Tag: Forever

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes

Posted November 9, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Truth About Dukes by Grace BurrowesReviewer: Tracy
The Truth About Dukes by Grace Burrowes
Series: Rogues to Riches #5
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A new duke and a woman with a secret in her past get a second chance at love in this delightful and charming Regency romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the Windham series.

Robert Rothmere is hiding a past no duke should have endured, but he's not hiding it well enough. Sooner or later, his enemies will learn that he spent years locked away at a private asylum. To get their hands on his wealth, they'll try to send him right back to his worst nightmares. If Robert is to foil their schemes, he needs to marry a perfectly proper, blessedly boring, deadly dull duchess, immediately—and he knows exactly which quietly delightful lady he'd love to entrust with that role.

Lady Constance Wentworth has cultivated a reputation for utter forgettability. She never speaks out of turn (in public), never has a daring thought (that she admits aloud), and never comes close to courting scandal... as far as anybody knows. Her path crossed Robert's years ago, though, and she's never forgotten the extraordinary lengths he traveled to keep her safe when she hadn't a friend in the world. She longs to be his demure duchess...but little does he know that to marry her would be utter madness.

Constance is shocked when she sees Robert Rothmere at a ball.  She tries to avoid him, but he waylays her, and they walk in the garden.  What Constance thought would be incredibly awkward was, in fact, quite nice.  Constance had known Robert when he was a patient in an asylum.  He isn’t insane, he is epileptic. The “asylum” was actually a place that Robert’s father had stowed him away and a horrible doctor had been experimenting on him.

Constance’s sister and Robert’s brother are in love and engaged to be married.  This brings Constance and Robert together more and more and they find themselves falling in love.  The road to happiness, however, will be a rough road.  Constance has a secret she doesn’t want to share with Robert but must in order to be completely honest with him.  Robert could possibly be seen as unfit to run a dukedom and put under a guardianship.  They will both try as hard as they can to avoid this happening.  With Robert’s brother and Constance’s family and friends they will try to overcome all the obstacles in their way to a bright future.

This was definitely a romance, but I felt that most of the book was taken up with Constance’s secret and Robert and his epilepsy.  That was actually fine, because it worked in this instance and was well done.  That said, the first part of the book was a bit…I want to say stodgy, but that’s not quite right.  It just didn’t flow the way that I’m used to Burrowes’ books flowing and it was disjointed for me.  The second part was definitely more cohesive, and the story really picked up.

I loved Constance and Robert together.  There wasn’t too much of the typical romance between the two, but the way that Burrowes portrayed their love throughout the book was definitely sigh-worthy.  She did a great job showing us how much in love these two characters were.

The secondary characters definitely need to be mentioned as they were an integral part of the story.  I loved how Burrowes took the “it takes a village” saying and ran with it – even though these were adults.  It showed the love and care that the two families had for their siblings and I loved that.

Overall a good read. I haven’t read the previous four books in this series but didn’t feel that not doing so detracted from this story in any way.

Rating:  3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

Posted October 2, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Gamble by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #1
Also in this series: The Gamble , Jagged, Kaleidoscope, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Dreams
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First and Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 688
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Welcome to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley's Colorado Mountain Series, where friends become family and everyone deserves a second chance.
Love is the greatest gamble of all . . .
Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fianc?àö¬© who can't even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina's cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.
The owner of the house, Holden "Max" Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded souls think about taking a chance on a relationship, a secret from Max's past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good.

Sweet Dreams was one of the first Kristen Ashley books that I read. I’ve been meaning to get back to the Colorado Mountain series but it just wasn’t happening. Then I decided to go on a KA binge and voilà! The Gamble.

Nina Sheridan needs a break from her life. She travels from England to Gnaw Bone, Colorado and a cute little rental she found. When she arrives, she finds a man in what is supposed to be her haven for the next few weeks. Not just that, but she feels like she’s getting sick. All Nina wanted was a nice quiet place to contemplate her life. To decide if she wants to marry the fiancé that can’t seem to remember anything about her. Now she’s feeling like actual trash and facing a mountain man who tells her he’s the owner of the house and what she thought was going to be her rental is unavailable.

To say that Holden “Max” Maxwell is surprised to find Nina on his doorstep is a bit of an understatement. He wants her gone and right now. Excepts she faints in his living room. It’s obvious she’s very ill and Max doesn’t really know what to do. So he takes care of her. Nina isn’t a woman that is used to being taken care of. She’s the one that takes care of the people in her life. When she wakes up after being sick for days, she’s at a loss on what to do with the man that all of a sudden becomes the center of her world.

I really enjoyed both these characters. Nina is so prim and proper. Or she tries to be because she thinks she needs to be. Max brings out the best, which she thinks is the worst, of her. Max reminds her of who she really is. In her time with Max, Nina realizes how doomed her relationship is with her fiancé. When she sends him an email (yes, an email) breaking up with him, he doesn’t even bother with a call. It was really, very odd.

I thought it was weird when Nina’s dad came into the picture. It was made clear that he wasn’t part of her life, but he just showed up. I really enjoyed Nina finding herself again and reading about her falling in love with Max. Max has had happiness and he’s had heartbreak throughout his life. Nina is his reward and he won’t let her go.

Love this book!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Colorado Mountain

four-stars


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Joint Review: Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 31, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Dream Maker by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee & Holly
Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Team #1
Also in this series: Quiet Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 544
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series comes a brand new story about love, friendship, and the bonds of sisterhood. Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has worked her whole life to get what she wants. Growing up, she had no support from her family and has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when Evie decides she wants to earn her engineering degree, she realizes she needs to take an alternative path to get there. She takes a job dancing at Smithie's club thinking this would be a quick side gig, where she can make the money she needs. But with her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this might not be as easy as she thought.Daniel "Mag" Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag's life, he realizes that he needs to come face-to-face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.

Dream Maker is set in the same world as the Rock Chicks and Dream Man series. We were first introduced to Hawk and his men in Mystery Man, and more recently we got to know them in Quiet Man. Dream Maker follows Evie, a stripper, and Mag (Daniel Magnusson), one of Hawk’s commandos.

Holly: Kristen Ashley is one of my favorites. Her novels are all very similar, but it’s easy to fall into them. This was one of the better ones of hers I’ve read in awhile. You’re still pretty new to KA. What did you think of it?

Casee: I really, really liked this book. I think it’s one of KA’s better books. Of course it could have been shorter, but I was so into the story that I didn’t really care. I’m so glad I read Quiet Man first. I know it’s a prequel, but it was sure nice to know what was going on.

Holly: I’m not one for reading in order, but I think reading Quiet Man first is a good idea. It sets the stage (stage, get it? ha ha) for this novel and gives us a better understanding of why Evie and Mag were set up together.

I really liked how close knit the group was in Quiet Man, and I think some of that was missing here. I wanted more interactions between Evie and the guys. But I still really liked it.

Casee: I really liked Evie’s personality. I loved her quirkiness and her loyalty (although misplaced) to her family. I loved how she called Mag “Danny” and he got annoyed when she called him “Mag”. So stinking cute.

I felt that some of the closeness of the group was missing as well. I really liked Lottie’s interactions with the guys in Quiet Man. While Evie did interact with the guys, it wasn’t on the same level.

Holly: I liked certain aspects of Evie’s character, but she also made some dumb decisions based on her insecurities. I was really glad to see how things progressed with her through the novel.

I agree. It wasn’t the same. I mean, I guess it makes sense that not every girl will have a connection with them, but usually KA is big on that kind of thing.

Casee: Did you like any of the secondary characters? I’m not sure I liked any of them. Not a whole lot anyway.

Holly: I don’t like the Rock Chicks. They’re annoying. I did like the other strippers and Mag’s friends, but they played such a small part. I definitely didn’t like Evie’s family.

Casee: Favorite part of the book?

Holly: I know it’s weird, but it was when Evie was a bitch to Mag and called him a manwhore and he got pissed. Something about his reaction really worked for me. Yours?

Casee: That is weird, but totally understandable. My favorite part was when she told her mother off. What a bitch that woman was. She cared more about her son being in jail than her daughter being kidnapped. Bitch.

Holly: I was glad she told off her mom, but honestly I wanted to see her tell them all off. I did like that her sister came through in the end, though. I also liked that Evie was super judgmental about her sister, then realized the error of her thoughts. I like how multi-layered KA’s characters are.

Casee: Where does this fall in comparison to your favorite KA books? This one ranks pretty high for me. I really, really enjoyed it. I would give it a 4.25 out of 5.

Holly: It’s mid-range for me. I prefer her older books. In terms of her more recent releases, this is better than most, but not my favorite. I’d give it 3.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5.
Holly: 3.75 out of 5.

Dream Team

four-stars


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Guest Review: Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 21, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Dream Maker by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Tracy
Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream #1
Also in this series: Quiet Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating 1st and 3rd person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series comes a brand new story about love, friendship, and the bonds of sisterhood.

Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has worked her whole life to get what she wants. Growing up, she had no support from her family and has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when Evie decides she wants to earn her engineering degree, she realizes she needs to take an alternative path to get there. She takes a job dancing at Smithie's club thinking this would be a quick side gig, where she can make the money she needs. But with her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this might not be as easy as she thought.

Daniel "Mag" Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag's life, he realizes that he needs to come face-to-face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.

Evan is a 27-year-old genius who just wants to finish school and make something of herself.  Unfortunately, her family is constantly holding her back.  She works as a computer repair person part time and strips the rest of the time.  When she finally makes enough money to work on her degree further, her family calls and someone always needs some money for something.  She’s under-appreciated by them, to say the least.

When her brother, Mick, gets arrested once again she heads to see him assuming he’ll ask for bail money – but that’s not the case.  This time he asks her to meet someone and do what he says – all very sketchy, scary and shady but she’ll do what he asks because that’s what family does, right?  That same night she has a blind date with someone her friend Lottie set her up with.  She’s not excited about it at all. When she opens the door to Daniel “Mag” Magnusson she’s loving the eye candy, but still isn’t into him.  Things go awry with their date almost immediately and Mag ends up discovering the “meet” she’s supposed to go to for her brother.  He protects her that night and even calls in his friends to help protect her when the shit hits the fan later in the book.

Through a series of events Evie ends up staying at Mag’s condo, but she plans on moving out quickly.  Evie doesn’t count on liking Mag more and more each day, but she does.  Fortunately for her, Mag seems to like everything about her as well.

While I never read the Rock Chicks series that didn’t impeded my enjoyment of this story.  I was introduced to characters I’d read about in other series, and also the RC’s in all their glory.

Evan was such a good person.  I liked her so much and just wanted her to get everything she wanted in life.  In this story we watch her blossom into the person she should have been year earlier if her family hadn’t been holding her back and down her whole life.  Watching her come into her own was awesome.

Danny aka Mag was a good guy who had some issues.  He was obviously an Alpha male (of course he was, this is a KA novel!) but also had some problems with anger.  He only really let loose of that anger a couple of times, but I appreciated KA showing us instead of just telling us. Despite the anger he was a kind and giving man.  I thought he was perfect for Evan.

Overall this was a good story.  I stayed up late to finish this one and I’m glad I did.  This one is definitely worth reading – even if you didn’t read the Rock Chick series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted September 3, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Greycourt #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 468
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she's attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins—sins he'd much rather forget. But she's also fiery, bold, and sensuous—a temptation he can't resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he'll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya's trust-by whatever means necessary.

Features a bonus novella from New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes!

Freya de Moray is a member of the Wise Women. A lot of people think of these wise women as witches, but they’re not. Of course there is a group of witch hunters which are called Dunkelders and they chase down wise women. Of course.

Let me just stop right there and tell you that the whole wise women/dunkelder thing completely turned me off. This is an Elizabeth Hoyt book so I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, but this whole secret society and people who think they’re witches, it just doesn’t work.

So Freya is going to a house party to go after someone who she thinks is responsible for her brothers downfall and in the meantime looking into the disappearance of a woman from the house next-door. Of course this isn’t going to work out well for her because we have to have angst, right? 🤦‍♀️  Freya ends up getting herself in a bind, as was expected. Of course the “hero” of the story has to save her. I really would have liked it if Freya could have saved herself. If this is what a wise woman looks like, I don’t want to see a stupid one.

Then we have the hero who is being blackmailed by someone at the house party because his dead wife wrote some letters which he doesn’t want anyone to see.   Could we add just one more plot point to the story, please? Despite that wild point, I really liked the hero.  He truly fell so deeply in love with Freya and she was just like, “meh.”  I mean, she eventually comes around and falls in love with him, but I just wasn’t feeling it from her at all.

In this story Hoyt was so invested in Freya and the wise women as well as the dunkelders, kidnappers, and murderers, not to mention witches, that the romance was nearly nonexistent.  Romance is one of the things that Hoyt excels at, and that’s one of the reasons why I read her books.  Unfortunately I have no desire whatsoever to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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