still interested in the others so it wasn’t that bad.

Final Grade

3.75 out of 5

Little Bridge Island

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay Sands

Posted May 21, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
The Trouble With Vampires by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #29
Also in this series: Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18), Runaway Vampire, Immortal Nights, Immortal Unchained, Twice Bitten
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 380
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

For close to three thousand years the imposing, impossibly handsome Santo Notte has fought in armies across the world and battled his own, more personal enemies. Of all the places he might expect to encounter his life mate, a quiet corner of upstate New York doesn’t seem likely. But as soon as he makes contact with history professor Petronella Stone, while hunting down a suspected rogue immortal, he knows that she will be the greatest adventure of his eternal life.

He expects her to be surprised, confused, even overwhelmed. What he doesn’t expect is that Pet has a secret history of her own. There’s no mistaking the mind-blowing, mutual pleasure they share. But as Pet struggles to protect her nephew from a danger lurking too close to home, Santo realizes there’s another threat to her safety—him. And claiming their passionate future will be impossible until he leaves his past behind, forever…

Petronella is babysitting her nephew when someone tries to break into her sister’s house.  She is saved by the guests staying at the house next door, but she recognizes them as immortals and doesn’t trust them at all.  What she really doesn’t expect is that the immortal named Santo would really be someone she fell in love with.

The immortals are at the house next door because they have followed a rogue vampire to a house on that street. When Santo can’t “read” Pet he’s shocked that he’s finally found his life-mate.  He’s even more shocked when he finds out that she knows about immortals.  Unfortunately the only experience she’s had with immortals is bad.  It takes some time to convince Pet that not all immortals are evil like the ones she experienced and that he can protect her and his nephew from the rogue.  What he can’t do is woo her properly because he has no experience.  He may fumble his way through but Santo finally wins the girl.

This was a cute story in the Argeneau series.  I liked the fact that Pet knew about immortals – even though she didn’t have all the facts.  Some things needed to be explained to her but for the most part she was in the know.  This was something different in the series and I liked that.  Santo and Pet were cute together.  I liked how protective they both were of her young nephew.

What I didn’t care for in this book, and what shocked me, was how dark a part of it was.  I’ve never read a Sands book that has dark undertones, and I truly don’t want to again.  It not only described the horrible way in which Pet’s sister & mother died, which was absolutely horrible, but then it went onto Santo and how his entire family was murdered.  OMG, both stories were horrific, but getting both in one book? No, thank you.  I read Sands because I know I’m going to get light romance – that was not this book and I didn’t care for it.

Except for those two parts of the book the rest was pretty light and I liked it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Argeneau

three-stars


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Review: The Dating Game by Kiley Roache

Posted March 25, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Dating Game by Kiley RoacheReviewer: Rowena
The Dating Game by Kiley Roache
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars

The Social Network gets a romantic twist in this fresh and engaging new read from the author of Frat Girl, Kiley Roache. Experience the whirlwind ups and downs of college life in this authentic and entertaining new novel!

When a notoriously difficult class for future entrepreneurs leads to three freshmen developing the next “it” app for dating on college campuses, all hell breaks loose…

Type A control freak Sara lives by her color-coordinated Post-it notes.

Rich boy Braden wants out from under his billionaire father’s thumb.

Scholarship student Roberto can’t afford for his grades to drop.

When the three are forced to work together in one of the university’s most difficult classes, tension rises to the breaking point…until, shockingly, the silly dating app they create proves to be the most viable project in class. Late nights of app development, interest from investors and unexpected romance are woven into a true-to-life college drama that explores what it means to really connect online and IRL.

The Dating Game caught my eye while I was browsing Edelweiss because I liked the look of the cover and the blurb was interesting. It’s got The Social Network vibe working for it and I enjoyed that movie so I was mighty curious about this one. Three students come together for a group project, create a dating app that takes off and complicates the hell out of their lives? Yeah, count me in. While this book ended up being a solid read, it was also problematic for me and I just wasn’t a fan of the direction the author took one of the main leads.

So Roberto, Sara, and Braden are paired up together in class to create an app and they dive into creating a dating app that lets the user rate other users. The more swipe rights you get, the higher your profile is. While the three of them tackle this project, we get to know each of them and see them really go through it. Roberto’s got some family issues going on, Braden is a rich boy who is determined to not be like his father.

There’s a lot going on in this story. There are the individual situations at the same time that they’re working on their app and there’s also a budding romance because, of course, there’s one! I saw that love triangle a mile away and the way that it was handled low key rubbed me the wrong way. I just wasn’t a fan of that whole thing. I didn’t like that one had to completely change for the main romance to work. I also didn’t connect with each of the characters as much as I was hoping. I thought of the three characters, I would like Robbie’s character the most but his whole story low key felt flat for me. It felt very surface level and not as in depth so I didn’t connect with him and that bummed me out. Sara and Braden were fine until they weren’t fine and yeah, there was a whole lot of me hoping the author went in a different direction than the one she actually went on and because of that, my enjoyment suffered. I also thought the success of the app was a bit over the top, considering it wasn’t a very original idea but that was small potatoes. I did think that the author got the college experience right in this one. I thought that was handled well.

Overall, the story had a lot of promise and I was really looking forward to reading it but I didn’t fully connect with everything going on and with all of the characters so that bummed me out but still, I’d read something else from this author.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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