Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Guest Review: Iain’s Plaid by Skye Taylor

Posted June 14, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Iain’s Plaid by Skye TaylorReviewer: Tracy
Iain's Plaid by Skye Taylor
Published by Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date: June 2nd 2017
Genres: Romance, Time Travel
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four-stars

Was she sent back in time to change Iain’s fate . . . or share it?

Caught between a job offer she should take and a marriage proposal she doesn’t want, Dani Amico is dying for some adventure. So she takes off to visit some of the places on her bucket list. The first - an abandoned island she read about while researching her American History thesis. While there, she tumbles into an abandoned cellar hole . . . and wakes up more than two centuries in the past.

It’s 1775 and Iain MacKail’s ship is loaded with contraband he is smuggling into Boston. This unknown Dani, the “boy” he found in his cellar, could be a spy for the British customs agents, so Iain is forced to take the boy with him to insure that he and his mission are not compromised. Only he soon finds out that this ”boy” is so much more.

As they travel through pre-revolutionary New England, Dani realizes she’s falling for the rugged Scotsman. But she can’t forget something she came across in her studies—the fate of Iain MacKail. He would be betrayed by someone close to him and suddenly disappear from history. Could this be the reason Dani fell through time—to save Iain? Could they live and love together in this war-torn time?

Then again, if she tries—and fails—to change his fate . . . will she end up sharing it?

Dani has been offered a job that her live-in boyfriend got for her.  Even though the job is a great one, she hates the fact that he got it for her.  Though she likes her boyfriend a lot she doesn’t love him and is scared about the fact that he’s been hinting about them getting married.  Instead of keeping things the same she turns down the job, breaks up with her boyfriend and heads off to do some things that are on her bucket list.  One of those things is to explore an island off the coast of Maine that she read about.

Dani heads to the deserted island by herself.  She accidentally falls into a cellar hole and wakes up in 1775.  She thinks at first that it’s all a reenactment but she soon discovers it’s very real. While in 1775 she is with Iain MacKail who she read about in one of her books.  In that book she read that at some point he just disappears and she fears he’s killed.  She decides that she was sent back in time to save his life.  While trying to do that she didn’t expect to fall in love with Iain but it happens anyway.  Can she save him though, and if she does what does that mean for his…their future.

I always love a good time travel book but I’m not normally a huge American historical romance fan.  Iain’s Plaid was a little different as it had so much to do with the Revolutionary War and that piqued my interest.  Obviously Iain MacKail was fictional but everything else was pretty close.  I like that Ms. Taylor stuck to facts as it made the romance so much more realistic.

Iain was a great character and one that was well written.  He had some serious struggles with what was happening as he was Scottish but loved the Colonies as well.  So when a war is imminent, who does he fight for?  I liked that the story took the turn so that it showed us a logical decision for Iain’s actions.

Dani was also an engaging heroine and I liked he a lot.  She did a couple of stupid things that made me roll my eyes, all under the guise of wanting to save Iain but since even she realized how dumb they were after the fact I couldn’t dislike her.

Overall I found the story worth reading and definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 

four-stars

Guest Review: Wed to a Spy by Sharon Cullen

Posted June 2, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Wed to a Spy by Sharon CullenReviewer: Tracy
Wed to a Spy by Sharon Cullen
Series: All the Queen's Spies #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: Historical
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four-stars

Simon Marcheford wants nothing more than to settle down on the land bestowed upon him by the English crown. Queen Elizabeth, however, is not about to let her best spy retire so easily. Simon will have his reward, she decrees, after he completes one last mission in Scotland. But no sooner has he sussed out a diabolical plot up North than Queen Mary weds him to her cousin—an exquisite beauty with troubled, soulful eyes—and orders Simon to watch her every move.

Aimee de Verris is no spy. But her life may depend on becoming one. Banished from the French court by Catherine de Medici, Aimee finds herself tasked with reporting on Queen Mary’s activities in Scotland, where she’s unnerved by the frigid weather and brutish customs. Worst of all, Aimee’s been married off to a most uncouth lout. But when murder strikes, she learns to appreciate Simon’s talent for shielding her with every inch of his muscular frame. If Aimee desires her husband, perhaps she could trust him—or even love him.

Simon is an English spy in Queen Mary’s court in Scotland via his assignment in Spain.  He’s asked by the Queen to keep an eye on Aimee de Verris as Mary believes her to be a spy.  While Simon thinks that Aimee’s beautiful he has no true interest in her – nor her in him.  That doesn’t stop Queen Mary from ordering them to get married.  What?  Yep, the next day they’re married and neither is happy about it.

Aimee was raised by her aunt, Catherine de Medici, in the French court.  She fell in love with a man but when they were caught in an embrace Catherine sent Aimee to Scotland.  Catherine told Aimee that she needed to spy and if she succeeds then Catherine would let Aimee and her man be together.  Of course because Aimee believes herself to be in love with a man in France the last thing she wants to do is marry someone else.  Though she fights it she ends up marrying Simon.  She likes the man but the thought of being married to anyone but her love and an Englishman to boot is horrible.

Aimee and Simon try to deal with their marriage as best they can but when someone is killed in Queen Mary’s court they have to hide and then escape to save their own lives. While in this dire situation they get to know each other and realize that maybe they can learn to love each other.

While this book blurb was based on two spies coming together we soon learned that Aimee wasn’t anywhere near being a spy.  She was just a young girl who had been played by her aunt.  I felt horrible for her for being so used by both Catherine and in the end, Queen Mary.  She had just wanted to be left alone to be with her man, Pierre.  I was happy that she soon realized that what she thought was love with Pierre was just an infatuation and that Simon was a man she could love – and then fell in love with him.

Simon was a great guy who just wanted to be left alone to raise his young sister in the country.  His Queen had tasked him with one last mission and he never imagined where it would lead him – into matrimony.  The more time he spent with Aimee the more he liked her and soon found himself in love.  He was a good man and I was thrilled that he found love with Aimee, even if it was unexpected.

The characters in this book were interesting and intriguing.  The story was well written and sucked me in from the first page.  My one issue with the story is that the falling in love happened really quickly.  I loved that they fell in love I just wish it would have happened a bit slower – a minor issue, really.

Overall I enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Review: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath

Posted June 1, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
An Affair with a Notorious Heiress by Lorraine Heath
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars

The son of a duke and an infamous mother, Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton, fought his way to respectability. Now, the most eligible bachelor in London, marriage-shy Rexton will take only a wife with an impeccable reputation, good breeding, and a penchant for staying out of the gossip sheets. But when he strikes a deal to be seen “courting” a sweet young debutante whose notorious older sister has blemished her chances for marriage, Rexton is unexpectedly drawn to the highly inappropriate, calamitous Tillie, Lady Landsdowne herself.

After a scandalous incident that sent shockwaves throughout society and disgraced her, Tillie refuses to cower in the face of the ton. Instead, she will hold her head high as she serves as a chaperone for her younger sister, but Tillie is convinced Rexton’s courtship is shrouded with secrets—ones she vows to uncover. However, doing so requires getting dangerously close to the devilishly handsome and forbidden marquess…

An Affair with a Notorious Heiress is the fourth book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series by Lorraine Heath and it follows Alistair Mabry, Marquess of Rexton. Rexton has a bunch of siblings that we’ve come to know throughout this series. I have enjoyed every single book in this series and that didn’t stop with this one. Lorraine Heath is one of my go to historical romance authors because she writes historical romances that have that old school feel and I fall into each of her stories so very easily.

The Marquess of Rexton is no stranger to scandal. His mother wasn’t born into the aristocracy so when his father married her, she wasn’t really accepted but that didn’t stop his father from loving the hell out of her anyway. Rexton was bullied at school because of his mother. He grew up and had to deal with a scandal that was not his and he swore that when he grew up and took a wife, she would be above reproach. His children will never know the pain he endured when he was a child.

Lady Mathilda Landsdowne is a walking scandal. She’s a divorced woman who was caught kissing her footman and all this time later, she’s still paying for her actions. She has plans to leave England and return to New York to start over but first, she needs to get her younger sister situated and make sure that she marries someone who is worthy of her. Someone that will take care of her and make her happy, because Tillie knows all too well the misery behind marrying the wrong guy.

Rexton was approached by Tillie’s uncle to pay some attention to her younger sister, Gina in hopes that other gentlemen will take notice of her since Tillie’s divorce scandal has kept Gina from having the season she deserved. Rexton has no plans to marry Gina since she’s too young for him but when one of the best racehorses is dangled in front of his nose, he finds himself asking the young girl to dance…and then asking to take her for a ride in the park.

Tillie is suspicious of Rexton and she’s also attracted as hell to him. The attraction she feels for him is definitely returned and their story kind of takes off right when they meet. Rexton is immediately drawn to Tillie, to the strong front she puts up for everyone to the obvious love and support she has for her younger sister, Gina. The more time that Rexton spends with Tillie, the more that he wants her. Tillie is fighting her attraction to the man that is “courting” her sister but it’s a losing battle.

Lorraine Heath did such a great job of pulling my heartstrings with this book. Between Tillie not wanting Rexton to suffer from loving her and Rexton wanting to protect Tillie from everything and everyone around her, I was happy sighing all over the place. I completely connected with both of their characters and their situations. I wished for them to work things out and for them to find a way to be together and in the end, I got my wish.

Tillie was a strong heroine that was hellbent on making sure that her sister didn’t make the same mistakes she did and I really loved the relationship between the two sisters. Gina wanted Tillie’s happiness just as much as Tillie wanted Gina’s and I loved how Team Rexton Gina was. That was just too adorable for words.

Rexton was everything that I hoped he would be and I loved seeing him fall in love with Tillie. I loved seeing how close he was with his family and the way that they all came together to accept Tillie into the fold was just too stinkin’ good. The way that they banded around Rexton and his woman made my heart swell. He was such a good man and my bloodthirsty heart was satisfied with the beat down he gave anyone who dared to touch Tillie.

Heath worked her magic and it paid off because this was a fine romance and I’m super glad that I read it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 24, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Tracy
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Lauren Williams works for a multi-million dollar technology company and loves it.  Her boss also owns the Brooklyn Bruisers, an NHL hockey team.  Lauren grew up with hockey and used to love it.  She loved it up until the Bruiser that she was planning on marrying suddenly up and left her for his ex-wife with very little explanation.  Lauren’s not willing to put herself out there again when Mike Beacon, the man who broke her heart, starts to show signs that he’s interested in her once again.  She’s moving ahead with her life and her plans for single motherhood and Mike has no place in her plans. Unfortunately for Lauren’s plans, Mike is determined to get back the woman he never stopped loving no matter what he has to do.

I have to tell you that when I read about why Lauren and Mike broke up in the first place I didn’t want to have Lauren and Mike get back together.  Seriously, I was that mad at him for being an insensitive ass.  True, his motivations were honorable but the way he handled it was horrible and I wasn’t sure I could forgive him.

By the middle of the book I still wasn’t sure how he was going to win Lauren back but by that point I was on his side.  He was a good guy who had made a gigantic mistake.  I couldn’t condone how he handled things with his ex-wife, and of course there were plenty of ways he could have helped his ex and stayed with Lauren (but then we wouldn’t have a book, would we?) but that’s not what happened.  Now that time has passed since his ex-wife died he knew that he couldn’t live any longer without Lauren by his side but he not only had Lauren to contend with but also his extremely sassy 13-year-old daughter, Elsa.

Elsa was a piece of work and I truly wanted to climb into the book and give her a good talking to but I could understand why her emotions were all over the place. Her mother had died, her dad is gone a lot because of his hockey schedule, she had to move away from her friends and now he’s gonna date a woman that everyone tells her stole her father away from her mother?  Yeah, I’d be an emotional wreck too.  Despite her sassiness, however, I liked the kid.  She had her moments of goodness and I thought she was a good addition to the story.

The romance in this book was extremely emotional but oh, so good.  Lauren and Mike were so good together but it was definitely hard for me to see how they’d work things out and let the hurt of the past go.  I was happy that they were able to move on and that Lauren was able to trust Mike again.  The story was fabulous and of course I loved the hockey talk as well.  😊

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Hot Shot by Kelly Jamieson

Posted May 23, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Hot Shot by Kelly JamiesonReviewer: Tracy
Hot Shot by Kelly Jamieson
Series: Last Shot #2
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

Marco Solis knows that if he gets too close to people they disappear. His parents were deported back to Mexico when he was fourteen, his fiancée married someone else while he was in the military, and now his business partner’s spending more time with his girl than with Marco. For better or worse, that’s how Marco meets Carrie Garner. She’s legitimately model-hot. She’s also a nut—a wild, artsy, unapproachable nut. So why is Marco so interested in cracking her shell?

Although Carrie Garner is a natural in front of the camera, her dream is to make it as a photographer. Soon she’ll be heading to Spain for design school, and she’ll miss her best friend, Hayden, like crazy. She’ll even miss Hayden’s boyfriend, Beck—but she won’t miss Beck’s partner, Marco. Bossy, brooding, and annoyingly sexy, Marco really pushes her buttons, though he obviously wouldn’t mind pushing her buttons in an up-against-the-wall, hard-and-fast kind of way. The craziest part is, if Carrie lets him do that, well . . . she may never want to leave.

Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Marco owns a tequila bar with his friends Cade and Beck.  They were all Navy SEALS and now they work together once again.  Marco met Carrie when she came in for a tequila tasting with Hayden, who is now Beck’s fiancé.  He was attracted to Carrie from the first minute but Carrie shut his flirting down pretty much instantaneously.  He just figured that she thought he wasn’t good enough for her.

Carrie’s always been attracted to Marco but she doesn’t like to admit it to herself.  When Marco first flirted with her she felt like he just thought she was a dumb bimbo and blew him off.  As she gets to know him, now that they’re planning Beck and Hayden’s engagement party together, she sees that she was wrong about him.  Sparks fly when they’re together but Carrie’s leaving to go to school in Spain for 9 months so she’s not about to get involved with anyone.

Marco and Carrie decide to start a fling and will end it when she leaves for Spain.  Little did they know that they’d fall in love.  Of course neither are confident enough to tell the other so this leaves each of them heart-broken.

This was a cute, light read from Jamieson.  Despite the feelings that both Marco and Carrie carried with them about themselves I thought that the author did a great job of not dragging the story down with their issues.  They were talked about and definitely were a major focus of the book but when I read the last page I wasn’t depressed with a sad knot in my chest.  She dealt with both the hero and heroine’s  personal issues in a way that made it emotional but not over-bearing.

Marco was a fantastic character.  I really liked him so much as my heart went out to all that he’d been through in his life when he was an adolescent.  He’d moved on and made something of himself – something he could be proud of and it showed in his whole being.  I loved that he saw Carrie as others didn’t.  He saw in her the bright shining light she was and then made it even brighter with his love.

Carrie had some serious self-esteem issues even though she was a model.  She felt like the tall gangly kid she’d always been while growing up and didn’t see herself as gorgeous.  It wasn’t a vanity thing – wanting people to tell her she’s gorgeous.  It was the opposite, in fact and it was just how she felt. She also felt that since her entire family was into business and had great careers that she hadn’t done anything productive in her life – which wasn’t true at all.  I liked her character a lot as she worked on her self-esteem and the feelings of not being good enough for her family.

Overall I found Hot Shot to be a thoroughly enjoyable book and I’m looking forward to reading what happens with Marco’s friend Cade in the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars