Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins

Posted October 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: With This Christmas Ring by Manda CollinsReviewer: Tracy
With This Christmas Ring by Manda Collins
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-half-stars

A wallflower determined to fulfill a dying promise, the rogue she jilted years ago, and an orphaned baby are all brought together amidst the magic of Christmas in this new novella from Manda Collins.

Miss Merry Parks makes a deathbed promise to a schoolfriend that her infant daughter will be taken to her absent father. There’s only one problem—to find the baby’s father, she’ll have to consult his cousin, Viscount Wrotham, the man she jilted five years ago. The man she couldn’t forget.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, is stunned to find Merry Parks—looking more lovely than ever--on his doorstep with an infant in her arms. His shock soon turns to dismay when he learns his own cousin William is the man who abandoned his wife and child. As head of the family he’s duty bound to see right is done. But he can't let this opportunity pass. He’ll take Merry and the baby to his cousin, but he’ll woo her back in the process.

Merry agrees to travel with Alex and the baby to Wrotham Castle, where the entire Ponsonby family has gathered for Christmas, but her plans to see the baby settled then leave are ruined by a snowstorm. After five years apart, Alex and Merry will spend the week getting reacquainted. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the holiday, or the magic of the season, but there could be something else in the air this Yuletide…A Christmas Reunion.

When Merry’s friend, Charlotte, gives birth she asks Merry to find the father for her right before she dies.  Charlotte had eloped but then her fiancé left her at her parents’ house and never returned.  The father is the cousin of Viscount Wrotham. Merry had been engaged to Viscount Wrotham five years ago but had ended the engagement despite her love for him.  She still loved him and it certainly made her anxious to have to go to his house to find baby Lottie’s father.

Alex Ponsonby, Viscount Wrotham, never stopped loving Merry Parks.  The note she’d left him ending their engagement was so vague he never truly figured out why she ended it.  He’s been in Paris but now that he’s back in London he’s determined to find Merry and see if he can win her back. He certainly doesn’t think she’ll knock on his door with a newborn asking for his cousin!  Alex is relieved when he finds out that the baby isn’t Merry’s, that’s for sure.  They determine that the cousin, Will, is at the family estate as it’s right before Christmas and Merry and Alex end up traveling together to deliver the baby.  Merry gets snowed in at Alex’s estate and can’t make it home for Christmas.  Alex is thrilled as this just means he gets to spend more time with Merry and he takes his chances with winning her back.

With This Christmas Ring turned out to be a lovely little Christmas surprise for me.  It was a sweet story that didn’t throw a lot drama into the story just for drama’s sake (although there was once part…).  I enjoyed Merry and her character as well as Alex’s.  The pair truly never stopped loving each other so it wasn’t all that difficult to get back together.  Family interference had sent Merry away once and it looked for a bit like it would happen again but it all turned out well in the end.

The story of Charlotte and Alex’ cousin, Will, was quite sad and made my heart break a little.  The situation was a tad distressing but had Charlotte not died then we wouldn’t have had a story so I had to keep reminding myself of that – despite the tragedy of it all.

In the end the story was a sweet, fast read and one I definitely enjoyed

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Say No More by Liliana Hart

Posted October 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Say No More by Liliana HartReviewer: Tracy
Say No More by Liliana Hart
Series: Gravediggers Series #3
Also in this series: Gone to Dust
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
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four-stars

Sometimes the dead do rise...

Dante Malcolm is a man of refined tastes. He was once a part of Britain's Elite Intelligence Force, but there was a reason he'd never been able to capture Simon Locke, the notorious thief who always seemed to be one step ahead. That's because Dante and Simon were one and the same, until Dante's double life eventually caught up with him and now he belongs to the Gravediggers.

Liv Rothschild is a Detective Inspector with Interpol and is the one responsible for catching MI-6's most notorious agent in his final heist--except the heist killed him. But something has never felt right about his death, and it's haunted her for months. It was too easy, and Dante Malcolm was too smart to go down that way.

Dante might belong to the Gravediggers in body, but his heart and soul will always belong to the next job. The rest of the team doesn't know about his alter ego because he made sure the information went missing from his file. So when the job he's always waited for seems like a possibility, he sneaks out of the country like a thief in the night, only to run into the only woman who's ever been able to match him in wit--and passion--for the job. Except they're standing on opposite sides of the law--and only one of them can walk away with the prize.

Dante was born as Lord Dante Malcolm but when he was recruited into MI6 he was thrilled.  When he had the chance to become an international thief he took that position as well.  He did this with a clear conscience as he would only take things that had already been stolen from someone else.  He’d just take something else for himself while he was doing the job.  Strange, I know. He was then recruited into the Gravediggers and for all intents and purposes he was dead.

Dante hasn’t been thrilled in his time with the Gravediggers.  He is loyal to the other members and would die for them but their boss, Eve Winters, constantly has him doing side jobs that the other members don’t know about.  This story has him going after Russian nuclear missile launch codes in Dubai.  When he gets there he doesn’t expect to run into the woman he was in a relationship with at the time of his death.

Liv works for Interpol, or she did until recently.  She was working with Dante trying to catch the international thief, Simon Locke, and she had no idea that Dante was Simon.  When he died she was devastated by not only his death but the betrayal she felt at finding out that he’d lied to her about Simon Locke.  Liv is in Dubai looking for 10 girls who are in the middle of a sex trafficking ring.  She quit her job at Interpol when they wouldn’t give her authorization to go after the girls.  The last thing she expects is to see her dead ex-boyfriend breaking into the vault that she’s trying to break into.

To say that Liv is mad at Dante’s deception is a bit of an understatement.  To say that when Dante’s fellow Gravediggers are enraged and feeling betrayed when they find out the truth about Dante and his side work for Eve is putting it mildly.  Everyone was pissed at Dante but when the heads cooled they knew they had to work together to get not only the launch codes into the right hands, but also save the 10 little girls.

Another good book in the Gravediggers series.  I liked both Dante and Liv in this story even though Dante was a bit of an ass at times.  He was still charming and good-hearted and I couldn’t help but like him.

Liv had personal reasons for getting into the fight against sex-trafficking.  Her twin sister had been kidnapped when they were six and had never been found.  Liv had lived her life trying to find Elizabeth with no luck.  She wanted to save as many little girls as she possibly could.  She was a good person and frankly at times I thought she was a bit too good for Dante when he was acting the ass, but they ended up fitting nicely.  The romance in this book definitely took a back seat to the launch codes and sex trafficking issues but that was as it should be. This was who Liv and Dante were and how they lived their lives so it was nice to see the relationship grown within the job.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: My Fair Lord by Wilma Counts

Posted October 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: My Fair Lord by Wilma CountsReviewer: Tracy
My Fair Lord by Wilma Counts
Series: Once Upon a Bride #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-stars

Well-bred, well-dressed, and well-read, Henrietta, Harriet, and Hero are best friends who have bonded over good books since their schooldays. Now these cultured ladies are ready to make their own happy endings—each in her own way . . .

Lady Henrietta Parker, daughter of the Earl of Blakemoor, has turned down many a suitor for fear that the ton’s bachelors are only interested in her wealth. But despite the warnings of her dearest friends, Harriet and Hero, she can’t resist the challenge rudely posed by her stepsister: transform an ordinary London dockworker into a society gentleman suitable for the “marriage mart.” Only after a handshake seals the deal does Retta fear she may have gone too far . . .

When Jake Bolton is swept from the grime of the seaport into the elegance of Blakemoor House, he appears every inch the rough, cockney working man who is to undergo Retta’s training in etiquette, wardrobe, and elocution. But Jake himself is a master of deception—with much more at stake than a drawing room wager. But will his clandestine mission take second place to his irresistible tutor, her intriguing proposal . . . and true love?

Henrietta, in a disagreement with her half-sister, agrees to let her pick out a man from the docks so that Henrietta can turn him into a gentleman.  The stakes are high as if she loses Henrietta, or Retta as she’s known to her family, has to hand over her favorite horse.

The man that Retta’s sister picks ends up being the third son of Duke who is undercover.  Since Retta’s household is under suspicion of handing sensitive information over to the French, Jake takes the chance to get inside the Parker house.  Retta knows that something is not quite right with Jake as he learns extremely quickly, plays the piano and states quotes from philosophers.  She wants to win the bet so she brushes off her misgivings.  Jake is enthralled with Retta from the start but knows that he has to play his part til the end.  He just didn’t plan on falling in love with his teacher.

This was a take on the old the My Fair Lady story.  Teach a lower class person to be one of the nobility and fool the masses.  Only Jake was fooling the Parker’s all along as he was actually nobility already.

The story was cute and I liked Jake but I never felt a connection with either Retta or Jake and didn’t see the connection between the two of them either, I’m sorry to say.

The spy part of the book was more than a bit confusing but in the end was very simple.  I think the author added things in to make things exciting but it felt like filler and, imho, was unnecessary.  It dragged in places and I found that frustrating.  Overall a decent read but not wonderful for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 16, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane series #12
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 364
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four-stars

A LADY OF LIGHT

Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS

Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE

Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

Lady Iris Jordan is a widow who is on her way back from a friend’s wedding when she is kidnapped by a group called the Lords of Chaos.  They kidnapped her because they thought that she had just married the Duke of Kyle and they wanted to use, abuse and then murder her to get back at him for trying to break their group up.  Unfortunately for them, she didn’t.  Luckily she is saved by the Duke of Dyemore as he claims her for himself.  He promises the Lords of Chaos that she’ll be dead by morning just so he can get her away.  Not knowing that he’s there to save her Iris takes it upon herself to shoot him.

Despite being shot, Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore, insists on marrying Iris to save her from the Lords.  He knows that once they find out that he didn’t kill her that they’ll come after them both.  Iris isn’t too willing but knows that it has to happen.  She ends up spending her wedding night and more than a few nights after that nursing her new husband back to health.  Unfortunately the Lords find out she isn’t dead and come after them both.

While Iris and Raphael are hiding out she learns more about her husband.  She knows that his father was the leader of the Lords of Chaos until his death.  He manages to tell her about what a perverted, sick man his father was and what he had done to Raphael before he was whisked away to Corsica by his aunt in order to save him. Iris starts to fall in love with her broken husband but wants a child.  He refuses to continue his tainted bloodline.  Raphael’s determined to bring the Lords of Chaos down from the inside out and will stop at nothing to do so.  He just didn’t plan for his life or his feelings to change so much once Iris was in his life.

I’ve always enjoyed Hoyt’s writing and this book was another great read.  The subject matter was a bit dark and I wish it had been a bit lighter for the last book in the series but it was still good.

Raphael had been molested by his father one night when he was 12.  Luckily his aunt took him away to Corsica and kept him from becoming his father.  Raphael, however, had been forever changed by that one night and it had directed the course of his life.  He never planned on getting married and didn’t actually plan on being a true husband to Iris once he did marry.  Things and feelings shift and this happened with Raphael.  I was so happy that he finally had a change of heart.  I do wish that it hadn’t happened so quickly, however.  One minute he was saying, more or less, “I’m outta here” and the next he was all, “I love you!” It was still sweet and lovely but definitely rushed.

Iris was a great heroine and I liked her a lot.  She had been through a loveless marriage and though she didn’t really know Raphael she was resolute in having a good and decent marriage with him.  One where he didn’t ignore her as her first husband did.  She did a lovely job of bringing him out of the dark and I enjoyed reading how she did it.

I’m so sad that the Maiden Lane series has come to an end.  It was truly one of my favorite historical romance series and I will miss it greatly.  Though this wasn’t my favorite book in the series it was still a great one and definitely one I recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Going Up! by Safyre Starr

Posted October 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Going Up! by Safyre StarrReviewer: Tracy
Going Up! by Safyre Starr
Published by Purple Prose Press
Publication Date: June 15th 2017
Genres: Erotica
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two-stars

All Rachel wants to do is get to work on time. And coffee. She wants coffee. All Jamie wants to do is get out of this moving box quickly before his claustrophobia kicks in. Unfortunately for both of them, a stopped elevator traps them between floors in their office building. Will Rachel survive without caffeine? Will Jamie keep it together? Or will their enforced togetherness lead to a sensual encounter that neither of them expected?

Jamie and Rachel get stuck in an elevator together after an earthquake and that’s not good for either of them.  Rachel is a bear without her coffee (which she hasn’t had yet) and Jamie is claustrophobic.  If the building wasn’t so tall he’d have taken the stairs.

Rachel knows that James is the son of the founder of the law firm she works at and had recently been brought in as a full partner. He had worked at J.A.G. and though had never seen any combat he had still had a harrowing experience having to do with a bomber and had PTSD.  Rachel tries to soothe him in the elevator as much as possible and soon that comfort turns into the two are having an incredibly erotic experience together.

After they get out they talk and decide that they need closure because things were left unfinished. They decide to meet at a hotel to finish what they started. What this means for the future of their relationship – if there even is one – neither one knows.

This was a short, simple erotic story of lust in an elevator.  There wasn’t a whole lot of depth to it or the characters and I didn’t actually find it that erotic.  Once James and Rachel were in the hotel “finishing up” I found things awkward and stilted.  The story ended with them deciding to try to work things out but that was unsatisfying for me.  I guess it was good they didn’t fall instantly in love but I would have liked to have a least a little bit of romance involved.

The story was ok but not one I would recommend.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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