Tag: 4.0 Reviews

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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Review: Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik

Posted January 13, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Aurora Blazing by Jessie MihalikReviewer: Holly
Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik
Series: Consortium Rebellion #2
Also in this series: Polaris Rising
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Bianca von Hasenberg did her duty for High House von Hasenberg and ended up trapped in a terrible marriage. When her husband dies unexpectedly and leaves her a happy widow, she vows never to marry again. Instead, she uses her connections to save other young women. Information is power and Bianca has a network that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.

After an attack, Bianca’s oldest brother, the House von Hasenberg heir, disappears from Earth without a trace. Determined to find him, Bianca leaves against orders. When she refuses to return, her father sends Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security, to haul her home like a recalcitrant child.

Bianca leads Ian on a merry chase across the universe, but when their paths finally collide, she persuades him that they would be far more successful at finding her brother if they worked together. She will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As clues lead them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely. . .

Bianca von Hasenberg was sold off by her father into marriage to a monster. He slowly separated her from her support group, tore her down, then experimented on her without her consent. Now she’s a happy widow, but she’s still dealing with the pain of his betrayal and the consequences of his genetic modifications. She’s healing, but it’s slow going. When her eldest brother is kidnapped, she knows she has the skills to find him and bring him home….The head of house security, and her long time crush, disagrees. She ends up running from him and the planet. When he catches up with her, they decide (grudgingly on his part) to work together. Bianca knows how Ian feels about her her – he’s made it clear on multiple occasions he finds her to be nothing more than a spoiled Princess. That doesn’t stop her heart from wanting him. When she uncovers some of his secrets, she realizes there’s more to Ian than she ever knew….She can only hope he realizes the same about her.

We met Bianca in the previous book. She was publicly in mourning from the death of her husband, but it was obvious there was no love lost and something was going on with her. I enjoyed her strength and determination, her loyalty to her family and her overall smarts. She was an excellent character. I didn’t love the romance, however. They spent years sniping at each other, and their transition from adversaries to being IN LOVE didn’t work for me. It didn’t help that despite Ian constantly tearing her down (usually unintentionally – she had hidden emotional scars he wasn’t aware of), she still pined for him. For years. I think I’d rather have seen her walk away from him, which would force him to work harder for her affection.

Still, I enjoyed the story and the nonstop action enough that I’m rating this higher than the first book.

3.75/4 out of 5

Consortium Rebellion

four-stars


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Review: Lawless by T.M. Frazier

Posted December 22, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Lawless by T.M. FrazierReviewer: Casee
Lawless by T.M. Frazier
Series: King #3
Also in this series: King, Tyrant
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 6, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 231
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Ruined. BROKEN. LOST.

Thia’s lost it all. With no options left she turns to the biker she met as a kid to cash in the favor he swore to return all those years ago.

Bear’s best friend is dead. His old man wants to put him to ground. He has bigger things on his mind than the pink-haired girl from the gas station he never thought he’d see again.

Until her battered body is tossed onto his doorstep.

Keeping his promise to Thia means Bear has to be willing to risk everything, including his life...and what’s left of his heart.

Thia’s bruised and battered. Bear’s leather and lawless. It will never work between them.

It’s a lie they ALMOST believe LAWLESS is book THREE in the King Series and meant to be read after KING & TYRANT.

Bear was first introduced in King. I wasn’t sure what my feelings were about him, but I ended up really enjoying him and Thia both. Again, there was that age difference but I’m pretty much over that. These heroines are far beyond their years in experience and it shows.

One night when Thia was younger, a group of bikers came into the grocery store she was working at. Things weren’t exactly going swimmingly until he walked in. He talked to her for a few minutes and made her feel special. He gave her his ring and told her to look him up at his MC if she ever needed help. The day she needed help came years later. Her mom killed her dad and then tried to kill Thia. Thia ended up killing her mom and now the cops are after her. Bear is the only one that she can think to turn to so she heads to his MC. Big mistake.

Bear is all in with the MC that he was born into. His father is the president and he’s being groomed to take over. When Thia shows up to the MC, she doesn’t know that Bear and his father on are the outs. She tries to show them the ring, but the members don’t care. All they care about is the fact that an innocent girl has showed up without a man to protect her. Bear’s dad takes exception to Thia being there and decides to send his son a message. Let me tell you, T.M. Frazier certainly does not shy away from taboo topics. Bear’s dad would have raped Thia if she wasn’t saved by one of Bear’s inside men. He takes Thia to Bear and that doesn’t go well either. Poor Thia.

Thia is thrilled when she is reunited with Bear but it’s abundantly clear that he doesn’t remember him. Thia is crushed by this knowledge. She has held onto his ring like a talisman for years. For him not to know her is a blow that she almost can’t take. Although Bear doesn’t exactly remember her, he knows that he gave his word and he has to protect her.

I really did enjoy the beginning of Thia and Bear’s story. They are so obviously wrong for each other, but at the same time they’re so obviously right. Bear feels like he’s taking advantage of Thia, but he knows he will never let her go. I was hooked from the beginning to end when I read this book and couldn’t wait for the next installment in the Thia and Bear saga.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

King


four-stars


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Review: Tyrant by T.M. Frazier

Posted December 11, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tyrant by T.M. FrazierReviewer: Casee
Tyrant by T.M. Frazier
Series: King #2
Also in this series: King, Lawless
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 14, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 292
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I. Remember. Everything.
Only now I wish I didn't.
When the fog is sucked away from my mind like smoke through a vacuum, the truth that has been beyond my reach for months finally reveals itself.
But the relief I thought I would feel never comes, and I'm more afraid now than I was the morning I woke up handcuffed in King's bed.
Because with the truth comes dark secrets I was never meant to know.
I will put the lives of those I love most at risk if I let on that my memory has returned, or if I seek help from the heavily tattooed felon who owns me body and soul.
I don't know if I'm strong enough to resist the magnetic pull toward King that grows stronger every day.
He's already saved me in more ways than one. Now it's my turn to do whatever it takes to save him.
Even if that means marrying someone else...Tyrant is a full length novel at 80,000 words.

King ended on one hell of a cliffhanger. Doe’s family showed up at King’s house and things start coming back to her. Her name is Ramie and she has a son and apparently a boyfriend. King’s plan to blackmail Ramie’s dad, the senator, went awry and now he’s lost both Ray and his daughter. After Ray was whisked away by her father, King is arrested. He thinks he’s being taken to the station, but it becomes fairly obvious that the man that has “arrested” him is no cop. In fact, the imposter’s intention is to kill King. I was never sure who actually was responsible for this part.

Ray wants to go back to King, but she can’t leave her son. She doesn’t exactly remember him, but she remembers feeling like a mother. Ray is not sure what to do now. When King shows up in her bedroom at her father’s house, she is shocked and thrilled. She tells him what has been happening since the last time that they saw each other. He apologizes for his nefarious plan to get his daughter back and Ray forgives him. How can she not when it was all for the daughter he lost?

King wants to take Ray and Sammy (her son) back to his house but Ray refuses. She needs to regain her memory completely before she can fully commit to King. She loves him to distraction, but she can’t exactly take Sammy away from his father. She also starts remembering her own father. Although they were on the outs for years, Ray starts to remember the good times with him. It was really heartwarming to read about her relationship with him before things got rocky.

In King, her friend Nikki stole money from King. On her way out the window, she tells Ray one thing… “Don’t trust the Tyrant.” At the time Ray had no idea what she meant. When it starts coming back to her, she realizes that the danger to her and her son is much closer than she could have ever conceived of. All she wants and needs is King. And he doesn’t let her down.

I really didn’t see the ending coming, but I generally don’t. This book was so satisfying to read. I really loved Ray finding her way back to herself. The ending was spectacular and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

King

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: A Lily Among Thorns by Rose Lerner

Posted December 10, 2020 by Ames in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: A Lily Among Thorns by Rose LernerReviewer: Ames
A Lily Among Thorns by Rose Lerner
Publisher: Leisure Books, Self-Published
Publication Date: September 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 392
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

London 1815, just before Waterloo...

After her noble father disowned her, Lady Serena Ravenshaw clawed her way from streetwalker to courtesan to prosperous innkeeper. Now she’s feared and respected from one end of London to the other, by the lowest dregs of the city’s underworld and the upper echelons of the beau monde, and she’ll do anything to keep it that way.

When mild-mannered chemist Solomon Hathaway turns up in her office, asking for her help, she immediately recognizes him from one fateful night years before. She’s been watching and waiting for him for years—so she can turn the tables and put him in her debt, of course, and not because he looked like an angel and was kind to her when she needed it most.

She’s determined not to wonder what put that fresh grief in his eyes. But after a betrayal even Serena didn’t expect, she must put aside her pride and work with Solomon to stop a ring of French spies and save her beloved inn, her freedom—and England itself.

This review was originally published September 7, 2011

I read Rose Lerner’s In for a Penny last year and really enjoyed it, so I’ve been looking forward to her second book for a while now.  It was worth the wait.

A Lily Among Thorns starts with Solomon Hathaway visiting a brothel with two school chums.  He doesn’t necessarily want to be there and he can tell that the prostitute really doesn’t want to be there.  In desperation (and drunkenness) Solomon gives his lightskirt his whole quarterly allowance and races off into the night.

Five years later and Solomon has entered the Ravenshaw Arms, a hotel with a well-known proprietess.  Lady Serena, aka the Thorn, is known in underground circles as someone who can find missing things (among other skills).  Serena is also the young prostitute whom Solomon’s quarterly allowance allowed to leave her situation.  Serena recognizes Sol immediately, but he doesn’t recognize her until a little bit later.  Sol needs Serena’s talents to locate some family earrings that his sister demands she needs in order to get married and said earrings were stolen a week prior by some highwaymen.  Sol and Serena work out a deal that he’ll stay at the Ravenshaw Arms and do the bed hangings while Serena locates the earrings.  Simple, right?

Not so much, because Serena’s former partner, the Marquis du Sacreval, has returned from France and wants to take the Arms away from Serena.  This is anathema to her because the Arms is her home and something that she’s worked for and proud of.  She also rescues those from her former profession and gives them positions at her hotel.  She has quite a few people counting on her and the last thing she wants to do is hand it all over to Rene.  But he threatens her with a fake marriage license.  By now Solomon has recognized Serena and he’s vowed to help her out…but nothing is that simple and his family, her family, and a ring of French spies are only a few of the obstacles between these two characters.

There was a lot going on in A Lily Among Thorns, but it all came together very well.  I did not even delve into some of the stuff going on in this story.  It had a lot but it was definitely character driven.  And what characters!

First there’s Lady Serena.  She is actually the daughter of an aristocrat who fell for a footman and instead of allowing her father to dictate her life, she ran out.  Yeah she didn’t end up in the best of circumstances, but she took advantage of Solomon’s drunken generosity and made something of herself.  She’s a very strong character who puts up a front in order not to appear vulnerable to former clients who visit her hotel now and then.  She’s also intimidating as hell, with a fierce reputation that makes other unsavory elements quake in their boots when she lifts a sardonic brow in their direction.

Then there’s Solomon.  He is actually an earl’s nephew but who turned his back on the opportunity his rich uncle gave him and went to work for his other uncle in a tailoring shop.  He can match any shade of cloth to the color of your choice.  He is also suffering over the death of his twin, a twin who overshadowed him a bit.  Solomon is very much a non-alpha type of character.  But he has an inner strength that shines through and he has a sense of belonging that appeals to others.  He’s a man who knows what he wants and he makes sure he gets it.  He isn’t in your face about it and that sets him apart from overly-confident alpha types who ooze testosterone.  That’s not Solomon’s style.

So great characters and strong writing are two key elements for why A Lily Among Thorns works for me.  I really like the dynamic between Serena and Solomon.  She can be a bit hard and that’s something that Solomon likes about her.  Solomon also makes Serena believe in herself over the opinion of her extremely disapproving father.  There was also a surprising secondary story that I don’t want to name a romance so much because there was no concrete HEA for those characters (I refuse to spoil the surprise as to who it is) and I would definitely like to see their story wrapped up at a later date.  My only complaint about this book would be the beginning, it took a little while for me to get into what was going on.  But once the story got rolling, I was engrossed.  A Lily Among Thorns gets 4 out of 5 from me.

This book is available from Leisure Books. You can buy it here.

four-stars


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