Tag: Avon

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

What a Difference a Duke Makes starts Lenora Bell’s School for Dukes series off with a bang. I have enjoyed every single book that I’ve read by Lenora Bell and after finishing this book, my enjoyment of her books hasn’t stopped.

Edgar Rochester is the Duke of Banksford and he has two kids out of wedlock that he just found out about and is now caring for. But he’s much too busy building a steam engine empire to care for them so he needs a governess to teach and care for them when he’s not around. The problem with that is his children have run off more governesses than he’d care to admit so finding one that will stick is proving to be difficult.

Miss Mari Perkins is out on her ear with no references and in desperate need of a job. She was promised a governess job but when that falls through, she hears about another job and uses her wiles to steal that job right from under her would be employer’s nose. Her plan is to dazzle her new employer, the Duke of Banksford with her awesome governessing skills that he’ll want to keep her on when the other shoe drops.

Neither Edgar or Mari was expecting the fierce attraction that bursts between them but when Mari starts proving herself to be a capable governess that the children have warmed up to, Edgar can’t turn her away. Keeping their space from each other seems to be the only way to go about this but the heart will always want what the heart wants and theirs want each other.

I really enjoy Lenora Bell’s writing style and this book was more proof that she can write the heck out of a story. Being a part of Edgar and Mari’s (rhymes with starry, hehe) romance was great fun. Their chemistry was strong and the other characters were pretty fabulous, too. I thoroughly enjoyed the shenanigans that the twins got into and I loved seeing their relationship blossom with their father but also with Mari. Their actions in the end melted me and I loved seeing Mari really grow into her own over the course of the story. I was super thrilled when she found out all about her family.

Overall, this was a wonderful historical romance that made me happy. I cannot wait to read India and Ravenwood’s book because I’m confident that they’ll keep the party going. Kudos to Lenora Bell on winning me over with yet another fabulous historical romance. What a Difference a Duke Makes is not to be missed.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #4
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
four-stars

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett's skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he's ever known.

Hello Stranger is the fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series and it follows, Dr. Garrett Gibson and Mr. Ethan Ransom. Both characters were introduced in the previous books and both characters are linked to the Ravenels in different ways.

Dr. Garrett Gibson is the only female doctor in England and she’s one busy woman. She’s sworn that her career is more important than marriage and has no plans to marry as it will interfere with her job. When she meets Ethan Ransom and starts taking an interest in him, things change.

Mr. Ethan Ransom has been infatuated with Dr. Gibson from the jump. He knows that he can’t have her because his life is a dangerous one but that doesn’t stop him from wanting her, from wanting to be near her and when a friendship sparks up between them and then a relationship, Ethan knows that to protect her, he should keep his distance but he can’t stay away from her.

When the danger comes and meets them head-on, Garrett must save Ethan’s life so that he can fight the biggest fight of his life.

Rowena: Our joint review for March is Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas and it’s a book that Holly and I have been anxious to read for quite some time now. I’ve lagged because I was wrapped up in Ilona Andrews but once I finally settled in and started reading Hello Stranger, it was good stuff.

What did you think, Holly?

Holly: It was good. I kind of thought Garrett might be too independent, or Ethan might be too overbearing, but I think they found a good balance. He didn’t try to stifle her and she didn’t insist she could do everything on her own to the detriment of her safety. I was a little sad in the beginning that she wasn’t able to whoop his arse, though. Can you imagine his face if she’d taken him down on the street?

Rowena: I had the same thoughts going into the book, especially after reading that scene where she had to fight off her attackers and Ethan stepped in and helped her. The way that she kept insisting that she got it, I was like, “Oh hell, are we going to get a whole lot of this for the remainder of the book?” I’m glad to see that that wasn’t the case.

I really enjoyed both Ethan and Garrett. They were wonderful together. I loved that Ethan was fighting to save the lives of thousands and that Garrett cared a whole bunch about saving his life. I did think that they went from kissing to I love you pretty quickly but I can’t even care about that because I adored Ethan so much. I just happy sighed while typing that because, holy cow, that speech that Ethan gave Garrett when he thought he was going to die?

swoon

Holly: I was really surprised at how quickly she changed her mind from “I won’t ever marry” to “Let’s get married”. But then if Ethan had courted me like that is have married him quick, too. He was so wonderful. He’s by far the most flowery Kleypas hero, I think, but it really worked for him. He was so sweet. I love him so much.

Rowena: Same. I would have been dressed in my wedding dress when he showed up with that monkey picture. LMAO.

Holly: Ha, I can just see you all “Oh, hello Ethan. I do.” But same, though. He was swoony.

Rowena: He would have been for a big surprise when he moved those covers off. I don’t even care that I would have married in a wedding dress that was wrinkled to shit. I would have been all, “I do, I do, I do, I do” Hahaha.

Holly:I can just see you all curled up in the bed wearing a wedding dress. “Surprise!” HAHA

What did you think of the suspense plot?

Rowena: I was much more invested in the romance between Ethan and Garrett than I was the suspense plot. It was just okay in my opinion. I think there was a lot going on and not a lot of page time to devote to each little thing. I don’t think we spent enough time with Jenkyns or even with the whole suspense plot to really get the motivation behind it but overall, that wasn’t what I was reading the book for so I guess I let it slide because I loved what I was getting from what I actually wanted from the story. Does that make sense?

Holly: I agree the romance was the most compelling part of the story. I was in a rush to get back to them as a couple, so the suspense plot was more filler than anything else. I will say something about it bothered me. It wasn’t how quickly it was resolved, but more how quickly things seemed to happen in the end. Maybe that’s just the power of fiction, but everything seemed to snowball once Ethan had his evidence.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…or the Indian woman in the story, as the case may be. A short paragraph thrown in mentions “training” Ethan did in India with a woman who trained him in the art of Kama Sutra. It jarred me when I read it, because it seemed rather out of place. But aside from thinking “That was unnecessary” it didn’t really register for me. It wasn’t until I saw the way others felt about it that I considered the full ramifications of what Kleypas had done by including it. I don’t know her, but she seems like a class act. Her response to the reviewers who were angered by the inclusion of it was fair and right, imo.

What about you? Did you notice it? Did you have any thoughts about it? I will say, that small part did not ruin the book for me. It wasn’t necessary in any way, but it didn’t turn me off from reading.

Rowena: I read this book after I read the review over at Smart Bitches and from how ragey the reviewer was, I went into this book prepared to be jarred but when I got to the part where it’s mentioned, it was so small and I was expecting something really big that I was more jarred by that then what’s in the story. If that makes any sense. The reviewer wasn’t wrong though. It wasn’t needed to further the story and I’m glad that LK responded the way that she did.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed getting to know Garrett, seeing her in action and I loved the romance between her and Ransom. I really loved Ransom. Like, a lot a lot. Give me all the Ransoms, please. So while the suspense was the weakest part of the book, the romance and seeing everyone again more than makes up for that, IMO. I give this one a 4.25 out of 5. You?

Holly: I loved Ransom so much. I was bothered by how quickly Garrett decided she was in love and ready for marriage, but honestly Ethan was so great he kind of made the whole book for me. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

The Ravenels Series

four-stars


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Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Wildfire by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 391
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-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.

Wildfire is book 3 in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews and it’s the last book in the series (I hope not forever). Everything that Nevada and Rogan have been fighting against since book 1 is still in the background of what is happening front and center in their lives. Nevada’s latest client is Rogan’s ex-fiancee and she hired Nevada to help find her missing husband.

The very last person that Nevada wants to spend time around is the woman that almost married her boyfriend but how could Nevada say no to someone who desperately needs help? The deeper that Nevada digs into this case, the more shady shit she finds and everything pretty much link back to the bigger fight that started in Book 1. So Nevada and Rogan are investigating different things but their cases keep bringing them back together.

On top of that, Nevada’s magic is getting stronger and stronger. She’s learning more about what she can do and her family is too. What a freaking powerhouse family she has. From Catalina to Arabella (damn girl) to freaking Leon, they’re going to be pretty legit once they each come into their own. I loved the dynamics between each family member. They fight fiercely but man do they come together like no other when they’re needed. Hell, even when they come together for the greater good, they fight like animals. Haha, they’re so great.

Nevada was pretty legit in the first book but in the third book, she’s come full circle and I loved her so much in this book. She handled the whole Rynda thing a lot better than I would have. I wouldn’t have been nearly as understanding and patient as Nevada was. One of my favorite quotes from the series is when she tells Rynda.

“If you continue to rely on others for that security, you will never find it. You’re a Prime, a woman, and a mother. Make yourself secure. Take charge of yourself. My circlework my be shaky and crooked, by it’s mine. I taught myself how to do it by studying books and now I’m using it. I didn’t ask Rogan to draw it for me, because I didn’t have to.”

Like I said, I wouldn’t have been nearly as patient and understanding with Rynda had I been in Nevada’s shoes but I love how loyal Rogan’s people were to him, but also to Nevada. When she said the above, I was all like…

I’m super sad that this book ends the series because holy crap, there was so much goodness in this one. Everything that I wanted to happen in this book, happened. Seeing more of Catalina, Leon and Arabella using their magic made me one happy camper. There were plenty of shocks and surprises that had my mouth dropping all over the place. This writing duo worked their magic once again and I ate every word up. I’m not ready to say goodbye to this world so I’m hoping against hope that we’ll see a spin off series that feature Nevada’s family. I’d love to see Catalina and the Italian Stallion that tested her. I’d love to see Leon’s future, as well as Arabella because holy shit, Arabella!! I laughed so much when Arabella shows up to kick ass and Nevada is like, “Mom is gonna kill me. Mom is gonna kill us. We can never go home.” Hahaha, oh this book was so good.

There’s a lot to love in this book. The action, the adventure, the romance between Rogan and Nevada was everything. Seeing them work through their issues had me all up in my feels. I loved how strong they were on their own but how they were even stronger together. I loved that Rogan put Nevada first every single time and I loved that Nevada loved Connor and how much faith they had in each other.

This series was such a fun reading adventure and I’m not all okay with the fact that I’m done with it. What am I even going to do with the rest of my life?

If you’re looking for a magical reading adventure that will hit all of your happy buttons, pick this series up because it’s the bomb. For real.

Hidden Legacy

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands

Posted March 28, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Twice Bitten by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
Twice Bitten by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #27
Also in this series: Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18), Runaway Vampire, Immortal Nights, Immortal Unchained
Published by Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars

For someone who’s been around for over a hundred and forty years, immortal Elspeth Argeneau hasn’t done a whole lot of living. Now that she’s moved away from her controlling mother, she’s tracking down rogue vampires and enjoying some overdue freedom. A fling would be fun. A life mate can wait. Yet to Elspeth’s surprise, her landlady’s hot grandson checks both boxes.

Wyatt fell instantly in love with Elspeth four years ago. He’s stunned to run into her again, especially as she has no memory of him. Then again, there are a lot of things about Elspeth that don’t make sense, like the miraculous speed with which her wounds heal. And the chemistry that transforms every touch into an explosion of desire. But with mysterious “accidents” besieging Elspeth, the ex-Special Forces soldier appoints himself her bodyguard. But time is running out to uncover the truth about her enemies—and rediscover the man determined to love her for eternity.

Elspeth moved to Canada from England six weeks ago and she’s loving it.  Her mother is a control freak and she hardly let her daughters out of her site.  When Ellie comes home one day and her two younger sisters and her mother are there she’s ready to bail.

Unfortunately she has responsibilities but she can’t take care of them or herself because her mother is constantly taking control of her and making her do what she wants!  When she tries to make her break the Immortal law by drinking from the neck of a human, Ellie gets out of there as fast as she can. Unfortunately for her she’s then pushed off of a sidewalk and gets pretty beat up after being run over by a car.  That’s when Wyatt, her life mate, learns about Immortals.  Now Wyatt and a whole host of people are trying to protect Ellie from the person who is trying to kill them as well as her mother who will really stop at nothing to get her daughter back to England permanently.

In some ways this was a typical Argeneau series book in that the heroine is in danger and the life mate comes along and tries to protect her.  On the other hand there was the issue of Elspeth’s mother and her control issues that really put a different spin on everything.

When Mom has control issues to the point where she’s actually forcing her daughters to do things they don’t want to do, and they can’t fight back, it’s bad.  Ellie finally figured out that pain would be able to cloud her head so much that her mother couldn’t control her so she ended up stabbing herself quite a bit throughout the story which took a bit of getting used to. Lol I was happy when all of that was worked out in the end.

The romance with Wyatt wasn’t necessarily a romance but it was good.  There was actually an extenuating circumstance to their meeting (that I won’t tell you about) that made things interesting.  I admired Wyatt for his fortitude in the light of everything that was happening, and how his life was changing by being a life mate of an Immortal.  He was a good guy who had a good heart and I thought him and Elspeth were perfect for each other.

Argeneau Series

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: White Hot Ilona Andrews

Posted March 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: White Hot Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
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, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 389
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-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 …

White Hot is the second book in the Hidden Legacy series by writing duo Ilona Andrews and it’s another book that completely rocked my socks.

Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan are back for an action-packed story filled with magic, bad guys and Nevada finding out more about herself, her family and her magic. Her latest case has her trying to find Cornelius Harrison’s wife’s killer. The case wasn’t normally a case she’d take on but Cornelius has nowhere else to go and nobody else will help him so of course, Nevada is going to help. She dives right into the case and finds herself brought face to face with the guy that hasn’t called in months, the guy she can’t seem to forget….Connor “Mad” Rogan of House Rogan.

I’m really digging the suspense in these books. There’s a lot going on in each book with a bigger story unraveling in the background and Ilona Andrews do such a great job of pulling on each string, keeping the reader hanging until the dramatic finish in the end. I was invested in what was going on from beginning to end, even though Nevada’s stubbornness was a bit much in this book. I still love the hell out of her but I thought she fought stupid shit for too long in this book. She gets over it and so did I but that was a bit of a downer in an otherwise fantabulous book.

The chemistry between Rogan and Nevada is so much fun that I read this one in no time at all. Their bickering and their ability to put all of their differences aside and have each others backs in a fight make this series pretty special for me. This book was fun and it was entertaining with a cast of characters that jump right off the pages and into your heart. I can’t get enough of this series and I’m sad that I only have one more to go before I’m done. 🙁

I’m really interested in seeing more of Catalina, Arabella, Leon and even Bern. I’m itching to see what their powers are and how powerful they’ll be when they come into their own. Leon is such a fun character and I love how normal these teenagers are. They’re into the things that teenagers these days are into. Their selfie game is on point and the drama that they’re always in the middle of had me laughing all over the place.

I also really enjoyed getting to know Cornelius and his daughter Matilda. All of Rogan’s people are great, too. Seriously, I love them all except the bad guys and Nevada’s grandmother on her father’s side. There’s a lot to love in this book and I want everyone to read this book and love it as much as I did. So good!

Hidden Legacy

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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