Tag: Avon

Guest Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Posted August 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Tracy
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #3
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring
Published by Avon
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 370
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...

Business minded Pandora has no desire to get married.  She wants to be an independent woman and she’s doing that with the help of her brother-in-law, Rhys Winterbourne.  She makes board games and plans to build factories and employ lots of women.  If she got married she’d have to give up all control and money earned and she’s not about to do that. She hangs out at balls during her first season making up excuses to avoid dancing with men.  Unfortunately she gets caught in what is considered a compromising position with Lord St. Vincent and can’t seem to get out of it.

Gabriel isn’t thrilled with the thought of getting married and of course Pandora keeps telling him no.  The more he gets to know her, however, the more he thinks that being married to her would be amazing and he soon falls in love with her.  Pandora puts up a fight until the end but her heart is soon just as engaged as Gabriel’s.

This was a sweet romantic story.  Pandora is brusque and pushy but I truly admired her drive and ambition.  I know that wasn’t something that was admired back then but that made me like her even more.

Gabriel was a great character.  He is the son of Evie and Sebastian (from Devil in Winter) and has a good head on his shoulders.  He soon sees that Pandora isn’t like any other women and that’s a good thing, in his mind. He even goes so far as to get a dispensation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to have the word “obey” stricken from their marriage ceremony.  🙂

There was a bit of a mystery plot (I guess you’d call it mystery – maybe terrorist?) that was a bit odd.  It had to do with a printer that Pandora went to see about one of her board games.  I kind of felt that it was put in there just to put the heroine in peril and have us meet the detective, Ethan Ransom, (that may or may be attached to the Ravenels in some way) and that did nothing for me.  It ended up being a bit out there but wrapped up nicely.

Overall I really liked the book a lot.  I liked the characters and the romance and that was the main focus.  I’m anxious to see what the next book in the series brings.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Posted August 8, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: White Hot by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Tracy
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire
Published by Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 389
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Goodreads
five-stars

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 …

Book two in the Hidden Legacy series begins just 2 months after book one ended.  Nevada is still working her private detective business and dealing with family issues.  Mad Rogan has been in the wind since Nevada told him that she wasn’t into having a fling with him.  She figures that he’s moved on and she’s trying to do the same.

Nevada takes a case for Cornelius Harrison (who we met in book one) who is an animal mage.  His wife, a lawyer, was recently murdered while working for House Fosberg and the House is saying that it had nothing to do with work.  That she was at a hotel and it was personal business.  Cornelius is pretty sure that they’re lying as his wife was faithful to him and hires Nevada to look into it.  Of course her investigation brings up a whole bunch of things that want to stay hidden, as well as more interaction with Mad Rogan.

Nevada also ends up using her truthseeking magic to force a child molester/serial killer to tell her where he had hidden the latest child he’d kidnapped.  Though she went against advice and her face was hidden, she still outs herself and the one person she doesn’t want finding her, her grandmother, does just that.  The grandmother will stop at nothing to get Nevada into her House.

The story is a great one.  I love Andrews’ world building, character building and romance.  There’s truly nothing I didn’t like in this book.

Mad Rogan and Nevada have an interesting yet incredibly romantic relationship.  They get closer in this book as they uncover part of the plot that started in book one.  They work together so incredibly well and I love that they’re so protective of each other.

The secondary characters in this story are awesome.  Nevada’s family plays a huge part in the book, as they did in book one, and we get to know them a bit better.  Cornelius and his magic are wonderful and made me laugh more than once.

I want to tell you so much about this book but you need to read if for yourself to understand the beauty of it.  Don’t read this book if you haven’t read book one as you will be lost, lost, lost.  The series definitely needs to be read in order.  White Hot is an amazing book set in an amazing world and is a book I definitely recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Guest Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Posted August 7, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wildfire by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Tracy
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), White Hot
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 391
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Nevada has fallen in love with Connor “Mad” Rogan and she’s totally ok with that.  She knows that life will not be easy but she’s decided to make the most of it.

She takes a case for Rynda who was once Connor’s fiancé.  She’s jealous at first but soon realizes there’s nothing to worry about.  While Nevada and Connor look for Rynda’s missing husband they once again run into the people who are trying to take over the city.  The plot goes farther and wider than they ever though it did.

In addition to the investigation, Nevada has decided that in order to stay away from her grandmother she must create her own House.  She’s nervous but believes that the family will pass with flying colors. There are, of course, people who don’t want her to start her own House and make their dislike of the situation known.  Rogan and Nevada end up fighting constantly to save themselves but it all works out in the end.

This book was, just like book two in the series, incredibly wonderful.  I’m constantly amazed at the minds that makes up Ilona Andrews!  The world building and characters depth is off the charts and I’m constantly wondering how anyone’s mind comes up with this stuff.  And it’s awesome!

The situation with people plotting to take over of the city, the romance between Rogan and Nevada, the dynamics between Nevada’s family members and the situation with Rynda and her husband all blended so well and made a story that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Wildfire is a magical story (in more ways than one) and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Posted August 6, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 9 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Tessa Dare is one of my favorite historical romance authors and whenever she releases a book, I’m excited. Her books just do it for me and to say that I was excited about this book is an understatement. Scarred hero strikes up a deal with a damsel in distress? Count me in!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Avon

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…

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

The Duchess Deal was a great read and it has one of the more memorable meet cutes that I’ve read in a long time. Check out how the hero and heroine of this book meet for the first time below…

Excerpt

Emma Gladstone had learned a few hard lessons by the age of two-and-twenty.

Charming princes weren’t always what they seemed. Shining armor went out of fashion with the Crusades. And if fairy godmothers existed, hers was running several years late.

Most of the time, a girl needed to rescue herself.

This afternoon was one of those times.

Ashbury House loomed before her, taking up one full side of the fashionable Mayfair Square. Elegant. Enormous.

Terrifying.

She swallowed hard. She could do this. Once, she’d walked to London alone in the bitter heart of winter. She’d refused to succumb to despair or starvation. She’d found work and made a new life for herself in Town. Now, six years later, she’d swallow every needle in Madame Bissette’s dressmaking shop before she’d go crawling back to her father.

Compared to all that, what was knocking on the door of a duke?

Why, nothing. Nothing at all. All she had to do was square her shoulders, charge through the wrought-iron gates, march up those granite steps—really, there were only a hundred or so—and ring the bell on that immense, richly carved door.

Good afternoon, I’m Miss Emma Gladstone. I’m here to see the mysterious, , reclusive Duke of Ashbury. No, we aren’t acquainted. No, I don’t have a calling card. I don’t have anything, really. I may not even have a home tomorrow if you don’t let me in.

Oh, good heavens. This would never work.

With a whimper, she turned away from the gate and circled the square for the tenth time, shaking out her bare arms under her cloak.

She had to try.

Emma stopped her pacing, faced the gate, and drew a deep breath. She closed her ears to the frantic pounding of her heart.

The hour was growing late. No one was coming to her aid. The could be no further hesitation, no turning back.

Ready. Steady. Go.

From his library desk, Ashbury heard an unfamiliar ringing sound. Could it be a doorbell?

There it came again.

It was a doorbell.

Worse, it was his doorbell.

Damned gossips. He hadn’t even been in Town but a few weeks. He’d forgotten how London rumors traveled faster than bullets. He didn’t have the time or patience for busybodies. Whoever it was, Khan would send them away.

He dipped his quill and continued the letter to his feckless solicitors.

I don’t know what the devil you’ve been doing for the past year, but the state of my affairs is deplorable. Sack the Yorkshire land steward directly. Tell the architect I wish to see the plans for the new mill, and I wish to see them yesterday. And there’s one other thing that requires immediate attention.

Ash hesitated, quill poised in midair. He couldn’t believe he was actually going to commit the words to paper. But much as he dreaded it, must be done. He wrote:

I need a wife.

He supposed he ought to state his requirements: a woman of childbearing age and respectable lineage, in urgent need of money, willing to share a bed with a scarred horror of a man.

In short, someone desperate.

God, how depressing. Better to leave it at that one line.

I need a wife.

Khan appeared in the doorway. “Your Grace, I regret the interruption, but there’s a young woman to see you. She’s wearing a wedding gown.”

Ash looked at the butler. He looked down at the words he’d just written. Then he looked at the butler again.

“Well, that’s uncanny.” Perhaps his solicitors weren’t as useless as he thought. He dropped his pen and propped one boot on the desk, reclining into the shadows. “By all means, show her in.”

A young woman in white strode into the room.

His boot slipped from the desk. He reeled backward and collided with the wall, nearly falling off his chair. A folio of papers tumbled from a nearby shelf, drifting to the floor like snowflakes.

He was blinded.

Not by her beauty—though he supposed she might be beautiful. It wasn’t possible to judge. Her gown was an eye-stabbing monstrosity of pearls, lace, brilliants, and beads.

Good Lord. He wasn’t accustomed to being in the same room with something even more repulsive than his own appearance.

He propped his right elbow on the arm of his chair and raised his fingertips to his brow, concealing the scars on his face. For once, he wasn’t protecting a servant’s sensibilities or even his own pride. He was shielding himself from…from that.

“I’m sorry to impose on you this way, Your Grace,” the young woman said, keeping her gaze fixed on some chevron of the Persian carpet.

“I should hope you are.”

“But you see, I am quite desperate.”

“So I gather.”

“I need to be paid for my labor, and I need to be paid at once.”

Ash paused. “Your…your labor.”

“I’m a seamstress. I stitched this”—she swept her hands down the silk eyesore—“for Miss Worthing.”

For Miss Worthing.

Ah, this began to make sense. The white satin atrocity had been meant for Ash’s formerly intended bride. That, he could believe. Annabelle Worthing had always had dreadful taste—both in gowns and in prospective husbands.

“When your engagement ended, she never sent for the gown. She’d purchased the silk and lace and such, but she never paid for the labor. And that meant I went unpaid. I tried calling at her home, with no success. My letters to you both went unanswered. I thought that if I appeared like this”—she spread the skirts of the white gown—“I would be impossible to ignore.”

“You were correct on that score.” Even the good side of his face twisted. “Good Lord, it’s as though a draper’s shop exploded and you were the first casualty.”

🙂 You interested in reading it for yourself? Enter our giveaway below for a chance to get a copy of the book for free…on us! 🙂

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Tessa Dare

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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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Retro Review: True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson.

Posted July 26, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 20 Comments

Retro Review: True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson.Reviewer: Rowena
True Love and Other Disasters (Chinooks Hockey Team #4) by Rachel Gibson
Series: Chinooks Hockey Team #4
Also in this series: See Jane Score
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 28th 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 345
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Disaster Number One: MEN

Hard knocks and hunger taught Faith Duffy not to believe in love. Still, when she married her very wealthy—and very old—husband, she became the perfect wife. And then he went to that big bank in the sky, leaving Faith with lonely nights, a pile of money, and a total mess of a pro hockey team. Heck, Faith doesn't even watch hockey!

Disaster Number Two: PASSION

But most of America and half of Canada is watching Ty Savage. His lethal sex appeal and deadly right hook make him the favorite of fans. For most of Ty's life, he's dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup. The last thing he needs is a bimbo messing up his plans.

Disaster Number Three: LOVE

Faith loathes Ty on sight, but she can't stop thinking about him all day ... and night. Then a moment of temptation ends with Faith in Ty's bed, and she begins to see there's more to him than sex appeal. Ty discovers there's far more to Faith than beauty and billions. But a relationship with Faith is impossible, and falling in love—that would be a disaster.

*****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.

Holly: Oh man, did we all love Rachel Gibson back in the day. I have several of her more recent releases in my TBR pile, but for some reason I haven’t read them. I think I’m afraid the magic of these earlier works will be missing.

This review was originally published April 29, 2009

One of the main reasons I read Rachel Gibson is she writes engaging stories with characters that fall right off the pages and keeps me entertained from the first page all the way to the last page. I don’t have to plow my way through that first part of the book that can sometimes bore the ever living snot out of me. Her books take off right from the beginning and keeps me plugged in.

This book was no exception. I was on board with this story right from the first chapter. In the first chapter, we meet the hero and the heroine at the heroine’s husband’s funeral or wake. Right off the bat, this book reminded me of Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s It Had To Be You and I was eagerly waiting to see how Rachel Gibson would tell her version of that storyline.

For me, she knocked it out of the park.

There is no doubt that Rachel Gibson is a gifted writer. She writes these quirky little romances that makes you smile and entertains the socks right off of you and she did just that in this book. This story is about Faith Duffy inheriting her late husband’s hockey team, the Seattle Chinooks. You’ll remember The Chinooks from See Jane Score, as that was the team that Luc Martineau and his sexy “I want to lick his tatoo” self played for. In this book, Lucky is retired and there’s a new hunky captain on the prowl.

His name is Ty Savage.

Man, I could feast for days off of that man. I really like hockey men and I really love Rachel Gibson’s hockey men. I didn’t think I could love an RG hockey man as much as I loved Luc Martineau but I do now.

I love Ty, just wanted to tell you that..in case you missed it. =P It’s funny how I don’t watch hockey in real life but after reading this book, it’s made me curious enough to check a hockey game out.

Faith was a great heroine. She was one of those heroines that is easy to relate to even if you don’t have anything in common with her. Faith was such a likeable character that I found it very easy to sympathize with her. She was so likeable that I wasn’t mad one bit at her after two weeks passes after her husband death and she starts wanting to sleep with another man. I had very big issues with this in Robyn Carr’s book, Second Chance Pass but because Faith’s relationship with her husband was so different from Vanessa’s relationship with Matt, it didn’t bother me one bit when Faith started sleeping with Ty.

I thought they were perfect together and I loved watching these two fall in love with each other. I loved seeing Ty’s insecurities and I loved watching him bulldoze his way into Faith’s heart. It was a delight to read about and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking to enjoy another RG hockey book, for me, this is definitely a keeper.

4.5 out of 5

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

four-half-stars


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