Tag: Caroline Linden

Review: Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden

Posted July 26, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joan Bennet is tired of being a wallflower. Thanks to some deliciously scandalous—and infamous—stories, she has a pretty good idea of what she’s missing as a spinster. Is even a short flirtation too much to ask for?

Tristan, Lord Burke, recognizes Joan at once for what she is: trouble. Not only is she his best friend’s sister, she always seems to catch him at a disadvantage. The only way he can win an argument is by kissing her senseless. He’d give anything to get her out of her unflattering gowns. But either one of those could cost him his bachelor status, which would be dreadful—wouldn’t it?

When Tristan Burke meets Joan Bennet once again, after not seeing her for years, he’s not really impressed. Yes she’s a tall woman, which he actually likes, but he hates the dresses she wears and the way she styles her hair – it’s just not flattering. She’s also extremely impertinent and he soon dubs her the Fury. Her impertinence doesn’t stop him from seeking out her company, however.

Joan isn’t impressed with Tristan Burke at all. He’s a known rake and her mother has said for years that she doesn’t approve of him. When her mother takes sick and has to leave town and then her brother gets sent off to help with reconstruction on a house Joan’s brother, Douglas, asks Tristan to watch over his sister. You know, got to tea, dance with her at a ball – generally make sure she’s not moping about their mothers’ health. He only asks Tristan because his other friends are even worse reprobates than Tristan. He’s not thrilled at his new task but it seems that every time he sees Joan there’s one more thing about her that he notices.

The pair become friends of a sort and Tristan asks Joan out for a drive and surprises her with an adventure. He finally realizes that he’s fallen in love with Joan but he’s not sure her family will approve.

This was a lovely story that I loved reading. When I think back on the story it was quite a simple one in that there weren’t villains to worry about or anything of that sort. It was just the story of two people meeting and falling in love. Now for some people that’s not exciting enough for them but for me it was wonderful. The simplicity of the romance is what I loved about this story. The feelings that are stirred, the chances that are taken to be together, the tension between the couple as they metaphorically feel their way around each other – just so good.

There was so much about Tristan that I liked. One of the things was that he was quite an intelligent man. Now it’s not like a lightbulb went off in Joan’s head telling her this but as the story evolves we see Tristan’s curiosity with mechanical things and his ideas that he uses. I loved that a big deal wasn’t made of this but it was definitely brought to our attention. His admiration for Joan was slow and steady and I loved seeing his indecision when it came to her – even though it was mixed with cockiness. 🙂

Overall the story was one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Caroline Linden 

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What I Read Last Week

Posted July 4, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Hey there

I bet you didn’t think you’d be seeing this post this week, did you? I was kind of wondering myself, to be quite honest. Lol But here I am – yay! Lol

So let’s see, last week was pretty good. I’ve been going to physical therapy for a rotator cuff issue and that’s been quite painful. Luckily it’s getting better so that’s good.

On Saturday morning I sent my oldest off on a youth group mission trip for a whole week. I think she’s having fun – hopefully she is.

After I dropped her off I then drove with my youngest to Rancho Cucamonga where I met some Southern California bloggers for lunch. I met with Wendy, Rosie, Holly, Nikki, Renee and Lori and we had a great lunch and a great talk. I love getting together and talking about books! We just don’t do it often enough and I always get such great book recommendations! We were all nuts and neglected to get a picture, but oh well. We’re dorks. 🙂

As you can see I’m helping to host the 2nd annual digital first read-a-thon and it’s been great. All month I’ll be having excerpts and giveaways for digital first books so check back daily to check out the books.

So on to what I read last week:

I’m really behind on my Book Binge review books so I’ve been trying to catch up lately. My first read for the week was One Night Rodeo by Lorelei James. This is book 4 in the Blacktop Cowboys series and it’s about Celia and Kyle. They get married in Vegas one drunken night but then end up agreeing to stay together for 6 months so that Celia can help Kyle with the ranch he inherited. I really liked the story and thought it was a good addition to the series. You can read my full review on Book Binge here.4 out of 5

Next up was Freefall by Jill Sorenson. This was a great book about Sam Rutherford who was in Aftershock, the first book in the Aftershock series. Sam ends up helping Hope Banning who is a park ranger who is determined to catch a killer and save her sister at the same time. During this time Sam and Hope end up falling for each other. A really good story that I really enjoyed reading. You can read my full review here. 4 out of 5

My next read was Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden. This story is about Tristan who is a bit of rake. He tells his friend that he will look after his sister while his friend is out of town. Tristan is only ready to do his duty and visit a time or two but the more time he spends with Joan the more he likes her. The story was very sweet and I loved seeing the wallflower come out of her shell. 4 out of 5
Finding Billie by Priscilla Brown is the story of a man who comes back to the town he lived in up through high school and ends up meeting up with his good friend Billie who runs the only gas station in town. Billie and Zac are very attracted to each other but Zac is still dealing with the death of his family a couple of years ago and Billie is dealing with some stuff in her town. The story had a good idea but I didn’t care for the writing at all. You can read my full review here. 2 out of 5

The Ever Knight by Georgia Fox is a short novella about Jisella who is determined to get out of the convent that she’s been in for years. Her intended husband is about to come get her and she’s not willing to be there when he arrives. She picks out her knight from some warriors who are at the convent and seduces him. When she finds out that the knight, Remy, is there to get her to take to his half brother, Renard, she’s not deterred from her mission. When Renard shows up to escort his bride himself and Remy tells him what happened Renard’s not as upset as one would think – he just joins in. Now this could so easily have been a completely cheesy story but I thought it was done well for as short as it was. I would love to see what happens to the trio later after they left the convent. I’ll have to hope that happens. Lol 3.5 out of 5

Last for the week was the Wagered Wench by Georgia Fox which is a novel about a earl’s daughter who is wagered, along with her father’s land, in a game of cards. She’s not sure she wants to comply but is attracted to the Saxon warrior. The problems really start when the neighbor, who believed that HE would get the girls hand in marriage decides to try stake his claim. The story was another good one. I didn’t care for the neighbor so seeing him with the woman was a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t find him a sexual character so when the menage started it was more awkward to read for me than erotic. The rest of it was good though. 3.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart
A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott

Happy Reading!

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Review: The Way to a Duke’s Heart by Caroline Linden.

Posted August 27, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments


Rowena’s review of The Way to a Duke’s Heart (The Truth about a Duke #3) by Caroline Linden.

Hero: Lady Tessa Neville
Heroine: Charles de Lacey

Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is running out of time, running from his responsibilities, and running from love.

Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father’s scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him—and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot…

To save his fortune and title, he vows he’ll stop at nothing—in fact, he’s all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?

I haven’t read too many books by Caroline Linden but I should really fix that. I really enjoyed this book and it looks like there are some books that came before this one so I’ll definitely be reading those.

This book follows Charlie de Lacey, the estranged heir to the Duke of Durham. When his father dies and his secrets are unraveled, Charlie’s title is at risk. It is one thing for the secret to have been buried with his father but Charlie and his brothers find out that their father was being blackmailed and in order to keep the title in the family, they have to find the blackmailer and put an end to the blackmail. Charlie’s two brothers Edward and Gerard have been on the case since they found out but because Charlie (who is the actual heir) was estranged from his father, he didn’t find out about anything until now. Both Edward and Gerard have their own families to take care of so the job of finding the blackmailer falls back onto Charlie’s shoulders.

Charlie follows the clues that Gerard left for him to Bath, where he meets the lovely Lady Tessa Neville. Tessa is an odd woman. She’s a widow with a secret, a secret that will bring the life that she’s built for herself crumbling all around her. She’s got a good head on her shoulders and a good head for numbers so her brother uses her to research potential investments and then report back to him on her findings. She’s in Bath trying to investigate a canal that her brother is interested in investing in when she comes across the Earl of Gresham. Immediately, she’s not a fan because everyone dropped her and her chaperone like a ton of bricks the minute he came into the building and flocked to him, in an effort to please him. She immediately thinks that he’s an entitled and indolent aristocrat and says as much.

Charlie finds out that the key to getting him close to the blackmailer is through Tessa Neville and he jumps at the chance to do so. He charms his way into his life and the more they get to know each other, the more they like each other. I really enjoyed the romance that blossomed between the two main characters because it was sweet. They really did come to know each other quite well and I adored each scene with the both of them in it.

Tessa was strong and smart and just the kind of person that I could see myself being friends with. She was also funny and I loved the way that she treated those around her, even when she was wrong. She knew her own mind and she went after the information that she sought with a single-minded determination that was admirable. I really enjoyed getting to know her and thought Charlie was the perfect match for her.

As for Charlie, there was a lot more to him than meets the eye and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. Seeing why he left home, why he was estranged from his father and seeing him come back with regrets and what not, made for a great read and I ate it all up. I loved Charlie. I thought he was dashing and charming and I wanted to marry him myself. The way that he fell in love with Tessa for who she was and not what she looked like or what she could bring to him and his estate was too adorable for words.

The mystery behind who the blackmailer was didn’t really do much for me but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the romance between Charlie and Tessa. It wasn’t hard to figure out who the blackmailer was and I’m terrible at figuring those things out. I was a bit bummed that this book came to a close because I was enjoying the characters so much that I didn’t want the story to end. I totally recommend this book to lovers of the author’s previous work and to fans of historical romance. This was a good one.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

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

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Review: The Way to a Duke’s Heart by Caroline Linden

Posted August 24, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father’s scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him—and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot…

To save his fortune and title, he vows he’ll stop at nothing—in fact, he’s all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?

Charles de Lacey isn’t thrilled with how things are going in his life at the moment. His father has died, and even though they had had a falling out Charles is sad at the fact that he was so stubborn and can now never reunite with him. Then there’s the fact that their father was being blackmailed and though he’s the heir that will or will not become a Duke, depending on the information that is found, he really doesn’t want to do any of the grunt work himself. His two brother’s have done a lot of the investigating but now their each married and want to spend time with their wives, which Charlie understands.

He heads to Bath to see one of his brothers and get the information that has been found out so far. When he’s there he hears that the man he is searching for has contacted one of his fellow hotel mates. He’s not sure if he’s found a connection to his blackmailer he decides to befriend and the ladies and then follow them to a rural country town. In befriending the ladies though he gets closer and closer to Tessa and she’s not at all as he expected. She’s forthright, yes, but she’s also funny and kind, generous and smart and he falls directly in love with her. He starts to rethink his life, what he’s doing with it and how he lives it. Self-inspection is much harder than he thought it would be.

This is the third book in the Truth About the Duke series and it was a really great finale. We got a great romance as well as finally figuring out who the blackmailer was and what the motive was behind it all.

First we got to know a bit about Tessa who is a single woman (widow) and she’s traveling to get info for her brother, a marquess, about a canal project that he’s thinking of investing in. Tessa has a great head on her shoulders and has run her brothers estate for years. She was hurt in the past by a man and had decided that she would never again trust a man. When she meets Charlie the first thing she thinks, and says out loud is that he’s indolent. When she realized that he’s heard her she’s mortified and this tinges her view of him for days after. Now I really didn’t care for Tessa at first because of this because of standoffishness. It seemed rude and pretty uncalled for just because she was completely embarrassed but luckily she snapped out of it eventually.

Charlie was charming and Tessa couldn’t resist him for long. Though Charlie was, at first, trying to get info from Tessa he soon realized that he just wanted to be with her. When Tessa comes to him he’s thrilled and accepts her with open arms. Though Tessa isn’t sure that she wants more Charlie knows that Tessa is the one for him, forever. I loved that Charlie was so sure about his feelings for Tessa. He knew he had to take it slow because Tessa was a bit skiddish but when he let loose he was a force to be reckoned with and I loved it.

Now as I said we do get to finally find out who the blackmailer is and exactly what their motive is and that was quite satisfactory. I liked how it all wrapped up in the end and brought a great finish to the series. So far the books that I have read by Linden have been great and she hasn’t disappointed me at all. Linden has definitely become an auto-buy for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Caroline Linden

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What I Read Last Week

Posted August 20, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 6 Comments

Well let’s see – the girls started school on Thursday and they are both thrilled.  The youngest got a male teacher and so far she really likes him (for the whole 2 days she was in class).  My oldest loves her schedule and her teachers – hopefully it will stay that way. 🙂

I’m home today with a thick head, sore throat, ear ache and temperature.  Boohoo. lol  Oh well, whatcha gonna do, right?

Ok, on to what I read last week.  Sorry, I think these descriptions will be abbreviated because of my head so if something doesn’t make sense just laugh and carry on. 🙂

First up for the week was Highland Bride by Hannah Howell.  This is a book that Holly sent to me and I’m so damned glad she did.  We talked about it over coffee the morning we were leaving RWA and I’d almost forgotten about it when it showed up.  Such a great medieval romance!  You can read more about the book and my review here. 4.5 out of 5

Next was Savage: Daughters of the Jaguar book 1 by Willow Rose.  This was the story of a boy from Denmark who ends up in Florida to study for a year.  His next door neighbors are odd but he ends up falling in love.  Too bad they’re not like other people.  You can read my full review here. 3 out of 5

Next up was A Perfect Stranger by Jaden Skye.  This one I read for Book Binge (the review will post this afternoon) and it was one that didn’t work for me in so many different ways.  The story is about 1 woman in particular but the series is about Tom’s River (I think it’s supposed to be in Wisconsin?) and it’s a huge soap opera.  We get to know the citizens of Tom’s River and frankly I wouldn’t want to know any of them except the character Hunter and he was a drifter that wasn’t from there.  The story was mostly about a woman whose husband disappears without a trace and then the character stories fan out from the people in relation to the woman.  A very character driven story.  If you like soap operas then this might work better from you than it did for me. 1 out of 5

Of Eternal Life by Micah Persell was another one I read for Book Binge.  This story is about a woman who just graduated from med school and is recruited to supposedly help refurbish an old military hospital to help the locals.  Instead they have no patients and are just in the lab constantly.  She comes across a naked guy in the supply closet that she feels strangely comfortable with and he ends up kidnapping her and they head across country running from the bad guys.  This was an interesting story as it was mostly a contemporary read but definitely had a bit of the paranormal involved when it came to finding the Garden of Eden and eating from  a tree.  Pretty entertaining in the end. 3.25 out of 5  You can read my full review here.

Next up was The Way to a Duke’s Heart by Caroline Linden.  This is the last book in The Truth About the Duke series and we actually get to know the heir apparent, Charlie, quite well.  He’s investigating more to try to find the person who was blackmailing his father and the clues lead to a man who is currently searching for investors in his canal project.  Charlie thinks that some woman, including our heroine, Tessa, might be in on the scheme and he tries to ingratiate himself into their lives and follows them to the boondocks.  What he finds is that his heart is on the line – oh and he finds out stuff about the blackmailer too. 🙂  Good story – I’ll review this one next week. 4 out of 5

Hard Tail by JL Merrow is the story of Tim who is basically laid off and then his wife leaves him.  Right after that he finds out his brother was in an accident and Tim ends up taking over his brother’s bike shop til he’s back on his feet.  Tim ends up having feelings for the bike repairman, Matt, but Matt’s in a relationship with someone.  This is a really great story of two men trying to find their way to each other and it was wonderful.  It was fun, emotional and humorous and had a serious issue involved as well.  I’ve only read 3 books by Merrow so far but I definitely need to read more.  Her books are always fabulous and I haven’t read one I didn’t like so far. 4.5 out of 5

Mummy Dearest by Josh Lanyon is the first book in the XOXO Files series.  We meet Drew who is in Wyoming to view a mummy in order to get published.  He runs into trouble with both his live-in boyfriend (as the boyfriend didn’t want him to leave…for his own selfish reasons) and with a film crew who is at the museum to film.  Drew and the film crew end up working together and then Drew and the host of the show, Fraser, have a little alone time together.  When they are watched, chased and run over by a mummy they think that maybe there’s more going on in the museum than they originally thought.  This was a cute story  that had me laughing out loud at times.  I felt horrible for the way that Drew was treated by his boyfriend and wanted nothing more than for Drew to get together with Fraser…and I got my wish.  I’m looking forward to reading more in this series. 4 out of 5

Last for the week was The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James.  This is the story of childhood friends – in fact they grew up in the same house and they end up marrying.  They marry, however, because of the boy’s criminal father and though James does love Daisy and vice versa she’s not happy when she finds out the facts behind the marriage.  This was a good book but there was a lot of it that didn’t work for me.  I’ll post my review either later this week or next.  3.25 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Now or Never by Michele Bardsley
Of Eternal Life by Micah Persell

Happy Reading!

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