Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Review: Royally Matched by Emma Chase

Posted September 18, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Royally Matched by Emma ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Royally Matched (Royally, #2) by Emma Chase
Series: Royally Series #2
Also in this series: Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 276
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him "space"—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit... and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Matched is the second book in the Royally series and it’s probably my favorite story of the bunch. I just really enjoyed the romance between Henry and Sarah. Their relationship blossomed so sweetly and I just ate everything up.

Henry Pembrook is still reeling from the fact that his older brother abdicated the crown and he is now the heir to the throne of Wessco. He’s not handling things very well and there’s so much to learn and so much to do that he needs space to figure things out on his own. When he gets the Queen’s permission for some space, he kind of goes nuts. He plans a super hush-hush reality dating show to find himself a wife while hooking up with every eligible woman he can.

We met his heroine in the first book in this series and I was thrilled when I found out for sure that she was Henry’s girl. Why, you ask? Because she was adorable and bookish and nerdy and just…my kind of gal. She obviously has some stuff that she’s working through and I was mighty curious to find out what her deal was. Her name is Sarah and she’s one of Henry’s friend’s sisters.

Sarah accompanies her sister to be a part of Henry’s show and she’s supposed to serve as her sister’s moral compass. She’s supposed to pull her sister back when she’s trying to get too crazy. Penelope (the sister) is there to try to win Henry’s heart and capture his attention and wouldn’t you know that Henry’s attention is captured by someone who isn’t even on the show.

I adored how the friendship that sparked up between Henry and Sarah became so much more than either of them were expecting. I loved seeing how important they became to each other and I just adored their alone moments together. You really do see them grow individually and then together as the book progresses and I thought Emma Chase did a wonderful job of pulling the reader into their love story.

This was a fun contemporary romance with characters that really pulled at my heart strings. I adored the support system that both Henry and Sarah had in their family and friends. It was good to see my friends Nick and Olivia and Elle and Logan. They were a fun addition to an already fun book. I definitely recommend this book.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses by Lorraine Heath

Posted September 7, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
Gentlemen Prefer Heiresses (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4.5) by Lorraine Heath
Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4.5
Also in this series: An Affair with a Notorious Heiress
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 112
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four-half-stars

Lord Andrew Mabry, the second son of the Duke of Greystone, has no desire to marry. As the spare, he has no obligation to provide an heir and he rather enjoys spending his days and nights in play with the demimonde. But more and more of late, he finds himself wanting to play naughty games with the American heiress, Gina Hammersley.

After her scandalous older sister marries a marquess, Gina Hammersley suddenly finds herself the darling of London with beaux a plenty calling on her, sending flowers, and filling her dance cards. Unfortunately, the one she desires most is the one who has no wish to be caught in the marriage trap: Lord Andrew Mabry.

But when they are discovered in a compromising situation, this unlikely pair must decide whether to face scandal or discover if the passion they’ve always felt is strong enough to lead them into love.

I was a bit bummed when I found out that Gina and Mabry’s book was a novella and not a full novel. I liked both of these guys in the previous books that they were in and was all for them getting their happily ever after in a full-length story but I went into this story confident that I would love their story whatever way I got it and I wasn’t wrong.

Lorraine Heath writes such great historical romances and it’s no wonder I won’t ever pass up anything she releases.

So Gina and Andrew know each other through their siblings. Gina’s sister married Andrew’s brother. Gina is thrilled for her sister and wants to find what Tillie has for herself. She wants love and the whole nine yards but the guy that she’s interested in has no plans to ever marry so she’s not about to get caught up with Andrew Mabry, no matter how hot he is. Andrew never planned on getting married because he didn’t have to. He’s the spare and now that his brother is married and will probably knock his wife up soon, he really doesn’t have to get married so why should he? He’s free to live the life that he’s always led. A happy and carefree one with no strings attached. He’s annoyed that he can’t seem to stop thinking about Gina Hammersley and wanting her. She was not part of his plans but a future with her is starting to look better and better the more time he spends with her. Too bad he doesn’t have the title she wants in a husband.

These two and their adventures had me laughing and sighing and just enjoying the heck out of reading their story. Lorraine Heath does a great job of stringing the reader along, making them a part of the story and not just a bystander.

Andrew was a great hero who really came to care for Gina and I really enjoyed getting to know him. I loved seeing him try to do right by Gina while at the same time helping her have adventures without getting caught. Gina was a great match for Andrew and I thought that their romance was super sweet without the lengthy drama of a full-length novel. Their chemistry was strong and the writing and pacing was well done and I just enjoyed it all.

I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Posted September 1, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa DareReviewer: Rowena
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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four-half-stars


When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:- They will have dinner together every evening.- With conversation.- And unlimited teasing.- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

The Duchess Deal is the first book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series and I adored this book. It’s got Dare’s classic humor and seriously, her writing style never fails to wrap me up in feels.

This book follows the Duke of Ashbury as he marries Emma Gladstone, a young woman down on her luck but determined to brave things out. Ash thinks it’s fate that brought them together since he had literally just written down that he needed a wife and a woman comes into his office dressed as a bride. How can they not be together, right? Sure, the dress is hideous but with his scarred face from the war, beggars can’t be choosers.

From beginning to end, I was locked up in feels. This is probably one of the more swooniest Tessa Dare books that I’ve ever read and I just thought the writing style, the pacing, and just everything was spot on. Aside from the feels, this book was funny. Both the hero and the heroine have such great dialogue together. I loved seeing them bicker back and forth until feelings emerged between them and I really enjoyed their story as a whole.

Ash was such a surly hero and I thought that I would not like him because he was such a bulldozer. He went out of his way to be mean and sarcastic and even though there were times when I wanted to kick him, I still loved the hell out of him. There’s a balance to his character that really worked for me and Dare could have easily crossed the line with his character but doesn’t. For me, he was the right amount of mean and swoon-worthy that I was able to see past his shortcomings.

Emma was a fantastic heroine that I completely connected with. Her fierce determination to make it in a world that isn’t easy for women to succeed in was admirable. I loved seeing her figure things out, make the best of her situation, fight for what she thought was right and I really loved seeing her go toe to toe with Ash. She stood her ground when it was needed but she wasn’t hard.

I thought the romance between Ash and Emma was a lot steamier than what I’m used from Tessa Dare. I loved it. I loved seeing them grow to love each other and I really enjoyed seeing them work toward their happy ending. It wasn’t easy but man was it worth it.

This is another winner for me. Tessa Dare really know what she’s doing with writing these historical romances. She writes all around fantastic romances with characters that are strong and memorable. I’m eager for the next book in this series. I totally recommend this book.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Retro-Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh

Posted August 30, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Retro-Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #11
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 29th 2012
Pages: 448
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four-stars

Discover the exhilarating risks of passion in the breathtaking new Psy-Changeling novel by Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist)…

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past—one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.

Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Rowena: It’s always good to revisit the older Psy/Changelings books. Check out Casee’s review of Tangle of Need.

This review was originally posted on August 17, 2012

After I read Tangle of Need, I had to re-read the whole series. Then I had to re-read Tangle of Need to make sure I reviewed the correct book. I think that Tangle of Need gave an in-depth look into SnowDancer that even Kiss of Snow didn’t show.

Some of Adria’s back story was told in a previous book. Adria is a dominant wolf who mated with a non-dominant wolf. Over time, her mate broke her spirit and made her question everything about herself as a dominant female. Adria finally had the strength to leave Martin. Leaving a mate is rare, but the relationship was slowly killing Adria.

Adria returns to SnowDancer where she hopes to heal among her family and the closeness of Pack. The last thing she expects is to be attracted to Riaz, a fellow soldier and dominant. Adria also doesn’t want to be attracted to anyone. When she finds out that Riaz has met his mate, she is sickened with Riaz and herself. She’s also sad for him because there is only one mate for each wolf and his mate is happily married.

Their attraction to each other becomes impossible to ignore and Adria and Riaz are soon deep into an affair. Adria feels safe because she knows that Riaz can’t commit to her. As time goes on, Riaz and Adria begin feeling more toward each other than just pleasure and affection. Riaz knows he will never be with his mate. He’s accepted that and he is happy with Adria. He just has to convince her to let go of her fear to commit. That is easier said than done when it comes to someone as dominant and strong-willed as Adria.

What was the most interesting about Adria and Riaz’s relationship was that in the end, they were able to commit to each other as mates would. Obviously, it was a long road for them to get there (especially for Adria), but their relationship was just as strong as if they were mated. It was remarkably wonderful to read about their relationship, the obstacles, and how their love was strong enough to overcome the mate issue.

As I mentioned above, I loved the deeper look into SnowDancer and the hierarchy of the pack. They are much different than DarkRiver insofar as there are much stricter rules due to the past and how the pack was almost decimated. I especially loved Hawke and Sienna. Their relationship isn’t easy, even after they mated. Sienna also has to find her place in the pack as the alpha’s mate.

Tangle of Need was brilliant from start to finish. Each book continues the story arc and it’s done with a freshness that makes each book better than the one before. Nalini Singh continues to amaze with this series.

4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Posted August 25, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: White Hot by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot
Published by Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 389
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars


The Hidden Legacy series by #1
New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

White Hot has been a long time coming. It’s been years since Burn for Me, book 1, was released. White Hot picks up right where Burn for Me left off. I would definitely recommend reading them in order.

Nevada Baylor’s detective agency has been hired by the son of a Prime (major magical user) to find out who was responsible for his wife’s murder. During the course of the investigation Nevada crosses paths with Connor “Mad” Rogan, another Prime and her current attraction. They worked together on another case, but then Rogan walked away without a backward glance. That was two months ago. Nevada needs to keep her family under the radar as much as possible, because her powers are unique and will put them all in danger if they’re discovered. Starting a romance – or anything else – with a Prime of Rogan’s notoriety is a terrible idea, but as the case develops she realizes she needs his help. Not that he’s giving her a choice. His people were murdered, too, and he’s determined to find out what happened to them, whether she likes it or not.

As Connor and Nevada race to uncover the plot behind the murders, Nevada’s life starts spiraling out of control. She finds herself turning to Connor more and more, both personally and professionally. When push comes to shove she realizes Connor will always have her back…

Andrews excels at writing complex, layered stories with excellent world-building and fabulous characters. This was no exception. I was a bit concerned the quality would suffer for the long delay between releases, but that wasn’t the case. The romance really ramps up in this one, with Connor and Nevada coming together more and more as the novel progresses. I absolutely loved them both, and I was so glad to see them solidify as a couple.

My mind boggles at the sheer imagination this author possesses. Where do they even get this stuff? However they do it, I don’t care as long as they don’t stop. Nevada, her family, “Mad” Rogan and the full cast of characters really come to life. I fell right into the story and didn’t come up until the book ended.

There’s a lot happening, but the writing is so seamless and smooth I was never confused or overwhelmed. While I may enjoy the Innkeeper Chronicles just a bit more, this is such a fabulous series.

White Hot is a perfect example of why everyone should be reading Ilona Andrews.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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